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My Brother's Wife is a Serial Cheater

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Old 30th May 2017, 4:49 PM   #1
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My Brother's Wife is a Serial Cheater

This is a pretty simple story. My brother's wife was always a difficult person to deal with, as she is a total phony and she uses her kids with my brother (my nieces) to manipulate my parents into supporting her financially and otherwise...but I let them make their own decisions after I voiced an opinion about it. I treated with respect and got along with her well enough. My brother also has his difficulties throughout the years, so I at least understood that she put up with a lot too and at least appreciated that. Well, a few months ago she was caught cheating (literally in the act), and ended up fessing up to a plethora of really nasty stuff...having sex with at least a few other men, including the guy she was physically caught with in the marital bed, and my brother found out some pretty sordid details when he went digging.

Anyway, fastforward a few months, and basically everyone in my family has moved on. My brother never moved out (mainly because he couldn't afford to and just to keep things normal for the kids), but is already essentially accepting her back as his wife. I don't know the extent of it, but I know they essentially act like they're still a normal married couple. My parents have all but forgotten about everything, and continue to support both of them, have them over for dinner, etc. Me and my other brother are still furious at her, as her betrayal wasn't merely to my brother, but also to my parents, who have supported her enormously for the better part of a decade. My brother can do what he wants, it's his relationship, but my parents are too nice to shut her out and just support the grandkids.

I really am at a loss of what to do...I don't live that close to my parents and brother/cheating sister in law, so I can just let everyone make their own decisions and ignore it to an extent. But what about family gatherings? Holidays? Birthdays? Our son's 3 year birthday party is coming up, and there is no F'ing way she's invited, but what if that upsets my brother or even my parents? I already told everyone that I respect their decision, however much it confuses me, to let her so easily back in their lives, and I only ask that my decision to cut her out of mine be respected. But I've already had a few instances where it's caused disagreements, and I don't want to let her upset me or cause a rift between me and my family. She is so incredibly manipulative, I literally see it happening before my mom speaks glowingly of her again, recounting stories about her interactions with the cheating sister in law. It makes my skin crawl, but I just keep my mouth shut. I don't know how much longer I can keep my opinion to myself, and I'm just so confused by how they're behaving that I'm starting to think I'm the one who is being too hard on her. But I feel like someone has to hold her accountable for her deplorable actions, and I independently am disgusted by her now anyway.

Any suggestions on how to handle this moving forward? Am I justified in calmly requesting that for example, she not come to my son's party? Or that when I"m at my parent's house visiting, she not come over? I'm really so confused by the situation, it's causing me a lot of stress. For what its' worth, my wife and other brotehr are totally in agreement, but he lives 2,000 miles away so is sort of on the outside looking we dont' really have a united front in any real sense.
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Old 30th May 2017, 5:27 PM   #2
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At the end of the day, it's difficult to see why you should care any more than your cuckolded brother does.

That said, emotion is not rational.
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:46 PM   #3
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I totally understand why you would care and it seems that you are angry and disgusted on your brother's behalf. I have seen plenty of situations where the significant other forgives much more quickly than the people who care about him or her. As mightcpa so eloquently put it, emotion is not rational and people do a lot of stupid, self-destructive things in the name of love and "not rocking the boat."

I personally believe you are within reason to not want your sister-in-law at your home or involved with family gatherings. However, by not including her you run the clear risk of alienating your brother and possibly your parents. She is also the mother of your nieces/nephews, who are likely to get caught in the family crossfire as well.

It is a difficult decision, but is standing up for your brother worth causing a rift in your relationship with him and his kids? Maybe so. But if not, I wouldn't actively disinvite her, hope she doesn't show up and, if she does, try to keep a cold (cordial at best) distance.
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Old 31st May 2017, 4:38 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Denison View Post
But I feel like someone has to hold her accountable for her deplorable actions
What do you hope to accomplish by holding her accountable? Do you think that you shunning her will cause your brother (or parents) to break up with her? It won't. And your parents are supporting your brother's choices in a partner. I'm sure they're not impressed with her behavior, either, but they apparently think it's better to accept his choices and not rock the boat.

Because you know what will happen if your parents did put their foot down and say that they don't want to have anything to do with her ever again? He will choose his wife and the mother of his children over his family like most people probably would and then your parents will hardly ever see your brother or his kids again. That's what they're afraid of, I would guess. You should probably be afraid of this, too.

Am I justified in calmly requesting that for example, she not come to my son's party?
Yes, but realize that your brother won't be attending either, probably.

Or that when I"m at my parent's house visiting, she not come over?
No. You cannot dictate who your parents invite into their own home. You can leave if you don't like their guests. Of course that means you won't be able to hang out with your brother there, either, because they'll be there together in most instances.

Ultimately, your brother and his wife are a package deal as long as he chooses to remain married to her. If you shun her, it will negatively effect your relationship with your brother. Besides, it's not up to you to "hold her accountable" for cheating on your brother. I know this is hard to hear because you care so much about your brother and you think your parents are being taken advantage of, but if your brother has forgiven her, then her cheating is actually none of your business and your parents giving her money isn't either.

By the way, you said they support her financially, but I'm sure your brother benefits, too - if not directly, then indirectly and he also has the ability to shut his wife down if she asks your parents for money. Just saying, you can't only blame her for taking advantage of your parents. Your brother has just as big of a part in it. So in that respect I think you are being unfairly hard on her.

You should choose your brother over "holding her accountable" or teaching her a lesson, or whatever. You should love him more than you want her to know you hate her. Even though you say you don't know if you can hold your opinion in any longer, you've already stated your opinion to your family. I know this because you said it has started disagreements. Everyone knows how you feel. Now all you can do is try to keep or create good relationships with your family. That doesn't mean you have to become best friends with her. Just accept her existence and don't be an ******* to her. That's all.
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Old 31st May 2017, 6:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Denison View Post
But I feel like someone has to hold her accountable for her deplorable actions, and I independently am disgusted by her now anyway.
She's your brother's wife, not yours. While it's understandable that what she has done has affected how you feel about her, if your brother has decided to take her back rather than holding her accountable, that's his decision. It's your job to support your brother.

Am I justified in calmly requesting that for example, she not come to my son's party? Or that when I"m at my parent's house visiting, she not come over?
No. I'm sure this will come as a shock, but the universe does not revolve around you. She has apparently been forgiven and reintegrated into the family. Being a dick about something that was never about you to begin with is, well, being a dick. Trying to keep the scarlet letter pinned on her after she and your brother have reconciled is a wrong against your brother. You have a right to feel how you feel, but not to impose it on everyone else.
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Old 31st May 2017, 8:02 AM   #6
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Family rifts and feuds are dreadful things and not something you want to get involved with. It will affect your whole family if you make a big deal out of this and for what really?
Don't turn your kids birthdays into a a war zone, as it will be your kids that will suffer when their cousins and auntie cannot attend. Your parents will not invite you to family events if you are going to cause arguments and stomp off in huffs and refuse to speak to this woman.
Don't make your parents choose, as it will be your kids that will lose their grandparents. You will be seen as the trouble-maker.
YOU have to be the bigger man here and bite your tongue for family unity and for the happiness of all its members..
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Old 31st May 2017, 10:19 AM   #7
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One additional thought, if you value your relationship with the brother with the "prize" wife, you would do good to be polite and not go beyond what you have already.

She will use this to divide the family and will see you as an initial target. Tell your brother that you're always available to talk and leave it at that.
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Old 31st May 2017, 12:49 PM   #8
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OK, everyone seems to be on the same page here that I have to move on and accept her. Perhaps if I went into more detail about the things she did (i.e. having sex with strange men in a McDonald's parking lot while she said she was at night school, which my parents were paying for, and they were watching her children at the time), it might evoke some more sympathy for my position, but perhaps not. Point is, I'm trying to balance my animosity and disgust towards her, with respecting the decisions of my family, most importantly my brother. Saying "bro, just forgive her, everyone else has!" is perhaps an easy answer from the outside...not so easy when the women has been taking advantage of your parents (admittedly at least partially with my brother's involvement/acquiescence) for the better part of a decade, then you find out she's been banging strange men while my parents watched her kids. But maybe I'm just being stubborn!
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Old 31st May 2017, 1:11 PM   #9
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@Denison ~ I'm with you on this one, don't let this nobody stress you out. If you and your wife don't want her at your son's birthday party then don't invite her, you don't owe anyone an explanation. If they want you to accept their decisions then they can learn to accept yours.

However, I think asking your parents to not invite her to their place may be putting them in a difficult situation as they need to think about your other brother and not put him in a difficult situation. If you want to spend time alone with your parents, you can always take them out somewhere, that way you can control who comes and who doesn't.

Some people are perfectly comfortable with keeping their mouth shut and keeping peace but if you're like me then you won't let things slide so easily.

I have a similar thing going on with my brother's girlfriend, I treat her invisible and I exclude her from everything. I made it clear, unless I state otherwise then they can assume she is not invited which is 100% of the time. Initially people thought I was being a bitch but gradually they started to see where I was coming from and stopped inviting her to their events as well.

My brother and I went out for dinner one time, he confronted me about this. We had a long, calm conversation about it and I told him he can **** whoever he likes but don't expect me to be best friends with them. He understands where I am coming from so now he doesn't bring her whenever I am there.
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Old 31st May 2017, 1:30 PM   #10
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Help you brother grow some balls.

She is still cheating on him.

Give your brother the name of a good divorce attorney.

He will not heal around her.

Have him hire a PI to get more dirt on her.

She may have given him stds. Help him to DNA his kids.

Help him, he is going thru hell from your sister - in- law.

Maybe he will get lucky and she will leave with one of her lovers.

That is one of the worst ways to say **** *** to someone by having sex in the marital bed.

she really resents your brother and has no respect for him.

Glad you have some sense.
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Old 31st May 2017, 3:01 PM   #11
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I personally would try & take the focus off of her & your anger & disgust at her and focus more on being a support system for your brother. Not a support system where you are welcoming her with open arms but don't alienate her to the point you alienate your brother. He needs to get away from this women & he needs strength to do that. If you are cruel, make demands about her etc, the old fashion gene in a man to protect his woman is going to surface. He is going to start defending her because you are being "mean" instead of facing what she did,

If it was me they would be welcomed in my home as long as my sibling was there but I would not acknowledge them. And every chance I had I would be talking to my sibling with love & concern about how they deserve / can do better. I would not show the anger toward the spouse who cheated. I would just show my sibling hurt & sadness for their situation so they would know I came out of love, not anger & would be open when I talked to them.

No matter how much someone hurts someone it is hard to end a marriage period. Sometimes people have to get strong before they can. Just because it looks like he has forgiven & moved on does not mean he has. It might just mean his self esteem is so broke he doesn't have the strength to do something about it.
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Old 31st May 2017, 3:08 PM   #12
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You absolutely have the right not to invite her to your house. Beyond that you just need to be as friendly as you can when you have to be around her elsewhere. I mean, assuming you care about being with your family.
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Old 31st May 2017, 3:13 PM   #13
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I guess you have the right to say to your brother that his wife is not welcome. You can still support him but it doesnt mean that she is now going to get the same respect from you anymore. If it means that your brother leaves her at home, then so be it. He can choose to and not hold it against you.
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Old 31st May 2017, 3:22 PM   #14
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Your brother's marital problems are none of your business. You also cannot control how much your parents interact with your SIL. I empathize with your anger because nobody likes to see her sibling hurt. However, your feelings should not be used to dominate other family members. Be supportive of your brother and refrain from keeping his wife from coming to your home. It's just going to cause more drama. Sometimes we have to keep peace, especially when it comes to dealing with family. Not every opinion needs to be voiced; maybe you can write in a journal or talk to close friends instead.

I have zero tolerance for cheating so I hate to see spouses tolerate such disrespect. On the other hand. I also know that children are often a motivator for reconciliation. It's natural for parents to want to give their kids the best life possible. Divorce is very traumatic for children so parents often try to work it out with each other. Out of love for your brother, try to respect his decision even if you don't agree with it.
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Old 31st May 2017, 4:24 PM   #15
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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.
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