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People Will Fail You If You Are Too Dependent On Their Validation

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?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cat November 6, 2014, 8:44 am

    If you were very close to your brother, he would have known you were house-hunting and that you had found one you liked. I took my brother to see a house I was considering to get his opinion on it. He didn’t have the final vote, but I take his opinion seriously and would have considered carefully before ignoring what he had to say about it.
    You are both caught up in what Karen Horney called the “Tyranny of the Should”. You “should have” told your brother you bought a house. He “should have” congratulated you. Your parents are full of things you “should have” avoided in your personality. It’s this sort of thing that drives people apart.
    Until the family dynamic changes, this will not improve. I once saw an “I’m sorry” card that, when you opened it up, had a pair of red lips printed on it. The caption was, “Sit on this. Now, that’s how sorry I am.”

    • Anonymous November 6, 2014, 10:16 am

      I want to say that I’m surprised that anyone would buy an “I’m sorry, kiss my posterior” card, but I’m really not, because there are a lot of rude people in the world. However, that’s why I usually make cards for people’s birthdays, etc., instead of buying them; because I’m tired of rummaging through racks of greeting cards, and not being able to find something either blank, or with a tasteful message that isn’t either offensive, or overly sappy.

      • Cat November 6, 2014, 5:40 pm

        I think the purpose of that particular card was to show how silly arguments can get and to make light of it. It was not meant to be offensive or the reverse would have been indicated, “Well, you can just…”

      • A different Tracy November 7, 2014, 11:40 am

        Isn’t it the other way around? If the recipient sits on the card, it’s like the sender is kissing their posterior.

        • Lacey November 10, 2014, 1:58 pm

          Exactly. It’s an “I’m so sorry, I’ll kiss your…” card.

    • Marozia November 7, 2014, 1:56 am

      You are completely right, @Cat.

  • Susan November 6, 2014, 8:45 am

    Well like Dr. Phil says, you can only take what they have to offer. Let it go. One apology is enough.
    I would stand up straight and tell Mom one last time. I did. Lets change the subject. Then do so.
    Enjoy your house. You are adult now, don’t go backwards in actions.

  • another Laura November 6, 2014, 8:50 am

    I also think that the Golden Rule could apply here. You treat your brother (and everyone else) the way you wish to be treated, not the way you perceive that you are treated. I’m not saying that you have to feed the drama-if there is any-but simply showing concern for him while he’s going through a difficult time is what a good big sister does. There is a possibility that when you celebtrate these joyous milestones they are a sad reminder to your brother of what he doesn’t have.

    • kit November 6, 2014, 11:32 am

      I’m thinking, too, that for someone to exclaim over your new house while himself going thorough a break-up may be a little bit hard.

      But generally? Sounds like all your family (including yourself) are some big drama queens. I don’t have much patience neither with stony silence nor hearing from third persons “she is so hurt because you didn’t congratulate her”. You have a problem, you tell it to the person you h.ave the problem with. Or admit your relationship is not that intimate.

    • Justine November 6, 2014, 2:42 pm

      Yes, the Golden Rule. Let it go. You never informed him of your big purchase: a new home! So just let it go that you apologized but now you expect him to gush about it. Maybe he was way more hurt than you realize. My brother and sis-in-law didn’t tell me about their new home purchase or that she came to town (45 minutes away from me) with the kids for 10 days. I was never told about neither and I was hurt again when they just shrugged it off. So I lowered my expectations of them. I only get contacted when the kids are having birthdays. So be it. These are not people I look to for comfort or validation.

      • Lyn November 10, 2014, 2:19 pm

        I have two brothers (no sisters) and they are 19 and 20 years older than me. Can you say “caboose”??? They live six and 10 hours away from our hometown. Since my mother’s death two years ago, my younger brother (six hours away) has visited our hometown numerous times – visiting with cousins and staying in a hotel – and has never bothered to let me know. Yes, it hurts. But there’s nothing I can do about it. When I do (rarely) see him, I act as though there’s nothing wrong.

  • Anna November 6, 2014, 9:04 am

    Agree with admin here. Also, when you apologize, it is not in trade for another apology that you think you are owed. Apologize because it is the correct thing, and let it go. If your brother chooses not to accept your apology, there isn’t much you can do. You can’t make him behave differently from how he feels he needs to behave.
    Also, I want to add that it is no longer your parents’ job to regulate your relationship with your brother. Leave them out of it, and if they come to you, you have every right to ask them to let it be between you and your brother.

  • Green123 November 6, 2014, 9:07 am

    You bought a house. Well done. While it’s nice to get congratulations (and cards, and gifts…) when one moves home, it’s not really a ‘huge life event’ in the scheme of things, and I don’t really understand why OP is upset at the lack of congratulations from her brother.

    Engagements and weddings on the other hand…

  • EllenS November 6, 2014, 9:13 am

    This relationship seems very strained, as if both siblings feel obligated (or believe the other is obligated) to *demonstrate* affection and support, rather than actually being connected and involved in each other’s lives.
    If you two communicated regularly in ordinary family conversation, wouldn’t he already know that you are engaged, or house-hunting, etc? Why would he need an announcement? Why would you need a specific display of appropriate-sounding words or a performance of “excitement” or happiness? It sounds like you live quite separate lives and have very little connection to each other.
    One good way to build a bridge would be to make time to just connect and communicate regularly, about day-to-day stuff, rather than only about milestone events and emotional upsets.

  • PM November 6, 2014, 9:13 am

    I think OP needs to withdraw from the lot of them. While it’s true that it’s a dangerous game to be overly dependent on kudos and validation from others, what stinks about OP’s situation is that she’s being pressured to be an ever-running font of support for brother, while he’s largely allowed to ignore her news- and indeed given excuses as to why that’s OK and OP should apologize to him over the method of delivering that news. And if she expects reciprocity, she’s mean and cold and immature?

    My sister and I were tangled in a similar dynamic with our mom and brother for a few years. Brother is the baby of the family and well, could be quite annoying from ages 7 to, oh, 29, or so. (He’s just now coming out of it.) Sis and I didn’t spend a lot of time with him after we all moved out, partially because of travel time and partially because he was not very pleasant to be around. Mom coddled Brother, even as an adult, to the point that it was a bit of a family joke.

    I’m generally the peacemaker among the siblings, so I got a lot of, “Have you checked in with Brother lately?” texts/calls from Mom. I would tell Mom I had called Brother on numerous occasions, but he never initiated contact with me. And Mom would make excuses about how Brother was so busy, or not good about keeping in touch or just so insecure because he didn’t think Sis and I wanted to hear from him. We also had to contact Brother on holidays. He wouldn’t call us. Mom sends regular reminders that it’s Brother’s birthday and we should call him, but we know better than to expect a call from him on our birthdays.

    Finally, I realized that Mom was genuinely concerned that after she and Dad pass, Sis and I won’t have anything to do with Brother. And I had to have a sit down with Mom in which I explained that we are all adults now and she has to stop trying to manage our relationships, because all she was doing was causing resentment and demonstrating favoritism. She argued that wasn’t true, I emphasized the pressure put on us vs. the pressure put on Brother, and how she rationalized him not holding up his end of the bargain. She immediately jumped into the “But he’s insecure/busy” excuses and I just stayed silent and stared at her while she processed what she was saying. The expression on her face when she realized she was doing exactly what I described was pretty horrified.

    Some of this is based on birth order dynamics, some of this is based on good old-fashioned, “girls are supposed to be NICE, put their needs second and keep the family lines of socializing and connection going” stereotypes. It took a LONG, LONG time to break Mom of the habit. And we still have moments where we have to remind her that the phone works both ways and she needs to back off.

    So I would recommend that OP

    1) Back off from the whole family dynamic for a while, something that may be difficult given the upcoming holidays. But basically, a total media blackout, no calls, no Facebook, no texts. Just take a vacation from the pressure of dealing with them.

    2) Lower expectations for validation from her family to almost nothing. She shouldn’t call to remind them of her latest awesome news and leave the ending open for them to congratulate her. She shouldn’t expect Facebook “likes.” Just go about the business of everyday life.

    3) If when Mom calls and asks why OP hasn’t congratulated Brother on his latest accomplishment, tell Mom that OP is an adult and will manage her relationship with her brother on her own, thanks.

    4) If and when Mom calls to tell OP that Brother is very hurt that OP didn’t send him an announcement of OP’s latest news on linen stationery, tell her that OP is an adult and will manage her relationship with her brother on her own, thanks.

    Basically, OP has to drop the rope. They can’t hurt OP if she expects nothing from them.

    • just4kicks November 7, 2014, 6:54 am

      @PM: I thought my folks were the only ones who do that! 🙂
      My only sister and I haven’t spoken in three years, due a major blow up, this also affected my parents, but they still speak to her. She lives in another state. My parents know exactly why I cut off contact with her, and understand why I don’t want anything to do with her. Of course they aren’t happy about it. Twice a year, like clockwork, my dad will ask me “So kiddo…..when are you going to talk to your sister again?” “Probably not until she comes up for your funeral, Pop.”
      That may sound very crass, of course I don’t want my parents to pass anytime soon, but I will not speak to her, ever again.

    • PWH November 7, 2014, 12:23 pm

      Wow @PM, this sounds exactly like my family 🙂 I am the oldest, by over a decade and my Mom will constantly ask me if I’ve talked to my younger siblings recently (I have three younger brothers). Oftentimes my mother is inquiring because she wants me to follow up on something she’s asked one of them for and she’s not hearing back from them. She’s also used the same excuse as you mention as to why none of them have initiated contact with me.
      OP, It is difficult maintaining adult relationships with your siblings. All you can do is continue to treat your brother the way you wish to be treated. I would also stop apologizing for this whole perceived slight surrounding your purchase of a house. It sounds like your brother has completely overreacted and made a mountain out of a mole hill. If your mother continues to ask you why you haven’t talked to your brother recently, refer to PMs step 3 and 4 above. Best of luck.

  • JO November 6, 2014, 9:18 am

    I have a sister who never calls or writes anybody – not me, our numerous siblings, our parents – anybody. We find out all of her news on Facebook. We have asked her why she doesn’t call when she has news; she says she is “too busy.” But to be fair, she also doesn’t (as far as we know) expect us all to jump up and congratulate her as soon as we read it. It’s just that she sort of lives in her own world. I’ve learned to accept that this is just who she is; however I know it’s very hurtful to my parents. They have told her this, but she just can’t understand why it bothers them.
    Anyway, the bottom line is, that if you expect somebody to care enough about you and your situation to call and congratulate you, then you should care enough to call them and announce your news personally.

    • just4kicks November 9, 2014, 5:27 am

      @Jo: my sister did that, a few years ago. Long story short, after many idiots, she met a very nice man after her divorce. They were on again/off again for a few years. I don’t speak to her, but my kids Had contact with their cousins on Facebook. One morning, they said Aunt “Sue” got engaged last night. My mom called later that day to chat, and I told her to tell my sis congrats on her engagement. My mom said, “WHAT?!'” She got engaged last night, according to my kids who saw it on Facebook. She and my dad were very hurt she couldn’t pick up the damn phone and call them. My sister ended up calling them a few days later with her big news. My mom said “yeah…we know. It would have been nice if we had heard from you, not Facebook!!!”
      And, par for course, my sister was pissed off and very irritated that my parents feelings were hurt.

  • Raven November 6, 2014, 9:27 am

    Been there, done that. Expect less and you won’t be disappointed.

  • AMC November 6, 2014, 9:55 am

    EXCELLENT advice from Admin. OP, I don’t think you’re any of those things you listed, but you are overly invested in the drama produced by your relationship with your brother. It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes the people we love let us down… repeatedly. Your brother will likely never be the loving, supportive person you need him to be. The best thing you can do for yourself is readjust your expectations. That doesn’t necessarily mean withholding support or affection from your brother; it means knowing that when you do give him those things, they will likely not be returned in kind. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache this way.

    • Dust Bunny November 17, 2014, 4:12 pm

      She’s no better. She’s not telling him about things firsthand and is then getting upset when he doesn’t fawn over her. So he’s not a priority for her, but she expects to be a priority for him.

      The whole lot of them sound like spoiled children. Expecting her parents to intervene? Please. She and her brother are adults; they should be able to handle it themselves. If she put half the effort into mending her own ways–because somebody has to reach out first, regardless of who is “wrong”–that she does into whining about how her brother didn’t live up to her fantasy, this would mostly be over by now.

  • MM November 6, 2014, 10:19 am

    Excellent advice from Admin. It is not anyone’s job to make you feel good about your life, choices, milestones; that kind of validation must come from within. I know it is WAY easier said than done; it’s a skill you have to work at and practice.

    Of course we all want our families to share in our happiness. But at the same time, as we get older we have to reevaluate our relationships with our siblings and parents. I don’t know if Brother is older or younger but it may not be worth pursuing his approval like you did when you were kids (if he’s older) or seeking his admiration (if he’s younger). Relationships change as we develop into our own people apart from the nuclear family unit

  • WillyNilly November 6, 2014, 10:32 am

    You say your brother didn’t congratulate you because he only found out on social media… does this mean you never actually directly, personally *told* your brother you bought a house? Why should he congratulate you on an announcement you never made to him? If you want his reactions you have to give him something to react to.

  • Wendy B. November 6, 2014, 10:38 am

    So…you neglected to tell him you were buying a house in the first place. What did he expect, a gold-embossed announcement? That’s not exactly something you need to grovel about when apologizing. But seeing as how you already know what he’s like (re: engagement and anniversary) why did you expect more from him?

    And while your mom is right, you should at least contact him and offer sympathy for his break up, again, this is not a grovel-worthy situation.

    Anyone else think the parents have set up this dynamic between the siblings?

    • B November 7, 2014, 4:08 am

      “Anyone else think the parents have set up this dynamic between the siblings?”


    • Vermin8 November 7, 2014, 7:28 am

      Yes as a matter of fact by the time I was done reading I was most angry at Mom.
      One thing is clear from OP’s account – Mom is stirring up feces. Apparently Mom called brother to ask why he had not contacted OP to congratulate her on the house – not her business, not her place.
      Now she’s taken sides by berating for being “overly sensitive, childish, competitive, and worst of all, heartless”. Thanks, Mom! the only thing I would agree with is “overly senstivie” but I suspect Mom helped with that by building unreasonable expectations (eg, that brother should call about the house).

      “Though he never said any of this to me” – how kind of your mom to listen to him and pass on to you.

      “And it hurts me that my parents see this happening and say nothing to him. ” And I don’t think they should but by berating you for not “acting” right they are creating (or maybe just your Mom) that this is part of their responsibility of parents – no! Not for adults!

      “I am inundated with daily reminders from my mother to please reach out to him and offer my support (regarding breakup).” I can understand your sensivity here – my recommendation is to tell her calmly “thanks for your concern but please leave it to brother & me.” Then bean dip if necessary.

      Lastly, I agree that it’s not reasonable to expect a personal response from Brother when he received the news impersonally, ie, via FB. But IMO neither of you was wrong but Mom is telling you both you were.

      So: quit talking to Mom about your brother. Reach out to your brother and ask him to do the same.

      • just4kicks November 8, 2014, 4:57 am

        @Vermin 8: My late MIL used to pit all four of her kids against each other behind their backs, until they were enough to figure out what she was doing. My side of the family certainly isn’t perfect (far from it), but my husband’s side of the family put the “fun” in dysfunctional.

        • Vermin8 November 10, 2014, 10:22 am

          My mother would try and manipulate our interactions with each other – to suit her, not us, ie, have us do what she thought was “right” even if we didn’t care. It built false expectations then resentment when the expectations were not met.
          What you are describing is a step beyond that – I wonder if the MIL used this kind of division to ensure she controlled the interactions between the kids.

  • Annon November 6, 2014, 10:39 am

    I agree with Cat, if you were close, your brother would have known you were house hunting. When I was house hunting with my husband, my family knew, and I too asked one of my brothers to take a look at a house we were seriously considering. If you aren’t close, and he found out via social media that you bought a house, I could see the reason to “be upset” but the apology was done, he needs to grow up and move on. You can’t rely on other people to validate your feelings or needs, you will always be waiting for those “words you want to hear” and they may never come. You need to enjoy what you have in your life, with your husband and kids (if applicable). If you keep searching for the approval of others, you will drive yourself crazy, and you will always have that “longing” for the words of approval from them that most likely, will never come.
    You apologized to your brother, he still holds a grudge. Let it go. Reach out to him about the break up, and offer any words you can, and then move on. You can only do so much, and you have to remember, you have a family of your own now to take care of. Good luck.

  • padua November 6, 2014, 10:49 am

    i agree with admin. and if he was recently broken up with, take into consideration that he may not be able to offer the support you’re asking of him. perhaps he’s just as cut up that you aren’t there for him while he’s dealing with this as you are about him not being there for you.

  • Mags November 6, 2014, 10:54 am

    I forget what it’s called, but there is a rule beyond the golden rule where you treat people not how you want to be treated but how they want to be treated. Maybe you and your brother are both drama queens, but maybe you are just naturally more exuberant and he is naturally more reserved. To you, a house apparently means gushing congratulations. To your brother, not even worth an acknowledgement. To be honest, with respect to the house, I’m on your brother’s side. To me, purchasing a house means getting a notification of your change in address and enduring the obligatory tour the first time I visit. It doesn’t really excite me, unless I know of some particularly tragic detail in your life that would make it a big deal.

    As for your engagement — well, I would probably have said, “Congratulations” and asked about wedding details now and again, but I suspect you would not consider my reaction to be “sharing in your happiness.” And I certainly know people who are far less demonstrative than I am, who would consider attending your wedding and doing any duties you might assign (help with setting up, doing a reading, whatever) to be ample demonstration of their support without ever saying Congratulations.

    I have an acquaintance who volunteers in many of the same groups as I do who goes, in my opinion, WAY overboard with everything — major decorations for every minor holiday, sickeningly sweet sappy poems in cards, etc etc. It is not to my taste at all, but she means well and she is always ready to help out with anything, so I just accept that it is part of her character and go with it, and she doesn’t say anything to me even though she undoubtedly wishes I would get into the spirit of things.

  • JWH November 6, 2014, 10:58 am

    Looks like long-simmering sibling rivalry and sibling resentment. Try this: Just let it go. Instead of being hurt and dramatically falling on your sword, just follow another Laura’s suggestion. Treat your brother the way you’d like to be treated, and leave it at that. If he reciprocates, that’s great. If he doesn’t reciprocate, just continue to treat him with courtesy and leave it at that. You’ll be a lot happier that way.

  • Library Dragon November 6, 2014, 11:21 am

    Admin is spot on. This is a big case of “It’s all about ME” on both sides.

  • NostalgicGal November 6, 2014, 11:35 am

    This is a massive let it go.

    Just keep going. If he doesn’t want to share in your life that is his prerogative, OP. Meanwhile go out there and ‘live well’.

    Don’t feed a drama llama and don’t revisit the past.

  • JD November 6, 2014, 11:42 am

    I admit I’d be ticked if I got engaged and my own sibling didn’t say he was happy for me, but be the bigger person here. He just got hurt. Tell him you heard his relationship is broken and you are sorry. That’s it. You don’t have to say anything more, if you don’t feel it, but be the one who behaves like an adult in this relationship. He may never tell you he is glad you got a house, but you still have the house, right? I’m not saying you have to swallow insults, but you can politely tell him you wish he’d said more about your house, or just let it go, whichever suits you, but don’t pay him back with your own silence.

  • AthenaC November 6, 2014, 11:47 am

    I don’t know enough about your relationship and your history to know whether you are right to feel insulted or not. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are 100% right on all counts, because it doesn’t change my advice to you either way –

    Not too many years ago, my husband and I were involved in a social group where a lot of the other women needed a lot of things – logistical help, emotional support, a shoulder to cry on – things of that nature. I happily gave my time and effort, because I’m good at that sort of thing, and also because “that’s what friends do.” Later on, when something happened to me, and it was MY turn to need logistical help and emotional support, no one was anywhere to be found. Everyone was suddenly “too busy” after I had made time for them. I was EXTREMELY hurt by this and I felt very used.

    I was ready to not speak to anyone again, but my husband talked me down: “Athena, you are a really good friend, but not everyone is. It would be nice if they were, but you can’t control them. In the meantime, you’re only hurting yourself by isolating yourself. You’re going to get lonely, and meanwhile they’re not going to understand why you’re hurt. They’re never going to be sorry. So if you want their companionship, just don’t expect anything from them again.”

    A ringing endorsement to be sure (sarcasm), but years later we are all still friends. I simply expect nothing from anyone else and I am never disappointed, never insulted, and I don’t let my emotional wellbeing depend on anyone else.

    I would advise you to adopt a similar expectation level, ESPECIALLY since you are dealing with family. I may find new friends eventually, but you will not replace family.

    • admin November 6, 2014, 4:51 pm

      Now where is that “like” button?

    • Valki November 6, 2014, 8:44 pm

      But why couldn’t the response have been, “Drop them, and find a new group of friend who ARE good friends?” Why continue with people who are, they’ve demonstrated, not good friends? Do you still provide the same level of support to these people? Do they expect it?

      • B November 7, 2014, 4:11 am

        I’d ‘like’ this one. Absolutely.

      • AthenaC November 7, 2014, 12:28 pm

        Because social groups don’t appear like magic? If you notice at the end of my comment, I am open to joining a different social group, but I haven’t really happened upon any that I would fit in with.

        • Enna November 8, 2014, 5:17 am

          I got out of a bad social group and have made new firends though the two good firends who left the bad group before me. I kept going back to the bad group and the two good firends did point out that I shouldn’t be going back, they were still there for me when I made the break. My sibling has said that one firend form the bad group did really care about me as a person so yes she could be great at times but then she got really controlling so I told her I had enough. That was about six months ago.

        • Enna November 8, 2014, 5:18 am

          I managed to get out of a bad social group and make firends elsewhere. I was badly treated and two others had left – these two firends were there for me and we still go out etc. I’ve made new firends and am enjoying myself.

      • PM November 7, 2014, 7:03 pm

        THIS. When I feel used/underappreciated/unsupported by someone, I certainly don’t want to continue appreciating and supporting them. Why do they get to be bolstered and hugged on, while I’m expected to keep a stiff upper lip because I’m “stronger?” That’s dysfunctional at best.

    • burgerking November 7, 2014, 8:47 am

      I always wondered why no one could remember my birthday, especially after i spent time sending cards, taking people out for their birthdays, etc. I realized it wasn’t ME, but that I had lousy friends when it came time for my birthdays. 🙂 I didn’t dump them for better friends because I loved them and they were good at some things. I just had to say ” hey, they don’t do the birthday thing” and stopped being bothered by it.

    • Kara November 7, 2014, 9:16 am

      Are you sure that those women actually wanted all of the support that you were giving them? Did they actually ask you for your help, or did you just jump in and volunteer?

      I ask because you sound a lot like a friend of mine… if she hears that there is anything going wrong with someone will immediately jump in and offer whatever she thinks you need because “that is what friends do”. What she doesn’t understand is that a lot of people (including me) find this aspect of her personality to be very pushy and smothering. And so she gets her feelings hurt a lot when people either reject her “support” outright, or fail to reciprocate to the same level.

      I think that you were wise to examine your motivations and scale back your expectations and interactions.

      • AthenaC November 7, 2014, 12:32 pm

        For logistical support – yes, it was specifically requested. I’m not sure how one explicitly asks for emotional support. In my experience, people just start talking if they need someone to listen. So I would listen and offer sympathy.

    • Vermin8 November 7, 2014, 9:53 am

      Here’s another way to look at this: everyone has their strengths and everyone has their weaknesses. I am emotionally weak – don’t handle my emotions well (although much better than I was years ago) and not the type of person who is good at emotional support. I’ve had friends who were excellent at the latter and I was like your friends – I relied on them to keep me afloat but if they needed help I couldn’t do the same. I wanted to – just not capable.
      Over time though, both of my friends exposed their individual weaknesses and I was able to help ways I would not consider with most people. This help was not emotional – but because I was strong in that area I could do it and it didn’t impact me long term.

      So the moral of the story is that exchanges in friendship are not necessarily one for one – deal with individuals as individuals and think about what you are getting from them.

  • Chrysla November 6, 2014, 11:57 am

    My grandmother had a saying: “Act! Don’t react!” What that means is that YOU should strive to always act in the proper manner no matter what the other person (or situation) is doing. Do not react to their behavior. Do the right thing! This way you are above reproach. It is a good system to live by and it avoids petty reactions. Believe me – people will notice and you don’t have to point it out to them.

    In this case, it does not matter what your brother has done. Is his behavior petty? Sure. But your behavior doesn’t have to be. Would you want to be consoled or acknowledged after a breakup? Yes – that is only proper. So do the right thing and say “I’m so sorry about your breakup.” It is not an olive branch and it is not giving in. It is doing the right thing. As far as your parents – again act, don’t react. Say “Thanks for reminding me – I’ll take care of that right away.” Again – you are not giving in, you are behaving properly. Next time, do it before the parents get involved and you will always be above the fray. Stop taking it personally and realize that the only person you can work on is yourself. Become better! One day maybe those around you will see the light and maybe not, but at least you will always know you did the right thing.

    I admit though – it is sometimes very hard living with the “Act! Don’t react!” rule. I don’t always manage to fulfill it, but I do try and in general, my life is better because of it.

  • Michelle November 6, 2014, 12:05 pm

    I don’t see why you should have apologized because from your description, you and your brother are not terribly close. He found out about your house via social media. So what? A lot of people share news that way. He has never showed any excitement about your life events before, so what makes you think he would get excited about the fact that you bought a house?

    Tell your Mom that you have apologized, but you will not grovel and that you have reached out but he has not responded. It’s not your responsibility to nurse him through his break-up.

    “When I speak up to my parents, I am told that I am overly sensitive, childish, competitive, and worst of all, heartless. Am I?” No. Sounds like your brother is the golden child that your parents cater to and want you to do the same.

    I’m not close with my siblings because of very similar situations, so take it from someone who learned the hard way- you apologized (again, don’t see why you should have but…), now let it go. Don’t depend on your brother or your parents approval to be happy. Live your life, try to include them, but don’t let them rob you of your happiness. I let my siblings do this for years; when I learned I couldn’t change them and they way the treat me, I let it go and have become much happier.

  • Daphne November 6, 2014, 1:37 pm

    I agree with what admin has said. And would like to add that my advice is to stop talking to your parents about your siblings unless they are positive things like “brother and I had dinner the other night and we had a nice time”. And when your mother scolds you or tries to direct your relationship with him just give a neutral response like “that’s a good idea” and then change the subject, every time.

    My mother and youngest brother also had this type of relationship. She ran interference for him until she died and it was endlessly frustrating and annoying to the rest of us. You just have to find a way to disengage from it. And remember also, she’s not really helping the situation by being his emotional body guard. Eventually you two will have to learn to get along without her help or your relationship will end once she is gone.

  • just4kicks November 6, 2014, 1:41 pm

    My older and only sister and I are both in our 40’s. This is her all the way. Congratulations coming my way on births, new homes etc. were always met with a half-hearted “oh…that’s nice….”. On the other hand she would call me for the dumbest things, and if I didn’t pop a bottle of bubbly and throw confetti, I was being horrid about HER news, and subsequently deemed jealous. I couldn’t win for losing….One of the MANY reasons we no longer speak.
    I feel your pain, OP. Good Luck to you!!! 🙂

  • David November 6, 2014, 1:54 pm

    At a big life moment, my wife reached out to her entire family to sit down one on one so she could tell them the good news.

    Her sister refused to meet with her. For the last fourteen years, her sister has complained bitterly to anyone that would listen that she wasn’t told in person and had to find out about it through her parents and it’s so horrible she wasn’t told in person. However, since we know that she refused to meet with my wife we just ignore it and so should you.

    I really don’t understand why it would be a gaff to find out about a house purchase on social media. It’s how I told everyone that wasn’t in the decision making process. Of course, most of them live very far away.

  • Goldie November 6, 2014, 1:56 pm

    I would reach out to him and offer support. He is depressed right now. On top of it, as another Laura said, his sister is getting engaged, then married, then buys a house, while his life is (for now, anyway, and in his opinion, anyway) falling apart – that would make one even more depressed!

  • RR November 6, 2014, 1:59 pm

    Sounds like OP’s brother may have narcissistic tendencies and an enabling mother. I have a similar situation in my own family. Younger brother is rarely involved with the family and has never really cared about important milestones and events in our lives. Hubby and I allowed him and his toddler son to live in our house at a drastically reduced rent, which he always had an excuse to pay late (or not at all) every month. Finally, he moved out abruptly with a girl he’d only just met. We asked him to pay rent or move his stuff out. He refused to do either. In anger, I called him a deadbeat and he flew into a narcissistic rage. I sincerely apologized for the comment, but he has refused to speak with me for more than a year now and tells relatives I need to apologize again (and apparently, again and again and again). My enabling mother refuses to recognize his faults (we had to threaten legal eviction to get him out of our house) and instead acts like calling a deadbeat a deadbeat is the Worst. Thing. Ever.

    To OP: I don’t know if your bro is a narcissist or not, but I would encourage you to do some research. It’s also classic behavior for narcs and those who enable them to make you feel as if it’s all your fault (it’s called gaslighting).

  • Lanes November 6, 2014, 2:04 pm

    I told my sister I was pregnant with my first child. She said “oh” and went back to drinking her tea.

    She’s like that. She doesn’t get overly happy very often. She also has depression, which fluxes in and out. Thing is, I know she’s like this as she has been like this for years. Sure, it hurt that she didn’t immediately congratulate me or show any reaction, but I didn’t make a big deal of it because I know that’s how she is. She now points out cute little toys and has bought us a couple of baby books and shows ‘excitement’ for us in these ways.

    It sounds like you’re expecting your brother to react in a way that he hasn’t done before. He wasn’t enthusiastic about your engagement or wedding, so why would he be different for your house purchase? Moreover, why did you expect him to be?
    Accept him for who he is, and your expectations of him will begin to match his personality, and you won’t be so upset at his responses, and probably start to discover he does respond – just in ways you hadn’t noticed before.

  • Rebecca November 6, 2014, 2:38 pm

    I think everyone’s being a bit dramatic here. First, why go through the parents when communicating (or not) with your brother? Everyone is an adult now, so I don’t see what the parents have to do with it (though I know both my sister and I will occasionally vent to our mother – these things do go on in families). But I think worrying about who congratulated who, or who forgot to tell the other about some news, is being petty and both of you should stop it. That being said, I totally agree with admin about not feeding the drama llama.

  • DGS November 6, 2014, 2:46 pm

    Unnecessary drama. That is all.

  • Dee November 6, 2014, 2:49 pm

    I get OP’s disappointment but expecting the brother to be excited for OP’s milestones? That would be nice but it’s not required. Maybe brother doesn’t care if OP bought a house; maybe brother doesn’t like the house. Maybe brother doesn’t like OP’s husband. He is required to be polite but excited? Does OP expect everyone around her to be thrilled by everything she is thrilled with? Sounds like OP is exhausting to be around. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why brother is backing off so much.

  • Emily November 6, 2014, 3:25 pm

    Is buying a house something that really needs congratulations? I mean, it’s nice, but I didn’t know that it really falls in the same category as getting married or having a baby. When my husband and I bought a house my parents brought us a small gift but that was really it and I didn’t expect much else. I guess I just don’t understand the hurt feelings here. Also, that being said, her brother is obviously being very childish about the whole thing.

    • Ange November 6, 2014, 11:39 pm

      I was thinking that too, for goodness sake it’s just buying a house. Have a little housewarming party if you like and have some friends over but since when was this something that deserved to be feted to the heavens?

      My brother is very similar to the OPs – when I told him I was engaged he said nothing (and we were talking face to face). When he and his wife came to the wedding they couldn’t even be bothered to write a card. The difference is I expected that and to be honest who cares how he acts? The milestones in my life make me happy by their own volition.

    • B November 7, 2014, 4:22 am

      “I didn’t know that it really falls in the same category as getting married or having a baby.”

      Surely that depends on the person’s circumstances. For many people, buying a house is a major life step/achievement. It certainly is in my country, where housing is expensive – people don’t fuss over you or buy you presents, but yes, you would expect your family and friends to be happy for your good news.

      Bear in mind also that some people do not want – or are unable – to get married or have a baby, so to have a big step like buying their own house dismissed as ‘nice’ against milestones they will never meet can be pretty hurtful.

    • MM November 7, 2014, 9:47 am

      I was thinking that too – it would never cross my mind to expect to be congratulated for buying a house. I mean, at its heart, buying a house is just a purchase, albeit a very large one. It seems a little strange to feel that people should celebrate your financial transaction.

      I bought a house as a single woman a few years ago and I never even considered that I should expect people to react in any specific way. My parents came up to help me move, and that was it. Later on, I would tell people this and some would be horrified that I didn’t throw a housewarming party. Seriously, this never even occurred to me.

      However, when I broke my arm a few weeks after moving into my house and not a single person bothered to check if I was OK – and I was not, I was really struggling – then I was rather upset.

  • RC November 6, 2014, 3:35 pm

    OP sounds childish, requiring sufficient congratulations and attention and excitement from others in order to feel what’s happening in their life is important. OP, you have every right to be excited, but thinking that you deserve just the right amount of timely and effusive well wishes from others, especially when they have their own personal issues happening?
    I feel bad for your brother, he’s going through a tough time and you’re making an issue out of how your family is not happy enough for you? Get over yourself.

  • B November 6, 2014, 3:53 pm

    Well, I would be gutted if my brother was not happy for me when I got married, and I don’t think that is ‘relying on his validation’. I’m happy, but of course I want those I love to be happy for me too. Most people do.

    Seriously, this sounds exactly like the dynamic a friend of mine has had for years, except now her brother has children where she does not, and his behaviour over it is just horrendous. Just a constant, rubbing her face in it, patronising, belittling commentary and attitude that she does not count, every time he sees her (she is not childless by choice either, she had severe medical issues). Yet she is expected to ‘reach out’ every time he has troubles, where he never reaches out to her.

    Guess what? She stopped it. She had enough. And she told their parents when they pushed her that no, she was not doing it, and when they started up, she told them that she didn’t want to hear it. She stuck up for herself, she explained her position. When they disagreed, she said tough. She is much, much calmer and happier not going along with this, but for her sake I really wish that she did have a brother who loved and supported her, because it is what she deserves, and this causes her pain.

  • Tastycakes November 6, 2014, 3:55 pm

    3 months of silent treatment over feeling slighted by a social media announcement?? LW, if this is a regular pattern of behavior from him, it sounds like you might just have to accept that your brother is always going to react like this to everything because it’s how he is. The “correct” behavior from you is a constantly moving target that you will never achieve, because he always needs to be the wounded party that you’re groveling to appease. He can’t trust that anyone cares about him unless he can keep them fixated on pleasing and appeasing him. Realizing that is sad, because you can never really be close to people like that, but it’s also liberating, because it means you can stop striving for the perfect way to treat them that will prevent any offense or drama- there is none, because they will always find a way to create it.

    Forgive me if I’m reading too much into this, but the daily reminders from your mom sound like a major clue as to how your relationship got this way. Unless there’s something more serious about this breakup than is apparent, why is your mom interceding every day into a relationship between two adult siblings? It sounds like your mom has fallen hook, line, and sinker for your brother’s “appease me OR ELSE” game, and is trying to make you reach out and give him the attention he wants instead of letting him experience the consequences of giving you the silent treatment. In short, he can pout and give the silent treatment because he knows mommy will be there to make you try to fix it, despite his bad behavior.

    I hope I’m totally off base and this is just a weird hiccup in your family’s relationships, but if that resonates with you, maybe check out http://captainawkward.com? That blog has been SO helpful to me in figuring out how to stop raking myself over the coals trying to appease people who live in this state of permanent offense, and I hope maybe it can help you too, if you need it.

  • Lera99 November 6, 2014, 4:32 pm

    There comes a point when you have to accept your family as they are rather than as you would like them to be.

    You just have to accept that your family are people: flawed, stressed, doing the best they can with what they have, people.

    Accept that your brother and parents are locked in this drama, and let it go. You apologized, now move forward without giving it another thought. If he wants to carry that burden, so be it. But there’s no reason for you to lug it about like a mill stone.

    Also, accept that your brother isn’t ever going to offer you those gestures of support. He is just not going to be the type of guy to call you and congratulate you on big life events. You will be happier if you stop expecting it from him.

  • Jays November 6, 2014, 5:27 pm

    I do wonder what’s going on on the brother’s end.

    Recently, my SIL (DB’s wife) had some great news going on. And I was happy for her. But the exact opposite was going on in my life and I had a really, really hard time expressing congratulations. I just kept thinking “Why does she deserve this and I don’t?” I know, not logical and not fair. But there it was.

    I did express congratulations, because I love my brother and his wife. But maybe your brother’s just not up to it right now.

  • Multi-Facets November 6, 2014, 5:44 pm

    I think an insincere congratulations is just as bad, if not worse, than not giving or getting any at all. My twin sister and her boyfriend hit financial trouble through no fault of theirs, so they moved in with me and our parents. My sister was either pregnant with her second child at the time, or became pregnant shortly after. After both children got older, I realized I was hearing my sister’s morning sickness since my bedroom is right next to the bathroom. When she told me she was pregnant a third time, I silently panicked. I suffer from depression and Asperger’s syndrome, and dealing with two loud kids in a house meant to house four people and the occasional guest was bad enough.

    But I put on my best poker face and said “Well, congrats. I know you wanted a third one,” without meaning a single word of it because I didn’t want to hurt my sister by saying what I really wanted to say. I feel bad for lying because I hate doing so, even when little white lies might be needed, but I honestly, genuinely could not feel good about any of it, and I still don’t. I really, really want to move out, but I’m at the poverty line myself.

    So while there’s drama royalty all around in the OP’s family, they should ask themselves if they would rather their brother lie to their face.

    • psammead November 8, 2014, 6:43 pm

      That’s a good question. Between sullen, pointed silence and grudging congratulations, I’m not sure which would be worse.

  • psammead November 7, 2014, 1:24 am

    TBH, I’m not really seeing that OP deserves the chiding she’s receiving here. I don’t think she brought up her brother’s lack of congratulations on her engagement or marriage because she is “demanding” them or feeling entitled to them. (Though I can’t help wondering if it’s really the Ehell consensus that it’s childish and dramariffic to be hurt when our nearest and dearest grudge us a word of congratulation and good wishes at such times?) But in any case, the point of mentioning it (as far as I can see) is that her brother has been conspicuously indifferent to the other milestones in her life, so it’s strange for him to be suddenly aggrieved that he found out about her new home via Facebook. How was LW to know he cared?

    • CW November 7, 2014, 1:36 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. I would imagine if my sibling didn’t mention much about my engagement or marriage, why would I immediately assume they wanted a phone call about my new house? She apologized, he chose not to respond and be childish about it. That’s where I would be done putting forth all the effort . Sure, being broken up with isn’t fun, but it’s not a reason to be rude to your sibling. And the mother in this story is only enabling him.

  • ketchup November 7, 2014, 7:04 am

    I’m guessing this brother has always been this way, and it doesn’t really matter that it’s about a house. I can imagine that having to live with someone who doesn’t care about you only makes you crave for their validation more. It’s what happened to me, until I gave up.
    In my case it’s my father who doesn’t care a fig. You tell him something personally wonderful, like being pregnant, and he responds with a story about general statistics or some bizarre anecdote. No enthusiasm whatsoever. That, and he’s generally abusive (verbally only). When I was younger I wanted him to say something nice so badly. I can relate.
    However, it’s best to let it go. Don’t let anyone be in control of your happiness. My reaction was moving away. Literal or emotional distance is healthy.

  • AngePange November 7, 2014, 7:19 am

    I honestly don’t think that the OP is being reasonable. Is it really ok to demand congratulations? To assume that everyone must be super duper happy for you because you are in the financial position to buy property? Good for you, you have a house. Well done. You probably worked hard for it. But I don’t know if it’s the kind of thing that everyone around you should throw down for. You do sound competitive and bit self centered. My brother recently bought a house and I heard about it on FB too- honestly, the thought didn’t cross my mind to be offended or to offer up huge congrats. Well done on your material possessions? It just sounds icky to me.

    • Goldie November 7, 2014, 10:30 am

      Actually this is a great point. Buying a house is a necessity that comes with its up and down sides, kind of like buying a car. No one congratulates others on buying a car (that I know of). I was more or less forced to buy my house four years ago. After I separated from my then husband, I was hoping to rent in our school district for a few years and then move after the kids are done with school. But we couldn’t find anything good to rent with our dog, and ended up buying. Now my kids are out of school and out of the house and I’m stuck with the (admittedly very comfortable and fairly affordable, but rather old and high-maintenance) house. I want to eventually sell it and move, but just the thought of how much work I’ll need to do on it to get it ready for sale, makes my head spin. Hardly a reason for rejoicing.

      OTOH though – when people buy a house, they usually host housewarming parties and invite friends and family. Could it be that OP may have hosted a party or parties, and invited everyone but her brother, and *that* is what he’s angry about? I could be wrong of course. Just a thought about what could’ve angered him about this, benign in my opinion, issue.

      • Corvid November 10, 2014, 4:21 pm

        I just bought a car and received many congratulations from friends and family.

        Of course, the fact that I’d had my old car for twenty years might have had something to do with that.

  • Goldie November 7, 2014, 10:37 am

    Something I want to add after reading the comments. My father’s reaction to news of my second pregnancy was “oh, you mean you’re going to keep it?” and my mother’s and her best friend’s was “you’ve made a big mistake”. It felt weird then, but 20 years later my feelings about it are – so what? They were amazing grandparents to my younger son his whole life, he has/had a great relationship with them, wrote about his late grandpa and grandpa’s influence in his life on every one of his college essays… so who cares if, when they first heard the news, they had a brain fart and blurted out something stupid, instead of throwing me a party right away? Water under the bridge. It does not matter in the grand scheme of things!

    • admin November 7, 2014, 12:01 pm

      Likety like like!

    • RC November 9, 2014, 3:17 pm


  • hakayama November 7, 2014, 5:27 pm

    Perceptive and intelligent teenagers would say in a politically incorrect manner: “What a bunch of ____tards!” With mom leading the way…
    With the “baby” brother being 30, that gives us a general idea of how much catching up the three parties involved need to do before their emotional and intellectual maturity catches up to their chronological age.
    Out of idle curiosity I’d like to inquire HOW (words and gestures), brother would be supposed to show his happiness with OP’s milestones and house purchase. Most of all though, I wonder how momma thinks that OP was to show her support for brother upon his breakup.

    • psammead November 7, 2014, 6:28 pm

      “Out of idle curiosity I’d like to inquire HOW (words and gestures) broher would be supposed to show his happiness with OP’s milestones and house purchase.”

      I’ve always found that something on the order of “That’s awesome! I wish you all the best!” does just fine. I greatly doubt OP was expecting Brother to write a 12-stanza poem or do an interpretive dance here. I didn’t realize it was bratty and entitled to hope for a kind word or two from your loved ones on such occasions.

      • hakayama November 8, 2014, 11:29 pm

        😉 It was a two part question, psammead…

        Somehow I get the impression that the two siblings do not see each other that much. Possibly the age difference (and other factors) might account for the emotional distance. Which in turn the comment “assigned” to bro, unless he decided to suspend his strong silent act, and actually called the OP.
        They are not likely to be on the same page. Or chapter. Or even book. So it’s not logical to insist on bringing them together.
        As I see it, time and time again, blood does not necessarily mean closeness or even an amicable relationship. We, humans, might consider taking a clue from other animals and allow nest and litter mates go our separate ways.

      • Corvid November 10, 2014, 4:27 pm

        I hadn’t thought about it, but I like the idea of a 12-stanza poem or interpretive dance to celebrate my achievements and milestones. I’d better call my brothers immediately.

  • P November 7, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Why in god’s name do people need congratulations for buying a house? You’ve made a financial transaction. It’s not like you’ve had a baby or got married.

    I despair that people want backslapping for such materialism.

    • Miriam November 7, 2014, 7:17 pm

      I may have misunderstood, but that sounded really quite judgemental?

      We have just bought a house – without a 30% deposit [ £63,000 on a UK average priced house £188, 374, according to This IsMoney.co.uk, at Sept 30 2014; in the South East we could not buy a flat/apartment for that], we pay a higher rate of interest…

      It was our choice to buy what we wanted, at an increased interest rate, and that is a choice we happily made to purchase our “forever home”.

      I am not expecting “backslapping”; we are very lucky to be able to afford this luxury, of choosing a home that we own and can afford to own outright in 25 years.

      I feel I maybe ought to take exception to the assumption that this is more materialistic than if I were to go out tomorrow and get pregnant, and allow the state to pay for my child and myself for the next 16 or 18 years? I wouldn’t need a deposit, I wouldn’t have to prove that I can afford it [we couldn’t have got our mortgage without complying with the country’s newly-imposed eligibility rules], I wouldn’t need any proof that I’m a financially reponsible adult [as for a mortgage]; all I would need is functioning a reproductive system…

      I could get married without even needing the functioning reproductive system…

      I’m not asking for praise, but I don’t think my financially-responsible choices should be denigrated… But should I have the biological ablilty to reproduce, that should be lauded?

      As I understand it, I could go to Vegas tomorrow, drunk, and get married and that would be more worthy of congratulation in your world?

      I’m hoping that I misunderstood?

      • Lady Catford November 9, 2014, 2:20 pm

        It is probably a “community ” thing. Where I live when one of our friends buys a house, a new car, or any other thing we are full of ‘Hey, that is so great’ New house, new car, son entering university, getting a new job etc. All life changing stuff gets recognition, happy or sad.

    • B November 10, 2014, 4:17 am

      “You’ve made a financial transaction. It’s not like you’ve had a baby or got married.”

      I don’t think anyone’s asking for back-slapping – just you’d assume people who care about you would be happy for something important in your life, and that includes buying your own home.

      By your reasoning, nobody would congratulate anyone for anything. Marriage is a legal or religious transaction. A child is the result of a biological transaction. So what? When people I love achieve things that make them happy, I’m happy for them. You bought a house? That’s great! You passed your degree? Fantastic! You’re having a baby? Wonderful!

      I’m married with children and my own home, but I can’t stand this ‘it’s not like having a baby’ dismissive attitude. It’s really sad people see this as materialistic, as opposed to expecting their friends and family will just be happy. My family say congratulations when I pass my piano exams, for heaven’s sake, it’s hardly the hardest thing to say!

      • P November 12, 2014, 6:33 pm

        Well, that’s up to you. Similarly, I can’t bear disgusting materialism or “Look at me, I’ve just spent hundreds of thousands on a pile of bricks” and expecting to be congratulated for it. So what? Who cares? Why do you *expect* people to care?

  • Sylvia November 7, 2014, 8:06 pm

    It’s all fine and dandy to let things simmer down now, but wait till your parents get older. All of a sudden there will be a rush for you and your brother to make peace, and of course with you being the older sib, you’ll be expected to make this happen. You’ve probably never been close with him, fair enough. I’m familiar with this family dynamic, I’m the older sib in my family. It doesn’t always work, so make a nice life for yourself and don’t worry too much about your brother.

  • Enna November 8, 2014, 5:21 am

    I think the brother has made a storm in a tea cup. He is upset that his sister didn’t tell him that she had a brought a house when he has never shown any happeniness for her before. Why should the OP apolgise when they are clearly not close?

  • Corvid November 8, 2014, 7:49 pm

    If anyone I care about is thrilled over some achievement, I’ll be thrilled for them because it matters to them even if it doesn’t matter to me. Sometimes it isn’t about me. However, I am aware that this isn’t everyone’s philosophy, particularly not a brother who’s pulling a power play within the family.

    I agree with previous posters that the only way to win a game that is stacked against you is not to play. The original poster needs to drop her end of the rope, quit apologizing to her brother, and tell her mother that she will NOT be calling him to offer support and will not continue to kiss his backside because he’s decided he’s displeased with her. She needs to be prepared that her family will be upset because she is not falling into her assigned traditional role. And then, yes, she needs to lower her expectations.

    Stand strong, girl.

  • Ginger November 22, 2014, 7:32 pm

    I don’t think the OP is looking for an apology from her brother, like the Admin and some posters here think. I think she’s annoyed because she apologized, called numerous times and yet her brother hasn’t reached out to her. And now her parents are badgering her.

    My advice is to stop reaching out to your brother. You apologized and extended an invitation to your new house. I wouldn’t let it bother you anymore. The ball is in HIS court now. As for your parents, if they bring it up, just tell them, “I apologized & invited him to the house.” Don’t complain that he’s ignoring you. Your parents may be badgering him as well to accept your apology and visit you. It sounds like your brother is a big baby and needs to get the pacifier out of his mouth.

  • ermine November 23, 2014, 8:23 pm

    I disagree with the Admin. It’s normal and natural to want your brother to be happy for you and celebrate important life events with you. I would also have hurt feelings if my siblings ignored my major moments of happiness. It sounds to me like he is making this moment (your house-buying) all about him by throwing his little tantrum. That being said, you can’t control others and it sounds like you’ve done all you can do. Congrats on your new house, don’t let your joy be overshadowed by drama.