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Some advice please

(23 Posts)
Granmaz Tue 19-Nov-19 17:11:32

Need a bit of advice, my brother has been in a relationship with a lady for about 8 years. He lives and works in NY so only comes home for a few weeks in the Summer and then at Christmas, but up to a couple of years ago he was paying for this lady to visit him in NY. Over the last couple of years their relationship has become a bit ‘turbulent’, mainly I think, because he has stopped offering to pay for her flights to NY (he’s 65 and says he needs to start thinking about finances in his retirement). Anyway I have become quite close to this lady, I think she knows the relationship is on the wain, but doesn’t want to accept it, she says she wants to remain friends with me even if they split but whenever I see her, she gets very emotional and just wants to get info out of me, re my brother (and to be honest, I don’t know any more than she does) I feel I’m in the middle of the pair of them, both telling me ‘stuff’ about the other and I really don’t want to take sides. Do you think it’s possible to remain friends with someone in these circumstances and if not, how do I go about telling her?

EllanVannin Tue 19-Nov-19 17:21:16

Do you feel that the relationship with this woman is worth anything ? If so, carry on with it but tell her that you don't wish to be a go-between in all this and that you're not there to be quizzed about what your brother does. The same goes for your brother really.
This is between her and your brother so you should not be made to feel that you have to take sides. Leave them to sort things out for themselves.

BradfordLass72 Wed 20-Nov-19 07:19:42

I agree with EllanVannin - make it very clear that you will not talk about your brother.

If you value her friendship, tell her so but make this aspect very clear and a condition of you continuing to see her. After all, she shouldn't be asking you, should she?

I wonder what sort of relationship it is when he's more or less permanently in New York!

Perhaps it's the idea she's lost her last chance for companionship in her old age which is upsetting her?

Granmaz Wed 20-Nov-19 08:11:48

Thank you both for taking the time to respond, you have both backed up what I’ve been thinking in my own mind, which is very reassuring. thanks thanks

Wilma65 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:25:49

Would you be friends with this lady if it were not for her relationship with your brother? If she is a close friend I agree with other posters tell her that you will not be a go between and don’t give her any info on your brother

NotSpaghetti Wed 20-Nov-19 11:28:08

I agree with the other posters but have some other thoughts too..

Maybe when your brother comes for Christmas you could have a chat with him about the long distance relationship?
- If it really is just about the money for flights, maybe he should ask if she'd consider moving out there (assuming this us possible Visa wise).
- Or maybe your brother feels the relationship is over and he just needs to pluck up courage to end it properly.

It would be easier all round if everyone knew what they are dealing with.
Good luck!

Juicylucy Wed 20-Nov-19 11:35:04

I was in a fairly similar situation with 2 friends, when I had enough of being used for information I told one of the friends it made me feel uncomfortable and used. And guess what she stopped visiting me, so that told me she only wanted my friendship to see what she could find out, once I stopped giving info I was no longer any use to her.

glammanana Wed 20-Nov-19 11:45:11

GranmazDo you think your brother has met someone else nearer home and doesn't want to break the news to his friend,maybe he is hoping it will just fizzle out without becoming confrontational.
I would also look at the fact would this lady be a friend of yours without your brothers involvement maybe its time to cut all contact

Jishere Wed 20-Nov-19 11:54:43

Surely you have to give this lady a bit of time to heal and come to the realisation that its over. Is it really harmful that she asks after your brother? I mean she had emotionally invested him in.

jaylucy Wed 20-Nov-19 11:56:36

JuicyLucy, I have been in a similar situation when two long time friends that had married split up - the man had been an ex boyfriend in my teens!
In fact both were tapping me for info on the other!
Like others have said, it really depends on how close to this woman that you feel - but you need to say to her that whatever is going on between her and your brother is between the two of them and you will not discuss it with her.
Your brother also needs to see this woman face to face and tell her just why he wants the relationship to end, however difficult it is for him. My guess is that he has met someone else in NY and wants to move on, but he needs to be honest all round.

JanaNana Wed 20-Nov-19 12:16:57

This has put you in an awkward position really. As you have known her for eight years maybe she saw herself as eventually becoming your SiL and perhaps you might have wondered that also. I think I would have a chat with your brother when he's home for Christmas and tell him how awkward this could become for you. For now I would play it by ear and if it seems like she just wants friendship from you fair enough, but if it starts to feel like she she is just wanting to talk about your brother each time then you might want to nip it in the bud.

Yehbutnobut Wed 20-Nov-19 12:39:49

Just say ‘I’m not getting involved’.

fizzers Wed 20-Nov-19 12:43:03

Awkward, if you really like this lady then stay friends with her, no need to lose a decent friend, they are hard to come by.

Make it clear you won't talk about your brother and then see how the friendship goes after that, I'd tell your brother something similar - that you don't want him talking about her either.

ananimous Wed 20-Nov-19 12:53:51

I have been in this situation - having a few brothers myself, it would often happen when their affairs were waining... I think she is just using you. Sorry to be blunt. She will get false hope if you continue to talk about your brother with her, it's kinder to relinqhish her, and also let her find a new family for herself - it's never too late to find love.

Granmaz Wed 20-Nov-19 13:51:00

How wise you all are, I cant tell you how reassured I feel to read all your comments. My brother has made the decision to not come back to the UK this year at Christmas, so yes I have also suspected that he has probably met someone else and its so awkward that he hasn't properly dealt with this situation first, but I don't see it as my place to pass my suspicions on. I must admit I did think they would stay together, although I don't think my brother would ever get married again. We have always got on very well when we've been together and I am very fond of her but I have never seen her on a regular basis, although now she seems to want to be in touch more, which as you say suggests its only so she can quiz me about my brother.
Anyway, thank you everyone again, for all your thoughts and wise words, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. thanks thanks

BusterTank Wed 20-Nov-19 14:08:19

Just tell her you are willing to be her friend but you won't be discussing your brother . Then be up front with your brother about the friendship and tell him no information from him will be last on to her . By not talking about your brother you will see if this person wants to be a true friend .

Hetty58 Wed 20-Nov-19 15:39:47

I agree totally with BusterTank (and many posters above). It's quite possible to have a good friendship where some topics are off limits. I know two ladies who are long term best friends. The husband of one left her for the other. They remain best friends but never, ever talk about him!

Destin Wed 20-Nov-19 16:08:57

Just ask yourself where do your loyalties lie? If your friend is only interested in getting information from you about your brother when you meet up, this surely can’t be called a supportive and enjoyable two way friendship. It sounds as though she is trying to use you to vent her emotions.....certainly not an indicator of true friendship.

In the end it’s just kinder and makes more sense to step away from this so called ‘friendship’’s run it’s course!

TrendyNannie6 Wed 20-Nov-19 19:32:56

I wouldn’t get involved

Buffy Wed 20-Nov-19 20:48:06

I know it's had to accept, but you are being used.

welbeck Wed 20-Nov-19 21:50:34

i also think you are being used, and you need to step away.
I don't think you should confront her about it because she may not realise she is doing it, and will not be able to stop.
Best to let the association fizzle out. I think its generally best not to confide your thoughts feelings to someone you wish to distance yourself from. it gives mixed messages.
good luck. least said the better.

H1954 Thu 28-Nov-19 00:44:51

Personally, I think I would be tempted to tell the brother to tell the lady outright that he's no longer interested and no longer wants a relationship with her! Their relationship is not really any of your business so why should you be put in a situation where you are caught in the middle?!

Elliepops Sun 01-Dec-19 14:22:38

Granmaz,you asked how to tell. Easy peasy, be straight, practice what you are going to say then say it.
You both know where you stand.
If she doesn't bother to see you any more- tough, but, I think she will.
Just say it. Your getting in a state about something that is not your fault. Good luck
Good luck.