Need Advice about my older sister

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2014
Need Advice about my older sister
14
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 4:54pm

I'd like to say that I am grateful for finding a place to vent my frurstrations.

I'm trying to determine if my sister or I am the controlling person in our extended family.  A few years back my sister and mother paid for our families to go to Disney World, myself and my son, my husband was unable to attend, my sister's son and his family.  My sister and mother paid for us to go.  When we got there, I voiced my opinion about what I, myself and my son would like to do.  My sister would say no, my son and I have decided what we plan on doing.  This happened often and Ifelt valueless and realized the only opinions or feelings that mattered were hers and her sons.  My husband says that I should have gone along with whatever they wanted since they were paying.

Well, since that time because I chose to do my own thing with my son, my sister and mother no longer invite us on vacation.  It seems that if I am not compliant, I am not invited whether I pay or not.

Aside from the above, my sister and mother go shopping every weekend.  My sister goes to the same place every week for breakfast, my mother doesn't like the food there, so my mother has made a compromise by having a roll.  My sister doesn't take her anywhere my mother might want to go for breakfast.  While on vacation at a previous time before Disney World, we were not allowed to eat when we wanted, we were to wait until my sister was ready.  When my sister and mother shop and my mother doesn't count her change quickly enough, my sister will take it out of her palm and do it for her.  My mother is older, but not feeble.

Since Disney World I have withdrawn from my sister, we do so each other to play cards once a week and on special ocassions.  We were closer before the Disney World event. 

Was I wrong and should have gone along with whatever my sister/nephew told me what we will be doing?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 5:00pm

I think it's difficult sometimes for a family group to go on vacations.  I went to Disney when my DD was little with my DH and my parents--my parents paid.  I do not recall having any problems deciding what we wanted to do and we generally did things together since there were only 5 of us, but with a bigger group maybe you don't want to be together all the time.  But I do not think that just because some people paid, they should force everyone to go and do all the things they want to do every minute of the vacation--sometimes you might want a break from the family and maybe different people have different interests too.  It sounds like your sister has a very forceful personality and expects everything to do what she wants, so you should probably be glad that you don't have to go on vacation with her any more.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 5:06pm

Yea, it appears your sister has a controlling personality.  I don't see where you did anything wrong.  

Sometimes relationships change, and that is okay.  I do hope that something positive comes out of this and maybe she can see a twinge of how she is treating people.  

Serenity

Serenity
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 10:11pm

While it would have been nice if your sister and mother asked what you wanted to do, after they paid for you to fly to Fl, & paid for the hotel, the car, the parks, the food, etc., since they invited you to accompany them, AND paid for everything, it honestly was rude of you to take off on your own.  If someone invites you somewhere, and pays for the whole dog & pony show, it is NOT appropriate to say, "Thanks for getting me here; see ya later".  Your "repayment" for such a treat, is to be a gracious, uncomplaining guest.

As for how your sister treats your mother--I believe you said your mother is competant.  If she is unhappy with how her daughter treats her,  it is up to her to open her mouth. Your mother is also free to take HERSELF shopping, and take HERSELF out to eat.  However, it sounds like she is practicing what I described above.  You sister takes your mother shopping.  Your sister takes your mother out to eat.  Your sister totes the freight, and pays the bills.  Your mother repays her (despite being a touch passive-aggressive) by being a gracious guest.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2003
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 8:55am

I think it would be reasonable for everyone to stick together for the first day at the park and then be allowed to go their own way the second day. Yes, one should be a gracious guest or be cooperative when recieving a gift of a vacation but it sounds like your sister is an unreasonable, demanding control freak . It is not reasonable to give a gift and then beat someone over the head with it in an attempt to control them. I would have eventualy gone my own way as well. Consider yourself lucky to not have to deal with her on vacations anymore. It sounds like no big loss. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2014
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 9:17am

Thank you for your perspective.

My nephew didn't pay either but anything he wanted to do, we did.  My sister and nephew informed us of what we would do and if anyone else had another suggestion or asked to do something else, we were told no and that was that.  In addition to that, I was expected to watch his 3 children while, he, his wife and my sister went off and did their own thing.  For me, paying for someone and then being told that I was to do exactly as they want is having strings attached. If I had known up front the expectations for the strings, I wouldn't have gone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2014
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 9:32am

Thank you everyone for your insight.

I thought about this last night as I was driving home.  If someone said to me, we would like to take you on vacation, but you are to have no opinion, feelings, thoughts about anything you might like to do and we want you to watch 3 children while we go off and do our own thing.   There will be only two of us that will control this trip, although one of us did not pay. Even though it's your vacation too. I wouldn't go.   I feel if you want to give a gift, that's what it should be a gift without strings. 

My extended family has been like that and I have had difficulty learning not to be that way.  I used to expect something in return after giving someone something, time, talents, money.  I would find myself saying or thinking look what I did for you, now you owe me in return.  I realized it was controlling and not truly a gift and I'm still learning.  You don't control people with money, gifts, time you do it because it makes you feel good.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 11:02am

You are probably right taht it's about control--most people would not invite themselves if it's one family who are going--in other words, why would your relatives expect to go on a vacation with your DH's family?  They aren't part of that family and it's perfectly reasonable for you not to invite her.  I really hope you don't cave in just because she reprimanded you--you can just say that only the DH's family is going and no one else--of course if it's a cruise, it's probably easier because anyone of the public can go on a cruise, but is she going to make your life miserable if she is there, expecting all her wishes to be catered to?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2014
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 11:08am

Interesting twist, maybe not.  My sister and mother just got back from a cruise with my nephew and his family.  We were not invited.  While playing cards we mentioned how we were planning a trip with my husband's extended family either on a cruise or renting a house on the beach next year, there will be anywhere from 20-25 of us.  My mother reprimanded us for not inviting them.  We said, of course, they are more than welcomed to join us.  Later, in private, my husband said we wouldn't ever want anyone to feel excluded as we felt about the most recent trip they took, but no one is going to tell me what I am going to do while I'm on my vacation.  It's frustrating as my mother wants free will to invite whomever she chooses, but does not allow others the same.  I guess all of this is about control.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2014
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 11:40am

To musiclover - Thank you, you give excellent advice. 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 6:33pm

Your correct, Jean, that who wants a gift with strings attached?  

Yes, we should be polite, appreciative, etc. etc.  Not saying we shouldn't.  

Here is what I am thinking:  If you had said to your sister "hey, me and my DS are going to eat elsewhere, can I have $50 bucks for my dinner allowance?"  Ah....then yea.....that would be weird.  

To be honest, this is a potential issue anytime someone else pays for something.  It is very hard to give money or pay for something and not have expectations.  Hard to give your kid $1,000 towards a car and not have an opinion about the car he or she buys.  Grandpa says, "if you go to my almamter, I will pay for college."

Just tough all the way around.  Gotta go, keep us posted...

Serenity

Serenity

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