Dear Dr. Phil: My brother wants me to break up with my girlfriend; I’m torn

When can I move on from my brother and leave him alone? Me and my brother. We’re on bad terms. We didn’t speak for seven years. But we have been in contact recently, and…

Dear Dr. Phil: My brother wants me to break up with my girlfriend; I'm torn

When can I move on from my brother and leave him alone?

Me and my brother. We’re on bad terms. We didn’t speak for seven years. But we have been in contact recently, and now I feel trapped. I don’t know what to do.

My brother just got out of prison and wants me to break up with my girlfriend. I’m afraid if I say no he’ll try to kill me, but he has no reason to do that. I can’t let him have control over my relationship with my girlfriend.

The first and deepest thing I want to say is that my brother is a bad person, and he does not deserve to have you in his life, nor do you deserve to share it with him. However, I do not know how to make that clear to him, so I’m in a quandary. What is the best thing to do? Should I visit him? Do I try to mend fences? If I don’t visit him, I feel I’ll fail him?

Me and my brother have a history of abuse. My brother broke me and sexually abused me while I was little. He spent years assaulting me with his fists, and when he was 18 he raped me. My mother was a horrible person, so she wanted to protect my brother, so she never reported him. He came up with a way to make the problem go away for her and me, by threatening to destroy our relationship if she reported him.

My mother tried to make her false allegations disappear, but my brother keeps coming after us, in all sorts of bizarre ways. She sued my mother for sexual abuse, got away with it and came back after her divorce to try to hurt my mother. He told my sister and we all pleaded for her to not report him, as he said we wouldn’t be able to handle going through the hearing process. At this point my sister made a deal with him to get herself out of the process in exchange for moving to Oregon. She still can’t afford to move, and there is no way my brother will give up his freedom.

Despite my brother’s threats and assaults, I wish him no ill will. I would love for us to reconcile and have the same relationship we had growing up. I desperately want to be my brother’s friend, and stay out of his business, yet he refuses to stop talking about me.

I want to live this out in peace with my girlfriend, but she is not the right person for me. She still has feelings for my brother, and I am so afraid of being hurt that I cannot confront him. I want to protect her from all of this, but I don’t know what to do.

— P.

First, tell him you don’t want to have any contact with him ever again. Tell him you would love to talk to him and get to know him, but that once and for all, you are cutting him off completely. Tell him you’re also thinking about getting rid of your iPhone, which he controls, because you can’t access your family history without one. Tell him that you’re willing to give him another chance, when he gives up his iPhone, and get you out of your house. Tell him that you just want to get to know him without his constant threats.

P. — Me

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