I have a brother.
He is rarely seen and most of my friends forget that I do in fact have a brother. I would guess that maybe 5% of people who know me would be able to tell you what is first name is, but they do know the names of my niece and nephew. Odd, right? I agree. I don’t often speak of him because there really isn’t much to say…but I’ve devoted a post to him so let’s see what I can come up with.
He is about 5 years older, unhappily married, with 2 children that don’t respect him (or anyone else for that matter, but that’s neither here nor there). My brother and I don’t speak to one another very often and have been like this for a number of years now. I would love to tell you about the huge blow out fight that we had that led to the silence or the accusation that was so horrible that it split us up but it never happened. From what I’ve spent years trying to figure out, he just doesn’t have anything to say to me anymore but at one point in his life he did. He always had something to say to me. I miss those days.
My brother, the eldest and only boy of my parents 3 children, has always claimed to feel more pressure from our parents than what my sister and I had to deal with, and that he had higher expectations to live up to. I don’t buy it. We all here the same messages growing up, we were all grounded for the same things and my sister and I were often grounded for different things but longer sentences than what my brother had to live with. When we were growing up, with a sister between us, it was always 2 against one – most of the time it was him and I ‘against’ my sister. We were very close, it was tough when he went away to University as I feared things would change. That fear grew when he married. I was right with that one, too right sadly.
I spoke with him the other day as he was collecting the mail at my parents house (on his way to work) while they were on vacation. Most people, including myself and our parents, would see that he’s doing our parents a favour, not me. I called him to let him know that Baby and I would be spending the day at the house so he didn’t have to collect the mail that day. He was combative and rude, but informed me that it would be my responsibility for the end of their trip as he was going away. That was the end of the conversation, it was abrupt and cold. Like somehow
When I was pregnant, which if you’ve read other posts know it was quite difficult, he would say jokingly to my parents that he wished that I had a difficult baby but that with his luck I’d have a good baby and make him look bad. I know that this is reflective on him, but it still hurt to think that even a tiny part of him was wishing a hard time on me – hadn’t I been through enough? And to be petty, he shouldn’t worry about me making him look bad – he has a wife and kids that exceed at that.
That last sentence was a little harsh, no?
As siblings we have always keep track of what my parents have bought us and how they’ve helped us along the way. It’s been a competition since birth. I have no idea what we’re competing for, but we are definitely all trying to stay ahead. I have recently left the race, I’m tired, lazy and frankly, I don’t care anymore.
We’ve all had difficult times and parents are allowed to support their children, right? Is it fair to resent the help they give to one child over another? My sister met our parents on their vacation – I will admit that I was jealous. I will be clear, I was jealous because I would LOVE to be on the beach, not that my sister is there instead of me. Sister needs a break.
While driving down to my parents home with Baby and Dog, where I am currently writing this post, I had an epiphany! My a-ha moment, if you will. I have a fantastic husband and our relationship is better than ever, we have an amazing daughter (knock on wood), and I am enjoying every minute of my life right now. Yes, this is a total 180 (or is it 360) from my most recent post but today is a new day!
I have a feeling that my brother may be resentful for a number of different reasons, all of which are his issue not mine. I also recognize that he may in fact be jealous of the life that I have right now. He doesn’t view my health as anything serious, again that’s his issue. All he sees is that I’m happily married to a partner who works with me not against me, and that we have this child who eats and sleeps (please knock on wood too!). He likely sees my life as being ‘easier’ than his and doesn’t recognize the ease that his life has to offer. I could list the ways but I’ve
stopped keeping score matured. If any of these reasons are true or if he just truly doesn’t like me – it’s all on him. As much as I would love to have a little more control, I cannot control how he feels about me, nor how anyone feels about me.
Life lesson right there and I think I’ve aced it!
Anyone else have a relationship with a family member that is less than ideal? Any thoughts on how I can improve my relationship with Brother or do I let sleeping dogs lie?