Wedding Woes

This is beyond your brother's desire to hurt you.

Dear Prudence,

My brother and I have not spoken to each other or had any contact for nearly 30 years. A few months ago, my oldest daughter sought him out in the hopes of arranging a reconciliation ahead of my birthday. He rejected that idea but invited her to dinner, and they ended up having an intimate relationship, which lasted for several weeks. They’re both adults, but I’m sickened by the fact that they’re so closely related, disappointed in my daughter’s choices, concerned that my brother was most likely motivated by a desire to hurt me (there’s history), and at a loss as to how to react. I have no intention of engaging with my brother, but I’m uncertain as to how or even whether to communicate these feelings to my daughter. What do I say? Should I say anything?

—My Daughter Had an Affair With My Estranged Brother

Re: This is beyond your brother's desire to hurt you.

  • I think you should absolutely say to your daughter that incest is wrong, that you’re deeply concerned about her, and that you’d support her going to therapy about this and would pay for it. 
  • I'm curious on the history that would make LW think that this incest is to hurt her ....

    But LW needs to speak to daughter and clarify this is incest - whether you know the person or not, you're still related.
  • So much creepy.  Just when I thought there couldn't be something worse than the letter a few weeks ago where the woman's husband left her for his step-daughter.  At least those two people weren't related by blood at all.
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  • MobKazMobKaz member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    I'm curious on the history that would make LW think that this incest is to hurt her ....

    But LW needs to speak to daughter and clarify this is incest - whether you know the person or not, you're still related.
    It immediately made me wonder whether the brother made a similar attempt with his own sister.  I have to wonder how the daughter was so successful in contacting someone that had been absent for 30 years.  I have to wonder why, if daughter's original purpose was denied, she agreed to meet this man for dinner.

  • I had to read this twice.  Like, niece and uncle?

  • I think LW is wise to continue to not speak to her brother, who still deserves to be estranged.

    I'm not sure the approach to her daughter should be about LW's estrangement to her brother, but concern over the relationship aspect and perhaps getting help to deal with that for both her and her daughter.  I keep imaging there had to be some sort of power play/imbalance here to allow that relationship to happen, b/c I can't imagine another situation.  My worry is not so much the incest, which yeah is an issue, but what underlying issue daughter might have that allowed this to happen.
  • I had to read this twice.  Like, niece and uncle?
    Yep
  • MobKaz said:
    I'm curious on the history that would make LW think that this incest is to hurt her ....

    But LW needs to speak to daughter and clarify this is incest - whether you know the person or not, you're still related.
    It immediately made me wonder whether the brother made a similar attempt with his own sister.  I have to wonder how the daughter was so successful in contacting someone that had been absent for 30 years.  I have to wonder why, if daughter's original purpose was denied, she agreed to meet this man for dinner.

    All of that. Yes.

    I didn't wanna jump to the brother being incestuous towards LW but it was definitely a thought.
  • I find it alarming that anyone would go from trying to reconcile their estranged family members to having a sexual relationship with one of those family members. 
    I'm thinking daughter has some major issues that need to be discussed with a therapist ASAP.

    @MobKaz, you may be on to something about why LW and her brother are estranged. 
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  • I find it alarming that anyone would go from trying to reconcile their estranged family members to having a sexual relationship with one of those family members. 
    I'm thinking daughter has some major issues that need to be discussed with a therapist ASAP.

    @MobKaz, you may be on to something about why LW and her brother are estranged. 
    I'm interpreting it as daughter is totally green and attempting to think she knows more when the reality is that she knows NOTHING.

    This is how I've imagined the events in my head: If the LW hasn't spoken to her brother in 30 years then she is in her late 40's or early 50's and has a child in her late teens to early 20s.   The child is old enough to be "an adult" but young enough to have really minimal idea of how things actually work in the real world and has a positive desire to effect change for the better.   She sought out the uncle with the best of intentions but the uncle is a sociopath which is why the LW stopped talking to him in the first place.   Uncle saw the positive desire in the young niece and is potentially charismatic enough that the niece played right into him.

    I can't think of any way that this niece is going to get therapy until she wises up to see that this person has done nothing short of brainwashing her.     She's in danger but good luck getting her to understand any of this because she's under the thumb of a master manipulator who has most likely done this before.

    Has anyone seen the R. Kelly documentary?    Maybe it's because I saw it a short time ago but this is reminding me of it a bit.   
  • People are terrible, that’s all I’ve got. The uncle/brother is terrible. Once the niece/daughter realizes just what happened she’s going to need all the support. 
  • MobKazMobKaz member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited July 2019
    Yes, it does sound as if he is an uncle by marriage.  Two YEARS is an awfully long time to keep and hold a secret.  She was 19 when it first started.  So much is so messed up. 

    “Stephen Myers, 44, is married to the aunt of 21-year-old Mendoza, according to police. They had been in a secret sexual affair for the past two years.

  • When did you learn incest was gross? I'm guessing it was well before your late teens. This girl knew the man was her mom's brother, as the LW clearly states, not her uncle by marriage. She may be a victim of a master manipulator, but she was definitely messed up before that. No healthy young woman walks into a reconciliation and walks out as her uncle's lover. This family needed help long before this incident. 
  • maine7mob said:
    When did you learn incest was gross? I'm guessing it was well before your late teens. This girl knew the man was her mom's brother, as the LW clearly states, not her uncle by marriage. She may be a victim of a master manipulator, but she was definitely messed up before that. No healthy young woman walks into a reconciliation and walks out as her uncle's lover. This family needed help long before this incident. 
    @maine7mob you may be right.

    But you have previously discussed your alleged work with victims of predatory behavior.   And many people who are victims of any kind of predator whether he's a sex trafficker, sociopath, cult leader, etc can be people who may have had prior history of abuse or not.      But when you enter into a situation with someone who has far more power than you it's incredibly difficult for people in these situations to remove themselves safely.   Look at the multiple situations of sex trafficking in illegal massage parlors, how R. Kelly built bedrooms into recording studios and surrounded himself with people who protected him and even into the recent allegations of Jeffrey Epstein.   

    Perhaps the mother and daughter had a borderline estrangement as it was.   But adolescent behavior is often riddled with overwrought emotional situations.  (just look at why there are legal issues in doing certain genetic tests on minors).   

    The issue with those who are predators is not that people who are victims of them fail to understand right from wrong.  It's that predators with a deeply rooted pathology are also among the more charismatic people and they are able to manipulate the perception of truth and fact for their own benefit only.   

    Maybe the daughter needed psychological help from the start.   Maybe everyone does.    But if the uncle had predatory predispositions (my hunch only and nothing that the LW said) then the daughter should also be viewed as a victim here.  

     
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