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To not want to have anything to do with my brother anymore?

(17 Posts)
BrotherForgiveness Mon 20-Mar-17 14:22:21

Name changed for this and it's quite complex so will try not to drip feed so sorry if this is long.

My brother and I have never got on well, my mum always said don't worry about it, you don't have to be friends, blood isn't important, it's who you chose in your life that's important but I've always thought family and blood should be important and tried hard over the years.

My brother (he is 28) suffers severe depression and has been on antidepressants for years, he also lives about an hour drive away from us but he doesn't drive, he never plans to either. He's been in and out of various low paid jobs for years so doesn't have much spare money and I know travel, especially across / near to London can be very expensive... so I get that all of this means that he can't visit often.

However my problem with him is his attitude, he never ever ever phones / texts etc and I now have 2 sons (They're 2 & 3) so I'd expect him to at least phone or text to ask after his nephews or to speak to them, even if he doesn't care about me. Which he says he does, he doesn't show this though. He didn't even get me a card for my 30th birthday a couple of weeks ago and hasn't for his either of his nephews last birthdays which has made me pretty mad since he could do that for less than £1 if he went to the market, they've always got offers to buy 4 cards for a quid, it didn't have to be special, the thought would've been there.

This next bit is not really relevant but it all adds up to how I feel about him... He's very lazy, rude and disrespectful when he does come to visit, he's about 20 stone and will jump down on furniture causing it to creak, takes up 2/3 seats by laying down and therefore forcing elderly relatives (75 year old aunt) to sit on dining chairs instead of giving space on sofas. (I had to tell him to move and he will sit up but he wouldn't sit on a dining chair and give up his seat) He doesn't help cooking or cleaning after meals. He is a slob.
Now if this was a guest then we wouldn't expect help but he's supposed to be family and even guests bring a bottle to a meal or ask if they can help with anything when they come. So this makes me cross with him and the atmosphere is always tense and everyone else picks up on this of course and we seem to end up sniping at each other every time we meet up.

My sons are now getting to the age where they will soon realise that their uncle doesn't bother with them and I'm starting to think that perhaps just keeping him out of our lives from now on is the best way forwards, I never want them to think they aren't loved or to feel rejected, especially by a close relative. My parents of course don't want me to do this but I have to put my sons first. AIBU?

mayhew Mon 20-Mar-17 14:28:52

I have a similar problem and now have minimal contact with my brother. I am civil when we meet once or twice a year. The funniest aspect is that he is so self absorbed that he hasn't even noticed

buntingqueen Mon 20-Mar-17 14:32:27

I could have written this! Literally months go by without hearing from my DB, and it is very hurtful, more so now we have children. Birthdays/Christmas are very rarely acknowledged. He lollops around on the furniture when we see him and never offers help or says thank you. However, when we do see him once in a blue moon, the DC think he's brilliant! It's so hard. I don't have the answer, just wanted to say I understand your dilemma completely. I think that you are perfectly justified to stop seeing him.

QueenofallIsee Mon 20-Mar-17 14:33:32

I dont think you have to make a big hoo hah about him being out of your sons lives, just stop making the effort with him. Your kids won't feel rejected, they will not know any different and familes do things all different ways...many of their peer group will barely know their extended family for instance.

Your brother isn't arsed and to be frank, it hardly sound as though your sons would benefit from his influence - just stop pushing the relationship

Factorysettings Mon 20-Mar-17 14:34:12

It's all a bit dramatic, isn't it? I'm sure that if you visit each other so little then your dc won't even have their uncle on their radar. There's no need for all this cutting out stuff. You don't like him very much, he might not be your biggest fan either but it's perfectly possible to be on the periphery of each others lives without all this carry on.

EssentialHummus Mon 20-Mar-17 14:39:35

Realistically, most of this is probably his depression talking. But, having said that, if you don't want him in your life in the way that he can be (which sounds as if you find uncomfortable/unsatisfactory), don't. You can't however expect birthday cards etc. (And that may not be depression - people are bothered about these things to varying degrees.) You can ask him to send cards etc on the basis that the DC would love to receive them, but that's about all you can do.

ProfYaffle Mon 20-Mar-17 14:49:12

Agree with QueenofallIsee. We don't really see dh's older brother as he seems to actively avoid us. No idea why. Dh has a brain tumour and was in active treatment last year, his brother didn't contact him once during this period. No texts, phone calls, nothing.

Our dc don't really notice, he's never bothered with them so they know no different. As adults we find it a bit odd but they haven't really registered it.

Trumpssyrup Mon 20-Mar-17 15:41:42

Wow sounds like your talking about my brother! Total lazy unpleasant self absorbed bell end. I'm nice when i see him and invite him to Christmas mother's day etc but the important thing is I've given up expecting ANYTHING further from him. No disappointment.

Chloe84 Mon 20-Mar-17 15:45:49

Don't tell him you're going NC but just stop inviting him round or sending birthday/Xmas cards. You would be effectively going NC without causing a family ruckus. That way you don't need to avoid him at family events.

Life's too short to force relationships that don't give us any pleasure. Maybe he'll change one day but don't wait around for that.

xStefx Mon 20-Mar-17 15:49:13

I agree with Chloe84

BarbarianMum Mon 20-Mar-17 15:53:58

I think you are being a little over dramatic OP. Children are very accepting and yours will see nothing unusual about having an uncle they see rarely who doesn't send them presents - that will just be how uncle x is to them.
You may want to make less of an effort with your brother for your own sake, and that's fine. You don't have to justify it as "protecting your children" because it is not them that's hurting here, it's you.

springflowers11 Mon 20-Mar-17 15:57:22

None of this seems odd to me.Most adult siblings don't live in one anothers pockets.i have 7nephews and nieces and DH has 8.We don't bother with all their birthdays, and childless siblings are even less involved.
Your DB is probably not flexible enough to sit upright if he has such a big belly.I think you sound horrible and judgy and working in low paid jobs does not make him last! In fact quite the contrary.
How often do you take your kids to visit him?

heyduggeeallday Mon 20-Mar-17 16:02:15

I must admit I never see my sisters and their kids (and they never bother with mine) I guess I love them but don't like them very much so we aren't close. They ever ever text to see how my kids are (I do text them if one of their kids are ill). I find them shallow so have cut them out

BrotherForgiveness Mon 20-Mar-17 16:57:43

Thanks for the replies everyone, sorry to see I'm not the only one with a crap brother.

Yes I may have wanted to push the relationship in the past, I have always felt family should be important. These are the people you really should be able to rely on.

I don't plan to tell him I'm going NC, just to do it, wasn't going to make a drama about it.

I accepted years ago how useless he is with family but it's only recently that my older son will mention his uncle which is why I don't want the boys to be upset by their uncle's lack of contact. (They are used to talking to their grandparents and other uncle weekly.)

@springflowers11 How is it judgemental to say because he's been in a low paid jobs that I understand he can't afford the train fare?
Also It's not because he's big, it's because he will LAY DOWN on the sofa taking up 2 or 3 seats!
I used to take them regularly to visit him when they were younger and I had hoped after they were born that he might show more interest and actually ask after them which he NEVER does so I filtered down the visits.
Also our whole family lives here, he doesn't have children yet or a partner atm, it's him that's moved further away so it's not unreasonable at large family gatherings to think he would come here and that is easier than dragging elderly relatives and young children over to him (plus he just wouldn't have the space for everyone in his home)

Mountainsoutofmolehills Mon 26-Mar-18 17:19:11

I totally understand. I think go non contact, but you move on. Stop looking for cards or reasons to find that he is lame, accept him as he is. Fill your life with great role models and people that do jump into your community and life when needed.

You will at times have family meetings where if you go you will see him, and then you can have a brief chat and maybe he'll mention he hasn't seen you in ages and to meet.

I've given up making an effort chasing cousins, siblings etc.,

BrotherForgiveness Mon 26-Mar-18 18:31:18

This thread is over a year old.


But in case anyone is interested in an update - I've seen brother once in the past year. We don't talk and my DC don't mention him anymore, I think they've forgotten he exists. Fortunately my BIL is very hands on with them so they have an uncle they adore. 😊

BarbarianMum Mon 26-Mar-18 19:07:14

Congratulations! I am working towards nc with my truly awful db (there are complicating factors in the form of my elderly father which mean that this is a difficult process) and am longing for the day when I can grieve for our lack of relationship rather than deal with him.

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