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Old 11-10-2014, 04:46 PM
 
73 posts, read 56,071 times
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A lot of this is just venting, but seeing if anyone else has comparable family situations... If so how do you deal with it?

First off let me preface by saying my brother and I always had a great relationship, but we have slowly drifted apart over the years. Some background: He is 7 years older, married, with 4 kids and another on the way (yea I said 5 kids). He is very religious(church every sunday/all their friends are from the church/kids home schooled by stay at home mom/never heard him say a curse word/no drinking/etc), master's degree, and he has a great job making quite a bit of money. They have a large house in the burbs... You get it, the perfect family so to speak...I'm in my late 20's, have a BS degree, just recently got a good job in a nice city and feel really good about my career path down the road. I graduated college during the great recession and had a hard time getting a job right out of school. I had go back home and live with the parents for a few years to get by. I did get a job about a year after college, but many times my brother would be patronizing about why i didn't have one, etc etc...

Now that I am doing well, he's been better about treating me more equally, but he has never really had a vested interest in my life. I can't count how many times I've been to his kids functions, visited his place, and took a vested interest in him/his wife's family. His wife/him hardly ever ask a question about my life when I see them.. It is what it is I guess...

The last thing that irks me is the whole religious thing. I am a christian in my eyes, but I am not the kind that goes to bible studies, church every single sunday, baptised, etc etc. I go a few times a month, pray on my own, and feel I have a good relationship with god. I say some cuss words, drink a little, but nothing crazy... My brother is always asking if i am going to church enough, in a bible study... Gives me weird looks if I say a curse word... etc etc. I feel like if i came out and told him i didn't want to be that involved, he would kinda push me out of his life entirely. My parents hardly go to church at all and he has very little contact with them (a phone call once a week, visit once or twice a year even though he lives a couple hours away). I visit my parents pretty regularly and help look after things at their house, as they are getting older and need it. My mom recently had a health scare and my brother didn't even seem that interested. I know as they get older, it's going to be me who will be taking care of all their affairs. That doesn't bother me at all, but it just seems kinda wrong. I love my brother more than anything, but the older I get this kinda stuff bothers me more and more.

Last edited by birdie4me; 11-10-2014 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:09 PM
 
Location: USA
2,431 posts, read 1,795,485 times
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Yep, seen it,not with my immediate family but with relatives. My mom has 2 sisters. One she hardly ever speaks to because of her living on welfare all her life popping out kids with different fathers and living a rough life involving crappy boyfriends and substance abuse. Her other sister, she is close to and is a devoted Christian, married, has a career, lives for $$$. My religious Aunt doesn't hardly have anything do with their "poor" sister either. (my Aunt)
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:05 PM
 
163 posts, read 167,574 times
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I have a condescending sibling who is younger than me if that counts. Masters degree in engineering, make 2 times my salary, big job in a big city, will probably be making a high 5 figures within the next 10 years.

Always has a "I'm smarter than you" attitude whenever we see each other. My parents see it as well and are sad and embarrassed about it. She couldn't ask me a question about my job to save her life. Whenever I ask her an engineering scenario or work questions she doesn't answer them because there isn't a simple enough way to explain it to someone who isn't an engineer.

Maybe she will grow out of it and maybe she won't.

OP: Sounds like it's getting worse with you and your brother, I'm sorry to hear that. You could try calling him out on it and saying it like it is. Maybe he doesn't realize that he is acting the way he is. The religious thing is a hard shell to break on a person. Good luck and I hope things turn around for you two!
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:44 PM
 
12,913 posts, read 19,782,209 times
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My oldest brother "might" fit that description. He actually sent me a test last week that he wanted me to take before I went to vote. Needless to say, we don't support the same candidates. I told him he was an arrogant ass, and who I voted for was none of his business, and in the future to refrain from sending me anything having to do with religion or politics.

He'll get over it, we've been down this road before. I think he feels some responsibility as the oldest, but geez, we're all middle aged now.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:12 PM
 
73 posts, read 56,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwilliger View Post
I have a condescending sibling who is younger than me if that counts. Masters degree in engineering, make 2 times my salary, big job in a big city, will probably be making a high 5 figures within the next 10 years.

Always has a "I'm smarter than you" attitude whenever we see each other. My parents see it as well and are sad and embarrassed about it. She couldn't ask me a question about my job to save her life. Whenever I ask her an engineering scenario or work questions she doesn't answer them because there isn't a simple enough way to explain it to someone who isn't an engineer.

Maybe she will grow out of it and maybe she won't.

OP: Sounds like it's getting worse with you and your brother, I'm sorry to hear that. You could try calling him out on it and saying it like it is. Maybe he doesn't realize that he is acting the way he is. The religious thing is a hard shell to break on a person. Good luck and I hope things turn around for you two!
We still have a good relationship, we talk about every week and love each other. I would be there in a heartbeat if he needed me and I know he would for me. It's just the things I described above start to get very annoying as you get older.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Under the Milky Way
1,100 posts, read 724,210 times
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I'm like gwilliger, I have a condescending younger sibling too. Actually, she's not too bad, it's my brother-in-law. He has a great job, makes a ton of money, and spoils my sister. He admits that friends of his helped him get his past two jobs, but acts like anyone who has trouble getting high-paying employment is a bum.

My sister just supports what he says, even when he's blunt, rude and judgmental. They have always had money, breezed through the entire recession with no loss of income or employment, etc. I don't mind that they're successful, but I don't need them looking down their noses at me because I have a modest job and lifestyle. It has really been getting on my nerves lately, so I know how you feel.

Your brother sounds rather shallow and self-absorbed, tbh. It also appears that he lacks empathy. The next time he gets on your case break out that old nugget: "Judge not lest ye be judged." It definitely sounds like he needs to remove the plank in his eye before worrying about the splinter in anyone else's! You can also ask him why he doesn't seem to follow the commandment to "honor thy father and mother" very well. If he can dish out the churchy criticism, he oughta be able to take it, too!

Anyway, good luck to you, and I definitely sympathize. Don't let him get to you, you sound like a nice person who is doing well for yourself.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:22 PM
 
674 posts, read 481,153 times
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Well maybe you don't need to be around for him so much. Maybe you should get more involved in your own life and not concern yourself as much with his opinion/attitude. It is possible it makes him feel even better about himself seeing you 'hanging on' so to speak. All that said, I'm sure he is very busy with his kids, but keep in mind what appears to be a 'perfect life' is probably NOT. There could very well be issues behind closed doors. His attitude kind of makes me suspect that something doesn't square up just right. Very happy people (like your brother should be), don't usually try to make others feel lesser. It is also possible that he is just acting immature.

Good luck,
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,548 posts, read 1,868,898 times
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Quote:
the last thing that irks me is the whole religious thing. I am a christian in my eyes, but I am not the kind that goes to bible studies, church every single sunday, baptised, etc etc. I go a few times a month, pray on my own, and feel I have a good relationship with god. I say some cuss words, drink a little, but nothing crazy... My brother is always asking if i am going to church enough, in a bible study
This is 100% the issue. People can say what they want but if they don't fellowship with other Christians, are not baptized and don't know the word of God (bible study) then they are not Christians. Iwon't open that can of worms. That is a theological discussion. Being christian is a lifestyle and it sounds like your brother is living it to the best of his ability and you are a CINO and he just is not okay with that.

My brother is always asking if i am going to church enough, in a bible study.

If your answer is no, and that is important to him then what more is there to talk about?

Gives me weird looks if I say a curse word

I curse on here because it my outlet. but outside the realm of the interwebs, Iam a professional with a lot of weight in my company and I act as a liaison between my company our suppliers andour customers. I dare not say anything unprofessional in front of any of them, I also have many christian friends who do not swear. My children do not swear because we do not swear and the people they surround themselves with do not swear. I find the best way to stop bad habits is to remove yourself from the sources. I had a good friend who I would ask politely to stop swearing. We'd have a BBQ and after 5 beers it was f this f that fing f s b... I finally got tired of asking him to stop because he wouldn't bother, so I stopped inviting him to my home. I'll meet him at a restaurant (with a bar, because he is a drunk) but he is not longer welcome in my home, we have drifted apart. I'm sure this is how your brother feels. He is trying to set a particular example for his children and I'm sure he has told you politely that he does not want to hear swear words, and you keep swearing.

Now that I am doing well, he's been better about treating me more equally, but he has never really had a vested interest in my life.

Right, I can see that. My SIL was an aimless drifter for a while on unemployment, banging tons of dudes, had stopped going to church took up smoking and drank regularly. My wife and her found no common ground any longer. They only speak about whats going on in the family, but other than that they are worlds apart. They never really talked about what she was doing because well, the stories were either about, getting with some guy, a raging kegger or playing video poker at a bar.. keep in mind this is (after we had lent her money, because she had no job). Its a slap in the face to know my money went to buying beer cigarettes and video poker, when it should have gone to essential and after 3 months with no job we finally stopped lending her money, which put even more strain on the relationship. She was not interested in self improvement. Fast forward 6 months she has a job, a steady boyfriend she who seem like minded with the rest of the family and is becoming more responsible. Also, similar to you situation my wife is 7 years older. 7 years is a big gap and you being childless is probably harming the situation. When my wifes brother had a baby it brought the family much closer together. Also, when children are cousins they tend to bring more interaction between their parents/aunts/uncles.


My mom recently had a health scare and my brother didn't even seem that interested. I know as they get older, it's going to be me who will be taking care of all their affairs. That doesn't bother me at all, but it just seems kinda wrong. I love my brother more than anything, but the older I get this kinda stuff bothers me more and more.

That's likely an opinion of yours that is not shared by your brother. Since there are no unbiased 3rd party opinions being shared here it's hard to say whether or not that is a legitimate claim.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:45 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,875,631 times
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It's the religion thing. For people who are that deeply involved in a particular church, it's hard to be interested in the world outside of the church. Your brother would be like that whether he was older or younger than you.

About taking care of your parents as they age, don't take everything on by yourself and don't plan to do that in the future. It will make you old before your time. Whenever anything comes up, talk to your brother and ask what you and he are going to do about it, how he wants to handle it. Make him give an opinion. If you say you're going to do something, say, "I will be able to do x, what can you contribute out of your week?" Make him see that it is a team problem, not just your problem. Eventually you will have a family and kids and be just as busy as he is, so don't give him a free pass on the parent stuff.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:56 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
4,294 posts, read 2,879,110 times
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oh boy your brother fit in very well with one of my cousin brothers. His parents were not even that much addict to church or the bible, but he is. And as you explained my uncle got a heart surgery but this church cousin did not even bother visit. Every one just left him alone. I have no disrespect for people who go to church and bible study that is completely fine, but still as you say something is missing.
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