Moral dilemma - WWYD and AIBU to just say sod its.(64 Posts)
Back story. Fell out with sister who I was very close to in summer (have spoken about this before) she has stopped contact. I did everything to try and resolve it but she was too angry to want to resolve. I used to do a lot for my sister. I helped her out several times financially and physically. It hurt so much that she wanted to hang onto the one time I couldn't be there for her instead of realising all the times I was there at the drop of the hat.
For context I work full time, attend college and have 5dc so it was simply a situation that slipped my mind and nothing sinister in my part.
Because of this I have resolved to treat as treated.
I also have a brother who lives with my parents 35 years old. My brother is fine but makes no effort with us at all. He only visits our house if he comes with parents and it is the only way he will be fed. I was recently very ill and in hospital and didn't get so much as a text from him. I have had one text from him in 2 years and that was because he needed something. I get on with him fine when I visit my parents but that is the only time I have contact. It's not something I can approach him with as he is very sensitive and like Sister will result in a huge argument.
It is very much expected from parents that he be considered in everything. For example if my parents come to mine and we offer them a meal, they will say no because Db will be wanting dinner. Christmas they will not visit as Db does not want to and they will not leave him alone for an hour.
So here's the dillema. I "feel" like I want to say enough is enough. I have already decided not to go visiting and I am considering not even bothering getting my brother a present (this will not go down well) when he cannot even send a card or a text wishing us a merry Christmas. However my nature is telling me that I am being a huge bitch as he hasn't actually "done" anything nasty he just doesn't seem to care.
I am fully prepared to be told I am being unreasonable in light of my argument with my sister and that I am taking it out on brother. I promise I am not doing that. I am just evaluating the relationships in my life and self preserving myself.
Well it's your call, but really is it worth falling out with them too? I couldn't be arsed with the drama it would cause.
If he doesn't get you cards/presents, then don't get him anything. Is he neurotypical? If so, he has no excuse.
Does your brother have Aspergers?
I'd just speak to your parents about it. You can't change people though I'd just get on creating your own nice Christmas with your dcs.
Just get him a £3 box of chocolates, that way no fall out but little effort /expense (I don't think you're in the wrong not to but I'd pay £3 for peace and harmony). Other alternative would be to make a charitable donation 'on his behalf', like a donation to help people in Aleppo...
Being related to people does not mean they are nice people. Why have them in your life if they bring you pain, they clearly think nothing of upsetting you. Do whatever makes you happy, it's your turn now.
I can't see how they can conceivably say you are in the wrong for not getting him a present if he doesn't get you one, it would be totally illogical. Unless there is more to this and there is some reason why he can't get presents. It sounds as if he may have MH difficulties of some sort?
You're not obliged to give presents. I don't get anything for one of my brothers if I don't see him on the day and then its just a bottle of something fizzy.
this isnt about presents is it? Maybe as Xmas can be such an emotionally charged time, go through the motions. Then consider what kind of relationship you would like with brother. what would be ok for you?
Not neurotypical. Just a case of parents who have given him everything and his willingness to take advantage of that. I made my peace with this aspect years ago. They are all happy with the arrangement so live and let live.
I was thinking chocolates too. It will definitely be noticed but probably not as bad as not bothering at all.
Give him something cheap. And sod the lot of them.
As for the Aspergers comment ^^ . My dd is an aspie and she's very generous with her gifts. Not being NT has very little bearing on this kind of stuff. The reason he doesn't do presents is because he's been infantilised all his life and his parents do everything for him.
your brother is 35 and still lives at home.. and it sounds like your parents are still treating him like a kid, not leaving him and bowing at his every demand. I have been in a similar situation to you very similar actually where I have bent over backwards to help family and even friends but when it's me who is in need it doesn't work the same way and they just got on as if I didn't exist, so I did what you are thinking of doing and decided enough was enough, and that I needed to put myself first the way I saw it was if they cared enough they would make the effort but none of them did anyway, so it was the best decision I ever made, I don't see or speak to pretty much any of my family now just a few of them who give a shit and actually bother to make the effort with me as I do with them, I have never been happier, and I couldn't care for the bunch of self centred ass holes that are supposed to be family! I hope this helps you in some way, I hope things work out for you
Why should you get your brother a present if he gets nothing for you??
He lives with his parents and (presumably?) doesn't have kids.
You live independently and have 5 kids.
I probably accept that there is no relationship with DB. He is a nice guy but just inherently selfish and I have watched him take and take from my parents. He has not worked for 10 years and there is no MH issues. He now works part time, enough to fund his extensive hobbies (as parents stopped funding them). I used to say something to my parents but they are clearly fine with the setup so fair enough.
I just do not want to upset my parents. They have been affected my the argument between me and my sister. At the same time I recognise that my emotional health is deeply affected by extended family at present and I need to stay strong for my own children. I think this answers my question though. A token present to avoid upset and then take a big step back.
My dd is an aspie and she's very generous with her gifts
Same with my Asperger's DD, Cat
And for someone who is very literal, who finds it hard to read people and needs most jokes explained to her, and who is socially anxious, her gifts are not only generous in terms of how much she spends, but incredibly well-thought out and personal. (Much more so than mine - I'm crap at thinking about what people would like.)
She's lovely - and I wish she was more confident so that other people could see it , too.
You could remind your parents that at 35 the likelihood of cot death is somewhat remote, and he can safely be left for an hour.
Or even two.
I wouldn't blame you.
In these sort of situations I ask myself what will I annoy me more - continuing to give without any sort of acknowledgement or effort or stopping & maybe feeling bad about it.
A token gift would be a half way measure.
I don't blame you re visiting - it's tiresome with children - let alone 5! next year we will be in a bigger house & everyone will be welcome to come to us but we won't be doing the visiting.
Could you give him a call sometime and explain you find it a little hurtful how little he instigates contact, particularly on occasions like Christmas day, and that you'd like it if you two were closer; perhaps he might like to send you the odd text to tell you about how he is and ask about your family in return?
Maybe have a pop at treating him like the adult you wish everybody else would? Not saying it'll end well but it feels like the "face value" thing to do.
you say you're evaluating the relationships in your life and that's really healthy. the first place to start is to look at our families and you're realising that the relationships are not equal, valued or fulfilling. so you're starting with making them equal - great move. if you don't change anything, nothing will change. there will be fall out of course, because you've been the one giving and now you won't be. with any luck they'll examine their own behaviour and realise the imbalance. your parents have done that to a small extent by not funding your db's hobbies. small steps, right direction.
you do have to protect yourself, and you're going about it the right way.
The 'does he have aspergers' comment pisses me off.
I have Aspergers. I have had my own house since I was 19. Have 2 kids and a husband and take care of myself. I am extremely generous and think of others alot.
My brother didn't get his own house until mum actually went looking for one because he couldn't be arsed despite having the money. He and his wife are very dependent on my mum and dad. He is also selfish and NT.
Why is it always one of the first questions people ask when someone displays selfish behaviour?
Your parents are the problem here with your brother. You can't blame him if they have mollycoddled him all his life. My brother is the same although independent. We hear from him maybe three times a year never visit to see us as he is to mean to use his petrol. We invite him Christmas every year but he never comes because he thinks he will be expected to bring presents for the children. There is no hope I'm afraid and at 35 you cannot change him! God help him when your parents die ???
May I ask what you fell out with your sister over? Must've been pretty bad for her to cut you off like this after all you say you've done for her in the past.
But in answer to your question re present for your brother then the answer is no he needs to grow a pair of balls get off his arse and get a job.
Scooby20 well said! My dad has Aspergers and is one of the kindest, most generous (with his time and with gifts), thoughtful people I know. Both my boys have ASD and aren't selfish. It winds me up when it's the first question too.
OP my brother is like yours, we've had no relationship beyond bumping into each other at family do's for many years. I'd do whatever makes your life easier this Christmas.
You sound very patient indeed.
Your parents have indirectly caused the situation by facilitating your brother to behave like a 16 year old and pandering to him. They are consciously placing him above you and your DC. The idea that a grown man cannot make his own tea is laughable.
Your DB sounds like a sponger - someone who makes no effort with other people or even to pay for his most basic needs, like food and shelter. He doesn't send you a card or even a small token for your DC, so I would be treating him in the same way. He doesn't make an effort and he's had 17 years of adulthood in which to do so. Don't fall into the trap your parents have of treating him like a teenager.
If he wants a relationship with you and your family he can start by picking up the phone.
No adult would honestly believe they have a "right" to get a present when they don't even send a card.
Sadly, your DP are playing favourites and have been doing so for a long time. The result is that they have a lazy adult son who is incapable of supporting himself. You have a choice not to follow their bad example.
I know you don't want to upset your parents op but they are the problem here and sound awful tbh.
Treating your brother like a child, getting upset over your fall out and how your brother is treated, they need to grow up.
DB is easily solved - you don't have a relationship with him so sock and chocs for Christmas.
DS and the breakdown of that relationship is sadder. I would still keep trying to make baby steps towards healing that. This is the relationship that hurts now you don't have it. Focus on that.
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