Brother getting divorced after 25 years...questions.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    If you count the time they were dating it is 31 years they have been together.

    I found out earlier this week. I was not entirely surprised, as I knew they were having problems but I always though it would not happen until their youngest was out of high school which is a year away.

    I know alot of details, but not everything. I think the a large part of it is that there has been a lack of intimacy in their relationship, which in turn led him to have a couple of affairs over the past decade. There are secondary reasons, and they all revolve her inability to be a good wife/mother. He makes good money, and provides well for her so that she has never had to work, yet over the years I've endured complaints about her unwillingness to keep up with house work, and to even be sure that their kids brush their teeth (at the age of 14 their youngest son was diagnosed with gum disease so serious it prompted a call to my brother from the dentist).

    This is HIS side of the story. Over the years I have seen indications that she is more of a "taker" and not a giver, so I dont doubt that some of this is true.

    She is completely and utterly devastated. I talked with her earlier in the week and, and she went on a tirade that exposed alot of details about my brothers personal life that I really had rather not known. He apparently, in addition to the affairs has had a habit of going to massage parlors and going for the "happy ending" option, and was doing this at times when my elderly mother was down at their house for a visit. So he was leaving my mother in the care and company of his wife while he went to massage parlors...
    There is more that I was told also, but some of it is too bad to even post in a forum where I am more or less anonymous.

    Im really trying not to pick sides, but after finding out what I know I really feel bad for his wife.

    So, basically I am left with the impression that at least 60% of my brothers decision to leave is based on his wife not being intimate enough with him...To you married people out there, is that enough to file for divorce over?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Does their youngest still live with them? I've seen this happening several times but in most cases, parents try to stay together till all kids have moved out because it saves the hassle of custody dispute and going back and forth between two homes. This usually works if the relationship is not quarrelsome so they can live with each other but the love in the relationship has more or less died.

    I think they should solve it so that it causes the least harm for the children. When they have all moved out and are no longer minors, it's much less hassle and shocking to everyone. They can of course file for divorce as it doesn't apply immediately (at least in here) but then live under the same roof till all kids are gone.

    The important thing is to explain the situation to the kids. When you reach the X amount of years of marriage, it's not about love and intimacy anymore. It's about supporting and helping each other. I can't say my grandparents have very intimacy relationship after 50 years of marriage but they couldn't live without each other.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My only advice is to be there for your brother, don't pick sides and don't demonize the ex, even if he does.

    I've been through a divorce after a 10 year marriage and what I hated was people telling me what I did wrong in the marriage (I know my own faults) and what I had to do next. There are things going on between them that is only privy to them, so just be supportive and comforting.

    No one can solve this for them, they'll have to work this out, and when I mean work it out, I mean getting through the divorce, morning period (yes a divorce is like a death) and getting on with life.
  4. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am telling you this right now: divorce is MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to deal with than parents who don't get along. MUCH. That staying together because of the kids thing is absolute crap.

    My credentials? Living with parents who were miserable together and going through two divorces. I'd take the divorces any day.
  5. B.winkle macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm married for 36 years. The above is good advice.
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Good advice.

    I especially wanted to highlight the text that I bolded. Many times you don't know the whole story until many years later. So best not to be judgmental early on.
  7. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    No judgements here...Im trying to be supportive of both. It is a sad situation all around.

    Surprisingly, the situation even has me more than a little upset. For the past ten years holidays have pretty much been spent at their house, and since they are really the only family I have left it will make my holiday time very, very sad from now on.
  8. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Maybe the first holiday or two will be like that, but I betting it wont be sad forever. Hopefully, a divorce will make your brother and his ex-wife happier in the long run and the holidays may become end up becoming more enjoyable once that stress is gone--maybe. One thing I think is certain though is that if they stay together and are miserable your holidays would be sad anyway.

    This last quote from you makes it sound like you're a little lonely yourself--any chance you could meet some new people?
  9. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    That begs the question of why was there a loss of intimacy?

    That isn't merely the fault of his wife.

    That's an combination of the two of them turning away from each other over time.

    My wife and I have been together 20 years and we make a conscious effort to treat each other with loving tenderness.

    I only have two goals in life, and one of which is that I want my wife to go to her her grave thinking she married the right guy.

    That takes a little work... but the rewards are irreplaceable.
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Not surprising at all that you are upset. IMO you are going through, and will continue to, some "grief". The relationship with the couple itself was an important part of you life, and it has - in effect - 'died'. I think it is natural that you are upset. Do some reading on dealing with grief, to help yourself.

    And that is a big thing.... take care of yourself too. It is easy to get caught up in their problems, and to put yourself out for them.... But take time to take care of yourself too.

    Good Luck.
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    My bad. My comment was not focused on you specifically, but rather in general as it is easy to do.

    Best to you in being supportive of both. It will be tough at first. Just take it a day at a time. I know easy to say, but if you can do this it will help.
  12. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    Take this advice, OP. If you picked sides or told your brother or his wife what to do, I think it would only worsen the situation.

    One exception though: I don't know how old their youngest child is, but if it is still very young, maybe they should wait with their divorce until the child grows up. I personally know a couple who haven't loved each other for a long time, but they stayed together and kept up the illusion of loving parents because of their child. Maybe I'm on the conservative side here, but I believe there's nothing more important to a child's life than having secure, supportive & loving parents.
  13. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Is the decision to divorce final or is there any chance of reconciliaton? Have they considered therapy? Would your brother want to work it out if his concerns/complaints about the relationship could be resolved or does he just want out no matter what?
  14. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Yes, it is.

    Mostly because their lack of intimacy is merely a symptom of much larger trouble.

    I believe couples can work through many things, but nobody can work through anything if they've already checked out and lost interest.
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2002
    You should be there for your brother. He's going to go through a ton of stuff, and he's going to need someone to vent to, to be supportive, to say he's right when he needs it. It may take him some time to acknowledge his faults, or it may take him time to accept his mistakes and be happy again. Just be there for him. As for his wife, she'll have her family and friends. If you play both sides now, you risk hurting your brother too much.

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