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Is it quite normal not to have contact with siblings?

(81 Posts)
Boomerwang Tue 11-Oct-16 12:17:39

I have one brother who is five years older than me. He is married and has two boys. I have not spoken to him or seen him in years. He's uninterested in me or my daughter.

As far as I know we haven't had a fight or pissed each other off previously, but him ignoring me has kind of made me do the same, rather like 'if he won't then I won't either'.

Growing up with such an age gap meant we never were particularly close, but we both lived with our parents into our twenties (who could afford to live alone in Birmingham?) so it's not like life took us in different directions early on.

I just want to know if it's kind of normal to lose touch completely with your own brothers or sisters.

If it matters I know his wife has cut me and my parents out of her life completely. Perhaps he's just supporting his wife? Even before that though he didn't seem to care.

I'm a bit scared, to be honest, which is why I'm bringing this up now, because my parents aren't getting younger and I don't have any other family in my life.

BittyWanter Tue 11-Oct-16 12:21:30

If you feel it would benefit yourself why not hand out the olive branch and offer to meet for a coffee-for a catch up.

Start with some texts or a phone call. Might be a bit awkward at first but you can only try.

I'm v close to my db who's 5 years younger than me and relatively close to my other db and ds who are a lot younger than me. But then I'm a nosey bugger and I always text/call them.

You can only try op

9troubledwaters Tue 11-Oct-16 12:23:15

I think this happens/a lot with adult men, its really the women who make the effort to keep in touch isn't it. Get back in touch with him

Soubriquet Tue 11-Oct-16 12:25:11

Me and my sister haven't seen each other or even talked to each other since June.

We was never close as kids either tbh

LokisUnderpants Tue 11-Oct-16 12:28:29

There are five of us and we're not close at all. We see each other at Christmas. I once went for 3 years without seeing my brother, his wife or kids when I moved abroad. They just don't give a shit really. It does bother me sad

NewStartNewName Tue 11-Oct-16 12:29:02

It will be because of the wife cutting you out.

Fwiw my brother married my best friend and I haven't seen them more than once in two years.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Oct-16 12:30:46

Are you thinking about getting back in touch with him purely and simply because there is no other family?. You need to think carefully about your own reasons for doing this.

What do you want from contact; an ongoing relationship to follow from that?. To meet his own children?. That may not ever happen. What if you are out and out rejected by him or his wife? He is likely supporting his wife in her stance; after all his loyalty is to his own family unit rather than his parents or you as his sister.

What do your parents think about this situation?. This has not happened overnight and the roots of all this may well go back to your childhood. Sibling estrangement can certainly happen when the family of origin is itself dysfunctional.

timeforabrewnow Tue 11-Oct-16 12:35:12

Gee that was helpful Attila (not)

I would suggest to give it a go, as blood is thicker than water - like it or not.

And families remain so, even if most have some degree of dysfunction about them, which nearly all do - if people are honest.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Oct-16 12:40:36

Blood is not always thicker than water (that's bs) and it is not just his sister who her brother and his wife have cut off and seemingly without any explanation.

OP - what means of contacting your brother do you actually have?. Is there a trusted relation or mutual friend that could reach out to your brother as a go-between?.

timeforabrewnow Tue 11-Oct-16 12:43:30

Whether it's bs or not depends on your age and a number of other factors.

I would disagree though and say that broadly it is true.

AtSea1979 Tue 11-Oct-16 12:47:38

I'm with Attila on this one

30something123 Tue 11-Oct-16 12:52:36

Unfortunately having siblings doesn't guarantee lifetime friends as adults. People change and grow apart. I'm the youngest of my siblings and we have little to no contact bc we're all very different people, we clash and their only interest in me is when they need a favour and they think that just bc we're related that I should oblige, even tho they ignore me and take no interest in my life or my child at all so I keep my distance and get on with things. If u do really want a continuous relationship with your bro then make it happen but as far as growing apart from siblings being normal then yes, I think it is bc u can't force a bond if there isn't one, even with those who are supposed to be your nearest & dearest.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Oct-16 12:52:37


Here are some ways to move toward reconciliation:-

Start softly. Don’t roll out a laundry list of grievances.
Hold the judgment.
Stay in the present.
Check your ego.
Manage expectations. A lifetime of resentment won’t disappear after a few conversations. Focus on incremental progress and honour any small victories.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Oct-16 12:54:45

Ah that old proverb, "blood is thicker than water". It gets misused a lot. It also tends to be used as a means to shame family members who side with friends over their parents or siblings.

crayfish Tue 11-Oct-16 12:57:37

I never talk to my brother, I've seen him a handful of times in the last decade (funerals, weddings etc...) but we don't keep in touch at all. The last time we spoke was about three years ago...

We are close in age but very different people. We would never be friends so I don't see the point in maintaining a relationship.

OurBlanche Tue 11-Oct-16 12:59:14

Blood is thicker than water! Yes, and people who believe that actually means something are thicker than bricks!

All it means is that someone in your family wants to force you to do something you don't want to do! Like BIL trying to force DH to cough up thousands of pounds so he can pay off his CC debts - holidays in Cuba, Bermuda, USA etc.

BIL: "But we are desperate. We needs it, we really needs it!"
DH: "Well we don't have it to give. Blanche is just starting her new business"
BIL: "But I am your brother. Blood is thicker than water, you know"
DH: "Fuck off!"

In my experience only life's takers use the phrase, as and when it benefits themselves!

Though I would be happy to be told that BIL and PoisonousSIL are unique in their grasping nastiness smile

OurBlanche Tue 11-Oct-16 13:00:44

Sorry! SPecific to OP

If it matters I know his wife has cut me and my parents out of her life completely

I suspect that that one sentence explains everything! Yes, it matters! Have you any idea why?

Kidnapped Tue 11-Oct-16 13:01:26

I don't see how what Attila said was unhelpful.

Sometimes you have to think why people act as they do surely? Where and how did it start? The OP said that her brother wasn't bothered even before the estrangement between his wife and the rest of the OP's family.

There are probably reasons why the situation is as it now is and they may well go back a long way. I think the OP might suffer rejection if she wants to start up a relationship with him again and he doesn't want to. And she needs to be prepared for that if she resumes contact.

Artandco Tue 11-Oct-16 13:03:14

Never see or talk to any of my siblings apart from at weddings, odd visit To my parents. My parents never call either. No close family on my side, and I don't remember being close really as a child either. Dhs family are the opposite and call and we see all the time even though they live further away

Sgoinneal Tue 11-Oct-16 13:03:59

Why did his wife cut you out? (if possible, try and see this from both sides and I think you will have the answer).

SandyY2K Tue 11-Oct-16 13:13:46

It's not normal in my family, but families differ greatly.

My DH could not and would not prevent me from being in contact with my siblings.

If you personally haven't offended them, then it's a bit off.

The question is how close were you before he got married?

aginghippy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:39:27

I have two brothers. One I am close with (emotionally rather than geographically) and we have a lot of contact. The other I might see at weddings, funerals and so forth, but that's it. There was no big falling out, but our lives are very different and we don't have much to say to each other. Both types of relationships are 'normal' for me.

I agree with Attila and others. Think about your reasons for wanting to get back in touch. What are you hoping to get out of it? How might you feel if you don't get what you want?

hellsbellsmelons Tue 11-Oct-16 13:42:21

I'm in contact with all my sisters.
One who I grew up with is close and we are really good friends.
The others are half sisters and we catch up a few times a year.
Although one lives overseas so we probably only see her 1-2 times a year.
But we email and keep each other updated with things.
It would be odd to me not to have contact but we are a very close family.

Spookybitch Tue 11-Oct-16 13:49:56

Another one here not in contact with siblings.

The thing is, you can't force a relationship. It's quite possibly nothing to do with his wife (hate when that gets rolled out as a reason). I've got no reason to contact my siblings, no desire to and therefore I don't see what there is to gain? I've no more interest in seeing my brother than I have in seeing someone I went to school with - mild curiosity but nothing more.

Alwayschanging1 Tue 11-Oct-16 13:53:04

I have 2 brothers. Older one lives overseas but we keep in touch, get on and I could depend on him if I was ever in trouble. Younger one lives locally, but wants to keep contact to a minimum; seeing us is a chore and a duty. I have finally accepted it and given up after years of effort.
DH has 2 siblings, both overseas and he makes no effort at all to see or speak to them unless they visit us. His choice, but it is sad.
So we have 4 siblings between us, but only have 'normal' contact with one.

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