Siblings after 50

I suspect the ages of members must be quite varied on this forum and presume there must be quite a few who are over 50 and with siblings.

Did you find that with advancing years, contact with siblings has diminished? is there the same level of emotional contact or has it faded? has the everyday challenges of raising children, putting them through college, holding down a job etc etc…resulted in you taking a break from sibling contact and attachments.

it has happened with me. anyone else feel the same regret that there is just no more to give to brothers and sisters.

Actually, my brother and I are closer now than we were years ago. When we were younger our time was taken up with school, career advances, kids, moving to different states, etc. His kids are high school and college age now, so he has a lot more time to stay in touch. And we’re old enough to enjoy taking trips down memory lane. Our shared childhood experiences are a bond that takes on greater and greater meaning as we get older.

Maybe some of it depends on family size though. We have no other siblings so I suppose that makes it both easier and more imperative to stay in touch.

Quite the opposite for me. I was never close to my older brother growing up. We were close in terms of age and fiercely competitive. When he went away to college, and I no longer had to deal with him on a daily basis, we got along much better, and when I went away to college I rarely interacted with him except for holidays. I got married and had a kid, and then he got married and had two kids. Over time I let go of my childhood resentment and we started to become friends for the first time. He has just retired, and I am still working, and we no longer live in the same state. I only see him once or twice a year now, but we talk on the phone every week. We are much closer now than we were 10, 20 or 30 years ago. He is my only sibling.

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Since this is basically an informal poll of SDMB user experiences, let’s move this to IMHO.

Moving thread from GQ to IMHO.

My brother and I where very close until he disowned our Mother about 10 years ago (because he screwed up). That has pretty much killed our relationship.

I have two sisters. I’m 51; they are 53 and 54.

We’re closer than ever. We always make an effort to socialise just the three of us for a catch up.

In the last six months our dad - who lives on his own next door to the eldest sister - was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Looking after him and agreeing his future care has brought us even closer together. I would imagine this is a pretty common factor in bringing older siblings together… and sometimes driving them apart.

I’m the youngest at 52, and we’re closer now than we’ve been in years. I speak with my siblings once every other week or so, and we get together often than we have for the past 3 decades.

A friend of mine (she’s 64) has an older sister and four brothers (two younger, two older). Even though none of them lives in the same city, all of them are in constant touch on FB, on the phone, in email. They take vacations together (usually renting a huge condo at the beach), travel across country to attend each other’s children’s graduations, weddings, etc. One time three of her brothers just showed up at her house and said they were there to paint it. And they did. They are a big, firm, caring support web for each other and for all the children and grandchildren.

As a childless only child, I would listen to her stories in amazement. It’s a completely alien lifestyle to me–to have that many people that you’re related to and that care about you and want to spend time with you. I can’t begin to imagine what that would be like…

I’m 64 and probably closer than ever with my sisters. Well, I live with my younger sister!

We were very close in age growing up and fought constantly. We all got along with our baby brother. Even though he’s in Costa Rica now, we stay in touch probably more than when he was living less than 10 miles away.

My sisters and I are all over fifty, and things haven’t changed. We live in the same town and see each other often while helping take care of our mother. We have different lives but care about each other and get along well.

The only thing my brother (56) and I (55) share is DNA. After our mom died two years ago we have very little reason to stay in contact, we talk on the phone once every 6-8 months or so.

While our parents were alive, my sisters and I tended to communicate through them. Since they died we’ve interacted directly much more often.

As for emotional attachment, I will always be their baby brother and they will always be my big sisters.

My [half] sister is 55, eight years older than me. I haven’t seen her in 17 years, and have no desire to ever hear from her again. I’ll never forgive her for the way she treated my father and her own children and grandchildren. Beyond that we have nothing in common, anyway.

I’m the oldest of 5 (just turned 62) and my youngest sister is 50. I left home at 19 to pursue my life, and just 11 years ago, I moved back to my home state, altho I live 90 minutes from the nearest sib and over 2 hours from the other 3. We see each other at family gatherings 2 or 3 times a year but even the ones in the same metro area don’t hang out together. There’s no animosity - we just all have different lives.

The youngest and I are active on FB, one other sister posts sporadically, the other 2 sibs don’t use social media. Phone calls are rare and usually center around major events. I suspect that when our mother dies, interactions among us will be even rarer. And, frankly, I think the fact that I left home 43 years ago and have lived many different places over the years while they all stayed within half an hour of where we grew up has put a big space between me and them. Again, not animosity, but we’re not friends. Oh yeah, and I was left out of my dad’s obituary…

It may be typical of the family tree. My mom has 2 brothers, one who had been hospitalized for over 40 years, and the other brother had his power of attorney. A few weeks ago, the younger brother called Mom to tell her their brother had died and was buried… in November. For whatever reason, he didn’t bother to let her know when he died. Similarly, all the years I was gone, it was rare to get a phone call when things happened - like when my grandmother had a stroke or when my dad had heart surgery. Maybe my family is just weird.

My brother and I are both 70 and over, and we’ve only become close in the last 10 years.

Hubby and I are both 55.

I am close to my 3 siblings and keep in close contact even though 2 of them live 500 miles away.

2 of hubby’s sibs live near us and another lives 1 1/2 hours away but they aren’t particularly close. They see each other 3-4 times a year, and would see each other less frequently if I didn’t arrange some of the meetings. He would like to be close but as Nansbread1 says life gets in the way. Also it’s a pattern in his family, they tend not to make an effort to stay close or even become estranged. He had 2 aunts who lived a mile away from each other but didn’t speak to each other for 20+ years.

I am the youngest of 7 and I just turned 50 last year. All my siblings (and both my parents) are still living, but yes, contact with each other has most definitely steadily declined with age. These days I see one or the other on occasion, but for the last 20+ years it’s been Thanksgiving and Xmas only for most all of us…

I have one brother and one sister, although, surprisingly, my sister has TWO brothers. Anyway, we are all in our fifties, and we are closer than ever.

I wasn’t particularly close to my siblings growing up, and really only one really stayed in contact with after she moved out, until her death.

There was a long stretch of years I had little contact with my surviving siblings.

Of the two, one of them I have only brief contact with every so many years, invariably where some crisis or death is occurring. The other one I’ve gotten a little closer to since my parents died.

On the contrary, I think we’ve gotten closer. There’s a 10-year age difference between me and my eldest brother. We weren’t close at all and he was already out of the house by the time I was 8. He saw me as a bratty little sister and I saw him as a grumpy and distant older brother.

Now that we’re in our 30s and 40s I find we have a lot more in common than I ever knew. We don’t talk on the phone much, but I see him a couple times a year and it’s always enjoyable. It helps that I adore his daughter (my niece).