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LDRSHIP's avatar

Can you offer advice on my situation with my younger brother?

Asked by LDRSHIP (1790points) October 9th, 2017

My brother is 23 and I just turned 27 (we both have no kids and not married), try my best to make this short, if you could please bear with me. He is been in what I would say is abusive relationship with his girlfriend/fiance. Got bad enough (recently) where he packed his bit of stuff and went back to FL. Not even a month or so later she buys him a plane ticket and convinces him to move back. I was blown away I thought this was the end of that shit for him.

I’ve done told him just about everything I think about his situation when he vents to me that he needs to leave her for good about how he hates things, anxiety, stress etc. I offered him to move with me several times and now he seems to be finally taking me up on my offer.

However, he admits he still smokes weed – that doesn’t bother me but it is his priority to go a state where it is legal. He says weed helps with his anxiety and I suspect depression, though he didn’t say it. He also admitted to me that he is flat out co-dependent not sure what that entails. He has always worked so that’s at least not an issue but he just doesn’t seem capable of moving forward in life. Also mentioned he is worried what might happen with her (shes told some nasty lies) or that he might do something. I don’t know if he was eluding to suicide or what.

This is where first problem starts I am ready to move anywhere there is an opportunity. My brother is dead set on certain states and I am also worried I am may not be able to handle him or help him. I certainly don’t want him to become overly dependent on me.

Why the hell he went back to her I have no idea. I guess people become addicted to abusive and toxic relationships. Some of the things he has told me in past is a flat out no-go, automatic break up and not getting back together type shit (for me least) so why he continues anything with his girlfriend/fiance is beyond me.

A final note I’ve grown up with family that had or still has drug and alcohol addictions and what not, and finally moving past all that emotional baggage myself. I do not want to put the brakes on my own life anymore for other people, even more specifically although painful with my own family especially when they don’t care about themselves.

Doesn’t leave me with much options do I essentially turn back on my brother and hope for best? Or do my best to take him under my wing without babying him and hope for the best?

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8 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

He’s old enough to make his own choices so it’s not like you would be turning your back on him. He needs to want to leave her bullshit behind 100% on his own, otherwise he will just end up going back to her.
The best thing you can do is make sure he understands you will be there for him when he’s ready to move on.

Zaku's avatar

I think it would be worth trying to keep him away from her. He sounds like he is in a codependent relationship with her, but that doesn’t mean he’d be in one with you. It does mean he should stay away from her. That he himself says that indicates he knows about it. I would be trying to get him on some path that will have him heal the issues he has – therapy, counseling, etc., before he gets into another problematic relationship.

Patty_Melt's avatar

My first thought was if it would not ruin your current situation, since you are single, to consider moving together to Colorado.
Then I read that you have a family history of addiction issues.

Since your brother has distanced himself from her, and then went back, it is clear the whole situation is toxic.
I really doubt there is anything you can do to help.
Unfortunately, that leaves you feeling helpless.
I understand the pain of wanting to help someone. I also know how dangerous it can be, sometimes, to try to help when you can’t.

Do the very best you can for yourself.

funkdaddy's avatar

My brother is two years younger than I am and a super-genius. The easiest way I can explain his mentality is that he accepts none of the norms you see around you. Most people challenge a few, he’s decided to challenge pretty much every one for most of his life.

So occasionally (in the past) he’d get into a bad spot. I used to rush to help him, be right there trying to figure it out for him, and fix it as quickly as we could. I thought that’s what he needed and how I would show support. I just wanted him to know I cared and would help even when things weren’t going well. People had done that for me and I’d really appreciated it.

It never worked, he straight up resented me and felt like I was always coaching and trying to steer him. To make him somehow conform to my choices or remind him he had messed up.

What worked instead was to just let him know I’m available and that he’s welcome. If he needs a place, he can crash with me, if he needs something done, I’ll try to help, and if he needs someone to talk through something, I’ll be around. But I don’t shut down my life to fix his any more if that makes sense. I still do my thing and he’s welcome to be part of it any time. I try not to talk about his stuff with him unless he asks, other than just wishing him well.

He respects that more and it works a lot better for both of us.

Be available for your brother, but you don’t have to save him. Do your thing and just give him a safe spot if he needs it. Sometimes just having a back up plan can give someone the confidence they need to make a change.

Muad_Dib's avatar

You are not your brother’s keeper. There is very little you can do in this situation, and it’s really best to love him from a distance in this case. Anything you do to try to convince him he’s wrong will only convince him that you’re wrong.

If weed were important to me, I’d move to somewhere it’s legal as well. The laws here in Florida are draconian as fuck, so I don’t blame him for wanting to get out.

Let him know there’s room on the couch when he needs it. That’s all you can do.

marinelife's avatar

Your brother needs therapy. He should not be treating depression with weed, He should be on anti-depressants. He will have to spend some quality time with a therapist to figure out his co-dependence on his abusive relationship and abusive ex.

Go ahead and move somewhere with him, but find him a qualified therapist soon.

BryrDe's avatar

Why not suggest visiting a psychologist? These professionals will surely have some sort of therapy for this case. I hope he’s not depressed.


It’s a Sad Story, but one all too familiar. Sounds like me and my younger brother. The Problem began long ago within your. You saw to change your life, and he accepted it as the Norm, and has since carried it into his. The Weed Situation, Man I pray it doesn’t lead to other things!!! It’ll drive you insane, did me. Let him know what’s up! You will be there for him, and “IF” he wants help with the Situation with his Girl Friend or Weed Issues, you are there. But I must say that it sounds like he has a Mental Health Issue my friend, and that turning to Weed? He needs to see a Doctor! But Your put in a spot! Most People Go Off when others Mention anything about getting Help, and Esp. with a Drug Problem.
My Best To You My Friend,. Good Luck!

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