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How to handle conflict with my boyfriends brother

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  • How to handle conflict with my boyfriends brother

    My boyfriend of 2 years and I are at a crossroads about how to deal with conflict between his brother and I. It’s a small stupid issue that has turned into a huge deal. Basically him and his brother are both gamers. They spend most of their free time playing video games. That in and of itself doesn’t bother me at all but what does is that we can’t agree on an appropriate time frame for him and his brother to play when i come over to their house to spend time with my boyfriend. We only see each other twice a week and work opposite scheduled so we don’t get to talk a whole lot throughout the day. I don’t mind him and his brother playing for 2- 2 1/2 hours because I know those are also my boyfriends only 2 days off and I want him and his brother to spend time together. I said that after those 2 hours maybe we can all do something together that we all enjoy like watch a comedy movie or a show. I’m trying to be as flexible as I can and accommodate everyone’s needs while still making sure my boyfriend and I get the quality time that we need. His brother was not happy with this. He doesn’t think 2 hours is enough time and doesn’t want to do anything other than video games so us all watching movies or shows together is not something he would want to do. He’s not even making an attempt to communicate or compromise on anything. What upsets me the most is that my boyfriend never stands up for me. Even when his brother flat out refuses to play video games with him at all because he wants to be able to play for as long as he wants my boyfriend doesn’t see how petty that is. One time they were playing for over 5 hours while I was there. And he was still mad when they stopped. It upsets me because my boyfriend makes it sound like I’m the one that needs to give in because he doesn’t want to upset his brother. Even though I’m the only one compromising and trying to think of a solution that works for everyone while his brother is not even attempting to, somehow I’m the bad guy and the one that has to just let him have his way so I don’t upset him. When I expressed how I felt he said “well he’s my brother you’re the girlfriend” which REALLY hurt my feelings. I just want him to for once understand where I’m coming from and have my back. I know he doesn’t like to pick sides but sometimes you have to realize that there is someone who is right, and someone who is wrong. I don’t think it’s fair that we keep walking on eggshells around his brother and him to not have my back on something WE agreed on (the 2-2 1/2 hours) all because he doesn’t want to upset his brother. I want to be mature about this whole thing and for us ALL to be able to communicate like adults and compromise considering we’re in our 20s and there’s absolutely no reason why this should be such a huge issue. Any advice on how to handle this situation would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Your issue is not about the brother. You're fooling yourself pretending that it is. Because it's easier to be angry at his brother than at your boyfriend.

    The real problem here is your boyfriend. It's not up to his brother to decide how many hours he spends gaming. It's not up to his brother to make compromises with you about how much time you two spend together. That's insane.
    Your boyfriend is the one who needs to step up. So stop focussing your anger at his brother. He's not the one you're in a relationship with.

    The man you are in a relationship with, is acting like a child. He's letting his gf and brother fight his battles, so he doesn't have to be the one to make the tough choices. How convenient. He doesn't have to face his brother head on and tell him he'd prefer to spend more time with you. He also doesn't have to face you and tell you to back off and let him enjoy the time he spends gaming with his brother. Whatever happens, he's not the bad guy and you and the brother are getting mad at each other instead of him.

    This problem is not a problem that's fixed by you and his brother. This is his problem to fix. He needs to decide what he wants more, and who he wants to spend more or less time with. And he needs to be able to come out and say that to both of you, and deal with the conflict that might come with it. In adult life, people get upset. That's life. He needs to learn to stick up for what he wants, even at the risk of upsetting someone.

    So tell your boyfriend that you'll no longer be part of the discussion between him and his brother. If his brother wants something he can't offer, he needs to be a grown up about it and tell his brother to back off.
    And if it turns out that your boyfriend actually just wants to play games all day with his brother, well then you know where you stand and you're free to walk away from the relationship.


    • #3
      This must be a very frustrating situation for you since you are trying to make things work and you seem to get no compromise from others. However, I agree some with the post above. This issue is not really between you and your bf brother, it is between you and your bf. He has decided not to give you more time and he has decided to side with his brother and it seems to be because he would rather play the games than spend time with you. I know that sounds bad and painful but have you ever really taken the time to think about the situation? When you are called "the girlfriend" that does not seem very caring or thoughtful. I won't tell you what to do, but if you are really honest with yourself, do you really see this getting any better? Do you think this relationship is what you want? Sometimes we have to be willing to see where people stand and be okay with their position, if that does not work for you, and I agree you should be respected and loved, you need to look at the larger picture and see if you two are in it together. Good luck.


      • #4
        It seems peculiar as they are both in their 20s. Do one or both of them have a mental disability? I'm not asking as a tongue in cheek insult. I'm asking genuinely whether one of them has a learning disability or isn't able to pick up social cues or understand situations accurately. Where are their parents? What do both men do for work?

        You're coming across as a very hard core planner here and this situation may be turning you into a very off-putting person. Normally people would avoid individuals like that especially in a casual setting. I'd handle this with a bit of tact and make your point (which you already have done). Now just retract and engage in your own activities and stop prioritizing your time with your boyfriend. I have a very close friend who used to say when we were kids "some people are like tube lights - it takes some time for their lights to go on". I always remember that. Give them time to realize that you've stopped prioritizing your time with them and learn to move independently. In the end you'll have to decide whether your boyfriend's habits in the first place jive with yours and whether watching movies constitutes as quality time. In my personal opinion, it doesn't. Quality time is about absorbing ideas, sharing ideas, laughing, and full on engaging with people face to face with meaning and with a lot of heart. Movies are enjoyable to do together as a couple but it does not constitute quality time.


        • #5
          They are ADDICTED to the gaming and if your bf can't even put down the joystick in order to spend a couple of hours with you OUTSIDE of the home and away from the console, then for keeeerist sakes get your fine self away from him and find a boyfriend that likes to do things WITH you and wouldn't dream of letting his brother have some sort of spasm over him not joining him in his addiction.

          This so called "boyfriend" is showing you who he is so don't ignore it. I don't know you but I can tell you that you deserve a better boyfriend than one who would rather game with his brother then spend alone time with you. He's not even willing to compromise or tell his bro to STFU and go play the game alone. Loser! So ignore anyone who says you're being unreasonable... You tried to compromise and he couldn't be bothered... because he's addicted to gaming.
          Last edited by phasesofthemoon; October 3rd, 2018, 03:04 PM.
          "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


          • #6
            Sg1643 It is time for a new boyfriend.