My brother-in-law is destroying my marriage

on Mar 29, 2013 @ 08:30 pm

Ok, so we aren't married, but after 10 years... it feels that way and we have always treated our relationship like a marriage. To give a little background, my BIL is has always been a selfish person. He will do anything for money. For instance, we needed a truck and he (BIL) had just bought a truck and offered to sell us his other one that he still owed on. Well he was in the middle of a divorce and was losing both but didn't tell us, we paid him $350 a month for 6 months to make the payments he owed on it and then I got a loan for it. Well he wasn't making the payments on it. I was tipped off by his mother (who was receiving letters in the mail about the trucks missed payments) and backed out of the deal. I lost $2100 and it was repossessed because he was just taking our money and the truck was never paid for. He now labels me as a b*tch for exposing him to my boyfriend. This is a small example of the 150 ways he has tried to rip us off. He does drugs in front of his preteen and 5 year old. He has emptied the pockets of many family members and blames them when he can't pay them back (he then exiles them from his family). He has tried to get my boyfriend to leave me because I don't approve of his ways. I once agreed to visit my boyfriend who was staying out of town at my BIL's house. I hadn't seen my boyfriend in a few weeks due to his work. Even though he made my boyfriend, our 8yr old daughter and I sleep in the garage, he demanded he was allowed to waltz in and smoke pot while we were sleeping because its his house and he doesn't care what I think about it (I hadn't said a word, but my husband begged him not to). He buys things he cannot afford and then tries to make my boyfriend feel bad for him when he is ruined financially. My boyfriend tried to give him the cold shoulder, but he showed up on our door asking if he knew where to get a gun because he wanted to rob someone to make his house payment! (I know this was a plea for attention) In the 10 years I've known his brother he has had 7 cars repossessed, 2 bikes repo'd, 2 homes and kicked out of 2 apartments. His wife is even worse! She was snooping around in my bag and had been caught stealing from my boyfriend and going through my medicine cabinet. I don't want this insanity around my daughter AT ALL. I do not want them in our life. At my daughters Bday party, his wife went nuts because she lost her son for 3 min. (he was playing with my daughter). Then she screamed at my daughter for it and said her husband is so mad because of her. I told her I thought her husband was upset because she was screaming at everyone and that she needs to settle down because she was scaring my daughter. She then slapped me! My daughter was scared. I don't want her to think these people are normal. I don't want to 'shelter her' but feel weird telling an 8 year old her uncle and aunt are on drugs (not just pot). I also would like to explain to my long time boyfriend, that I cannot marry him if his brother-in-law is going to continue to disrupt our lives. I feel torn but I cannot live with this anymore. Is it acceptable to give my boyfriend an ultimatum?

4 Replies

should add on Mar 29, 2013 @ 08:41 pm

I should probably ad that these instances sound very specific, but I am just giving you a sneak peak of a day in my life!!! I am also as nice as I can possibly be. I have not allowed my daughter to see them in a year (at least not without me present). He got my husband in trouble with the law recently for having drugs with him when my boyfriend gave him a ride. He then refused to admit it was his and yet my boyfriend still feels sorry for his much older brother!!

It's hard to cut ties with family on Mar 30, 2013 @ 08:25 am

Sadly, it's very hard for family to cut ties even when there's a really good reason to do so! I'm sure your man is just as unhappy with the situation as you are, but his loyalty to family is allowing him to give chance after chance.

First, your BF needs to set boundaries. For the sake of his children and you, he needs to limit the amount of involvement BIL has in your family dynamic. He can do this while still leaving the door open for your BIL once he smartens up.

Second, you have some hard decisions ahead. It's very hard for an outside person to ruin a relationship without help. Are there tensions in your relationship that are unrelated to this brother? He should not be able to single-handedly destroy a stable relationship unless it's already shaky. I realize that any shakiness that may be there is possibly due to the brother. Have you considered family therapy? This might help you sort out any hard feelings between you and your man, help your man to learn how to set healthy boundaries, etc.

Third - and this kind of ties the two together - your BF needs to take a timeout from his brother. He needs to be able to say "Bro, we can't spend time together if you can't respect my family rules like not doing drugs in front of my kids or stealing from us." And then he needs to enforce it.

Granted, this will make things worse between BIL and your BF. Their relationship might be really chilly for a long time until things sort themselves out. It's called tough love and when everything else has been tried, it may be the only option.

What is the rest of the family doing? Your MIL & FIL, other siblings? Do they have the same opinion and troubles as you? Are they willing to make some tough decisions? Some people need to learn the hard way, unfortunately. Some people need the safety net taken out of their reach before they smarten up. This is a horrible decision to have to make, and I don't know if I could do it myself if one day one of my kids makes these mistakes. But whatever you all are doing already is not working.

You as a mother need to protect your children. It's important to have their dad around and actively involved in their lives... but if he's allowing a destructive influence into your family circle, they will suffer for it.

Good luck! I hope things improve for you and your sweet babies soon :)

Thank you! on Mar 30, 2013 @ 01:24 pm

Oh thank you so much for your reply! Poor MIL has actually been axed from communications with him. She let him stay at her house, borrow money, eat her food and put up with their drug problems until he got back on his feet. She is also on a fixed income. When he got a good job she asked for a repayment and he decided that he wouldn't talk to her anymore because she is his mom and it was her job to do what she did (BIL is in his 30's!) His step dad doesn't want any part in helping him further. So as you can see, if my BF stands up to him, there's a good chance he may never hear from him again. It is why everything is so difficult for me. We have been rocky in the past after BIL got my BF in trouble a few times but my BF needs to man up sometimes instead of playing peacemaker. I will definately see about counseling. There is so much dysfunction in their family. We certainly need more coping skills!

Ali de Bold
Unacceptable on Apr 02, 2013 @ 02:59 pm

I'm all for sticking by family but this is extreme. You will have constant drama in your life and your children's lives if you stay with your boyfriend in this situation. Unless your boyfriend is willing to set serious boundaries with his brother and wife (and from what you've said it doesn't sound like there are any), I don't see how getting married and continuing on will be a good thing for your family. You need to decide as a couple how you will allow yourselves to be treated. As you've said, there are too many issues here to list. Ultimately every family member who allows these two to treat them this way is enabling them. I think your boyfriend needs to give those two an ultimatum. They either shape up, or the relationship is on hold until they do. I'm sure they'd react horribly to that and blame you for all of it, but you have to protect your family and your children.

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