Oh, Brother

Before posting a new topic, make sure a similar one doesn't already exist here or in another forum thread more specific to the issue.

Oh, Brother

Postby shanarchy » July 16th, 2013, 12:57 pm

Just a little venting...or bitching and moaning...your pick.

I'm having a difficult time figuring what I did wrong, if anything, and what can I do about making myself feel better.

The issue is that my brother is staying over some nights at my house because his work is closer to where I live than his house and he hasn't found "the right place", you know, cheap, but high class. I don't think such a place exists, but that's what he's been looking for for more than a year now. Last year he stayed with my sister. But, she had enough of the excuses and told him to find somewhere else to stay.

Almost a month ago, he started staying with us (my husband and I). My situation is that it's my wedding anniversary this Saturday and I called him up this afternoon to ask him if he could stay also Friday, instead of just Saturday, so he could keep an eye on and feed my dogs while we stayed over at a hotel. He said that he was staying at a hotel with his wife and kids this weekend because she wanted a mini vacation before school starts for the kids.

Here's the frustrating part. His wife hates us, all of my family. She would never agree to help us if we ever needed to stay for even a night at their house. Just yesterday afternoon he texted me he would confirm if he was staying over this Saturday, as he always does. I thought that meant, he might not work this weekend, not that he planned on staying somewhere else. By the way, he was the Best Man at my wedding.

My sister told me how bad she has felt through-out the year for helping him without anything being reciprocated from him. I should have known better! My husband says that my boither fears his wife and that his response was legit. But, I'm having a hard time letting go of the frustration. I'm worried this kind of behavior will continue, just like my sister said happened to her.

We haven't stayed for even a night out anywhere for around three years because of the dogs. I have to say, we are dealing with the dog issue and it hopefully be ready next month. But, this is my anniversary, you know, it's once a year.

I'm bitter, that's all.
~Shanarchy

"You are more talented than you think, more beautiful than you know, and more loved than you can imagine." ~Kandee Johnson
User avatar
shanarchy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: March 14th, 2013, 3:20 pm

Re: Oh, Brother

Postby oak » July 16th, 2013, 1:24 pm

Hugs and gelato: that is what I'd send over the internet wires, if it were possible.

As someone who lives rent free with family, this is my opinion:

Such a rent-free person needs to go out of his/her way to be accomdating, helpful, kind, and unobtrusive.

In practice that means cleaning up, mowing the lawn, running to the grocery store, "please", "thank you" and generally being a pleasant person.

Part of being helpful is helping at the times needed. When you asked for dog-watching on a particular day, the proper response is a sincere "Sure!"

Of course, if the houseguest doesn't like the situation, they are always welcome to see how accommodating and kind the rental housing world is!

(Answer: it is not accommodating or kind at all!)

Though it is easier for me to say than for you to live, I suggest to come down hard on people who violate the boundaries of your home-sharing kindness.

Hugs and forum respect, shanarchy.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
User avatar
oak
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: January 18th, 2013, 8:44 am
Gender: Male

Re: Oh, Brother

Postby shanarchy » July 16th, 2013, 2:58 pm

Thank you so much for your reply Oak.

The hug and gelato are appreciated.

I know it's not easy staying at someone else's house, we all want a place of our own, even if it's just for the weekends. I can sympathize with both of you. But, you tell me what you could do if you were in his shoes: He has a really well paid job, he owns his house, he has two new cars (the one he drives is 2013), his kids go to private school, and his wife...well, let me just not go too far by mentioning her quirks, I'll just leave it at that.

My sister's argument was that it was not fair. I can see clearly now what she meant. I just don't know how to deal with this situation without being disrespectful or eventually wishing of kicking him out. I might be overreacting, but it just doesn't feel right.

Anyway, thank you for your support and kind words.
~Shanarchy

"You are more talented than you think, more beautiful than you know, and more loved than you can imagine." ~Kandee Johnson
User avatar
shanarchy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: March 14th, 2013, 3:20 pm

Re: Oh, Brother

Postby Cinnamon » July 20th, 2013, 10:19 am

Random thoughts:

maybe one reason he stays with you and your sister is a connection to family and not just cheap/free place, especially if his wife is not feeling close to your family.
depends on the quality of time you have with him while he is there.
If he is not spending time with you and/or helping out in return, then stop helping him.
Both your sister and you seem to have permitted this and then resented it. If he is broke/starting over/in crisis, that is one thing. But from what you describe, that is not the issue. So the family response has been to say yes but mean no and resent it.
Stop doing something you resent before it spoils your relationship with him with all the unsaid things.

As for the dogs, get a sitter. Its your anniversary and your job to make it happen. But, in return, from then on he pays or doesn't stay, whatever you are comfortable with.
As for the digs at his wife....don't think those don't show. She knows it, he knows it. It doesn't lead to happy family connections. Justified or not, its his wife, his choice. and has nothing, really, to do with his staying with you or your sister, when you think about it.
Cinnamon
 
Posts: 87
Joined: April 24th, 2013, 6:09 pm

Re: Oh, Brother

Postby shanarchy » July 23rd, 2013, 7:49 pm

Thank you for your reply Cinnamon.

Today, I got the chance to have a little talk with my brother.

Earlier in the day, I rehearsed and edited what I wanted to say to him when I saw him. I thought I had narrowed it down well and got it to where I could expresses myself while being calm, yet assertive. It was simple, I needed just two things from him so I would not feel bad about helping him out.

First, I needed him to keep me informed about his plans of looking for a place of his own (this way I would be able to see he really is doing something and not just depending on my help indefinitely).
Second, I needed for him to talk to his kids so he could show his gratitude through them. Specifically, for the help my parents and my sister had given them by helping him out. Seeing them to something for my parents and my sister would make me happy. My ideas were for the kids to make personal cards with a drawing or something they made for our sister, our Dad and our Mom, where they wrote things like: Grandma, I know your favorite color is yellow so I drew a yellow flower for you. You know, SOMETHING! None of us ever get to even see his kids because his wife won't let them. It's sad, but I thought that a written note would keep his wife at bay and still there would be some connection.

Well, as in many things in life, things didn't turn out as I had envisioned. Although I did approach the conversation in a cool manner and said most of the things I had wanted to say, it was not at all what I had expected.

Instead of telling him what I needed from him, I casually said that my Dad would help him a whole lot more if he showed some gratitude with maybe a card from the kids. I never said "I need". This boggles my mind. Why is it so hard for me to say I NEED?! Ugh!

Anyway, it wasn't that bad. I did say more than nothing and, as my dear husband told me, this is just the beginning.

As a recent sober alcoholic I really wanted a drink afterwards. I didn't, I just took a hot shower. I thought to myself, if this had happened a few months before...how many months has it been since I got sober? Hmm...I looked at the date and saw today I am three months sober. ...it was a good day after all. ;)
~Shanarchy

"You are more talented than you think, more beautiful than you know, and more loved than you can imagine." ~Kandee Johnson
User avatar
shanarchy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: March 14th, 2013, 3:20 pm

Re: Oh, Brother

Postby oak » July 23rd, 2013, 8:07 pm

Congrats on your soberness. The sober life is good.

Yay for you for having the tough talk with your brother!

The older I get the more I love, deeply love, those awful, awkward conversations where all the truth comes out.

I am more eager to appreciate them than initiate them, but they can really heal.

Well done.

Lastly, personally I find something very comforting about running water.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
User avatar
oak
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: January 18th, 2013, 8:44 am
Gender: Male

Re: Oh, Brother

Postby shanarchy » July 24th, 2013, 8:59 am

As always, thank you Oak for your reply.

It's a strange feeling being sober. It's like I'm getting to know myself all over again.

...and, yeah, there is something soothing about water, right?!
As a kid, I thought it was because I'm a Pisces.
Also, my sister always says everything's goes away with a shower (meaning ailments).

Things aren't going that bad when I come to think about it once I'm calm and centered.
But, just like the intro of the podcast, "my brain has the gift of seen the terrible"...even if it's not that terrible.
~Shanarchy

"You are more talented than you think, more beautiful than you know, and more loved than you can imagine." ~Kandee Johnson
User avatar
shanarchy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: March 14th, 2013, 3:20 pm

Re: Oh, Brother

Postby Cinnamon » July 25th, 2013, 12:30 pm

It is true, I can help people all day long but choke up at "I need"....but that is another story.
I think you are brave for discussing this with your brother and taking a step towards open discussion and gratitude. And bravo for being sober and taking that shower instead of a drink.

Families are hard. and just when it gets better, they up and marry and add new chemistry to the volatile mix. No wonder we all explode now and then,
Cinnamon
 
Posts: 87
Joined: April 24th, 2013, 6:09 pm


Return to Family Troubles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron