The Older I Get The More It Hurts: Siblings

Another year has passed and I’m another year older. The older I get, the more think of the estranged relationships I have with my brother and sister, and quite honestly it hurts a bit more every year.

When I was born I had a mother, father, brother and sister. I have on many previous occasions written how this family nucleus became estranged and dysfunctional. However, cutting a long story short, I only have a relationship with my mum, and my father passed away a few years ago, not that it made any difference to our relationship because we simply didn’t have one.

As I get older, strangely, I’m having a few regrets that I didn’t try hard enough to build bridges. Unfortunately the moment has passed now as he is longer with us.

What hurts as I get older is the fact that I have absolutely no relationship with my brother who I have not seen for 30 or so years. The chances of us seeing each other is also very slim because we live 12,000 miles apart, so I am unlikely to bump into him at the supermarket.

My mum also does not have any contact with my brother, her son, which is, I’m guessing part of the reason why I have no contact with him. On the odd occasion when I have made contact over the years it has always come with a list of restrictions which revolve around my contact with him and my mum, needless to say I usually cut the contact short because I cannot live separate lives and this I feel is disloyal to my mum.

It has been nearly 20 years since I last saw my sister. I have had contact on occasions via phone calls through the years, but this is very sporadic and we can go years without contact. My sister also does not have contact with my mum.

What happened all those years ago, to cause this estrangement, well, I have no idea. Maybe I was too young to notice, or understand, but whatever happened has left a lifetime of not talking between siblings as well as children and a parent. This makes me so sad if I’m honest and it has become a more constant thought as I get older.

I’m a dad of five children and I cannot imagine going more than a couple of days not speaking to them, and I know my oldest children are forging their way in the world and lead busy lives, but we always find time to talk to each other. Not speaking to my children on a regular basis is completely unthinkable to me. My brother and sister both have children and to my knowledge they all get on fine and speak to each other.

I have often wonder how my sister and brother would cope as parents, should their children decide not to have contact with them, or their children fall out with one another and end up not speaking to each other. I’m pretty sure they would be upset and heartbroken.

My mum, who is now in her twilight years, and I imagine every day is a bonus to her, is having to live her life out without any contact with two of her children. Sadness does not describe how she must feel, whatever the problem, the issues or arguments surely now they could put them to one side. I’m not saying you forget the issues, but forgiveness would be a nice thing to do and I’m sure it would make my mum happy, actually it would make me happy too! Although I’m not holding my breath.

The older I get, the more it hurts having no relationship with my brother and sister, because once my mum is no longer with us, the only connection to my childhood will be my brother and sister and we don’t speak. A feeling of belonging and where I come from will be lost forever.

The big question for me is do I start building bridges to form a relationship which I crave or do I let go and accept what’s done is done, and continue to feel sad about this situation?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

19 thoughts on “The Older I Get The More It Hurts: Siblings

  1. I’m in a similar boat to you. I have not had any contact from my family over the last couple of years and I truly struggle with it. I constantly have an internal battle of reaching out to them to mend bridges and not. The thing I hate the most is that my kids have no relationship with their aunties, uncles, grandparents and extended family. #ThatFridayLinky

  2. It’s a tough one, so sad not to have that contact with your family. Relationships can get strained but it’s so sad if eventually it can’t just become water under the bridge, and as you say forgiveness is important but tough. I’d say life is too short and if it’s something that’s making you feel sad and low then only you can try and do something about it. If you get knocked back then at least you know you’ve tried and maybe the chance for them to see kids will bring you all back together?

  3. It’s a tough one and think a lot depends on what your siblings want. If they’re not forthcoming then I wouldn’t force it. My family’s a bit of a weird one and I have a half brother and sister which I don’t speak to as I didn’t speak to my dad for 15 years and even now we only speak occasionally and I just have nothing in common with them really and none of us are bothered. When my mum died I spoke to my auntie for the first time and it was nice to have that connection but that fizzled out in her behalf too.
    I think my ramblings are jusy saying maybe test the water but don’t force it as you don’t want to be hurt if they’re not keen. #thatfridaylinky

  4. Families are a complicated beast. Sadly, I don’t think this is an unusual situation. I think if you do what you feel in your gut is the best course of action then there is no room for regret. There is no simple right or wrong – just a decision you can live with, what ever that is. x #ThatFridayLinky

  5. It’s a tough one…my brother and I used to be close although we are 5 years difference in age. Then he got very strong opinions about how I should be bringing up my children (he doesn’t have any), and how I was letting young twins (under 2) make me live in a fuzzy haze of child rearing (I had a 5 year old too, and we still got out and did much more than many families!). He has distanced himself from me in almost objection which is very sad as they are his nieces and nephews and don’t really have much contact with him. #thatfridaylinky

  6. I think you should try and build bridges. So sad when this happens. My BIL and SIL haven’t spoken sine their dad died 4 years ago, would not even put differences aside for their Mums Birthday. I can see how much it hurts the rest of the family

  7. Families are so complicated aren’t they?! Your family dynamic is very similar to my partners however I’m the complete opposite and have a very small, very close family which he sometimes struggles with as he simply never had this himself. Now we have children ourselves it flags up what a huge shame it is when family don’t have contact for whatever reason and all of the years that family members have missed by not being involved!


  8. I am so sorry for your circumstance and can unfortunately relate. I haven’t seen my dad in 15 years and this year for Father’s Day, I called him out of the blue to build that bridge. It was a very emotional call and I knew at least I did my part. My bday was a few months later and no call or card. I’d lie if I said it didn’t sting a little but you have to do what you know you can live with and if that means a call or note in the mail to say you’re thinking of them and they choose to do nothing, then it’s on them. ((HUGS))

  9. Oh this makes me sad! It must be tough to love without a sibling knowing they are there. You see like such a great Dad too from your posts. I would try to build bridges but going into it knowing will not miss anything should it not work; in other words go in with your eyes wide open. At least would have tried, perhaps for your mums sake. Once she’s gone, your siblings may wish they had tried to see her you see. Lovely post. #thatfridaylinky

  10. Gosh that is a real tough question which I hope that you will able to find the right answer to to in the future, families can be tough #ThatFridayLinky

  11. That’s really sad, Nige. I can’t imagine not having contact with my siblings. It’s hard to know how you might reach out not having all the details of how / why things ended. All I would say is that the internet has opened up lots of opportunities to have a different kind of contact with friends and family at a distance. There must be a way to reach out?

  12. This must be so hard, I cannot imagine not speaking with my sister we are so close. I don’t know what to suggest – I guess if you’re really saddened by not having them in your life, which you clearly are, there must be a way to try and build bridges. The same for them and your Mum? It would be a shame to live with the regret of not trying #ThatFridayLinky

  13. I have had a strained relationship with two of my siblings as they have very different ways of life and think certain things are fine to do when kids are around. Due to this I wont be seeing my mum on Christmas day and more to the point, she wont see Ben on Christmas when it was her year to do so.
    Right now I am very sad about it but my mother instincts come first and I dont want to put Ben in harms way.
    Maybe in years to come I’ll reflect on it differently, but for now the relationship will remained strained. Families really are complicated arent they??!! #thatfridaylinky

  14. My sister rarely makes any effort to contact me or our parents. She is fine when we phone her or when we visit but I think she feels out of sight out of mind and doesn’t give us much thought. I see my mum almost everyday and my dad at the weekends (he works so isn’t around during the week). Even when we go on holiday I phone every couple of days #thatfridaylinky

  15. I’m an idealistic person, but I would say – reach out, but go in with eyes wide open, and accept that the relationship probably won’t be the one you wish it to be.

    Instead, try to find the balance between what you need and what they’re willing to give, and figure out how to be content with that (rather than wishing it to be more/something different).

    As you point out yourself, when people are gone that chance of reconciliation goes with them. Good luck with whatever you decide. 🙂

  16. Oh Nige, this has me in tears. I have a difficult relationship with my brother, we aren’t close due to issues we had growing up and his behaviour as an adult, and the hardest part for me is seeing my parents go through that anguish too. To see your mum missing two of her children must leave you feeling terrible and, with every passing year, that opportunity to make amends becomes less and less. I’m not sure what the answer is as I’m not sure what caused the rift, but maybe reaching out to them one last time is worth a shot? xx #thatfridaylinky

  17. Hi Nige, I can totally relate to this. My folks, they don’t talk to me and it has been quite some time. It is their loss, and I know who owns the problem, but that doesn’t make it easier. There are no do-overs that I am aware of – sometimes you have to leave the toxic people out in order to survive. I was dying on the vine, literally, before their eyes, and it wasn’t working. Sad. They don’t know my Mrs. or my beautiful kinder. Wishing you and yours all of the best. xoxo #ThatFridayLinky xoxo

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