Thursday, October 28

My brother has two new children, and that makes me sad | Relations

The question I am a 48 year old woman in a loving relationship. I do not have kids. I have two brothers, the youngest has Four children with your partner. The other, who is older than me and gay (and my half brother), has recently left abroad with her partner and had two children through a surrogate, and both parents each had one biological child.

I have always supported people’s rights in principle, especially gay rights, but this has been opened an abyss of sadness In Myself, not having had children. It also makes me feel like the stranger among my siblings as they are both busy with their respective families now.

My partner is older than me and has an older son. You don’t feel like having more kids so i feel I have missed the boat. I also feel a lot of guilt and shame in my answer. It is causing problems within my family. because my older brother has stopped communicating with me. I’m not sure how to relate to these new kids and also to my brother now. It constantly bothers me. I feel like a terrible person and very lonely. I don’t know anyone who has been in a similar situation, it feels like a 21st century agony.

Philippa’s answer Reading between the lines, I wonder if there isn’t much loss here to process. We think of grief when we lose someone close to us: when we lose a parent or a friend, everyone around us expects us to be sad or angry or confused, in denial or just numb for a while, wherever that may take us. duel journey. And even if it’s a rough ride, we know that if we don’t allow ourselves to cry, we won’t regain our balance. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has helpfully mapped out this complex journey, and her thinking is instructive. Above all, we learn from her that the only way beyond loss is through her. When you want to be a parent and for whatever reason you can’t be, this is a loss and, like all losses, you have to regret it.

It is much more difficult, isn’t it, when the loss we experience is more situational than personal? It is often not noticed or named by anyone, and there is no expectation that we will have work to do. Instead of finding loving support for the grieving process, we can lock ourselves into a silent and dying world in which we feel increasingly isolated.

Whether it is a choice or circumstance that led you to not having a child, you are clearly feeling it as a loss, and I wonder if now that those close to you seem to have many new children, it is easier to cut. , feeling jealous or overly rationalizing, instead of having your feelings. The gaps are tough, and they are real, at least for us. The reality is often disappointing.

You don’t say why your brother doesn’t talk to you. Echoes of some distant childhood rivalry unfolding, perhaps? Or has something happened that creates discomfort? You know, but I wonder what part of your sadness and loss may be contributing to this discomfort. After all, when the task of processing loss doesn’t happen to us, we find other ways to deal with our feelings: project disappointment and envy onto others, rather than appropriating them. This makes us unhappy and creates avoidable friction with others. And no, I don’t think you are a terrible person, just a person who suffers and has nowhere to put it.

Then there is what he describes as his own love relationship. It does not say how long they have been together, or if there was the possibility of considering having a child, but what is now invading is this sense of gap. I wonder what would happen if you named him, not in terms of any “right” to have had a child, not in terms of “guilt” that the two of you don’t have one, but simply in terms of the sense of loss and sadness that you are. creating in you? Not that I have to fix it by having a child with you, but not talking about it can prevent you from keeping your relationship as “loving” as it can be. If he doesn’t listen to you and doesn’t understand you, he may deny you the support you need to move forward; Simply talking about it can open up new ways of feeling fulfilled together. We might feel that if we own the disappointment and name the gaps, our feelings will become more intense and unmanageable, but the opposite happens more often. Talking about your loss will start to process those feelings and they will be, I think, the first steps in healing all of this. I don’t want you to carry that “abyss of sadness” on your own. But even in the most loving partnerships we can’t be all that we need for each other and if your partner is more of a problem solver, no one wants to hear the “well, you should …” in response to their pain, you You can try to listen and understand more from a therapist.

When you can acknowledge your sadness and then contain it, I hope that you can relate to these new nieces and nephews in your life, not as reminders of what you are missing, but as new people for life-long rewarding relationships. with.

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