Girlfriend's codependent relationship with her brother

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Joined: 4 May 2010
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 26,008
Location: was Louisiana but now Vermont in the police state called USA

23 Dec 2022, 3:16 pm

This thread will be long due to me needing to explain a lot. I'll try to keep the format somewhat easy to read.

My gf was raised with some very extreme religious type beliefs pushed onto her like others needs must always being put before hers, feeling pride is a sin, & negative thoughts have power(if she ever has a negative thought about someone & something bad happens to them it is her fault because she had any bad thought). Cass's home-life was abusive in lots of other ways as well. There was a lot of fighting between people & Cass felt the need to try mediate things. She felt it was her responsibility to fix most everything bad & was constantly walking on eggshells as a result. She didn't want to ask for anything she wanted or even kinda needed because she did not want to bother people & make them more stressed out.

Cass's family has always been the most important thing in her life & she always tries to be very close with them even when they push her away & make it extremely obvious to me that she is not a high priority in their life.

The relationship with her brother W is very concerning to me. W has been diagnosed with Aspergers since he was little & had lots of various physical issues growing up. I do not doubt that he has Aspergers since he's had lots of typical Aspie guy symptoms since he was very little. However he also seems like a covert narscisist. He has always been very demanding & manipulative. He blames family & the rest of the world for all his problems. He often blames others for his own feelings. He accuses his family of making him anxious & making him angry & other such things when he gets upset. He always accused family of not loving him whenever he could not get his way. If a family member gets upset with him, he threatens suicide & tells them it would be their fault in order to keep family in his hooks. He's never actually attempted suicide.

W is currently in his mid 30s & has lived alone for like 15 years now. He has a majorly hard time being alone sometimes due to depression & anxiety which I can understand & is very demanding about Cass & their mom going to visit him there when he wants them there. Their mom started living with him about half the time due to him needing her there but W wants her there on his terms. W has a ton of rules she's expected to follow & he sometimes suddenly changes the rules without telling her. He'll yell for a while & then says he was just f#cking with her when she breaks down & cries. He micromanages their mom's life & she's required to ask for his permission before making any plans or doing most anything on her own. His mom's mental health is rapidly declining as a result. She's a lot more forgetful than she used to be & W uses her bad memory for justification of why he needs to control her life. Hypothetically if W was her husband or boyfriend instead of her son, most everyone would be telling her to get the hell out of that relationship & stay in a shelter if needed.

W's behavior towards Cass is a bit better than the way he treats their mom but it's mostly due to Cass only spending 3 nights a month with him. He's very critical of issues Cass has that he also has & if Cass tries to point it out to him, he throws a giant tantrum & accuses Cass of upsetting him by being mean & blaming him even thou he tells Cass she's responsible for her own issues & problems. He says they would not be freinds if they were not related because Cass is too moody & hyper for him. It's a hassle for Cass to go visit him so she kinda refuses to spend more than 3 nights there 1ce a month & he controls when she goes visit him. Me & Cass have been living together 10 years now & W only bothered to visit us no more than 5x & it was during the 1st couple years me & Cass started living together. He could get a ride with their mom or Cass's other brother if he wanted to.

Lately W has been putting more & more pressure on Cass to move closer to him & Cass often says she does not want to move to that town for various reasons. During a phone call a couple months ago Cass told him again that the bus system there was unreliable & me & her cant drive. W said he could bring us places. During that same phone call they discussed plans for Cass to come visit him the next week & Cass asked W to pick her up at the bus stop when she got there & W told her that she'd have to wait there a while or walk because he did not want to wake up earlier. Cass ended up hanging out at a store for a bit waiting for him to wake up & get her. W claims moving will be better for Cass because Cass will not have to spend nights there & could visit him more often instead for less time. Cass tries to tell him why she does not want to move there & W tells her that he'll kill himself if she doesn't move closer to him & then she she will regret it. I do not want to move there for various reasons as well & W being able to have more influence & control over Cass is one of them. For the most part me & Cass are both happy with where we currently live. The only reason Cass would move to be closer to him is because he's pressuring her to, she wants to spend time with him, & she would blame herself if he were to actually kill himself. W also insist to Cass that I must be cheating on her while she's gone a few nights since me & her don't have sex & I spend a lot of time on computer. I think he's intentionally trying to sabotage me & Cass's relationship instead of him simply not comprehending how any guy could like being in a sexless relationship.

None of us have money to move anyways & W says for me to ask my parents for money. I asked them for money to move into our current place 3 years ago after we lived at our old place for 7 years & the living situation rapidly went down hill in the last couple years which is why we had to move. Plus my dad retired a couple years ago after we moved & inflation is a lot higher than dad's Social Security increases. My parents are lower-middle class whereas Cass's family has always been poor but I do not want to ask my parents for money if we don't really need it.

Cass made W an authorized user on one of her credit-cards a few years ago to use for emergencies & W ended up maxing it out by wasting his own money buying LOTS & LOTS of digital movies. W is paying at least the minimum payment on Cass's card every month at least but the minimum-payment would be unaffordable for Cass if he was not paying it. W also pressures Cass to buy the movies he does. He could give Cass his log-in info for his accounts so she could watch his movies for free instead of also buying them. Cass does not know how to say No to pressure & she also ran up a lot of credit-card debt on other cards as a result of her buying movies. She has problems with impulse spending.

Anyways a couple days ago I was sitting kinda next to Cass playing GTA 5 on Xbox One & she was playing some game on a PS4 that W had sold her a while back because he was needing money & she felt pressured to help him out(our TVs are near each other) when she got her weekly call from W. One of the 1st things W said to her was almost exactly like this "You claim that your here for me Cass but I'm thinking how can you possibly be here for me when your all the way over in...". Cass tried to explain that she was there for him just as much as he was there for her but W would not listen. He was pressuring Cass to agree to moving there & she told him that he needed to convince me of moving. She wanted W to talk to me then & I told Cass that me talking to him was a bad idea. I was angry at the way W almost immediately started guilt-tripping Cass when he called & I knew me talking to him would NOT go well. She handed me the phone anyway & W tried to explain to me how it would be better for Cass to move because she could see him easier. That's when I snapped at him. I told W that Cass goes out of her way to spend 3 nights with him every single month & he can not even bother to come visit Cass more than 5x in 10 years so how the f#ck could he possibly know what's best for her. He tried to tell me about how he buys food for her & cooks when she's there & I told him that he was pressuring her to buy fast-food for him when she visited him for a long time till she quit giving in due to her not being able to afford it & she was his guest & he wanted her there so the least he could do is feed her. He had sometimes promised to pay her back for the food but later refuse to pay claiming that she said it was a gift which is a complete lie but I didn't get into that with him. I basically told him I'm sick of him manipulating her when it's obvious he does not give one flying f#ck about her. That's when Cass took the phone from me & ran in the bedroom for a couple hours.

When she came back in the living-room she told me how I made W cry & that W had always been nice to me & that we should be friends since we both have Aspergers. I told her that I am not responsive for making a narcissistic a$$hole cry by calling him out on his BS. He needs to take some accountability for his own feelings & behavior instead of trying to make Cass responsible. I also said that I have always been nice to him till now but I will stand up for her when I see her being pushed into a corner like that. Just because me & him both have autism does not mean that me & him are required to be friends. I can NOT be friends with someone who treats her like cr@p & I know she would be majorly upset if someone treated me as horribly as W treats her. Just because Cass is my girlfriend does not mean that by extension I'm required to pacify W or take any responsibility for him. Cass is my top priority & responsibility & I will do what I can to help her & protect her from someone trying to hurt her even if that risk her getting upset with me sometimes .

W says that I'm over-protective, jealous, & controlling of her. I will NOT deny any of that. I'll also admit that I tell her that she needs to stand up for what she wants more & put herself 1st sometimes instead of always giving in to what her family wants. She needs to set some boundaries with them. I know it would normally be extremely concerning if a romantic partner was trying to alienate someone from their family but I really do believe that it's warranted in this kinda situation. Cass is unstable sometimes. She's sometimes impulsive & does things she regrets. She often makes decisions based on her possibly feeling responsible & guilty if she doesn't do something. She sometimes gets confused easily & has meltdowns or shutdowns when she's stressed, pressured or overwhelmed. She says I'm more level-headed & logical about making decisions but she's the one who makes the majority of the decisions within our relationship. I'm not saying that I should be making decisions for her but if she were going to make a major decision like moving, the person who's been living with her for the last 10 years & would be moving with her & deals with her day to day when she's in bad mood & who tries his best to take care of her & be supportive of her should have more influence in the decision than someone who only wants to spend time with her on his terms & uses suicide threats as way to maintain control over her.

I do not think I should be completely passive & let her do whatever she feels at the time without objecting & I just tag along with whatever. Watching this abuse breaks my heart & I don't know what to do here.

"I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem!"
~King Of The Hill

"Hear all, trust nothing"
~Ferengi Rule Of Acquisition #190 ... cquisition


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,510
Location: Queens, NYC

23 Dec 2022, 11:38 pm

Definitely stay where you are. Don’t move close to that guy. He will use you both totally.