So angry with my brother >:(

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2005
So angry with my brother >:(
Thu, 06-06-2013 - 2:52am

Hello everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted on this board (or it might be the first time) but I'm looking for some direction.

I live with my parents because my dad is sick. My brother lives an hour away and my sister in a different state (she doesn't have much to do with us). My family is close and my brother and I are close. See, the thing is that my brother has my father's temper (my dad's failing health has ended his temper). My brother will get mad at the drop of a hat, over the littlest thing(s). And once "the mood" begins, it is taken out on all of us. For as long as I can remember, we would all walk on eggshells and stay out of his way because he's mad....again.

We took a family trip to the city we used to live in and took two cars because there were so many of us. I was in my car and my brother drove my parents in their car. It wasn't until we got home that my parents expressed that his "moods" made their trip miserable and they don't want to make that trip with him again. Which I feel bad about because they worried that this was going to happen before we even left. I wasn't aware of it because I was in my car and I have no problem with blowing him off when he gets like that. The thing is, this was probably the last time my dad was going to be able to go back to the old city before he passes. What was supposed to be a nice trip, turned into a five day excursion of tip-toeing around my brother. That's not fair, it's not fair to my parents and everyone else that was in the car with him. This was everyone's vacation and they spent it on eggshells. See, the other thing is that, when he was being pissy in the car with them, he would come talk to me and I had no idea anything was wrong. He wasn't taking the mood out on me (I have told him a few times I won't be his whipping post) but he took it out on them. So really, I have no reason to be mad because I didn't have to deal with his mood, I'm just mad that he has no problem taking it out on our parents.

I love my brother, very much. He is one of my best friends, but he is making others around him miserable. My mom wanted to take him out for dinner for his birthday and he cancelled last minute. He didn't want to celebrate it, and it turned into a small fight with him and my mom because he cancelled last minute. BUT it was ok for him to go to his friend's house to have dinner and cake for his birthday. He didn't lash out at his friends for it. This is when my attitude began.

I really think all this crap needs to be brought to his attention and needs to be told that enough is enough. Of course, this will start another fight and will be bigger and more dramatic than the last one. There is a bigger part of me that feels I need to keep my mouth shut because he isn't taking anything out on me and because it will be hells bells for even bringing it up in the first place. On the other hand, my parents are hurt because he has no regard for their feelings. One other time I did have this conversation with him, he claimed that he feels how he feels and no one cares. I think that because he have to tip-toe around him, we do it BECAUSE we care. It's an endless cycle that I feel stuck in the middle of. I don't know how to approach the situation and the way I feel right now, I just don't want to talk to him. And he has no idea that I feel that way or why. And that's not fair either.

Tried to keep it short, and I just needed to vent. I'm mad and I feel bad for it (WTF?). Should I speak up? Or shut up?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2013
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 8:14pm

I can understand why you are mad at your brother, but I actually kind of sympathise with your brother. I have an alternative point of view which might be a bit controversial. You mentioned that your father used to have a temper. Your brother has learned that from him. Your father may be ill now, maybe your brother is angry at him about the past? Two wrongs don't make a right, and I'm not making excuses for your brother's behaviour, but the way I read it and without meaning to cross a line,perhaps your father is getting a taste of his own medicine. He is helpless now, as you were helpless when you were children. I'm not saying he deserves it, or that your brother is in a position to dish out punishment for the past. I am just offering a possible explanation for his behaviour and another point of view. People are usually angry for a reason. I would try and have compassion for your brother rather than being mad at him. After all, he is only treating your father the way he himself taught you how to behave through his own example. And he needs to deal with the consequences of that, as does your mother for allowing it, both from your brother AND your father.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Fri, 06-21-2013 - 11:39am

Hi, just some ideas. If you know that your brother is like that "He gets mad at the drop of a hat". Why did you plan a trip with him?

Why was such an angry man/son in the same car with your parents?. I guess this should/could have been prevented.

I think you are right, angry people make all people around lives misserable. I think there is nothing you can do about your brother temper, if he isn´t able to control it, how you can.

I would say anothing about what happen, but I would be more careful next time.

Not sure if he is a married guy and you can suggest her wife or him (in a polite way) to seak some therapy or anger managment.

I used to be around angry people in my family because I loved them, but I realized that that was affecting my health and I need to love and take care of myself. So, I don´t do it anymore. I avoid them as much as I can.

It must be sad to your parents and most of all to your dad to have had a trip with a son that is so mad. His time is very limited now and if your brother wasn´t able to make an effort is such an extreme circumstance......well, he is a lost case.

I have a vey angry daughter and when I´m sick I stay at my place and do what I can, because going to her place would be like signing my death penalty. When people is sick, the least thing they need around is angry people.


Hope I have helped.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 06-11-2013 - 3:16pm

Because you are living with your parents you do have to feel the fallout of your brother's behavior towards your parents, even if he doesn't treat you as poorly as he does them. As they become older and more frail they will need an advocate and you will probably be that person, at that point it will  be your job to try to protect their physical and emotional well being. Eventually the stress from these incidents could negatively affect your mother's health causing more difficulty for you. So in the end there will need to be a discussion of it. 

Have you ever talked to your mom about why she started the "walking on eggshells" with him when he was a kid? Was that the way that your father's temper was dealt with also? Understanding some of the reasoning may help you figure out how to approach it with your brother. Just because he has always gotten away with it doesn't make it okay, as an adult he probably can understand that in things that have to do with other people or issues besides his temper.

I don't blame you for being angry with him. He's putting you in a position you don't want to be in and shouldn't have to be in---having to tell him to act like an adult and control himself and be respectful around his elderly parents. Just wondering, does he display his anger issues with other people in his life besides you and your parents?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 1:47pm

Can I ask how old you and your brother are?  Has your brother always been like this, or has it started since your father's illness?  Men have a different way of grieving and it can come across as surly if they can't quite get a handle on their emotions.  I think you could try to get your brother to talk about his feelings regarding your father's illness and the future once he passes.  I agree with the other poster not to bring up the exact issue that your mother has told you about, especially because you have not been witness to it, but try to be a sounding board for your bother.  He may feel very stressed at this time considering all that is occurring and feel pressure to be the *man* of the house.  Do your parents rely on your bother a great deal due to the situation?  Has it been discussed what will happen after your father dies?  If not, perhaps it is time to start discussing the future so there is a plan that everyone is comfortable with. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 06-06-2013 - 11:28am

I think it's difficult because you did not witness any of the bad behavior toward your parents and just heard about it 2nd hand.  I really think that if your dad felt sickly and just didn't want to have an argument, that your mom really should have spoken up.  I don't really think that it's your job to be the person in the middle because you'll be saying "parents are mad at you cause you weren't nice to them" and then he'll say "I don't know what you are talking about--I was fine" and since you weren't there it really doesn't do any good.  It's different if you saw him say something mean to your father and then you can remind him that dad is sick and you should try to be nicer to him.  again with the birthday party, this is between him & your mom for canceling at the last minute.  It really has nothing to do with you.  I have this feeling that he takes his bad behavior out on your parents because its' been a lifetime of him acting this way and your parents got used to this "walking on eggshells" behavior instead of telling him to knock it off, which is sad.