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Man asks if he's wrong to tell wife and SIL to leave his grieving brother 'the f alone.'

Man asks if he's wrong to tell wife and SIL to leave his grieving brother 'the f alone.'


'AITA for telling my wife and SIL to leave my brother the f**k alone?'

There's a lot to unpack here, so buckle up.

My(32M) older sister and mother passed away in a car crash when I was 14. As a result, my brother(29M), who was 11 at the time, and I became very close. He's my main confidant, and vice versa. He's a very sensitive person, and both of us have always been very family orientated. I like to thank my dad for that.

5 years ago, my niece, Samantha passed away from SIDS at 3 months old. My brother was the SAHP, (as am I). The only thing that seemed to get him through that was his wife, my SIL, and the fact that she promised him that they would try for another child again someday.

I always thought it was a strange promise, but it's my SIL's business, and it became a sort of therapy for him. My SIL asked him not to talk about it, so he would call me. At first, it was almost every day after Samantha passed that one of us would call each other and just talk. For a while, he would often talk about Samantha and I would just console him.

Then it slowly turned to talk of the future child. We haven't been talking as much recently, but he still occasionally sends me pictures of baby clothes and Disney movies.

Last Tuesday, he called me, sobbing and begging me to let him stay with me. It turns out, he finally decided to broach the topic of trying for another child with my SIL, and she informed him that she never intended to have another, she just wanted him to 'feel better'. I went and got him, and he's been staying with me, my wife(31F) and our son(5M) since then.

He's been basically inconsolable ever since. He's hardly eaten, or gotten out of bed. He stays in the guest room and I take food up to him and get him to eat. It's been f***ing awful.

My wife wants him out, claiming it's 'time he went home' and my SIL is saying he needs to 'man up'. I think it's unfair to demand I throw my brother out. I'm a SAHD, so it's not as if my wife is the one cleaning up after him, not that there's much to clean up at all. She also claims it's 'bad for our son to have him around like that.'

This is not true. Our son forgot he was here the other day. I told her no. I am not putting him out. He's my damn brother, and with the state he's in, I don't want to lose my other sibling.

She let my SIL into the house while I was out buying groceries the other day, and it didn't go well. She was heartless, to say the least, demanding he stop moping and leave with her. I told my wife and SIL to please leave him the f**k alone for now and asked my SIL to please leave the house. She left, but not without some choice words.

My wife says I'm 'enabling' my brother. I think he just needs someone to lean on until he's in a frame of mind to care for himself at the least. This is not a permanent situation, by any means. AITA?

Edit: I fully intend to get him to a therapist as soon as possible. I know this is above my skill set, by far, but right now I'm just doing the best I can until I can make that happen.

Edit 2: Only my SIL got grief counseling after Samantha passed due to them not having the money to, and her wanting to go on her own.

Edit 3: I work remotely about three days a week, as well as the majority of parenting and household chores, so I am contributing some, if not as much financially.

Here's what people had to say to OP:

bulbipicg asks:

What is SAHP and SAHD?

AlreadyTaken2000 OP responded:

Stay-at-home parent and stay-at-home dad.

TragedyPornFamilyVid writes:

NTA He might want to check out Compassionate Friends or another support group for infant loss. There are a number of them, and many parents find it very healing to talk to others who share their experiences. Also, meetings are cheap/free.

AlreadyTaken2000 OP responded:

Thank you. I have never heard of that, but I will be looking into it now.

msfinch87 asks:

INFO: Do you know for certain that SIL promised him another child outright and then reneged? As in, has she confirmed it or did you witness a conversation? I don’t mean simply saying, “Well this is something we’ll talk about” but outright said it would happen.

Because if she did then she is TA. But if she didn’t then this situation is way more complicated than it appears.

AlreadyTaken2000 OP responded:

This is all stuff my brother told me. He said she said it to comfort him, and it came up not long after Samantha passed. He asked a little later, and she apparently confirmed before asking him to let the subject lie until she was ready to pick it back up.

I don't think he'd be the sort to ask after it because he's always put others before himself, even when we were kids.

Efficient_Living_628 writes:

May I ask how long your brother has been staying with you. Cause that’s kind of important information too.

AlreadyTaken2000 OP responded:

One week.

Sarnsquantch writes:

NTA. There's no time limit on grief. In being told his wife doesn't actually want another child, your brother has effectively picked up grieving where he left off years ago, AND is now also grieving the future he thought he'd have, where he got to be a father.

That's a major loss. He's mourning the child he already lost, the child he thought he would still get to have, and a whole different life he had planned for.

Your wife is being insensitive and his is being cruel. Side note: telling someone to 'man up' is infuriating.

dangeroussequence writes:

I can’t excuse SIL’s actions because she unilaterally decided that she would get therapy and OP’s brother couldn’t because she didn’t want him there and they couldn’t afford sessions for each of them. Absolute utter nastiness. I have a hard time believing that either of their wives actually love them.

Sources: Reddit
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