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My Parents Enable My Adult Sister

My sister is 4 years younger then me I am 27. My sister does one terrible thing after another, and my parents forgive and forget. My sister has a baby she doesn't take care of my mom does. She goes from one guy to another, and throws the whole family under the bus when she gets into new relationships, and as soon as she is sick of them or the other way around she wants to be your best friend again. She talks bad about the family and just can't be trusted. My parents give her whatever she wants and forgets all the bad things that she has done to all of us. And they get mad at me because I don't want anything to do with her. Please help me!
faye83 faye83 26-30, F 15 Responses Jul 28, 2011

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I have two adult brothers 49 and 45 who are irresponsible dont have jobs and are living off my mother. they both have kids and my fear is that if i have a relationship with them, down the road when my mother is gone, I will be stuck takimng care of them and their 4 kids. My mother is mad at me all the time. There is no trust in our family because anything I say to her in confidence gets back to the rest of the family. How can I have a relationship with these people?

Look, I feel you. My brother is 18 and completely irresponsible, immature, and a real bully. He gets away with a lot, mostly because he intimidates others to get his way. So, my situation is different in that my parents don't favor him, they're just scared of or tired of dealing with his temper tantrums. He acts ridiculous, gets in people's faces and yells and threatens, etc. I really don't know how to fix it and I think the only option is to be patient and hope he gets it on his own. You know what I mean? He's past the age where he can be taught how to treat others. His behavior has already been ingrained into him. I hope that one day he gets knocked down a peg, so that he realizes how it feels - though that may not work either considering the reason he bullies people now is because he was bullied because of his size when he was little.

my fiancee is in a similar situation. Except he is the baby He has an older brother and his parents let him get away with everything. Gave him everything and they still do even though he is 27 . They still pay for his cell phone, car insurance and paid for all 6 years it took him to finish his bachelors degree. They even bought him 3 cars and helped buy his fourth after he wrecked each one of them. When he was in college even though it was close to his home his parents still payed outrageous rent. When my fiancee had break when we were in college and I would go to his house his brother would be there needing a crap load of money, or rent and he would take all the groceries in the house or what ever he needed. I remember one time he asked for scotch tape and all the the pop and Gatorade they had int he house then before he left his dad handed over 200 dollars and check for rent. My fiancee is still on the very 1st car which was his mothers and he got it almost 4 years ago, and its 12 years old. There is so many problems with the car he can't afford it. His parents did pay for fixing it but are stupid because they paid way more to fix it than its actually worth. It stil has problems but they told him that they would give him his dad old car, his brother ahs still gotten 2 more cars out of them. I know he his four years younger but they told him this was the last one. They do pay for his college, cell phone and gas but my fiancee never uses his phone so they only 10.00 and I know gas is high but they pay no rent for him and has gotten scholarships that paid for 25% of his tuition. They gave his brother a brand new laptop when he graduated that cost 1000 dollars but my fiancee had to use all his money from graduation gifts and his paretns paid the rest on a 500 laptop. His dad is a compute and buisness teacher and the state requires limited certification, he isn't qualified to teach computer but several years ago they were desprate for anyone to take the job and thats how he got it. His parents have taught him to settle for any job that makes money even if its not what you want as long as you have money, long term your goal should be to have enough money you don't fight. Well that has taught his older brother that he should work at resuraunt making minimum wage that doesn't pay his bills because mom and dad will take care of the rest. But now that Russell's getting ready to graduate they told him he should find a place he wants to work at the rest of his life! hes 22, he has no idea where he wants to go. They have always given his older brother what ever he wanted but my fiancee is stuck getting second best because they have learned form his brother.

I have one of those. I wish we could send them to an island for brats.

Rescuing a demanding, unappreciative, and irresponsible person never feels good. And it does nothing to develop relationships and only reinforces irresponsibility.

I have been in a similar situation all my life. Only I have an older sister who is my parents's favourite and a younger one who feels satisfied picking up the crumbs. I can not understand the younger one and I can not like either of them. The older one is just using what life is serving to her in a form of overindulging parents. In years of this circus show I have come to understand that parents in real life don't really love all their kids the same. It has little or nothing to do with the kids. It is about the specific circumstances of the time in their life when the kid was born etc. Maybe they were overwhelmed at that moment, had one too many kids or something similar. In any case, they didn't bond with that child. In my case I assume it was my little sister being on the way so soon, living with my grandmother and also my unfortunate resemblance to my fathers cold and disinterested mother. It's ok though.. I have my own family now and am trying my best not to carry that plague into the next generation.

Unconditional love, as several people have used here, does not mean giving tacit or implicit approval of a person's behavior. Neither does being "forgiving." Your sister has a responsibility not only to herself, but to her child and her family. Being a leech, being a non-involved mother of a child, being self-absorbed, alienating family members simply because you have your own selfish desires, etc. does not constitute being responsible. Your love for her does not have to condone or accept her behavior. Nor do you have to "forgive" her for her behavior. <br />
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I strongly beg to differ with these people who say "be patient, she'll come around, and she'll thank you for it in the end." There is absolutely no way for any of these people to know something like that. You know your sister better than anyone on this forum--what does *YOUR* HEART tell you about this situation? Has she EVER given you any indication that she wants to straighten up? That she even knows what that would look like? If not, then what many of these people are saying is, at most, wishful thinking. It may be that your sister needs a serious wake-up call to get her act together.<br />
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You are in a unique situation. Your parents behave the way they do because that is THEIR child. You, on the other hand, are her sister. It's a different relationship. Assuming there is no and has never been any sibling rivalry between the two of you, that gives you a bit of ob<x>jectivity about the situation. Do YOU believe that she will ever change her ways? If not, then you have to decide whether or not you will allow her behavior to affect you. It may mean just ignoring it. It may mean cutting your contact altogether. It may mean something in between, and only you can determine what that should be. Whatever you choose might be temporary, until such time as she SEES the effect her behavior is having, or permanently if she NEVER gets a clue. Unfortunately, because of the way your parents behave towards you because of how you react to your sister, it means you'll likely have to make a similar decision concerning them. Personally, I think it is very unfair for them to get upset with you for being upset over your sister's behavior. You didn't bring your sister into the world...they did. They aren't at liberty to deny you your honest feelings on the subject (any more than the other people posting here are). It might be worthwhile to have a heart-to-heart discussion with them and let them know how this situation is making you feel, and that getting mad at you for having honest feelings isn't just inappropriate, but downright rude. At the very least, they may just stop involving you in that mess so you don't have to be concerned about it.<br />
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I know people will likely lash out at me for these comments, but I really don't care. I felt there needed to be a bit of balance here. Families are not fairy tales. Sometimes is no happy ending. Sometimes, they are really messed up. While optimism is good, you also have to keep your feet on the ground and be practical and pragmatic about the situation.

Thank you for your understanding, and kind words mdmann. Unfortunately nobody really knows what one is going through or how someone really feels on this site or in the world. People may be telling their story out of anger, or this may be the only way to vent and get it off their chest because everyone else is in denial and would rather live life as their are no problems. From day to day I feel alone in this cycle, and I do wish I could figure out a way to live my life without the decisions my parents make affecting me. I sit here and watch my sister who cares only of herself screw my parents from day in and day out, and it hurts to see how my parents are just as immature as she is. And I don't care about this well that's their child and they love her unconditionally and you don't understand what they are going through. If they would just say no to her for once and let her hit rock bottom by herself, there could be a big possibility of her getting better.

Hi fay83. Yeah, I hear you. There once was a frequently used phrase to describe what you talk about in your last sentence--"tough love." As I was saying, sometimes, people need a wake-up call. Letting your sister hit rock bottom is exactly what I meant. That's the "tough" part. The "love" part is being there to help them get back on their feet and to accept the lesson. Enabling a person's damaging behavior is NOT love.

Your point about watching your sister screw your parents over and how it hurts you to see them allow this is very poignant. I've experienced the same thing with my parent's behavior toward each other as well as with certain friends. Sometimes, it just seems that certain people need drama in their lives else they don't feel fulfilled. I can't stand drama at all. I don't put up with drama. If you don't want such drama, it is your right to not have it in your life. You do have control over this, though it may mean making some very tough choices that don't go over well with others.

Hang in there, and take care of yourself first.

My husbands baby sister is the only girl in the family, consequently his mother will do anything to keep his sister happy. She is a miserable B!TCH! No matter what, her home and furniture isn't good enough, her car isn't new enough, her children must be perfectly dressed all the time, etc. My MIL bends over backwards to try and keep her daughter happy; financially and emotionally. My husband knows his sister is completely crippled emotionally by their mother's favortism. She's an immature 30 year old. BUT there is a price she will pay. My MIL makes sure that her daughter feels indebted to her for eveything she does and my MIL is just as needy of her daughter as her daughter is of her. It's reciprical. My MIL needs her daughters love , her daughter needs her mother's money. My husband is sure his sister feels sufficated by their mother.

I'm sorry you're having to cope with this situation, and understand how difficult it can be. I've had a similar situation within my family, and it has the potential to cause a great deal of suffering.<br />
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Do your parent's actions towards your sister impact you - in any other way besides what you've stated?<br />
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If not, then it seems you've got some acceptance to do.<br />
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Please try to understand that each one of us has an inherent right to walk a path through this lifetime - of our own making. Your parents have a right to do as they see fit - where your sister is concerned, regardless of how anyone else views their actions. It is pretty easy to write - yet sometimes incredibly hard to put into practice.<br />
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Your ability to either accept the situation - for what it is - is important because this lack of acceptance is impacting your ability to cope with your own life situations. Practice detachment from your sister - and your parents, by simply allowing them to live their lives as they see fit. Hopefully, they will respect your desires and allow the relationship with your sister to run it's natural course.<br />
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If they don't respect your desire to leave her be, then they also have that right. I'd also recommend that you work to establish some personal boundaries between yourself and your family members.<br />
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If your parents insist on "shoving your sister down your throat," then effective personal boundaries can stop these intrusive overtures dead in their tracks. Your personal boundaries are YOUR responsibility - and it's really up to you to determine what you will - and what you won't tolerate, then assert your right appropriately.<br />
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I'd also strongly recommend that you purchase a copy of "The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families." This book describes your exact situation and offers some important insights into - how some families operate. <br />
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I sincerely wish you the best of luck, and hope you eventually come to peace with your family situation.

If sisters relationship often carry such differences like you and your so call drama queen sister, I am the so call drama queen in the relationship between me and my younger sister.

Like you, she got jealous and question why I usually get all the help and attention I don't deserve. Her view really bothers me because, we all weant love and attention from our parents, and how my parents treat me is really up to them. I never ask them for it, although the rough way I live my life may have caused them to care for me more. I never intend for that to happen and there isn't much I can do. Actually, I often feel suffocated and under pressured due to their excessive attention my parents give me. I wish they could just leave me alone a little, let me loose a little because everyone make mistake as part of growing up. It's just that "Me" making mistakes seem to be their worst nightmare or something.

About my sister, our relationshipo is now broken for 9 years. She became violent toward me but then again, my parents' reaction torward her heartless actions, was as difficult to understand as how their reaction toward my way of life....sigh...

They say I should forgive my sister and continue to accept her as a sister. But after she treated less than an enemy, an object of bullying action? I don't know how.

I hope you find a peaceful way to live alongside with your family. Find a way to live that help you put more "focus" on your own life, not on hers. Care less about "how" your parents treat her, or "how" she lives her life.

People have choices to make and circumstances they themselves cannot change. Don't put yourself in a position to change others or their situatioans. It is not your job. Sticking your nose in it only hurt you and others. Goodluck.

Still hurting from bad sisters relationship., xuan

I have a half sister. The only time she wants to talk to our father is when she wants money from him. Thankfully she lives in a different state. Are you able to get your own place? If you can, get some distance from her. Then you will have less exposure to her drama queen life style. Still talk to her when she calls, text her from time to time, and talk to her when you visit your parents. Let her dig her own hole. If she has a huge problem she wants you help her out with just tell her" sorry I cant help you with that, Mom and Dad have more experience in that area." If its just a little problem maybe you could help her out? Totally up to you. Love her from afar. And if you can't move out.... and she is having a drama queen fit, look at your watch (even if you don't have one pretend you do) and say" Oh look at the time, I have a thing to get to!" and just leave. Get a i-pod, a gym membership that's open 24-7, pump some iron, they got a punching bag then pretend its her face. Its a great stress reliever! Trust me I speak from experience! Or say I'll be back later, I have something to do. Just go for a drive, get a coffee, massage, friends house. Just remove yourself from the drama if it gets too bad for you. Your parents will wise up one day, just keep yourself out the picture most of the time and they will sick of her. Good luck to you, I hope I was able to help you a little. Take care.

Your parents cannot buy affection. They will get fed up of it eventually. She is a lead weight round their necks and she should be looking after them not the other way round.<br />
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You are right not to get involved. If you try and try to help her then you are giving her attention and she will not change.<br />
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Sister or not if this person was not related to you would you get involved? Ask yourself that and you have the answer.

Well said, but what if faye83's dad goes under? Then it will be her to support him, and not the sister. I recommend "Bradshaw On: The Family" by John Bradshaw.

next time she comes bouncing back, be buddy-buddy, invite her for a night in, have a drink or whatever you do to relax. basically set up an ambush - like a one-person intervention, but instead of being all pissed off and confrontational, be all peace and love.<br />
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make it about you and how you feel, say you need to clear the air but you're not asking her to do anything about it or change in any way. the point is to make her more aware of part of the impact of her actions, but in a way that makes it tough to get defensive.<br />
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then tell your sister how you feel about all of it. don't focus on her, don't accuse or lay blame, just say "when you ____, I feel ____". <br />
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your feelings are your feelings, you're entitled to them. it's what you do with them that matters. so are hers - whether you believe it or not, she's entitled to feel however she does about you and the family, she just needs to learn better coping and response mechanisms.<br />
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practice in advance how you're going to explain your perspective without attacking. bring tissues.<br />
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it's not your job to be her parent, cut her off, lay down the law and get her to behave. in the long run that response will hurt her daughter as well as her. <br />
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as for your parents, cut them some slack; they're doing the only thing they know how to do - being supportive and hoping for the best, trying to do the right thing for someone they love unconditionally. this situation has to be breaking their hearts every day. they need help, not criticism. I'd encourage them to consult a family counselor or find a support group, or even get out there and find it FOR them.<br />
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give your sister a break. quit with the judgement. it can't be easy to be 23 and a parent. at that age I was more screwed up than your sister, but with no child involved. I barely talked to my parents or family from about 22-28.<br />
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now I'm 42 with a wife and kid, and I'm the go to guy whenever my parents need work done around their house. I attend all family functions and get along with everyone. all the drama of my 20s is long-gone and water under the bridge. chances are it's all going to work out with your sister, too.<br />
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even though your sister should have grown up and accepted her responsibilities by now, it's not so simple dealing with psychological issues. it can take years. your judgmental approach does nobody any good. <br />
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quit being a drama queen and start working pragmatically to heal your family, or butt out and let your parents decide how to do their job. you can help make things easier, but it's NOT your job to raise your sister, it's theirs, and apparently they're still trying to do it. give them the respect they deserve and let them, or help in a way they can accept instead of trying to take charge in a situation you're clearly still to immature and inexperienced to handle wisely.<br />
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maybe you should get some help yourself, since this is all clearly beyond your ability to deal. go talk to a professional about it.

cerrainly yuour pain can't be described in words,i can feel ur pain...............but one more thing u r the elder one ........u cant get away from all these................u have to be very patient..........if she is not caring her child...........she can do anything...............one more thing i have experienced that parents cares more,.......one who they think she is not up to the mark......................they also feel the pain but cant say anything.................i cant suggest u more...........because noone can make the diffrence.........one more thing i think that if we r suffering from cancer in a body that should be cut off.....but she is ur own blood.................just wait....be patient..............it is good for u.........think of the baby ..........the most unlucky one.........have patience........................

Been there done that x 5 literally I was the good sister the one who never did anything wrong, but my sister the wreched sinner that she was left the family to run off with each new baby daddy, i resented her for this. until,, i too had a baby out of wedlock and the words "judge not less thou be judged" came to life for me. through time I realized my parents unconditional love for her was also forgiveness and my resentment for her was judgement, what is badly needed here is forgivness, unless this is done you will not only miss out a opportunity to have a great relationship with your sister but with your niece or nephew as well. because you will eventually attibute her sins to them. if we all got what we deserved we would all be in trouble. your sister is you sister for life, start now, i know it sounds hard to hear if someone told me that I woulln't want to hear it, I would have felt she shoud pay for hers sins so I could say how great my life turned out and how she bought her life to ruins with her bad decisions, but I decided with much time to forgive her now we are the best of friends. I hope you will do this also, don't let many wastedyears pass. do it now. and get on with a wonderful life.

Absolutely 100% agree here listen strongly, this is the heart of creation and relationships. Your sister operates her way, forgive her her trespasses and love her for who she is today, tomorrow, every day, and one day she may grow and just thank you with all of her heart for being there for her when she was being futile.

YES!

I can definitely feel your pain and relate to your situation. I have a horrible sister as well, who lies and thieves and talks crap, completely lacking in morals and ethics..but yet I am the one who gets the anger and griped at by my father..not her..because I don't and won't have another thing to do with her as long as I LIVE!! She drains my dad of hundreds of dollars every month with her lies..but I cannot stop him from enabling her. <br />
I wish I could help you but I'm in the same sinking boat. Hope it's of a little help to know you're not alone.

If you are good and well, then please think of it this way: You are burdening the anger of your family so that your sister can be wild and free, she will settle down one day, mature, and thank you for giving her the chance you never got. Oh, it's not fair, but there are those of us with disposition for burdening more than others. If we weren't, we'd be exactly like our sisters.

I know the feeling.