It’s important to be loyal to and to take care of our family. But when one of our family members is abusing someone else, who are we responsible for protecting?
One woman decided she needed to defend another woman and help her file a restraining order, even though it was against her own brother.
The OP (Original Poster) shared her situation on the “Relationship Advice” subReddit, explaining how it had ruined her relationship with her brother, as well as her family.
The OP stated to the thread:
“My family hates me because I helped my [53-year-old] brother’s ex-girlfriend get a restraining order against him.”
The OP explained how her brother harbored a lot of resentment for his ex-girlfriend.
“My brother hates his ex-girlfriend with a passion. I don’t know the exact details of the entire relationship, but she broke up with him because he was cheating on her with numerous women.”
“She’s the only woman who ever lived with him and he assumed she should have put up with it.”
He showed his resentment through threats, vandalism and even stalking.
“It’s been 6 years and my brother still talked about her often in terrible ways.”
“How he wanted to run her over with his car, strangle her, burn her house down, kill her husband, kill her sisters, kill her parents, call into her husband’s workplace and claim he’s a drug addict, call CPS and lie to them so her baby can be taken away, hire men to harm her.”
“This was all said in texts, in person and phone calls (when he started to threaten her life I recorded him and took screenshots).”
“He would often drive past her house and he claimed he keyed her car.”
“Things crossed the line when he found out which clinic she worked at and called in claiming she was a prostitute and he was a client.”
The OP finally had enough and did something about it.
“My family refused to do anything about it and long story short I’m one of the reasons why she successfully filed a restraining order.”
Helping her brother’s ex had surprising repercussions for the OP.
“My brother has cut contact with me and my family is torn.”
“I really don’t know what to do. [This] fiasco was years ago, but I’m still feeling the sting.”
“I told him to stop multiple times, but was there something else I could have done?”
Fellow Redditors commented on the thread, sharing their thoughts on the restraining order, the brother and the family as a whole.
Some Redditors wrote in simply to confirm that the OP had done the right thing.
“You did the absolute right thing. Have you explained to your parents why she wanted a restraining order? Shown the messages and really made it clear why it happened? If your family still thinks you were in the wrong, they are all terrible and dangerous people.” – messyaurora
“I agree what OP did was the best option for his ex’s safety and to get him help for his anger issues. Abusive ex’s start out like this and they end up doing worse and worse things.”
“Sometimes they can keep [at it], getting the satisfaction at cutting their tires and scaring them but other times they don’t stop until they are dead along with everyone they love.”
“It can go on for years and the psychological and emotional abuse is horrendous.”
“What she did was hard but I am proud of her. She helped that woman from who knows what sort of possible h**l.” – HauntedHealer
Despite the family claiming the OP’s brother was “all bark and no bite,” Redditors argued he had already “bitten” the girlfriend repeatedly.
“He did call her workplace, so he has bitten. I’m sorry your family are angry with you, it sucks, but even threatening any of that is not okay.”
“I hope with time your family will understand you better. You have done the absolute right thing and I hope that brings you some consolation.” – messyaurora
“Not to mention he already admitted to keying her car once. No telling what else he may have done and not admitted to. So, he has bitten at least twice.” – wwwtf20
“‘He did call her workplace, so he has bitten.'”
“Yep, but I’ll go a bit further: his bark is bad enough. Apparently, the family thinks it’s OK for him to harass this woman, as though that behaviour is harmless.”
“It’s not, and it’s enough of a reason for a restraining order all on its own. He doesn’t have the right to interfere in her life, full stop.” – Canadian_in_Canada
Other Redditors theorized that the OP’s family had been supporting the brother’s behavior his whole life.
“How do you raise that? How do you get to that age and still be… Well, I want to say a teenager, but that would be an insult to teens.” – bonboncolon
“It’s a toxic family. They protect their toxic son, mentally unstable AND a dangerous person to the society no matter what. OP did the right thing and she should be super proud of herself.”
“BUT she and her brother’s ex-girlfriend should protect theirself because he is dangerous. I’m telling this because everyday there are a lot of femicides with twisted stories… and we want a happy ending to women that suffer this kind of violence.” – Akiiara
“This. The moment he took any negative action that caused or could have caused her harm was proof that he was escalating things. He finally took the first step.”
“What you did was the right thing. Be glad he’s not in your life. I know he’s family, but you don’t need family like that in your life.”
“If the rest of your family is upset at you, remind him that he made the decision to try and cause her harm. If that’s not good enough for them, they’re enabling his behavior.” – Tekwardo
A few Redditors agreed and said the ex-girlfriend, and probably the OP, needed to protect themselves.
“He’s 53 and this is the first woman that’s lived with him, according to OP. I’m willing to bet that he’s been a real charmer his whole life.”
“I hope the ex had a good security and knows how to defend herself. A restraining order is just a piece of paper, after all.” – steinenhoot
“I know it sucks that your brother cut you off, but I really think you should consider this as lucky. I would honestly be concerned for YOUR safety in standing up for him, as he seems like the type of person to fixate on why he has been wronged or why this other person is bad.”
“Look out for yourself.” – mossie28
Dangerous situations are especially hard to get through when it involves a loved one, or when your loved ones don’t support you seeking safety. Unfortunately for this OP’s case, she had to struggle against both.