My husband and I recently purchased our first house. My younger brother, who is 30, never reached out to congratulate us or express one word of kindness (he has done this before, withholding excitement and well-wishes when I got engaged and then again when I got married). After a month and a half of unexplained stony silence, I found out via my mother that my brother was angry because he found out only on social media that I bought a house.
Though he never said any of this to me – I apologized extensively to him for my gaff. I made no excuses and simply fell on my sword and said I was sincerely sorry to have hurt his feelings. I asked him to please come visit our new place and share our excitement. I reached out multiple times. He has never responded. It is now nearly 3 months to the day after I closed on the house and he will not speak to me over this perceived slight.
Overall, it hurts me that he has never once been happy for me. And it hurts me that my parents see this happening and say nothing to him. The icing on the cake is that he very recently was broken up with, and I am inundated with daily reminders from my mother to please reach out to him and offer my support. I know it is petty, but I feel that it is unfair to ask me to be constantly supportive of and catering to a person who has never once shown me one shred of kindness.
When I speak up to my parents, I am told that I am overly sensitive, childish, competitive, and worst of all, heartless. Am I? 0530-14
When dealing with the family drama queens, I recommend the following…
Either acquire principles or gird up the ones you have. That means believing in what is right and wrong and having a plan of action when your line in the sand is quickly being encroached upon. I do believe it is the right thing to apologize to a drama queen when an apology is owed based on your own bad behavior but excessive and multiple groveling apologies is unnecessary. To repeatedly apologize to a drama queen is to reinforce the power they enjoy over people. And having once apologized, having principles means you understand that now the ball is in the DQ’s court and you are under no obligation to keep lobbing “balls” to their court or explaining to anyone why multiple “balls” are unnecessary.
With all due respect, OP, you are just as demanding that your brother express his emotional appreciation of your happy moments as he is about you informing him of your house purchase. You both play a petty game of having expectations of how the other sibling is supposed to react to life events. You cannot control what he thinks and believes but whether you get caught up in the childish tit-for-tat expectations of verbal confirmation is up to you. So what if he never congratulates you on buying a house or getting engaged or married? You are looking to him to meet a need in you and I can tell you that he will fail you. What makes you happy should not be dependent on other people to fulfill. Having principles means you appreciate the intrinsic value of having made good choices, doing the right thing and do not look to external sources to validate you. Was your engagement a good thing? Great! Why does whether brother approve or not matter? Was your house purchase a good thing? Why would the lack of an excitement from your brother diminish the “goodness” of having bought property with your husband?