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Woman's brother drunkenly confesses to her, 'I'm in love with you, but it's not what you think.' AITA? 2 MAJOR UPDATES.

Woman's brother drunkenly confesses to her, 'I'm in love with you, but it's not what you think.' AITA? 2 MAJOR UPDATES.

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When this woman is super disturbed by her brother's drunken confession, and even more shocked by her parents' follow up, she aks Reddit:

"My brother drunkenly confessed that he’s in love with me...but it's not what you think. AITA?"

A few hours ago my brother called me and was clearly drunk at the bar, which is odd because he doesn’t drink often, especially alone. I told him to wait there so that I could pick him up and he wouldn’t have to drive back to his place.

When I met him I found out that he had broken up with his girlfriend of 2 years. To be honest, I’m surprised they didn’t break up sooner. They got along well but he never seemed attached to her.

I think he only dated her because our family and friends always teased him about never having a girlfriend even though he was popular in school, played sports, etc. A lot of girls liked him but he never seemed to be interested in anyone, so I always assumed that he might be gay.

He acted a little strange while I was driving him. He kept reaching over and playing with my hair and saying “You have pretty hair, you know that? I always thought your hair was pretty.”

This weirded me out a bit because he usually makes fun of my hair and never acts touchy-feely. I thought this was just the way he acted when drunk so I laughed it off and figured I was going to make fun of him about this tomorrow.

We got into his apartment and he said that he had something to tell me and there was a reason why he and his girlfriend broke up. I told him I knew already (that he was gay) and he said no, I really didn’t.

Then he blurted out that he’s in love with me. I couldn’t say anything other than “what?” and then he said that we’re not real siblings. I freaked out and said “stop it, you’re drunk, just go to sleep” and ran out.

Now I'm back at my place and I'm so confused. I don’t know how I’m going to face my brother now. I’m trying to rationalize this and maybe he wasn’t thinking clearly since he was drunk. We’re very close and have a good relationship, but it's not a gross incestuous one at all.

I remember when we lived together at home I’d try to sneak into his room and sleep there (I get scared of ghosts, especially after watching horror movies) and he would kick me off the bed and tell me to get out.

There were a couple of times where he’d accidentally walk in on me while I was changing, and he always yelled at me to lock the door and acted grossed out. Even when we played video games, he hated it whenever I tackled him to try to mess him up and said I needed to stop or he wouldn’t play with me anymore.

So he has always acted repulsed by me and makes fun of me all the time, like a typical brother would. He has never made me feel uncomfortable or tried to make a move on me. He’s a good guy. So there was no way that he would like me romantically, right?

Right now, I don’t know what to do and can’t even sleep. I don’t want to call my friends since they’re also friends with him and we’re all close. Our parents should be asleep right now but I’m not sure if I want to call them either because I’m scared of finding out that we’re not actually a family.

I think that's what bothers me most about this whole situation: that I'll find out all this time I'm not part of the family after all. I'm afraid of bringing this topic up and finding out the truth.

But eventually I’m going to have to talk to my brother, and when that time comes, what should I do? Should I explain what he said, or act like it never happened? Since he was drunk he might not even remember tonight, plus it might not even be true...

TLDR: Thought my brother was gay because he didn't seem interested in other girls or his gf.

He got drunk after he broke up with her, then confessed that he’s “in love” with me, but it's not what you think and we’re not real siblings. He never seemed to be romantically interested in me so idk if he just wasn’t thinking clearly. How do I face him now?

Sorry this is so long. I’m just so confused and needed to get this off my chest because I don’t have anyone else to turn to right now.

Before we give you OP's lengthy and harrowing updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses to OP's story:

gregbard writes:

Certainly, I would wait to see if he stays with the story while sober. However, he may not ever mention it again just out of fear. If he doesn't say anything, you absolutely should ask him about it.

It is not clear what you mean by "not real siblings." Are you biologically from the same parents or not?

I'm a little troubled by the fact that you are troubled about not being a real family. In one sense, it doesn't matter if you are biologically related or not if you are raised as a family, then nothing can change whether or not you are a family. I hope no one ever feels that something could happen to make someone "not real family."

However, in another sense, it also doesn't matter if you were raised as siblings, if you want to have a romantic relationship. It may seem weird, and some people wouldn't approve, but if you aren't biologically related, there just isn't any real reason you couldn't have a romantic relationship.

I realize that these are two somewhat apparently contradictory paragraphs, but the world just isn't simple. It also might not be easy for you, but that never stopped a real romance either. I wish you luck.

anonymuss writes:

I'm ashamed of this but I was in your brothers situation for years. I was in love with my little sister. Your description of your brothers behavior towards you is very very similar to how I behaved.

You are going to want to dismiss it and attribute his words to alcohol, because that is much easier, but it isn't true. He is in love with you and has been for a very long time.

This is obviously going to be very awkward and confusing for you, so I'll try to explain things from his side...

How he feels is complicated. He is your family and loves you as any family member should. He wants you to be happy, he wants the best for you.

He is your big brother. He feels an urge to protect you and to keep you safe.
He also loves you romantically. It feels a bit like a teenage crush, except the person you have a crush on isn't someone you see a couple of times a day at school and have hardly ever spoken to.

It is someone you live with, someone you know better than anyone else in the world. The worst that could happen by admitting a crush at high school is you make a fool of yourself and everyone laughs at you for a few days.

The worst that can happen by admitting you love your sister is the family falls apart. The stakes are higher and those are hard to deal with as a young teenager (which is when it probably started).

Thees feelings will all get mixed up in his head. He doesn't want to ruin the relationship he has with you. He doesn't want to screw you up mentally. He doesn't want to hurt you.

But he loves you, and it has probably taken him years and a lot of alcohol to be able to gather the courage to tell you. I think it much more likely that he he got drunk as dutch courage in order to tell you than him telling you is a result of being drunk.

Being in love with a sibling is difficult. Primarily because if it is ever brought up generally in public the idea is most often reacted to with disgust or revulsion.

As a result his first thought will have been to hide his feelings. Hide them from you, hide them from your parents, and for a significant amount of time hide them from himself.

All his interactions with you that you have described in this post sound like he was hiding or denying he feelings. His refusal to be physically close to you.

His overreaction to any suggestion you were his "girlfriend". Also his teasing specifically of features he actually likes. He has consistently removed himself from any situation that involves physical contact.

Like you my little sister used to climb into my bed when we were about 10-14. It was weird. There is a very strong desire to be physically close to the other person. You love them without really knowing what it means. But you do know it is wrong without knowing why.

As a result the most prominent of all the conflicting emotions is guilt. You have to remove yourself from the situation that causes all that confusion.

Your brothers friends picked up on it to a degree. Not many brothers get teased just for walking their sisters home from school. Those that do usually ignore it and it goes away.

Your brother went so far out of his way to deny the situation that he walked a longer route home from then on. That isn't a normal reaction. I think you can probably see that his reaction was extreme.

The reason for it being so extreme wasn't because he was offended, it was because he was confused/angry/ashamed/guilty. It is the same reason that a closeted gay teenager can have a hair trigger to gay jokes at their expense. The overt reaction is extreme to hide an opposing feeling on the inside.

I don't envy your situation at all. It will be far easier for you to deny what your brother said was true. If you give him the opportunity he will probably retract or deny it too. He has been hiding it for years and he can carry on doing so.

I would like to say though that whatever the outcome your relationship with him doesn't have to change. He hasn't suddenly become a monster. He is the same guy you have known for years and he will still have your best interests at heart.

Do hold back on the physical contact a bit though. It sounds like he has already set the "ground rules" for that, but no hugs or whatever. Think of him a bit like an alcoholic, hugging him is like waving a whiskey in front of his face, then taking it away. It's not going to do any damage but it won't be fun for him.

As for the "not real siblings" phrase. That could be interpreted a hundred different ways. You are adopted. He is adopted. Or it could be that you are "more than" siblings. I wouldn't worry about it for now.

Get past the other part first then ask him or your parents. Whatever the result on that your family are the same people regardless of who you got your genes from. Good luck.

Then, OP provides this first update:

I kept debating on whether I should write a follow-up, but ultimately I decided I should since a lot of you were so helpful and reassuring when I really needed it. I called my brother the next day when he had sobered up.

I asked him if he remembered last night and he said he didn’t at all. I explained that I drove him back to his apartment, where he told me that we weren’t “real siblings”, and I wanted him to elaborate more on this if this was true.

He was silent for a moment and then said that this was something I needed to talk about with our parents, not him.

I called our parents. They asked me how I had found out about this and I said my brother told me. This came as a surprise to them because they thought both of us didn’t know.

We had a really long conversation, but I finally found out the truth. It’s a long story and I won’t reveal all the details because this is a personal family matter, but basically it turns out that both my brother and I were adopted.

It was a long conversation but a very fulfilling one – I cried not because I wasn’t part of the family anymore, but because I knew we were STILL family, blood-related or not. I feel very lucky to have grown up with such loving, caring parents and brother.

A few minutes after our conversation ended my brother actually drove over my apartment to check if I was okay. We talked about it and apparently he had found out that we both had completely different parents when he was in elementary school and eavesdropped on our mom’s phone call with our aunt.

He never told me because he knew I’d freak out about not being “part of the family” (he was right of course). He said that I actually am taking the news better than he did and admitted he had trouble coping with “not being family” as we grew up.

We had a good talk where I said ultimately this doesn’t matter because the fact that we consider each other as family is what’s most important, and he agreed.

Things between us are back to normal now. We went out for lunch when he asked me if he had told me anything else last night when he was drunk. I didn’t want to bring up the other part of his confession so I just said no.

He asked if I was absolutely sure he might have said anything strange to me. I said I didn’t remember much (bad lie but I really did not want to bring up the other topic). Then he told me that when he gets drunk he usually makes up a bunch of weird things, so if he ever blurts anything out, just forget about it.

This made me feel a LOT better about our situation after knowing he was that type of drunk. I actually feel really stupid for jumping to conclusions.

I want to delete this post because it's so embarrassing that I've misunderstood something and have Reddit blow it even more out of proportion, but someone has already posted a copy-and-paste of the story so it's too late now... just know that the whole 'romance' aspect of this story was a complete misinterpretation on my part, and let's just forget about it please.

My nerves have definitely settled now, and once again, I am very very grateful for the family that I have. Anyway, that’s it for the follow-up. Thanks for reading and understanding.

TLDR: Both my brother and I were adopted but we are still part of a wonderful, caring family who love us no matter what. Everything is okay. :)

Then, OP provides this second long update:

Thanks so much for the advice and comforting words. It’s made me feel a lot more at ease about finding out my family’s situation.

I’m going to keep telling myself that even if I’m not biologically related to my brother/parents, I’m still part of a family who loves and cares for me like any other daughter, and I’m very lucky for that.

Tomorrow I will call my brother and parents to ask them if we are blood-related. I will not bring up the “love” part in his confession since I think that was probably the result of alcohol. Most likely he didn’t mean it.

I didn’t expect this to make it to the front page but now that it has, I’m realizing that posting this online was a stupid idea and I apologize for talking about something personal to my family.

I felt extremely confused and scared, but now I’ve cleared my head a bit and know what to do tomorrow. Once again, thanks for the advice/comfort. To clarify, I am a girl, and he's a year older than me.

Readers weren't done weighing in on this dilemma:

cinnade writes:

OP I hate to harp on the issue especially after the emotional whirlwind, but I really do think you're in denial. I've read some of your anecdotes and honestly you seem to be refuting what others have been pointing out on the basis that "it's impossible."

I know that it's something that's extremely uncomfortable to grapple with, but think of the emotional pain that you are potentially causing your brother by ignoring the issue. I know you're afraid of messing up your relationship or family, but pretending everything's okay is much more unhealthy.

someonesfather writes:

There are 2 issues here. First, family: family is determined more by bonds than by genetics.

You KNOW your mother and father are your mother and father. You KNOW they love you, they are there for you, they have been there for you, and you for them. Are they BIOLOGICALLY your mother and father?

Don't even ask this until you feel that, no matter what the outcome, they are your parents. If you ask from a perspective of confusion and insecurity, nothing good will come of it.

It is a biological curiosity, and perhaps useful in case of medical emergency, but does not change the bonds of love and trust that have been established over your entire life.


As to your brother, it's not as big a deal as you think in the long run. He loves you. He knows you and your quirks. That he also finds you attractive might cause him some confusion in that he MAY fantasize about a long-term romantic relationship with you, but that is all it is, a fantasy.

It would tear too many lives apart (friends and family) to be a real goal and he knows this. He could probably use you now more than ever to calmly explain that it's not realistic, not going to happen, and a convenient way for him to escape the scariness of dating and finding a real partner.

Tell him you are there as his sister and his friend, but not to use you as a crutch to avoid real relationships. If he ever says "your not my sister" again, you can reply "that is a horrible thing to say. Of course I am your sister.

Call me when you've come back to your senses" and give him breathing space until he knocks it off.

If all this doesn't quite "hit the nail on the head", feel free to ask me for more ideas :) One of the weird side effects of being a parent is an uncontrollable desire to give out advice.

throwaway5 writes:

Complete speculation here, but I feel the need to play devil's advocate. Lets make assumptions and take a twist on the worst of your fears. If what your "brother" says is true, have you considered the fact that it may be your brother who is adopted and how conflicted it has made him feel?

Perhaps he was told at an early age that he was adopted and has known for sometime you weren't his sister. Everything he's shared with you, all the 'accidental' occurrences, all the times you've initiated a physical contact while he's been doing his best in filling the role of the brother.

With the societal stigma of "it's wrong" removed, his emotions may have been buried so as play the role of "brother" without sowing turmoil in into a "normal family".

I'm not saying it's right, or it that you should find it 'ok'. Most people I know's natural response to these types of situations is to assume the worst from their end, in order to protect themselves. And that could be right.

He could be a creepy gay brother who's horny and got drunk and who's drunk brains making shit up because it feels less at risk than admitting he's gay. Or it could be something totally different. The only thing at Jeopardy from quick judgment is the familiar relationship.

I'm sorry if this hasn't helped, and has just made everything harder. I just hope you take the time and courtesy of your past relationship to really think things through and get to the bottom of it.

What do YOU make of OP's situation? Is her brother lying? Should she be concerned? What would YOU do in her situation?

Sources: Reddit
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