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Sibling rivalry

(26 Posts)
SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Mon 23-Dec-13 19:12:23

So I'm visiting my dad before moving on to visit friends for Christmas. He mentions in passing that my sister is paying 500 quid to put her 3 dogs into kennels. Why is that, I ask. Oh, she's gone to [country a long way away] with BIL to have Christmas with my brother and his family. On a ticket which dad paid for.

I've been selling stuff on ebay to afford the petrol for this trip.

I feel hurt and angry. Should I get over myself?

cafesociety Sat 04-Jan-14 18:54:01

Saveme that sounds so unfair. Did you ask outright why there was such a gross imbalance between you and your sis's gifts? What did he say? How do parents justify their blatant unfairness and favouritism?

I'm the eldest, a coper. I brought up my sons on my own, paying a mortgage and needing to buy/keep a car on the road. I never asked my mother for a penny. My half sister and half brother on the other hand just whined and moaned/manipulated [both single or with an earning partner, no children] until she felt sorry for them and gave them things worth hundreds of pounds over the years.

She also bailed out my half brother when he went into negative equity instead of waiting for the market to pick up, to the tune of thousands of pounds. Amazing.

We talked about it once when she said she thought it was great I'd never asked her for anything, then said she hadn't given me anything because I hadn't asked! Crazy.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Sat 04-Jan-14 18:52:24

yep - know this one. Straight talking didn't work for me - just made me seem petulant.

However, I have managed to turn down, on OH's behalf, the voucher that DSis had already turned down as it was a shop she did not like. It was even more unsuitable for DH and he was given his own present in the end. smile . Fed up of being a doormat/easy touch etc.

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Sat 04-Jan-14 18:40:58

Just an update because I've had a shit week - he said he would give me some money to help with car bills but it hasn't appeared. I'm looking at selling the car because I can't make the insurance this month. Can I stamp my feet and wail about it being so unfair?

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Fri 27-Dec-13 09:04:44

Neither of us has kids. She's older than me. She had a lot of problems at uni and getting started in her career and I think dad still sees her as that person who needed help. The fact she needed a lot of attention seemed to blind him to the fact that I wasn't having a barrel of laughs either, but yes, Chimney - I'm the coper and she's the poor damaged princess.

lljkk Wed 25-Dec-13 14:32:58

Do you have kids, OP? How much does he spend on them?

UptheChimney Wed 25-Dec-13 13:24:09

Are you the coper in your family? Are the eldest child? It sounds like it.

Either you have to let it go, or you need to be straightforward with your father. Please don't let this eat you up. It's not worth it. Tell your father what you did to afford to visit him. Try to keep it unemotional, and just the facts.

I'll bet you're quite proud - in a good way - that you don't ask for his help. I'll bet you'd rather be you than your sister. But it still hurts, I'll bet that too. But it's really not worth it to get all choked up about it. Think about how you cope and take genuine deserved pride in that.

However, it wouldn't be a bad thing to tell your father straightforwardly the situation. Or ask him does he ever wonder how you manage?

We tend to get put into roles as children. I know all about that -- I'm the coper who never needs help. Ha ha! I just don't ask for it because generally, I assume that it's unlikely to be forthcoming. But I know that one of my failings is not asking for what I need, but expecting my family to magically know. To be fair, they're not mind readers and expecting them to know what I need, and then getting upset because they don't, could be seen as a bit passive-aggressive, so I try to be grown up about it.

But I do understand your hurt. It sucks the way that even as adults we can be catapulted back into being children. It's one of the reasons I only had one DC.

hamptoncourt Wed 25-Dec-13 12:53:24

Save me you really should ask him how does he think it is fair that he has spent all that dosh on DS and given you such shitty sorry gifts? Ask him why he does it and tell him how it makes you feel. Otherwise this will fester.
Good luck!

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Wed 25-Dec-13 11:30:30

PS My presents are a place mat, a torch and some batteries for it. Not quite the same league.

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Wed 25-Dec-13 10:59:50

happycliffmas, you have summed up exactly how I feel "I am proud of the fact that I am independent, I don't want money from my parents - I want them to spend the little they have on themselves and enjoy their retirement! But the fact that DSis seems to get rewarded every 5 minutes for fucking up financially whereas we don't even get a Christmas card...It's the injustice of it"

I will be proud of standing on my own two feet.

MaryzBoychildCheeszuzCrizpz Wed 25-Dec-13 09:32:10

You need to tell him how you feel.

NOT "I want you to give me more money" but "I'm hurt that you haven't noticed I'm struggling financially".

I bet he doesn't want to offer in case you take offence, because you are independent and possibly he sees you as too proud to accept.

HappyCliffmas Wed 25-Dec-13 09:12:04

It's funny how common the imbalance in sibling relationships can be. Thank God for MN - before I joined, I thought it was just me.

99% of the time I am fine with it. DH and I aren't rich (I wish!) but we have both worked very hard and long hours to claw our way up from nothing - both having started from humble beginnings! We are very fortunate to have disposable income, some investments and save towards pensions etc., so we don't need (or want) money from my parents, who aren't well off at all.

It's not the case with my sister; she's had money troubles in the past - largely due to her inability to manage her finances. Consequently she's fallen into the habit of being 'rescued' by family members, who will bail her out. Over the last decade or so she must have had in excess of £20K from various relatives. I love my sister - she's funny and smart and great company and a brilliant Mum who is doing a fantastic job with her DC under trying circumstances. But Lord, I could just shake her sometimes - it's difficult to stay 'neutral' and not interfere when I have had my parents crying on the phone about money worries of their own, having just handed a wodge of cash to DSis as she's pleaded poverty - who then promptly blows it on something completely bonkers, like a trampoline. Nothing wrong with a trampoline - the DNs love it! - but she was supposed to be buying food and nappies with the money.

I am proud of the fact that I am independent, I don't want money from my parents - I want them to spend the little they have on themselves and enjoy their retirement! But the fact that DSis seems to get rewarded every 5 minutes for fucking up financially whereas we don't even get a Christmas card...It's the injustice of it I suppose <sighs>

intheland Wed 25-Dec-13 07:52:12

The elephant in the room can be challenged if you want. Ask him if he gives her more because he loves her more. He'll bluster it out probably.
Or just accept your gifts graciously and try to stop caring?

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Wed 25-Dec-13 07:27:21

She already doesn't speak to me, there isn't a relationship to ruin...

Mumraathenoisylion Wed 25-Dec-13 06:46:17

I agree with Cogito don't ruin your relationship with your sister over this.

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Wed 25-Dec-13 06:38:04

I suppose so! But I usually think, I can't afford that so I can't have it, while she seems to think, I can't afford that, Dad will get it for me.

CogitoMerrilyOnHigh Tue 24-Dec-13 06:55:49

To be fair, it's not really your sister's fault if she's more up front about asking for cash than you are. If you don't tend to say anything to your Dad and never ask for money (guessing) he'll think everyone's happy with the arrangement.

MmeButterfly Tue 24-Dec-13 06:20:32

I have much sympathy for you. If you can, try to distance yourself from the pair of them. I find my mum and my sister work together to try and undermine me and the angrier i get, the more they feed from it (nice, I know!).

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Tue 24-Dec-13 06:04:55

Not really - like your mum, he doesn't see it. He thinks it all "evens out." Not sure when that will happen.

If she texts me Happy Christmas would it be wrong to reply "fuck off you grasping cow"?

Cherry34 Mon 23-Dec-13 22:44:07

This happens in my family too. My sister is better off than me, but my mum is always get her this and that, babysitting or giving childcare to her children regularly but rarely mine. My sister even says she knows she treated better. It use to eat me up. I have tried to discuss it with my mum on many occasions but she doesn't see it and thinks we are treated equally. This has always been the case, as far back as I can remember.
I try hard to not let it get to me but it is an effort.

Have you ever had a frank talk with your dad??

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Mon 23-Dec-13 22:34:14

My gift is lurking in a carrier bag on the stairs. I don't think it's stuffed full of twenties! I don't want to have to ask him for a fair share, I want him to want to treat us equally. sad

delilahlilah Mon 23-Dec-13 22:29:05

Oh, know this one so well.My sister pisses and moans about money, mum buys and pays for all sorts for her despite BIL Being loaded, they have no DC, and them going on luxury holidays etc etc
We don't even have the furniture we need, cant do as much as we would like for our DC due to our current circumstances,yet we don't get any help at all.
I know for Xmas. My sister will have hundreds of pounds worth of stuff from mum and I would be over the moon with £50 towards furniture but will get a weird bag of oddments like an afterthought. Think tesco cheese straws and a bottle of wine. I very rarely drink wine, so not a thoughtful gift. Should be used to it really...

Sunshinesunshine1978 Mon 23-Dec-13 20:12:40

Feel for you. Maybe she asked him to pay for her? If you do not have equal gift this christmas I would say something like. "I sold my things on ebay to pay for petrol so I could spend christmas with you dad" and clock his reaction. Also maybe drop in (at some point) how you try to treat all your children the same at Christmas and see if he responds. Good luck. Try not to let it spoil christmas. He probablly does not think it is wrong to treat you differently.

CogitoMerrilyOnHigh Mon 23-Dec-13 20:05:40

Then I hope you lay it on with a trowel how you've had to sell stuff to buy petrol, wear extra sweaters rather than put on the heating, economise etc. ... and how you'd enjoy a long-haul trip or cash equivalent if he's handing out the goodies. Take the opportunity to get your point across. Good luck

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Mon 23-Dec-13 19:58:58

It's normal. For some reason he thinks she needs financial support and I don't. She owns 2 buy to let properties, works full time and her OH also earns. No kids, 3 dogs.

CogitoMerrilyOnHigh Mon 23-Dec-13 19:49:53

Your Dad bought your sister a long-haul ticket? What's he getting you for Xmas and does he know you're really short of cash? Is there likely to be a fat cheque under the tree or this kind of unequal treatment normal for Dad?

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