{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My sister and I are 29 and 31, respectively. I’m struggling with something that has irked me our entire lives. My parents pay for things like her dog’s medical bills, vacations and moving expenses. They always want to help. The problem is they’ve never offered to pay for those things for me, and I’ve never asked because I’m a fully grown adult and don’t want them to spend their retirement on us. She has savings and isn’t struggling financially. Why does this bother me so much?", "post_id": "60f3672f15a652002a1a8868", "reply_count": 71, "vote_count": 12, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "Coronavirus Work-life" }

My sister and I are 29 and 31, respectively. I’m struggling with something that has irked me our entire lives. My parents pay for things like her dog’s medical bills, vacations and moving expenses. They always want to help. The problem is they’ve never offered to pay for those things for me, and I’ve never asked because I’m a fully grown adult and don’t want them to spend their retirement on us. She has savings and isn’t struggling financially. Why does this bother me so much?

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Welcome to the “capable kid” club. Which isn’t even based on being any more capable, but just some weird dynamic where parents think one kid needs help or attention. My sibling had college and med school payment help, they paid her apt and bought her cars and such. Me? They just “knew I’d be fine.” I still remember sitting at her med school graduation that I flew in for on my own dime and having them announce some names of people not in attendance and my mom leaning over to say, “who’d miss their own graduation?!?!” “Me,” I said, “mine is tomorrow, but no one was coming.” I’ll admit it bothered me a lot at times. My husband even confronted them about it once, and a few times they were able to see the issue and say the right things. But it always goes right back. So I’ve let it go. I see them and interact with them on my terms. We aren’t close. My sibling is someone I don’t even think about or need to see. They always say they “wish we (sibs) were closer,” and I used to think that was bc they wanted a happy family, but now I think it may be that they just want me to step in and help her when they can’t. They talk about how lonely she is and how she has no friends and it’s up to family… Nope! Also, might not be a fit for you but look up the “scapegoat/hero” dynamic. A friend sent me an article on it and I’ve never felt more seen!

likesmartuplifting

It’s interesting but in my case i think it’s the opposite. Im 35 sister is 37. I live on a different country than my parents and doing well by myself my sister on the other hand is struggling with the most simple adulting During my whole childhood she was the one that my parents would do everything for. She would get better christmas gifts, the better room. She got a car as soon as she started driving and for me, I had to use hers if she was willing to. We had mad fights because she wouldn’t let me have the car even if she wasn’t using because she could need. And if my parents had to be a tie braker for any discussion most likely she would have it. They paid for her wedding, apartment, niece daycare. And the last time my dad visited me. After a few beers he told me how hard it was for him seeing my sister struggling with adulthood, but he was happy for me. And he said that he aways thought that she would be really successful and I’d be the one he would have to take care for life. At the time I took as a compliment and saw it as his way of saying he was proud of me. But the more I thought about the more angry I got with that. I don’t think he ever saw me for who I was. I always had been a curious and active kid. I started learning a new language when I was 9. Took guitar classes, I used to read a lot, was part of a rowing team. My sister on the other day never picked a book in her life except the obligatory ones from school, she never had a passion for anything, she spent her day watching friends and other similar bullshit. But for some reason my parents saw me as the problematic kid just because I was bad at math and physics(anything with numbers really). They also got me with weed when I was in college (it was my sister’s btw but I took the blame for her)

I’m almost in the exact same position. Except my sister is older. We both inherited a small lot from my grandfather, we built two townhouses there to sell, and the money should be equally shared between my sister and me, right around the same time she got married. She always said that she didn’t want a huge party but ended up doing a monstrous party that my dad paid for, but he took part in the houses' money to pay for it. After my sister got married, my dad paid for the down payment of her apartment, and she would pay just the mortgage. When I decided to get married, my wife and I didn’t want to use our parent's money and decided we wanted a small (tiny actually) dinner to celebrate. I bought an apartment with the money with my share of the house, which I had invested. So I could afford a bigger apartment, which I renovated precisely the way we wanted, and my wife and I were even able to afford a honeymoon to Patagonia. Well, one day after I finished renovating my apartment my parents called me asking to switch my apartment with my sister’s because she just had a baby. And they got really offended when I refused, saying I wasn’t being reasonable. They still pay for a lot of things for her, including my niece education. The irony is that my sister now suffers a lot with not being able to be independent. She is talented and make decent money but she never learned to manage things for herself, she doesn’t know how to fill her own taxes because my dad always did for her, she open her own practice and didn’t know she had to send paperwork to her accountant (that my dad introduced) she thought that the accountant would do everything for her like my dad always did.

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Switch houses?!??! Nonono. I could totally see me folks pulling that one too, though. They got me to buy my sib a car while I was in grad school and taking the train to class. Yep, I paid for their car on my student loan money! Crazy to think about now that I paid for that car for like 15 years (as part of my loan repayment) and never drove it once! Never offered any repayment even when they graduated and bought a 3 bedroom house with their signing bonus!

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This feels like the relationship between Ferris Bueller and his sister.

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Dude something probably happened and you probably don’t want to know. Just let it be.

likesmart

Nothing from my life, but I’ve got a friend who got molested so the parents take it really easy on them and help them out a lot even in their late 20s as they have a soft spot for what had happened

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Life goes on. Can’t use up your energy on situations like this.

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That’s for everyone else to figure out depending on their solution. But the best revenge is a life well lived, as cliche as it sounds.

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When you say “our entire lives” do you mean your entire post-college lives? Growing up did they treat you equally as far as paying for clothes and entertainment, car expenses, college, etc?

likeupliftingfunny

OP: Do you ever call your sister out on it?

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Similarly estranged from a younger sibling as they seem to turn everything into a rivalry. I'm not sure when it began as well got along very well as kids, but it's to the point where I had to set some boundaries and those have now included taking some time apart. It all came to head when they were going through some things and made the comment "I won't be the parent's favorite anymore." Which is a comment I still find odd years later because I never felt we were in competition. But it confirmed some behavior I witnessed and that my spouse noticed. At the end of the day, I have a beautiful family with three kids and I choose to make that my priority. I now spend very little time or attention thinking about my childhood family and the drama it creates for itself. I have found peace by distancing. Maybe some distance will help in your situation as well.

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She’s my only sibling though.

I’ve experienced the same with my younger sister. As we got older, it wasn’t about money so much as, they spent more time watching her kids etc vs mine. I think it’s because I appear more “capable” or independent, so that could be why for you too? It made my relationship with my sis harder for a while but eventually I just gave up caring. I 100% recommend taking that approach. Life’s too short to be worried about unfairness between siblings.

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F here. My parents paid for (and still do, on occasion) my sister and brother’s stuff. I even paid for my own college but they paid my siblings. It’s some real BS. I think sometimes it is because I’m super independent and capable, so they don’t think I need it. And I’m certainly too proud to ask. But it does irk me.

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I’m 37 and my parents have financially assisted my younger brother and sister ever since college. My brother because he lives locally to them and my sister because she is the youngest. I’m the oldest and I get nothing. Does this bother me? Nope. I’m further along in my career than them, I live my life not tied to what my parents want and I enjoy my freedom. Enjoy your life and don’t get bothered what your sister gets.

likesmart

If it bothers you just ask them about it

likesmart

I used have a similar situation to this with my bio brother and my step siblings (still happens, just don’t care as much). In my early 20’s it used to bother me a lot having to save and sacrifice somethings until I could afford it, while my siblings didn’t have a care in the world and played life with Monopoly money. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found worrying about fairness and who gets what is toxic and just given up caring. The only thing that frustrates me about it now is my dad having to put off retirement because my step siblings haven’t figured out how to be independent earners into their late 20’s. But honestly my gf and I sit back and watch our own personal soap play out. Since our lives are relatively drama free it’s entertaining to watch and the twists are always unexpected.

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Share some popcorn? I have some stories too….

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I have no good advice but just here to say that this is my life too. I’ve been totally independent since my early 20s, but my brother, who’s almost 30 now, is still being supported by my parents. Yeah I make more than he does, but why should I be punished for that? I live overseas while they’re in the same city, but again, why is that grounds for unfair treatment? For my own mental health I probably should try to be the bigger person and let it go, but it’s harder than it sounds like. Maybe I should go to therapy and ask my parents to pay for it?

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It is hard to get to where you aren’t bothered by it. Even talking it through with a friend or partner who sees it and validates it is helpful.

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My sister and I - same. Also two years apart. My mom gave my sister 20 grand because she needed a new house. I asked and she said she couldn’t. I did address it and my mom and dad both said that I was self sustaining so they never thought I needed anything. And I told them they were right… still would have died for an offer of help. It came to a head when I was helping with their wills and my mom wanted to carve out her jewelry for my sister - I was like fine (even though I have a wife that would love it) and I said, let’s just offset it with cash. She looked at me and was like - why? It was like 20 grand and the house Loney and and and. At the end of the day - they can do what they want but man it can suck. My sister now has a crutch called my parents.

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My parents have provided a lot more for my older brother for as long as I can remember. However, doesn’t bother me much - I’ve always kind of thought this shows they feel he is less capable to go the independent route. For me personally, I love being able to handle my own responsibilities (and not feeling that I owe them, which I think is something he carries). May be worth a gentle/open conversation with your parents if it’s getting to you.

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My father and his younger half brother were treated differently, my uncle receiving much more financially . I honestly believe it was because my uncle is gay and my grandparents felt he was treated differently in life and therefore tried to make up for it. I will warn you that after my grandparents died, my uncle has had trouble living in the life style he was accustomed. Parents aren’t perfect - maybe they think something happened and they are making up the difference? You are smarter, prettier whatever? It is their money to do what they will. Subsidizing your sister isn’t doing her any favors - this isn’t great but it’s their problem. In the words of Elsa, let it go.

likesmart

Same here. I had no idea this was so common. But I pay all my own bills. But my parents significantly subsidize my sibling. They paid my college. But they paid my sibling's college and also law school. You would think the lawyer of the family makes enough money to support themselves but no. It really sucks and I constantly tell myself to let it go, and it's still very hard to let go, and you probably can't ever really put it out of your head because you just keep getting reminded of it, all of the time. Yes my sibling has a lot of problems, of their own making, a long strong of bad choices in life. So they get the help. It's not fair. But that's what parents do. It's not like a parent is going to let their kid starve if they can help it. And too few parents understand when to try "tough love".

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You're parents are playing favorites and that's not cool. Blame your parents, not her

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It probably bothers you because while life is unfair, it’d be nice if family would at least try to treat siblings fairly. I wouldn’t let this bother you though because there’s nothing you can do about it and you’re just investing more of your emotions into a situation that can’t be fixed. You can simply tell your parents to ask your sister for help if they ever come to you in the future. The dog’s medical bills, vacation, moving expenses, etc. are the reasons why.

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