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I don't know if this is the right place or not to seek advice for this issue but I am going to give it a try and hopefully you guys can help me out. My younger brother is 23 and has been dating his girlfriend for five years and I like the girl and she hasn't done anything wrong per say. But he was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and is going to be starting Chemo here on Friday. Well he has asked his girlfriend to marry him and he is understandably very scared right now and they have him on antidepressants and some anxiety meds. They only recently moved in togeather and got an apartment on their own and she is also seven and a half months pregnant with a baby boy, so I guess in a way they are already married. But now he wants her to marry him very soon and I feel like he wants to marry her out of fear rather than love and not sure this is the proper way to go about things. He would also be handing over all of his life and death choices to a 22-year-old if things god forbid take a turn for the worst and I am worried it will overwhelm her or she will be indecisive and unable to chose out of fear. He has also been pushing my parents away very strongly since he found out about this and says it is because he is embarrassed and doesn't want people to see him like this. I just don't want him making a mistake and doing something because he is afraid but I also don't want to say anything that might cost me my relationship with my brother. My brother and I have always had a very strong relationship and I don't want to ruin it.
 

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Wow, that's hard. So sorry for your brother's cancer, OP.

As concerned as you are, the only thing you can really do is respectfully share those concerns with him and then just respect whatever decision he makes, however much you disagree with it. He is an adult, after all, even if a young one.

How about approaching his gf and offering to be of help in any way you can? I bet she would appreciate the support, especially with a baby on the way and the responsibility of caring for him, too.

Have your parents done anything to hurt him? If so, urge them to apologize. He and his gf and their baby could no doubt use their help, too.

Again, so sorry to hear he is going through this. Very best wishes for his restored health.
 

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I don't know if this is the right place or not to seek advice for this issue but I am going to give it a try and hopefully you guys can help me out. My younger brother is 23 and has been dating his girlfriend for five years and I like the girl and she hasn't done anything wrong per say. But he was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and is going to be starting Chemo here on Friday. Well he has asked his girlfriend to marry him and he is understandably very scared right now and they have him on antidepressants and some anxiety meds. They only recently moved in togeather and got an apartment on their own and she is also seven and a half months pregnant with a baby boy, so I guess in a way they are already married. But now he wants her to marry him very soon and I feel like he wants to marry her out of fear rather than love and not sure this is the proper way to go about things. He would also be handing over all of his life and death choices to a 22-year-old if things god forbid take a turn for the worst and I am worried it will overwhelm her or she will be indecisive and unable to chose out of fear. He has also been pushing my parents away very strongly since he found out about this and says it is because he is embarrassed and doesn't want people to see him like this. I just don't want him making a mistake and doing something because he is afraid but I also don't want to say anything that might cost me my relationship with my brother. My brother and I have always had a very strong relationship and I don't want to ruin it.
Yes. They are. Aren't they?

So, you'd rather their baby be born out of wedlock, not carry your brother's name?

Under the circumstances his wanting to marry his fiance is very understandable. And, arguably, the correct one in many respects.

What other course of action would you have him follow?
 

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Oh, OP I am sending every positive vibe I can muster up to you and your family at this time.

I can definitely understand your concerns. In your brother and his gf getting married, it effectively makes his wife next of kin and (god forbid) anything happens, your brother's life could be in the hands of a 22 year old woman. Who may or may not be mature enough to handle making the decisions that might need to be made. (Now touch wood...)

I definitely get it.

That being said... I think that you should let them do it. If this is something that both your brother and his partner really, really want to do (whether out of fear or not)...then let them do it. If it would give your brother even the tiniest peace of mind or the fight he needs to kick cancer's ass...then just let them do it. If this woman is prepared to stick this out with him and care for him... then what is the worst that could happen? Your brother could have a bigger, more loving family unit beside him.

I just think that the positive in this situation outweighs the negative. Talk to them about it if that will ease your mind, but let them make this decision - and support them no matter the outcome.
 

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Methinks, you don't particularly like "the girl" (btw, after the age of 18 females are women) and you are now creating problems where they don't probably don't exist and, most importantly, it does not seem as if you are offering solutions.... which IMO is the only valid way that you complain about other people's business.

Should your brother become long term incapacitated, have you figured out who will support him financially AND support him on a day to day basis. Will that be you in both cases? What do your parents think of the options that he has?

Your brother can get a "living will" which will determine when he wants the machines turned off. After that, I say keep your nose out of it.
 

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Hi, I'm sorry to hear what you are going through.

I know this is going to seem harsh but you mentioned you think he's doing this out of fear rather than love, so he's been with the girl five years and is about to become a father and you don't think he has feelings for her, I'm sure that's not the case, he probably loves her more than you will ever know.

I think it's the right thing to do, she's the mother of his child, the person he shares his life with and the closest person to him whether you like it or not.

I wouldn't go on about the fact she's 23, a lot of people at that age can deal with any circumstances they are dealt with when they need to.

Try and be a bit more understanding of your brother and what he wants, if you go questioning his partners maturity to be responsible you will cause problems with your brother at the time he needs you most.


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I find it really interesting that no one expresses fear that a 22 year old woman won't be able to care for, be responsible for, and make life-altering decisions for, an utterly helpless newborn infant. But when we talk about her potentially doing those same things for a grown man who can help her and guide her by expressing his own wishes, suddenly she's incompetent? Fascinating.

OP, maybe your brother's fiancee isn't up to the challenges ahead. That's more a product of her personality, though, than of her age. So, if your concern is that she's a flighty, none-too-bright, obviously immature, ditherer, with a history of flaking out, then your concerns might be valid. If so, you might wish to address those concerns with your brother. If, however, you concern is that somehow their ages make them incapable of dealing with adult situations, then I think you may just be mistaken. Despite our modern concept of near-perpetual childhood, where many aren't considered to be "really" functional adults until they're 30, for most of human history - and even legally today - a 23 year old man and his 22 year old fiancée have been more than capable of making adult decisions for some years already. Because they were, and are, adults.

My suggestion would be that you offer any help and support you can. Then close your mouth, open your mind and heart, and help your seriously ill brother celebrate a marriage that may (depending on his prognosis) be one of the few bright spots of his life for the foreseeable future as he battles his illness. And resist with all your might your own, and likely your parents', temptation to reduce your brother from his status as an independent adult to a child who needs minding and managing "for his own good". There will be very few surer ways to drive him away than by treating him as a child when he wishes to feel like a man.
 

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I actually think your brother is doing the right thing, but you are certainly right to have concerns. If your relationship with your brother is strong, voicing those concerns to him will not kill your relationship. I agree that 22 is young, but since she's having a child with your brother, she should have a say in his life decisions. Having the child out of wedlock is not the answer.
 

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Methinks, you don't particularly like "the girl" (btw, after the age of 18 females are women) and you are now creating problems where they don't probably don't exist and, most importantly, it does not seem as if you are offering solutions.... which IMO is the only valid way that you complain about other people's business.



Should your brother become long term incapacitated, have you figured out who will support him financially AND support him on a day to day basis. Will that be you in both cases? What do your parents think of the options that he has?



Your brother can get a "living will" which will determine when he wants the machines turned off. After that, I say keep your nose out of it.


Wow. The OP's brother has cancer and you want to make a political statement about girl vs woman?
 

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One of my daughters is of the same age as your brother's girlfriend. My daughter is trustee of my estate, which makes her responsible for decisions regarding all kinds of financial issues regarding her siblings. She is also the one to make medical decisions for me. Additionally, she is part of the committee who would be empowered to have me declared incompetent.

I'm in my mid 50's and hope to live healthfully for another half century. But if I were to become incapacitated or to die today, I trust my daughter completely.

Your brother has the right to judge his girlfriend as qualified to make those decisions for him. He can, and should, write out some medical directives regarding all aspects of his medical care. What if he is temporarily unconscious, who can make decisions, and what are his general wishes? What about the case of severe permanent disabilities? What about a "Do Not Resuscitate" order? He really needs to discuss these issues with his doctor and his girlfriend. He should consult with a qualified attorney to be sure he executes documents which meet your local laws as well as are acceptable to local hospitals and docs. For example, in my state a regular Power of Attorney is not accepted by many medical facilities. I've signed a specific document which says I want medical facilities to accept it. Stupid that it has to be done, but that's how it works where I live.

Also, he should sign a medical records release. Under HIPAA his records won't be easy to access.

These are simple documents which he really needs to get done properly by a local atty. He should also explore issues of his will considering whatever his financial situation is.

I hope his medical treatments go smoothly and he has a quick complete recovery.
 

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I think your brother is doing what he believes is right and you need to support his decision. It's not he just met this girl last month, five years together and in the process of having a child together I think she is the correct person to be making the decisions.

That is unless she has shown serious immaturity issues.
 

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I am sorry for the challenge ahead of your brother and family. I just wanted to share two things.

1.) I have a sweet friend that got diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He had recently starting dating a lovely girl, and they were crazy about each other. He proposed quickly, and they married quickly. They wanted as much time possible as husband and wife. They were in their early twenties, and amazingly he is still alive, nearing a decade later, and they are very, very happy. So there is a positive experience. :grin2:

2.) I have quite a few medical problems and one is classed as terminal. I spent a tremendous amount of brain power on how I wanted my end of life decisions time period handled. I'm in my fourties, as is DH. Out of love for both him and my parents I have filled out an Advanced Medical Directive outlining what I want done. These can be gotten at any doctor or hospital and probably online. I included in the areas such as pulling the plug, that I wanted that decision to be made by my husband and parents together. Two heads are better than one, and then one doesn't have to ever question if they made the right decision down the road.

This is how I chose to handle it. I mention it only in case your family may be unfamiliar with a Advanced Medical Directive. It speaks for me when I can't. It lets my family know for sure that my wishes are being followed, and removes a lot of stress from them.

I hope his chemo is successful, and he lives a long happy wife with his wife and baby!
 

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Your brother has cancer and a baby on the way.

Do you honestly think that making a fuss over him getting married and her making life decisions is what he needs right now?

They have been together for 5 years. They have probably had the talk about what they want to happen if something like this happens.

Go buy them each a living will kit (because as a concerned aunt you want to make sure everything is in order in case of an accident) and leave it at that.


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yeah, I do. The OP has made an issue out of age herself. Calling an adult a girl or boy is a way to reinforce the accusation of incompetence.

Now, do you have anything else to add?
I think that in this situation anyone can understand the OP's fears. It is only natural that when we are faced with something as potentially life changing as this, that we want to seize as much control of the situation as we can. Overbearing big sisters included. Cancer is scary...its a big, ugly scary unknown.

I do agree with you @NextTimeAround (and I think many people will also) but I think that in this situation a little more sensitivity is warranted.
 

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yeah, I do. The OP has made an issue out of age herself. Calling an adult a girl or boy is a way to reinforce the accusation of incompetence.

Now, do you have anything else to add?

Yes I do

OP, Chronological age in itself does not constitute mental maturity. You know this.

You will know better than all of us if she is qualified to make that decision.

However, she will be the wife of your brother and mother of his child. Typically the spouse makes the tough decision. They have also been together for 5 years. He did not meet her last month.

It is his decision.

To temper your fears, ask your brother to prepare a living will. That will spell out the type of care he wants. That will protect him. The hospital will follow the living will. He needs to provide a copy to every care provider.
 

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OP, I'm so very sorry for what your family is going through now, especially your brother himself. A very scary time to be sure, for everyone.

That said, as a woman with inlaws who like to "voice their concerns", I caution you. If you do ANYTHING but offer support and practical help, you WILL push your brother away, and ultimately damage your relationship with him.

As hard as it is to hear this, it is not your, nor your parents business whether he marries his long term partner and mother of his child, or how he words his will or other end of life documents. It just isn't. IF he asks for your opinion or advice, then you can suggest some alternatives, but you mustn't go to him and offer unsolicited advice.

You and your parents can either rally around him, his partner and soon to be baby and celebrate their wedding and the birth of their child, enjoying this wonderful time as a family, or you can push him away and alienate him from you all, when he needs you all the most.

Your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Methinks, you don't particularly like "the girl" (btw, after the age of 18 females are women) and you are now creating problems where they don't probably don't exist and, most importantly, it does not seem as if you are offering solutions.... which IMO is the only valid way that you complain about other people's business.

Should your brother become long term incapacitated, have you figured out who will support him financially AND support him on a day to day basis. Will that be you in both cases? What do your parents think of the options that he has?

Your brother can get a "living will" which will determine when he wants the machines turned off. After that, I say keep your nose out of it.

Not trying to offend or anything like that, But she is young and I am worried about my brother and his health now. And you would be wrong, I do like her I just think she will get overwhelmed with everything that is currently going on and I feel like she could make a very bad choice or take too long to make one if things do take a turn for the worse that is all. I will help as well as my parents if he becomes incapacitated long term.
 

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Like I said I don't wanna alienate him or lose the closeness I have with my brother, But I just worry is all. And I talked with my parents and they feel the same way but we have all suggested him getting a living will. He is already feeling so terrible because he is a Rookie cop and now he had to disclose this to his department and now they have sat him on a desk and I honestly can't imagine the stress he is going through. It honestly is so frustrating to feel so incredibly helpless when someone you love and have attempted to protect throughout the years and then he gets this and you can't do anything. I guess if he really wants to marry her and do that I will make it my mission to make it happen and do everything I possibly can to help.
 

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Like I said I don't wanna alienate him or lose the closeness I have with my brother, But I just worry is all. And I talked with my parents and they feel the same way but we have all suggested him getting a living will. He is already feeling so terrible because he is a Rookie cop and now he had to disclose this to his department and now they have sat him on a desk and I honestly can't imagine the stress he is going through. It honestly is so frustrating to feel so incredibly helpless when someone you love and have attempted to protect throughout the years and then he gets this and you can't do anything. I guess if he really wants to marry her and do that I will make it my mission to make it happen and do everything I possibly can to help.
I think you are a wonderful sister and your heart is in the right place. Don't listen to the ones in here being too hard on you. Anyone can see that this is a massive struggle for your whole family. You will do the right thing, I am sure. Just as your brother will.

Take care OP and good luck!
 
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