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My sister financially benefitting from our parents AGAIN.

(1001 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?

Mix56 Wed 16-Jan-19 14:08:35

It appears, Queen has been trying to "earn" her mother's love her whole life,

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Wed 16-Jan-19 14:06:23

At least you won't have to hang around in a cafe if she's late this time! Good luck OP.

Crazycrazylady Wed 16-Jan-19 13:58:49

Honestly op i understand you feeling aggrieved by the money thing, but if your relationship with your mom was good outside of that, I wouldn't focus on it especially as you are comfortably off. She has a perception (wrongly) that your sis needs it more and has behaved accordingly which I know is unfair but I'm not sure it's worth falling out with your mother over. It definitely wouldn't be worth it to me.

QueenofmyPrinces Wed 16-Jan-19 13:58:07

Thank you all for your insights and thoughts - they are giving me lots to think about and are giving me good starting points in having a conversation with my mom.

She is coming over this evening and my husband is going to take our children out so it’s just the two of us. I did consider inviting my sister but to be honest I just want it to be me and my mom, no audience, no third party etc, just me and her to have it out together. I want me to be her only focus with no way of escaping my questions.

When I text her to agree to her coming over I did finish the message by telling her to leave my dad at home this time.

StormTreader Wed 16-Jan-19 13:44:45

Agree to the meeting to "sort things out" and bring your sister with you.

I only found your thread today and after reading all of it, the phrase that has stuck with me is "she said we were acting like children". The thing is, this has all come about because you've STOPPED acting like the children you were, when you were given roles to live and couldn't say no.
You were both given "independent" and "dependant" and now you're trying to step outside of that, she's furious and upset because her nice comfy system has been disrupted. You're not allowed to be dependant for anything, and she's not allowed to be independent in any way at all.

Mix56 Wed 16-Jan-19 13:44:38

She will go ballistic

Mix56 Wed 16-Jan-19 13:39:55

I think that I would say something like,
"it looks like as you abandoned us, & sis was a baby, you think that "spoiling her with £" her will compensate. In the mean time, I do not figure, this "Queen will be fine, she worked at school, she worked to train, she married & has a classic happy marriage, fine financially, does not mutually exclude me from any support (eg. baby sitting, lifts, even money if need new washing machine & funds unavailable)
This deliberate division between the poor hurt, sis, & survivor me, is corrupt of any base moral parenting & caring. It has hurt me all my life.
You are more than entitled to give your money to whoever you wish, this isn't about money. it's about YOUR FAILURE as a parent, & human being

sleeplessinsomewhere Wed 16-Jan-19 13:39:19

Good message.

She's actually harming your sister too. It's like giving an alcoholic a drink.

CAAKE Wed 16-Jan-19 13:38:11

*things (damn phone!)

CAAKE Wed 16-Jan-19 13:36:20

I've only just RTFT and I can recognise some of your DMs behaviour, OP.

I was the favoured child in our family, with a slightly different dynamic, however. My parents helped me to set up a business when I was 18 (in our home town) whilst my DS went off and joined the army at 17. DS was always emotionally and financially independent and my DM told me she felt a deep sense of loss at not being involved in her life.

This meant that DMs need to be involved in her adult childrens' lives (read: loved, needed, fulfilled by them) transferred entirely to me. DM was involved in every aspect of my business and my life in general until I was about 25 years old - when I grew tired of this suffocating family situation and relationship (and grew out of living in my home town!) and told DM and my Dad that I wanted to sell the business to travel the world and get on with my life, DM reacted in a very similar way to yours, OP. I was told I was selfish, ungrateful, irresponsible (for selling a good business), that I didn't love her, what would she do with her life now... etc etc.

I think your DM is attached to your DS in a very similar way. It's like an empty nest thing - your DS has needed her, this fulfils your DMs life as a continuation of mothering her as if she were still a little child. Your DM feels loved and fulfilled every time she comes to the rescue (i.e. throws money at her).

I think helping your DS to see that this is an unhealthy dynamic (you have been doing a sterling job of doing this so far!) is honestly the best thing you can do for everyone involved. The way I see it, it's up to your DS step up (as she did with Christmas - bravo to her 👏) to prove that she's now your DMs other adult child. Your DM needs to move on and find her own way in life as a mother of adult children. I simply don't think some mothers are able to make this transition naturally.

Anyway, thanks to you and your DS. I hope thinks get better soon.

gambaspilpil Wed 16-Jan-19 13:28:55

QueenofmyPrinces I feel for you and your sister as your DM truly doesnt appear to see anything wrong at all. You and your sister will have to work together to ensure she doesn't damage your DC relationship. Which she will do as she is saving for your sisters DC, how is she going to explain that to your DC when there older? Its very divisive and damaging

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Wed 16-Jan-19 12:53:58

I understand OP. Mine would never have said it in her younger days either; she did mellow over time though, when she realised what she stood to lose.

I hope your mother actually thinks about the message before responding and doesn't just fire off something angry; if she does, bear in mind that it is at least possibly the defensiveness talking and try not to let it hurt you too much.

I suspect that she does love both of you, but that she's very uncomfortable showing that in any way. Spending money on someone is an acceptable substitute, which is why she does so for your sister, but she's decided you don't need money and so consequently you don't get any love shown at all. Which is utterly shitty for you sad

QueenofmyPrinces Wed 16-Jan-19 12:43:27

I have sent the above text but instead of writing “asking for your love and support” at the end I have put “asking for your understanding.”

The original love/support sentence is far too ‘touchy feely’ for my mom to handle and isn’t something we would EVER say to each other.

If I ever implied that love was an emotion she should feel upwards her daughters I think she would feel very uncomfortable.

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Wed 16-Jan-19 11:44:58

I don't think I'd agree to an after work visit from her. She'll be tired, you'll be tired, plus she's only asked today so it gives you no time to mentally prepare. It's ripe for shouting and offence-taking, IMO.

If you do want to talk to her, make it the originally-offered both of you in a cafe option. Ideally in the morning so it can be over early! I'd say invite your dad and DSis but I doubt she'll go for that as she's very into divide and conquer, isn't she.

I might say, in a text:

Mum, I'm not upset about the money exactly. It's more that you clearly have thought about, planned for and spent time and energy caring about DSis and her DC, and it feels like that hasn't happened for me. It's just more of the same - she's the primary focus for you and me/my DC are an afterthought, if that. It would be lovely to feel like we were important to you and that we mattered as much as DSis/her DC do, but right now it doesn't feel like that at all. I'm hurt and asking for your support and love, but you're responding by telling me I'm wrong to do so. It's really upsetting.

Something like that anyway. It would be wonderful to knock her into 'mother' mode, to make her get that this is not about money but feelings.

NWQM Wed 16-Jan-19 11:22:11

P.s when you speak I’d try and use examples of what the money she is saving for rather than the savings. It’s not that she is saving in my opinion that’s the problem but that she fullly intends to make sure that x grandchild has driving lessons whilst assuming you can forward for y. How is y supposed to feel. I know that you unfortunately know all too well how they feel but she clearly doesn’t get it. We have a similar situation but luckily our in laws are a distance away so whilst we think hmmm our kids are sheilded from it a bit. We only think hmm because my in-laws bleat on about how they treat both sons and their kids the same but just don’t. I could give example example after.

NWQM Wed 16-Jan-19 11:17:48

I’m not sure I’d be able to resist hearing what nonsense she came up with next but would be tempted to say ‘you are always welcome hear as long as you are coming to talk about how you will demonstratable treat your grandchildren the same. I fear our relationships will never totally recover from your differing treatment of me and my sister but I am willing to try. i will not let x though go through what you have put me through. If you still want to chat then x time works for me.’

You are doing so well to stand up to this. Sending a virtual hug.

RandomMess Wed 16-Jan-19 11:14:50

I wouldn't have this convo whilst your DC are in the house tbh.

If your feeling to upset at the moment arrange it for next week.

Not sure how she can ever justify being so nasty towards your sis for the money but aside for DN...

QueenofmyPrinces Wed 16-Jan-19 11:03:41

My mom has just text me to ask if she can come to mine after she finishes work so we “try and sort this out.”

I haven’t replied because I don’t know what to say. I’m so tired and drained by it that I don’t think I can emotionally or physically take another round of it.

Part of me thinks I should see her and tell her how her actions have affected me and my sister (both as individuals and as a sibling relationship) but the other part of me wonders if there’s even any point sad

tinstar Wed 16-Jan-19 09:47:41

Drogo - this is about SO much more than money.

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Wed 16-Jan-19 09:45:58

Have you read the whole thread, Drogo? The OP has listed instances where she wasn't that financially secure and help would have been most welcome, but she wasn't offered any. Her DSis was, and is, and is being made to feel guilty for not wanting to accept money now. Also, it sounds like OP has had the short end of the stick in terms of simply feeling loved for many years as well.

RandomMess Wed 16-Jan-19 09:44:44

You can be angry at how she has been treating you! Having PND isn't her fault, the disparity between you is her choice, she has been told that her behaviour is hurting both of you and she is choosing to behave in an even nastier way...

She was unkind to both you during your whole childhood setting you up against each other, she wants this to continue- whether this stems from her PND or not she is a full grown adult and has had decades to deal with it.

I think you are struggling to be angry because it means accepting that she knows she is wrong but doesn't love you enough to deal with it perhaps?


Drogosnextwife Wed 16-Jan-19 09:35:58

God I hope when my children grow up, if one is much better off financially than the other and I need to help the other out with money throughout their life, their doing doesn't bitch and moan about it. You don't need the money, like you said you make a good living. I think you need to let it go and be glad that you have made a life for yourself where you don't need to take money from your parents.

QueenofmyPrinces Wed 16-Jan-19 09:21:21

Maybe you’re right - maybe she doesn’t like me.

As another poster has said, maybe she does harbour resentment to me because it was my birth that led to the PND and to her abandoning us for 8 months - although I hate using that world, I can’t be angry with her for that because it was an illness.

Maybe she has always felt guilt about leaving my sister and her decades of being her ‘saviour’ is her way of trying to redeem herself.

As an aside - my sister had never been married to the father of her children, they were just in a long term relationship and living together. The fact that my sister hadn’t done things “traditionally” (in my moms eyes) was another reason my sister had felt like a let-down to our mom. It was when they split up that my mom started putting money aside for my nieces and it coincidentally occurred around the same time (give or take 6-12 months) that my first child was born.

Mix56 Wed 16-Jan-19 09:19:50

Contessa may be on to something there

Mix56 Wed 16-Jan-19 09:18:52


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