Steamed his sister kept mum on infertility
DEAR AMY: Three years ago, my sister and her husband had a baby. They are in their late 40s, and have been together for 20 years. They never told me they wanted a family, and it turns out they spent years trying to conceive. I continue to feel hurt that my sister kept this important fact in her life secret from me. She disclosed this to some close friends and co-workers. She feels bad that my feelings are hurt, but said they kept the secret from all the family members and didn't want to have to explain for years when fertility treatments didn't work. While I understand this explanation, and I think of this birth as me gaining a nephew, I am having trouble facing the reality that I never had the relationship with my sister I thought I had, and know now that I never will. I find myself keeping an emotional distance from her, and I have a hard time emotionally connecting with my nephew. Please help me reorient my thinking.Hurt BrotherDEAR HURT: You don't say if you have children. If you did you'd be more sensitive to your sister's situation. Sometimes it is preferable to share challenging news about your reproductive system with people whom you don't have to face across the Thanksgiving table.
It's also tough to disclose private information to one family member if you don't want other family members to know (some siblings feel honor bound to disclose information to parents or other siblings, for instance).
Keeping intimate challenges out of the family realm also can be an attempt to try to protect loved ones from the drama and disappointment of personal challenges.
Here's your reorientation: If you refuse to bond with a 3-year-old because you don't approve of how his mother handled her infertility, then you will never have the relationship with your sister you'd like to have. Rejecting a child is a surefire way to alienate the child's mother.