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Unread 03-18-2017, 12:15 PM   #1
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Default My Brother-in-Law

So my older sister died in October after a long fight with cancer. She was married for 45 years to my brother-in-law. Their marriage was an unhappy one, especially for my sister. They had one son, who is a grown man.

I saw my BIL yesterday and he informed me that he has a girlfriend. On the one hand, I'm happy for him...he's retired, does volunteer work, and has time on his hands.

On the other hand, I was a bit shocked. I mean, my sister has been dead for less than 5 months. My BIL and his new girlfriend are doing lots of traveling...something my sister desperately wanted to do, my BIL didn't want to, and they fought about it a lot. I don't know why he's traveling with the gf, since he wouldn't travel with my sis.

Today I am still feeling somewhat shaken up about the girlfriend. It feels like...wow...he replaced my sister so fast...and actually, he admitted that he was communicating with the gf during the last year of my sister's life. That broke my heart a bit.

What do you all think? Am I being ridiculous, or do I have a reason to feel kind of bad? I told my BIL that I'm happy for him, and I won't say anything different to him, I just want to straighten this out in my own mind.
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Unread 03-18-2017, 09:27 PM   #2
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Unread 03-18-2017, 10:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: My Brother-in-Law

I think I would feel the same as you, but you said their relationship wasn't that good, so probably it would have ended with a divorce or a separation, and only her illness kept him around.
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Unread 03-19-2017, 12:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: My Brother-in-Law

No you're not being ridiculous, it's a totally normal reaction IMO.

Yes, he has a right to get on with his life but the speed and past unhappiness must be complicating the grieving process for you (a friend went through something very similar and struggled too). You say your heart broke a little when you found out about the overlap with the gf - I think most people would be feeling this was a betrayal of sorts and feel hurt on her behalf.

You are doing the right thing IMO saying you are happy for him - I don't think telling him your thoughts would help anyone. He will do what he will do.

Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, it is perfectly understandable, grieve for her in the way that you need to. I am very sorry for your loss.

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Unread 03-19-2017, 01:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: My Brother-in-Law

The fact this woman was in his life before your sister's passing is greatly concerning. Yes, what you are thinking an feeling does have its grounds.
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Unread 03-19-2017, 01:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: My Brother-in-Law

Thank you all very much.

No, the marriage (while rocky) would not have ended in divorce. They were both committed to the situation, for good or bad.

My BIL had a history of cheating on my sister. It tore her apart. I feel sure that his behavior contributed to her early death.

Thank you for validating my feelings about him seeing another woman so quickly after my sister's death. I really wasn't sure how to feel, but now I believe the 'red flag' in my mind and heart is there for a reason.

I am angry because he is traveling around with this new woman...my sister begged him to travel with her; he never would. My sis predicted that he would meet another woman and do fun stuff with that woman within months after my sister's passing, and she was spot on
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Unread 03-20-2017, 08:55 AM   #7
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I very much understand your irritation.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 02:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: My Brother-in-Law

Thank you, justafriend306.

Last night I had trouble sleeping because I was ruminating about my BIL having a girlfriend now. It feels like a slap in the face to my sister. I'm really bothered.

Thank you all so much for your replies.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 03:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: My Brother-in-Law

I don't think that you're being ridiculous at all. I would be very bothered by this too. He certainly has moved on quickly.
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Unread 03-20-2017, 04:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: My Brother-in-Law

I can understand your feelings. I would probably feel the same way you do if it were me.

I think you're gracious by not telling your BIL how you really feel.
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