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My Brother's Wife is a Serial Cheater


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

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Old 31st May 2017, 5:45 PM   #16
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@Denison As a fellow sibling who has posted in this board recently and been told I'm an overprotective, over-involved sister, I get where you're coming from and think telling you to "mind your own business" is oversimplifying the matter and discounting your genuine feelings for your brother.

Either decision you make inviting his wife to keep the peace or refusing to invite her at all comes with consequences. One way hurts your pride, makes you feel like you are not standing up for what you believe in and makes you feel as if you're accepting her clearly horrible behavior. The other makes you feel as though you are showing solidarity with your brother, but from personal experience, will likely not be interpreted that way by him or his children and could result in further family issues. However, I understand the need to stand by your beliefs.

You seem to have weighed the options. You have to make the decision that is best for you, just be sure that you are ready to accept the consequences that may follow.
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Old 1st June 2017, 9:59 AM   #17
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It is natural that you care about your brother and his situation with his wife. Unfortunately, what he decides for his life-style within his marriage is his business. All of your concerns are well-meaning, and especially for the children.

Sometimes we have to let go of harboring feelings even if we feel we are justified, for the sake of family, and to "get-a-long" with them. I know, many times I have "bit the bullet" so to speak in order to keep peace with family. If the other family members are forgetting it and putting their feelings aside, that's great for them.

Often times, working through situations in prayer are the ways I get through the times that I am not fully at peace. Being in prayer for these people will not only help them but help you.

I will be praying for you, being able to come to terms with your brother's decisions, and praying for their family as well. I hope this helps, even in a small way. Good luck.
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Old 1st June 2017, 5:05 PM   #18
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Thank you. Very thoughtful message.
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Old 1st June 2017, 7:08 PM   #19
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I have only read the posts up to the point of her banging men in a McDonald's parking lot (I'm short on time at the moment). But I think you are absolutely justified in feeling how you are about her.

I would have no qualms not inviting this woman to my son's birthday party--it's your house, your rules. I think you cannot expect to control who your parents have in their home, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask your parents ahead of time if she is going to be there so you have the option of avoiding her.

My sister is married to an absolute bastard, so I get it. I told her that I will always love and support her, but it may not come in the form that she expects. I never badgered her about him, but did not hesitate to stand up for our mother when he said vile things to her. As a result, she is not in my life and I have never met her children that have since been born, but she knows my door is always open. So realize this is a possibility. My sister is essentially brainwashed and I know how the abuse cycle works, so I don't take it personally.

If this woman is as toxic as you say, I wouldn't be defining support of my sibling as synonymous with supporting his marriage. If someone had an addiction to drugs or self-mutilation, would you support their habit? No. Why should a toxic relationship be any different? Granted this has a potential ripple effect, but so be it. At least you can live with yourself authentically at the end of the day and your brother knows who he can turn to should things go south.

That being said, I also wouldn't make it a point to harp on this woman to your brother. That will just push him further into her arms. He's an adult capable of making his own mistakes, so I would keep it distant but cordial when you have to interact with her. But I don't think it's unreasonable at all to not be sending her invites--just realize your brother likely won't come, but you'll have to respect that, too.
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Old 8th June 2017, 11:37 AM   #20
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I have been praying that things are going better. Please keep us posted.
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Old 8th June 2017, 12:57 PM   #21
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Denison, I'm in a similar situation to that which you describe being in. A close family member is married to a cheater who is hard to get along with for the rest of us, manipulative, etc. etc. etc. The cheater has stolen items, including money, from family members, also.

The rest of us, like you, are grappling with our thoughts, feelings and decisions as to how to interact with cheater and our dear relative who's been betrayed yet is determined to remain in the "marriage".

I don't have children in my home any longer but some others who are facing this issue in my family do.

We have all been praying consistently about how to handle this. It's the only way I can get through the days as this situation has struck me to the core of my being (broken my heart) because of my love for the betrayed and also because of the effect it's all had on the betrayed mostly, but also on the rest of our entire family.

What I have found is that through consistent daily prayer and surrender of this issue to God, believing Him to be all powerful to resolve things, I'm able to have peace and have decided to welcome the cheater into my home when/if this family visits. If items are stolen (the least of my concerns, though) so be it. I will put under lock and key important documents, items, etc.

The one difference, though, in my situation and yours is that you have a young child you don't want to expose to this person. In your place I'd have to really pray about how to handle this.

Is it possible that for your son's third birthday, instead of having a party, you could plan a trip somewhere just this once so that you wouldn't have to deal with this issue right now? And give God time to work out His solution before having a family gathering in your home again?

In our situation I believe God will provide a solution. As a human, though, it's hard to wait and watch things that are taking place. However, as I am giving this to God and spending much time in prayer about it, I am being blessed with peace and even love for this cheating person. I know God has the power to get to this person and change her/him (trying to be vague, obviously).
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Old 8th June 2017, 2:10 PM   #22
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I appreciate everyone's responses. They seem to go both ways, but most suggest that, at the least, I not make demands on my parents for example that she not come over. And that's fair. But as far as inviting her into my home after the disgusting things she's done, and the betrayals (plural) she's committed to my whole family, I really don't think I can do that. I respect their decisions, I've totally stopped trying to change my parents' mind or judge them, but they also have to respect mine. One of the very few things I can control is who comes into my home and interacts with my family, especially my young children. This isn't a story about a spouse who fell in love with someone else, or made a bad mistake or two and is owning up to it. This is about someone who is, literally, a sex addict, who exposed my brother to countless diseases, slept with many other men and was so bold as to have sex in their marital bed when he was supposed to be at work for a few hours. It's the sign of a narcissistic sociopath and a frighteningly good liar, not an otherwise generally good person who made a mistake or found love elsewhere. So no, the universe does not have to revolve around me, nor (in my opinion) am I being "selfish" for saying she's not allowed in my house, at least for now. But, I have definitely realized that it's not my place to request that she not come over my parents' house when I'm there, if they're uncomfortable with that.
If you can't have your SIL in your home, then that's how you need to approach this situation.
I trust that you will be ready to handle the fallout that can come with that. Hopefully your brother will be understanding.
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Old 8th June 2017, 2:11 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by LivingWaterPlease View Post
Denison, I'm in a similar situation to that which you describe being in. A close family member is married to a cheater who is hard to get along with for the rest of us, manipulative, etc. etc. etc. The cheater has stolen items, including money, from family members, also.

The rest of us, like you, are grappling with our thoughts, feelings and decisions as to how to interact with cheater and our dear relative who's been betrayed yet is determined to remain in the "marriage".

I don't have children in my home any longer but some others who are facing this issue in my family do.

We have all been praying consistently about how to handle this. It's the only way I can get through the days as this situation has struck me to the core of my being (broken my heart) because of my love for the betrayed and also because of the effect it's all had on the betrayed mostly, but also on the rest of our entire family.

What I have found is that through consistent daily prayer and surrender of this issue to God, believing Him to be all powerful to resolve things, I'm able to have peace and have decided to welcome the cheater into my home when/if this family visits. If items are stolen (the least of my concerns, though) so be it. I will put under lock and key important documents, items, etc.

The one difference, though, in my situation and yours is that you have a young child you don't want to expose to this person. In your place I'd have to really pray about how to handle this.

Is it possible that for your son's third birthday, instead of having a party, you could plan a trip somewhere just this once so that you wouldn't have to deal with this issue right now? And give God time to work out His solution before having a family gathering in your home again?

In our situation I believe God will provide a solution. As a human, though, it's hard to wait and watch things that are taking place. However, as I am giving this to God and spending much time in prayer about it, I am being blessed with peace and even love for this cheating person. I know God has the power to get to this person and change her/him (trying to be vague, obviously).
Has the OP mentioned a belief in God or Christianity? Maybe she did and I missed it.
If not, I think it's important to remember that not everyone believes in prayer or other religious ways of dealing with issues.
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Old 8th June 2017, 5:25 PM   #24
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I HATE my new sister in law, honestly if she was drowning i would wait for her head to go under before I plucked her out. She hasn't cheated (yet, it will happen if my brother stays with her) but has started so much crap within our family.

I've handled it by not saying a word & I'm in no way afraid of confrontation. I keep quiet bc the longer I do, the more I'm not involved in the drama & bc when I do go off (which will happen) I want her not to expect it & to be justified to where no one is looking at me like a jerk...one has to be smart.

You don't want your family looking at you as the trouble maker & if they're being forgiving & you're not, that's what you look like. You have to handle every person & situation differently, sometimes the best thing to do is to sit back & just observe until the right moment. It may take a long time, it may not but be smarter than her, someone like who you're explaining will eventually screw up again...till then kill with kindness while observing, you won't go wrong doing that. good luck
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Old 8th June 2017, 6:10 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by BettyDraper View Post
Has the OP mentioned a belief in God or Christianity? Maybe she did and I missed it.
If not, I think it's important to remember that not everyone believes in prayer or other religious ways of dealing with issues.
BettyDraper, you may have missed post #'s 17, 18, 20. Wondering if you might be replying to a different thread since the poster here is a man. Easy to get confused with so many threads on the forum!

It's pretty obvious that not everyone on LS and in the world believes in prayer or other religious ways of dealing with issues. But it seems to me one of the reasons people post on LS is to get support from perspectives and ideas they may not have considered. So I don't see unbelief of posters (though from his reply to post #17, OP doesn't seem to be an nonbeliever in God) as a reason not to refer to God and/or prayer in posts. Each poster then can take what he or she wants to and apply it or disregard it.

Last edited by LivingWaterPlease; 8th June 2017 at 6:14 PM..
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Old 18th July 2017, 8:34 AM   #26
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Hi, all. Thanks for the handful of those who have posted since the original dozen or so posts and replies requesting updates and thoughts. So I ended up speaking with my brother about my reservations of having his wife at our kid's birthday party, specifically noting that it's just too soon and raw at this point, and that I'm fully open to changing my position and welcoming her back into a relationship with my family, at some point. I also stressed that if it was very important to him that she come, or if it made him uncomfortable asking her not to, that I'd much rather he and his kids be there with her, than having no one come at all. He said it's not a problem, he understands, he'll tell her and come with the kids. This was shortly after my original post. Well, the birthday party was last weekend, and without any warning, he just didn't show up at all. I asked my parents a few weeks ago if they knew if he was coming, and they said as far as they knew, he was, but that they didn't want to get in the middle of anything.

His not showing up at all was a total surprise. He's my son's godfather, and although we're not a particularly religious family, that means something. I know it's just a 3-year-old's birthday party, but I had distant cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, etc. make the trip (it's about 1 to 1.5 hour drive for most of my relatives and friends) and my own brother can't be bothered to show up. Now, to be fair to my SIL (something I rarely afford her), I think it was more my brother's laziness, not wanting to make the trip and watch his kids by himself for half a day, than it was some sort of "standing in solidarity" with his wife. Regardless, a number of you warned me that this could be the result if I asked that his cheating wife not come, and it's exactly what happened (though probably not for the reason most expected). To be honest, I didn't even notice he wasn't coming until an hour or so into the party when my wife mentioned that he wasn't there, and according to my parents, wasn't coming. What bothers me the most, I think, is that my mother "covered" for him, and actually told my wife that my brother and I spoke about him not coming...which is a total lie, either on my brother's part, or my mom making it up. So, someone is lying to cover for him, and it seems fairly pathetic. I've long since stopped expecting stuff like birthday/christmas gifts from my brother and his family, which I don't care about anyway, but this one sort of stings. At the same time, it was nice being able to enjoy my son's birthday party with virtually no drama, and not watching my parents chase around my brother's kids for 6 hours, which would inevitably happen, as it always does.

Anyway, that's the most up-to-date information. In terms of those who have suggested praying, as I noted above, I'm not particularly religious, but understand and appreciate the comfort and guidance that praying can offer those experiencing stressful family issues. In this case, I imagine that referring to scripture would have quickly lead me to forgive and forget, which the logical/secular part of me disagreed with too much to overcome. We're clearly dealing with a heavily troubled, narcissistic sociopath, who for the past decade or so, has received nothing but leeway, flexibility, forgiveness and caring from my family. In return, she has taken many "bites of the apple," so to speak, spit in our face while sapping our financial resources and energy. The amount of drama and hardship that she (and, to be fair, my brother in his own way) have caused my family is too much to look past after these most recent revelations of her horrid indiscretions. I'm sort of ashamed to say that having them essentially out of my (and my family's) life at the moment has brought a peace and calmness that wasn't attainable when they were oozing drama.
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Old 18th July 2017, 9:08 AM   #27
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After you little "talk" it is no surprise to me that he didn't show.
He has a wife and kids, they are his family and that will be more important to him than your sensitivities.
YOU poked your nose into somewhere it wasn't wanted and you paid the price.
How would you ave reacted had your brother told you he was not happy with your wife coming to his kids birthday party???

The problem you have now is the next family event...
Your parents must be very sad.
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Old 18th July 2017, 10:48 AM   #28
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If my wife had sex with many men in parking lots, whilst extorting my parents financially, I'd probably accept the fact that my siblings weren't comfortable having her around their kids, at least for a little while. What a stupid response.
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Old 18th July 2017, 11:10 AM   #29
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After you little "talk" it is no surprise to me that he didn't show.
He has a wife and kids, they are his family and that will be more important to him than your sensitivities.
YOU poked your nose into somewhere it wasn't wanted and you paid the price.
How would you ave reacted had your brother told you he was not happy with your wife coming to his kids birthday party???

The problem you have now is the next family event...
Your parents must be very sad.
Somehow, I think you missed the following part of my update, pasted below in which I told him a) if he was uncomfortable with my request, I'd much rather she came to the party than not show up at all and that b) he said it was fine and that he'd be there. At no point since he said that, did he say to me "hey, on second thought, we're not coming." So even if you thought I was "sticking my nose somewhere it wasn't wanted," (I'll avoid a sarcastic comment about other men "sticking things" into my SIL while my parents paid for her to go to graduate school and watched her kids), he said it was fine and that he understood.

From my updated post (emphasis added): "So I ended up speaking with my brother about my reservations of having his wife at our kid's birthday party, specifically noting that it's just too soon and raw at this point, and that I'm fully open to changing my position and welcoming her back into a relationship with my family, at some point. I also stressed that if it was very important to him that she come, or if it made him uncomfortable asking her not to, that I'd much rather he and his kids be there with her, than having no one come at all. He said it's not a problem, he understands, he'll tell her and come with the kids. This was shortly after my original post."
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Old 18th July 2017, 2:31 PM   #30
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Trouble is you said this first and to most that would be seen as what you really thought.
"I ended up speaking with my brother about my reservations of having his wife at our kid's birthday party, specifically noting that it's just too soon and raw at this point"

Anything you said after that was immaterial, he had already shut down I guess.
He got the message there was a problem and his family was not welcome. His wife was persona non grata, and that was no doubt embarrassing for him. His wife was cheating on him and now his brother is making a big deal out of it...
He will have been mortified. It was up to him to decide whether he took her to family events, but you stepped in and told him you did not want her there. He was thus weakened further. YOU undermined his pride. He would have to show up wife less to the party when everyone else was coupled up. "Oh poor guy, his wife is a wrong 'un"

He thus decided to boycott the whole event. His wife given the news may have gone off the deep end or she may have encouraged him to go, Who knows? but the damage was already done and I guess he was not going to go alone and face that embarrassment and shame in front of everyone.

Of course your mother would want to cover that up and put a fake gloss on it, it was embarrassing for her too.
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