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Differing Degrees of Betrayal

How many chances do you give people? I’ve heard the adage about fooling me once, and the one about never giving people a third chance, but there are differing degrees of being burned. There’s active and passive burning. My brother shut my wife out while I was on deployment, because his wife and mine didn’t get along. I moved her from Virginia to Texas before I left so our families could look after her. He told me before I left to stay out of the fighting so I did. But he then passively joined in the fight by not giving her the support she needed while her husband was away.

He’s nice to me and the wife when I’m there. This isn’t the first time he’s shut her out. He did it during my last deployment, too. I guess this means I can’t count on him to morally support my wife when I’m gone. If he failed to perform brotherly duties when I need him is he still my brother? If he didn’t take any active action did he still burn me? How bad is this offense? It feels really bad in my heart. I feel duped and betrayed. I’ve already confronted him about it. Is he worth my efforts to keep the relationship going?

I can’t tell if this is a major betrayal or a minor one. If he who steals and egg will steal a chicken too, then will he who betrays a little betray a lot too? -Carl


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