You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Hi Dr. Sherry,
My family is on the verge of being dismantled and I don't know what to do.
My brother is in a relationship with a woman who had an affair with my sister's husband for at least a year. Of course, my sister wants nothing to do with our brother and his new relationship but she plays nice at family get-togethers as long as he doesn't bring her. I want nothing to do with her because I feel like she is very manipulative and shows no respect for our family by continuing the relationship. She had the nerve to show up at a family event that has always included my brother because I was there and it caused some drama. That moment made me realize he doesn't care and neither does she.
Another thing that makes things hard is that he and I teach at the same school and she often shows up. My sister and my mother really stressed about the situation, as well as am I because none of us know what to do about their relationship.
What is the best way to deal with this?
It's sad because we have always been a pretty close family but my brother and this woman are tearing us apart.
There is always at least one person in every family that really does not give a flip about anyone in the family except themselves. Your brother definitely appears to be that person in your family. Truth be told, it is likely that this is not the first time he has shown that he does care about others’ feelings. While I understand your anger with the woman, I am not surprised by her behaviors. She is not part of your family nor does she have any loyalty or share an emotional bond. She has shown you who she is and how she feels about your family repeatedly. As disrespectful as they are, both your brother and the woman are adults and obviously can do whatever they want. But don’t forget that you, your sister, and mother are also adults. You really don’t have to be bothered with your brother or the woman. You do have a choice! By allowing him and the woman to continue to come to around and be a part of family events, he doesn’t have to deal how any of the family’s feelings. If you allow him to dismantle the family, you have given him a lot of control and all of your family’s power. You can be a family without his presence. This does not mean that you stop loving him but you stop supporting his behaviors. You and your family can show him better than telling him! --Dr. Sherry
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