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Dear Coleen: I found half brother now he's turned against me

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Dear Coleen

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I found out a few years ago I had a brother from my dad’s previous relationship and was so excited to find out more. I contacted him through Facebook and we met up, and it was fantastic. He was such a nice guy and didn’t seem to carry any resentment for my dad, which I was happy about although that did surprise me.

A couple of months after meeting and introducing him into the family, things were great. But then I had to move away for a couple of years with work.

We kept in touch for a while, but conversations got less often and then stopped altogether.

Now I’ve returned home and tried numerous times to contact him and got nothing back. I know he still speaks to my dad and grandparents, and even had them over for Christmas dinner.

I have no idea what has gone wrong and think maybe my grandparents have turned him against me. I’ve even asked outright if he has a problem with me and still no reply.

It’s really getting me angry and down, as I was the only one in the family to make the effort with him, despite the fact that for the past 10 years everyone else knew who he was and where he worked, yet they never bothered with him. I did, so why am I getting treated like this? Even my grandparents have stopped speaking to me.

Coleen says

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I think you need to stop chasing your brother and speak to your dad instead – although he might not have a clue why you’re being given the cold shoulder either. But at least you can tell him you’ve been making the effort and not getting anything back. Maybe your dad can have a word with him and try to work out what’s going on.

It could be that your brother is a bit jealous of you. Maybe he’s become close to your family while you’ve been away and is worried about you coming back and him being pushed out again.

As for your grandparents, pay them a visit and ask them outright if anything’s been said or if anything happened while you were gone to spark this change in attitude. I think it’s sad for them to be missing out on seeing you, and very frustrating for you not to know why. They can ignore a text or an email, but they can’t ignore someone standing there, asking what’s going on.

It’s cowardly of them not to explain things, but tell them you need to know if anything has been said so you at least have the chance to defend yourself.

I think that’s all you can do. Focus on your dad and your grandparents and stop chasing your brother. You’ve tried, now let him come to you.

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