14.3 C
Sunday, May 28, 2023
HomeLifestyleStopping my Brother from Exploiting His Wife: Bel Mooney's Question

Stopping my Brother from Exploiting His Wife: Bel Mooney’s Question


Dear Bell,

I am writing for advice on behalf of my brother’s wife – who is married to my only brother.

Their 27-year-old son still lives at home. My brother “retired” years ago, his only income is the state pension.

His wife is still working full time as a teacher – desperately trying to retire, but at 63 she won’t get her state pension for a few years. She pays all the bills.

My brother does nothing all day but watch TV. My sister-in-law does most of the cooking, but he’ll often say he doesn’t like it and get takeaway. My nephew is conniving because they both love junk food.

My nephew (in a low paying job) hates living at home and wants to leave. He and my brother are constantly arguing. He was very spoiled – he makes no contribution, my sister-in-law pays his tax and his car insurance.

During lockdown, they got a rescue puppy, which became large and untrainable (dog trainers gave up). My brother refuses to take him for a walk, so my brother’s wife (or sometimes my niece) has to take a walk with him in the evening after work. The poor health of a dog is a huge expense for my sister-in-law.

I just found out now that a long time ago my brother was accessing chat sites and porn sites. It really bothers me that he’s texting when he’s sitting next to her in the evening.

I am the only person my brother’s wife confided in. I was appalled by my brother’s behavior and taxed him for refusing to walk the dog and such. He does not know that i know about chat sites.

She longs to retire, but even if they split the proceeds of the house, there won’t be enough to buy a house for her, my nephew, and the dog. So she continues her unhappy existence because she sees no alternative.

I told her she still had a long life ahead of her, and at least see a lawyer to get a sense of protecting her teaching pension. I feel helpless and don’t know how I can help. My husband thinks she should leave the marriage. But I appreciate that it is not that easy. What do I do?


This week, Belle Mooney helps a woman deal with the disappointment she feels with her brother’s treatment of his wife

At the heart of today’s second message from Alison is an eerie silence between a woman and her partner — and your heartfelt message also hinges on silence, right?

I realize that it is very fine for me to advise people to open up with each other and have proper conversations, but in real life it can be impossible to bring up a painful subject with those we love.

It is more difficult between family members than between spouses, because while a married couple certainly has a right to know what each other is doing, a sister may feel she has no right to interfere in her brother’s family.

You’re writing “on behalf of” your sister-in-law, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she asked you to, does it?

idea of ​​the day

. . . I’m screaming in the rain

She cries like a wounded animal,

Knowing that they have nowhere to turn. it’s hard

To understand how we can come here with love.

From Walking Home Across The Island by Jack Gilbert

(American poet, 1925-2012)

The situation is complicated, because (for example) if you were hit by your brother, you would feel obligated to report his behavior to the authorities. But being a useless, idle, weary egoist who lives unabashedly from his hard-working wife and cruelly humiliates her by looking at online corruption. Although such behavior may be morally repugnant to decent people, it is not a crime.

The only “weapon” you can have are words – and that means being honest about what you think.

Your sister-in-law confided in you about porn sites, but you didn’t feel empowered to deal with your brother. Are you afraid of being angry with her? This makes your silence worse, I’m afraid.

You have noted the fact that their unhappy house is ruled by two selfish men and that your sister-in-law is stupid (let us speak plainly) for letting her adult son outlive her life, yet I doubt you will feel able to tell her that. Be tougher.

You know they were (like many others) a no-brainer to get a dog they couldn’t be bothered to train (no dog is ‘untrainable’ by the way, unless badly damaged) but how do you tell them that when there are so many other things going on ?

If your brother gets off his ass, he can train that poor dog. You are all stuck idle.

I’m on your husband’s side, and you know he’s right. Your sister-in-law should do everything she can to help her son learn to budget (see citizensadvice.org.uk) and then find a bed or house share. He has to go. The situation is miserable – and it doesn’t help him at all.

Then you need to consult a lawyer for serious advice on terminating the marriage, after which you must inform her husband about what she did and why.

However, I offer this commonsense advice knowing that it likely won’t happen because your sister-in-law is tired and depressed, and she almost certainly knows she is being taken advantage of, yet she may feel emotionally trapped in the marriage, regardless of her husband’s behavior.

In this case no power on earth can change thigs. The best thing you can do is encourage her to be stronger. And if your husband feels like he’s speaking his mind, man to man, I won’t stop him. Your lazy brother needs home facts.

I don’t trust my partner and his ex

Dear Bell,

Four years ago I got out of a deeply abusive 30 year marriage. The Public Prosecution Service eventually prosecuted him, resulting in a two-year restraining order.

I stayed in the marriage for a long time because even though he was mentally and physically abusive, we had two sons and I stayed so they could deal with his abuse. They were 21 and 27 years old when I left.

I met and moved in with a lovely man, who at first made me feel safe and cared for. This has gradually diminished, although he is still interested. I realize I might be more vigilant.

I’m OK with the fact that he’s still in contact with other girlfriends, but I always wonder if they’d like to be more.

I think there is a married woman who had a previous relationship with my partner. Sometimes we meet as couples. She is completely over him and doesn’t care about me at all. She will see her daughter in Australia in November, but her husband will not because he is afraid of flying.

I feel like she is trying to convince my partner to go with her. We all met for lunch and she said, “You bought our tickets.”

When I asked who she was going to, she said “no one”. When I got back from the ladies my partner looked at me worriedly, her husband looked angry and she seemed satisfied.

What are they hiding? How do I bring up the topic without disturbing my partner? I’ve given them every opportunity to speak, but no one says anything.

For me, confidence is everything. I just need to find out the truth and I’m afraid to make up my own mind. Shall I play along until November and see what happens?


What a vast, empty, yawning silence between loving people living together under one roof!

How can a couple share a bathroom and a bed but not share their thoughts? This question preoccupied me years before I wrote my first advice column; After 18 years, I am more confused than ever.

Don’t say how long you’ve been in the relationship, but say it’s three years or less, you still feel confident enough to move in with him after your terrible marriage. You / are you very close? So why is it impossible for you to just come out with, “Hey, honey, that lady seems so fond of you. How long have you been dating her?” It’s a simple question, right?

More from Bill Mooney for the Daily Mail…

You are describing a scene in a tavern when you doubt the expressions on the faces of your three companions. Perhaps you were so damaged from the years of hell with your first husband that you would never truly be able to trust anyone again. I will understand that.

On the other hand, it’s not easy to understand why you can’t simply ask at home, “Why on earth did she say she bought tickets when her husband wasn’t going? Come on, you know her so well, what’s going on?”

A submissive woman will not have the courage to ask those simple questions. So I suggest you ask yourself if this is the truth about you – a legacy of those years of abuse. You say your partner “cares” so does he deserve that level of mistrust?

In your slightly longer message, you mention twice the importance of trust. This email is so full of anxiety that it suggests a woman finds it impossible to put her trust in a man again, no matter how much she cares — but at the same time is so terrified of losing him, she’s not going to rock the boat with questions.

You can’t “play along until November” because your anxiety will build and he may be horribly unfair to your partner, his friend, and her husband. If they are hiding a plot, you need to find out right away.

Likewise, if their strange expressions (as I suspect) are a figment of your creepy imagination, you need to put your mind to rest. I walked on eggshells during that first marriage; Now is the time to have peace of mind. But you will have to try very hard to stop seeing yourself as a victim – and take responsibility.

If you absolutely averse to asking questions, why not propose to your partner and take away for a sunny vacation in dreary old November? Tell him that all this talk about Australia is making you realize how much you’d like to relax in a great place with the man you love – and ask him to start planning that dream vacation with you.

And finally… how your life lessons resonate

Some excellent messages came after last week’s column. It’s always a pleasure to read your intelligent and sensitive responses to others’ grief.

The key message from Rowena (a mother of three married to a good man but passionately in love with someone else and wondering if she should leave) brought heartfelt cries from women who learned the hard way that the grass isn’t always greener.

Contact Bel

Bill answers readers’ questions about emotional and relationship problems each week.

Write to Bel Mooney, the Daily Mail, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY or email bel.mooney@dailymail.co.uk.

Names are changed to protect identities.

Bell reads all of the letters but regrets not being able to enter into a personal correspondence.

For example, JC writes, “I want that woman to know that she’s living a dream of romance and lust—those things have a way of turning nasty and remorseful when she hurts other innocent people.”

My daughters were upset and my son didn’t talk to me for a while. . . I wish I had not been faithful to my husband, who was worth more than any other man. But at that time I just wanted passion and escape. All I have left is shame. . . I hope my story is a warning to any bored housewife who thinks she’s missing out on love, when really, it’s right there next to you.

Likewise the CD (now 74) wrote: “Rowena, don’t do it! Some 40 years ago I left my husband and child for a ‘knight in shining armour'”. My husband was a good man and a good father, but I saw things differently. It didn’t work out and she remembers now Nothing is worth the pain I’ve caused them.

My rain-soaked visit to Barbara Hepworth’s garden brought back bittersweet memories from other readers. One of them also went there on a rainy day long ago, during a difficult time in her marriage. She felt “sad and lost” but thinking of the statue taught her greater truths.

And Marie wrote, “Thank you for making such a beautiful memory of me this morning. I lost my wonderful husband almost five years ago. I hadn’t thought about our visit to Barbara Hepworth Garden for years, but in the moment, it’s fresh in my mind.

Deep truth about marriage there.

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories