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My sister financially benefitting from our parents AGAIN.

(814 Posts)
QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 08:40:40

There are 13 months between me and my sister so we were very close growing up together and we are still close now, I love her and she’s one of my favourite people to be around.

Growing up we were very different, I was the typical ‘good sensible girl’ whereas she was more the type who took each day as it came and having fun was her main focus. At the time, I was envious of her character and spirit and wished I was more like her.

I did well at school, went to college, then university and have a professional job, whereas she didn’t really try at school, dropped out of two college courses and eventually ended up in a job that our neighbour found for her.

Fast forward to now: we’re in our late 30s and still very close. We both have two children although she is no longer with the father as he turned out to be a complete shit. He’s active in the children’s lives though and he provides well for them financially and helps my sister out too in ways he isn’t obliged to. I don’t particularly like the man but I can’t criticise him for the way he still provides for the children and the things he does to help my sister.

In our teenage years and through our 20’s my sister was frequently financially helped out by our parents because “she didn’t have a well paying job” and they paid out a lot for her. They paid for things to be done around her house (luxuries as opposed to necessities), paid her phone bills and store cards, paid for things for the children and paid for her driving lessons too when she was in her mid 20’s.

At the same time as they were paying for her driving lessons I was having to pay for my own lessons even though I was a student and they were charging me rent, compared to her being in full time employment and not even living in the family home anymore.

I could list lots of ways my sister has financially benefited from our parents over the last 10-15 years and although there has always been potential for resentment because of how differently we were treated I never felt it, or if I did I have no recollection of it and it didn’t impact on my relationship with my sister.

Fast forward to the last 12 months or so and my sister started going out with her friends a lot more, going out frequently for meals and drinks, going away for weekends, having new clothes etc and at the time I thought nothing of it. I was just glad to see her enjoying herself now her children are older (10 and 14) and that she was getting her life back as it were.

Recently me and DH have put ourselves out quite significantly in terms of finances in order to do something to benefit her children in order to allow them to experience something they’d never be able to if me and DH didn’t pay for it. Initially we had spoken about her paying 10% of the cost but after thinking about it I told my sister that no financial contribution was necessary as I was happy to treat my nieces and that I knew every pound counts to her and that even a small contribution would be difficult for her. She said thanks, she appreciated it and that was the end of the discussion.

Anyhow - I found out a few days ago that for the last 12 months my parents have been giving her £200 every month “just in case she needs it” and it’s actually really pissed me off. Our parents are divorced and they each give her £100.

I now feel a little put out that she so readily accepted our offer not to contribute to what we are doing for her children (which is costing us nearly £1k) when she’s getting £200 each month from our parents that she doesn’t actually need.

They (particularly my mom) also give her children money quite frequently whereas mine don’t get anything.

Inside I feel like the “special treatment” of her is still going on after all these years and I think that throughout her life it’s paid off that she didn’t get a good job because my parents have paid out so much for her and still do. I’m also in disbelief that at our age she is still taking money from our parents because as adults shouldn’t we be taking responsibility for ourselves?

I haven’t told my sister that I know about our parents giving her money each month and my parents don’t know that I know either. I won’t say anything to either of them though because it won’t serve any purpose. I only found out due my mom’s brother accidentally letting it slip when he asked me how I was spending my £200 each month as he had assumed my parents were doing it for both of us.

Im just venting. I know it’s my parents choice how they spend their money but after watching them pay out for so much for her over the last two decades this has been a bit of a blow to know they’re still doing it.

I was talking to DH about it and in my frustration I said that I wished I’d made her life choices instead of my own as maybe then my parents would have paid my way in life too and funded my lifestyle choices. I didn’t mean it, I just said it in frustration. I don’t want money from my parents, I wouldn’t accept it if they offered, but I feel a bit hurt that again my sister is getting money from them for no real reason whereas their generosity wasn’t even offered to me.

AIBU to feel a bit pissed off? Has anyone else been in a similar position and found ways to deal with it?

user187656748 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:43:55

Personally I wouldn't be paying for stuff for her (including the payment of whatever it is costing £1000 for the children). You are doing exactly the same as your parents and enabling her.

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 26-Nov-18 08:47:59

I'd agree with that. You are all infantilising her, you, your parents, her ex, everyone!

What are you going to do to change how you treat her? You have to start by seeing her as an adult who is making her own choices, not as a hapless child. And one of her choices is to be a net taker!

NoArmaniNoPunani Mon 26-Nov-18 08:48:00

It's incredible that you have much of a relationship with your sister or your parents after the favouritism they've always shown her.

AutumnCrow Mon 26-Nov-18 08:49:21

I agree you need to stop enabling her.

Is it too late to alter the holiday (or whatever it is) arrangements, or are you committed? I'd at least tell her and your parents that's it's a one-off, and you'll not be able to afford anything further in future, as you need to be saving for your future. After all, no other fucker is going to fund your family or your future or your retirement, are they?

You need to cut off this source of resentment by detaching from it.

Amazonian27 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:51:32

Similar position but not quite to the same extent as you. Could brother by joking or is he known for stirring?
Like you I was the more sensible, had nice friends, tried hard at school, had nice boyfriends and am now married have a well paid part time job nice home etc. DD dossed about at school was forever skiving etc etc etc. Her and her DD are still be fitting and my parents are enabling her to. I have stood on my own two feet since about 15 and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Did your sis ask you to do something for her DC or did you offer if the latter are you maybe showing off a little re:money then regretting it a little? Your sis seems to have different priorities and is maybe having fun at everyone else’s expense if they are daft enough to fork out x for my children let them and i’ll be down the pub on a girls weekend away etc etc.

NewPapaGuinea Mon 26-Nov-18 08:51:56

The reality is that your parents bailing out your DSis has set this up long term. She knows she can do what she likes and will have that safety net. For the siblings it can be frustrating as you see it as them having their cake and eating it.

SuchAToDo Mon 26-Nov-18 08:52:05

It's your parents money and their choice how they spend it...your sister is only benefitting financially because they WANT and CHOOSE to give money to her...

How they spend their money is of no business of yours...how would you feel if they started combing through your finances questioning every transaction...

I bet if they were giving you financial handouts you wouldn't be making this thread, deep down you are jealous that they gave your sister money and not you

silkpyjamasallday Mon 26-Nov-18 08:53:54

YANBU to feel pissed off at all. Favouritism by parents is sure to cause friction. My parents had to help me financially with uni costs as due to their income I could only get £3.5k of loan, so I wasn't allowed to do fine art as 'you won't get a job with a Mickey Mouse degree' and so I had to do a subject they approved of. But they shelled out over £20k for my little brother to do a drama course. I ended up having a breakdown and dropping out of uni because I was so miserable, and my life has not been easy since. I'm still very very bitter about it but I don't let it impact our relationship, they saw they made a mistake with me and have rectified it by dealing with my brother differently, but I'm still wistful for the life I could have had. I won't ever say anything to them, as like you I realise it would serve no purpose now, but it is difficult.

If I were you I'd stop paying for things to do with your sister or nieces/nephews, she clearly has disposable cash available but is the type of person very happy to take even when not in need. You shouldn't be subsidising her along with your parents as well! DP leant a friend some money as he said he was in dire straights, he got approved for a mortgage a week later and is saving himself a lot of money while we are still renting, and he still hasn't payed us back months down the line. There are some people who will take whatever they can from whoever they can, best to identify them and never give a penny again.

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 08:53:56

Up until now I think I have just turned a blind eye to their favouritism because I was always worried that my sister thought they favoured me because I was the “golden child” as it were.

I didn’t want my sister to resent me or have ill feelings towards me so I just kept quiet.

MagicKeysToAsda Mon 26-Nov-18 08:55:03

That's extremely hurtful. No-one wants to look like they're keeping score, but I think I would try and find a way to open this conversation with your parents, even if only in a "is sis in financial trouble that I don't know about?" You are allowed to have feelings about this. No matter how unintentional it may have been, it feels like very unequal treatment, and it is enabling you and your sis to be stuck in your roles in the dynamic - the coper, versus the victim - which is not healthy for either of you. Is it possible they're putting the same amount into savings for your children clutching at straws?

In reality I'd be very tempted to go with the passive aggressive "thank you so much for teaching me I always had to pay my own way and there would never be handouts. Paying you rent, covering my own driving lessons etc has helped me know how I'll teach financial responsibility to my own children. It's so important to treat them equally, isn't it?" I hope I wouldn't do it, but I would want to!

EmbraRocks Mon 26-Nov-18 08:56:56

Really it's your parents to blame here, if she's so used to never taking responsibility, of course shell expect you to pick up the treat payments. Other people's money facilitates her lifestyle, her money is her money!

senua Mon 26-Nov-18 09:01:50

Fast forward to now: we’re in our late 30s and still very close. We both have two children ... Recently me and DH have put ourselves out quite significantly in terms of finances in order to do something to benefit her children
Why stretch yourself for someone else's DC?confused Your first priority is to your own DC.

henhelppls Mon 26-Nov-18 09:02:41

Sounds similar to my sister. My dad's giving her more than double the amount for her wedding than he gave me for mine. And he also gave her £500 towards a car last year.

A couple of years ago we went out for dinner and he paid for his and her's and my husband and I had to pay for our own.

I don't know why he's decided in his head that my sister needs his money so much more than me. Her partner and her have decent incomes and live in a much cheaper part of the U.K. They had three holidays abroad last year.

I have two kids, one of whom I receive disability benefit for, and our family survives on one income and these benefits (I can't work at present because of small baby and child with additional needs).

I have never said anything about it to either of them but it does eat away at me a bit.

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:08:08

Why stretch yourself for someone else's DC? Your first priority is to your own DC.

Because I love my sister and my nieces and I know it will mean a lot to all of them.

I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one in this situation. I appreciate that my parents will see me as being in a more secure lifestyle than my sister is and so not consider offering financial help to be now, but that doesn’t account for the last 20 years of them financially helping her whilst watching me struggle at times.

Petalflowers Mon 26-Nov-18 09:08:29

Have you actually spoken to your parents about it, or is it too late in the day?

I think,you either have to either accept the situation (and quietly seethe), and withdraw your financial,support, or speak,to your parents and explain the situation. Maybe in a casual way say how you feel like your sister doesn’t actually need the handouts, or is it time she started standing on her own two feet, and cutting her garment according to the cloth.

bimbobaggins Mon 26-Nov-18 09:08:33

I felt sympathetic to the situation until you got to the part where you are putting yourself out financially to help out her children when she can well afford it herself by the sounds of it.
People will continue to do what they get away with if Noone challenges it.
You are enabling her as much your parents. Just stop it

Thebluedog Mon 26-Nov-18 09:09:32

Your parents have been enabling her for years and that is very unfair if them. My parents aren’t very well off and your situation with your ds sounds like me and my brother. The difference is that if they give my db any money, to say fox his car, they give me the same amount. Which I think is completely fair.

Both you and your ds have both had the same opportunities, her life is different from yours, but that doesn’t mean you should be financially penalised for it by your dp. If your ds gets £200 a month, then so should you.

This is more of a dp issue than your ds. She’s used to having handouts and quite happy for the inequality to continue. She feels entitled, and why wouldn’t she? Her do have done it all her life. Now you’re doing it.

I was shock when you mentioned the driving lessons. It’s up to you what you do and I’d be tempted to take it up with your dp. What happens with inheritance? Will it be split 75/25?

puzzledlady Mon 26-Nov-18 09:09:38

All of you are at fault for enabling her. I would stop paying for her children. Sorry OP.

CurlyWurlyTwirly Mon 26-Nov-18 09:11:11

The bank of mum & dad will not be around forever. Standing on your own 2 feet is a good life skill to learn.
I would tell your sister you know about the handouts, and sadly this is the last time you can afford to treat her children so generously.
Why does everyone pussyfoot around her; for fear of falling out with her...?

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:12:00

I felt sympathetic to the situation until you got to the part where you are putting yourself out financially to help out her children when she can well afford it herself by the sounds of it.

Well at the time I was unaware of her receiving this money from our parents so I didn’t know she could afford it for herself.

IrmaFayLear Mon 26-Nov-18 09:12:19

It has slowly dawned on me through the years that every single family has a "victim" or "hard done by" member and the parents don't necessarily favour them, but it's always "Poor Susan," or "Poor James."

It doesn't matter if Susan/James ends up being filthy rich and successful, they are still the one who needs help. Parents a) like to feel needed and b) once your role is cast as a child, there is no escaping it.

I was "capable". No matter what befell me it was always, "You'll be all right!" said in a jolly fashion. If dsis so much as broke a fingernail it was all panic and hand-wringing and worrying about her. Dm didn't prefer dsis, she just felt that she needed her.

AutumnCrow Mon 26-Nov-18 09:14:13

Does she have tantrums? One of mine does. It's pathetic.

lilybetsy Mon 26-Nov-18 09:14:17

I would separate what you do / your parents do for you sister, from what you do for your nieces.

Is this things you have agreed to pay for for them or for your sister? My brother is quite comfortable and able to provide for all of his children but I still give my nieces gifts and treats because I love THEM separate from their parents and want to build a relationship with them as young people.

Otherwise, I wouldn't give your sister another penny. I agree that you are enabling her.

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:15:11

I was shock when you mentioned the driving lessons. It’s up to you what you do and I’d be tempted to take it up with your dp.

The driving lessons thing really got to me. I received £250 a month bursary whilst at Uni and £110 of it went to my parents as rent, yet still I had to pay for my own driving lessons whilst they paid for hers. Though I suppose it was actually my rent that was paying for the lessons.

I didn’t even speak out then about how unfair I felt things were and I just let it happen.

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