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Switch to Forum Live View Brother's family jealousy
7 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2007 - 3:32PM #1
BrookeC
Posts: 18
I live rather close, about 5 miles, from my parents.  My brothers live a greater distance away, about 1 to 1.5 hours drive away.  We spend a lot of time with my parents and they also spend a lot of time with my son.  My brothers and their families have a great jealousy of this fact.  They have both come out and said as much but only to my parents.  It is not a friendly jealousy but one that is interfering with our family relationship.  They chose to move away but I did not.  I do not feel that I or my family has done anything wrong.  But I have a feeling that we are heading for a large family fight because of this.  Does anyone have any advice about how to deal with this without damaging our relationships because I love my brothers?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2007 - 3:32PM #2
BrookeC
Posts: 18
I live rather close, about 5 miles, from my parents.  My brothers live a greater distance away, about 1 to 1.5 hours drive away.  We spend a lot of time with my parents and they also spend a lot of time with my son.  My brothers and their families have a great jealousy of this fact.  They have both come out and said as much but only to my parents.  It is not a friendly jealousy but one that is interfering with our family relationship.  They chose to move away but I did not.  I do not feel that I or my family has done anything wrong.  But I have a feeling that we are heading for a large family fight because of this.  Does anyone have any advice about how to deal with this without damaging our relationships because I love my brothers?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2007 - 2:50PM #3
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277
I can tell you this much... I know what your brothers are thinking and feeling.
We moved away.  Our kids NEVER get birthday presents, never get their Xmas presents on time, never get to see Grandma on the holidays unless we make the 14 hour drive, every single time.
When we do make the drive, we can't have dinner until the "girls" get to gramma's house.  THEN we can't order anything that they don't like.  We can't make any plans until we see what their schedule is. 
We have had to hold holiday dinners, after driving 14 hours to get there, as much as 2 hours because the sisters, who live across town can't be there at the time we wanted to eat.
Your brothers only live an hour or so away, why can't your parents visit?  It's easier for 2 adults to drive than it is for 2 adults plus kids.
The appearance of favoritism is what it's all about.  The grandkids in the same town as gramma get birthday and Xmas presents on time.  She buys them clothes, school supplies, takes them golfing and to movies.  She doesn't do ANY of that with my kids when we are there.
It's hard to be nice when you see your children being ignored.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2007 - 5:49PM #4
KARD9000
Posts: 1,712
If I could add to this, I have a family member whose "family-in-law" have this same issue. 

The sibling that moved was told point blank that because they moved, they have no say whatsoever in anything that has to do with the elderly parents or the family as a whole and they just have to "deal." 

People move for a lot of reasons - first and foremost a job.  To penalize someone in this way because they moved is wrong.  In the case I described, I know all the people involved and the family that "stayed" is extremely jealous of their sibling and using the situation to hurt them and their relationship with the parents and there is nothing the sibling who moved can do about it.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 19, 2007 - 7:56AM #5
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277
The worst part for my kids is... There was one brother in the Navy, he was stationed in Japan.  HIS kids always got their presents because "It's not their fault he's in Japan".  Like it's my kids' fault that their dad's career didn't take him to his hometown... 
There is one other brother in law who lives away.  He doesn't have kids, but he is treated in the same manner as us.  He and his wife don't go back at all.  We were all there several Christmases ago, and that brother and his wife just said it was too much.  They, like we, don't think they should have to drive 14 hours to cater to someone else's wishes.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 19, 2007 - 10:35AM #6
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849
I can understand your bros wanting to spend as much time with your parents as you are able to, and I’d be jealous too in their situation.  But not in an angry way. Distance does create limitations on how often family gets together-this must be obvious to them.  From what you write it sounds to me like your bros are being unreasonable about this.  Do your bros think there is favoritism going on here simply because your parents spend more time with family that resides close by, than family that lives far away?  Does this mean your bros want you to limit the time you & your family spend with your parents to the same number of minutes your brothers spend with your parents?  If this is the case, isn’t this an unreasonable way to treat your parents?

Or do they wish to be invited along whenever your family and your parents are getting together –even if you think it would be inconvenient for them to do so? Maybe they are willing to travel the 90 minutes, but just want to be invited along when you and parents get together. Or are your get-togethers with your parents somehow thwarting your bros plans to get together with them? Then communication betw your bros and your parents needs to improve.  Can’t say how you would be able to facilitate this one.

Or do they want your parents to do more traveling and go visit them more often? Is this a reasonable thing to ask of your parents? Some older folks have a difficult time getting around and cannot travel much because of this (you haven’t mentioned if this is the case).  Or are your parents perfectly able to travel, but instead choose not to visit them, and spend their time with you/yours? That would look like favoritism. If this is the case, then they need to address this with your parents. As mentioned in another post, it is often easier for 2 adults to travel than adults + kids-esp. little ones. Have your parents lost sight of this fact? And, maybe there are issues there that need to be looked at such as unsuitable accommodations, or not getting along with certain family members, etc. And that’s why your parents don’t want to travel to visit them.  This too, is something that your bros and your parents need to work through. 

You asked about how to deal with this without harming your relationship with your bros.  Other than asking all to look at the reasons why they feel as they do, and then calmly addressing any   issues over this, it really shouldn’t be cause for strife between you and your bros. Maybe I am missing something here?

Irene.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 11:24AM #7
Seshen
Posts: 191
[QUOTE=Tmarie64;78389]It's hard to be nice when you see your children being ignored.[/QUOTE]

I guess my view on that would be, how fair is it that the grandparents should ignore the geographically-closer kids so the others won't feel left out?
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2007 - 9:35AM #8
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277
How fair is it that gramma ignore the ones that are away?  Why wouldn't you consider that she could at least acknowledge their presence on the planet?
She shouldn't be buying school supplies, toys, games, taking them to movies every week, golfing, trips, then not even sending the others a stinking birthday card!
When we visit we can't do anything without checking with all the kids who live in town near her.  Why can't the out of town kids be number one for the few days they are there?  They DO come 14 hours once a year.  It's not like it's a huge inconvenience.  The plans are known at least 2 months in advance.  It's not like we just drop in unexpected.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2007 - 7:00PM #9
BrookeC
Posts: 18
Sorry, I should have explained better.  My parents do not ignore the other children at all.  They always get as many gifts, phone calls etc. that my son does.  They are simply jealous, as far as I can tell, of the fact that we are close and they get to see my son more.  My parents are quite old and, this may sound backwoodish, but they don't drive as well as they used to in heavy traffic situations.  The only time that they call or come and see my parents is when they are asking for them to babysit or for some type of favor, never just to visit as we do.  It is not at all like Tmarie64 describes.  At Christmas time and birthdays, all the children get gifts no one is left out ever, that would be wrong and I would bring it up to my parents myself.  It is just that we live closer so of course we can see them more and spend more time with them.  I hope this makes sense, I guess it is kinda hard to explain.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2007 - 7:05PM #10
BrookeC
Posts: 18
I guess my point is that there shouldn't be hard feelings toward my son just because we live closer than my other brothers.  We all could have moved away but I chose to live where I live because I like the area and they chose to move away.  It was a choice and it was their decision.
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