Selfish Brother

by Kim
(New Jersey)

I am a nearly 50 year old married woman who lives in a mother /daughter home with a very controlling and active 75 year old mother. I have a 55 year old brother who lives with his family about an hour away, however his work is only 10 minutes drive from our home.


My mother has had several serious falls, breaking hip, femur bone on same side and knee. My brother and his wife's attitude is since I live so close to her and have no children, I have all the time in the world to assist to any issue that arises in the care for my mother. I have been the primary care taker in every fall my mother has had. I have lost two jobs as a result of taking care of her in the past. My brother could care less!

The last time she fell he finally provided me with some relief, by spending a few hours with her each week which included walking her dog for her during those few hours. I was still the one cooking meals, walking her dog several times per day, calling to arrange for care and generally being there for her around the clock.

Right now mother is active and in good health, however she is very controlling and opinionated and leaves my husband and I with very little privacy and time to our self. She is constantly knocking at our door, out of loneliness mostly.

She spends most of her time with one friend that is also active and "controlling" like her and the two of them enjoy ruminating on the negative of everything. My mother has always remained very close to me no matter what my living arrangements, she has always been very dependent upon me mostly for companionship.

However, now everything I say or do is annoying to her she has referred to me as a "Know it all" more than once. My brother is suddenly making a once a month visit with her which my husband and I call the "Kiss Up Visit", where my mother takes him out to dinner and they talk about my brothers problems and my mother gives him advise, and money for cigarettes and hair cuts! Suddenly my brother who has a history of ignoring and treating my mother badly has taken an interest in my mother, even his children who have not had anything to d with my mother have come out of the woodwork because they know she has inherited a large sum of money and they now want to get in her good graces so they will get a piece of the action when she passes. It is so obvious!

My mother treats my brother like royalty when he comes for his once a month visits, and treats me like I am a thorn in her side, when all I wanted to do was be there for her in her aging years. I resent my brother terribly and I am beginning to resent mother as well, for treating me the way she does, and my husband as well. My husband does all of the landscaping for her, yet if he does not do it on the day that he mentioned he would, she bad mouths him and calls him unreliable, yet she had a landscaper at one time that over charged her and didn't show up for weeks at a time and she keep him on.

We feel very unappreciated and taken advantage of by her. She is a bully. I am very worried about the future and how I will handle it all, is another crisis with her in the picture? Will my brother help or interfere in the end? Will I ever have a life of my own with my new husband?

These are all questions I ask myself every day. I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well that no one in my family seems to understand or acknowledge. What am I to do? I feel I have made a terrible decision with my living arrangement with her now.

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Get her to Move
by: Anonymous

I understand what you mean. I'm the grand child of a family just like this. My parents used to live only 20 minutes from my grand parents house. We would go over their and do all the house work, myself included.

But when we needed something it was always no sorry my uncle (who lived 3 hours away) needed help baby sitting or wanted them to come up and visit.

Never mind that we did literally every thing for them; mowed the lawn, cleaned the house, polished the silver wear, did the dishes, painted the shed ect. My uncle always came first. And when they came up they would always say that my grandparents did nothing for them because they were to busy helping us. That's bull.

We put our foot down. They decided to move away from us and still wanted us to come up and do all that shit for them. No dice. When I graduated collage they even had the nerve to tell me to move in with them when I told them before I entered collage I had to go were the jobs were.

I would suggest that if she loves living near her brother so much she can move in with them. She will find out like my grandparents did that the grass was greener on the side she was on.

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People Treat you the Way you Let Them
by: Anonymous

It seems that nice guys do finish last. I don't know why it is when you do nice things for people, you are quite often the ones who take the brunt of their nonsense.

I know you want to help but if the end results are disrespect, having people take advantage of you and ingratitude, perhaps it is time to reassess what you are doing. You can try and talk to your mother about her lack of respect.

Tell her you will no longer tolerate it and if she continues you will need to withdraw some of your help. Set boundaries and if they aren't respect, then perhaps a little distance is needed.

I don't care who your family is, no one should tolerate disrespect and abuse. Too often family thinks that is acceptable behavior and think all is forgiven because they are family. Everyone has the right to basic respect and fair treatment. We tolerate it more often because it is family but there is no obligation to do so.

At one time I was the one who family members came to for help. My husband wherever we could went out of way and helped. After my parents died, I was the one for the first time who needed a little support. Not one sibling had time to help me.

After fifty plus years I developed a back bone, set those boundaries and said no. They no longer speak to me, nor I to them. It took a while to get past it but in the long run I am happier and free of their manipulation. People treat you the way you let them.

I wish you luck with your issues. Family dynamics are hard to change, especially after so many years. More than likely your family won't change, you need to change what you do or how you react. Life is too short!

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Older Brother is the Worst!
by: Anonymous

Ever since my older brother got married, he rarely visits my parents. Now, my parents are starting to get old and want someone to take care of them. He is pushing all the responsibility onto me because I'm single. Right now I'm in between jobs, looking for a new one.

Only using the money that I have saved up in the past which isn't much. My sister in-law just had a baby 8 months ago and treats him like a king. Taking advantage of my good heart, they made me host and pay for their big baby shower party.

This would be okay if I had a job. Knowing I'm out of work and have a smaller budget they should have given me a smaller guest list but, no they didn't do that. Because the want to save money on buying their baby supplies, they decided to invite everyone they know. I can't sleep for days planning this huge party and they want good food and entertainment. I was mentally stressed out.

After they had my nephew, they found out he had eczema. Since then they have been clean freaks. They want to hire a maid to clean everyday because it's too tiring. To save money they decided to ask me to come over to mop their floor and wash and hand dry their clothes for them.

I live 30 minutes away from them and they want me to drive to their house and be their maid for free during the day and then go home to cook dinner for my parents. I thought that was insane and pretty selfish. My sister in law just sleeps all day while the baby sleeps. She can do all these house chores since it's her house plus she's a housewife.

She always uses the baby as an excuse to not do any work around the house. What am I? I have a college degree. Now, I'm reduce to being a maid and one that doesn't get paid. The weird thing is my parents support this spoiled brother.

Giving them money and offer any type of help they needed. They even have given them food that I buy for them. My parents always favored son over daughter. It's in our culture. If it's up to them, they will be living with my brother after they retired but, that's not going to happen because my sister-in-law do not like my parents.

From what I understand my parents think I was born to serve them and my brother. No one really cares about my feelings, happiness and future. Sorry for this long rant. I feel better now.

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I am on Your Side
by: Anonymous

I am in the same position as you are and my brother has been taking advantage of my good nature and feelings...caring and being there for him when his long time girl friend of 28 years past away...I ran my butt off for him only to find out recently how much he talks about me behind me back to my children and everyone in my family.

Whenever I speak he blazingly interrupts me...makes constant jokes about me and my deafness...turns his back on me when he speaks even though he knows I need to lip read and when I tell him to please not to do this he becomes to sarcastic that he yells into my face AS if I am retarded or something.

He never cared for my mother when she became sick... my husband and I did all the work caring for her. I had to place my mother into a nursing home and now he kisses up to her ...all I can see is how uncaring, selfish and unemotional he really is. He is very insecure and feeds his anger of on me.

I don't know how to be in his presence anymore and can't handle his cruel and insensitive nature anymore. Can someone give me some advice for the right thing to say to him so he would get the message how painful his behavior has been to me?

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