Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
How do I overcome my intense dislike for my brother?(26 Posts)
I am finding it immensely hard to have a relationship with my youngest brother due to the fact he is an ignorant, racist bully.
I don't know how to overcome this issue.
Him and my other brother work for my mum and step dad - there is no way I can cut him out anymore than I have because my mum is either completely oblivious to his behaviour/person or she just takes the easy route.
He's always been her favourite and yet he treats her awfully. We don't share the same father - who was a psychopathic abusive monster - and he's turning out to be the same. This isn't a case of sibling jealousy, I am just at my wits end of him doing whatever he wants and there being no consequences.
Mum and I did the 'psychopath test', and reading out the traits was such a red flag she told me to put it away and got quite offish with me. It wasn't until later I thought about it I realised he is a textbook psychopath according to the test. Admittedly not reliable.
He's working in a job he is totally unsuited to and is on an overinflated wage so he won't go anywhere else. He is bankrolled by the back of mum and step dad down to his daily lunch, yet throws huge aggressive fits when he's asked to do something or doesn't get his own way. He's inappropriate and rude and cost then business but it makes no difference.
He's brought the company into disrepute through driving offences and road rage with the police turning to to caution him after he told the policeman to 'fuck off' at the scene.
He's repeatedly sworn and thrown stuff in rage and directed at my lovely mum, who inevitably cries to me.
We all recently heard the news his father had cancer. Mum begged us not to be in contact due to the huge history (this man was sent to prison for physically assaulting me in the street when I was 15). We naively decided to visit him to make our own minds up. I decided that it was affecting my MH too much to be in contact - signs of PTSD were becoming more apparent with flashbacks and anxiety so bad I would shake and vomit and the thought of him. I wrote to him and told him my feelings in a long letter and my brothers agreed this was an awful man. However, youngest brother is after an inheritance and has no issues with being around this man.
He is regularly in fights but tells my mum he fell over or was just drunk - he's ruined family occasions through such incidents. The day I announced my pregnancy he told my mum to get out and proudly told us he'd punched a p**i taxi driver the night before because he didn't want to pay his fare.
He's openly and ignorantly political supporting the BNP and UKIP and told my DD he was voting to Leave "to close our borders". I was horrified because I've tried to install a more open minded ethos and she was innocently repeating crap like this.
There are so many incidences of trouble and drama that he's caused and he's like some oiled up anti vandal paint - everything just slips right off and he's never held accountable for anything and it's so frustrating, especially hearing him brag about getting away with everything.
Being around him is such an unpleasant experience I've started to avoid my mum and step dad and other brother. I can't bare to hear them whinge about him and nothing change. I don't want my children around him- he gets pleasure from teasing them in a nasty way that everyone laughs at.
How do I get past this or get over it? I feel so childish and resentful and angry and fed up that there's nothing he can't do. Family gatherings are horrific and I don't want it to affect my relationship with the rest of the family but it is. I've even considered moving away to limit any time together because of course, mum sees no problems or won't address them and nothing changes.
Not sure what I'm really after - has anyone else experienced this - what can I do? Coping strategies? Am I being too sensitive?
I don't have much useful advice but I don't feel life is worth spending with people like this. I don't think you are being over sensitive. I would just avoid him I think and unfortunately if it's a cost of time with your Mum then I would feel I had t o make a little more effort to go and see her without him being there. There is just no point in your life to try to be near him. You don't need to- we don't have to like everybody and you are within your rights to avoid family events etc, esp as he is affecting the children. I appreciate this will be hard but don't feel you have to apologise for it. Think how you would feel is it were your friend's brother, or a colleague's brother? It doesn't make it any more acceptable if he is related or not.
It doesn't sound at all that you are too sensitive. However you have to protect yourself from this toxic situation. Unfortunately it is not uncommon. I do not think there is much you can do apart from going low contact.
Do not ruin your relationship with your lovely mother over this
Thanks for your advice, I think you're definitely right.
It's so hard - he's works with mum in the day and then he'll invite himself over for dinner at hers or he'll just turn up and the atmosphere is horrible. He sets out to be rude and prove me wrong over the stupidest things - I don't react at all but that seems to be part of the game.
My mum is so different around him - she laughs at his vile jokes and babies him and encourages him - it's like watching the bully at school being surrounded by all these people who are too frightened to rock the boat.
Whenever I've seen my mum recently, he's turned up - he has his own room there and she never wants to do stuff on our own.
It's so frustrating.
Oh god. The main thing I've completely overlooked in this and the main push for me posting. His girlfriend messaged me recently about how he frightens her. She said she couldn't talk to anyone but needed my mum to have a word with him. He's basically abusive and a bully - it broke my heart to her how horrible he is but she won't leave. I sent her links to WA and the freedom programme and encouraged her to think about the fact she deserves better but she's gone away with him this weekend (to the parents' holiday home where they seem to own rights to )
I don't want to be in the middle of their relationship at all - I selfishly wish she hadn't told me because now I feel I have a responsibility to ensure she's safe.
She talks to my mum but mum seems to minimise this - despite us all being in a similar position growing up.
It's not your responsibility to ensure she's safe, though, is it? You're not responsible for your brothers behaviour. Nor is it for you/your mum to 'have a word' with him - this GF needs to know that this is the way he is, nobody will change him, and the door is that way >>> . That's as far as your involvement needs to go - you are LC with him and plan to remain that way.
What walkacrossthesand wrote.
It is not your fault they are like this; you did not make them that way.
The roots of dysfunction in your family of origin go back years and predates you. It is toxic and people from such families end up playing roles. Your birth father is dangerous and your youngest brother sounds just like him. Your mother has minimised it all and enabled her sons to the hilt for her own reasons (perhaps to keep these men dependent on her). What do you know if anything about her own family background; chances are she grew up within a similar unhealthy dynamic where abuse heavily featured.
I would walk away from them all; you are also not responsible for the actions of other people. Self preservation is necessary.
(My late FIL whinged a lot about my still lazy sponge of a BIL but nothing changed there either. FIL did not want to make changes and they both enabled him, also he did not have his wife's backing. She wanted her son dependent on her also for company).
I feel for you op. I don't think you can really overcome your feelings of dislike for your brother, because he has done nothing to try to make you like him. Just the opposite in fact.
I am in a similar situation to you. My brother is a suspected sociopath and among other things, walked out on my SIL when she had a 6 week old baby and a 2 year old, lied and lied about having an affair, has not had any contact with his own kids for a year and a half, doesn't pay all the child support he's supposed to, etc, etc. And takes no responsibility for any of that.
Like you, I feel caught in the middle because despite everything mentioned above, my Dad will defend my brother until the end. In the end, you need to look after your relationship with your Mum and avoid this toxic man as much as you can. It is so frustrating but you are never going to be able to change him.
My friends brother is a successful drug dealer, in the sense that he has profited immensely from his life of crime, flash cars, luxury holidays, designer clothes, big house.He has several children to different women and continues to spread his seed despite being 50.
In contrast she works every hour God sends in a stressful job, can not afford a mortgage, average car, everything she has, she has worked for and is basically a law abiding citizen..Over the years his lifestyle has caused her lots of anguish and there has been a lot of drama resulting in her having nothing whatsoever to do with him for many years. She now has minimal contact and accepts that she can do nothing whatsoever to change him, he is what he is.Whenever his name is mentioned, she often states that she does not like him but he is her brother.
I've even considered moving away to limit any time together because of course, mum sees no problems or won't address them and nothing changes
^^ yy - Self-preservation is critical. It isn't selfish to ring fence this situation to keep your sanity.
You cannot and should not try to rescue those who choose to have a relationship with your brother. That's their choice and all you will do is get caught up in the toxic environment he creates.
This sounds awful for you. I do think you need to keep yourself as safe as possible and limit contact.
You mention moving away - is this feasible?
He is unchangeable.
And those that stick with him are unsaveable. And I say that having been in a relationship with someone like this. No one could tell me what I needed to do. I had to work it out myself.
You have to simply step away and have as little to do with him as possible. If he finds your texts to his gf (or she shows him) you may well be on the receiving end of his aggression. If there are children involved you should anon tell NSPCC if you suspect any abuse/witnessing of abuse and they can go investigate.
There's nothing to like is there.
All I can suggest is if he admits to beating anyone up or similar then report it to the police. He could do with being in prison. Although I'd feel sorry for the other inmates.
Mum and I did the 'psychopath test', and reading out the traits was such a red flag she told me to put it away and got quite offish with me
your mother knows. She's afraid of him, at a guess.
it's very unlikely that anything you do can alter the dynamics at all.
I can't bare to hear them whinge about him and nothing change. I don't want my children around him- he gets pleasure from teasing them in a nasty way that everyone laughs at
Your self protective instincts are kicking in. Listen to them.
It's a gigantic upheaval, huge, but moving away might be the best solution. Your brother is ruling the roost with a destructive fist and your children deserve a lot better, especially since he's making them the butt of his humour.
Thank you all for your thoughts and replies.
There really isn't anything to like about him - he's ignorant by choice - but whether that's the environment we grew up in or genetics I don't know.
There is a long history of abuse in the family, a cycle that even soap writers wouldn't touch and my biggest fear is that my children will end up in the same cycle, which is why I've done all I can to break it.
It really resonated with me about my mum having them dependent on her - I couldn't have written it better. Both brothers are financially and emotionally dependent on her and I think it's bothered her that I have been independent from the very start - financially, emotionally, down to political beliefs, life choices, etc. I don't know how or why I'm so different but I hope that's my saving grace.
I really am considering a move away - not just a few miles either - something my OH and I have discussed.
With regards to my brother and his girlfriend - I really don't want to be involved in anyway but I feel so guilty knowing that he's a bully to her and as his sister, it makes me feel so awful that someone related to me can do that. For now, I'm definitely going to keep my distance - I've given her advice to leave and to make sure she is using contraception because a baby will trap her - so far there are no children.
I'm sorry for all of you who are experiencing relationship issues like this. It's so tough. I feel so anxious about family events or even just seeing my mum because he can do no wrong - he's the golden child but she's most definitely frightened of him.
The others can choose to be doormats, just as you can choose not to be.
@dieu you're right and I'm definitely not a doormat.
Do you think I should articulate to my mum how I feel or just go LC?
I would adopt a low contact position. Talking to your mother in my view would be a wasted effort on your part, she won't get it. She wants to keep them emotionally and financially dependent on her (I have seen this within my ILs family of origin).
I would definitely tell her how you feel, as then she will understand that you can only see her when he is not present. So it will make the logistics of your relationship easier and more clear cut, in a way.
Not an easy position for you OP, but I definitely think you're doing the right thing by taking a stand against this 'man'.
That's a really difficult situation OP. I've just had a thread slightly similar, although my DSis is nowhere near as bad as your brother. It's the treating our parents like crap but then our parents just accepting it as they are scared of her blowing her top which annoys me so much and you think just stop being doormats. They are terrified she will cut them off but she needs them more than they need her I think.
It must be difficult working with them all, day in day out.
Everyone has a role to play in relationship dynamics and your mother has chosen apologist and enabler. What's your role in the family dynamic? You have choice and it doesn't have to be similar to your mother's. Your responsibility isn't to protect your mother from the consequences of her poor boundaries with her son. Your responsibility begins and ends with being able to live with your choices and if colluding in the messed up family dynamic is a choice that makes you uncomfortable, then don't.
Don't follow your mother's example and be a victim of your decisions.
Oh dear. from your last post, this cycle of abuse is very deep seated and ... sadly .. probably unbreakable until the people involved want to break it
You are the only one so far.
The more you write, the more it seems wise to move away. And also to get some serious in depth therapy with a therapist who is experienced. One who isn't experienced in your sort of background will simply not be able to help and may make things worse.
What does your OH think?
From what you write, your mother may actually like their dependence because 1) it makes her feel needed and 2) actually, it's a sort of control thing. Some people in her situation have no way of exerting open and healthy and normal control over their situation, so from insecurity and fear they develop subtle but destructive ways to overcontrol.
Yes, move away. Your kids are the most important now and from what you've said the more distance, the better.
Move away. Moving away from my toxic family changed my life! So much easier to deal with the odd phone call than visits. You don't want your DD around it.
I didn't know Donald Trump had a half sister.
You can't make him not act this way. You can't make him not mistreat other people. It's just not possible. You can limit your exposure to him, but you can't make other people limit their contact with him.
He actually thinks Donald Trump is great, which is no great surprise... thinks it's a great idea to get rid of those people stealing jobs and terrorises and the like. Obviously, you can't argue with a fool either and because no one else will dare to disagree with anything, he's living in an echo chamber where what he says is right and everyone else is wrong.
He called me a feminist recently - as an insult - and my mum said, oh I hate those man hating women!
I had therapy 12 years ago for a traumatic incident and the therapist told me that until I came to terms with my dysfunctional family I would never be able to move on with any part of my life - including the incident. Last April I saw the GP who booked me in for CBT, but again, it was for something unrelated - except it's all related or influences everything when it's in your head.
My anxiety at the moment is pretty high and I get quite short of breath and a terrible pounding in my chest - I think quite possibly all of this is weighing very heavily but the idea of going back to the GP is (almost amusingly) giving me more anxiety.
Last night I spoke to my OH about moving and he is quite willing - it would have a great positive impact on our finances and we both have jobs that are transferable - I wfh. However, there are financial considerations and schools and a whole new start - I wonder is that really worth it to avoid one toxic person?
Thinking a lot out loud here. I have to go and see my mum in a bit - he'll hopefully be out. Families aren't ever how you imagine, are they?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.