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Elderly parents

Favourite Child

4 replies

carole10 · 24/07/2013 10:02

I am at my wits end with my sister. She has lived abroad for many years and lost her house because she cannot handle money. She is also divorced and visits home about every 18 months which usually results in an argument with my parents.
She recently told them they favoured me. I am younger by 10 years. live close to my parents, value money and am able to afford being semi-retired. These are the issues she presented to my parents as evidence that I am favoured.

  1. They always take my side in an argument.
  2. There are photos of me in the house but none of her.
  3. They praise my caring nature.
  4. They accompany me on holiday to USA every year rather than visiting her in Singapore.
  5. Nothing she ever does is good enough.

    Last time she visited home I went abroad myself to get away from the drama. Mum phoned me 5 times in 2 weeks and sister commented that Mum speaks to her once a fortnight on the phone for about 8 minutes.
    Mum said she was very quiet, hardly speaking to them and never divulging information about herself when they asked.
    When I came back from holiday my sister who stayed with my parents went out for the day and they phoned me and asked me to come round as they wanted to see me and ask about my holiday. When I got there they asked that I didn't tell my sister I had been around. Then Dad said that maybe I should say I phoned them and asked to come around. What are they playing at? Why are they hiding things from her?
    Also when I did see my sister she offered to shake my had and said "I cannot compete with you?" How childish she is.

    At a family meal I felt obligated to melt into the background so she could have the limelight. Parents sometimes feel guilty about her and Mum apparently said to her on the phone "We do talk about you see" which is rather patronising as they are having to reassure her she has some significance. I am expected to be understanding of such instances such as Mum saying she liked my sister's jacket at the family meal. She would not praise me in the same open way because it would upset my sister. Mum said to me she just cannot connect with my sister despite trying to.
    I am sick of these chirades but I also don't like my sister because she has caused lost of problems, borrowing money and not paying it back for years. She is also very bossy and arrogant and makes a point of contradicting everything I say. Help please. Am I the favourite?
OP posts:
Heti · 24/07/2013 17:08

Sometimes people are easier to get on with - not demanding, interesting and not needy, this sounds like you. I have had a lot of friends in the past who have been needy, needed that reassurance and when I gave it to them it just back fired in my face.
I recently worked with a girl who had a similar problem with her in-laws where they treated her sister in law much better than they treated her husband, she tried to point it out to them and it has all gone wrong and her husband is now isolated from her family.
I would say your sister needs to do something to deserve the attention from your parents whether it's stand on her own two feet or call them to tell them what interesting things she has been doing rather than sitting in silence.
You could tell her this as if she realises she's at fault it will make her a better person in the long run - you might need a hard hat or you could say "My 'friend' is really annoying me, she doesn't think her family care about her.......blah blah blah Smile and deliver it to her that way.
Your parents obviously don't want to offend her but I would say you are the favourite as they are confiding in you.

whataboutbob · 26/07/2013 13:28

It sounds like your sister is high maintenance and may have some self destructive habits which you understandably disapprove of. Your parents being cagey about you coming round could be because she had some kind of show down and accused them of favouritism.
I don't have a sister but from what I have observed in my family between aunts and also my grandmother and her sisters, this kind of dynamic can be quite damaging and endure right into old age. One of the sisters will feel short changed, less supported and bear grudges , another goes through life wishing her sister would just grow up and stop being a pain. I don't want to give inappropriate advice, but if you can find any way of getting some distance towards this problem and the strong emotions your sister arouses in you, while indicating to her that you do respect her and she is entitled to her choices (not easy, I realise) it might all work out better in the log run. If she feels disapproved of etc she might keep coming back trying to get some kind of emotional payback.

greenfolder · 08/08/2013 06:35

You and I are in the same position. I have 2 siblings, one buggered off to the other side of the world. My sister lives about 20 miles away. Christmas, birthdays keeping tabs on health and providing company all fall to me. I am accused of being the favourite- my view is you get out of a relationship what you put in. You can't expect, for example, to move 12000 miles and find it unfair that a sibling sees more of a parent. Your sis sounds like a nightmare-be glad she lives in singapore!

higgle · 08/08/2013 15:31

I'm in the same position as your sister! Elderly mother, I live some distance away (but in UK) and visit when I can. I also do all the arranging re benefits etc for DM. My brother and his wife live close by and they get her shopping (would be better if they took her with them) and s-I-l is paid to do her housework. They have been elevated to sainthood by my mother, everything about them is to be admired, and every minor difficulty they have is to be deeply pitied. None of my achievements or indeed those of my children ("they are intelligent, it is no effort to them") count for anything. Now DM is unwell and the family expect me to do my bit, I'm finding it difficult to see that it is anything to do with me as I have ben systematically edited out of my family for years.

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