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Family drama at the funeral?

DailyReprieve posted 5/6/2019 21:41 PM

It's been a strange week. I turned 60 less than a week ago. WW and I had been 1000 miles from home since late February due to my work. 3 days after my birthday my adopted father died while we were on the way back home to be with him.I

The om in WW's LTA was my brother. The double betrayal was particularly brutal for me on his end. She and I are still working on it but have made much progress, individually and together since dday over 4 1/2 years ago.

The calling hours & funeral for my father this week will be the first time I've seen my brother since before dday. For the first 2 years I was hounded by thoughts of hurting him very badly physically, but thanks to a lot of good advice and a fuck ton of praying I steered clear of those desires. The anger is still there I'm sure but much less prevalent and much more manageable the last couple of years.

I always told my wife that when dad passed I wasn't going. It wouldn't do him any good and would be dangerous for me to give that anger an opportunity to rise again. But since I got the call that he was dead 2 nights ago I've been slowly but surely feeling a growing responsibility to go. Not sure why but it has nothing to do with my brother. Just feels like what I need to do.

Right after dday i felt the need to cut his grown daughters out of my life. I feel like an asshole for doing so but I was afraid that interaction with them would fuel this intense desire to hurt my brother. I am looking forward to seeing them this week. Can only hope that they can understand, and accept my love. I'm dreading seeing my brother but I feel that as long as I'm on firm spiritual ground I can handle it in a safe, appropriate manner. I'm in a pretty good place now considering what happened almost 5 years ago and don't expect my brother to do anything stupid. I'm actually more concerned about his bat shit crazy ex. They split up after 20 years a year or so before the affair began but have remained in contact, as we all did with her before dday. She has twice made threats against ww through fb over the affair, the last one being a couple years ago. Our plan is to just leave it anything crazy starts.

Fwiw, as far as I know only my brother's family and the daughters' spouses know of the affair. I didn't broadcast it, but don't really care who knows.

So, I guess I'm looking for any support and wisdom the SI family has for my situation this week.

Thanks. Always grateful you folks are here.

DR

The1stWife posted 5/6/2019 21:49 PM

Wow is this tough.

Think what your dad would tell you if he was still alive.

So sorry for you.

Hurtbeyondtime posted 5/6/2019 22:15 PM

Damn.. stay strong DR... you are the Better man and heís just a pos. I understand that you feel bad about your nieces but you needed to take care of yourself.
Howís your wife?? Is she going? I think if I were in your shoes I ask her to stay home.
Sending hugs

DailyReprieve posted 5/6/2019 22:21 PM

My wife is nervous about going but has been supportive as can be. Like me I believe, she's more uptight about seeing our ex-SIL than seeing my brother. I don't know how they'll react to me, but I'm pretty sure the nieces will be glad to see her. Sadly, they grew up becoming accustomed to their father's fuckedupedness, and didn't hold a grudge after the story broke.

Adlham posted 5/6/2019 22:32 PM

Having been through a fairly similar situation, I can only offer up a few things.

The participants were different, but the first time I saw my ex in 13 years was at his nephew's funeral. Who was my daughter's cousin. Thankfully, her aunt was really in tune with the situation, the family asked my daughter to be with them, but her aunt pulled her aside and told her to ignore the asshat and if he tried to say anything, to remind him that this day was about the cousin. I also would not be at all surprised if she said something similar to her brother.

It went surprisingly smooth. It helped that I had support, too. Not only from my husband, but also a really good friend had offered to accompany me because he knew that the ex was a POS.

Like I said, a bit different from your situation, but the point is that this day is about your dad. If anyone tries to make it about anything else, I would encourage you to calmly state that fact and walk away.

Then, freak out later, in the privacy of your own home.

It's definitely not easy, but I am glad that we went to support her aunt as well as to support my daughter. I did agonize about it the entire week leading up to the funeral, I went so far as to get a prescription for a couple of antianxiety meds from my doctor.

But I don't regret going.

Hope that helps. Please know that I am truly sorry for your lost.

northeasternarea posted 5/7/2019 07:01 AM

I am so very sorry for your loss.

sisoon posted 5/7/2019 08:44 AM

I, too, am sorry for your loss.

I recommend you consider explaining to your dad's grown daughters why you cut off contact with them will help you.

Also, role-playing in your head how to walk away from your brother might help.

Stay centered. Keep thinking of your goals - not assaulting your brother, honoring and grieving for your dad.

And don't minimize. Seeing the om is a big deal, especially if he's your brother.

[This message edited by sisoon at 8:45 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)]

DailyReprieve posted 5/7/2019 10:38 AM

Sisoon, they are my brother's grown daughters and thank you. I've been hedging on whether talking to them about it was a good idea. Anyway, this seems like the time.

I don't think I'm minimizing. It's clear this is a big deal. My brother is a mess, as is his ex-wife. I think he feels enough guilt and fears me enough that he would not do anything to invite drama. His ex I'm not so sure about. I'm trying to focus on not snapping at the bait should the wrong thing be said by anyone. The best plan seems to be to remind whoever that this is not the time or the place, and if that doesn't work we get out of Dodge. Thanks S.

Adlham, thank you for sharing your experience. I'm confident my wife will be excellent support, and expect a handful of friends to show up who know the situation and will keep an eye on things. Grateful for this.

I know WW is uncomfortable about seeing our ex-SIL but I need to talk to her today about her feelings in regard to seeing my brother. I'm liking that I believe her when she told me that it was her who ended the affair.

Thanks all of you for the condolences. Keep the comments coming. I need it!

1Faith posted 5/7/2019 11:16 AM

Sending hugs and prayers your way. I am so sorry for your loss.

Go for your dad. Pay your respects and leave.

Offer your nieces an opportunity to reconnect (cell phone number, email etc.) but I wouldn't "hang around" for a reunion.

Deep breaths, focus on the reason you are there (your dad).

Good luck.

((hugs))

[This message edited by 1Faith at 11:20 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)]

trustedg posted 5/7/2019 11:33 AM

Infidelity is tough enough to deal with and even tougher when AP is a friend, or worse a relative.

Right after dday i felt the need to cut his grown daughters out of my life. I feel like an asshole for doing so
no, you weren't the asshole in this situation, your brother was (along with your wife).

I was close to APs family and had to cut them out. I told them later that I was sorry I had to do that but was left with no other option, that decision had been forced on me.

Bigheart2018 posted 5/7/2019 12:07 PM

Dear DailyReprieve,

I just wanted to say that Iím so very sorry that you had to deal mentally with the damage of the affair for many years. YOU ARE A BETTER MAN THAN ME. I wouldíve gone nuclear on both of them and expose them to the entire family

Iíve read all of your thread, and you have place you the majority of your anger toward you brother but not much against your wife. What is your wife saying about all the stuff she helped created over five years without much consequences?

In my opinon, you are doing the right thing by attending the funeral. You will empitmize the true character of a man. Keep your head up, keep the faith, you have done well!!!

Praying for you,
Bigheart

DailyReprieve posted 5/7/2019 21:15 PM

Thank you all so much for letting me share the load via this thread.

Today I got in touch with 2 of my 3 nieces and then was able to see them individually. I made an amends (24 years in AA, that's what we do) to each of them for cutting them off while telling them it had to be done and was the best thing for all concerned. I asked for their patience & understanding going forward while telling them that I wanted to fix what I could now. They couldn't have been more gracious, loving & understanding. From what I gather from talking with the oldest, the middle niece is a hot mess these days, but I will see her tomorrow and try to do the same.

Bigheart,
I too wondered for a while why I was so angry at my brother but not at her. On my brother's end of things it was easy to figure out. His struggle with addiction had been going on since the 80's and led him to lose a lot. About 12-13 years ago he was on the wrong side of town at the wrong place, wrong time. A crack whore set him up to be robbed and he got beaten up so badly that he was in the hospital for 3 months. He couldn't walk for most of that time. He told me that he wanted to get help. I went to the hospital 3 times a week to lift him out of bed, into a wheel chair and take him to the 12 step meeting. I rented a storage garage and cleaned out his house and garage/business before the sherrif padlocked the doors. When he got out of the hospital he stayed with his ex and the kids for about a year. That was rough, and he played on my emotions at that point. I knew what a headache his ex was. When his SS diability came through I helped him make the security deposit to rent a house for himself, then on occasion helped with the bills. I thought he was doing better and was glad to help, figuring he'd have done the same for me if the roles were reversed. Unbeknownst to me, the affair had started toward the end of his stay with his ex.

Between the affair, him milking noit just me but her (behind my back) for money, all the help I'd freely given, his blowing smoke up my ass about how grateful he was for that help, how family was so important, how lucky he was to have me as a brother....the realization that all this b.s. had been laid on me while the affair was going on made me insanely angry.

With my wife, much different scenario in my view. She put up with my nonsense the first 10 years we were together. I didn't have any of the drama, arrests, eviction, etc. that my brother had but that may largely have been because my wife held things together. I just know that during those 10-11 years before I went to AA, she deserved much better from me. I wouldn't say I was an asshole to her, just that she deserved better. She also was the breadwinner during that time. In my eyes, she was an angel, and through sobriety I began to see how much I had taken her love and care for granted.

I was 2 years sober and doing well when her sister was murdered by her new husband. WW went into a horrible grief stricken depression for a long time, then a year later we became instant parents, getting custody of her sister's 8 year old son. After awhile we settled into a groove and things seemed to be going well. A couple of years later I lost my job and the new work in my profession would take me away from home 6 months out of the year. After 2 years of this I got a different job and was able to get home for 4-5 days about once a month.

I thought we were stronger than ever at this point, after 22 years together. What I didn't know is that she had a lot of old resentments she never dealt with, some about me. I knew she struggled with her relationship with her mother but wasn't aware of how deeply it continued to effect her after her mother's death. She was also miserable that physical complications made it impossible for us to have a baby. Also didn't know that she started smoking weed a lot and drinking more. She hid it all from me. She never blamed the cheating on that, but it's part of the story. Escapism. I'd been there, and understood how that goes. Soon enough she was getting high with my brother while I was out of town.

After she confessed to the affair over the phone in August 2014, she drove the 500 miles to be with me. Over the next few days I got my first real look at how fucked up and broken she was. It was scary as hell. About 5 days after she had confessed, a light bulb flashed in her head. She told me that she thought she was an alcoholic. I asked about her alcohol & drug use and it became clear that her addiction, never before apparent, had taken off over the last 7-8 years. I took her to a meeting that night. She's been clean & sober since. There are always ups & downs in recovery but she has worked the program as intended and it shows. She got very honest very early on about a lot of things (her drug & alcohol use, other bad habits, other mostly ons cheating) but TT endured for a long, long time about my brother. Just in the last month she began reading SI, the Linda Glass book and other resources and there seems to have been a distinct change. She (finally) comes to me to correct the record and talk abiout things she's figuring out thriough her reading and new attitude about openness & transparency.

I had been inactive in AA for too long myself, but all this pushed me back in a big way. The desire to drink and to do violence was stronger than I ever felt in my life, even so many years after my last drink & drug. I knew I needed AA to straighten all that out for myself. It works if you work it, and it has.

Very early on I spoke to a trusted confidant in the program about all this. He asked me, " Do you still love her?" I did. He said that no one would blame me for dumping her, but that if I stayed I needed to support her recovery fully. It was a fine line between SI mentality/advice and recovery mentality/advice. A hard road to hoe. I did the best I could, and it seems to have worked out well. I say "seems" a lot because once my eyes were opened to what she was capable of doing that could crush me, I'm not ready to 100% count on anything.

So in those first couple of years, talking to her so much or at least trying to amid TT and her fear, guilt & shame that tended to compound her confusion, it was easy to see how she was more a sick person than an evil one. She had done far too much good, shared far too much love with me and everyone else over many years for me to think of her as evil. She was just that broken. There were numerous times in the midst of those intense late night discussions that I was struck with how much she was the typical newbie in AA struggling with her consequences. I had done the same, though internally and without all the marital drama. I'd seen many others at a month, three months, a year sober who were trying hard but still half full of shit. That experience often took the edge of for me in regards to the TT. I would've been crazy to expect her to be totally honest at that point. She had gone too far off the reservation to get well so quickly. We're talking 20 years or more of grief, resentment, fear, heartbreak that formed this person who sought to escape with drugs, alcohol & sex. It would take a little time.

Being that I was well aware of how that process works, that I still loved her and saw the good in her, and that she was working at recovery the right way, I needed to support her fully. I still called her on her b.s. sometimes. She didn;t always get it right away, but she was trying the best we could. Over that first year I began to see the results in her. Meanwhile, she had been working very hard at getting the day to day stuff right by paying the bills on time (a big issue previously), becoming an exemplary employee at her new job, and all the little things of day to day life, many of which had been blown off in her addiction.

In AA they say progress, not perfection. I saw much prgress, even while the TT about my brother continued. I eventually figured that this wasn't a lack of love for me anymore. The TT was all about fear, shame & guilt. Thankfully she seems to finally be getting a handle on that.

Anyway, hope that explains that difference in my level of anger for the 2 of them. Sorry for rambling. Not much sleep and a lot of emotion the last week.

Thanks again, truly, to all of you who jumped in here with me.

DR

Cooley2here posted 5/7/2019 21:50 PM

AA is a blessing. Family members have depended on it.

Good for you that you own your own stuff. And good for your wife that she owns hers. You two show that reconciliation can work.

Your brother is broken. Just leave him alone. You canít damage him more than he has done to himself.

cf2018 posted 5/7/2019 22:29 PM

Wow DR your comments and insights are insanely helpful. Your insights are relevant for anybody who struggles with resentment or just deep baggage in general. As you said;

She was just that broken

Wow that hit me and made me more resolute in my steps towards a making it work.
Thank you for sharing your insights because they really made a difference to me (and others I'm sure)

Bigheart2018 posted 5/8/2019 02:29 AM

Dear DailyReprieve

Your response was written with reflection and feelings and I greatly appreciated it.

Bigheart

DailyReprieve posted 5/8/2019 18:17 PM

Thank you all for the helpful advice and kind words.

Today was the day. When we pulled into the funeral home my brother was just behind where we parked talking to a couple in a van. I sent my wife inside and waited for him. I calmly told him that I wasn't really interested in anything he had to say, but I had a few things to say to him. I told him that I loved him, and that's why it hurt so bad. I said that for 2 years I wanted to put him back in the hospital in worse shape than before, or to kill him, but that AA teaches me to pray for him like I would a sick friend, so eventually I did. There was a little more, but that's the gist of it.

We interacted a little as the calling hours and service went on. My WW and he didn't speak to each other. She said they made eye contact by accident once and she felt like he gave her the look of death as she described it. It was quite strange being in the same room with the 2 of them for the first time post dday. I think God had my back, so it was fine. A few dear friends who are aware of the situation showed up and were wonderful support for me and my wife. I sat in the back with my wife, but as the service ended and the attendees were invited to pay last respects at the casket and greet my 2 brothers, I hugged both of them.

As I had expected, my brother was half a mess and contrite throughout. He told me that he would ride in the procession with one of his daughters and leave the limo to my other brother, me and my wife (his ex didn't show, the other brother's wife stayed out west with their 2 kids). I told him that the 3 of us brothers should ride to the graveyard together, and we did. On that ride as we (they mostly) talked I just thought, well, they are who they are, it is what it is.

Sad as the event was, in regards to my brother it went well. I will have to deal with him to some degree for the time being. I am the executor of the estate and there are some headaches on the way sorting out my father's double mortgage. I haven't even been to the house yet, but from what I gather my brother has cleared everything out pretty much except the furniture. His statements indicate he was concerned about someone breaking in and robbing the place. I kind've feel like he has already beaten any other potential thieves to the punch, but I'm not up to arguing about possessions just yet. The whole executor deal is intimidating enough right now, but that work begins tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone.

[This message edited by DailyReprieve at 6:22 PM, May 8th (Wednesday)]

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