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If you live a long way from your siblings....

(34 Posts)
kwaker5 Wed 12-Aug-09 20:30:38

....have you grown apart as you've got older?

My brother and his wife moved to France about 3 years ago. They haven't been to visit us since (prior to that we lived about 200 miles apart but they didn't visit us for about 3 years, although we visited them about three or four times a year). We went over with DS a couple of years ago (he was 8 months at the time) but haven't been over since because we were hoping they might come over here and travelling with a toddler is such a headache. They have no kids, although SIL is now due in November. We now have a DD (3 months) and I did think we might try and go over early next year before I go back to work but a part of me feels a bit 'why do we have to make all the effort'. I dwell on the fact we hardly see one another: should I just accept that's how it is and stop thinking about it?

Similarly, DH's brother and his family live near his parents about 200 miles away. His parents have been to visit us three times in 10 years (two of those visits were for births of DS and DD). We see his brother and family every time we visit his parents (about 3 or 4 times a year but they rarely come to visit us. Now that we have DD we don't really have the room for them to stay over but there was no reason prior to that.

Just wondering if it's inevitable to lose touch in these circumstances. My mum rarely saw her brother after their parents died and my dad doesn't see his sister that much. They also live considerable distances apart.

Quite sad about drifting apart from my brother, especially as he is starting a family now.

DutchOma Wed 12-Aug-09 20:41:13

I have four brothers who all live in Holland, I live in the UK.
We see each other all together about once every two or three years. Apart from that I don't see much of my older two brothers, but see more of the younger two than they see of each other, iyswim.
We have a lot of phone and e.mail contact. On the other hand, my sil comes to the Scottish borders every year, but never thinks to come and visit us.
And I certainly make more of an effort to see them that they make to see me.

MmeLindt Wed 12-Aug-09 20:44:52

I see my brother once a year as we live abroad.

We stay in touch via email/facebook and are closer now than we have been in years.

My brother got married this year, I was bridesmaid and godmother to their DD (1 yo), my DH was best man.

I don't think that seeing each other is important, but being interested in the life of the sibling is.

Do you feel that he is interested in your life?

kwaker5 Wed 12-Aug-09 21:26:41

Mme Lindt - Hmmmmm, maybe he isn't! I am interested in his life and will be even more so when they have a child but he doesn't really tell me much about what he's up to! I just get something along the lines of 'everything's fine'. A lot of my emails go unanswered but maybe that will change when they have a baby. You do have more to update your family with once you have kids and we will have more common ground.

MmeLindt Wed 12-Aug-09 21:35:05

My brother is not so much of a conversationalist, he sends me an occasional two line email.

I have more contact with my SIL than wiht my brother at the moment. Perhaps when your SIL has cDC she will be more inclined to keep contact.

BottySpottom Thu 13-Aug-09 00:19:56

I think maybe once your brother's baby has arrived you may find them making more of an effort. Although it can be a pain travelling with a baby, I think it focuses the mind on what is important. Especially once they have a second child and start to think about how they would feel if their children became distant with each other.

brimfull Thu 13-Aug-09 00:24:22

I have 3 brothers ,they all live in Canada and I live in UK.

We rarely talk on the phone or email but I was seriously ill last yr and they were here within a few days.
It felt entirely natural that they made that effort as I would do exactly the same.
We love each other despite not being involved in each others lives.
I get their news via my parents

Portofino Thu 13-Aug-09 09:32:12

I live about 500 miles from my sister and in a different country. We speak on the phone most weeks and probably meet up a couple of times a year. I do worry that my dd will miss out on not growing up with her cousins. But they are coming to visit in a week and she is very excited.

TheInvisibleManDidIt Thu 13-Aug-09 09:53:52

My brother lives almost 400 miles away, my sister 150 miles away.

Wasn't really close to my sister growing up, we've become closer as adults and since we've had children. Having said that we only see each other maybe 2 or 3 times a year.

I absolutely worshiped my big brother growing up (he's alot older than me) but now only see him once a year at most. He has 5 children, aged 2 to 19 so travelling up here is hard for him, and we have no room for them to stay. We e-mail occasionally. However we've not grown apart atall- when we do get together it's like we see each other every day iyswim.

My oldest neice is 19 (20 this month!!) I've always lived this far from her (400miles) but we are very close. She emails me loads and sends photos and has visited me herself a couple of times.

So the distance hasn't affected my relationship with her. Being far apart and living seperate lives doesn't mean you don't still have a bond with them.

diddl Sun 23-Aug-09 15:59:26

I don´t see that much of my sister as she is abroad.
We keep in touch by phone & email.
When we do meet up, it´s as if we´ve never been apart.

2rebecca Sun 23-Aug-09 23:38:39

No. Have lived over 6 hours drive from both sibs for 15+ years but we meet up 2-3 times a year and phone each other every fortnight or so. We like each other which helps.
If there isn't room to stay with someone/ for them to stay with you you or they could always stay at a B&B. I don't use that as a reason for not visiting my friends and relatives. France would be trickier. When I lived in Oz for a year none of my family visited, too expensive and couldn't get enough time off work, fair enough but we wrote to each other.

treacletart Sun 23-Aug-09 23:43:18

Both my brothers live out of the country now - we use Skype a lot .

BecauseImWorthIt Sun 23-Aug-09 23:43:58

Were you close before he went?

And how are their finances? Can they afford to travel?

It could be to do with the male thing - IME/IMO men are crap at keeping in touch. My dad and my brother live about 200 miles away and never call me - unless there's a problem or I have to do something specific for either of them. The idea of ringing just for a chat simply never enters their brains.

But if you want to keep seeing him, it's not that difficult to get in the car/get on a ferry/go through the tunnel and go to France. Not much more difficult than any other journey.

2rebecca Sun 23-Aug-09 23:50:42

It depends where you live. I live in Scotland and going to France is a mammoth car journey. Agree my southern based relatives often pop over for the weekend though, but then it depends on which bit of France he lives in. Northern Scotland to South of france is alot less doable than Dover-calais.

ClaudiaSchiffer Mon 24-Aug-09 00:42:19

I live a looong way from my brothers. And it is crap. I used to be really close to them, my eldest brother married one of my best friends and I used to share a house with my middle brother when we were at uni. They used to be good friends and we got on really well with each others partners.

Then I moved away to Australia. My middle brothers wife turned into nightmare evil bonkers sis-in-law, which has left us all rather shell-shocked and my older brother isn't really that good at communicating.

I feel very sad about it all and I miss them both immensely.

Shells Mon 24-Aug-09 00:50:42

I used to live a long way away from siblings and then moved back closer. Its still a long trip. They tend not to make the effort. Its always me.

I feel sad about it for my children really as I would like them to have aunty/uncle who were interested in them. But they're not really. I think I should put more energy into other things.

lavenderbongo Mon 24-Aug-09 01:32:44

I live quite a distance from my brother and sister. I am the oldest by 6 years and neither of them have children yet. Although we are talk often every two weeks or so, I think we will get closer when they have children. Kids change your life so much and you whole outlook become completely different.

We use Skype to keep in touch as its so expensive to get over here I dont expect to see my siblings for at least another year. sad

muggglewump Mon 24-Aug-09 02:44:12

My brother lives in London, I live near Glasgow.
I don't even have his phone number.

He's a knobber, a total and utter tossing knobface.

He got married for the second time this year, and didn't bother making sure our Dad could go, made a point of excluding me too. (I'm a single parent on benefits, doesn't look good to a city boy's friends)
Our Dad was ill earlier this year, he's 84. It was the first week of June. My brother has been to Florida since, but hasn't been to see our Dad.
He's ashamed of me, his sister on benefits who sees our Dad at least once a week, mows the lawns at my Dad's house, walks the dog and takes an interest in my Dad.

Yup, My brother is a fucking shit.

muggglewump Mon 24-Aug-09 02:53:11

Oh and while I'm on the subject, my brother earns a 6 figure salary.
My Dad sent him a cheque for his wedding present.

My Dad had been in hospital, very, very ill and of course serious in an 84yr old.
My brother, in his first phone call to my Dad after coming home from his Honeymoon in Sri Lanka and The Maldives, said that my Dad's cheque had not arrived and could he please pay the money into his bank account.

muggglewump Mon 24-Aug-09 03:15:37

Oh, and he said he'd come to visit in July, and then it was August.
Next weekend is the last weekend in August. I know clearly as it's my DD's birthday and he's still not here and he's not coming either

Also, last time he visited my Dad, him and his then fiancé (they're married now, the wedding that my Dad and I were excluded from) slobbered all over each other.
I went for Coffee with them and they may as well have had sex in the Coffee shop and be done with it.

It was too far, too much.

I don't like my brother.

I think that having an only, as I do, is finegrin

2rebecca Wed 26-Aug-09 10:01:21

As you clearly don't like your brother I'm not surprised he excluded you from the wedding. I'm not sure how he could "make sure" someone who is 84 can go to a wedding. At 84 I would have thought there was very little your dad couldn't cancel if he wanted to go to the wedding. If he got ill at the time of the wedding that isn't your brother's fault. Your brother sounds selfish but you sound a bit of a martyr.

retiredlady Sat 29-Aug-09 18:45:16

I live 2+ hours away from 1 sister and 3+ hours away from other sister and DH lives 6+ hours away from his brother.

We are doing something about it and are moving closer to make the times 30 mins, 90 mins and 4 hours. Not perfect but better.

Easier to do when you are retired of course.

mathanxiety Sun 30-Aug-09 01:21:42

Now that they're having a baby, they may feel they can relate much better to you. Don't give up on them. Keeping up ties with family is always a good thing unless they're toxic.

FourArms Sun 30-Aug-09 08:13:11

I see my sisters quite a few times a year, one a lot more now as she lives in the same city as me. She'll pop round for dinner or to babysit. However, my middle sister now lives in a different place to my parents, making it harder to visit her (she has a 2 bed flat). But she comes here, and we see each other at our parents now and again. We also talk on the phone, and facebook is fantastic for feeling involved day to day. I loved visits to my cousins as a child, even if it was only once a year, and I still feel close to them now as an adult.

piscesmoon Sun 30-Aug-09 08:31:23

I don't see my brothers a lot because of distance but we don't go too long before speaking on the phone.I email both my SILs a lot-women are better at keeping in touch!

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