Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Overbearing controlling big sister strikes again(34 Posts)
I am a regular on here but when mentioned my sisters lavish gifts have been accused of being a troll I am not
Last year my sister bought dd a horse without telling me as she knew I would of said no
She paid for us to go to Florida costing me thousands in park tickets
And paid for ds to join a golf club in which I have to take him to lessons
All of these were without telling me first she just announced them in front of the kids on Christmas Day
She means it in a nice way she is incredibly generous and has a great relationship with my kids
I said to her this year no pets or surprise holidays please so what does she go and do book for us all to go to Tobago announces it on Christmas Day in front of the kids. I try and bite my tongue said I hadn't even booked the time off work dd went into a melt down crying saying she won't let us go she's horrible meaning me. Dh takes her sobbing into the other room while I get called ungrateful controlling unable to handle surprises by my sister and mum. I left to feed the cat and it's not been mentioned since
Why can't she understand I don't want to be told where I am going on holiday and when every year. I am happy to go away with her and my mum but would like a say in it. I feel once again backed into a corner as she has involved the kids before asking me
Her and my mum will stick together and I will be the bad guy no matter what I do
I don't want her working 7 days a week when she's not in the best of health to pay for such a lavish holiday which I don't even think the kids will enjoy. It's a villa in the middle of know where with a beach. Dd 15 and ds 11 will be bored
She just takes over my life in general books the kids hair appointments while she's there which means I have to take them and pay for them. She is forever organising stuff which she feels is being helpful or nice but I resent being told what to do
I am dreading discussing this with her as she is the type of person who is always right and I know she was being nice but its the way she goes about things
she wasn't being nice.
she knows you don't like this stuff.
she doesn't care
she knows it causes problems for you
she doesn't care
she knows it ends up costing you money you really don't have
she doesn't care
what part of any of that is nice?
I would pull back from the lot of them
She takes over your life because you let her.
You don't have to do what she says.
She makes appts - cancel them.
She arranges something - don't do it.
You don't actually have to obey her.
This is in part your doing. You fall into line and you help create these issues.
You cannot force her to change but you can change and control yourself.
Begin by not following orders.
She may mean well. She may be a horrible cow who enjoys the feeling of control. Honestly I don't think anybody on the internet can determine for you which is more likely, and in a way it doesn't really matter.
Bottom line is you can't change her behaviour, only your responses.
So, you explain to your children that although it was very nice of her to offer to take you on the holiday, you and DH need to find out if you can take the time off work and what it will cost you as the aunt isn't covering all of the costs. Then you and DH discuss it and decide whether or not to go. Your children are old enough to understand (away from the frenzy of Christmas and your sister getting them worked up) that sometimes things are too expensive or not possible.
I'm guessing you'll decide not to go.
You then communicate with your sister - clearly and calmly. You TOLD her not to organise any surprise holidays. You can't go on this one because x, y, z. In future she should check with you in advance because she is causing upset for the children.
And then stick to that approach every time!
Just say no, I can't get the time off work.
Don't take them to hair appointments you haven't arranged.
Bloody hell, she's a piece of work!!
She is MONSTROUSLY controlling. Not nice at all!
She's clever, I'll give her that. Manipulative doesn't even come close. She's got you totally stitched up. I'd keep the kids away from her iiwy or you could be facing losing your kids to her as she swoops in at their most vulnerable to manipulation teenage years.
She is a nightmare on stilts.
She is tying to take control of your children and if you don't stand up to her they will be living with her by time they are 18. She might have all the money in the world but doesn't have her own family and she is taking yours by stealth.
MN is full of threads where their teenagers are living with one of their parents, grandparents, aunts etc due to parental alienation. This is a phenomenon which usually happens between separated parents but also happens with other family members.
Pay attention to what Springy said because this is what is actually going on. You need to get on top of this now or you will be the outsider in your own children's lives.
This isn't about the horse or the holidays or the golf club, it is about control and you need to wrestle is back immediately.
This happened to one of my closest friends and her life as their mother was destroyed by what happened to her children as a result of their father and grandmother's manipulation.
Her now adult children ended up with serious mental health issues over their treatment at the hands of their father and grandmother and the guilt they felt over their alienation of their mother who was a wonderful kind loving mother. Take it very seriously.
Its time to stand up for yourself and say NO.
It's going to cause a furore but it needs to happen. Explain to your children in detail the reality and real cost that these surprise trips end up costing you.
Your sister and mum will likely fall out with you. Tough shit. You aren't going to be controlled anymore.
Gifts that cost the recipient (or in the case of gifts to DCs, the recipient's parent) extra money in order to benefit - those are not gifts. Gifts do not come with obligations.
You need to stand up to this unreasonable behaviour.
She's really unpleasant isn't she, as is your Mum.
It's your life, your DC, you and your DH should be making these choices and decisions not them!!!
You posted about this exact same issue before....what advice did you put into practice from that thread?
No matter what gifts/holidays etc they arrange - you always have the choice to say 'no' and mean it. YOU are the parent.
Your sis is trying to create a wedge between you and your dc, hence why she blatantly 'ignores' you.
that's also why she is deliberately involving your dc before getting your go-ahead, emotional blackmail to force you into submission.
How difficult is it to say 'no, we can't accept that gift' and stand by it?
Yea your dc will be upset but they need to learn about respect and boundaries - esp with toxic relatives.
STOP accepting the gifts!
You're the one enabling her behaviour.
the baby jesus could come down from heaven on a cloud on Christmas day and tell me he has booked a holiday to Tobago and I would still say no thanks.
She is a piece of work and would have been relegated to a very controlled corner of my life long since - the corner that doesn't include christmas and in which my children understand that she doesn't get to decide on their sports or holidays. or their haircuts ffs.
If you drag yourself and your family off to Tobago now, you can kiss goodbye to any autonomy in your own life. Your mother has clearly already done a number on you and your family dynamic is very fucked up but how on earth does your husband put up with this? Mine would have laughed at her and told her to enjoy the horse herself.
She isn't being nice - she is being a complete bitch to you and it is about time you told her and told her to back off.
You don't have to take your Dc to Tobago, Disneyworld, the hairdresser, or to the golf club, if you don't want to. You know that, right? Even if your sister was actually paying for it, which she's not, is she? You are. So it's not a gift at all, is it?
FFS. You've posted about this exact issue previously. Why post again if you're not going to actually DO anything about it.
This is extremely narcissistic, manipulative behaviour. Can I assume said 'aunt' has no children and probably wishes she did. Started being the wonderful aunt who gives amazing pressies and your kids adore and its just escalated?? Understanding why she does it probably doesn't help practically though.
You need to be really calmly clear with her.
You will not be going to Tobego. You can't get the time off, its too expensive etc. Next time any possible holidays should be discussed and agreed between adults, and you will tell your children.
She will no longer make your children's hair appointments! This is bonkers. Each time she does, call and cancel.
Discuss presents and a financial limit.
You need to set clear boundaries with your children and remind her that she is their aunt, not their mother.
You can explain that you appreciate her generosity, but maybe suggest the generosity of her time as you are trying to teach your children the value of money. So instead of expensive gifts, a day craft making or baking will mean so much more to your children. If she gives them expensive gifts then explain that you are unable to accept them as you are instilling values and morals in your children and she needs to respect that.
Her behaviour is very unusual and not nice at all, has she always been like this?
You need to start putting up boudaries now. When she calls to say she has booked a hair appointment say no. No sister, unbook it, or pay for it, my children won't be attending.
What does your husband say? He needs to be on your side and back you up. Sorry, that's not the sort of holiday we were looking at, we wanted to go away with just us this year. Sorry we can't afford that present because we hadn't factored in the upkeep money / time to take them to that club.
She's competing with you for your children's love and attention and she's winning, isn't she? You're letting her win.
There's absolutely nothing "nice" about this. It's as sinister as you refuse to believe it is.
The best way to take control is to start asking her for specific stuff. So, come October 2017 say how you need a new car / need an extension for your house / new kitchen (or something else expensive that you do need or really want) and would love if she could help out.
If she refuses and buys something else extravagant, then start telling your relatives that whilst you really appreciate her generosity, you'd asked DSis to help out with something practical and can't understand why she spent her money frivolously.
All of a sudden she's no longer the super auntie, but a person who doesn't know the value of money and doesn't listen to her sister. If you start asking for things, she may even decide she'd rather keep her money to herself if she can't use it to control you. And nothing you have done makes you appear ungrateful.
Your sister buying your dd that bloody horse almost cost you your marriage. Her buying you a holiday costs you thousands in ride tokens. The gold club membership probably hundreds in lessons. Is she trying to ruin you because that is what it feels like reading your posts x
Yes she is single no kids and 45 so most of her friends are married or with someone so she doesn't really have anyone to go on holiday with although she didn't come with us to Florida. She does baking and took them swimming while I was at work the other day. She has previously got herself in some real financial pickles as she is so generous so that is always at the back of my mind although she is earning a lot at the moment.
Then tell her that you are happy to go with her if she consults you first, love the fact that she does baking and spends time with the kids and that you love her for the little things she does and not for the crazy large gestures that impact your life negatively x
That's why I don't think she has done this to be nasty she would give anyone her last dime and do anything for anyone. Our friends boiler broke she offered to lend her the money to get it fixed. My mother in law wanted to go to church the other day but the weather was bad my sister dropped her off and picked her up after the service. She is very kind hearted but I feel she takes over and organises me constantly and I asked her not to surprise me again. Had we of discussed it without the kids I would have felt differently my mum is getting on and has major heart surgery a few years ago so won't be around or able to go on holidays forever so I am happy for us all to go away but it's the way she goes about it that annoys me
Hand on heart - I would not accept such gifts. I hate being beholden to anyone or have gratitude expected of me. I will pay my own way.
Until you learn to put your foot down and say no, I fear any advice is futile.
I remember reading your thread last year in utter disbelief (just a turn of phrase, I believed you).
Lol ella some people on here didn't believe me which I get as it's not exactly normal to buy horses and holidays as Christmas presents
Why doeshould she spend Christmas with you ?
She would banned in my house.
As with other posters' advice, I would say you need to pull back from her if you want things to change. You don't have to accept the gifts or go on the holidays.
Since her MO is to force you to agree by springing these things on you on Christmas day in front of the kids, how about not spending Christmas day with her? Yes, she'll probably pick another time to do it but at least your Christmas day won't be ruined.
It's not a nice thing to do when you have repeatedly asked her not to do it - at best it's thoughtless, but really it sounds very controlling. Since your mum colludes with her and gangs up on you with her, what positive things do you gain from continuing to spend time with the pair of them? I would also agree with other posters and worry about them driving a wedge between you and your kids, intentionally or not.
Join the discussion
Please login first.