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Old 12-08-2017, 08:20 AM
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One of my great grandfathers married his brother's widow after both had lost their spouses in early old age. It did not go well.

"Aunt Ann" was a mean old biddy who was cruel to her young adult stepchildren and step-grandchildren. In a family reunion group photograph from around 1907, her eyes are beady, her hair is tightly slicked back, and she is the ONLY person wearing an apron - all the other ladies and the children are nicely dressed and the men are in suits. Subtext is clearly "I'm the only one slaving away while you all are all gussied up, you lazy things". My g-grandfather has a long-suffering look on his face. The stories about him are positive...

Family (horror) stories about "Aunt Ann" have percolated down through the generations through different stepchildren's descendants (she had no biological children of her own). These stories are consistent. She was a mean, hateful woman who made life miserable for those for whom she should have cared the most.

But she would have been a mean-spirited, judgmental, vindictive and hateful woman even if she had not married my great grandfather in a marriage of convenience.

The problem many have with in-laws marrying seems to derive from the transformation of a sibling-like relationship into a romantic one, and the associated moving on from the previous marriage(s) into a new relationship with a formerly sibling-like individual. That can lead to an "ick" factor for some - others feel differently.

Oh, yes, that "Mr. Jones" thing was just good manners - no doubt "Mr. Jones" was "Johnny" to his wife on private occasions, but she was demonstrating respect for him and her marriage by referring to his as "Mr. Jones" when speaking of him to others. Nothing to do with the closeness or distance of the relationship, just a custom of the time.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:32 AM
Location: Columbia SC
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First of all do not rush into anything. Secondly, if both single and not blood relatives, it is no one else's business what you two do.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:49 AM
Location: colorado springs, CO
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I wonder about expectations.

Obviously, bio brothers are going to share physical traits & mannerisms but they will each have there own strengths & weaknesses.

What if the 1st brother was really attentive to his wife: Always remembered & made surprise plans for her birthday, would pick up little things on his way home that he thought she might like, flowers, anniversaries ...etc.

But brother #2; although thoughtful & loving; just wasn't quite that organized & had to be prompted all the time. Some people are just that way; it's not a reflection of how much they care or how good of a person they are.

I just feel like that would sort of be a "set up to fail"; with the wife being disappointed regarding expectations she didn't even realize she had & brother #2 becoming resentful at her disappointment. Brothers can be really competitive anyway; how do you compete with a memory?
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:42 AM
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I was talking to my Sister last week regarding some of her In-Laws I had never met (or heard about). One of the stories involved her husband's cousin. This cousin-in-law's wife died at a young age 30 or more years ago. The cousin-in-law subsequently married his wife's best friend. They soon determined they were attracted to each other and married only because they both deeply missed the woman who had died. They divorced after a brief marriage but still remain friends.

Don't be hasty.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:51 AM
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,052,184 times
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Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
the widow of Beau Biden (Former VP Joe Biden's son) is dating her brother in law, Beau's younger brother. They bonded over their shared grief. I'm not saying it's common but it's not like it never happens.
And they took a lot heat about it in the media. The brother was married.

I'm sure it happens, but it's still weird and most people are not comfortable with it. I would not date my husband's friends. He doesn't have a brother. I'm not switching teams and dating either sister...yeah no. In many ways - to me - it would be like dating your own sibling. No thanks! Not something that floats my boat at all.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Some people will be wondering just when the relationship began. And odds are some number of them will be right to wonder.
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
That to me is like taking a date to a funeral it is just not done in my world . I also am of the group that would begin to wonder when the relationship truly started . Nope just no .
I don't think that worrying about what other people are going to think is a valid reason not to enter into a relationship with someone.

Assuming it's all above-board and that they did not start a relationship prior to the death of the husband/brother and that the brother isn't married or in a relationship, I fail to see the harm. If they did start the r'ship before the husband/brother died, that's immoral, but as long as they didn't murder him to be together, I still don't see the harm in continuing the relationship after his death.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:37 AM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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Back in the early 1900s, my grandmotherís sister died, leaving two young children. The widower married another of my grandmotherís sisters, who raised the two children as her own. They did not have children together, so Iíve wondered if it was only a marriage of convenience. They were married for over 50 years.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:19 PM
Location: Canada
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If you ARE both truly in love and this isn't just a bounce back from grief, then it's nobody's business but yours and your brother in law...
(unless he's married)?? Then I'd say EEKkk, you're in dangerous water of being in deep water on both sides of the family.
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lmk7 View Post

I think this is more common than many realize? After the death of a loved one, a spouse is often drawn to their best friend or sibling... Has anyone else been through this and fallen in love with your deceased spouse's (or partner or best friend's) living family member? How did you navigate it?
This happened recently in VP Joe Biden's family after his son Beau died of a brain tumor. The wife of deceased Beau switched to the brother of Beau, and they became a couple.

(I see this was mentioned in post #3 - sorry)
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by coschristi View Post
My great-great-great grandmother was left a 36 year old widow with 6 children when my great-great-great grandfather died in 1894 at the age of 37, from Pneumonia.

She assumed her late husbands role at the grocery store that he had been a co-owner of, with her brother in law. Two years later, her sister died at age 30, leaving the brother in law as a widower with 6 children.

They married in 1901 & raised the combined 12 children together, along with building a successful business & amassing quite a fortune in ranching land.

Apparently this used to be common in communities & was not only considered acceptable but actually the ďresponsible thing to doĒ, as joining forces helped otherwise single-parent households avoid becoming dependent on the charity of their community.
Now That would make a great Hallmark channel movie!
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