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To say that our family has had its share of divorces would be an understatement. Hubby & I each had two marriages prior to getting married to each other.  My sister is on husband #3, one brother is on wife #2... and I have an uncle who is on wife #7 or is it #8? Our parents have been married 65 and 52 years... evidently that longevity gene did not get passed down to us.

We have seven children between us.  My kids are ages 20 -24.  My boys are not married. My daughter has been married, divorced & remarried.  Hubby’s sons range in age from 30 to 40.  Here is the problem:  

  • Son #1 & Son #3 are each now divorced with children... both are in new relationships.  We’ve met these gals & like them very much!  
  • Son #2 (who is actually a step-son) is married with a new baby.  Love the wife of Son #2!!
  • Son #4 had a child at 18 & is now married (not to the mother of that child) and has 3 more children.  She is a piece of work!  He has said previously to my husband & a couple of the brothers that when his kids get to be 18... he's outta there!    
  • The wife of Son #1 had an affair... and Son #3 had an affair... yet Son #4 & wife have taken the side of the now ex-daughters-in-law. (The ex’s caused more problems within the family... division of the brothers being the main thing.  They boys’ mom tends to be rather direct & can come off as being pushy & both of these girls would rather be nasty about things than try to just get along.  The boys’ mom lives in PA... and is only back here about 3 times a year... so why make a big stink when she’s home??)
  • THIS  being said.... Son #4 & his wife refuse to have any contact with Son #1 & #3 because they have been divorced.  He & wife have also alienated themselves from Son #2 because he managed a bar/restaurant for 15 years & he & his wife used to smoke.  We find this odd since wife of #4 has a father who both smokes and drinks... and couldn't even make it to #4's wedding rehearsal dinner because it was his "poker night"!
  • Because of the attitude of Son #4 & wife... none of us sees these children anymore.  We saw them at a baptism... and the kids didn’t remember hubby & me... and used to live right next door to them!  

They were all conveniently sick at both Thanksgiving and Christmas... but when we called to wish them Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas it was evident that they were celebrating with his wife’s family.  We had bought gift cards for all the grands - but still have these four cards left that have not been delivered.  I asked hubby if we should mail them or maybe drop them off... and his reply was “if they can’t show up for Christmas then they don’t get their gifts.”  Harsh, huh?

There are a lot of other things that play into what we see as the problems with #4... but I won’t go into those now/here.  

I do wonder if #4 realizes what a hypocrite he’s being... having said that he’d like to leave his wife when his kids are all 18...and yet despising the actions of two of his older brothers. Maybe he’s jealous?  Son #1 & 3 have both tried to talk to #4 but he pretty much ignored their attempts.  I know that #4 is going to have to “man up” one of these days & make amends with his brothers... I just don’t know if there’s going to be much of a relationship to mend if he waits too long.  His wife, I believe, is the one who has the problem with them (divorce) & he’s just trying to keep peace in his own house by going along with her.  

Anyone else having problems like this in their family?  Any ideas or suggestions?


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jan 13, 2009
    • Such a shame.  But why does the conflict between brothers have to mean that you and your hubby are neglected, too?  Can they still have a relationship with you separately when the other brother(s) aren’t around?

      There’s not much you can do to mend fences between them.  That will be something they have to do themselves.  But if they have no conflict with you, I hope they will see that they have a relationship with you separate and apart from their siblings.

      In order to encourage that possibility, I suggest you try to plan events where only one or two of the brothers attend, rather than a big family get-together that includes everyone.  You may have better luck getting to see them one at a time.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marcy wrote Jan 13, 2009
    • It’s almost like DH & I are being punished for having anything to do with the others!  It’s very frustrating.  I’m wondering if the wife of #4 is maybe not just the driving force behind not mending the relationships with the brothers... but maybe also the cause of DH & me not being able to see much of their little ones (because we, too, have both been divorced)?
      It’s hard enough to get everyone together just because of jobs... and with us living 700 miles away (soon) #4 I’m sure won’t feel like he’s got any accountability to the family if we‘re not there.  WHO KNOWS?!?!?!?!?!

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