A Champ is concerned about her younger brother who has been dumped twice by women he loves. He needs to make a list of the qualities in a mate that are important.
By Tom P Blake - Finding Love after 50
Why is a sister's concern about a 32-year-old brother a topic when the title of the newsletter is "Finding Love After 50?"
Note from Tom: At the end of today’s column, I have added the responses received from our subscribers. You will likely enjoy reading them.
Because, at our age, relationships aren't just about finding love for ourselves. They are about loving family members and friends and stepping up to help them when they face adversity. Most of us have helped a sibling get through a difficult time and/or a sibling has helped us. Such is the case with Shannon, Colorado, who is worried about her brother, but wonders if it's time he moves on with his life.
She wrote, "My brother is 32 and is going through his second divorce. He is sooo hurt right now. His first wife cheated on him, but he still loved her dearly and wanted to get counseling, but she already had her mind made up."
"A few years later, he met a gal with cute twin girls and they got engaged after six months and married at one year. This seemed like disaster from the get go, but I kept my mouth shut.
"It appears I should not have kept silent, but that's water under the bridge. He felt sorry for her trying to make it on her own with two little ones to raise. He wanted to care for her too much. She seemed to marry him for support. He walked right into a trap.
"After two years, they're divorced and he is in pain and of course, missing those girls he so dearly loved. The divorce has been final for two weeks. He really wants a family of his own and he thinks with two divorces at age 32, he won't ever meet anybody and have kids."
Shannon says her brother has had a tough year. He went through the divorce and then two and a half months ago, out of necessity (he had lost his job in Arizona), he moved 1000 miles away to take a new job in a small plain states city. He loves the job.
"He is feeling very alone right now. I just listen every day that he calls, but it's kind of wearing on me. I wonder if his calling me, sometimes twice a day, is a little overboard. I'm starting to sound like a broken record and wonder if I'm hindering his ability to heal because he has become so dependent on talking to me when he's down," Shannon said.
"Is there a point when I need to say, 'Quit feeling sorry for yourself and get this gal out of your mind?'"
Shannon says he is going out and doing things with friends, "But almost daily, when work days are slow, he breaks down and cries and gets real blue. If he ever took his own life, I would never forgive myself. He hasn't mentioned this, however.
"Do you have any advice I can give him or what role can I play to help him get through this? How do I convince him there's a rainbow on the other side?"
I understand Shannon and her brother's close friend feeling like they want to tell the brother to stop feeling sorry for himself and to get over his ex and move on. But, in his current fragile state, and Shannon's concern about his stability, now is not the time to be too harsh on him.
Instead, she should convince him to seek counseling--and soon. The most important thing he needs is to learn to live and be happy on his own. He needs to stop worrying about meeting a replacement wife and having kids of his own. That will come in due time. At 32, he's just a pup. He needs to understand that often, out of adversity, comes opportunity.
He needs to analyze with the counselor what went wrong with his two marriages and work on not letting the same thing happen again. He seems to be selecting the wrong type of women for him. Shannon said he argued often with both wives. She added that he married both women based mainly on looks. He should make a list of the qualities in a mate that are important--important characteristics he seeks and put more emphasis on heart, soul and kindness.
I don't know enough of the details to understand why he's so blue, but part of the reason has to be that he's living in such a remote and isolated part of the country. He's not meeting single women. At night, he's got too much time to think.
The chances of meeting women where he lives are slim. He needs to reach out beyond his geographical area. The best way to do that is through online dating. When he gets that going, his entire outlook could change from feeling sorry for himself to meeting someone with whom he could make a new start.
At first, I thought a group like Parents Without Partners might be a good place to start. He would meet others dealing with similar loses. But after thinking about it, perhaps that's not what he needs. Because, there, he might end up meeting another woman with children and slip back into the same situation that he was in during his second marriage.
Members of this group have gained 50+ years of experience from living life. Is there anything that we've learned that would help Shannon guide her brother through his dark days. What would you say her to?
Responses: Responses to Shannon advising her brother
Karen, "Shannon cannot fix her brother, nor make him happy. He must do that on his own. Advise him to get counseling right away! It sounds like he doesn't like himself very much and that he needed these women to complete him and that is a recipe for disaster.
"When I figured that out and realized that a man could not complete me nor make me happy, that I had to do that for myself first-Wow-What a difference my life has been. I love myself and apparently it seems, makes it easier for others to like me as well.
"In addition, I've stopped feeling that I'm sooooo lucky to have a man correspond with me, when in fact, we are both lucky. I also agree with you about the internet dating for her brother, but perhaps after he has worked on his self-esteem first."
Suzanne: "The big problem in our society today is the desire for instant solutions to the big issues in our lives. At 32, after making two big mistakes in his love life, I am sure he is beating himself up. It was hard for me at 60 to understand that sometimes you just need to let time be the healer.
"But, as the sister is so far away, I think suggesting counseling is the best way around this. I also think he shouldn't try dating for a while, what he needs is friends to hang with. There are so many chat rooms on the internet, maybe he should try special interest chat rooms."
Brenda, "Shannon should continue being supportive of her brother, no matter how tiresome that it may become. Two nights ago, I was on the phone for over two hours listening to a friend who was going thru a tough time, even though I was tired after a long day's work, and she was repeating herself, and I had to let a call from my boyfriend go to v-mail, I was there for her in her time of need. I know that it meant a lot to her that I was there for her, listening, supporting, caring, etc. She has done the same for many times.
"Staying busy is important. He could joining Meetup.com-not a dating site. It is a free-to-join, interest-based activity group website. They are world-wide. If there isn't a "meetup" for any of his interests in his area, then he could start one of his own. It's a great website that brings together folks who have similar interestes, such as biking, hiking, sailing, kayaking, dining out, night life, book clubs, fishing, camping, etc. You name it, it's there! He never has to be bored or lonely again, unless he wants to. And of course, meetup also provides the possibility of meeting someone nice with similar interestes who could turn into more than just friends.
"Also, he should slow down a little. He seems too quick to marry. What's the rush??