DF giving more money to brother - AIBU?(11 Posts)
Name changed as quite identifying.
Thought I'd post on mumsnet as this has been eating away at me. I find myself tearing up about it, and getting really cross, but have a nagging doubt that I am BU.
Background: I have two siblings, and two half siblings. Half siblings are DFs children with first marriage. Good relationship with both. We have always been a close family, and my parents have always tried hard to let us know we are loved, and to treat us as equal. Currently my brother (27 yo), eldest 'full' sibling' lives at home with my parents. He works part time in retail, and has suffered very badly with depression in the last couple of years, though he is now much better, and back to his normal self. Despite his depression, he managed to complete a 2 year masters whilst living with my parents, and we are all very proud of him He now has a good job lined up for September, on a very good salary and will be moving out. My brother can be very entitled, for example he always borrows money from myself, mum and youngest sibling, and never pays it back. Despite this, he is really lovely, I just worry he doesn't really understand the value of money and is a bit immature. My dad is also lovely, but can be a bit sexist, which is hard to quantify, but he does things like call female news reporters 'darling' in a derogatory way.
I completed a postgraduate qualification several years ago. I needed to pay £3500 upfront as my course fees. I asked my dad ( who has quite a lot of money - parents don't share finances) if he could help, and got told no - he has a lot of children,and can't afford it. Fair enough, I thought at the time. My dad guided me into getting the right professional development loan, which has been a crippling burden tbh. I owe my dad around 3000 pounds for a car he lent me the money for anyway, so it was very reasonable of him to say no, I am very lucky to have had the help I have had so far.
Fast forward to now. My brothers course fees for his Master's totalled £9000. He paid the first 1.5 grand out of his savings. Then his depression started, and my dad paid the remainder of his fees, as ' It would be too stressful for him to get a loan in his current state'. Again, seemed reasonable, as he was very poorly. It was made out to be a loan until my brother could pay him back.
A few weeks ago my dad made a joke about the money I owed him in front of me and my other sibling, after I complained about how little money I had (on maternity leave - things are v. tight). I made a joke back, saying that we all owed him money, and he'd be a rich man if we paid him back today. He looked confused, and asked me what I meant. I mentioned the money my brother owed him, and he said no - he didn't have to pay it back, as my dad didn't want to upset him, and tip him back into depression He also said he would pay my youngest siblings fees upfront if it was required, as he wants the best for all of us. Me and my sibling were very shocked, and I couldn't even speak to him for the rest of the day.
Since then we've spoke about it as a family (my youngest sibling and mum strongly agreed that this was massively unfair). My dad has agreed that my brother has to pay it back, but refuses to talk to him about it.
He continues to give my brother money all the time, for festivals, football, nights out - anything he fancies. The other day, as me and my mum were going over meal plans for me to try and save a bit of money, he came in and said to my brother that he could sell any of my dads things on ebay that he wanted, to 'cheer him up'.
I feel so angry at him, and sick at the thought that he could treat us so differently. Its started to make me see him differently, and I don't want to be around him. I've also started to resent my brother, which is really unfair, as he ahs done nothing wrong! I don't want any money off my parents, I just want them to treat us the same!!!
My parents lent tens of thousands to two of my siblings for house deposits. Only one has paid them back, and she borrowed twice as much. The other sibling is a very low earner now after having two dc within a year and the loan has been pretty much written off.
My parents are also planning to help my youngest sibling buy a flat. I have had no help in that way, although tbf we didn't need it and live in a large detached house. It still stings though as we do struggle, particularly in the last year since I've been unable to work through ill health.
YANBU to feel hurt by the discrepancy.
No, of course you're not being unreasonable. Anyone with more than one child should treat them fairly - not necessarily completely equally, but fairly.
I wonder whether he's been terrified by your brother's depression - was he suicidal? I can imagine in that situation you'd do anything, however unfair to other siblings, not to upset or further depress that child.
He's doing your brother no favours - in fact you're all guilty of that. You said that he's borrowed money from everyone and doesn't know the value of money. Well, he never will do if everyone lets him have money without having to repay it!
Your dad does sound sexist and in a family that is really unfair. I'd hate my children to think I was being unfair with them - it breeds resentment and that's horrible in a family.
The depression is completely irrelevant in the light of your Dad so kindly telling you he'll pay your younger sibling's fees as well
is it a male sibling, by any chance??
How did he justify that one, or did he even bother?
Not unreasonable at all. My dad has his faults (lots of them) but he always makes sure that if he loans money to one of my siblings, he gives all three of us the same amount. If that isn't practical, he might give one person some money, but keeps it all documented to be taken into account when we divide his estate, so it's like an advance on inheritance. I can understand your dad being protective of your brother if he is more vulnerable, but maybe he should write your car loan off too to make it fair.
My brother was the favoured one who always seemed "to need it more" because he spent all his money while I lived within my means.
Now it appears my brother's children are more important than mine and also, apparently, need more.
My parents just listened to the endless "oh I 'm so hard up" stuff from my brother and believed it.
My brother earns about 4 times what I do.
I don't endlessly whinge about money so get less. Nothing to do with actual need. So I've learned those who blatantly manipulate the truth are financially rewarded for it. When I pointed out the latest favouritism I was told I was "over reacting". That was it for me, there were certain financial gifts that were so outrageous our friends commented on how unfair it was. I knew I wasn't over reacting. What they meant was, I was challenging their world view and they didn't like that.
I have now cut contact as I'm so sick of it.
My brother won't change but at least I don't have to witness this blatant favouritism any more.
YANBU. I'm sorry your father is favouring your brother over you and your other siblings. It doesn't matter why he's doing it; he's doing it. And he needs to stop. Sadly, that decision isn't yours to make.
Someone should tell him that his actions are potentially destroying his relationship with you and your siblings, and the relationship between you and the 'favoured' son. He is doing himself and your brother no favours long term.
I do understand it's really hard when monetary gifts aren't distributed evenly/fairly between family members, but you are not entitled to money from your DF or anyone else for that matter just because your DB has been given some.
The depression is relevant as it sounds as if your dad feels responsible. Caring for someone with depression is extremely hard, he is probably wracked with guilt even though it's not his fault and would do anything to change things. Whilst it isn't fair on you I don't think it is as result of him caring more for your brother, he just sees your brother having different needs.
YANBU this hasn't happened in my family as neither of my parents have this kind of disposable income, but my grandfather did this with his youngest a son over all his other children mostly female. It's odd that sometimes parents are blind to the fact that treating their offspring differently causes hurt and division. I never really understood why my Grandad did it and depression or not why your Dad doesn't see it's unfair.
Thank you everyone for your messages
Imperial - He wasn't suicidal ( That we know of), but it was quite severe depression - He couldn't go out, was in tears most of the day etc
Floggingmolly - Yes he is a brother. He justified by saying he 'would give what was needed to help us out'
Tiffany - I know i'm not entitled to any money from anyone! I suppose it's just painful when you are treated so differently from a sibling, it's not that I want more money, I just always thought we were treated the same, and took comfort from that
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