Chit Chat

So frustrated.

spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
edited February 2016 in Chit Chat
Thought about sharing this in the annoyances thread but it goes a bit farther. It is very complicated so I will try to be succinct but I usually have little success at that, ha.

My brother is married and legally separated from his first wife. He met her and they got pregnant within a week of knowing each other. He was in the military at this time and could not be geographically present with his wife and they were also not sure if they were going to pursue a relationship. After my niece was born, they reconciled. She flew to where he was stationed and they got engaged.

During this trip, she got accidentally pregnant with their second child, my nephew. They got married three months later. They lived together overseas for a couple of years, then broke up when he came back to the states. Then got back together, then broke up. And then again, one last time, after he separated from the military and moved in with my parents (so yes, they and their two children were living with my parents).

They have now been separated emotionally and geographically for 1.5 years. She is living with another man and has full custody of their children. They are finally starting divorce proceedings thanks to my grandparents agreeing to pay for it...

...just in time for my brother to have another accidental pregnancy with his girlfriend of four months. Who also lives with her mother.

I am so beyond frustrated and I just am having a hard time with it. I am not the morality police but I think it's better to bring up a child with someone you're intending to be a partner with. I don't understand how he's contributed to three accidental pregnancies. Does he not know how this shit works by now? He is in his mid 30's. She is in her late 30's. They are both smokers and drinkers (he is an alcoholic with two DUIs on his record, a long story I don't have room for here). They are not independent; he basically lives with her in her mom's house. He works, but never has any money (recall that he couldn't even pay for his divorce). She recently got a job at a daycare after being a part-time waitress. Their financial situation is ridiculous.

I'm mostly angry because if TWO accidental pregnancies and an ill-advised marriage was not enough to make my brother grow up, I have no confidence this one will. (Because I know he will marry her as soon as the judge lifts his pen from his divorce decree.) And my parents will bear the responsibility for raising the child, as they have done at least partly for the first two (another long story, I'm trying to be succinct remember?). My dad will be 78 when this kid graduates from high school. My parents both had heart attacks in 2015. I'm just... I can barely process it.

I live 2 hours away and so I want to wash my hands of it, but I love my niece and nephew and I will love this baby just as much. And I have spent nearly 8 years sucking up to my bitchy soon-to-be-former SIL so that she won't get pissy and not let my parents see the kids. So I worry I will have to do the same for this one. I mean, she's a nice enough girl, but damn, so freakin irresponsible. I met her at Christmas and I wasn't a big fan (long story #3) so I was hoping she'd be gone by the time of my wedding, but instead she will be in our lives forever. 

And maybe it will work out great. Maybe they are a great match and he will get his shit together and get divorced and they will get an apartment and have this baby and raise it with love as responsible parents. I'm trying to be positive, but jeez. On top of my own current struggles with unemployment, anxiety and depression, and wedding planning, it's just hard. 

Any advice on attitude adjustments or coping or just distraction would be helpful. Thanks TK friends :) 
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Re: So frustrated.

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its


    I have a cousin who had 4 kids from 4 different dad's.  My very devout Catholic grandmother was saying she needed to learn how to use BC.   She was also a drug and alcohol addict at one point.   

    Another cousin(C) had 3 kids with two of the kids' father being the husband of a mutual cousin(M) of ours now ex-husband.   She had moved into M's house while she was pregnant as a teenager with the first child.   A year or so later she got knocked up by M's husband (she was 18 by then).  M was divorced before C's 2nd pregnancy with the now-ex. 

    Another cousin (P) knocked up his now-ex (D).  This was D's 2nd accidental pregnancy.   Her first kid (K), got pregnant at 15.  She went on to have 2 more kids, all different dads.   K's first child is just out of HS and is pregnant.  My cousin P is 50 years old and about to become a great-great grandfather.

    My brother and his wife have custody of her nephews.  The mom is a drug addict and went on to have another kid.  The brother, well he just doesn't feel like being a dad. Takes up too much time you know.  

     Oddly, he hates his sister and my brother so much he would rather them be adopted or fostered out then stay with my brother/sil.  The nephews are the ones who told the state they wanted to live with my brother/sil.  So for now that is where they are.  

    Basically, some people have drama filled lives.  All you can do is go with the flow and treat the kids with lots of love.  They are going to need it and it's not their fault.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    spockforprezSP29
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    @lyndausvi 

    Thanks, Lynda. <3  I have custodial savings accounts for my niece and nephew which means no one can legally touch the money except me until they're adults. (This is highly necessary given my brother and SIL's financial skills.) I will do the same for this new baby. And try to teach them sense when they are around me, lol. I guess I just hate to imagine how these kids (all three of them) will feel when they are adults and at the age when all the resentment and shit against your parents really comes out.

    And the thing that really frustrates me is how much of a burden it puts on my parents. Like, ruin your own lives, fine. But bringing a kid you can't raise into the world and then foisting it off onto my parents... I mean, they now have a dog they never wanted because my brother basically moved into his gf's house leaving the dog at my parents'. My mom works from home so my (stbx) SIL would always say, "Well can't [my mom] just go drop them off and pick them up at daycare?" No... cause she's... WORKING. There's just too much to take advantage of and my parents would never punish a child by saying they won't help. I just hate the idea of them raising a kid in their 50's and 60's and 70's.

    It's hard for anyone to cut my brother off because despite how he comes off in my OP, he's a nice guy. He's funny and thoughtful and sentimental. He's sweet. He's just an irresponsible idiot with alcoholism and PTSD and he is in love with love and apparently really, really bad at birth control. None of us really wants to be like, "Fuck you, man, deal with your own shit," because we love him and he's a nice guy. So I feel like none of his life lessons has ever stuck with him. And he went straight from the military back into my parents' house where he had left it 14 years previously. I would be happy if he even took the very first step of independence and got a shitty 1BR apartment or something. It's okay to be poor. But just try, at least.
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    nerdwifeSP29
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Just remember this phrase:  Not your circus, not your monkeys. 

    You our can love your nieces and nephews and love your parents and even love your brother without enabling their behavior. Doesn't make it any less frustrating though. Hugs. 
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    charlotte989875nerdwifespockforprezSP29
  • Ugh so frustrating, and so easy to say "parents should let him flounder" or "you should let him flounder" because you know that is way harder in real life. Just keep loving on those kids and let them know that Aunt Spock loves them and is always going to be there for them.

    one of my pet peeves is people like your brother who do stupid stuff but then always get bailed out (by family, friends, whoever) and thus never really suffer the consequences to finally make them grow up.

    spockforprezSP29
  • CMGragain said:
    You cannot control your brother.  You cannot control your parents' desire to enable his irresponsible behavior.  After all, they raised him, didn't they?
    What you can control is your own life.  You can be there for your nieces and nephews.  They just might need the voice of reason in their lives somewhere down the line.  It sounds like you are planning to do this.  Good for you!

    The next time your brother asks you to bail him out of the results of one of his poor decisions, please do tell him "Fuck you, man, deal with your own shit."  You will be doing him a favor.  Too bad your parents won't do the same.

    Oh, yes, I come from a crazy, enabling family and I am "the responsible one".
    Yea I realize it's hard for parents to say no their children but I agree with CMGragain that saying no you deal with your problems is the best thing they could do for him and enabling him is really hurting him in the long run. I think it's great you have accounts for your nieces and nephews though. You're right it's not their fault that their parents aren't responsible and that's the saddest part of irresponsible parents is that their kids suffer.

    My parents don't seem to understand that either. While my brother is quite as lost yet I see it only be a couple of years until my parents are raising a couple of kids he can't afford and doesn't know how to handle. He met a girl and moved in with her after a month and they got a dog that they can't control. She's almost 100 lbs and is not trained. They laugh about how somehow every time they cook bacon she manages to steal and eat a lb of it and don't seem to care that it's really bad for her. Then this summer they got married by a JOP b/c she needs healthcare but doesn't have a job and has started something like 6 different majors in college but dropped out of all of them because they are too hard. Currently she's not working or going to school.

    Well they are still having a "wedding" this summer thrown by her parents and mine because she doesn't think it's fair she didn't get to wear a big dress and all. My parents love it because they say God doesn't recognize their marriage since it wasn't in a church (ridiculous and part of the reason I stopped being a Christian is because my parents use it for when it's convenient to them - ie I do something wrong and God knows because he's everywhere but my brother and his wife aren't married b/c God wasn't in that courthouse...). When I brought that up to them they changed their tune and said it's because she has multiple personality disorder since she discovered she's adopted and shouldn't someone suffering from a mental disability get the wedding of their dreams?

    Oh and my brother just got out of the military and should be looking for a job or enrolling in school but instead his wife wanted to go on a road trip from NY to TX and that's what they are doing. They are stopping and visiting his military buddies and partying from what they share on fb while neither of them have jobs or are in school. Oh and my parents just added my brother back to their cell phone plan because he couldn't afford it. I asked what his wife was doing well she's on her parents. I pointed out that if you aren't adult enough to be on your own cell phone plan you probably aren't adult enough to get married but they claim I'm just not giving him a break, he's had a tough time. So yea I foresee a very similar situation in the future unless he manages to turn this train wreck around. 

    I wish you luck with your brother. I think you're doing the best thing possible by staying out of helping him directly but showing your nieces and nephews love and being able to help them out in the future when they'll probably really need it. 
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    spockforprezSP29
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I have no further advice than what's above but sending you a hug. FWIW, I know two couples with ooops-babies (the oops happened in one case the night they met and the other case within about 2 months) who went on to marry and are very happy. Another woman with an oops-baby was ditched by the father but now has a very supportive boyfriend. There are positives that come out of these situations. At the very least, you have niece(s) and nephew(s) to love. 
    ________________________________


    nerdwifespockforprez
  • I don't have anything productive to add, except that sucks. It can be really hard to watch people you love make bad life choices, and he is doing that in spectacular fashion. You sound like a great aunt though, so at least they have you!
  • Former friends had an ex that was like this.

    N was previously married and had 3 kids from ex wife. Found new gf, got her preggo. Started dating my friend S {who had a child from a previous relationship} and they ended up having a kid. Although N & S planned on it, but while I was speaking with S, she wanted to stop taking bc. I said that was the dumbest thing ever since she was still having issues with her ex. Later baby was planned, N & S are split now and rumour is S wants to have a baby with her new bf.

    Anyways, for N's 40th bday {there's 16yrs age difference between N & S} he got snipped for obvious reasons.

    Yup. Entire fucking train wreck there. N has 5 kids, plus he considered S's daughter as one of his own because her father wants nothing to do with her now {that's another mess on it's own} and pays child support for all 5 kids.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    scribe95 said:
    Accidental pregnancies? This phrase used repeatedly made me laugh. Birth control. Use it. 
    Oh my God. You know what I hear? "Well I was on the pill and it failed." "The guy doesn't like to use condoms and I was in the moment." "I was told my chances of ever being pregnant were slim so I never bothered with birth control." "There were so many times I could have gotten pregnant and didn't so I thought I'd be ok."

    I dated/slept with my fair share of men in my adult years and I always used condoms because... STDs... ew, too risky! and other times the BC was extra protection on top of that. 
    ________________________________


  • Wow, that is a lot of dysfunction in one guy.  Being military myself, I really thinks someone needs to have a come to Jesus meeting with your brother, OP. I agree that rescuing him and taking care of his disasters (I am NOT calling his children disasters!) isn't doing him any good, but you also want to give his children the best love and attention you can.  It's a tough line to see.

    Have you ever met those people who have "escaped" from a really crappy family? One of my best buddies (and collegue) is one of those people.  His family was the poor, white trash, alcoholic, no education, mid-michigan redneck, irresponsible families.  Somehow, my buddy escaped all of that and he is a Senior NCO in the Army, has mega certifications in IT, data base administration, and all that stuff.  When he retires in a couple of years he will be highly sought after.  Crazy in love with his bride of almost 25 years, reared 2 wonderful daughters.

    Somewhere in there someone got a hold of him and invested in him.  Sounds like you will do the same for your nieces/nephews.  They will need that!  Your brother? Yeah, he still needs a come to Jesus talk and he needs to get his shit together!

    Any chance you can talk to your folks about stepping back from his disasters?  Do they not see they are enabling him?  Sometimes  you can just love your kids way too much in the wrong ways.
    spockforprezSP29
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    scribe95 said:
    Accidental pregnancies? This phrase used repeatedly made me laugh. Birth control. Use it. 
    I hate to accuse anyone of this, but of the three I think this one is the least likely to be "accidental." One of the reasons I don't like the new mom-to-be is she was posting publicly on facebook about how she wanted a ring and it was taking too long. They'd only been together two months. I know it probably makes me a shitty person for making the connection... but that's how I feel.
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  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Thanks everyone for the kind responses. I was a little nervous about people's reactions. It's definitely a situation where it's easier said than done as far as cutting someone off.

    In CMG's defense, she was quoting me. I am a famed potty mouth so please don't suspect her of it. ;) 

    There is absolutely no chance of convincing my parents to back off. My mom will do whatever it takes to take care of the baby, up to and including raising him/her full-time (she has done this already a couple times with the first two kids). Mom did say that that my brother can't live with her anymore, although it's a weak threat since he hasn't slept at their house in months and the alternative is living with his girlfriend's mom instead, so... 

    I'm trying to think positive and that he and new girl will establish a mature, healthy marriage and a responsible household and raise the new baby and actually make an effort to see his first two kids (and pay attention to them when they are here). I guess I just feel like the time to do that was the first two times he had an "oops" baby and if he didn't do it then, why now? We'll see. I have to go back home this weekend for a friend's baby shower but other than that I won't have to go back until my cousin's wedding in March, so I can get some distance.
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  • It's tough, but I agree with repeating the mantra, "This is not my burden to bear".

    Absolutely your parents should tell him to deal with his own shit- but that also isn't your responsibility to make happen. 

    Love your nieces and nephews and let everything else go. 
    spockforprez
  • I taught my children that the f bomb is there for a reason, and it is only to be used in dire circumstances.  When my then teen-aged son phoned me at midnight to tell me that he had totaled his car in an accident and was on his way to the hospital, he said "Mom!  I fucked up!"  This was an appropriate use of the f bomb.  His friends who witnessed all this were horrified!
    Do I ever use the f bomb?  Yes, but when I do , DH knows that this is REALLY SERIOUS!!!!
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  • scribe95 said:
    Accidental pregnancies? This phrase used repeatedly made me laugh. Birth control. Use it. 
    I hate to accuse anyone of this, but of the three I think this one is the least likely to be "accidental." One of the reasons I don't like the new mom-to-be is she was posting publicly on facebook about how she wanted a ring and it was taking too long. They'd only been together two months. I know it probably makes me a shitty person for making the connection... but that's how I feel.


    Oh please. Please do not go blaming her for trapping him. If he can figure out how to be in the military he can handle figuring out how condoms work. Let the responsibility fall where it belongs. On him. 
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    scribe95 said:
    Accidental pregnancies? This phrase used repeatedly made me laugh. Birth control. Use it. 
    I hate to accuse anyone of this, but of the three I think this one is the least likely to be "accidental." One of the reasons I don't like the new mom-to-be is she was posting publicly on facebook about how she wanted a ring and it was taking too long. They'd only been together two months. I know it probably makes me a shitty person for making the connection... but that's how I feel.


    Oh please. Please do not go blaming her for trapping him. If he can figure out how to be in the military he can handle figuring out how condoms work. Let the responsibility fall where it belongs. On him. 
    There's no excuse for my brother's behavior and I haven't attempted to make any. I have called him an idiot several times in this thread. He can be a negligent idiot who doesn't take the steps required to prevent an unwanted pregnancy at the same time that she can intentionally allow herself to get pregnant in order to get married. It doesn't have to be either/or. 
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    MairePoppydb1984
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