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Hey everyone!


It's a pretty complicated situation that doesn't involve me but my brother.


Last Oct, he broke up with his long time girlfriend (talking 10+ years) because she cheated on him with a married man. My brother was willing to work things out, but she wasn't willing to leave the married man. So, the relationship ended.


I spoke with my brother about this in Nov/Dec (he's very private and I only learnt of the break up with it was 1 month old). I told him about my experiences when I broke up with my long time girlfriend. Gave him some advice and told him to call me if he needed anything.


He called last night.


While he has taken care of himself, working out and going out, meeting a few women, having fun, etc....I was surprised to hear that he didn't listen to my advice of No Contact. He still talks to her from time to time. From what he told me, she has dumped the married man and is going out with a muscleman from her gym. It's been going on for a few weeks and now the guy is scaring her. He's very possessive and borderline abusive and since he's very imposing, he intimidates her. Not knowing how to deal with it, she called my brother for help.


Little did I know, my brother was up to speed about her life. They talk to each other (well, she calls to dump her problems on him) every two weeks or so. He keeps talking to her because he “can help her”.


I'm currently torn here.


My brother is a stressful man at heart. He has a stressful job, is currently picking up the pieces of his failed relationship (which includes financing the condo they were supposed to purchase together, alone...which adds to the stress), doesn't know if he will be able to keep the condo (financially speaking) and from what I got from the phone, he is stressed out, hanging on with his fingertips. I'm hoping he's not headed towards a burnout!


In addition to all his problems, he is taking on her problems as well. I told him when first we spoke about this that he should stop contacting her because she's essentially not your responsibility anymore. Harder said than done...and unfortunately, my brother wasn't able to disconnect.


But now, I want to tell him that he has to be selfish and heal himself, else he's going to hurt himself in more ways than one (physically burn out, emotionally torn due to breakup). It sucks because this woman was in our family for over 10 years...but my breakup was similar and I was able to go NC, which really REALLY helped me heal. My brother is still angry (he doesn't say it, but when you listen to him talk, you can feel the anger) directed towards his ex, and he has let it slip that he'd like to get back together with her (because of his supporting actions - white knight deal)...yet he talks about how he goes out and tries to get laid every weekend, etc. He's confused too.


His ex is no better, she cheated on him with a married man, got dumped by said married man when she got dumped by my brother (about 1 week interval), hooked up with this meathead that got her pregnant (my brother suspects) and now he's going all "hulk" on her. She's confused and screwed up too and having her talking to my brother doesn't help him (or her) any. Unfortunately my brother can't stop talking to her because of his hopes...


I really don't want this to run its course...cause it might end up severely hurting my brother.


So, would anyone have any pointers or advice about how I can go about showing my brother "the light"? I know that I can't get him to do anything...he's stubborn to boot. If I could get him to think about his situation, to get him to snap out of it, it would be so much better for him.


I've tried telling him that she's not his responsibility...but he doesn't grasp it. I'm really hoping I can snap him out of this...but know that sometimes, you just have to let the cards fall where they may....


Thanks again for reading.


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Wow, your own experience I would think would be more than enough. Your brother sounds like he's in really bad shape. I think the only way to avoid the inevitable trainwreck here is for someone else other than you to explain how bad this is. If I were you, I'd suggest therapy. ANYONE experiencing a divorce after a 10 year marriage should be seeing a professional. They could really help him see that he's not even begun to heal from this.

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Telling him is what you can do... and just be there for him.


You're right in that you can't "make" him do anything... including seeing the light.


You can point out to him that he's letting her problems weigh too heavily on him and that it's ok for him to care about his ex - but she chose her path and he doesn't need to be her dumping ground... nor can his mental health likely sustain it for a prolonged period of time.


Possibly, reiterating to him the fact that if he cracks, he's of no use to her in the event that something bad DOES happen... he might be able to scale it back and cut his ex off unless she's really in crisis.

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Thanks for the responses.


I was thinking of letting him know how much damage his contact with his ex is causing him and then leave it at that. Let him decide what to do...but be there for him if he needs me.


It just sucks watching him go through this...


I'll wait to see what happens this summer before I talk to him about therapy. I know that if I mention it now, he'll use the "don't have the funds" line. I think I'll wait until he's moved into his condo, budgetting his stuff, lived through a few months with his budget and feel comfortable.

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