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To ask how you arrange to see siblings in different geographical areas

(30 Posts)
Minshu Mon 27-Jul-15 00:04:17

A bit of an odd title, and partly inspired by a number of other threads about adult sibling relationships and my own situation.

I moved to another part of the country over 20 years ago, about 3.5 to 4 hour drive away. The only family I still have in the town I grew up in is my brother, who has his own family. We get on alright and, although we aren't really close, I do care about him and his kids.

When our elderly relative in our home town was alive, I would be asked "when are you coming to visit, they want to see you?". I have been invited to drop in to see DB while I've been in the area visiting the relative, and we have had some lovely days together, but just as often have been told "you can't expect me to drop everything just because you say you are coming".

Now that our relative has passed on, I have no real reason to visit the town, unless I was to be invited. I have told DB that he is welcome to visit us any time (we have space for him to stay and we live in a nice area), but he says he couldn't travel this far (although he did come up to this area earlier in the year for a romantic weekend away...) He hasn't made any effort to invite me. I am sad that our relationship seems to have dwindled, and about the impact on the relationships with and between all our kids.

How do you arrange to see your siblings (or cousins, or other relatives) when you are in different areas and don't have a hub such as a parent to coordinate the visit? I can't help thinking that it shouldn't be this hard...

MillionToOneChances Mon 27-Jul-15 00:11:17

I invite myself, she invites me, I invite her. Whatever works. Does your brother have a lot of free time?

Minshu Mon 27-Jul-15 00:17:30

You make it sound so simple and logical - and like what happens with my lovely in-laws, and other relatives in other parts of the country / world.

To answer your question - it all depends. My brother has free time for him and his girlfriend to do things with their friends. They can travel similar distances for social visits. It's just me. I think I should take the hint...

MillionToOneChances Mon 27-Jul-15 00:22:52

Unfortunately, maybe you should sad Perhaps first you could try booking a holiday near him after consultation about when would be a good time for you all to spend a day together?

The5DayChicken Mon 27-Jul-15 00:25:15

No, it shouldn't be that hard.

I'm in a similar position in that my DB lives 5 ish hours' drive away, though I'm the one who has a child and is still in our home town.

I leave him to it if I'm honest as he's keeping everyone at arm's length nowadays (because he's been a royal twat and being told that doesn't do his superiority complex any favours) but normally, it's just a case of whichever of us is willing to do the journey calls the other, states they're thinking of visiting and asking for good dates. In the olden days, DB cleared his schedule and we had some family time. Not so much nowadays though.

And my DD (16mo) has come along on the journey with me multiple times, so I don't really believe having children is an excuse.

Kiwiinkits Mon 27-Jul-15 03:01:02

My three siblings and I co-own a shared holiday house by the beach. And we all meet there every Summer with all our kids. Fun.

Kiwiinkits Mon 27-Jul-15 03:01:30

Otherwise we keep in touch via FB.

Turquoisetamborine Mon 27-Jul-15 03:28:25

I have four brothers none of whom I'm particularly best mates with. I get on with all of their wives/girlfriends though so that is our central hub.
I arrange to take out their kids even though they rarely ask to see mine. One of the wives asks us for Sunday lunch fairly often and we return the favour.

junebirthdaygirl Mon 27-Jul-15 03:45:23

When my kids growing up they were far away from their cousins but we always had them to stay for their holidays. The cousins would come on their own and stay a week and mine would go later to them. They had fabulous times and are now very close. We would see the parents for a day on dropping off and collecting so good catch up time. Also we would take their kids when they wanted a weekend away so good fun time together too.

Littlecaf Mon 27-Jul-15 07:17:53

You coordinate things yourselves. Make it a once a year thing, treat yourselves to a b&b and enjoy. It shouldn't be a chore.

My DPs brothers live a good 4 hrs away each - it's us WAGs which do the coordinating! The effort is always worth it.

Iwantacampervan Mon 27-Jul-15 07:24:10

I don't live near any of my family - we sometimes meet my brother and his family half way for a day out (often near Christmas so we exchange presents).

Crosbybeach Mon 27-Jul-15 07:29:18

Sis about 7 hours away, big bro who is a plane ride away, and one on anothe continent. We do meet up for funerals.

We see each other less since parents die. But have made effort, holidaying in the same place with two of them, and popping in on way past for a night in a B and B. Big bro is more difficult, doesn't really engage with arrangements like this. I've kind of taken the hint and stopped.

annandale Mon 27-Jul-15 07:29:49

I sympathise. I think it's worth plugging away. I agree with finding somewhere nearby then ringing up and saying 'we'd like to meet up, what dates work for you.'

Scoobydoo8 Mon 27-Jul-15 07:32:18

Funny that it's always the wives that make the effort - it's the same here. Though I've taken a step back, DCs are grown up.

Now DMIL is in a home I doubt I'll ever see the DBsIL. DH won't arrange anything. Though do get odd emails and photos.

sausagechops101 Mon 27-Jul-15 07:33:44

I live as far south east as you can get. My db is west cornwall, dsis west wales. We don't see each other altogether more than about once a year atm which makes me sad but is inevitable. I prob also go to dsis 2/3 times a year and she visits me the same. Db slightly less. It is hard work but we're really close and hope we will always be.

Sil and family is similar distance up north. We've made effort to go and see her a couple of times but she's made it clear she won't come to us. We have room, she's driven past our front door several times on her way on holiday with the kids, never even stopped for a cuppa. It hurts but at the end of the day she gets to decide how she spends her free time I guess. But we don't make the effort to go up anymore.

Phineyj Mon 27-Jul-15 07:36:52

I have a DSis with whom I get on reasonably well, but she can be hard to make arrangements with. I have a kind of 'rule', which is that I meet up with her once per school holiday and try to arrange to meet in London, which is roughly between our houses. If I didn't make the effort, I would probably only see her once or twice a year (and that's with our DM doing the 'hub' thing), so I feel your pain.

ReadtheSmallPrint Mon 27-Jul-15 07:38:52

My parents and sisters live within 10 miles of each other. I live 150 miles away.

I see my older sister about twice a year. They come and stay with us and we stay with them.

After inviting my other sister to come and stay with us on many occasions, and her always being 'busy', I have given up. I don't see her any more.

DoreenLethal Mon 27-Jul-15 07:39:37

I usually facebook, text or call my SIL to arrange to come over near birthdays, festive holidays or for me to have the girls in the holidays. Due in a fortnight - can't wait!

Imlookingatboats Mon 27-Jul-15 07:43:48

I live overseas, I make sure I see them whenever I go home, but that may be for an hour or so visit. We get along ok, we're not close though.

They rarely travel, but when they do, and they're passing through then they pop in.

we can go well over 12 months between visits.

Talismania Mon 27-Jul-15 07:46:28

We only see family once or twice a year and do our holidays abroad together. Otherwise all our holidays would be visiting each others houses.

Minshu Mon 27-Jul-15 08:46:35

Thank you for all the replies. Lots of interesting variations in your experiences. Particularly those with several siblings, with just one being awkward! That gives reassurance that it's them and not us!

I have tried staying nearby and making arrangements, with mixed success. My lovely DMIL lives about 90 mins away, and is always happy to have us to stay when I've been visiting my home town, so may continue that occasionally.

Perhaps it's just a matter of adjusting my expectations. When our relative was alive I would visit every couple of months and see my brother every second or third trip. Even those of you with good relationships may only see them once or twice a year, so if I leave it until close to Christmas I might get a better response. Relative's funeral was in May, so did see him fairly recently.

The only thing I've tried to arrange since is encouraging him to attend a reunion with our cousins visiting from overseas this summer, but he says he's unable to travel the three hours.

The frustrating thing is his reluctance to try. He used to use being a parent as the excuse not to travel, but he can do it when it's social rather than family. Would rather he didn't say things like "it would be lovely to meet up but can't because...", and was just honest.

goldopals Mon 27-Jul-15 08:53:13

We see extended family when my aunty organises it. I see my sister every school holidays. She lives over seas .. In Tasmania! Common aussie joke.

I usually initiate travel and contact because I have the most time off and earn the most

blueballoon79 Mon 27-Jul-15 08:59:54

My brother lives only 5 miles away and drives past my house every week yet never has the chance to meet up.

Whenever I've invited him and his wife to things they've always made some excuse about why they can't attend or if they do attend, they stay for an hour then leave.

They treat my parents the same way- unless they need a babysitter that is!

I've given up on them now. I spent so many years feeling upset that I had no relationship with him-now I just don't bother and it feels liberating!

Minshu Mon 27-Jul-15 09:41:13

Bloody 'ell! That's awful when they are so close, Blueballoon hmm to be honest, if I loved back there it would probably be like that for us. I have an uncle and aunt there who I've not mentioned earlier as they stopped even sending Christmas cards a few years ago and have never acknowledged my daughter's existence. Nice and nine pence at the funeral and sorting out the will, but I don't expect to ever see them again.

There are so many threads on here where families have a big falling out, or some underlying issue, but we're just drifting apart and don't really know why. hmm

SockQueen Mon 27-Jul-15 10:14:49

My DSis has lived in mainland Europe for the last 4 years. She comes back to the UK quite often to visit parents/friends, and I usually try to come up to my parents' house at the same time so we can see each other. I've been over to visit her twice in that time - I wish it was more but we just haven't been able to co-ordinate leave any other time - and she's come to stay with us rather than parents twice. Neither of us have DC though, which I guess might make the issue more complicated.

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