What Makes A Good Sibling?

Normally even when talking about my siblings I refrain from using gender indicators. That’s mostly because I have a creative set of siblings who may themselves one day wish to start blogging and might, like me, want to keep themselves wholly anonymous. But with my brother R, I am 99% sure he will never pick up the Hansen alias. He’s not got the same creative skill set as the rest of us and this kind of thing would never appeal to him.

R is about 9 years older than me so there’s quite an age gap between us. I’m told he looked after me a lot when I was a baby but other than that we have never had what I would describe as a particularly close relationship. I haven’t actually even seen him in a few years. This is for two reasons. One, he’s a bit of a dullard in conversation and even though, like the rest of us, he is heavily into his video games, he plays them very differently. Playing them with R just sucks all the fun out of it because he takes it all too seriously. He does not realise this however, so I avoid him online and try not to let him notice me in game.

The second reason for our estranged relationship is his choice of girlfriend. It’s nothing too scandalous just that she’s a gold digger who is leading him on a merry run around. Her personality is also really quite abrasive and she successfully rubbed every single one of us up the wrong way when she met us. R is a good guy and he’s loyal so he’s also a great boyfriend. Doesn’t matter how many times my parents have told him that she’s no good, he will not listen. My Dad now refuses to talk to R until he’s ditched her and Mum avoids the topic so that the door is always open for him, should things turn sour or he comes to his senses.

I should mention R is very socially awkward, finds it hard to talk around girls he thinks are attractive. As we aren’t close it’s not something we talked about much but I don’t think he had many girlfriends before this one. I think she knows just how much of a hold she has over him.

No matter how dull I find conversation with my brother I know he has all the qualities required to make a great dad. He’s also, finally, mentally ready to have kids. But I know, my family knows, and I think in his heart R knows, his girlfriend is done with kids. She’s had two, one of which has had a kid. So she’s a grandmother now, she’s not having kids. But she keeps making him think there’s a chance, she keeps letting him believe he’s going to start a family with her. He’s bought her a house, moved to a different country for her and looks after her (frankly not quite all there) daughter.

So the question is, how can I be a good sibling? What does my brother need more, the brutally honest truth or someone to let him do what he wants? There’s plenty of advice for parents out there, let your children make their own mistakes yada yada yada. But what about siblings? Although I’m not terrible with the spoken word, the written word is my strength. Would a letter, filled with all the sibling love I can muster, change his mind and set him on a path better suited to what he wants from life? Because Hansen’s are loyal, ridiculously so. Whether I like him or not, whether we speak frequently or not, whether he’s in another country or not, he’s my brother. And I want good things for him.

I suspect I already know the answer to all these questions, but you’re reading my blog so I know you’re smart… what would you do? Be supportive or help him fix his mistakes?




21 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Sibling?

  1. Phew… the problems that come in the name of loyalty!
    Good for you for getting that out there: it’s not a problem that’s easy to deal with. Ouch.

    I’ve had a similar problem, though not brother-related, and my choice is “mild, quiet hostility”… which sounds pretty childish, but the lady in question is a bit of a sociopath. There’s no “win”.
    If it were my brother I’d like to think I’d be honest about my feelings, but also let him know I’m there if he and when needed me.

    For what it’s worth…!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A bit of a combination of the two, a good suggestion. And it’s worth a lot by the way.
      You’re someone trying their best to give advice to a sort of stranger, which makes you a pretty decent sort. So you’re ideas on how to solve a moral dilemma has gotta be pretty sound right?
      Have faith in your value dude. Little self worth is what got us into this depressed mess to begin with :/

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Why thank you… haha ‘advice’ can have relative value! Some people give it unsolicited, which I’m wary of. (Eep.)
        Not sure if my ideas are entirely sound… but they’re all I have. And as I sort of said, in complicated matters of the heart there’s often no “good”… there’s degrees of doing our best doggy-paddle in a Sea of Awkward.
        And thankyou very much: if I am indeed a decent sort, I’m in similar virtual company. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Joonas Kopponen

      My advice was pretty much the same as yours.. πŸ™‚ Aren’t we smart? My respect to you of this comments and many others I have read on Mindfumps posts too. You have made me laugh more than once too. πŸ™‚ Hope you are well! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Joonas Kopponen

        Good and incredibly painful, hard and horrible. πŸ™‚ Would be nice to be reaally slow for a while. Or the most traumatic experience of all.. I have been having a really hard time recently but life is shining again. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Joonas Kopponen

    I am very sorry to hear of your brothers situation.. =/ You sound like an awesome brother though! Have thought you would be but now it’s proven.

    My advice if you’ll have it: I have found it best in nearly every situation and especially when it comes to family to just go with the truth of how you feel but be respectful and supportive too. Letter would be an awesome idea, it has done good for Jenni with her parents. Make sure he knows you are saying what you are because you truly love him but also tell what you need to. It can be hard to find that balance but you can do it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, it sounds like sage advice to me. And it’s backed up with semi personal experience. So I better get perfecting that letter before another sibling gets married this year. It’ll be a god opportunity for me to give him the letter although he will be bringing his girlfriend… let’s hope he doesn’t get any silly ideas and propose…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joonas Kopponen

        Wish it will go well! πŸ™‚ If he looks like proposing.. Kick him in the stomach, drag away and have A Talk? All with brotherly love, naturally.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Joonas Kopponen

        Sometimes one needs tough love. πŸ˜› Talk to you more later! I’ll spend time with Jenni now, it’s her birthday so I want to give all my attention, we have been a lot together today already but she wants to play one card game with me, we were going to watch Shameless first but we are going with me kicking her ass in Port Royal. πŸ˜‰ Or I get stomped to dirt by her surprising tactical brilliance.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sensibly Sh**faced – 25,000 Light-years

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