Ask Amy: Brother deserted his children. I desire a relationship with them.

Expensive Amy: My brother has been married twice.

He and his first spouse had two youngsters. Throughout the divorce, he tried to realize custody of the youngsters, however she was awarded custody, and he stayed in touch along with his two youngsters for some time. However then issues turned for the more serious when she accused my brother of kid abuse. She additionally bodily threatened him.

He determined to not have any contact along with her or his youngsters. He instructed the household that we shouldn’t contact them or their mom. He had one other youngster in his second marriage, which ended when their youngster was in elementary faculty. He hasn’t seen that youngster in years. In typical vogue, no person in our household wished to speak about it.

When one in all my nephews was graduating from highschool, he contacted me to ask me why their father wasn’t coming to commencement. It was heartbreaking to listen to the unhappiness in his voice, however I abided by my brother’s needs to not join them. We at the moment are older, and his youngsters are younger adults.

I don’t see my brother usually. Nobody within the household ever mentions these youngsters. I take into consideration my nephews usually and want that they had been part of the household. I wish to contact them. My different siblings don’t need to provoke any contact with our nephews.

I additionally don’t need to contain my mother and father, who’re aged, ill and have determined to abide by my brother’s needs. I’m keen to sacrifice my relationship with my brother to achieve out, however ought to I? What ought to I say? Ought to I inform my brother?

Aunt: You’re a considerate grownup, and you’ve got the fitting to pursue a relationship with others, based mostly by yourself greatest judgment. You perceive that, by doing so, you’ll in all probability be sacrificing a relationship together with your brother, however out of your description, it doesn’t sound as you probably have a lot of a relationship with him, anyway.

Nor do I see any cause to tell or ask your brother’s permission. You don’t appear to have a lot data of those nephews of yours. I additional ponder whether these half-brothers find out about one another.

If you’ll be able to contact them, you don’t actually need to say a lot. You may determine your self as their aunt and inform them that you simply’ve considered them usually. You may say, “Right here is my contact data, in case you need to be in contact.”

I feel it’s critical so that you can preserve your expectations — and theirs — in examine. They may have particular person reactions to you. Provided that nobody else in your loved ones is excited by these males, being in contact with them is not going to deliver them into the household fold.

Moreover, it’s inconceivable so that you can have an correct image of their upbringings. It is best to assume that — like all of us — they carry childhood baggage. You can’t essentially unburden them, however understanding that you’re excited by them would possibly assist.

Expensive Amy: An moral dilemma.

My household and I had been not too long ago getting meals at a drive-through after our highschool softball recreation. It was an enormous order. When our meals was handed to us, our mother principally shortly handed it again to us within the again seat and drove away from the restaurant.

We dove in and had been serving to ourselves to some rooster from a bucket after we observed that we had been handed a part of another person’s order. We instructed our mom that we’d gotten additional meals that wasn’t ours, however she mentioned that there wasn’t something we might do about it and that we simply obtained fortunate.

We felt dangerous that another person hadn’t gotten their meals. What ought to we now have accomplished?

Hungry: Since you had already began consuming the meals, returning it wouldn’t have been doable. You may have shortly known as the restaurant to allow them to know of the error — as a courtesy to clear up any subsequent confusion brought on by the mix-up.

Expensive Amy: Your response to “Tongue-tied in Denver” introduced tears to my eyes. Such as you (and Tongue-tied), I’ve a beloved member of the family with Down syndrome. I don’t suppose most individuals understand how very particular this attachment is. Thanks for recognizing and celebrating this relationship.

Grateful: I’ve realized rather a lot from my great nephew, who all the time appears pleased to hang around with me. This relationship has introduced my life a number of pleasure.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company.

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