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Should I have sent the letter defending my brother after my wife asked me not to?

  • Yes

    Votes: 10 76.9%
  • No

    Votes: 3 23.1%
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK i need as much feedback as possible.

My brother is going through a nasty separation with a woman that refuses to leave his house. They have been together for about 5 years. They are both wrong in many ways, he sends mixed signals to her, she is unbalanced and hits him, she has been arrested for hitting him, and calls him alot of names as I have heard... its pretty ugly. Now I know my brother has said things to her and he has provoked this marriage as well with his behavior. So im not on anyone side but he is my brother of 40 years.

He finally has a court date to move forward with the separation and has asked me to write a letter to the judge describing what I have heard her say and the verbal abuse I have heard from her. So i did just that. Well my wife completely disagrees that I side with my brother and says it is completely and morally wrong to not write in all of the faults that my brother has caused.

I have explained I did what he asked... i did not point his faults and I did not lie. All i did was point out what my observations were about my sister in law which is what he asked me to do. I feel its just a matter of opinion as to what is right or wrong here. I did what i feel is right and helped my brother try to get out of a situation, as she is refusing to leave his house that he has lived in for 40 years. They have been married for 5. This will help get her out. He is not throwing her out on the street, he is paying her, she has a place to go, they are just fire and ice and she is mentally unbalanced and is making him loose his mind. He is my blood and I want to help my brother.

Well now my wife is so mad that she is not going to see my family with me, doesnt want to talk to me, she is very short with me, and says she cant trust me and feels she is taking backseat to my family since I did what they asked and ignored what she asked.

Come on help me out here. Did I do such a wrong thing here by writing a letter to the judge even after my wife asked me not to? I did not lie and i did not even stretch the truth. I just did not tell where i feel my brother has faulted.... only my sister in law.
 

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You gave the judge an incomplete story that can harm someone.

Yes, I would lose respect for you. If you pointed out their faults equally, then I would respect your decision, but that's not what you did. To me, this would be the equivalent of telling the cops that you don't why why John hit Sally when you observed that she pulled a knife on him.
 

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Well just to let you know, the letter probably won't help much. The Judge knows you wrote it for your brother and will consider it as bias.

Now with that said, you still have to sleep with your wife, not your brother. Or didn't you think that far ahead.
 

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You are not being asked to testify, so there is no requirement that you tell the "whole" truth. I tend to agree with you - you did exactly what you were asked to do and he is your brother. But like Anchor said, you have to live with your wife.

Still, I don't understand why she was so adamant that you don't write the letter. I don't think it is morally wrong to just describe her actions, and it certainly isn't legally wrong - you're not testifying in court.

But since your W DID SPECIFICALLY ASK YOU not to write the letter, you should have worked that out first. So you did wrong in that regard.

Does she have a relationship with your STBX SIL?
 

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I think you did what you feel is right in regard to your brother. I think your wife should let you make the decision about how you handled the situation. This is your family matter, she should voice her opinion and then let you decide how you wish to proceed.

The fact that she now does not wish to interact with the family is just childish. She is pouting that you did not do what she wanted.
 
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I would ask your wife what you could do to make this up with her. Then do what she asks.

I get wanting to help your brother but honestly it's not your place to get involved in their mess. You SHOULD have gently explained this to your brother... his marital problems are his and you would rather not get in the middle.
 

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There's a difference between asking someone not to do something and demanding they don't. It's hard for me to think of an instance where I would tell my wife what she could or couldn't write to someone, or could or couldn't write about.

There are so many areas my wife and I disagree on, but that's normal. What's not normal (although it is common) is to expect her to see everything the way I do and visa versa.

Some differences are gender based. Men and women think differently - period. But so what? I have friends who think differently than I do about some things. Relatives, acquaintances and strangers too.

Now to be fair, the only side of the story we're hearing about concerning your brother and sister-in-law is from your point of view. Obviously your wife has some sympathies with your sister-in-law, and to react as strongly as she has indicates she's taking your position personal. But I draw a line between what each of you thinks and who you side with (to each their own) and demanding how the other responds.

Unless your brother is an ax murderer or a child molester (or some equally vile person) it's your right to send the judge any kind of letter you want. Actually, even then you could send him a letter ... because as long as people still have a free will ... they have the right to be stupid.

In my view a more appropriate response for your wife would be to let you know how she feels about it (she has), write her own letter to the judge if she feels that strongly about it (she hasn't - I assume), and let it go (she hasn't).

Life is a giant struggle when we make it our job to try to make everyone do what I think is right. That's like saying you'll do it this way "because I said so" - which in a marriage doesn't work so well - although it still works marvelously on toddlers. :rolleyes:
 

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What would have happened if you didn't write the letter? Would your family have disowned you?
 

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You are free and have the right to defend whomever you want.

She is wrong for throwing such a hissy fit over it.

I'm sure she's on her moral high horse but she's clearly overreacting.

I see Kathy's point in that you didn't tell the truth but like anchorwatch pointed out the judge is going to know you're biased so in the end it won't matter.

Bottom line unless your wife behaves like this all the time I think you chose poorly. Wife's requests generally trumps family. I'm also not a big fan of getting involved in other people's problems that they caused.
 

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I would hope that he would tell his wife that writing a letter on behalf of a woman she is not related to by blood(SIL) that would hurt someone that he is related to by blood (His Bro) would be quiet a betrayal to the family she chose to marry into.
 

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No one should have to put up with domestic abuse, ask your wife if she would be so quick to judge you if you where writing a letter to help a women who was being repeatedly hit by her husband?
 

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Women need to feel Cherished, and feel like they are the #1 special person in your life. When you disregarded her strong feelings in this matter you made HER feel disregarded. And you DID choose your brothers need over your wife's feelings. In her mind, you placed your brother above her.

You weren't "wrong" to want to try and help a family member either, btw. Your feelings matter too. I feel like talking this issue out with her and listening to each other's feelings on the matter could help fix this :)
 

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As Vrs and Wiltshireman pointed out, if what you've stated above is the whole truth i.e. that your SIL has been physically and emotionally abusing your brother (while he's been possibly verbally abusing her), I can see why you would want to side with your brother on this one. If the tables had turned and it was a woman's sister being physically abused -with the woman's husband demanding she NOT write a letter to the judge the answers would be unanimous.

You've sent a letter 'omitting' certain facts rather than 'committing a lie'. Now in the world of ethics this is wrong. However, law is always murky waters and if I'm not wrong the defence generally doesn't confess everything....otherwise there would be no defence left, right?

Your aim is to get your SIL to leave with pre-agreed alimony (if I've understood right) and if you feel what you've done is morally right then go ahead. This is a debate that can go on forever. This is a marriage forum so most answers here would be pro-wife/pro-husband... the same question asked in a sibling forum would provide different answers. However, personally I think your wife is acting over the top. If she feels so strongly about it, she should write her own letter. Does she share a strong history with your brother/SIL good or bad that's making her react this way...or does she tend to overreact for other issues too?

I'd hate having to be in a position where I'd have to choose between a life-partner and a sibling...Hope you both are able to work things out peacefully...
 

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Did your brother's lawyer tell him to get letters like the one you wrote? I'd be surprised if a judge took such a letter.

I agree with Vrs, Wiltshireman and Zing. Your wife has the right to voice her opinion and you have the right to do what you think is right.

One thing that I wonder about is if your wife is watching you and your family ganging up against your SIL. While the SIL is wrong and maybe the worse of the two, your bother contributed to the problems. That's not unusual in abuse cases.

Maybe your wife is concerned that some day she might be the non-blood related spouse who your family decides to gang up against. This might be why she now does not want to visit your family.
 

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I would hope that he would tell his wife that writing a letter on behalf of a woman she is not related to by blood(SIL) that would hurt someone that he is related to by blood (His Bro) would be quiet a betrayal to the family she chose to marry into.
If I was his wife, I'd counter that doing that for a family member to cause harm to someone unnecessarily is just plain wrong, too. That's a betrayal of good morals. As Elegirl said, the OP showed what his wife would be treated like if they ever got into something themselves.
 

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Maybe your wife is concerned that some day she might be the non-blood related spouse who your family decides to gang up against. This might be why she now does not want to visit your family.
Is this the first time something like this has happened, or are there other times when family has rallied against an in-law?

Also, is it common for you to go against your wife's suggestion?
 

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No, blood is thicker than water. You have to be an alpha and continue to stick with your decision or she will lose respect for you.

Don't even let her try to take the moral high ground. Why is any of this her business in the first place? It's between you and your brother.
 

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If I was his wife, I'd counter that doing that for a family member to cause harm to someone unnecessarily is just plain wrong, too. That's a betrayal of good morals. As Elegirl said, the OP showed what his wife would be treated like if they ever got into something themselves.
I think "harm" is a little harsh here. The letter is meant to diffuse a situation that is clearly bad (assuming OP is giving us all the facts). The brother is paying support for her to live elsewhere and by having a judge rule in his favor, an end can be brought to this bad situation.

And don't think for one minute the sister-in-law isn't getting her own letters in there, too.

Wife should be made to realize that this is a bad situation and the resolution is not a bad one and anything her husband can do for his brother to bring a solution to the problem should be done.
 
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