General Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

How would you handle this situation with a half-sibling?

Asked by KNOWITALL (14914 points ) February 22nd, 2013

My father’s son just contacted me and wants to get together. We have only met once and because my father refuses to be in my life, we don’t know each other. And that also makes it a little awkward.

Do you have any tips about how to handle our first ‘real’ meeting as adult siblings?

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16 Answers

burntbonez's avatar

Don’t think about it much. Be open minded. See what happens. Just be naturally cautious. Soon you’ll start noticing family resemblances, and that should keep things moving.

woodcutter's avatar

There are many answers to be gotten there. Do you want them?

Judi's avatar

It’s not his fault your father is a jerk. He’s your brother. Give him a chance. Don’t go in with any expectations. What a great opportunity to have a relationship with your brother. I hope you end up with a long healthy friendship.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Meet in a public place, but don’t have any preconceived thoughts. Just play it by ear and see what develops.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@burntbonez I’m trying, but right now my heart is pounding. I’ve hoped for this for years but it’s never happened and now I’m kind of in shock.

@woodcutter My sister and I talked a few times and she answered most of my questions a few years ago. So nothing can hurt me more than her replies that my father still didn’t want to get to know me (at age 68.)

@Judi That’s what I’m praying for. Just the idea that I have an entire family I don’t know has messed with my head for a long time.

@Adirondackwannabe Definately, and not alone.

zensky's avatar

Hi. How are you? Tell me a bit about yourself…

And the rest is conversation, like with anyone. And yes, I read your details.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL Relax, you can control your immediate vicinity, but you can’t control what others do. Don’t let it mess with you. Look in the mirror. That’s what you control.

KNOWITALL's avatar

What I didn’t say above is that I tried to get to know my sisters but their parents, my father and his wife, their mother, were not cool with it at all. My sisters followed their lead and dropped me like a hot potato, now with little brother wanting to try, I don’t want to mess it up.

One of the things that caused a problem was that they kept bringing up the past, like how things got so messed up, then when they confronted their parents, I was the bad guy.

Basically my dad was sleeping with my mom and their mom, he was a Deputy Sherriff in a small town and was very good-looking. So my mom got pregnant, he wanted me to be aborted, she refused and raised me alone. He finally started paying child support when the state sued him when I was twelve and then he made us do a blood test and go to court, when I look just like him (and two of my sibs.)

Needless to say, I just want to move forward, and if we can be friends, that would be great. So I guess I’ll just steer the conversation to ‘now’ instead of ‘back in the 70’s”, right?!

jca's avatar

I would just be really casual and like “Hey, so nice to see you again! How are you?” and just go with the flow.

janbb's avatar

When someone tries to steer the conversation in a direction I don’t want it to go in, I just say something like, “I really don’t want to talk about that” or “Let’s not go there.” You can control the topics of conversation to a large extent by setting boundaries.

burntbonez's avatar

When I said not to think about it much, I meant try not to plan for it much. You can’t help thinking about it and wondering about it. But try not to have preconceptions about what will happen. If there are certain things you want to talk about, then fine. Put them on a list. Put the list in your pocket.

But the agenda is to get to know more about your brother and your family. Maybe a little about your past. It is not going to answer any existential questions. So focus on being present.

muhammajelly's avatar

@KNOWITALL If you are 18+ and your brother is 18+ how can your father be why you don’t know him? Would you let your father blame your mother for not knowing you after your 18th birthday? I would handle the situation by getting to know your brother until you either know him or decide to disown him. I also want to make an unrelated point on the blood test. He might have been following lawyer advice or really not known. If your father can be with multiple women is it totally inconceivable that your mother was with multiple men?

marinelife's avatar

Keep and open mind and see if you want to know him. He is his own person. He is not your father.

Shippy's avatar

I’d go with my gut reaction.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@muhammajelly My father did not tell his children about my existance, so when I did at age 18, they were shocked and bewildered. And it was/ is awkward for all of us knowing that our father and his new wife would prefer us not to be friends or hang out.

There is a possiblity my father truly did not believe I was his child but since we all look almost exactly alike, it’s hard to know. And my mother was a virgin and proved it in court, he was almost ten years older than her, but the lawyer advice is probably correct.

I did email my brother back and gave him my cell, but I did not make plans to see him at this time. I need to think about it a little bit more.

muhammajelly's avatar

@KNOWITALL Looking alike isn’t enough to tell. For instance if a woman has a certain physical preference in men she may have children by multiple fathers which look alike because the men looked alike.

Best of luck.

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