My brother and I (btw, I’m a girl) have always been best friends. We’re only a year apart in age and have no other siblings, so maybe that’s to be expected. We also attend the same high school and even have a class together. That’s definitely helped us grow even closer.
Recently, I came to the realization that I harbor romantic and sexual feelings for my brother. I tried to hide them, but he can always tell when something’s bothering me and so he asked me what was up. So I told him. And he then told me that he’s been struggling w/ the same sort of feelings for me.
Look, we both know this is messed up and that we shouldn’t act on our attraction. But the temptation is there. I feel like we should get help before we end up doing something, but how? There’s no way we can talk to our parents about this for obvious reasons. So what are we supposed to do? Any advice you might have would be greatly appreciated.
- You have a very complicated problem, and we at Teen Central appreciate your willingness to share this personal experience here. We know that really tough conversations that you need to have with people in your life benefit from some practice. We’re honored you trusted us with this sensitive issue.
- It’s going to be important for you and your brother to get some help to understand the feelings that you’re having. There are biological as well as emotional and social problems with close relatives becoming romantically involved. Until you find the right person/people in your life to talk with, consider using the Crisis Textline (text 741741 to talk with someone).
- You mentioned that you feel you can’t talk with your parents, so we would suggest that you consider another trusted person(s). We would recommend your guidance counselor (they may be able to help you connect with a therapist – who we think could help you), a teacher or another family member that could help you start a conversation with your parents.
- Have you considered what it would be like to spend more time with other people and allow your feelings for others to grow? During adolescence, it’s really important to connect with your peers, building friendships and eventually romantic relationships. Is it possible you and your brother have been restricting who you both spend time with too much to just each other? The urge to connect with others and find relationships happens during this age no matter what, and if you don’t have other people in your life, you may find these feelings have no other place to go.
- Spending time with others will take a conscientious decision on the part of both you and your brother. We appreciate that you recognize the feelings you’re experiencing are troubling, so besides finding someone (like a therapist) that you can work out these feelings with, you may want to consider how you’re spending your time. Consider spending some time apart, and explore new hobbies, new interests that you enjoy and may open up avenues to meet others with similar interests.
- If you already have a good relationship with your parents, consider finding a way to let them know about this problem. Most parents want to know when their children are confused, or have a problem, and want to help. Initially, they may be shocked and not sure what to say, and they will need your help to know what you need from them. You may need their help to create some much needed space for you both.