My wife and I met about 4 years ago and got married recently. My brother [30, M] has had a great relationship and friendship with her ever since they met. My brother met someone through the apps not long ago and they are hitting it off nicely.
Both of us were very excited for him since he has had a hard time in the dating scene. We always have football watch parties at his place and he told us we would be able to meet her at the next one.
We met her yesterday. Turns out, his new SO is my wife's high school bully. When they met, she and my wife recognized each other cordially. They were maybe a bit awkward, but afterwards I could tell my wife was super uncomfortable. We made up an excuse and left early. On the way home, she told me about her bully, but not with a lot of detail.
Before going to bed, she told me I need to demand that my brother stop seeing her. I know she was distressed, but I don't know if I can do this. My limited interaction with her was pleasant. There were no other obvious red flags from her bully, at least that I could detect.
Maybe I could warn my brother about her, but I do not think I can make demands on his own love life. If someone came to me and demanded I stop seeing my wife when we started dating, I would have told them to fVVck off. I can see this might strain their friendship. Any advice? Thanks in advance!
You wife has 100% say on who she socializes with. She has 0% say in who other people date. I’d be straight up with your brother. “Wife was bullied by your new GF in high school so she’s decided that GF won’t be welcome in our home. She will also skip any events where GF is invited.
I get that people change, and sometimes they do. But GF was a bully to Wife so neither of us is going to be doing anything with you as a couple.” Your brother can decide how to proceed from there.
Boom shakalaka. This OP. Be direct about it.
You can limit contact with your wife's bully, because the gf is her bully. The effects remain years after the incident. You can talk to your brother as to why you will be limiting contact, but you cannot dictate as to who your brother can date or cannot date.
No you don’t have any right to demand your brother stop seeing this woman but at the same time you can’t expect your wife to want to be around that woman which may put a strain on the relationship with you and your brother and I don’t see this ending well for at least one of these relationships.
Tell your brother everything your wife said to you, but don't attempt to tell him to stop seeing her. It is up to him what to do with that information. Better he knows now before they get more serious.
This is a short update and probably a frustrating one since it won't have a satisfying closure. My wife took back the demand the next morning. She apologized to me and said it was probably an extreme reaction to seeing her bully. We talked about what happened in HS and the next steps.
Earlier in the week, we talked to my brother. We were frank and to the point: New SO was a bully to my wife when they were in high school. My wife forgives her, but does not forget.
If my brother and her are pursuing a serious relationship, that is fine by us and we won't get in the way. But, we also won't be around if she's there at a social event. We will see how it goes for big family events like Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. If his new SO is truly remorseful and wants to apologize, she's open to that. My brother was mildly shocked, but seemed to empathize with my wife.
So far, she's been great to him and was a seemingly good person. He said he needed some time to know what to do with this information. Likely, he wants to find out if his new SO is remorseful, because he definitely does not want to be in a relationship with someone who is secretly a bully or is duplicitous about it.
The talk ended on good terms, so we'll see what happens going forward, but I'm at peace knowing we did the mature thing. Thanks everyone for the advice!!
P.S.: Some people were asking what did the bully do to my wife. I am not gonna go into detail about it. The purpose of the original post was to ask if we could interfere in my brother's love life, which was a resounding no, not to trauma dump my wife's personal struggles to internet strangers.
Sounds like you and your wife have leveled off and found a reasonable approach. What a crazy situation. Hope it works out.
Well done, both you and your wife. And your brother, too. Three good people communicating with love and respect. Fingers crossed for a good outcome for your brother. 🤞🏻
Well, at least it's good that they all communicated like adults.
I think the wife's updated demand is reasonable. She has trauma that stems directly from this woman. I would also not want to be around that person at family events, regardless of apologies or if the bully has changed. If the bully has evolved and regrets her actions, it's great that she's improving as a person. But that doesn't magically erase the trauma she inflicted on OP's wife.
There’s a comment on the update where OP states his brother asked the new SO about her relationship with his wife after their talk, and she basically dodged the question. Might as well put it here:
“He later texted me that after the talk, he asked new SO about how my wife and her were acquainted. New SO seemed to skirt the question and just summed it up as "we didn't really hung out/talked much". This means she either is too embarrassed to talk about her bullying or does not think it's a big deal. Either way, we won't have her in our lives unless she makes amends sincerely.”