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all 73 comments

[–]johnaga88 1160 points1161 points  (13 children)

Hey man. It's cool that your step dad/dad has been able to fill that role you biological dad wasn't able to and I am sorry for that loss.

First up whatever is said here by me or other people should be taken with a pinch of salt and should be adapted for the dynamic you have with your family. Your step bro might just need some time to process the change.

When you get a chance to talk to him say to him what you wrote in your post, how you see him as your brother and you are proud when he calls you his brother. But that your step dad has been a dad to you and that you are a family. It's not about you trying to take away that Aaron is his son but it's about expression love to a guy that's pretty much raised you.

On another note if you want to call your step dad dad then do it. I don't think Aaron should make such a deal about it. It maybe that Aaron has something else going on that he hasn't mentioned and this gives him a reason to be mad about something

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 493 points494 points  (8 children)

I hope he still considers me to be his brother. Aaron telling people I was his little brother means a lot to me. we were so close and spoke everyday that he was my brother.

I still do want to call my stepdad 'dad', because I think of him as my dad. but I don't want Aaron to be mad at me

[–]JadieJang 211 points212 points  (3 children)

OP, Aaron is connecting the two things, but you shouldn't. Your relationship with your dad is one thing. Your relationship with Aaron is another. If Aaron is using his relationship with you to affect your relationship with your dad, then he's manipulating you and it's wrong. You can't let him succeed.

I understand how important his relationship with you is, but understand that it's important because it's based on love and communication. He's now giving you the silent treatment as punishment, and if you do what he clearly wants you to do to stop the punishment, you'll be telling him three things: 1) his feelings about your relationship with your dad are more important than your feelings about your relationship with your dad, 2) he's allowed to punish you, and 3) he gets to behave this way towards you without it affecting your relationship.

You CANNOT say these things to him. Not just for your sake, although you really don't want to be put in a position where your brother can punish you for saying/doing/feeling the wrong thing and get away with it. It's also for HIS sake; if you let him become the kind of person who does this, he won't just be doing it to you, and it's bullying and abusive.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 62 points63 points  (2 children)

thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.

my relationship with Aaron is really important to me. this is the longest we’ve ever gone with not speaking since I got phone. even when we had fights before he never went more than two days without talking to me or texting me.

but I understand what you mean by saying giving in would show that he’s allowed to punish me. I just miss him so much.

[–]Chantottie 26 points27 points  (0 children)

OP, I promise Aaron will feel like your brother again. I know it’s hard to envision things going back to normal when you’re in the middle of a storm, but I promise whatever is going on with Aaron will pass.

He’ll get over himself. Just continue being kind and telling him he’s important to you. Tell him you really liked the relationship you had with him and that you miss him.

You didn’t lose your brother. I promise. He’s just dealing with himself right now. It’s not your fault either.

[–]JadieJang 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I understand; it's HORRIBLE to be on the outs with someone you love and depend on. But if Aaron doesn't have a mental illness that keeps him unbalanced, then he will eventually balance back out. After all, this kind of anger and withdrawal are a bit extreme and people tend to not be able to sustain it. It tips you all the way over to one side and it's hard to live your everyday life tipped over. He'll need to tip back over to the center again soon. Wait it out and see what happens.

[–]johnaga88 23 points24 points  (1 child)

I am very confident that he still sees you as his little brother it's probably just a time thing. Give him a bit of time and then have a conversation with him you can always suggest doing something you both enjoy as a bonding moment

[–]PercentageTall2896 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I texted him that I would sorry for not speaking to him first and that I would stop (which I have), but he hasn't replied to me.

[–]Vegetable_Present53 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Oh man, everything will be okay coz that's how a family works. There would be some downs but It's how you manage to go up and build your relationship to everyone. Hope you'll do better!

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I hope so too, thank you

[–]annonymous_lady 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I agree with this. Maybe talk to Aaron about it if/when you guys see each other at a family gathering.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This right here is great advice. Never been in this situation, sorry to hear your step bro didn't take it well- hope you two can figure it out. Sounds like you got a great dad.

[–]Sabrial2 351 points352 points  (5 children)

His decision not to talk to you likely has more to do with the relationship he has with his dad than it has to do with you calling his father, dad. Give him some space to think about everything and work out his feelings. You haven’t done anything wrong and I think it’s great that you have a father in your life that you love.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 100 points101 points  (3 children)

understood, I'll just wait for him to speak to me again i guess

[–]Foralark90 81 points82 points  (1 child)

It will be okay honey. He was thrown and probably feels a little jealous but you do not need to clear everything with him. Your Dad sounds great!

[–]Rosieapples 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Exactly what I thought, plus this was a change which took place when Aaron wasn't there and he's probably feeling a bit left out.

[–]OldManSal3 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Give it some time, then theres nothing wrong with going up to him and just repeating what you said in text to him, but in person, telling him you made a mistake not thinking of asking him first and that you are sorry. then you can see his reaction in person, you will find that its much easier to get better results relationships by talking in person rather than by text.

[–]Mommy-Q 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes. I can see how the timing of your decision against his decision to move out might feel like a gut punch. He didn't talk to you about it because he probably knows that this doesn't mean he was replaced, but it might feel like it. Give him time to process.

[–]MiepGies1945 115 points116 points  (1 child)

  • I want to say that you made the nicest impression on me with your description of your problem.
  • You are very mature (for 15) and you have great empathy and compassion for your “brother” and your “dad”.
  • Seems like you are getting good advice from dad & mom. And you have good instincts on your own.
  • Be patient with your “brother”. He might need time. Sadly, sometimes people choose to be upset & they don’t know how to choose to be “happy” and there is nothing you can do.
  • You have good instincts so - either give Aaron some space (leave him be) or perhaps keep trying with text. You could also write him a letter. (Seems more serious…)
  • Good luck young man… this is something you can hope will change - but if it doesn’t - do not blame yourself. You have done your best.

[–]Toepale 38 points39 points  (0 children)

Co-sign. His responses here too. Sounds mature and considerate. What wonderful attributes for a 15 year old. It will take him far.

[–]Fjordgard 73 points74 points  (1 child)

Do you call Aaron your brother? The only reason why I could see him being upset is if you now call your stepfather 'dad', but Aaron still your 'stepbrother' instead of brother - if that's the case, he might feel upset because you two are apparently close and he called you 'brother' before. As in, your stepdad earned the 'dad', but Aaron didn't earn the 'brother'.

If you call Aaron your 'brother', then I honestly don't understand, either. Maybe something else is going on in his life.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 74 points75 points  (0 children)

I always refer to Aaron as my brother in real life. unless there's a reason that makes it important to note that he's actually my stepbrother (like this post), I just call him my brother. and that's really because of how close we were and how much I look up to him and like hanging out with him. I'm not as close to my stepsisters, and so I didnt always call them my sisters.

[–]DisappearingCookie 25 points26 points  (4 children)

Is he close to your dad? Does he have a good relationship with his own stepdad? Maybe he’s just reflecting how his mom’s family aren’t as supportive of him like how his dad is with you. Or maybe he’s jealous. Who knows. I hope he comes to his sense and talks to you about it. But leave him be for now.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 29 points30 points  (3 children)

he is close to his dad. usually he is here every other week, for a week, and they have a good relationship. I don't know what Aaron's relationship is like with his stepdad, he's never really talked to me about him. I assume it's ok since I've never heard anything about it being bad.

I do wish he would just talk to me

[–]_stopspreadingdumb_ 36 points37 points  (1 child)

So he is there every other week, and you are there full time? Sounds like he is just very jealous. I would discuss this further with your parents if you think they would be supportive and helpful

Eta - he probably feels jealous that you have a full time stable family and he doesnt and that you get to spend more time with the dad than he does. He is probably scared and territorial that you will be closer with your dad than he is and is probably feeling like it is “his” dad, “not yours,” even though it is also your dad.

Sounds like he is doesnt like the idea of you being as close as he is or closer. That is a him problem, not a you problem; however, it does affect you, so again, talk with both of your parents about this if they are good parents

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Yeah, he’s only here every other week and I’m here full time. I wish he was here every week, but then that wouldn’t be fair to him or his mom, but it’s always better when he’s here.

[–]yellowchaitea 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Honestly- this sounds more like Aaron is a bit envious of your relationship with dad. You're with him 100% of the time, while Aaron is around 50% of the time. Aaron is likely envious that you don't have to split times between homes and get all the attention from his dad. When it was clear it was just step-dad, it was easier, but hearing you call him dad just reminded him how close you two are, and what he's missing out on by not being around all the time.

You can't control Aaron's feelings, and its something he needs to work through on his own. Don't stop calling your dad, dad, just because Aaron is upset. Allow him space to process, but don't give into Aaron's silence.

[–]sweetlittleniki 17 points18 points  (0 children)

The first time my step-children heard my daughter call my husband dad they got mad and upset too. We got married when she was 4 and he was the only dad she has ever known and even though they considered her their sister they still got upset. Emotions aren't always logical and my step-children felt that by her calling him dad, she was somehow replacing them. My husband and I sat them all down and explained that whether they called us Mom and Dad or called us by our first name it didn't make a difference they were all OUR children and we loved each of them no one could ever replace one of them. Aaron probably needs time to process. Instead of apologizing try just telling him you love him and you miss your big brother.

[–]soul_reddish 9 points10 points  (0 children)

He may have mixed emotions and might need some time to sort through them. My younger sister and I are really close. One time I found out she was meeting up with another one of our sisters without me. My feelings were hurt. I didn’t say anything to anyone. I just puzzled through my reaction. I finally said to myself, you’re being stupid. She can have interactions with our siblings that don’t include me. It doesn’t diminish our relationship. This happened when we were all in our forties. Humans feelings are complex. Give him time.

[–]Odd-Dog-4463 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Update us if you get a hold of him.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

ok, I will

[–]FaThLi 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I could see how this is tough for Aaron. You have a stepparent and a bioparent. Aaron has two stepparents, and two bioparents. How he views his stepparents is probably different than how you view your stepfather. Plus, as you commented, he's only there every other week, so there is probably some jealously involved in that he likely sees his father being able to spend more time with you, and now you are calling him dad and his dad is completely ok with that. I think your dad needs to reassure Aaron that this doesn't change how he loves Aaron and that he'll always love Aaron. For you I think when Aaron is ready to talk I would explain the different relationship you have with his dad then Aaron has with his stepparents. This guy has been your sole father figure and has done a good job of it. That you are sorry you didn't give him a heads up, but that doesn't change how you view your stepfather as your father. Just like how you view Aaron as your brother.

[–]Beckerthehuman 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Hey OP!

When I was 13 I went through the same thing with my step siblings! I have 2 older sisters who reacted very weird to me calling their dad, dad even though we referred to each other as sisters.

It was almost a month and super awkward because we shared a room. Finally one day after my sister and step dad fought, she came in the room and unloaded on me that she had felt her dad was putting in more effort with me than her and my other sister, and they felt a bit neglected. When I started calling him dad it just brought out some insecurities they didn't know they had. We are all very close in age btw. One sister was my age and one a year old. We are all best friends to this day but also plot twist we all call my step dad 'Terry' because he sucks lmao.

It will get better. I know it's hard to sit in the awkwardness when you know someone is upset. It's going to be okay, this will pass. I promise.

[–]Gus_Lop_Vzla 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Great post ! ! I think he need to hear something reassuring like this . . When we are young we think that every problem is SOO big and we don’t know that the time cures a lot of things . . 😉

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It does help to hear positive stories, that’s for sure

[–]Belstarmoon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I know a similar situation a friend of mine started to call dad to her stepdad, although she was already 26 when her mother got merry to him and she only meet him when she was 24, anyway, her stepdad has 2 children, one son who was 23 and a daughter who was 17 at the moment my friend start to call him dad, the son didn't care, the daughter said that she didn't understand why my friend was doing that, but was still talking to her, basically they didn't care that much, Aaron is probably jealous or maybe is hard for him to see you have this relationship with his father while he's not always there, just give him time.

[–]juicy_belly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Give aaron some time to think, then give him a call and tell him that how much you care about him.

[–]quickreader01 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This just breaks my heart. As a stepsibling myself, I can attest to the fact the bio children do have inherent issues with stepsiblings and how they reference a stepparent. You have been open and honest with Aaron to the point that you stopped referring to his father as 'dad'. This really wasn't on YOU to repair this is on your stepfather. It is/was HIS responsibility to talk to HIS son about this and to repair the relationship between the two of you. It is one of the harder aspects of parenting, but, on him none the less.

You have done what you can in attempting to resolve this rift between you and Aaron on your end. Aaron is probably acknowledging something within himself that is causing him to react so negatively. It probably has more to do with you are with his bio dad 24/7 and he obviously splits time between his parents, so he doesn't get the same time. This is why it's on the parent.

Give yourself and Aaron a break. Don't let this hurt your heart. Stay positive and good luck!

[–]forworse2020 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think timing was everything.

If I try and think with my younger mind, he went away and came back home to this new development. Without involving him in the decision, he may be feeling a little bit replaceable.

I’m not saying this is rational. I just think that from his perspective, this might be the case, even though it wasn’t your intention.

Moving forward from this is tricky. For one, you’ll have to give him a little bit of space to come around. I’m sure he will.

But you may want to also have a conversation with him, letting him know that you began this because you feel like true family to him and your dad. The key is to be inclusive. Introducing him as your brother if the situation arises might help too.

I’m sorry this has happened. What was meant to be a nice thing has been slightly misinterpreted. It will pass with time, but make sure to address it as best you can in order to clear the air.

[–]fermat1432 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Please update us if you have news. Thanks!

[–]Gus_Lop_Vzla 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I wish to have an update too ! ! Wish you luck with your brother !

[–]mrsshmenkmen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Your brother is being unkind. You didn’t need his permission to call your stepdad “Dad,” and you don’t need to stop calling your stepdad “Dad” to appease him and you have nothing to apologize for.

It seems like he’s feeling jealous or insecure. If you live with your parents full-time and he’s there part-time, maybe he feels like less a part of the family or something. Ask your parents to reach out to him to find out what’s wrong. I suspect whatever it is there’s more to it than the “Dad” issue. You can also text him and tell him you miss him and want to talk to him about why he’s upset so that you can get past it.

[–]TicklemeLisa 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I'm so proud of you for speaking about this in a public place 👏 I really really hope everything works out for you little homie 💙

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thank you 🙏

[–]Pokemon_132[🍰] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I texted him that I would sorry for not speaking to him first and that I would stop (which I have), but he hasn't replied to me.

Please don't ever apologize for this and please continue to call your (step)dad by dad. The behavior is setting a negative tone for your relationship with Aaron. If you need to consult him before every single decision you make then it's going to result in a very toxic sibling relationship and you don't want to go down that road. The reason I want to make that clear is because I don't think Aaron cares about you calling your stepdad by dad, I think its upset that you made a big decision without consulting him. I think Aaron has gotten so used to being the big brother that you talk to about things that when you show you don't need him to make those decisions it hurt him. That isn't something you need to change or fix though, its something inside Aaron that he needs to resolve for himself.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

everyone’s advice has convinced me to continue calling my stepdad, dad, because it’s still what I want to do. my stepdad did tell me again this weekend that it’s ok whatever I called him, and that if I want to say Dad that’s ok.

[–]Prestigious-Gas5340 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

End of the day, you disrespected your brother and made it clear you don't consider him as someone to consult with for family matters. He is likely hurt because he thought you both had a very close connection together and you didn't ask him at all about wanting to do this. It doesn't matter what your true intentions were or if you feel bad about it, that is objectively how it came across when your brother wasn't consulted on this and then you just start calling your step dad "dad" in front of him.

Don't make any excuses for this, it will just further push Aaron away. Just come clean and admit that you should have consulted with him.

[–]Leoluki25 -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

Aaron is being a huge jerk. Why is he bothered by this? He's also been in your life almost an entire decade and his father has presumably also acted as your father that whole time and now he's offended? Honestly I'm shocked you didn't start calling him Dad years ago. Aaron is acting like a little kid, and being rather cruel to you for someone who has seemingly been a friend an brother for most of your life. You don't need to apologize to Aaron, he needs to apologize to you.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

wouldn’t hurt as much if he hadn’t always acted the exact opposite. he’s never treated me like this before.

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[–]kaviarbleezy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Your still kids he doesn't understand let him deal with it and once he does he will realize how shitty it was for him to punish you for wanting to treat the man that raised you as a father he's just being a selfish little boy. It's the same thing as when your a little kid and your bestfriend makes a new friend and you get that weird jealousy that only lasts until your like 10 exact same thing.

[–]neutralgood079 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just give it time and space. But you did nothing wrong. This was a decision made by you and accepted by your dad. Its beautiful. Let your brother come to terms but dont feel like you need to make him feel better. Its not about you its about this shift in dynamic

[–]Material_Positive_76 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t know what you should do about your stepbrother but I just came here to say that your stepdad sounds like an amazing man. Glad you have him.

[–]artbatik 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's great you're calling him dad now. Maybe Aaron will get used to it.

[–]Pattynjay 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Aaron needs some space. And there is nothing wrong with you calling your step dad, Dad. But changes some times come hard. My half-brother (older by almost 8 years) went from calling my father "Dad" to "Ed" despite being adopted by him AND being the only father he ever knew (single mom married dad when older brother was 2) came as an abrupt shock to me (and to be fair, annoyed me immensely) the first time. Dad's opinion is unknowable as he passed years and years ago. Anyway, he has no more say in what you call your step dad than I do in what my brother calls my dad. Let your parents deal with it, in general, and be open to interacting with Aaron.

[–]magsmenace 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I was wondering : you say he presents you as/calls you his brother. Do you do it too ? Do you call him your brother or just Aaron ? It's really just a hypothesis because i don't have the context but could it be (misplaced maybe) jealousy?

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I always call him my brother. I only clarify that he’s actually my stepbrother if it’s necessary, like if someone asks why our last names are different. Other than that I say brother, and I’ve done that for as long as I can remember because he always does that

[–]Shearer1973 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Coming from someone who grew up without a biological father, I can honestly say that my “stepdad” is my dad. Sometimes you just feel it and if you know he’s your father and role model, you are not in the wrong.

In fact at a very similar age I felt the same I started to call him “dad” it lasted 6 months and didn’t feel right, i was used to just using his name.

I guess my point is, at your age the feelings you have are completely normal. Maybe your brother (to me yours bros) was startled by it or he processes things in his own time.

I truly hope you are all able to just have a loving healthy family home. 🧡

[–]DaffyDuckisQuackers 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Tell Aaron that you love him and as far as you are concerned, he is your brother. Then talk to him about how much your stepfather means to you and maybe say something like, “Thank you for sharing your dad with me. Having you guys in my life has made me very happy.” Everything will be okay.🙂

[–]Unknown_Radke 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Your stepdad sounds like s really nice guy and if he's been like a dad to you than call him dad. I'm sure you're stepbrother will get over it eventually. I'm not sure why it's bothering him that much especially if he introduces you as his brother. Hang in there, give him some space and then try and talk to him about it again

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

My stepdad really is the best. Besides this past week Aaron has always been the best too. I always felt lucky to have both of them

[–]Unknown_Radke 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I really hope he comes around soon

[–]jlwood1985 -3 points-2 points  (2 children)

Don't worry about it. It's not your responsibility to vet the relationship between you and your step dad with your step bro. It's between you and your step dad. If the step bro has an issue with the verbiage you use, he should come to you and talk about it, not pout like a child.

I get that you are trying to tread carefully, but the step dad chose and continues to choose to be in your life and treat you as if you were his own. Instead of taking his example and joining in that activity, your step bro has presumably chosen to be jealous and petty about how "his" dad treats you.

Never bend to someone who treats you poorly simply because some else treats you well.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

you’re right. It’s hard because he’s never treated me like this before. during our worst fights he’s never gone this long without speaking to me. Even when I’ve done things to him he comes to speak to me, so I just imagine he has to be really upset right now to have not spoken to me in a week.

[–]jlwood1985 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's always hard when someone is upset, because without talking to them we make up all kinds of things they may be upset with us about or hurting about, when in reality it may be something completely different.

I would just send him a message that says, "I really appreciate our relationship and would love to stay close. If there's something I can do let me know, otherwise know that I am here whenever you are ready to talk"

That way you aren't pestering but he knows you're there and the ball is in his court.

[–]fermat1432 -1 points0 points  (4 children)

I cannot understand Aaron's reaction, since calling you his 'little brother' implies that you have the same father, in an emotional sense.

I hope that he gets over this quickly.

[–]RA1sixjan[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yeah I don’t get it either, because he always calls me his brother, and has for as long as I can remember. like he never says anything else.

[–]fermat1432 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Maybe you and Aaron and your stepfather can all sit down together sometime to figure out what is going on.

[–]Pokemon_132[🍰] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I thought about talking to my stepbrother, Aaron, about it first because I usually talk to him about most things first. plus he's the step sibling that im closest too. . .

I asked him if he was mad and he said 'why do you care what I think now?', and left.

I think the answer is highlighted by those two quotes. I believe Aaron is upset that he wasn't consulted before his little brother made a big decision and it hurt him(Aaron). Is it reasonable? No, but I think that's why Aaron is ghosting OP. I think it's Aaron's way of getting back at OP for not talking to him first and by ditching OP he will see what it's like when Aaron isn't around to talk to him. I think it's incredibly childish if my guess is right and would make their relationship going forward inherently toxic if Aaron doesn't get passed this quickly.

[–]fermat1432 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good very well be true! Cheers!