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My husband, Paul, is estranged from his brother and the two of them haven’t spoken in 5 years.
Paul won’t talk about what happened between them but he has entirely cut his brother, Sam, out of his life. They used to be close and although he doesn’t admit it, I know Paul misses him.
Recently, Sam reached out to me on Facebook. At first it was just a friend request but after I accepted, he sent me a message saying he feels terrible about their relationship and he would love to reconcile. I have never had a problem with his brother and I think it would be good for the two of them to make up but I know my husband will be upset I am even speaking to his brother.
I feel torn, should I incur my husband’s fury and try to help them patch up their relationship or should I respect his wishes and cut off communication with his brother?
I think you know the answer to this question but are looking for me to concur with the conclusion you have already reached. That conclusion is for you to STAY THE HELL OUT OF THIS! No, no, no do NOT get involved! These are grown men, one of whom you are married to and I assume would like to keep it that way. Here’s my advice:
YOU DON’T KNOW THE WHOLE STORY: Whatever happened between these two was so egregious that Paul won’t even talk about it. So what makes you think that you can be the glue to bring these two back together? This is none of your business. You’re only involved because you’re married to one of the guys. So basically you’re going to try to figure out the best way for two warring factions to come together but with only partial information. That’s not a good way to go into anything and very definitely not a family feud.
YOU LIVE WITH YOUR HUSBAND: That means you are loyal to him not his brother. You absolutely will incur Paul’s wrath when he finds out about this. In life, we all want to know we have a posse willing to throw down in a knife fight, metaphorically speaking. That is a wife, husband or partner. While you think you are doing good by trying to bring these two back together, Paul will ultimately see this as an act of treason and disloyalty. And if Paul is as angry as you say he is, this is not going to go over well.
THESE ARE GROWN MEN: If and when Paul is ready to make a move, he will. While it’s true he may miss his brother, he may not be willing to reconcile, at least not yet. Maybe he needs to work out a few more details in his head; maybe he needs more forgiveness in his heart. Whatever the case, you can’t rush that along by playing matchmaker then hovering on the sidelines and nodding anxiously like you’re overseeing a playdate between two toddlers. If this is to happen, it will happen on it’s own time.
Now for the controversial part of my advice, you’re going to have to unfriend Sam. You’re probably an incredibly nice woman with a huge heart. But until these two work out whatever their issue is you need to back WAY off. You can explain this in a nice note to Sam. If he understands, great, if not, oh well.
I would suggest that the note he wrote to you about missing his brother, he send on to Paul, the person who he should have sent it to in the first place. Frankly, it was unfair of him to place you in the middle as he attempted to take the temperature of the situation. You don’t belong there, so turn around and walk away.
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