DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother and I lost touch for more than six months. We had always been inseparable siblings, but a few little arguments led to ignored calls. I called him a few days ago and left a voicemail, saying our late father would be disappointed in how we were acting. That finally got a reaction from him. However, instead of seeing that family should come first, he berated me for bringing our father into our argument.
I want my brother to stop being angry and to realize blood is thicker than water. I won't apologize for mentioning our father, especially since what I said was true. -- Sibling Spat, Cambridge, Massachusetts
DEAR SIBLING SPAT: Your brother is right. Bringing your late father into your standoff probably felt like you trying to guilt him into talking to you again. That was not a good strategic move. I recommend that you apologize, especially if your goal is to get to some meaningful moment of reconnection.
Reach out to your brother and let him know how much you miss him and regret that anything has come between you. Tell him that you mentioned your late father because you were hoping his memory might invoke good feelings. You are sorry that it did not. Tell him you want to revive your relationship and ask what he thinks you can do to that end.