Giving money to a brother without telling the wife?

@ethanmama (1746)
Philippines
April 13, 2007 1:28pm CST
I just came across this in an advice column. This man is married for 4 years, with a stable relationship with his wife and has one child. He is secretly giving money to his brother for the past few years without telling his wife. His reason was that he was sure she would object to his giving money to the brother. The brother is married, has three children and has no permanent job. Now, the wife found out and is very upset and this has caused a strain in their relationship. What do you think about this situation? What would you have advised the guy?
9 people like this
32 responses
@lingli_78 (12845)
• Australia
14 Apr 07
well, i will say that he had made a very grave mistake by doing something that he knows that his wife would definitely object to secretly... trust and open communication is very important in any kind of relationship and the man had betrayed his wife's trust to him by doing this... in fact, i ask my husband to read this post together with me just to remind him because he also likes to lend money to his siblings in the past which i don't like... i think the man had to ask for forgiveness from his wife and promise her that he won't do it again in the future... honesty is always the best policy...
1 person likes this
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I agree. The wife MIGHT HAVE agreed to help but to keep it a secret from her is not good. Who knows what other secrets he might keep?
• Canada
14 Apr 07
Money can cause a LOT of trouble in relationships. If a couple is not honest with each other about finances, they can run into some real difficulty. In this case, I would have advised the guy to discuss with his wife that his brother needed money and to come to an agreement together about whether or not they could help him and, if so, to mutually decide how much to give. Since he chose to keep it a secret, he not only knew his wife would object but I assume he also knew that his own family couldn't REALLY afford it. Having said that, in the wife's position, I would have ONLY agreed to give the brother money if they were in an emergency situation -- such as the brother had been injured and lost his job or someone was sick... things of that nature. Under NO circumstances would I agree to give someone money over a period of FOUR YEARS when they have a spouse, children and NO JOB. It's not up to anyone to be supporting the brother. He needs to get out, find and keep a job and take care of his own financial responsibilities for his own family.
1 person likes this
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I agree. Helping a sibling out in an emergency or for a short time is okay. But for four years? It's not good for the brother to be always be dependent.
@vanities (11376)
• Davao, Philippines
14 Apr 07
well for me ,,the husband should let his wife know that he is giving some help on his brother ..so that misunderstanding could have been avoided..i dont think his wife will be mad if in the first place he had told her
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
That's a possibility. The lack of trust is an issue here, aside from the giving of money.
14 Apr 07
There is nothing wrong to give money to broter who has no permanant job. Brother is a blood relation, and looking after the welfare of brother is not a sin. scondly.because his brother is in need,helping is not against law. Wife need not be intimated and informed about the help doing to his own brother. It is not at all wrong .Does the wife keep silent when her brother or sister were in such need, and she iscapabe of helping hem.How many wives inform their husbands about the help she is doing to her familymembers Itcan not be treated a an offence or crime......?
1 person likes this
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
No, it's not a sin to help others. But to keep it a secret from the spouse? It's certainly no crime, but it does not help the situation either.
• United States
14 Apr 07
I think the guy should not have kept this from his wife, especially since he knew she would object. That should have been a clue to him right there that it was not a sound decision. His wife has every right to be angry with him, and that would be the first thing I would tell him as a friend. I would also counsel him not to keep such a secret in future, but instead to discuss it with his wife before doing anything related to money. Money is already a touchy subject and fights about money have broken up more than one marriage. He needs to sit down with her and talk to her about it, explain why he didn't tell her and apologize and say that he will not make decisions related to money without discussing it with her first from now on. Then he needs to stick to that promise. Finally, he needs to sit down with his brother and explain that he can no longer give him money, and why. The brother needs to take responsibility for himself and his family, and get some kind of a job. It's one thing to help a family member out temporarily, especially when it is obvious the family member is trying, but it sounds to me as though his brother may be taking advantage if this has been going on for years. It's time for a little tough love.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
You analyzed the whole situation from all the angles. I like your response!
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
My advice to the guy? Don't get caught! Heheheh. Seriously, he should of just told his wife about it on the get go. Marriage is about trust and what he did was underhanded. Let's say his wife is against it and would probably have gave him a hard time at least he still had the moral high ground and just explain to the wife that he can't turn his back on his brother. As for the brother with the financial problems, he should get a job or ask his wife to get a job if he is incapacitated in some way. I mean, work is hard but it's gotta be done. Only a lucky few can go through life without a job so he better get one. Now, because he kept his giving to his brother a secret there's a strain on the marriage. Only thing he could do now is admit to have made a mistake and try to win back the wife's trust.
1 person likes this
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I totally agree with you! Those were my thoughts exactly.
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
if i am the wife, i'd feel bad about it too. if his brother really needs help and he is trying to do his part by trying to look for a job but he can't really have one, i'm sure the wife will understand. it is just a matter of explaining what the situation is. i can relate to the brother because i am an older sister too. if it is just possible to help my sibling, i'd do everything that i could just to ease their life.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I agree. It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, don't you think?
@Karmalina (647)
• Australia
14 Apr 07
If my spouse wouldn't want me helping a family member that truly needed it I don't know if I could be with them. Of course I could understand it causing trouble if we were suffering because of it, but in general I think it's your place to help your family in their time of need in the best way you can. I would suggest the man tell his wife that he is sorry that he didn't be honest with her about it, but his brother really needs his help and the only reason he didn't tell is because he was afraid of what's happening right now!
1 person likes this
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
Yes, I agree with you on some level. There are plenty of issues here. Giving the money is only the tip of the iceberg. There is also the issue of trust, since he kept it a secret from his wife...He should have told her from the start...Sure she may object, but then at least it's no secret. Also, the brother is able bodied but not working permanently -- that's another issue here. Although I would probably help my family in time of need, this guy has been bailing his brother for YEARS! Can't the brother (or his wife, for that matter) find a source of income in that span of time?
• Malaysia
13 Apr 07
i think it is ok to give the money to his brother as his brother has no permanent income somore his brother has 3 children. The guy should explain to his wife properly and make her understand the purpose of doing so if the money given is not earn by his wife. At the same time, try to find out why his wife want to object this action. After knowing the reason behind it, then onlt the guy can tackle the problem effectively.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I think the wife already has some problems with budgeting the money since his income is not that high at all. She wants to be able to save something for their children's education too.
• Singapore
13 Apr 07
This is a tough cookie. Both the wife and brother are close relations. But if the man is not straining his family to give to the brother, I guess it is ok.
1 person likes this
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I agree, if that is the situation. But his wife is already having problems budgeting his income and he has no savings at all. And this situation has been going on for years. His brother is able bodied, not sick or disabled or anything. He should be able to earn for his own family, don't you think?
@charms88 (7543)
• Philippines
13 Apr 07
If the husband have enough money to support his wife and kid, I don't see any reason why the wife would object to him giving money. But the brother should know that the man also have a family of his own. The brother should learn to stand up of his own and to look for a stable job.
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I'm not really sure if the wife is upset because he's been handing money to his brother, or she is upset because he kept it a secret from her. I forgot to mention that the guy doesn't earn much too and they don't have any savings at all.
@limosonia1 (1560)
• United States
13 Apr 07
Many siblings do this in order to help out there brother or sister because of guilt. Usually the spouse objects with reason but it is hard because they are blood. I was in a similar situation and did give my brother money. I understood why my husband was upset and he understood why i did what i did. It's out of love for your sibling and nieces and newphews. But you have to realise after awhile that they have to stand on their own two feet. Which is why I stopped inturn now my brother and I don't speak it's hard but I know I did what's best.
1 person likes this
@ethanmama (1746)
• Philippines
14 Apr 07
I agree with you.
• India
14 Apr 07
I agree that the life partner should have been told atleast after the marriage about the need to help his brother financially.
1 person likes this
• India
14 Apr 07
The man is a kind hearted person, who wants to help his brother. There is nothing wrong in doing this. As he has been helping his brother for years, he could have tried to convince his wife, so that she could also understood it. Now, she might be angry because she herself has found out the truth. He can help his brother by getting him a good job, which will save his brother's life as well as his life
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Apr 07
I would have told this guy that he should maybe help his brother out by finding him some work, as giving him money all the time is just aiding him and keeping him in the same helpless position where he becomes dependant on help and forgets how to help himself.
1 person likes this
@collstarx (1177)
• Indonesia
14 Apr 07
I think no problem about this situation, because he is giving money for that brother , but sometimes women angry if we give some money for family without that permision. I think said sorry and promise not do it again is inaf. Best regards
1 person likes this
@Marie2473 (8521)
• Sweden
14 Apr 07
If i was the wife I would be so angry and dissapointed. NOT because of the money but because of the lying. Trust and honesty is priority number one for me in a relation and here thereĀ“s obviously a lack of them both.. He should sleep on the couch for a few months for sure =)
1 person likes this
• India
14 Apr 07
i think whatever he did is just bcas he loved to both his brother and his wife.and when his wife knew abt his dids she was getting upset and i it is obivious.the matter is the point for that his wife is upset.if his wife is upset just bcas that his husband made the secret this thing and not told her abt this. then there is no problem and his wife is right to that point.then in this case person just say sorry to his wife and do whatever he can to her happy. but if his wife is upset for money matter then she is wrong bcas if he help his brother then this is his duty that he should help his brother if he needs help.as i think.in this case person try to make her understnad that he is his brother and it is my duty that i should help bcas his brother condition is not good.
• Romania
14 Apr 07
I don't have a borther or wife , but I think I would give my brother some money without telling my wife because first of all he is my brother , and I would always help him .
1 person likes this
@magnel (2263)
• India
14 Apr 07
Yes, thats good that the husband is helping his brother, but the wrong that he did is not informing his wife about it. The husband should help his brother find a job, rather than just go on giving money... that will make him totally dependent on others...
1 person likes this