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thoughtless brothers

(26 Posts)
annep Mon 11-Jun-18 22:09:10

My daughter left her husband two years ago. He wasn't treating her right and she couldnt take it any longer. She's in south of England with two young children. I visit and also help out financially as much as I can. Her two older brothers have never visited her. I rhought they would rush to support het imnediately. I am so disappointed in them. I haven't told them that but I am. I'm sure she is hurt.

paddyann Mon 11-Jun-18 23:07:05

were they close before her marriage breakup? Or is there divided loyalties in that they are on her ex's side .If they weren't close then they probably see no reason to jump to her aid .Her breakup was her choice ,not theirs and not their responsibility .
I think all mothers hope for good relationships between their children .I know my late mother 's wish was for us all to stay close when she died .We speak on the phone and see each other a few times a year .Not nearly as much as she would have wanted .

stella1949 Tue 12-Jun-18 03:38:23

I've always wished that my two AC would get along, see each other and support each other. But that just hasn't happened - they only see each other if they both come to my place for a family event. Which is about the same as my sister and I - we only see each other once in a blue moon, which can be years apart even though we are good friends .

As mothers we always hope for a close family whether they are young or older, but it doesn't always happen. Just wondering - has your daughter ever gone to visit either of her brothers ? Maybe none of them is interested in closeness , including her.

annep Tue 12-Jun-18 04:07:27

Thank you both for your thoughts. Stella Shortly before she broke up she and her husband drove to visit her brother up north with two very young children an extremely long journey. She also organised meetups halfway between and paid for them. They were very close. Not so close to the other brother. I know it was her choice Paddyann but she was very sad and had tried hard to save her marriage. And it hasn't been easy since. I suppose like you both say we all hope for close families and its helpful to know that its normal. My own family is like yours Paddyann - mum wanted us to stay close but once she died it was never the same. Again , good to know its not unusual. Its not easy being a mother. But it sounds like I need to leave them to their own lives.

jenpax Tue 12-Jun-18 04:14:44

It may be they feel awkward with her especially if things with the ex were abusive and they aren’t dealing with the feelings very well.
Has anyone tried telling them that it’s not on to fail to support her in the two years since she left the marriage,Or discussed her need for help?
You don’t say anything about the relationship they had with her before she left her marriage, or their own circumstances. All of this may impact on how they are now behaving.
Families not talking and instead festering resentments or hurts is one of the most damaging things to family relationships especially as misunderstandings quickly develope
I would suggest that you quietly speak to your older sons and ask them if there is an issue with visiting their sister. Remember that if your daughters need is mainly emotional you probably would be the best one to help her; however if it’s practical stuff tell her brothers as they may have no idea of the help she needs and assume she is fine

annep Tue 12-Jun-18 08:18:42

No I haven't told them directly that its not on. Have talked about practical help needed. Both have time and are free to help. Relationships with brothers fine. They rang her to sympathise. I expected more. But they are all early forties and live far away from each other.(( 8 hour drive/ 1 hour flight. )Perhaps as others say I expect too much.

Nanabilly Tue 12-Jun-18 08:42:54

Do you know for sure that they have not spoken on the phone to give support in that way?
An 8 hour trip (is that just one way so is a 16 hour trip both ways) is a massive overload on weekend FreeTime and if they have kids of their own I can understand why they don't take it up with petrol costs alone it's a huge ask!
If they do travel down has your daughter got room to put them up or would they have to pay for accommodation, if they would have to pay its yet another added cost and not a cheap one .
Do your sons family if they have one do sporting activities on a weekend , if so then it's another big ask to expect them to give that up .
I think you should just sit back and relax and let them get on with things as we can't run our kids lives for them.

maryeliza54 Tue 12-Jun-18 09:25:28

I think having a word with them is perfectly acceptable. They might have been thinking that they should do something and that might kick start them. It’s easy to couch it positively as in how much it would mean to her rather than why haven’t you etc.

lemongrove Tue 12-Jun-18 09:51:13

They do live a long way away annep and speaking regularly ( if they do) is good.Perhaps you could suggest to them that she would really like a visit from them when they can manage it?
Siblings usually FB each other a lot and send texts.

Feelingmyage55 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:11:54

Could you “recharge” the relationships among you all by arranging a long weekend all together in the home with the most accommodation? Could/would you babysit so that the siblings could go off for the day and refresh their relationship? It may take a lot of organising and some expense but in the long term it might help a lot. At least set up a family What’s App in the meantime and promote more contact going for fun and light hearted posts and photos. Good luck.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:38:39

Please do be careful how you broach the matter to your children.

First: are you sure your daughter feels her brothers could or should do more, or is this only your feeling?

If your daughter is unhappy about the situation, then please do discuss it with her, then encourage her to speak to her brothers about it, unless she directly asks you to talk to them.

If she wants you to do something, ask them if there is any reason why they are seeing less of their sister. They may somehow feel that she is the one who has drawn away.

But tread carefully, please. They are all adult, so mummy butting in might just not be appreciated. I would, and did, resent my mother telling me how to deal with my sister once we were both grown up.

Perhaps you could invite all of your children to your place at the same time for a family get-together? Then see what transpires a little along the lines of Feelingmyage55 suggestion?

Yellowmellow Tue 12-Jun-18 10:51:31

I think a lot of men and boys have to be asked/told....a flippant example I know oldest son, a firefighter, who has a lot about him moved in for a while whilst his house sale/buying was going through. I remember being at work and it started to pour with rain. My work colleague said that her washing would be soaked. I said 'D' (oldest son is at home), so he will get my washing in. When I got home my washing was absolutely soaked and looking very sorry for itself on the washing line. I asked my son why he hadn't got the washing in as it was raining...his reply was 'you never said to get the washing in'... I have noticed with my other sons that they just don't think, but are happy to do thing if asked.
My point is may be suggest to your sons that there sister could do with some help and perhaps they could help their sister a bit. It could be they are busy wrapped up with their own lives, and just have thought. I know my daughter in laws all say...'if you told ask they just don't think'.
I'm a therapist and it is very clear that men and women think very differently...hence the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

sarahellenwhitney Tue 12-Jun-18 11:20:21

Annep People have no obligation to help their siblings
If your sons observe their mother helping their sister they may view this as adequate. Do they have families of their own? That is their priority and I am sure if your daughter wants their assistance she is mature enough to ask them.
Don't rock the boat.

annep Tue 12-Jun-18 11:48:49

These have all been very helpful. Many of the suggestions i have already tried. But I love all my children and would never say anything that would upset them. I guess I'm expecting them to act as I would. But posting this and listening to others has helped me to think it through. I will as one person suggested "take a back seat" I do have my own health problems so I should really concentrate on myself and ny husband. 😊

Feelingmyage55 Tue 12-Jun-18 12:04:39

Thank you for coming back and speaking to us. I am afraid part of my response is irrelevant now that I know you need to take more care of your husband and yourself. Take care.

annep Tue 12-Jun-18 13:22:19

Feelingmyage55 your comments were helpful. I do love gransnet. Great for chat and discussion and advice.😊

Jayelld Tue 12-Jun-18 14:24:09

I have 3 sisters and 2 surviving brothers.
I see 1 sister and 1 brother on a regular basis, weekly, and talk on the phone almost daily.
Sister 2, I see every 4,-5 weeks, sometimes more.
Sister 3 and brother 2, I'll see every two or 3 years.
My adult daughter, son in law and 4 grandchildren I see weekly.
This just our family dynamics and works for us. It depends on individuals, their lives, interests etc as to how often siblings can meet.
Obviously the distance, 8 hours, means that it would be difficult for one brother to visit regularly. As has been suggested, family get togethers could be centred around your home, especially given your health concerns. Perhaps if your daughter needed work, tasks, doing on her property, you could all get together at her place one weekend, and have a family together time, even to sleeping on couches or the floor.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 12-Jun-18 16:44:55

You know that old phrase, 'Your son's your son till he takes a wife, your daughter's your daughter for the rest of her life.' I think this applies to many (but not all) males in general. I see my sister twice a week but my two brothers - hardly ever. It's as though they've become a big part of their wives' families and have abandoned the original family. We may as well not exist unless they want something. But still, they know we are here if necessary.

Bluegal Tue 12-Jun-18 17:44:03

I have two brothers I love and get on well with - when I see them! It’s not as often as I would like tbh but I understand they have busy lives too. Many years ago when I was going through similar situation and lived a long way away I didn’t see either of them! Even during rare phone calls they never mentioned my situation at all.

Did it bother me? Not in the least. I don’t think either of them knew what to say. It was enough for me to know they do love me and I have never doubted that.

What am getting at is your daughter may not be as upset as you? I wouldn’t get involved in any event. She will be fine.

annep Tue 12-Jun-18 20:45:11

thanks bluegal and others. thank you all so nuch .

Davidhs Tue 12-Jun-18 20:57:36

All families are different our 3 daughters are quite close but I was never close to my brother or sister, we all did our own thing, college and marriage had a lot to do with that along with sibling rivalry.
I don't think there is much you can or should do, there is no harm commenting in conversation or phone call that the brothers should visit but don't press it.

agnurse Wed 13-Jun-18 20:14:22

They are adults. You can be disappointed in them, but it's not on you to determine their relationship with their sister.

Frankly, if my mother called me up and told me I need to "support" my siblings more than I was, I'd be insulted.

Eloethan Wed 13-Jun-18 21:14:05

Some men are not very good at dealing with their own or other people's emotions. They are not quite sure what to do or say. Perhaps that is part of it.

On the other hand, that may not be the case at all. As others have said, your sons are quite a long distance away from your daughter and it may be difficult for them to spare the time to do such a journey at the moment.

Also, perhaps your daughter wouldn't really expect them to rush to see her now. Maybe they'll do so when they are able to - or invite your daughter for a short stay, if that is practical.

annep Thu 14-Jun-18 08:24:11

agnurse I get your point that its not up to me. Lots of people have said similar and I've taken it on board. And many have given good advice and suggestions. My sons have both time and money to have visited. Both have travelled in the more than a year since she was separated. But if you had done nothing except a couple of phone calls, I dont know why you would be insulted. Anyway I'm grateful for all the responses and they have helped to ease my mind. I would not say anything to my children to cause disagreement.

MaudLillian Thu 14-Jun-18 08:33:37

I only have sons. I don't interfere with their arrangements with each other, but I do text/email them practically every day so they keep in touch with me. I think men are just less thoughtful about keeping up relationships than women are.