Sibling rivalry at mid-life.(5 Posts)
This is a long story but I will try and keep it as short as possible.
Last year at the age of 49 I discovered I had a half sister. My Mum and Dad split when my brother and I were very young and he moved from Northern Ireland to England where he started a new family.
As it transpires my father had an affair with a woman and they went to England but she returned to NI within a matter of months while he had no option but to remain in England as he was "Discouraged" from returning to NI by my mothers family and a few "others".
My mother went on to marry the husband of the woman my father had the affair with and he moved in with his son when I was 11 my brother being 4 yrs younger than me. Our stepbrother was 2 yrs younger and became the middle child of the house.
As it transpires my fathers family contacted my mother when I was 14 to be informed of my sisters birth but I was never told.
Last year my mother admitted that my brother was looking into the family tree and had found our sister on facebook, however he had not contacted her.
After a few days I decided to contact my sister and we struck up a friendship. Being honest I told my mother of this and it became an issue of such contention that we have not spoken for almost six months.
My brother contacted our sister a few months after I did and trying to be reasonable I encouraged her to talk to him even though he and I had become estranged many years ago for reasons which still baffle me.
I have recently discovered that my brother and his wife have visited our sister and I am sure he is keeping our mother in the dark about this.
My sister is unaware that I know of the visit as I have yet to mention it.
I feel that my younger brother has manipulated the whole situation and I have been cast as the villain of the piece.
My brother has shown he has no need for a brother, he has engineered the demise of the relationship between my mother and I, although she has contributed to this by being dishonest with me about knowing of my sisters birth and my fathers death 9 yrs ago. I am at a loss then to understand his new found deep connection to our sister while at the same time telling our mother that he was backing out of the relationship.
Should I confront them all, my sister included our just cut all ties and concentrate on our 3 sons their wives and our 7 grandchildren with an 8th on the way who all comprise my loving and supportive family.
Is it wrong to expect others to give me at least a little respect when I and my wife have done so much for my mother. who now lives alone, up until this revelation.
Honestly? You sound a bit paranoid. Your mother didn't approve of you getting in contact with your sister so you haven't been in contact for 6 months.
Your (full or step) brother has been in contact with his half sister. How on earth do you know what your mother thinks without talking to her? Why do you think he has 'engineered the demise' of your relationship to your mother?
Why would you confront people?
Why don't you understand why your brother is estranged?
A bit paranoid only applies if you don't know the people involved.
Firstly my mother married a man with whose wife my father had been having an affair. Being called by the same name as my father, I'm a Jr, I must have been a constant reminder of this and I did have a 'lesser' home life than my brother and stepbrother.
My brother was always engineering situations when I lived at home and was mothers little blue eye.
Why if he knew of my sisters existence did he not tell me and why did it take a year to to confess to my mother that he had found our sister, I have evidence, and then not contact her for several months until after I had?
Why try to convince our mother he was backing of contact with our sister but yet arrange to go visit? My mother having informed me of this on the last occasion we spoke?
Lastly I have been very ill over the last 10 yrs and asked my mother if she knew the whereabouts of my father or if I had other siblings. She flat out refused me the knowledge she had and insisted there was 'No comfort for me there.' even though she knew I needed medical information.
I tell you now I am well past paranoid.
Finally my stepfather suffered three stroke the last of which led to his death. I was not involved in my families life during this time but yet, according to my brother, I am to blame for his fathers death.
I think this rather unfair.
I think the issue is fundamentally with your mother. She has been keeping information from you all. Its created a culture of mistrust. You all feel insecure.
I think that in situations like this people have to process a lot of difficult feelings and may need time to explore for themselves these new relationships and find out what it means for them before they can involve others in the family.
I understand why you are upset in your situation but I think you may just need to leave your sibling (and half-sister) to work this out, just as you are working this out.
"I feel that my younger brother has manipulated the whole situation and I have been cast as the villain of the piece."
I really don't understand this at all.
You are all adults.
Have whatever relationship you want with your mother, siblings & half sister & let them all do the same!
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