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AIBU to think DBro should care, even just a tiny bit ?

(19 Posts)
whenstrangethingshappen Mon 19-Sep-11 23:40:11

I suppose this is part rant as well as a AIBU

There is a 16yr age gap between my DBro and me. (I'm the youngest of 4 at 29)
Me and DH are in the midst of planning a big wedding celebration thing (we got married a year ago without telling anyone) We have 1 DC and I'm due again in Nov.
My Brother has never seemed to care.
He forgot about my A-level results day. He forgets my birthday (I know for a fact that my siss (1 and 2) remind him about it). He didn't show any interest about me going to uni or me graduating, He showed no interest when I moved to the otherside of the world straight after uni. He has never made an effort to get to know my DH (we have been together since I was a fresher at 18) or makes anything of my DC or ever asks about being pregnant. He forgot DC birthday. Has never asked a single question about me getting married or this reception we are planning
Didn't get DC a xmas present (I have no problem with that as they are short of money but would have liked to be told before hand as in family we have always bought presents for each others children)
I know he asks about DSis's(2) DCs (and when she was pregnant with them - she has 4), He made an effort with BIL. He phones up DSiss but never phones up me (I have to find out what is going on with him and him family via DSiss or DP)
He is married and they have 2 DCs. SIL is a bit prickly and I know finds our family a bit loud (which we are, always teasing each other etc). And I know she doesn't know how to take me. And never made any sort of effort with our family and DBro didn't encourage her to make one. But his attitude began way before they even met.

At his wedding his mum (we are half siblings but even he hates that and as far as the 3 of us are concerned we are full siblings and one of three) introduced me and my parents to his wife's (SIL) parents as 'DBro Dad and partner (DP have been married now for 31yrs together for over 37) and their child' And he didn't correct them. Now this happened about a decade ago but the thought still upsets me.

Really. He is my DBro and I love him.
But AIBU to think he should care a bit more/show he cares?
Or do I just count my loses and say yes I have a brother but not a 'big brother'?
He isn't the sort of person you could have a proper talk about this with.

redexpat Tue 20-Sep-11 00:42:04

Hmm tough one to call.

Maybe he feels that he just doesn't know you very well - he must have elft home when you were quite small. And because it's always been that way, he doesn't think to challenge it or change it, it's just the normal relationship he has with you, hence the fact that you don't feel like you can talk to him.

If you don't try and communicate these issues with him, you'll never know if he was just unaware or really didn't care. Is there some part of the upcoming wedding you could involve him in as a way in? A reading maybe? If you make a last effort and nothing changes then I think you can resign yourself to having a brother but not a big brother like you say.

Iliketothinkimnumber6 Tue 20-Sep-11 00:54:47

In an ideal world we would all have amazing siblings who we get on with like a house on fire and who are always there for us. But unfortunatly that world doesn't exist.
Would it be nice for you to have the sort of relationship with your DBro that it sounds like you have with your DSiss? Of course it would be.
So he isn't the sort of person of person who will talk about this stuff - but are you? if you are would that make it easier for you to initiate it?
as redexpat said maybe he doesn't know you very well and hence like this. But then I suppose maybe you feel the 'ball' has always been in his court so he should have made the first effort. (as he is a bit older)
You say he isn't like this with your DSiss. are they also your 'half siblings'?

But then is that what he is like? as in not very emphatic generally etc, because maybe that is just him.

That is probably no help at all. But maybe you should extend a branch to him one last time but maybe you are fed up of being the only one ever to do it. then maybe realise that it is just how it is between you, and that may hurt and be horrible but it is better than constantly feeling disappointed about it all.

Cathycomehome Tue 20-Sep-11 01:05:17

I speak as one who wishes she had a close relationship with a brother 10 months older. Don't worry. Blood is not necessarily thicker than water. Friends are better. I also have a brother 9 years younger.

My brothers and I will meet every Christmas and be polite to each other until our parents die. Then we'll be civilised til that process is done. That's it.

You don't have to
like your siblings.

whenstrangethingshappen Tue 20-Sep-11 01:22:15

Iliketothinkimnumber6 technically DBro and DSiss (who are twins) are 'full' siblings and i'm the 'half' one. And close to my 2 sis (lived with one as an adult as well)
And I am the sort of person who likes to talk about things and him emphatic? nope that is not one of his qualities.

Morloth Tue 20-Sep-11 03:50:49

He was basically an adult when you were born with a twin sister and a different mother.

Of course you guys are not that close.

I think you are expecting too much from someone who just isn't willing to give it.

You can't make him care, all you can do is realise that he isn't that interested and move on yourself.

He is the only boy as well isn't he? I can see why he just doesn't feel that connected to you TBH, it doesn't make him a bad person, just someone in a completely different life to you. You might find it easier to try to think of him as a sort of uncle who you see sometimes rather than a brother.

sunnydelight Tue 20-Sep-11 05:36:57

I think you have unrealistic expectations tbh (and I really don't mean that in a nasty way). He was 16 years old when you were born to his dad and a woman who isn't his mum, so I really wouldn't expect him to have a lot of interest in your life as you probably have very little, if any, "shared history". I think that's what cements relationships between siblings, the "remember whens", knowing the quirky things about your family that others don't etc.

As this obviously upsets you is there no way you could have a conversation about it? He is probably totally oblivious to how you feel, you do need to be prepared for the fact that he might be quite happy with the situation though. We can't force people to care for us if they don't want to.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 20-Sep-11 06:52:54

At least he's consistent and you know where you are with him. If someone blows hot and cold that's far more distressing, I think. Take people as you find them and appreciate them for what/who they are, rather than try to change them to what you want them to be.

Groovee Tue 20-Sep-11 07:25:40

I have the age gap of 14, 13 and 11 years between me and my half siblings. They're very close and I've always felt the odd one out as we were brought up under the same roof but they'd all left home by the time I was 9. I just have to consider that I'm off a different generation and life is different for us all.

troisgarcons Tue 20-Sep-11 07:26:42

There's a generation gap, he has nothing in common with you except a bit of shared blood.

I have a 12yr gap with my only brother. He left home when I was 3, and I dont remember seeing him again until I was 14. I can remember being terribly disappointed he wasn't interested in me - but why would he be?

He wouldnt even remember my birthday! He can remember names, but not anything else. To be fair - I have to ask what his grandchildren are called. They live in a completely different part of the country, I've only met one of his grand children and have a good relationship with her - and I have to admit, I'm completely disinterested in the other 3.

Springyknickersohnovicars Tue 20-Sep-11 07:36:09

I have to echo the sentiments of others, siblings don't have to be close, plus to be fair to him you did get married without telling him or the rest of your family, perhaps your family were hurt by that? As for holding on to things that happened 10 years ago that seemed pretty trivial even then, let it go, you'll be upset for the rest of your life if you hang on to really old stuff.

Many siblings aren't close, I'm not particularly close to mine, no big deal.

holyShmoley Tue 20-Sep-11 08:01:33

I agree with all the above, but wanted to add wrt to your SIL: I had a boyfriend who thought his family were SO funny with their teasing and jokes, what I saw was a family who were a pack of needlers, and even at twenty my gut instinct told me not to engage too deeply with them . Your brother might prefer her family's style.

ddubsgirl Tue 20-Sep-11 08:29:25

i have the same with my eldest bro,he always says to others im his step sister,im not!we have the same dad,we are half siblings,never get a card or a happy birthday,didnt come to my wedding but i had to go to his,never remembers my kids birthdays or comes to see us,i have given up trying to bother now,my other brother has cut us off so only family my kids have now are on thier dads side.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 20-Sep-11 08:37:50

OP... Your view and vision of your family and extended family is your own. The view from your DB's perspective is different, that's all. Everybody has a different view and of course they would. Some aspects will be common, many are not, but they're valid all the same.

From your post it sounds as if you like to compartmentalise everything neatly, DCs bought for, check - birthdays remembered, check - relationships acknowledged to outside people, check.... and so on. Your expectations need to be managed but it doesn't mean that if you can't 'check' everything on your list that your DB is not still your big brother. I have three brothers; the way they care makes me wonder sometimes if they do... and then something happens and I'm in no doubt at all that they DO.

Loosen up a little and accept your relationship with your DB for what it is, however it is. Ranting or railing at him will have no positive outcome and it won't even make you feel better as you won't get a satisfactory 'solution'. Just accept that some siblings have a more 'hands off' attitude than others but that they're still your family.

poormesomemore Tue 20-Sep-11 09:27:49

I know that the wedding incident happened 10yrs ago but something like that is bound to upset you and sometimes things like that can hurt us deeply to such an degree that we can never fully accept it or 'get over it'. It sounds like that is one of thoses things and it must hurt esp as if he does as you and DSiss do by referring to each other as just siblings (not a half anything) for someone to do that and then not act like it is upsetting.

I'm sort of in the same position (2 older 'half' siblings) and my DBro is a bit of a dick but then he is to DSis as wel so I just accept it. (there is again about a half generation age gap between me and the other two and that doesn't alter my relationship with DSis)
As it has been said in an ideal world he would care, he would show it and it would be wonderful. But count your blessings that you have 2 wonderful DSis who you get on with many people dont even have that.
At the end of the day you cant make him care, but to want him too YANBU at all.

Oh and too people who say about big age gap, 'not growing up together' not having very small childhood memories does not mean you have nothing in common. Having things in common is more than that, memories of adult christmas, holidays, the way your parents act, grandparents, cousins, family house and belonging all bind you. You do not need a 3 yr age gap to have a shared past and something more in common than blood.

Oh and if your parents have been together for about 37 yrs that must mean that he and your DSiss where relatively young when your DP got together. Did they grow up with your DPs? because if they did - then suppose you where raised more like siblings close in age. If not maybe he didn't know you very well.
Having such a age gap means sometimes you have to work harder to be close and have a relationship with your siblings but it doesn't mean you can't have that sort of relationship with them.

Rowgtfc72 Tue 20-Sep-11 17:02:30

Same position as Cathycomehome. Have tried to keep in touch with my bro but he just doesnt seem interested.

TheFeministsWife Tue 20-Sep-11 18:15:50

I don't think the age gap or half sibling thing has anything to do with it as OP is still close to her other 2 sisters who are half siblings and a lot older than her. MY DSD is 10 years and 14 years older than my dds and they are all very close. I would hate it if they ended up like this in the future.

OP I'm sorry your brother is like this with you. As he's always been like this maybe it's time to cut your losses? It may hurt and be hard at first but in the long run it'll be the best thing for you.

lesley33 Tue 20-Sep-11 18:33:53

This sounds like my OH. She comes from a family of 5. She is the youngest and her oldest brother is 15 years older. They hardly know one another and very rarely talk. It is on both sides - but they don't really show any interest in each others lives.

My OH is close to 2 other siblings and stays in rough contact with the other. When I asked her why she has no real contact with eldest brother, she said that he feels like a distant relative rather than a brother as she doesn't really know him.

So when they talk it tends to be small talk. And tbh I think in general women tend to be better at keeping family contact and family relationships going. Often in families it is the woman who buys cards and sends them to relatives on both sides. Your SIL isn't interested in you, so she hasn't done this.

So I think it is down to the large age gap, the fact that he is a brother rather than a sister and the fact that your SIL isn't bothered about contact.

takemebacktosmallville Tue 20-Sep-11 19:45:39

OP to want your DBro to care YANBU but from what you discribe you may have to admit to yourself that you are never going to have the sort of relationship with him that you want. It will take time to get over that but in the long run it will be better for you.

and can I second thefeministwife about not thinking it is about an age gap etc.

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