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Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I need some advice on how to handle a situation.

 

My brother and I didn't speak for 6 years. He assualted me and refused to apologise.Then one day out of the blue he called me and apologised. Said he and his partner were trying for a baby and we should patch things up because of it.

 

I'm 43 and don't want kids - my partner and I are childfree (not childless).

 

Anyway, he contacted me in August to say they'd gone through IVF and by September they were pregnant. I met him in October, he apologised for how he'd behaved six years ago. I live quite far away from him so we now started to have sporadic phone calls and occasional whatsapp messages. His partner whatsapped me all her scan photos when she was pregnant.

 

My nephew was born a few weeks ago and I'm thrilled for them and love my nephew. However, they are constantly sending me photos and videos of the baby through whatsapp. It's just photos and videos with no message - no 'how are you?' It feels very one sidded. I know new parents can be obsessed, but I'm not obsessed and I actually find it an intrutsion into my life. I'm not jealous because as I said we are childfree by choice and have a great life. We don't want children. I don't hate kids, but I am not they type of person that is obsessed with kids. I am not child focused. I prefer animals.

How can I deal with this situation without alienating them?

They seem to expect my life to now revolve around their child.

 

In addition, I've been with my partner for 11 years. We're very happy as we are and don't want to marry. We don't see the point and don't really believe in marriage. It's not for us, but we can be happy for others who do want to marry. However, we believe in the right not to marry. My brother'spartner is referring to my partner as 'uncle' , but he doesn't want to be referred to as uncle. He doesn't view himself as an uncle to this child.

 

What is going on in this situation?

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They are family oriented and you two are not. It's that simple. Keep it sporadic and casual and maintain boundaries. Try not to feel offended if the brother's partner calls your partner "uncle".

 

She is not guilty of the family drama and may not know the extent of your intense anti-marriage stance and may be trying to be 'accepting' toward you and your partner. Obviously she is happy about welcoming a child into the world, even if you two do not desire this.

 

Lighten up. Tell the curmudgeon bf to lighten up about titles. When the kid is ready he can call your bf by his first name if that's what he wants.

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Just because he doesn't want to be referred to as 'uncle' doesn't make him a 'curmudgeon'.:eek:

It's not about the kid calling him uncle either. It's about the kids mum insisting on calling him that. He probably won't build up any type of relationship with this child as we live far away and he doesn't travel to my home town with me very often.

Plus, I wouldn't say we have an 'intense' anti-marriage stance. We just believe in the right not to marry.

My brother and his partner are not married either and my brother is 40 so it was a long time coming for him to decide to have a kid. They had to undergo IVF and so on.

 

Also, I am happy about welcoming my nephew into the world too.

 

My issue is the constant whatsapp photos and videos that come everyday with no message.It is totally one-sided. We are bombarded.

They are totally baby obsessed, whereas we have limited interest.

 

I am looking for a way to communicate this without offending them.

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Put her on ignore/mute. That way they are not blocked or deleted and you can ignore them or look at them if/when you feel like it.

My issue is the constant whatsapp photos and videos that come everyday with no message.It is totally one-sided. We are bombarded.

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Is your nephew going to be part of your life or a picture in an album? That kind of determines my answer.

 

He will be part of my life. I love him and intend to build a relationship with him. However, I do live far away and can only visit them at the very most for two weeks out of the year. Why does this determine your answer?

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I had an aunt who I rarely saw as a child. As a teenager she became a massive part of my life and I loved her like another mother.

I never called her partner uncle (they weren't married either, but did eventually marry as it made them more financially stable) He was always nice to me and I called him by his first name and saw him as a friend, not an 'uncle'.

Maybe this has some unconcious bearing on my thinking.

They had 30 beautiful years together. The most inspiring people I ever met. And she had no children of her own. She was an amazing woman. I dind't see her as an aunt or a mother though - I saw her as her own, indepndent person and I took an interest in her life.

I guess that's at the root of it. I don't feel my brother or his partner take an interest in my life.So the entire thing feels like a one sided realtionship.

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When you say "they" send you photos, who is "they"? Is it from your brother, or his partner?

 

My guess is, his partner is the one driving the sending of all the photos, and driving the calling of your partner "uncle" by their child.

 

My guess is also, that your brother downplayed his role in your estrangement. You use the word "assault", which is vague, and he probably says he was just teasing you and you got too sensitive, something like that. I can't speculate on how he described it to her, but I gotta give him props for reaching out to you, owning up to it, and apologizing to you. His partner may just have been the driving force behind that.

 

So my other guess is, she's trying to build a bridge, not throw their baby in your face.

 

My vote is to accept it and welcome them as a part of your lives, or block them and become estranged again. Anything else is just passive-aggressive limbo.

 

You say that they don't put any notes, no "how are you's". How about you responding to some of the pictures with "What a lovely baby, would love to get together again, he's getting so big!". You know, start a dialogue. They may very well be saying, "Well we send her pictures of him all the time, but she never responds".

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When you say "they" send you photos, who is "they"? Is it from your brother, or his partner?

 

My guess is, his partner is the one driving the sending of all the photos, and driving the calling of your partner "uncle" by their child.

 

My guess is also, that your brother downplayed his role in your estrangement. You use the word "assault", which is vague, and he probably says he was just teasing you and you got too sensitive, something like that. I can't speculate on how he described it to her, but I gotta give him props for reaching out to you, owning up to it, and apologizing to you. His partner may just have been the driving force behind that.

 

So my other guess is, she's trying to build a bridge, not throw their baby in your face.

 

My vote is to accept it and welcome them as a part of your lives, or block them and become estranged again. Anything else is just passive-aggressive limbo.

 

You say that they don't put any notes, no "how are you's". How about you responding to some of the pictures with "What a lovely baby, would love to get together again, he's getting so big!". You know, start a dialogue. They may very well be saying, "Well we send her pictures of him all the time, but she never responds".

 

I do respond. I have responded to every single photo and video they have sent. But they say nothing back. My partner actually thinks I should stop responding as this is what might be encouraging it.

 

They both send the photos. My brother sends mostly videos. He sends things like the baby in his cot sucking on a dummy. He also sent a video of the babies mouth - he was actually trying to zoom in on his phone to the inside the babies mouth.

 

As for the assualt that led to our 6 year estrangement - he threw a footstool at me because I sounded like our father who he despises! They have not spoken for over 10 years.

Edited by amco43
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Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I need some advice on how to handle a situation.

 

My brother and I didn't speak for 6 years. He assualted me and refused to apologise.Then one day out of the blue he called me and apologised. Said he and his partner were trying for a baby and we should patch things up because of it.

 

I'm 43 and don't want kids - my partner and I are childfree (not childless).

 

Anyway, he contacted me in August to say they'd gone through IVF and by September they were pregnant. I met him in October, he apologised for how he'd behaved six years ago. I live quite far away from him so we now started to have sporadic phone calls and occasional whatsapp messages. His partner whatsapped me all her scan photos when she was pregnant.

 

My nephew was born a few weeks ago and I'm thrilled for them and love my nephew. However, they are constantly sending me photos and videos of the baby through whatsapp. It's just photos and videos with no message - no 'how are you?' It feels very one sidded. I know new parents can be obsessed, but I'm not obsessed and I actually find it an intrutsion into my life. I'm not jealous because as I said we are childfree by choice and have a great life. We don't want children. I don't hate kids, but I am not they type of person that is obsessed with kids. I am not child focused. I prefer animals.

How can I deal with this situation without alienating them?

They seem to expect my life to now revolve around their child.

 

In addition, I've been with my partner for 11 years. We're very happy as we are and don't want to marry. We don't see the point and don't really believe in marriage. It's not for us, but we can be happy for others who do want to marry. However, we believe in the right not to marry. My brother'spartner is referring to my partner as 'uncle' , but he doesn't want to be referred to as uncle. He doesn't view himself as an uncle to this child.

 

What is going on in this situation?

My lord there's a lot of cringe here to unpack. Do you guys get this stuck when the escalator is out of order, too?

 

Firstly, "childless" and "childfree" are the same thing. You are childless, and that's fine.

 

Secondly, they're not being "intrusive." No one's throwing framed baby photos through your living room window. You can even mute notifications for specific people on Whatsapp.

 

Third, tell your guy to sit up straight and not to be such a baby back whiner. Who cares if your brother's partner is referring to him as the kid's uncle through Whatsapp? It's not like he's being asked to babysit. Hell, dude doesn't even have to know. It's your Whatsapp, not his.

 

Y'all sound like that couple who has a chip on their shoulder for going against the grain, and who cares exponentially more about people who go with it than people ever will about your choices. I mean, I get it. I don't like the Beatles. It feels cool to be part of a pretty exclusive crew. I don't expect a cookie for it, though.

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Childless and childree are not the same thing. Childless describes couples who wanted to have children, but for a variety of reasons were unable. They are sad about it.

Childfree is a concious decision you have made and you are secure and content in that decision.

 

Now I know about the mute notifications, that's what I will do.

 

But as I've just figured out through this forum... the real issue is I feel my brother doesn't take any interest in my life.

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I do respond. I have responded to every single photo and video they have sent. But they say nothing back. My partner actually thinks I should stop responding as this is what might be encouraging it.

 

They both send the photos. My brother sends mostly videos. He sends things like the baby in his cot sucking on a dummy. He also sent a video of the babies mouth - he was actually trying to zoom in on his phone to the inside the babies mouth.

 

I agree with your partner. Stop responding. Just accept that they send you pictures, and be done with it. You could block them, if you don't want a relationship, but it really doesn't do any harm to view the pictures, so if it were me, I'd just keep receiving them, but yeah, I'd stop responding.

 

Now, they may be thinking that their sending you a photo is communication, and you're communicating back with your response, so that's the end of the conversation. Kind of like sending an emoji for an emoji.

 

You're probably still very upset about the assault, and you might not really want a relationship with your brother, which I get. But this is where you get to decide: In or out. Maintain a relationship, or close the door forever. Is that what this is more about?

 

As for child-free vs. childless, yeah, to me, it's all the same. But I do get why you describe it like that, as it is your choice, vs. people who tried but couldn't, to have a child. Or marriage vs. living together, or whatever. It's all cool, and there's nothing to be defiant about (not that I think you are, but you spent some time making that distinction). You do you.

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People secure and content with a decision don't get bent up over how it's termed, especially when the terms in fact do mean the same thing. I don't mean it as a jab. Either you legit are content and are just pretentious about it, or you're not that secure about it and it's worth some introspection. You're making socially contrarian life decisions, and that's fine. The overcompensating tone is pretty unbecoming, though. There's probably a reason beyond your history that your brother doesn't get much social value from your interactions beyond sharing these photos.

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Thanks LH Girl. That actually helped.

 

I do enjoy looking at the photos and I love my nephew. I think the problem is still my relationship with my brother. When we became estranged, he also cut relations with our mother.

 

Since we started talking again and I found out they were pregnant, I have done all that I have mainly for our mother's sake. I want her to enjoy her grandchild. I encourage her to get involved. She suffers from serious mental illness (although well controlled on medication). She is happier than she has ever been and is even knitting a baby blanket. I bought her the kit and encouraged her to do it. I want her very much to be happy.

 

I feel that if I was to upset my brother in any way, he will just cut us out again and this would be extremely upsetting to our mother. She's 64 now and not in the best of health.

 

I only make the distinction between childless and childfree because some people don't realize you can be happy and content in life without having children.

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People secure and content with a decision don't get bent up over how it's termed, especially when the terms in fact do mean the same thing. I don't mean it as a jab. Either you legit are content and are just pretentious about it, or you're not that secure about it and it's worth some introspection. You're making socially contrarian life decisions, and that's fine. The overcompensating tone is pretty unbecoming, though. There's probably a reason beyond your history that your brother doesn't get much social value from your interactions beyond sharing these photos.

 

j.man - I make the distinction between childless and childfree because some people don't realize you can be happy and content in life without having children.

 

Some people actually believe women who don't have children are miserable and I think it's important to point out that this is not the case.

I am secure in my decision. That's why I say childfree. You see the distinction does have to be made as people who can't understand it will always doubt it.

 

I'm not understanding what you mean when you say:

'The overcompensating tone is pretty unbecoming, though. There's probably a reason beyond your history that your brother doesn't get much social value from your interactions beyond sharing these photos'.

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The family of your birth.

 

Well, I had a mother and father who divorced and should never have married in the first place. I also had grandparents who divorced and my other grandmother's partner died and left her to bring up 6 kids on her own. This is life. It was all made worse by religion because people tried to live the religious lives society pressured them into and it didn't work out! Because it was forced onto them.

There aren't many happily married couples I know if that's what you mean.

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Well, I had a mother and father who divorced and should never have married in the first place. I also had grandparents who divorced and my other grandmother's partner died and left her to bring up 6 kids on her own. This is life. It was all made worse by religion because people tried to live the religious lives society pressured them into and it didn't work out! Because it was forced onto them.

There aren't many happily married couples I know if that's what you mean.

 

Well, no, what are your family relationships like. Obviously there is a lot of animosity with your brother .

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I get your "child-free" vs. "childless" because I have gotten the "aww, I'm so sorry you never had children" too. To have to go into an explanation with, sometimes complete strangers, is just....weird.

 

Re: Your situation with your brother. Do you think that he apologized and got his way back into your life, just so he could have a reflection of himself in you? In other words, so he could have his own sort of selfish relationship with you, tell you things, send you pictures, that he apologized to benefit himself only? Do you think it would help for you to have a talk with him, and tell him that you'd like for him to ask about you sometimes? This could be a very selfish personality trait, or it could be that he's just not that ask-about-you kind of guy.

 

The only way you'd know is to ask. He might be like, oh my, I never realized that, thanks for letting me know. You'd have to do this in a conversational way, not in an accusatory way.

 

I do respect your reasons for re-establishing contact with him, so as to keep your mother at as much peace as possible.

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Well, no, what are your family relationships like. Obviously there is a lot of animosity with your brother .

 

To keep it as short as I can.

My mother was just 18 when she married.

She came from alcoholic parents so obviously had some issues. Her mother hated being a mother. She wanted to be an accountant but was prevented such an education because she was a woman. Hated her life an so became an alcoholic. Had 6 kids because the first 5 were girls and they had to have a son due to pressure from society to have the 'ideal' one of each gender. Education was pushed on them. My mother failed at it and felt she would get recognition by having a child. So along came I.

My father was just 22. He came from a poor Glasgow household - poor Catholics, 6 kids, eldest kid raised by grandparents, father died when my dad was 6.

Their marriage was doomed due to my mother's mental illness and my father's immaturity.

I spent a lot of my childhood living with neighbors and spent several years in a kid's home.

My brother from the age of 3 months old went to live with the people down the road and never returned. So he was brought up by them.

Never adopted though and he always visited and knew who his parents were. Blames his father for it all now.

So in my brother's eyes I am the 'chosen' child (this is what he once called me) because I spent more time with our parents than he did.

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