I’m So Furious With My Brother

I am furious with my brother for abuse. I have walked away from him. Now he wants me to come back in his life, but will not admit how terrible he is, or promise to change. He also says that I can’t change him. I know that things will get worse before they get better. Help.

Yes, you have the right to leave a relationship when you are no longer able to stay with someone. And of course it is a mistake for someone to abuse others to get what he wants. But maybe he really is someone who has repressed his abuse for too long. The way your brother is behaving and how often he lashes out could also indicate that he struggles with his anger, which could make it even harder for him to change. That’s not a good combination, and it’s not going to do much to help your brother get to a healthier place.

Because you know that he will get worse before he gets better, take a step back and think about why you’re doing this. Is he doing this just because he is a man? Or is it because he feels his struggle and anger unresolved? Talking to a therapist might be helpful, especially if you’re feeling like you don’t have any answers.

If he’s unwilling to stop, talk to a counselor instead. Work on the fear you have that he will resume the abusive behavior. And then, if he doesn’t stop, talk to a mental health professional again.

A great program for women can be found at helpwomenshealth.org, where you’ll find a list of therapists. Go to the site, look through the recommendations, and call them up if you’re not comfortable talking with your brother. If he won’t listen to you, get some help.

If you can’t talk to anyone else, write to us at Dear Prudence at [email protected] Please include your full name and city. We cannot respond to individual letters.

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