My brother will occasionally message me news about his ex. They were together for 13 years and have a son who is about 11, soon to be 12. They broke up probably a couple years ago now, turns out she was cheating.
Anyways, from what my brother says, the woman is nuts! His recent messages have been all about how she isn't doing any regular maintenance to her appliances or cars or anything. She doesn't have a working stove, her house is slowly falling apart, she blew the engine in the car because she would not put oil in it.. all the things a man of the house would normally do, she's letting go and won't attempt to do herself. I don't understand it either.. but that's not the point.
He messages me and tells me these sorts of things, and I don't really know how to respond. He tells me her oldest son won't speak to her, her middle child is wild and will probably turn to drugs soon if she hasn't yet.. and then there's the youngest child which my brother has partial custody of.. and his life seems to be getting ruined by the mother. The mom spent all her child support money on a tattoo and couldn't buy the boy any back to school clothes.. that sort of stuff.
Honestly, I don't know how to respond. I didn't know her that well.. see.. he's actually a foster brother, and we aren't super close. He's 16 years older than me and was pretty much already out of the house while I was being raised by his mother. So it's not like we get together for Sunday dinners anymore or anything.. we just chat on Facebook sometimes.. and usually the chats are him talking about what crazy thing his ex is doing now.
I get it that he wants to complain to anyone who will listen.. but I don't know what to say. I sit there staring at his words, dumbfounded, and at a loss.
It's not my place to jump on the bandwagon and start bashing her as well. From what I knew of her I liked her.. until she dumped him while he was going through major health problems. He has had multiple heart surgeries, and honestly I'm surprised he's still alive. I was mad that she couldn't stay by him while he was going through that and had to add more stress to him instead.
But as far as how she's raising her children, I don't know firsthand.. I'm just getting his story, and I want to be supportive for him.. but what do you do when all he wants to do is complain?
I've tried changing the subject and asking him how he's doing, but he ignored the question and just kept talking about her.
So my responses are generally "Wow, that's crazy! Why do you think she's doing that?".. just very simple and vague.
How do you respond to such things?