So my brother's marriage has been in trouble for many years, roughly about three years that we can figure, he may know better, but we've been seeing signs for about three years now. I say signs because we've been watching her change. In the nearly nine years they have been married she has done a complete 180 degree turn from who she was to who she is and it's bothered us all. She doesn't attend many family functions and goes no where with my brother, she's completely not involved with anything in his life really, he tries to keep being a part of hers, but she doesn't seem to want him to be a part of it. They have been living completely separate lives for a couple years now, they are essentially roommates with a shared checking account.
They have been renting a house for several years now while they rebuild their credit after their bankruptcy many years ago and recently the owner of the house has decided to sell it. They knew they didn't want to buy the house because it still required several thousand dollars worth of work to it and it's priced too high for the neighborhood. They had a small talk and decided they would start to look for something else to rent since the banks are even more strict on loaning money, unless they found a way to buy. At least that was the story.
So my brother has been looking for a house, in the county because they always wanted to live outside of town. Every house he saw he put her needs in front of his own, always considering her wants and needs and just trying to find a space he could make his own. Well in the last couple of days we found a house out in the country priced way below value that needs some work and the seller is more than willing to sell it on land contract for a VERY reasonable rate. It's something they could totally do in their price range and their budget and the scope of work that needed to be done is well within my brother's realm.
So he tells her about it and says he'd like to set up a time when they can both go out and check out the inside, she says o.k. He sets it up and calls her to tell her the time and make sure she's feeling up to going after a 13 hour work day and she proceeds to tell him that she never wanted to go look at it and had no interest in putting her name on a mortgage with him. He says um, o.k. and hangs up. Then he just looks at me with this glazed over look in his eyes and I ask him if she was meeting us here and he tells me that she was pretty much done. He refused to go home until she was in bed last night and is going to ask right flat out tomorrow if she plans to stick it out or if she plans on leaving after their rental sells.
He's hurt and relieved all at the same time. They have not acted like a married couple in many years, in ANY sense of the phrase. He's known it's been on the rocks and nothing he has done has been able to change that. He told me he's just been getting along to get along. He's realizing that she's only with him because it's a place to live that allows her to keep her 5 dogs and without his income and our uncle who owns the house she'd be forced to get rid of the dogs.
It's heart breaking but at the same time I told my brother that if this is where it is at and he's got a sense of relief then it's time it ended and he shouldn't pass on this house. This house would be the best thing for him, it's what he's always wanted, why throw that away for a marriage that has been over for a couple of years. If both parties aren't willing to work on the relationship, then what's the point? I told him if he wanted to stay with her longer and work harder at it I would support him, but I also pointed out all the things he's done to win her back over while she has changed nothing.
I'm no longer praying for this marriage to work because I've seen the toll it's taken on my brother over these last few years, he's miserable and chooses to deal with that through unhealthy means and I'd like to see that stop. He's financially stable enough to afford a life on his own and be able to do the things he wants to do, so there should be nothing stopping him. If it's over, decide it's over and finally be happy. I told him it won't be easy, he's never lived on his own, he's never had to do his own laundry, he's never had to clean the house and he hasn't had to cook much, or pay the bills, that this would all be his responsibility now, but it's worth it. I told him he would have help both emotionally and physically to learn all these things, to learn how to budget and all the things I know he can do.
It was one of the most serious conversations we've ever had and I meant every word of it. He drives me up the wall and some days I want to punch him, but he's my brother and damn it I love him. I want him to finally be happy, I want him to learn how to stand on his own two feet and feel that feeling of pride he so desperately needs and be able to feel how successful he really is. I just want the best for him and I pray that no matter what that all this leads to a happier life for him, I will do everything in my power to help him through this and to help him build this new life, he's earned it.