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AIBU to want my brother to sort his own life out!?

(12 Posts)
sarahd100 Tue 03-Jan-17 16:45:22

Ok, I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible.

My DB is 32 and lives a couple of towns over from my DM with his DP. He is close to my DM in terms of keeping in regular contact and helping her with things around the house, but I think he takes serious advantage of her and I don't know what to do!

So, a brief list of things he does:
- Takes all his shirts to hers once a week for her to wash and iron because 'it takes him ages to iron his shirts'
- Also brought his and his DP's laundry over for her to wash and iron so he could come over earlier on Christmas Eve.
- Gets her to make him lunch for work every day which he then pops over to pick up every evening. His reasoning is she likes doing it, hers is she'd never see him if he didn't come and get his lunch
- When he came over for Christmas, he stayed in her bedroom and she was turfed out to the spare room. When I challenged this (it really pissed me off) I was told 'well, she offered it. Why wouldn't I take the bigger bed?'
- When he stayed over Christmas he got her to make him breakfast every morning and watched her clear it all away for him as well.

So as not to drip feed, we lost my Dad last year and my mum is now 'on her own' for the first time in her life. I moved home when all this happened to help her out, but will be moving out again soon. She originally planned to move back to where she grew up (about 2 hours away), but now thinks she should buy a smaller (but much more expensive) house in the nearby area so that she can be nearer to him. She seems to think he's too delicate to look after himself so never tries to make him stand on his own two feet and he really takes advantage of this sad

What would you do?! AIBU to have serious words with them both about this? I don't want to upset either of them, especially when my DM is so vulnerable, but this is driving me crazy!

BIgBagofJelly Tue 03-Jan-17 18:19:29

YANBU. I have literally no advice but my brother is very similar if not worse and it drives me insane. In my case talking to either of them probably would do no good. My brother would just get aggressive and my mum thinks he's too delicate to sort himself out. Actually I think my mum does him no favours as she's enabled him becoming an obnoxious overgrown teenager. That said I don't know what the solution is. I tend to avoid going round there and have my mum up to mine instead as it annoys me so much!

lasttimeround Tue 03-Jan-17 18:23:41

You can't. Leave it be

I8toys Tue 03-Jan-17 18:26:25

What does his dp think of it? I assume she knows that she is in a relationship with a manchild.

HardcoreLadyType Tue 03-Jan-17 18:29:08

I'd be very embarrassed if I was his DP.

The first time we went to visit his parents, DH (DP, then) and I took some dirty washing "to wash while we were there". I didn't realise that meant MIL doing it for us. I was mortified, and it certainly never happened again!

HelenaGWells Tue 03-Jan-17 18:29:30

You can't do anything. They are the only ones who can make changes and they won't. All you would get is grief.

Ilovecaindingle Tue 03-Jan-17 18:31:18

Sorry but your list of things he does should also be a list of things She does (dm) . ..

Thecontentedcat Tue 03-Jan-17 18:38:27

Maybe having lost your dad she likes having someone, to look after, she likes feeling needed and having a purpose. If she is happy with the arrangement I would leave it be. At least your brother sees her every day, older people can get very isolated. I think a house near family sounds like a good idea.

SnatchedPencil Tue 03-Jan-17 18:41:51

I'm afraid it is as much your mother's fault as it is your brother's. He sounds quite childish, but if your mother is happy with the arrangement then that is her choice.

The only point you make that made me raise my eyebrows was the point about taking her bed. I think most men who think the rest of your list is perfectly normal behaviour would decline the offer of turfing their mother into the spare room, even if she made the offer freely and in a completely heartfelt manner!

I agree with others: what does his partner think?

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Tue 03-Jan-17 18:46:30

A fair exchange of labour would be ok in this situation e.g. He cuts grass, decorates, washes and maintains car in exchange for her ironing etc and would ensure regular contact is maintained, but the packed lunches sound a bit OTT (and if I was your DB's DP I wouldn't be happy with that level of involvement from a potential future MIL!)
As far as moving is concerned though it is best for older relatives to be relatively near at least one close relative in case support is needed further down the line. It adds greatly to the stress if you have to factor in hours of driving to get there and back too.

Arrowfanatic Tue 03-Jan-17 19:44:34

It's a similar situation with my nan and uncle. He's almost 60 and we lost my grandad to cancer in May. Nan has been an anxiety driven busy body style carer all her life. Whilst grandad was poorly she had pretty much a full time job looking after him and it was her life (as looking after him had been their entire 60+ years together). My uncle spent a lot of time there when grandad died, but now it's ended up with nan fussing over him all the time, she does his washing, his ironing, his cooking, changes his bed every 2 days, obsesses about every single little thing he does. He is back at his place now but visits once a month maybe and she is on tenterhooks waiting for him to come back and then when he does frets herself into the ground caring for him.

We told him he needs to stop her as she's been very unwell herself but he just says she likes doing it and it helps her feel useful.

sarahd100 Tue 03-Jan-17 20:10:52

Thanks for all your replies! I've had a few words with both of them in the past but nothing ever comes of it. My mum has always been someone who will put herself out completely for other people, which means she often has people taking advantage. I just don't like to see it from my own brother sad

She wanted to move away as all her friends are there and she'd have a much better social life - here she spends a lot of time alone which she doesn't want really. I've encouraged her to join Meet Up websites which I think will help her if she does decide to stay. I take everyone's point about being near family when she's older smile

Glad I'm not the only person who has to deal with something like this - it really drives me crazy and stops me wanting to see my brother at all!!

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