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My sister financially benefitting from our parents AGAIN.

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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?

senua Mon 26-Nov-18 09:15:52

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.
But you did know that you couldn't really afford it either!
Stop enabling her.

Wheresthebeach Mon 26-Nov-18 09:16:06

I'm in a similar situation - DB got tens of thousands in help for a variety of reasons. My father use to call me to say 'they'll be nothing left for you as it's going to your brother as he needs it more'. He had children at the time, and I didn't. I get told I was the 'golden girl' too.

Fast forward a decade - brother has it easy as mortgage paid off, able to retire early, 3 foreign holidays this year. And extra 50K can make a huge difference.

He genuinely feels he deserved it all. Our relationship really isn't one any more as I'm just polite for the sake of our kids.

I expect there's little you can do. Its not fair, or nice. For me the only answer has been to distance myself from them. He was favoured all his life - his university paid for, mine not, as I was 'only a girl'. It's toxic.

BrokenWing Mon 26-Nov-18 09:16:08

Just be grateful you are not in your mid 30's and financially dependent on other peoples good will which could run out at anytime.

Her ex will likely stop financially supporting her once the dc are adults. Your parents will not be able to financially support her forever.

When other people stop supporting her she will be in serious trouble financially and will have to pay dearly the consequences of years of reliance on others (unless she then sponges off her own dc).

Don't enable her by paying for any more experiences for her dc's and be proud of your own independence. You wouldn't want to swap positions with her.

Birrdy Mon 26-Nov-18 09:16:17

I would be furious and hurt in your shoes but why are you allowing this to go on? Definitely don't pay £1,000 on something for her kids (that money could go into a savings account for your own children!) when she is out having drinks and weekends away- she obviously isn't hard up. Why do you say "every pound counts" to her when you know she isn't leading a frugal lifestyle?

You're too afraid of upsetting her and your parents and you're being a doormat. It's not even about the money necessarily, but the fact your parents and sister have kept his from you, and your parents have treated her so differently over the years and continue to do so. It's not on and needs to stop.

RhiWrites Mon 26-Nov-18 09:17:32

OP, when you find that you’re resenting someone it’s privably better to stop giving them things. Honour this commitment to the £1k but let that be the end of it.

I’m sorry and it’s unfair but I agree there’s no point confronting any of them. Just don’t contribute any more yourself.

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:17:50

Is this things you have agreed to pay for for them or for your sister?

Just my nieces. They’ve never been abroad so me and DH are taking them both with us on our family holiday next Summer.

wizzywig Mon 26-Nov-18 09:18:42

I think some parents like feeling needed. They subconciously dis-enable a child to fulfil a desire to be a permanent parent. But they also rear their other kids to be independent as proof that theyve done a good job

MereDintofPandiculation Mon 26-Nov-18 09:19:28

YANBU. If it gives any comfort, consider that if your parents had subsidised you to the extent, you could have ended up like your sister instead of being the self-reliant capable person that you are.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Mon 26-Nov-18 09:19:29

We have a similarish situation in our family. I was brighter at school, experienced less bullying and found it relatively easy to find work. Later on, I married a guy with an affluent and generous family.
I'm always going to be alright.
Dsis has severe dyslexia, was badly bullied, struggled with mental health problems and has eventually moved into council housing after a protracted period of homelessness.
Dmum and Ddad have always provided more financially for Dsis, for obvious reasons. I've never minded because it's clear she needs it.
Interestingly: they now (all three of them) appear to be much closer to each other emotionally. I've realised now that my parents always wanted us to lean on them. And there are situations where m attempting to be independent has erred into pushing them away.
Also the fact that Dsis has been at her most vulnerable with them has allowed them to be vulnerable with he in their turn. Dsis was more supportive and a better daughter when they went through bereavement for eg.
I kind of regret being so fiercely in dependant now. There was a recipricosity there that I didn't understand.

Piffle11 Mon 26-Nov-18 09:20:52

I could have written this! My Dsis was always the carefree, fun one, and I was the sensible one … she got away with everything! Whenever something happened, with DSis my parents would shrug and forgive her, with me, I was a let down and they expected more. After school I was in full time training 9-4 Mon to Fri at college and had a part time job eves and weekends. DSis went to 6th form and did around 20 hours and was too pressured to work … she quit her pt job after 3 months and DParents paid her the money she would have earned. After uni I got a ft job, she drifted from crappy temp work to crappy pt jobs, still living the student life. This went on for about 6 years after she graduated. She got 3x the wedding fund I did, she was the golden girl. After her marriage broke up DPs were subsidising her, even though her alimony was more than me and my then partner were earning each month! She didn't work for about 5 years after divorcing, and DF kept going on about how sorry he felt for her (her exDH had been well off and they had had a large house and good lifestyle) living in such a little house … forgetting that her 'little house' was worth 3 times what my semi was worth, due to location, and than most of it had been paid for by her exDH! She's a lovely girl but I think she was living in cloud cuckoo land and for some reason DPs always made excuses for her. I always felt that I was sort of 'lesser' than her because I behaved. Whenever anyone paid me a compliment my DM would chip in about my DSis, making out that she was better at whatever it was. Still pisses me off tbh.

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:22:21

I think some parents like feeling needed. They subconciously dis-enable a child to fulfil a desire to be a permanent parent. But they also rear their other kids to be independent as proof that theyve done a good job

This is why I think I keep quiet. I think my sister feels ‘lesser’ than me in the eyes of our family because of what I have achieved/done with my life, and so to stop her having any ill feelings towards me I just let the situation continue.

frogsoup Mon 26-Nov-18 09:23:03

"your sister is only benefitting financially because they WANT and CHOOSE to give money to her..deep down you are jealous that they gave your sister money and not you"

I can't believe there are actually people out there who would actively seek to justify blatant favouritism of one sibling over another on the grounds of 'choice', as of that were some kind of inherent moral justification for their actions!! We make all sorts of choices in life, but unfortunately some of them are actively malign. It may be their money but it's also shitty behaviour of the first order, and you have every right to feel jealous! If it were me, I'd be letting them know how it makes you feel, but I know this might not be hugely productive!

Babyroobs Mon 26-Nov-18 09:23:14

I found out recently that my elderly dad has been giving my brother any spare money he has each month ! My brother and SIL live in a lovely house in a fantastic area, have 2 foreign holidays a year etc and I've no idea why they need my pensioner dad's money too.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 26-Nov-18 09:28:18

Re a question posed by another poster and your answer:-

"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".

You can love your sister in ways other than financial and this nice gesture of yours is not going to be appreciated. Its almost expected that you are going to do this for them.

How well do your sister's children get on with your own?. Will your sister take your own children on holiday; not at all likely. Will your sister be providing them with any spending money?.

Consider also what your ongoing role is here in your family of origin. I personally feel you should now completely distance yourself from all of them, particularly your parents who started this whole unhealthy dynamic between you and your siblings in the first place.
I can certainly relate to this comment made by wizziwig:-

"I think some parents like feeling needed. They subconciously dis-enable a child to fulfil a desire to be a permanent parent. But they also rear their other kids to be independent as proof that theyve done a good job"

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:28:21

My Dsis was always the carefree, fun one, and I was the sensible one … she got away with everything! Whenever something happened, with DSis my parents would shrug and forgive her, with me, I was a let down and they expected more.

100% this.

My sister made no effort at school or college but it was never an issue.

When I got a B grade in an exam it wasn’t “well done” it was “why didn’t you get an A?”

The pressure put on me to be the successful child was ridiculous.

I got a 2:1 in my degree and all my mom said was, “And there I was thinking you’d get a First. Never mind.”

It was constant.

I was always expected to achieve high so they could gush about me to others whereas my sister’s failings (for want of a better word) weren’t addressed at all.

It sounds like you had it really hard piffle

Wheresthebeach Mon 26-Nov-18 09:29:34

When you grow up with your sibling being favoured, it becomes so ingrained you don't realise the extent of the damage its doing to your own mental health. The pattern of 'them first' is so established it seems 'normal'. If you try to agree about it, then the accusation of 'jealousy' or 'selfishness' is thrown at you.

My brother was married at 23, two incomes, a house etc etc. Yet the money went to him despite having more than me. They'll all find an excuse to favour the one they want to favour.

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:33:17

How well do your sister's children get on with your own?. Will your sister take your own children on holiday; not at all likely. Will your sister be providing them with any spending money?.

My sister has never taken her own children on holiday due to finances so I definitely wouldn’t expect her to take mine. Her children are a lot older than mine so they don’t ‘get on’ in the way similar aged children do, but they have good relationships with each other. My children (well the oldest) is excited about his cousins coming with us and so are my nieces. I genuinely am looking forward to taking them with us. She will be definitely be sending them with spending money though I imagine a good portion of that will be provided by our parents....

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:37:33

When you grow up with your sibling being favoured, it becomes so ingrained you don't realise the extent of the damage its doing to your own mental health

If you asked my sister who the favoured child was, she would say that I am.

Part of me thinks parents throw money at my sister to try and make up for the fact she was always in my shadow as we grew up. I do wonder if they feel guilty and this is their way of trying to absolve themselves.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 26-Nov-18 09:39:30

Your own finances I daresay are going to be stretched here to provide for these extra mouths to feed. I would ensure as far as possible that they pay for any excursions and activities out of their own pocket.

This has to be made clear to your sister; unlike your parents you are not the Bank of Queen of my Princes with available and or seemingly unlimited funds and opening hours.

Jellygraph Mon 26-Nov-18 09:41:56

It's unfair and about time they stopped. If you look at how much your incomings and outgoings are , are you really so much worse off than her? And then the help she gets from her ex-and if she's going out for drinks/dinners etc it seems she has a freer lifestyle too?

I'm a bit of a dick, but I think I would have to mention something about how I felt to my parents, in your position.

Having said this, there are 17 years between me and my Sister-she had a much worse upbringing than me given my parent's circumstances, although neither were that great and I have had a lot more financial help than she has, from them. Ive been given gifts and had things paid for and been told not to tell my Sister-and I don't like that at all, but at the same time, she was in a much better financial position at the time as were my parents, and I know she would understand. Sometimes things just aren't fair but, your position is different as you're both more or less the same age and grew up in the same circumstances in the same era.

QueenofmyPrinces Mon 26-Nov-18 09:42:17

This has to be made clear to your sister; unlike your parents you are not the Bank of Queen of my Princes with available and or seemingly unlimited funds and opening hours.

This really made me laugh grin

Immigrantsong Mon 26-Nov-18 09:42:25

Ok, so now you know exactly what is happening. What is your action plan for moving forward? How are you going to tackle all of this?

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 26-Nov-18 09:43:02

I wonder if your sister grew up thinking that you were more favoured overall.

Your parents are and remain responsible for this dysfunctional dynamic set up between you all as siblings. Another possibility here is that this money from your parents is being used by them to further control your sister into doing what they want.

Slipperboots Mon 26-Nov-18 09:44:46

It’s surprising how common this is. I’ve had several friends in similar circumstances. Usually the sibling who gets the money has more money as well, whilst the sensible sibling (who is usually worse off) get nothing.

DH is the sensible and capable one. BIL is a disaster with money and earns way more than us. He had thousands out of PILs who were not well off. He pleads poverty even though it’s obvious it’s not true.
DH has literally never had a penny from his parents and his BIL complained he was ‘spoiled’ by their parents. His mother also tried to get us to give them money too.

You need to help break the cycle of enabling by also not enabling her.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 26-Nov-18 09:44:54

Oh good re making your laugh but you do need to draw a line here. I would not want to see a seemingly nice person like you get further taken advantage of because of her own goodwill here.

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