Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • little pigeon
    • By little pigeon 8th Aug 18, 9:51 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 9Thanks
    little pigeon
    Cutting ties with a sibling
    • #1
    • 8th Aug 18, 9:51 PM
    Cutting ties with a sibling 8th Aug 18 at 9:51 PM
    Hi

    I've created a new profile as there is a photo of me in a previous thread on here and people I know IRL know my user name.

    My mum is getting to an age where she has multiple medical issues which, although not life threatening, are enough to make me think about what will happen when she no longer around. There is only the 3 of us as my dad passed away some time ago.

    My brother has/had issues with alcohol and drugs. He has stolen from us and has told oh so many lies. He has a large amount of debt which he ignores and has problems with handling his day to day expenses. I've raised it in the past but he didn't want to talk about it. If I do so now it is met with raging verbal abuse. There have been times he has been on the verge of physical violence and I have been worried for my safety. He has never done more than shout (without the verbal abuse) at my mum mostly because he knows that if she cut him off he wouldn't be able to turn to anyone else.

    This has meant that our relationship has deteriorated to the point where I couldn't really care less about him. I mostly tolerate his presence when in the company of my mum or others. My mum refuses to have a proper discussion about him. She always makes excuses for him and now barely tells me about all the woes he tells her in order to "borrow" money from her. She knows it will get me worked up and cause an argument either between me and her or me and him. She isn't silly enough to give him large amounts but will cover a bill or two and some spending money. This happens frequently so it does add up. I do monitor the situation and say something when necessary.

    He has a long time girlfriend who I don't like but she has made him clean up his act (to a point) but only when he's with her. She has no idea about the extent of his drugs/alcohol problems or the fact that he takes money from my mum then or now. He is on his best behaviour when with her. He always spends the night at his mate's house if he goes on a bender so she doesn't see the state of him in case you're wondering. She is T total and doesn't like going pubbing or clubbing.

    He acts as if butter wouldn't melt in public and can be extremely charming so the only people who know what he is really like and what he is capable of is my mum and I. When I have tried to broach this with friends I can hear my mum's voice in my head telling me she would be ashamed if others knew so this stops me from being open about it.

    I sometimes feel quite sad thinking about the fact that we were very close as kids and that this is where we are now. He is very selfish and so is his girlfriend so I can't see his behaviour improving. In fact she seems to encourage him to only think about himself or them because she thinks (without knowing the full facts) that we don't treat him as well as she thinks he should be treated. If anything happened to my mum I don't think that he would contact me unless he wanted something and I know that there would be no real reason to contact him.

    My mum, when talking about the future without her, is trying to get me to promise to look out and after him. I have said no or changed the subject but she says we're family and who else do we have but each other. I feel as if I'm am being guilted into it.

    I wanted to hear from those who have cut ties from family members. How did you cope? He is basically my only family so it does feel scary to think that I will be on my own. My friends circle is also in a stage of upheaval and change so it does worry me that I could be truly alone. I am currently single with no kids so this probably magnifies the feeling! I can't see how to maintain a relationship with him because I can't bear his company and his "the whole world has got it in for me or owes me something" attitude.

    Anyone care to share their experience?
Page 1
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 8th Aug 18, 10:05 PM
    • 1,806 Posts
    • 7,335 Thanks
    BrassicWoman
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:05 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:05 PM
    I felt nothing but relief and was fine telling mum he was an adult and I,d only intervene should he lack capacity legally.

    I,m single with no kids. You can make new friends . Eventually the child rearing ones lives balance out again anyway and being auntie is fun!
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 8th Aug 18, 10:09 PM
    • 8,351 Posts
    • 29,341 Thanks
    Primrose
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:09 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:09 PM
    It's hard seeing your only aibling drift i to this state brut he,s an adult and must learn to take responsibility for himself. Your mother is obviously concerned about him and what will happen to him when she,s no longer around but she is actually enabling his behaviour by giving him money to continue in his bad habits.

    I think you need to tak to her seriously about this and try to convince her that the best way of ensuring that you and he remain friends is for his habits to change, and that predemands that she doesn,t do things that further enable him to follow a slippery downward path.

    We had to cut ties with a family member after years of his alcohol abuse, having bailed him out financially on too many times thst we lost count. In the end the stress on our own family became too great and we cut ties completely, having warned him that one more abusive incident would cause this to happen. Thereafter he went his own way, went further downhill until he eventually died. It was sad, but cutting ties was the onky way to save family sanity.

    Increase your own circle of friends and keep those friendships in good repair. Sadly yiu may not be able to do anything about your brother's habits. Eventually his girlfriend may grow tired of him and that may be the point when he realises his habits have to change. You cant do it for him
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 8th Aug 18, 10:16 PM
    • 29,968 Posts
    • 77,017 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:16 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:16 PM
    My brother has/had issues with alcohol and drugs.

    He is basically my only family so it does feel scary to think that I will be on my own.
    Originally posted by little pigeon
    Not half as scary as having him make your life a misery for years to come!

    If you make a promise to your mother, he wont ever leave you alone.

    Concentrate on making some new friends and leave him to the consequences of his life choices.
    • little pigeon
    • By little pigeon 8th Aug 18, 10:31 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    little pigeon
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:31 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:31 PM
    I felt nothing but relief and was fine telling mum he was an adult and I,d only intervene should he lack capacity legally.
    Originally posted by BrassicWoman
    His girlfriend dislikes me as much as I do her so I'm sure she has already made arrangements that do not involve me!

    As I grow older I'm finding it more difficult to make a real connection with people, not from the want of trying I might add.
    • little pigeon
    • By little pigeon 8th Aug 18, 10:41 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    little pigeon
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:41 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 18, 10:41 PM
    I think you need to tak to her seriously about this and try to convince her that the best way of ensuring that you and he remain friends is for his habits to change, and that predemands that she doesn,t do things that further enable him to follow a slippery downward path.
    Originally posted by Primrose
    My mum is very stubborn and very family orientated. He is her child (always) and doesn't see or acknowledge the consequences of her actions. I have told her bluntly I won't support him but she ignores that bit and carries on her conversation about being a family unit.

    Although we don't really have a proper relationship I don't want to see anything bad happen to him. I have already lost one parent and my mum is getting on too. To have to think about having no real family does get upsetting. I do realise that having him in my life won't be doing me any good. It's helpful to hear other people's stories and how they managed it.
    • lulu650
    • By lulu650 8th Aug 18, 11:13 PM
    • 919 Posts
    • 979 Thanks
    lulu650
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:13 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 11:13 PM
    Neither you nor your brother come across as liking each other at all. So when your mother is no longer around, why would your brother have much to do with you anyway? I don't think there's any need to cut him off completely and make a statement to that effect. It's more likely that you will gradually have less and less to do with each other as time goes on.

    It sounds like you are the oldest and trying to protect your mum from your brother but she's going to continue helping your brother whether you like it or not. The fact that she tells you as little as possible indicates she doesn't want you interfering.

    I do sympathise but you can't make anyone change their behaviour unless they want to. I also wonder if you would like more of your mum's attention than you are currently getting, particularly if you feel lonely
    Saving money right, left and centre
    • little pigeon
    • By little pigeon 9th Aug 18, 12:25 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    little pigeon
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 18, 12:25 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Aug 18, 12:25 AM
    My brother would probably contact me because he'd need financial assistance and for someone to tell his woes to. It would be frequently if I base it on the amount of times he asks my mum and especially if he isn't dealing with his debt.

    My mum mostly doesn't tell me about giving him money because she wants me to look out for him when she's not around. The more I know about him taking advantage, the more I dislike him for it. She is trying to make him look better in my eyes, keep the peace and mend our relationship.

    I don't need or require more attention from my mum. We spend a lot of quality time together, either just the two of us or with family friends.

    I wasn't looking for anyone to psychoanalyse my situation from the information I've shared here. I'm looking for others, possibly those who have been in a similar situation, who don't have a relationship with a family member and willing to share their experience but thanks for your opinion lulu650
    Last edited by little pigeon; 09-08-2018 at 12:26 AM. Reason: formatting
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 9th Aug 18, 12:45 AM
    • 405 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    MovingForwards
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 18, 12:45 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Aug 18, 12:45 AM
    I have nothing to do with my sister, she only has time for our mom when she wants something.

    She got married, my mom had a last minute invite to attend.

    My sister and her husband stopped paying rent of the council flat as she wanted a house (no kids), ended up getting evicted put stuff in storage and they both moved into our mom's house, my mom gave up her bed so they could have it and after a year showed no signs of moving out (he was working FT in a reasonably well paid job so no need for rent arears/eviction), I have to prepare an eviction notice and they moved out into a rented house. My mom makes loads of phone calls, occassionally gets a returned call from the husband, not from my sister.

    I know when my mom dies my sister will reappear for her inheritance......(mom is retired, state pension but owns her house worth about 100k which my brother has never moved out of).

    You dont need to cut someone out of your life, just do not make any promises to your mom to look out for your brother as you do not need that guilt on you when she passes. Your brother is old enough to sort his own mess out, if he ever admits to it, acknowledges there are problems and deals with it. You can just walk away, get on with your life and not have anything to do with him when the time comes.
    • Doodles
    • By Doodles 9th Aug 18, 6:51 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 361 Thanks
    Doodles
    I decided to cut my brother out of my life about 12 years ago. I won't go into the reasons here, but my reasons are justified.

    Easier for me as he lives in the States, so not like I would be bumping into him at family do's or anything like that.

    How have I coped? very well. In that time I have never missed him once, and wish I had stood up to his nonsense a long time before I did.

    You don't have to put up with him if he makes you miserable OP.
    We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.

    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    • _shel
    • By _shel 9th Aug 18, 6:55 AM
    • 1,489 Posts
    • 2,601 Thanks
    _shel
    I've done this with two sisters. Both heroin and alcohol abusers, full of self entitlement and greed. Cause nothing but problems so I've distanced myself completely.
    I still care for them, think about them etc but for my own sanity and that of my family it was the best thing to do.
    • michelefauk
    • By michelefauk 9th Aug 18, 7:54 AM
    • 434 Posts
    • 417 Thanks
    michelefauk
    I have very little to do with my brother. He is 2 years older than me (51) and constantly scrounging off my parents, turning up asking for money for various things, my dad is in the process of buying him new van for his business. He is self employed (probably pays no tax!) he lives rent free with his girlfriend (is not officially on any records so pays no council tax, utilities etc) so why my parents feel the need to constantly help him, I don't really understand. I work hard, bring up my daughter on my own (my partner died 2 years ago) and never ask them for anything and feel very angry that he is such a drain on them, financially and emotionally.

    Things came to a head a couple of years ago at my late partner's funeral, my brother turned up unannounced, drunk, scruffy, loud, and proceeded to force his way into the front row of the crematorium to squash in beside me and make a big show of crying loudly and being ridiculously over the top (he barely knew my partner!) At the end of the funeral, he draped himself over the coffin again crying loudly, and had to told to move by my late partner's mum. Everyone was staring at him in disgust. I will never forgive him.
    If you say anything to my parents about his behaviour, they just say "Oh you know what he's like!"

    If I bump into him at my parents, I usually am icily polite then leave very quickly. My parents normally forewarn me if he is going to be at any family events, so I can prepare myself or not go.
    I could go on and on, he really is not a nice person at all and I have no time for people like that in my life.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Aug 18, 8:05 AM
    • 20,874 Posts
    • 56,212 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Blood really isn't thicker than water.
    If a friend was rude to you, on the verge of physical violence to you would you continue the friendship?

    He's a grown man, in the position he is in through his own decisions.
    Why would he need looking out for?

    I'd be straight with your Mother and say he's on his own after she dies.
    In fact, I'd be making moves to cut contact with him starting now

    (From someone who has cut a sibling out of her life and feels it was one of the best decisions I ever made)
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 9th Aug 18, 9:04 AM
    • 3,564 Posts
    • 12,833 Thanks
    paddy's mum
    Your mother is forgetting one vital thing here...and it's all the out you need.

    YOU are not his mother and therefore the buck stops with him!

    As an added thought - don't be surprised if she leaves all or most of her estate to him in her will. A woman who is :-

    1.effectively enabling him

    2.putting enormous pressure on you to continue to mollycoddle him

    3.thinks so little of you that she 'shouts' down your refusal/protest

    4. conceals the reality (instead of urging him to seek help)

    is not going to change her behaviour just because a little thing like death intervenes.

    My mother, sisters and I cut a relative out of our lives twenty years ago and the only feeling all of us had, and still have, is relief that our lives are now peaceful without that malignancy in them.

    You are not in the wrong here and your mother should realise that she is asking far too much. Good luck.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 9th Aug 18, 9:56 AM
    • 6,851 Posts
    • 8,986 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    Can you come up with a form of words which would make your mum happy but not actually bind you to anything?

    "I'll do my best for him" for instance - you may decide that what is best for him is that he has to stand on his own two feet, so that best thing you can do for him is refuse any kind of financial support!

    Or "He'll always be my brother" - it's factually true, and your interpretation of what the fact that he will always be your brother means to you, is up to you.

    Or even "If he wants a relationship with me, I'll be there for him. But I could not bring myself to enable his drug and alcohol abuse - quite apart from anything else, I wouldn't want to have it on my conscience that I'd helped him harm himself through supporting his addictions"

    Also - I don't think that you have any moral obligation to keep a promise which is made under duress, so if your mum does succeed in pressuring you into to giving the kind of promise that she wants,remind yourself that the purpose of the promise was to give comfort to your mum, who you o care about, and you are still free to decide for yourself what, if any, support or relationship you have with your brother after she is gone.
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 9th Aug 18, 11:02 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 1,195 Thanks
    AndyBSG
    I have cut off relations with my sister and although I do sometimes wonder if I made the right decision these moments are only fleeting.

    I gave her plenty of chances but it soon became apparent she was never going to change. In the end I cut tied when I started a family of my own.

    My sisters life style has seen her serve time in prison for assault, lose custody of her children and she is generally a drain on society never having worked in her life.

    I try my hardest to bring my kids up as hard working, respectful individuals so accepting or condoning that behaviour in any way would impact on that as well as the disruptive influence she would have.

    My only real regret is that I have no relationship with my nieces or nephews

    As others have said, any regret, guilt or feeling of loss would soon be outweighed by the other negatives that keeping that person in your life would bring.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 9th Aug 18, 11:23 AM
    • 4,176 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    It would obviously be upsettting for your mum to hear anything as drastic as "I will be cutting him out of my life when you die".

    I would therefore reassure her that you will stay in touch with your brother, but are quite definitely not providing financial assistance until he makes clear lifestyle changes.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 9th Aug 18, 11:43 AM
    • 8,351 Posts
    • 29,341 Thanks
    Primrose
    I think you also need to make it clear to your mother that you are on your own too and have nobody, andnot even a partner or boyfriend to help and support you, financially or emotionally, if you fall on difficult times after she has gone.

    Perhaps you need to ask her if she expects you to support your brother's bad financial habits while ending up yourself in a position where you could be out on the streets because you can,t pay your own bills.

    Your mother obviously brought you both up in the same way. Ask her why she thinks you should punish yourself for following the rules she taught you while your brother is allowed to flaunt them and yet still expect to be supported financially and bailed out. I think your mother will find this a hard question to answer but it's one she has to confront.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 9th Aug 18, 11:49 AM
    • 20,874 Posts
    • 56,212 Thanks
    Pollycat
    It would obviously be upsettting for your mum to hear anything as drastic as "I will be cutting him out of my life when you die".
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    Why shouldn't the OP say this?

    The OP's Mum is trying to coerce her into agreeing to look out for him - why should the OP be put under this unwanted pressure? Be made to feel guilty for saying 'no'.

    It's how she feels anyway - she says she couldn't care less about him.

    It might give the OP's Mum pause about her own enabling behaviour towards this man.


    I would therefore reassure her that you will stay in touch with your brother, but are quite definitely not providing financial assistance until he makes clear lifestyle changes.
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    Personally, I'd rather be blunt and tell my Mum the truth than lie to her face and do the opposite when she's not here anymore.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 9th Aug 18, 12:09 PM
    • 2,871 Posts
    • 7,077 Thanks
    ska lover
    Argh families.

    Yes we have similar in our family.

    My lot are just crazy
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,871Posts Today

7,336Users online

Martin's Twitter