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dont know whether I am overreacting to brother's indifference

(27 Posts)
stillorsparkling Mon 29-Oct-12 13:58:02

My brother is quite a few years younger than me, is single and living in same area as me DH and our son. He is our son's godfather. It was DS 2nd birthday 2 weeks ago and we had a small party. brother was away on the actual birthday but was back home the following day. He did not send a card, call or text to wish DS a happy birthday. Apparently he has a present but has not had the time to drop it over to ours. DS needless to say being only 2 is oblivious to all this. I am quite upset. I spoke to him about this at the weekend and he seems to think I am over-reacting and was not in the slightest bit apologetic. In fact he seemed to think that it was funny!

He is quite immature for his age and is very uncaring towards our parents- a bit like a teenager trapped in a 30 yo's body!. I always get the impression that he considers spending time with his family a bit of a chore and I am utterly utterly fed up with his attitude. I am seriously considering cutting contact until he grows up a bit or at the very least acknowleges that its a bit rubbish to ignore your only nephew's birthday.


bantamrooster Mon 29-Oct-12 14:02:05

Maybe a little bit. Blokes in their 20s and 30s don't tend to focus on presents, phone calls etc. They're more generally going to turn up, give the little guy a huge hug and maybe a present and get the attention. It's the way they're made I think.

Cutting contact doesn't benefit anyone and is just going to (probably) upset your brother. Your DS doesn't care, presumably, and your brother probably isn't going to grow up and see things the same way as you until he has kids of his own.

Salbertina Mon 29-Oct-12 14:03:42

Not overreaction at all. What a shame, have sister who bothers not at all with my dc- her only nephews angry
However, we can only control what we do, not others so i think he will only get the situation if/when he wants to. Try to distance yourself and lower expectations may help- not fair but realistic sadly. Or he may grow up when or if he has kids.

FML Mon 29-Oct-12 14:21:36

Has he always been this way?

digerd Mon 29-Oct-12 14:24:27

I am disappointed but not really surprised. My brother is 71 and indifferent to most things that don't affect his male pride. If it wasn't for his wife, all traditions would be ignored. And he and all men I have known cannot apologise as can't consider they have ever done anything wrong. And yes, his wife and I are always over-reacting. according to him,
I had hoped the new generation would be different, but seems to be in the genes, hormones and chromosomes. What does your DH/DP say?

susiedaisy Mon 29-Oct-12 14:25:47

As a one off forgetting your sons present I would ignore I have several male relatives in my family that do this to everyone all of the time, but they never seem to forget anything about sport fixtures etc etc but the general attitude and immaturity of your brother I would find annoying and disrespectful and I think minimising contact with him for now might not be a bad idea, some people take alot longer to grow up than others!

ajandjjmum Mon 29-Oct-12 14:27:09

DB was pretty much the same with my DC when they were small, and he was young, free and single. Loved them, but didn't have any particular bond. When he got together with his wife and they had children, things changed.

Now, my DS (20) will contact my DB to chat things over with him, or ask for help, and they really have a close relationship.

So yes, your DB is thoughtless, but hopefully it won't last.

Alittlestranger Mon 29-Oct-12 14:27:37

A bit of an over-reaction, he may just be seeing it from your DS' point of view - as you say he is oblivious.

izzyizin Mon 29-Oct-12 14:32:34

Cutting contact with your db will only serve to show that you're as immature as you're claiming him to be.

It's unclear whether your ire has been provoked by him failing to rise to your expectation of the role performed by a doting uncle or a doting godfather but, either way, you've had years to get to know what your db's like and should cut your cloth accordingly.

Maybe in time he'll acquire a dw and dc of his own; until then appreciate him for what he is - a guy who doesn't dance to your tune but is, and always will be, your db.

stillorsparkling Mon 29-Oct-12 14:53:10

good lord izzy Not sure that expecting a telephone call or card on a child birthday is particuarly demanding.... It must be hard to have such low expectations of your own family, whom I expect walk all over you (assuming you follow your own advice which of course I am sure you do hmm)

Thanks everyone for your advice> I think that some disengagement is all that is required. On the one hand I dont see why I and my family should be treated like a wearysome task on a regular basis but on the other i guess he is my brother

kiwigirl42 Mon 29-Oct-12 15:11:15

DH's brother, his wife, DH's sister and her husband all pay absolutely no attention to DS aged 12. They all live within a mile radius and still only see him at Xmas. I've given up. I have my neice to stay almost every weekend and about 3 days a week after school but he is never invited to theirs. As far as I know there is no reason - MIL knows it upsets me and tries to support me but it just fucks me off no end. its just plain hurtful!

digerd Mon 29-Oct-12 15:20:12

That is awful behaviour from your in-laws, especially as you have one of their children so often and regularly. I would feel very upset and resentful. But as it is your DHs family, he should say something and MIL. In what way does she support you, with sympathy and no action?

digerd Mon 29-Oct-12 15:28:01


What does your DH say. Does he think you are over-reacting?
I don't, but I think you should let it go, this time as DS only 2, but quite understand how you feel.

FML Mon 29-Oct-12 15:31:54

If he has always been this way, why did you choose him as a godparent knowing what he is like? If not, then it must of been an unfortunate incident whereby stuff may of came up which prevented him from coming around sooner. And with your son being 2, he probably thought that as long as he came round at some point with the present, then it doesn't matter as, as you say yourself, he is oblivious.

stillorsparkling Mon 29-Oct-12 15:52:05


He is my only sibling. DH has one sister- identities of GodPs was pretty much a given;
it would have looked terrible if i had not asked him and for all his 'dont give a monkey's' attitude I think he would have been hurt, or at least felt snubbed.

FML Mon 29-Oct-12 15:54:37

How was he on his 1st birthday?

mutny Mon 29-Oct-12 15:56:35

I understand you are annoyed and I get that. But honestly, lots of people don't get how important these things are until they have had kids. He probably thinks that as your as doesn't understand its not a big deal.
However cutting contact would be incredibly silly and as immature as he is.

stillorsparkling Mon 29-Oct-12 15:57:19


DH does not think much of his behaviour but then his family are punctilious (sp?) when it comes to birthdays etc. He would be mortified if he forgot any of his nieces/nephew's birthdays, even if they were very young and unlikely to care!

stillorsparkling Mon 29-Oct-12 16:07:43

Mutny- if this were the first time he had acted in this way I would agree but I can only refer you to my OP.
Anyway as I said upthread I think I just need to disengage a bit.

goodiegoodieyumyum Mon 29-Oct-12 16:08:57

Is my ds birthday on Sunday, I don't expect a present from my db I know my dc's will get Christmas presents as I have already been asked what they would like, I don't get cards from him haven't for years.

I have come to realize it is just the way he is I would like it if he would send the kids a card but I am not going to get upset about it . I never got cards or presents from my mums brothers or my dads brother and sister (who lived in another country) never expected it and it never upset me.

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Mon 29-Oct-12 16:21:55

Going to have to go against the grain here. I don't have kids or know any kids, and I don't automatically know the etiquette of what to do for small children's birthdays. If I had a present I might well keep the card with it until I had a chance to give the present, it would depend on the circumstances (just like with an adult). And it certainly it would never occur to me in a million years to call a two-year-old on their birthday.

His reaction when you spoke to him about it was a bit off, but then it depends how you were doing it and whether it was more a setting straight or a telling off.

mutny Mon 29-Oct-12 16:37:04

Mutny- if this were the first time he had acted in this way I would agree but I can only refer you to my OP
I still stand by what I said, referring back to your OP.
I would not disengage and or cut contact with dbro.

izzyizin Mon 29-Oct-12 18:02:09

There's no need for you to fret on my part, honey, as I can assure you my nearest and dearest don't dare walk all over me because I've had them under orders since the day I was born wink

One of my godparents was renowned for forgetting every date except that of the Gettysburg Address, but it was never a big deal when they forgot my birthday as I'd have a treat to look forward to long after the excitement of the day had gone.

Keep on good terms with your db; one day you may be the only ones left who can remember each other way back when.

NamingOfParts Mon 29-Oct-12 22:15:58

Not everyone is really extended family minded and I am afraid that for me my DB & DNs are extended not close family.

This is just one of those things. He may change if he has his own DCs but equally may not.

I agree with trying to keep on good terms but dont necessarily expect to be close.

OpheliaPayneAgain Mon 29-Oct-12 22:53:35

Why did you make him Godparent if he is like a teenager trapped in a 30 yo's body?

I realise some people make a mountain out of a birthday, but cutting contact because he didn't hightail it round for you PFBs birthday? Remind me again, which of you is the allegedly the child in this situation? I think you are quite rude asking for presents. I can see why he is enjoying winding you up over this.

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