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Brother problem - feel really shit(32 Posts)
I have a ridiculous problem that I doubt many would understand and am expecting a bit of backlash from this, but here you are!
I'm the youngest sibling of six children and let's just say my family is a bit dysfunctional. I love my family - all of them but we are far from close. I lost one of my brothers 13 years ago and it was very difficult. My other siblings rarely see each other and haven't for a long time, even before that happened.
Anyway, my other brother has suddenly decided he wants to come and stay with me for the weekend. He says he misses me, his daughter (my niece) wants to see my DCs and says 'luv u sis' in his messages all the time. I haven't actually spoken to him since the last time I saw him 7 years ago - and the last time before that, was a good few more. He's in and out of prison and brags to me about beating people up. He's a bouncer in nightclubs and that is just his way of life.
I have moved on and become my own person since we all lived as a family. I'm not looking down on him at all, and I want to keep good relations, and this is how I am thinking.... Be prepared because Im going to be brutally honest.
I work my arse off during the week. Have two DCs that keep me busy and a new relationship with a fantastic guy I only see at weekends because of distance, work and kids. The thought of having to entertain them for a whole weekend, introduce my man to him, make conversation with my brother who I love dearly but have nothing in common with is stressing me out big style! I treasure my weekends! He's already bought a train ticket to come but can still put him off.
I'm so stressed about it! I am so tired from work and kids that I really really really just want to chill and have my weekend to myself. I wouldn't mind a day visit, or one overnight stay, and should have said something before but the closer it has got the more stressed I am. I feel like I just can't cope even with the idea of it now.
Would I be terrible if I did put him off? I really do want to see him but the whole weekend? I feel so shallow - but to hear nothing for years and years and now this, just before Christmas when I'm up to my eyes in it and selfishly really need a weekend chilling with my man and my own kids (one of which is going to have to stay at her boyfriend's in order to free up a bed for them) is making me tearful! I feel so bad feeling and thinking like this. I just hope someone understands and can offer some advice
It's just one weekend. I really would just suck it up. I think you're making a big drama in your head and it just won't be that bad. Get out of the house do activities with the kids, it'll fly by.
I know.. I'm sure you're right
The week days are just pretty tough I treasure the weekends!
I feel very selfish in wanting it all to myself doing what I want to do, I just feel I haven't had that much for many years.
Stressing out and feeling sorry for myself!
It's normal to want to do what you want with weekends but I don't think this is the weekend activity to ditch. If you're not getting enough down time I would look at your normal schedule and see what you can free up.
This obviously means a lot to him and he's your brother who you haven't seen for years - worth a couple of days of your life i'd say.
Is there anywhere near by that your brother could stay?That way you'd have your nights and first thing in the morning free.
Or if not you said you don't mind them staying overnight so suggest that rather than the whole weekend.You could just appologize to your brother and tell him that your snowed under with work so you only have half the weekend that you can spend with them.
I can understand why your worried and I know it's really hard but hopefully his life and his lifestyle might have calmed down a bit and hopefully it's a really positive thing that himself and his DD want to try and become close to you and your family.
You haven't seen nor heard from him for 7 years? And you're thinking of letting him stay in your house? I wouldn't do it. You really don't know him all that well if you haven't been in contact for 7 years, do you? Unless it's normal in your family to drop off the face of the earth for years then pop back in, all the 'luv u sis' etc so close to Xmas is rather odd. If you've worked hard and are doing well, could he be wanting to hit you up for money.
I'd say the same if he was an accountant from Liverpool.
I think you should give it a twirl and have him to stay. Of course it may be something you regret but you never know it could just work out really well and be the start of a nice relationship with your brother.
Is it really a big deal if your daughter stays at her boyfriends? Would she not be spending time with him anyway?
I would just say to my brother - I can only manage a take-away for tea and breakfast will have to be bacon butties but Im looking forward to seeing you both.
Dont let an unfortunate family history lose you the chance of a nice future.
I am from a huge dysfunctional family and two of my nephews have criminal records and one has been to prison twice already. One of my sisters, their Mother is dodgy as hell as well.
The joking about beating people up is just bloody awful and that would be why he wouldn't be coming in to my home. My sister and her son who is in his twenties were both laughing about how he had thrown someone down a fire escape when he was pissed the last time I went home.They are never setting foot across my threshold again because I just don't want my DS near people like that if possible. They live many miles away.
Thanks everyone. I understand all your comments.
I don't think I am being selfish though
If it was someone close to me who had invested a lot of time both ways it would be different. My DP also has a 10 year old daughter and to out honest, I don't want to put them in a difficult (or bad) situation either. I could tell my DP I can't see him this weekend instead but they are a big part of my life and very important to me
I've hardly had any sleep over this! I know it might sound petty and stupid but that's just how I feel.
Thanks especially to christmascarcass and precious for seeing it the way you have. I don't feel so abnormal anymore :-)
Err.. like hell are YBU
The liberation and relief I have achieved from a healthy distance from the concept of "blood is thicker than water" has been immense.
In your shoes, under those circumstances, I'd put him off and then reorganise so the meet up is downgraded to an morning/afternoon at a midway point that allowed for a swift retreat if things became really uncomfortable.
He's managed to wait to talk to/meet you for seven years. I'm sure he can cope with a couple of weeks more so it fits in better with you.
Selfish my arse. Picking yourself and your family's comfort and best interests over a DNA connection that has stayed away for over half a decade isn't selfish. It is healthy.
It took me a long time to distance myself from sections of my family and I really should have years ago. It took me having to contend with a major illness and also some bereavements to really understand just how much of a stressful drain some of my family members are.
I think a meeting up out of your home for a couple of hours is a good idea. Because as Atomik writes you can beat a swift retreat if necessary.
When younger my BF of the time wanted to marry me, he did specify that he would not want any DC we had to go near xy and z in my family. I just didn't understand at all at the time. He was so right.
Please follow your instincts OP. This is a ridiculous request - do not do it if you don't want to!
No way would I put myself out for someone I hadn't seen for 7 years, family or not. I'd just say no it's not suitable and let it fizzle out again. I haven't spoken to any of my half brothers for about 10 years and that's fine by me. The obviously feel the same way. We are all busy people and have little in common with each other. I don't see the point in keeping contact with people just because they're family. I only keep in contact with people who I love and want to keep in my life.
I'm in the no camp as well. A weekend is far too long to spend in the company of someone you haven't seen for 7 years, particularly someone you have a strained relationship with at the best of times.
The fact that he's your brother isn't really relevant; you haven't seen him for 7 years.
There's quite likely to be a reason for that...
I'm worried he's coming to stay and won't go, he isn't homeless is he? And yes to the staying till Xmas and having to pay him to leave.
"it'd be great to see you, let's meet for lunch somewhere --not my house--"
No way would I have anyone to stay for a weekend that I hadn't seen in 7 years.
No way would I have him to stay; why's he suddenly keen to visit after 7 years? You probably have nothing in common after so long.
Put him off, now.
Totally agree with the people who say "no way". He's virtually a stranger to you. And I'd say that regardless of your stressful work and your DP/his daughter. I'd also be questioning why the sudden desire to come and stay after all this time. Definitely keep the channels of communication open, say you'd really like to see him but it's not possible for him to stay for a whole weekend but that you'd like to meet up at a mutually convenient date and place.
I'm also in the 'no way' camp. Put him off or suggest meeting him somewhere about an hour from your home and spending a few hours together. Hate to sound skeptical too but you really don't know him.
You know, I think if I were you instead of him coming there, I'd go to him for a day. Sometimes it's just best to keep relatives away from your 'home turf'.
My DH has some (cough) 'questionable' extended family members and we've never had them here and never will. If for some reason DH felt he wanted to see them, we always traveled to where they live. And we never took our sons once they got old enough to be influenced by them. The last two times we were there (it's been years) we received phone calls when we got home asking for money (one was for a paternity test!).
Another 'no way' from me. The whole weekend is way too long. The fact that he has bought train tickets is not your problem. His desire to see you does not trump your desire to have your weekend to yourself.
Yes offer to meet him somewhere for lunch (away from your home) and spend a couple of hours together. That's enough for an initial meeting.
The fact that there has been absolutely no contact for seven years along with the whole "luv you sis" on your messages would be ringing big fat alarm bells for me.
It maybe the case that he wants to rebuild a relationship or there could be an ulterior motive behind this. I would be wary of someone trying to play happy families around Christmas after so long and bringing their child with them. The cynic in me feels that there is a lot more to this than meets the eye and the child is possibly being used as leverage, although that does depend on their age. Equally, the fact there are bought train tickets is almost forcing you to accept the issue and attempt to put you in the position where you can't back out.
I agree with a previous poster in that this may be an attempt to take from you financially or be seeking accommodation. In any event you would most definitely not be unreasonable to say no.
Fuck that, he wants something from you, probably money. Bragging about being in prison and beating people up? He could do one as far as I'm concerned.
If you want to build bridges - offer to meet him, closer to where he lives maybe. Or make time to meet up with him for a meal on Saturday night but say you're not available the rest of the weekend.
"Why, what are you doing?"
"Living my life.
Of which you're not a part. "
Remember that "It isn't possible as we don't have room", "I'm very busy at the weekends", "It's not convenient" and "That doesn't work for me" are all complete sentences and your friends in this situation.
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