Does Your Sibling Really Like You?

We all know that grown siblings aren’t always best friends, or even friends at all.

Just because you grew up under the same roof as your brother, sister, or both, doesn’t mean you’ll take pleasure in their company when you all leave the nest. But it’s a joy to see those who do, whether they enjoy weekends away together, occasional evenings out, or constant contact throughout the week. My dear friend, Elline, loves to visit her sister and her family upstate. My married friend, Richard, has maintained a close relationship with his single sister, Pat. There’s nothing my friend, Melanie, wouldn’t do for her sister, Candy. My sister Shelley works with me two days a week, which gives us a chance to share our lives like we’ve never done before. And while we don’t see our third sister often, we know she’s there for us.

It thrills me to see photos of my son
and daughter, and their respective partners,
enjoying each other’s company.

I don’t mean just at Thanksgiving, birthdays or weddings. I mean on a plain old Saturday, when they’ve gone to brunch together, along with the love of everyone’s life, two-year-old Primo, my daughter’s son (a.k.a. my grandson). Although my “kids” have different personalities, and interests, I think they respect each other’s uniqueness and greatly care about each other’s welfare. Nice, too, that my new daughter-in-law and daughter like each other for reasons other than having my son “in common.”

Mind you, it doesn’t excite me to see my kids together because I had any great part in it, other than the genes. I didn’t. But for whatever reason, it’s one of those things that makes me happy. Perhaps it gives me comfort to know they’ll likely be there for each other down the pike. Perhaps it’s because it adds a dimension to my grandson’s life, to have an uncle and aunt who adore him.

So many siblings have no contact at all. Never talk, text or visit. Although I understand how this can happen, I now believe they’re missing out on a pretty cool relationship. Maybe the genes really do play a big part.

I’d love to know:

How’s your relationship
with your siblings?

9 Responses to “Does Your Sibling Really Like You?”

  1. Andrew Seniorly says:

    Sibling relations are always interesting. For me, my brother and I have grown apart with age, and there always seems to be a greater gap due to differing maturity levels. I wonder what it’s like to have siblings that are also your best friends.

    Andrew
    http://www.seniorly.com

    REPLY
    • Gloria Harter says:

      Same here – my brother, for some reason, has chosen not to be close, so we go our separate ways. I also wonder what it would be like to have a sibling ‘best friend’ – brother or sister.

      REPLY
  2. mrushing says:

    I am the middle of 5 children. My dad was a WWII veteran, married my mother on leave from the Army. War broke out and he didn’t get to come home for 2 1/2 years. My oldest brother was born 9 months after they married, and didn’t see my dad until he was nearly 2 years old. Growing up in the south, we were probably considered poor, but we never knew it, because everyone around was in the same boat. We were farmers, and my dad struggled every year hoping the cotton produced enough to pay the bills. All of us worked, picking cotton, hauling hay, whatever was needed. My mother worked at a public job. Our house was always filled with love and laughter, and we were a very close family. Sunday dinners at our house were a big event, and included extra people from both sides of the family. There was never a dull moment. Even after all of us married, we loved family get-togethers! After our parents passed away, we remained friends. We took family vacations together, 5 families in a caravan of 5 vehicles, with CB radios to communicate. Our children have fond memories of those times with their cousins growing up. Even after all our own children grew up, our siblings remained close and had monthly get-togethers. We have had so much fun together as a family, but also as friends. We have always stuck together in times of sickness or need. I have lost two brothers to a heart attack and cancer, and I miss both of them every day. Many people have commented that they have never seen a family as close as ours, and the in-laws say they feel so fortunate to be included in such a loving family. Our parents instilled a strong sense of family ties in each of us, and taught us to love. I only hope my children can say the same about us one day. Thankful for my family every day.

    Martha from Mississippi

    REPLY
  3. Margaret Ann says:

    I am the youngest of four children and was born on December 26, 1946 – exactly 9 months after my father returned home from serving on Okinawa in WWII. So, I know all about baby boomers! My oldest and serious brother was a born leader and quite aggressive (in a nice way) but I considered him bossy. My second oldest brother was more laid back, a procrastinator and passive-aggressive. He married a girl who is a lot like him. My sister was domineering and we fought a lot as little girls. When we played with the neighbor girls – who were my age – my sister took their attention and I always felt left out – they would rather play with her. Fast forward 68 years and I am closest with my oldest brother and his wife. The world would consider both of us very successful in our work as executives and directors in the non-profit sector and we both married professionals. I dearly love all three of my older siblings, but I am closest to my oldest brother because of the positive life choices we made when we were young. Those choices provide a common ground now for a healthy relationship. I was closer to my father – I think – than the other three and although he was not a good husband/father to his young family, he was very sorry in later years. He died knowing I loved him and forgave him. My sister never came to that point with him and I believe it is because of the more difficult circumstances she experienced as an adult. All my life, I have believed the division between us girls has been rooted in jealousy. I have often invited her to have lunch and girl-time together, but she was always too busy and now, she almost never calls or contacts me. Sad, but that’s just the way it is.

    REPLY
  4. jan says:

    I love my siblings. My sister and I are only 21 months apart. While my brother is 10 years older. So our relationship with him has always been a bit different than with each other. Our parents died when we were pretty young and so we created this unique little family unit and taught ourselves the ropes. We still celebrate most of the holidays together and at least call each other on our birthdays. I know it is because of our mutual great love for our parents that we stick together and the fact that we enjoy being around one another.

    REPLY
  5. Diana Verner says:

    I am the middle child, and brother and sister bonded over their dislike for me. I never had it easy in life, constantly in and out the hospital, but I took care of daughter as well as my parents while they partied. I was always the focused one and my siblings always thought my parents favored me. But in reality it wasn’t favoring, I would be the one that was always willing to help. We are grown adults now and yet they still show such meaness towards me that it no longer hurts. I would love to have a close relationship with either one however, I choose to focus on my own loving family and yet when they need me, I am their for them, but I never expect anything from them. Life does go on and God has placed people in my life that that has enriched my life because of the unconditional love that they have for me. It took ages for me to understand that I can love you from a distance and dislike the behavior at the same time. I choose to count my blessings as oppose to worrying over things I can not control.

    REPLY
    • Geri Brin says:

      Thank you for your honest and touching comment, Diana. Well put that you can love someone from a distance and dislike their behavior at the same time! Geri Brin, FOF

      REPLY
  6. Martha Jette says:

    My siblings and I were separated when I was 2 years old (the baby). We were not reunited until I was 31 and it did not take long for me to see major differences in us.
    I have two sisters and three brothers but unfortunately, one brother died of cancer before I got to meet them. I hit it off with all of them in the beginning but it was difficult to maintain those relationships over the long term. My one brother is wonderful but the other has a real mean streak, which I dealt with for quite a few years but I later decided it was just better to stay away from him.
    My sisters were both wonderful in the beginning but over the years, it became clear that they were much closer to each other than to me. They lived in some foster homes together while they grew up and have always been close. I was and still am somewhat of a third wheel in that relationship.
    I also realized quickly that since I was the only one to be adopted (at 7 years old), my life, values and direction in life were much different than theirs. I went to college while they barely finished high school. I landed good jobs while they had to struggle to survive and developed some habits that were not so good.
    Today, I am 65 years old and still having difficulty fitting in with them. My one brother, who made the most of his life despite early difficulties, is close and I value that relationship very much. I just wish he lived closer to me.
    My sisters are still making plans that do not include me and in fact, they are moving in together next month. I am in no way jealous because they tried this before and it ended badly. However, I still feel like the odd one out with them. I guess I just have to accept that and enjoy their company when and if I see them.

    REPLY
    • Geri Brin says:

      Hi Martha, I read your comment with great interest. It seems to me that your sisters might be envious that you were adopted and they were not. I can understand their feelings, sad as it is that they can’t more fully embrace the relationship with you. It is wonderful that you enjoy their company, despite the fact that you feel like the “odd one out” with them. Have you ever invited them to do something they’d love, even if you wouldn’t? Best, Geri

      REPLY

Leave a Reply