Author Topic: Have we been cut off? Why?  (Read 3833 times)

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AnonymousDIL

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Have we been cut off? Why?
« on: March 29, 2011, 06:36:55 AM »
I want to start by saying that the relationship between my brother and I was always a little “strained.” My brother is 21 months older than me. Our mom homeschooled us both, but for many subjects (history, science, etc.) we were taught at the same grade level which translated to my education being greatly accelerated. This resulted in my brother being super-competitive with me over everything. Growing up, I felt that my brother hated me.
Two days before my 18th birthday, our dad was killed suddenly in an accident at his work. My brother was a freshman in college and I started at the same college (same department) the following year. When I started college, my brother and I were suddenly very close. It was wonderful. I loved spending time with my brother.
He earned an award in his junior year, again in his senior year, and graduated with the highest honors. We were all very proud of him. He worked very hard. All the professors loved him. All the professors loved me too. In my junior year, I was awarded the same award my brother had been, but I was also awarded a second award. The first was for being the top student in Economics and the second for being the top student in Accounting. I was shocked to get them both because they had never been awarded to the same student before. My professors and mom were so proud of me and congratulated me etc, but my brother refused. The department chair even commented on his behavior later. That he was shocked that my brother was so jealous and reacted the way that he did.
This was about the time he started dating my SIL. They dated 4 months, got engaged and were married in less than a year. Quick, but they are really in love and “perfect” for one another. When they started dating, my brother pulled away for a while, but when they were married, we were close again.
Then I met my DH. When we first started dating, my brother nad DH got along very well. It was so nice to have a couple to hang out with. DH asked my brother’s blessing before he proposed on our 1st anniversary, and we married about a year later. During our engagement, things started becoming strained again for no apparent reason. About a month after the wedding, even more so. I was told that I basically should hang out with ANYONE during our first year of marriage because we should be focusing on us. What????
Well, every time we plan a get together, brother and SIL always have plans with her family. We planned the New Year’s Eve (we always spent NYE with them) in October! Same with the super bowl, and now our next game night. I feel that it is coming through loud and clear that we have been cut off, but I have no idea why. I feel like my brother is dead to me, but he is still here.
Anywho, I need to know what I did to them to make them react this way. What is the best method to broach the “Are we cut off?” discussion. Letter? Phone call? In person? (in person probably won’t happen because they ALWAYS have other plans). What can we do?  :'(

Offline Pen

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 07:58:45 AM »
ADIL, I'm sorry you're going through this. My sib is geographically far away and I miss our closeness, so I can understand your pain and confusion. I would be feeling similarly if in your situation. You seem to have a grasp on some of the reasons your DB might be staying away, although you state you need to know what you did and are confused as to whether or not it's a true "cut off." You may not ever know.

It's a weird feeling, isn't it? That death-not-death feeling of being separated forever but knowing he still exists in other people's lives? I felt that way when DIL cut herself, and thus DS, out of our lives for awhile. DH & I went on with our lives and didn't act like anything was different even though I was in tears almost daily. This site helped immeasurably. Every few weeks I'd text DS "Thinking of you, hope all is well." We expected nothing and were not disappointed, LOL. Finally DIL changed her attitude (DS stepped up!) and that's when we got back on a tenuous but ever improving track.

Best wishes. Take care.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

LaurieS

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 08:10:21 AM »
Sometimes it's hardest between brother and sister.. each wanting/needing their own special place within the family structure.  Add a little unhealthy competition to the mix and there can be some hurt feelings.... I've had to often wonder, are my kids competing against each other or against themselves?  Either way it does make for tension, but as always direct communication would probably be the best action.

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 08:21:19 AM »
Thanks, Pen and Laurie. I do hope it gets better. We might see if they want to got out to dinner or something so we can talk and see what the issue actually is, other than brother's superiority complex. We no longer go to the same church for "religious reasons" DB Thinks He is GOD and I KNOW he isn't ROFL!!!!

Another thing I wanted to comment. After DB and SIL had been married for about a year, they cut off her parents.... Until just before DH and I's wedding. SIL's sister is actually my BFF and was my MOH. But now it is all about her FOO. Every time we plan a get together they suddenly have plans with her family.

We heard through the grapevine that they are jealous of our house. It's a little bigger, one extra bedroom and a usable basement. We got more bang for our buck because of when we bought our house (they bought during the bubble and we bought during the slump). It isn't a competition. I don't know why it is a big deal to them. 

Anywho, I guess I just know in my heart that DB and SIL would have no problem whatsoever cutting us out of their lives because we are superfluous. They have plenty of friends and won't miss us. We are making new friends, but I still miss them.  :'(

L

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 08:39:21 AM »
Sorry about your brother.  I know the pain as my brother and I were extremely close until after high school then it was never the same and we don't even talk anymore.  I was so disappointed because my brother finally had his first a child (also my only nephew) a couple of years ago and I thought we would get close from that event, but it didn't happen.

That's a shame your brother is jealous and to me that sounds like the root of the problem.  Sounds like he has issues.  I would advise just trying to branch out now and make other couple friends.  I would just leave it in his court.  I know it hurts to not be close like you would like but it sounds like, at least at this point, he wants some distance.  Hang in there.   

LaurieS

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 08:50:38 AM »
Thanks, Pen and Laurie. I do hope it gets better. We might see if they want to got out to dinner or something so we can talk and see what the issue actually is, other than brother's superiority complex. We no longer go to the same church for "religious reasons" DB Thinks He is GOD and I KNOW he isn't ROFL!!!!
Oh that was to funny :)

Sibling rivalry is sure a touchy thing and jealousy can be sparked by the lease amount of friction.  It's like a group of people playing the 'my dog is bigger' game when in all reality it's the family dog that everyone has always shared from the beginning.

I can assure you that this is not something that just fades into the background, instead you will make conscience decisions the rest of your life.. but hey isn't that any relationship worth having?  When we were building our new home, I was apprehensive to share any information or pictures with my sister.. not because she would be jealous, but because I knew that she would never again be in the position to do what I was enjoying at the moment.  I did not want to hurt her feelings if it would be prevented. 

Adding the fact that your brother married your best friend.. oh my goodness.. what a web :)  Keep it lite, keep it true and you will hopefully find your relationship with your brother improving once again.

holliberri

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 09:49:43 AM »
My relationship with my DB has a healthy dose of rivalry that has been unhealthy at times. It all works out in the wash though...

I think our relationship is in an "apart" stage, but it'll come back around. We were close for a long time, but  we both got busy. I think life will settle down for both of us  once more (marriage, military, college, jobs, kids all jumping into the mix in the  last 5 years or so), and we'll be able to reconnect.

DH and his DB are the same. It might be a cutoff, but it might just be life getting in the way at the moment. I look at my dad and his  siblings and they're all close as ever, but that sure  wasn't the case in when they were in their 20s.

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 10:10:48 AM »
So it really might be nothing? They just don't have enough time to go around and her family and friends come first. Bummer. :-(

What I don't get is how when we set something up months in advance, they don't have plans at first but HER family always makes last minute plans and then get precedence.

I just shouldn't think about it because it depresses me. I wish I could take the memories of time with my brother and put them somewhere they couldn't be accessed until he comes around.  :-\

holliberri

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 10:17:26 AM »
Hmmm...

Would a different perspective about the memories help?

I ache for my best friends who both died young, and the memories hurt for awhile, but then I started appreciating the memories themselves. I also for a long time, mourned my ex (first love) after we officially broke up, and the  memories were painful for awhile, but I found that through exposure, they got easier to manage when they popped in my mind, and now, I am very thankful to have them. I was able to detach the memory of the  past from my expectations for the future somehow.

I also went  through a similar thing when my relationship with my brother changed. I think you might not be cut off, but your feelings are probably quite normal (if they weren't, I wouldn't be normal...LOL).   ;) And the good thing with siblings: it might  always come back around!


AnonymousDIL

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 10:35:05 AM »
That makes a lot of sense Holli.... Memories of my dad are great, still make me miss him, but not in a "bad" way. I guess it is time to move on without DB for now. I guess I am just so insecure that he won't eventually come back around.

BLAST this never-stopping brain of mine! LOL

holliberri

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 10:36:38 AM »
I think we're all here b/c our brains don't  stop.  :)

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 10:50:58 AM »
DH and I went to a marraige seminar and the guy talked about the difference between men's brains and women's brains. Basically the woman's brain is so intertwined and never stops, but men have "boxes." They focus on only one thing at a time. and even have a box that is dedicated to "Nothing." They are in their "nothing" box when they veg out in front of the TV and you are talking to them and they aren't really listening.

Oh! If Only I could be a man! LOL

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 10:56:19 AM »
Maybe we will evolve into having half and half!  :)
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

AnonymousDIL

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 11:01:17 AM »
Maybe we will evolve into having half and half!  :)

The mental image I have now is kinda scary.... A "half-man/half-woman" brain might be like a messy attic with boxes strewn everywhere and no order! AHHHHHH! LOL

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Have we been cut off? Why?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 11:03:32 AM »
;D ;D ;D[move][/move]
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher