In a society where social roles and boundaries continually get questioned, a woman’s request for advice put the spotlight on siblings and how far their duty to each other go.
On June 13, 2019, a 60-year-old unnamed woman took to social media for advice regarding financially helping her 69-year-old sister.
A close up of two women sitting with their backs to each other. | Source: Shutterstock.
She felt that her sister started “smooching” off her because of continual bad financial decisions. Her sister had always turned to their mother for help, but that changed after her death. Both sisters got left $75,000 inheritance each.
It took her sisters years to qualify as a counselor and worked part-time for a few years until she got a full-time job. In 2017, her sister decided to retire with virtually no savings and only a govt pension and another small pension to fall back on.
A car her sister still owed on, took most of her pension money every month and after an initial deal with a friend for cheap rent, she got kicked out.
The sister asked to come live with her, but she didn’t like the idea. With her children grown and out of the house, she and her husband finally had the house to themselves and had plans of their own.
A woman looking over the top of her glasses. | Source: Shutterstock.
She eventually gave in and told her sister that she could only stay until the summer, and asked her to pay expenses, but it didn't take long before tensions got high.
“I am not a mom and will not subsidize her life. She moves in mid-December, and within two weeks, I blow up because she is avoiding helping out or paying anything and has made me unwelcome in my rec room. She cries that she has no money but offers no reason why but she will do better,” she wrote.
She fumed about her sister’s habit of sleeping until noon and watching TV while doing little else except acting like she is a victim. “She makes two meals in 5 months and makes a big deal of paying $50 - like I am robbing her. She keeps snacks in her room. When I don't buy the cereal she likes, she does but keeps it in her room too,” she added.
An older lady standing with her arms crossed looking angry. | Source: Shutterstock.
She still works, and sometimes comes home late to a “pouting” retired sister because dinner hasn’t been made. “She pouts in the dining room, sighing because I haven't started dinner. She finally asks if she can make herself a sandwich as if I would refuse. But it would have been nice to offer to make one for each of us or start dinner," she said.
Their relationship deteriorated considerably, and her sister stopped talking to her “but throws $50 at” her as if she “has robbed her.”
Her husband wants her sister out by the end of June, while she asked to stay until the end of summer. Because it is her sister, she feels conflicted.
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According to the director of Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, Paul Schervish, a financially successful sibling may be hesitant to assist with money if they feel that they haven’t worked hard or spent too much.
“If, on the other hand, one of your siblings is deemed to be needy through no fault of their own, there does tend to be some distribution and assistance. Even if the sibling is deemed unworthy, the richer sibling may still help,” Paul added.
Also on Reddit, another woman turned to users for advice. The bride-to-be had chosen to live a child-free life and sparked heated debate for not wanting therapy for her “Child Hating problem.