To be so angry, hurt and disappointed by my brother?(62 Posts)
Bit of back story here but I'll be as concise as I can.
Older bro hasn't spoken to my Mum in a few years. He has 4 DC, the youngest 2 of which my Mum has never seen- I haven't seen the very youngest who is 6mo. My parents divorced when we were very young and my Mum brought us up- Dad died just over a year ago.
My bro is very judgmental, holds grudges and punishes people (by people I mean my Mum and me). His withholding contact from my Mum is punishment for perceived wrongdoings. I missed his 2nd youngest dc's 2nd birthday this year- it was my 30th a week later, a milestone birthday and the first birthday I've had since our Dad died- I heard nothing from him, not even a text. I know he didn't forget as I invited him and his DP to a get together I was having and my Mum sent him a message to remind him. He was punishing me. He wants us to make an effort for his dc but we never hear from him when we do, and he never reciprocates.
Case in point- Christmas. My Mum hasn't heard from them at all, no cards from bro or his DC. I spent a small fortune and a lot of time and care choosing and buying presents for them, wrapped them all and posted them up to where he lives- probably spent about £130 which is a lot, for me. Got a text from his DP yesterday informing me that they'd arrived. Today- nothing. Not a phone call, not a thank you message. 2 of his dc live with his ex so I didn't even know if they'd got their presents. Sent a message to his DP to ask if they'd all got their presents today or if they were waiting til tomorrow, she said they've all got them, thanks. That was it.
I just get so fed up of making an effort and getting less than fuck all in return. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. He gets angry with us if we don't make an effort, and doesn't bother to get in touch when we do. I know that when I have DC of my own he's not suddenly going to morph into the worlds best uncle and live up to the expectations he has of us.
I want to just give up but I feel like I'd be punishing his DC for his actions. WWYD?
I'd give up personally. Too much hard work. Send cards to the kids and gifts if you want, leave him out of it.
Just send gifts to the children and step back, you are not making each other happy.
I agree, save your money, Mabey small gift vouchers or book tokens for the kids.
There's not really any such thing as "perceived wrongdoings", there are isolated incidents which people misconstrue and are quickly cleaned up by an apology. It's much more likely that they are real wrongdoings, of course they might be something other people would not feel are wrong. But that doesn't make them right. People are different.
He's not interested, he has his reasons, either respect them, get out of his face with the expensive gifts, or continue causing the resentment by doing what you're doing. He obviously thinks their wrong.
I sympathise as my DB is similar and i make a huge effort with his family but on the other hand you should have remembered his second youngests birthday - you can't expect them to bother with yours a week later.
My brother is the same, we have a child 6 months apart, he is God parent to my lb and when I go home I always visited and seen him, sent presents and made sure I was in my nieces life. He put a Facebook status up that he was round the corner from mine, literally the next road, he didn't pop in at all, so I stopped visiting him he didn't ask why I send birthday /Christmas cards and presents and I'm giving up in the new year. I have a 6 week old baby last time I seen him he didn't even acknowledge I was pregnant, since not even that I have had a baby and no mention of a happy Christmas althought I sent presents to them. Tbh I'm not bothered about the gifts just that the contact, My family isn't good enough for his girlfriend, his child doesn't call my mum nana because his girlfriend doesn't allow it.
It makes me so angry for my mum.
I did apologise for forgetting the birthday- I sent the card a day or two late- but even so, is missing a child's 2nd birthday- which they're probably not aware of and certainly won't remember- and deliberately ignoring your sisters 30th really the same thing?
I would find you and your Brother hard work, have you thought of having a bit of therapy to deal with family of origin dynamics?
Sending a card a few days late is not forgetting a birthday, blanking your sis when invited to her 30th is quite a different matter.
If you want to stay in touch with your nieces and nephews, do, WanderingNotLost, send simple easier to send gifts and do not expect too much from your brother. When you have kids, surround yourself with lovely, kind people and they will be substitute uncles and aunties for your children.
The Op does not sound like hard work at all, I would love someone to spend £130 sending gifts to my kids!
Sounds like "perceived wrongdoings" was something that upset him big time. You don't have to exp,ain it here, but fixing the particular issue could be more helpful than sending pricey gifts.
I think you need to wait a few weeks for a thankyou as it's a busy time. 4 kids must mean a hectic Xmas!
Rather then spend lots on birthdays and xmas, do a token gift (£10 amazon voucher), then make more of an effort to have contact in between. Odd phone calls or send photos of something interesting one of the DC might find funny or drop by for a coffee. These are more meaningful contacts.
It might be that he struggles or has no interest in keeping on top of yours/his mothers birthdays and contact, what with having 4.maybe it's low priority for him.
It's fine to accidentally send cards late. It still counts.
Were you the golden child?
I would love someone to spend £130 sending gifts to my kids!
It can make some people very uncomfortable, especially if they're less well-off financially.
I can't drop by for a coffee as they live a long way away. Otherwise I wouldn't have left it this long seeing his youngest DC.
I was far from the golden child- if anything that was him, and I was the precocious, outspoken p.i.t.a child.
I can't go into specifics about why he doesn't talk to my Mum, but I will say that before he did even my Dad tried to get him to relent and make peace but he just wouldn't. He now makes out that she was some sort of borderline abusive mother and he had a terrible childhood- but I was there, and I know that wasn't the case.
Except for the eldest DC who asked for a particular type of present (which I got) I sent clothes for all 3.
I don't even know where my brother lives anymore, he's in a different country. Deleted his fbook page which was my last point of contact with him, doesn't even know his niece was born. Sometimes it makes me sad but then I remember that he did this over not being left inheritance in my dads will (neither was I) and I think I don't want to be in someone's life if they don't care for being in mine.
This sounds very familiar.
Forget about him my brothers the same I live on other side of country from my family when I visit I'm lucky to see him he makes no effort with my dc, no bday card for ds this year no Christmas cards for us or dc ds did get one token present. I've got their kids pressies and cards sent up not even an acknowledgement. My mum is getting through Christmas and then threatening to disown him if he treats our dc like that again he can behave however he likes to me and dh but he can drag himself out of his pit of greed and selfishness to acknowledge my children.
People like that are selfish and think they're always right he will never change.
Some weird replies on this thread
OP, my brother is EXACTLY the same, he only has one DC otherwise I'd think you were my sister posting. Right down to him making no effort on anyone's birthdays, no cards, nothing, but then expects cards and gifts on his and huffs if we don't all trek to see him (he lives at the other end of the country). He has never once visited me.
Sometimes it's like he goes looking for this to hold against people. Or like it's a test that we are set up to fail.
Basically, the his own rules don't apply to himself, just all his family and friends (he has very few left, obviously). He doesn't see the hypocrisy of this.
I've recently gone no contact with him and just send gifts to the DC. Much better.
Okay I just read your 8:56 post and am now convinced you're my sister...
Yanbu op, you are a very kind loving aunt. Your brothers behaviour is very odd and much more a reflection of his own issues rather than anything that you are doing IMO.
OP, he will never change. The more you pander to him (sending presents to him and his children) the more he will continue to do this.
I don't understand the idea that you would be 'punishing the children' by not sending them gifts.
If they're young, they won't understand or care, and if they're older, they will see that you're not close to their father and mother.
I would leave them to it. He is not worth it. Whatever you do, it will never be enough.
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