Selfish, Irresponsible Brother Always in Need!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2009
Selfish, Irresponsible Brother Always in Need!
10
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 8:53pm

I just wanted to know everyone else's opinion. Part of me feels like "F my brother" ... I guess I'm more stressed and angry because I wish I absolutely didn't give a care. 

My brother has ALWAYS had problems managing his money. He's always borrowing (more like begging since he never repays it) money from our mother, grandmother. Not only couldn't he manage his money, but neither could his wife! She doesn't wanna work. She wants a man to support her. They lost their apartments twice within a two year period. A year ago his wife decided she was sick of him and told him she wanted a divorce and that she wanted him gone within a week. We were both living in two different states at the time. I told him he was welcome to live with me until he got on his feet. He stayed with our aunt the first 3 months (rent free). He started a new job working full-time as soon as he moved here. He didn't have to pay rent, bus fare to and from work, food--NOTHING! And he never offered to either. He ended up quiting the job he already had to get another job that paid a $2 more. Only the job was 20 miles away and no bus went that far out! He was fully aware of that. My sister ended up having to drive 80miles/day just to bring him to and from work cause neither one of us wanted him to be jobless. He lost that job a month later!... But luckily he got another one three weeks later.

He expected EVERYTHING to be free! He wouldn't help with groceries, even though he ate all the food I bought. When I brought it to his attention that he was being selfish and unappreciative and that he could at least help with food if nothing else. He agreed and said he'd help out. Only he never did! He had been living with me for free for 6 months and it was at that point that I told him he'd have to pay to live here and that he should've had at least $4,000 saved by now.. He threw a HUGE fit about it! Saying he barely had money. So I'm like, "WHAT!? How the hell could you be broke when you've been making more money than me and with no expenses!?"... He gave ALLLL the money he was making to his ex-wife to help with her bills (even though she had got on section 8 paying $50 in rent), her dad's bills, her court fees, toiletries etc etc. Talk about slap in the face. I told him he had to pay SOMETHING if he wanted to continue live with me. There was no guilt or appreciation on his part. It was as if he thought I obligated to do for him. When I asked if he'd have done the same for me his response was, "it's different when you married. It's not like you got a man living here."... I told him I wanted him out by the next month (November), no excuses. As usual he had a bunch of excuses about how he owed his son a good christmas, and a furnished house. And I'm just thinking, "and that's MY responsibility to help you provide those things?" I work to provide for myself, not to help provide for him and his family! Now, I'm JUST beginning to celebrate him getting his own place. Only he manages to need something from me once again! 

As soon as his sorry a** ex-wife finds out he got his own place. She comes up with this fabricated lie about how the son has to come live with him because  section 8 people (or whoever) told her since she's working she can no longer live in those apartments and had a month to leave. And so she needs him to stay with him until she finds another apartment. Oh, and that's gonna take approxtimately 6-7 months to do. Mind you he doesn't even have a mattress for him or his son to even lay on sense he gave her all his money. So now he needs me to babysit! Now, I don't have any kids. So I'm used to having a peaceful house and not being bothered by an annoying kid. But sense he's family, I cant refuse. He sleeps over practically ever night so he can go to work. And then he tries to figure out all my off days so he can bring him over while he goes to this other job. The thing is, he doesn't even appreciate the fact that I'm babysitting his son! I ask him for a ride to work one time and he tells me, "awww man! I was about to go get a hair cut." There was another instance where he called me to tell me he was dropping his son off. So I'm like, "ok. I'm at the mall right now. Can you pick me up?" Now, I don't know anyone who's in need of a babysitter but cant even give the baby sitter a ride home, especially given the fact that he's interrupting MY TIME and I'm not even being compensated! Mind you the mall is literally a mile away from my house. This was his response, "Ughh.. You can't catch the bus?" I had to explain to him that a one minute drive can take 41 minutes on a bus. So I probably wasn't gonna be home by the time he dropped him off. I started to say, "fine! Watch your own dam son then!" I shouldn't have to explain anything to him... And then there was another time I asked him to pick me up from work late at night. He got all upset talking about I was gonna be breaking his rest and asked if my sister could give me a ride instead. My sister came and got me. And he brought his son over an hour later.

I'm just sick of him and so is everyone else! I don't even answer his calls anymore. Cause I know he's most likely calling to ask me for a favor. What would you do in my situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 1:05pm

Well you know that old saying that no one can take advantage of you unless you let them?  You're letting him & then complainingg about it.  When you invited him to live with you, you should have either made a time limit or started to charge him rent from the beginning.  so now he expects an unpaid babysitter whenever he wants one----you really have no obligation to do this.  I was a divorced working mom w/ 2 little kids--yes my ex did help out, but like most working parents, I had to get daycare and when they were in school, had to arrange for before or after school care.  I had no relatives around to help me out.  so if he asks you to babysit all the time, tell him that you are available on Mon & Tues (or whever you actually want to do it) and the rest of the time he is going to have to make other arrangements.  If he wants to give all his money to his ex when he doesn't legally have to do it, then it's his problem--it shouldn't become your problem.  If he decides to take a job which is not on a bus route and he doesn't have a car, it's not your sister's obligation to drive him if he didn't ask her if she was willing to do that before he took the job.  Especially because this is all very one sided with him taking and not giving anything to you and he doesn't even appreciate it, you should just stop doing all this for him and let him figure it out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 1:09pm

Being one who has been in your position, I understand your sense of obligation.

It's also a crock of BS.  Sorry to be so blunt and crass about it, but it is.  I fell for it.  My younger brother perpetuated it as did my sister (so that she could be free from helping him).  I drove him to work almost every day, I got him the job, and he had a place to live.  I also had my home destroyed by him (making holes in my walls, hanging his "inventions" on my door frames, ceilings, etc.), I was verbally and physically assaulted by him, and then told once he didn't need me anymore, that I didn't do enough for him because when I took his sick cat in (that destroyed my basements carpeting), that I also didn't take his furniture in and store it, so instead he had to pay money to a storage facility instead of me offering my FIRST home that I JUST moved into as not only his personal kennel, but the storage facility for his apartment contents while he went to jail for 8 months.  Of course, he was innocent of his charges, too, btw (tongue planted firmly in cheek).

Listen here.  It is not your problem.  If he needs a place to live, there is United Way.  If need be, he and his STBX can move in together until they are all financially better off again for the sake of the family.  What I see here is YOU making all of the sacrifices for this irresponsible couple.  When he is asked to return a small favour he balks at it.  Forget it!  He needs to go - now.  He needs to be out and he will find a place to live.  Do not offer your time to babysit.  Not. Your. Problem.

We help family and it's supposed to be a mutual thing.  It clearly isn't for him.  It is making your life hell and you've sacrificed too much.  As someone who went through this, it is your fault just as it was mine.  Sorry, but it is.  It's your false sense of obligation.  You are being had, like I was.  Do not worry about him being angry with you or your family being angry with you. It's clear that they don't give a rat's patootie about your wellbeing, so you need to look after it yourself.  Please trust me on this.  If he can't even drive you to the mall for all that you've done for him, then he needs another place to live.  You've already given him a hand up, not a hand out.  He's taking advantage, and he sound so selfish and self-absorbed.  I cannot believe he would not even drive you put then got in the car and took his kid over to you once you did get home!!!  How tacky!  

His problems are his fault. Don't worry - he's got good leeching skills so he'll be fine.  If you don't stand up for yourself and make some concrete changes, please believe me that this will only get worse and you will only grow more and more resentful.  Cut your losses now.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 1:10pm

"But sense he's family, I cant refuse."

Yes you can. You tell him that you've helped him as much as you are going to, and follow through by continuing to say no. He has no incentive to change while the entire family allows and enables him to behave this way. You try to accept that this is who he is and how he is, and that while you accept it you don't have to be a part of it or encourage it or help him to act in ways that you don't like. Because right now, even though you tell him that you think he should do things differently, you are helping him to keep doing things the same messed up ways.

If you start to feel guilty, remember that in the long run you are doing him a favor. Ideally your whole family will join you in making him take responsibility for his own problems, but even if they don't you should remove yourself from being part of his mess.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2009
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 4:20pm

That's exactly what my dad told me, that I should've charged him rent and gave him a time frame to be out. Wish he would've suggested that ahead of time!...Lol... In the beginning I thought I was being a good sister who was helping a family member in need. I eventually realized I was only making him more irresponsible and dependant on others.

It's like he's a completely different person than who I remember growing up with. He was never that selfish and unappreciative. Once he got married, had a kid and aquired two step kids, that's when he became this selfish person who only cared about himself and his household. But he forgot that his siblings and his parents are family too. And WE are the ones he's gonna come running to when he's in need.

And sense I don't have a husband and kids of my own at this time, I honestly believe he thinks I should feel obligated to help him support him and his family sense it's just me I'm taking care of. Everytime Christmas rolls around he's aking me, my sister, my mother or aunt can buy his son some clothes or this $30, $50 or $100 toy cause he can't afford it. It annoys me because I don't like the idea of someone asking me to buy their kid some expensive a** toy when I hardly ever spend that much on myself. Like, just because I don't have kids doesn't mean I wanna spend half of one my paychecks on yours. I'm still just venting. That's all lol. But thanks for responding. Good to know I'm not the bad person here

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2009
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 4:28pm
Sorry! My computer kept freezing while I was trying to post this comment. I kept clicking "post" and it wasn't doing anything. I had no idea it would post 10 times! Not trying to spam the message board.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2009
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 5:03pm
@ Paradigmshifter. Your brother sounds JUST like mine. Even after all me and my sister have done for him, he's still accused my sister of being selfish for not bending over backwards even more to accommodate him! Just last week I filled out an application for him online for a full-time position (he only works PT right now).I spent an hour and something filling out that application for him. When I asked if he ever spoke with anyone to see if the position was still open his response, "no. I never have time cause I'm always too tired."... How the hell could you be too tired to look for a better job? I still watch his son at night. But I refuse to spend all or most of my off days babysitting. Especially not when his mother is sitting back relaxing, and I know the only reason he's even here is because she wanted a vacation from her own child. I thought about telling him straight up that he needs to bring him back to his mother. Or the two of them need to move closer to each other so they can share their responsibility. But I can never seem to find a right way to say that without making it seem like I don't want to be bothered with his son at all. His hours are already being cut at work. And he still has a car note, rent and other bills. Sooo, I don't know what he's gonna do. better ask his ex-wife for money (since he gave all his to her). I know he can't stay with me again!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 8:15pm

You are not a bad person.  You are just letting yourself be taken advantage of.  I don't know who started letting your brother believe that the rest of the family had to take care of him, but it is time to stop, since you are obviously only getting aggravation from him.

I'd say "no more."  You do not have to babysit or care for his son.  You do not have to provide him or his son with a house. 

My son went through a period of feeling entitled to everything after my ex and I divorced.  He did a lot of "guilting" of me and his father.  I realized this was not good for any of us, and I set down rules and limits.  It went really badly at first (especially since my ex behaved as though this was just part of my general bitchiness that had resulted in divorce).  But I realized that I didn't want a relationship with my son where I was always feeling sad/angry/used.  I don't lend him money because he doesn't pay it back.  I let him stay with me for a while when he had a disagreement with his roommates and needed to find a new house, but he was expected to do chores around the house AND pay "costs" (for food and utilities, etc.). Since I enjoy gift-giving I set aside a reasonable amount (for my income) for gifts (Birthdays and Xmas) and I give him a choice of presents or cash.  If I didn't enjoy gift-giving, I wouldn't give him gifts.  He has a good paying job. When he mismanages things, he is short of cash, but he manages--because he no longer has someone to mooch off. (His dad finally stopped giving.)

Your brother is not your responsibility.  Tell him that he is not behaving in a brotherly way to you and that you do not see any reason to keep giving.  There is no rule that says we have to give to family when the family doesn't remember that we are family except to take.

Hang in there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Because you are single, you shouldn't have to help out MORE--you don't have a partner to rely on, you only have yourself.  You need to save for your own rainy day problems or retirement--who do you think is going to help you out if something happens?  I doubt your brother is going to do it.  I think families should help out if it's a mutual thing--maybe one person has more money, but at least the recipient should help out in other ways--and be nice to the giver and be appreciative too, not just take, take, take and then act like you're not doing enough.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:25pm

I don't know how many times this same exact issue has been posted, about a brother, sister, SIL, BIL, son, daughter, etc.  The response is always the same, they can't do what they are doing unless someone is allowing it.  The only way to change the situation is by changing what you do, not what he does, you can't change him, but you can stop enabling him.  I was so glad when my MIL finally cut off her daughter, who was draining her savings, it literally came down to either MIL keeping her money to live on, or going broke.  You cannot help somene who has no qualms about pawning his responsibilities off to anyone and everyone who will accept them...!  This situation will not change until you stop what you are doing.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:25pm

I don't know how many times this same exact issue has been posted, about a brother, sister, SIL, BIL, son, daughter, etc.  The response is always the same, they can't do what they are doing unless someone is allowing it.  The only way to change the situation is by changing what you do, not what he does, you can't change him, but you can stop enabling him.  I was so glad when my MIL finally cut off her daughter, who was draining her savings, it literally came down to either MIL keeping her money to live on, or going broke.  You cannot help somene who has no qualms about pawning his responsibilities off to anyone and everyone who will accept them...!  This situation will not change until you stop what you are doing.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein