i do not have a close relationship with my younger brother. he is a recovering addict. we have discussed our up bringing (which was very grounded) but he only thinks of the negative things that happened between us, even when i change to some positive things he manages to turn it back around to negative.
he has a lot of negativity and resentment towards me and is happier when i am not doing well in life.
i am struggling with how to deal with this as each time we spend a time together i can feel the negativity from him directed at me and now i am at the stage i am avoiding sharing a family meal as it is so tense for all family and very draining...
Id suggest this is rather common. My sister is 5 years younger than I and surprisingly for 2 bipolar siblings we are close- until she takes on some rivalry.
Like my sister I think your brothers resentment is ingrained and permanent whether justified or not. After all we can’t walk in their shoes.
Im 64yo, my sister 59, about 10 years ago we decided to bury the hatchet and largely that has been a success but every now and then she has a burning ambition to win, to topple me.
I can only suggest you distance yourself a lot but not entirely and wait until he matures and realise what he’s missing. When he desires a closer relationship I’d still remain a little distant- enough whereby he remains appreciative of his brother company.
I'm really sorry to hear about your relationship with your brother. Have you talked to other members of your family about how you are feeling? It is important that you do not distance yourself from your whole family just because he is negative I such situations. I have similar experiences with my father at meal times and often meals can end in big fights because he can be quite negative. Something I have found helps me is to engage in conversation with other members of the family more than him, but make sure not to ignore him completely because he will likely pick up on that and feel quite angry. This keeps the peace for me and is something I have learnt to accept works best even if it isn't the ideal situation I would want for me.
I also try to have dinner at my boyfriend or a friends house once a week when I can just to get away from the pressures of trying to keep the peace cause as you mentioned it can sometimes be draining.
I hope this at least somewhat helps.
Welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out.
I'm so sorry that you are experiencing this. The fact that you wrote this post shows how much you care about your relationship with your younger brother, and that you really want to repair it. I think avoiding and ignoring him might work in the short-term; however, if you wish to develop a stronger relationship with him (which I feel you do?) interacting with him is probably inevitable. Undoubtedly it is difficult conversing with him if he is constantly turning positives into negatives and continually being resentful towards you. I guess just being understanding that people who are so resentful are usually dealing with a lot of personal insecurities, and hence, project it onto you to make themselves feel better. I agree with white knight in that over time your brother might mature and realise how unpleasant he has been. A lot of this involves time and self-growth. I know a few years back I had a bad relationship with my older sister. We are really different in terms of personality, hobbies, and interests. I knew she often judged me for things I did, which now looking at retrospect was poor form on my behalf. However, over the past two years our relationship has become much stronger, and I think a lot of it came down to me maturing and realising some things I did were super inconsiderate.
Hopefully over time your brother wants to build a strong relationship with you.
Wishing you all the best!