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Question
Posted by: Marche | 2012/01/19

Husband''s 30 year old sister

Dear CS, I am 38 years old and have been married to my husband for 18 years. However, since the beginning of the marriage his family was absolutely terrible. I bent over backwards to try and fit in, kept quiet many a times when they bad mouthed me to try and keep the peace etc. I eventually gave up and stopped trying to interact and look for acceptance. I have three beautiful kids who excel at school and we have our own business which we sweated, blood and tears to build.
However, his parents have been dead for a couple of years now, and his sister who is 30 years old is unemployed, cant find work, has a child who''s father does not pay maintenance. She constantly asks for money, and because of the child we paid her bills for 6 months on condition that she find a job and sort out her life. HOwever, she seems to be unable to do this and keeps sending messages asking for money for food for her and the kid etc. We have actually been helping her for 2 years, but she is unable to get on her feet. Am I wrong in feeling disgruntled to give any more ? I also am bitter about what had happened in the past, now the people who caused so much trouble are dead and we have to support their grown up daughter. No one else in the family is capable of helping her as they have 8-5 jobs, whereas we run a business, however as I am sure you know, it costs a fortune to run a business and it eats a lot into our resources. The family thinks we are multi millionaires yet, we are not. We are simply trying to create a legacy for our kids one day and know that it will take a few years for the business to show a healthy return. I feel like we are being judged for not giving her money etc and I am so tired of supporting this girl its driving me nuts. Am I being selfish?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

His sister HASN'T found work, but one can't assume that she CAN'T find work. She should learn about contracweption, and go to the maintenance court to get an assessment of how much maintenance her bf should pay for the child, and have that enforced. If she hasn't bothered to learn any useful skills top help her find a job, she should not be too fussy, and take a lesser job than she might want, so as to earn money while learning skills to enable her to qualify for better jobs.
She will never bother to do anything to support herself and her child while your husband encourages her to do nothing, by funding this lifestyle.
Of course it is entirely reasonable for you to feel disgruntled - it'd be highly unreasonable to feel gruntled ! If other family members have jobs, they should also be able to contribute some money towards her costs, but they won't so long as your husband takes all that responsibility ffrom them ; and they should also make their aid conditional upon her doing specified things towards becoming independent. Nobody should judhe you unfavourably for not sponsoring her irresponsibility, especially not people who are not themselves bothering to become usefully involved in solving the problem.
I agree with Maria about HOW to help, in ways that minimize the risk of her spending aid intended for the child, on herself. And I agree with Liza - it's the sister who is being selfish and unreasonable, not you.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jen | 2012/01/20

I am so sick of lazy good for nothing sponges AND I''m sick of the wimps that support them. Tell your husband to MAN UP and stop support his sister! She''s an adult for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!! There ARE jobs out there, my aunt who has not worked in over a decade has just gotten a job (and to clarify, she wasn''t working because she was a housewife but the kids are all grown up now). The sister is LAZY and KNOWS that her brother will help, so why should she get a job? Tell your husband if he wants to help her, get her basic groceries and that''s that. Of course, seeing that you guys agreed to help her for six months only and those six months are up and she''s still getting money, she''s not going to believe you guys now if you tell her no more. But you have to do it.

I do have to ask, does your husband have a problem with this or only you? One way to get the sister to wake the hell up is to get social services to take her kid away- after all, if she doesn''t have a job, she can''t support the child and the child is suffering.

Reply to Jen
Posted by: mE TOOA | 2012/01/20

I am also married to my hubby for two year, parents passed away. His sister is just trouble, she is 42 years old and he has been demanding non stop. I told him that if he ever gives her money or if she can come to my house just for a visit, i am out... gone. I am tired of her, and she is full of lies and a snake. My hubby was so ill he neally died, she went on telling people my hubby has aids and he is dying and he just wish he dies, now he recovered. She is the one who keeps on demanding. I dispise that woman with my life and stopped talking to her let alone greeting her when there are family gathering, i just walk talk, i erased her from my life. But blood it thicker than water, i think he forgave, cause at times he calls her and talk. But she will never come to my house.

Reply to mE TOOA
Posted by: Obvious | 2012/01/19

Stop paying every thing - not one more cent.

She will find it easier to sue the childs father for maintenance than you!

If she does succesfully (extremely rare) sue your husband for maintenance she would also ,at the same time, have to sue all other siblings.

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: Liza | 2012/01/19

The sister is the one being selfish. So never ever feel guilty for not giving money to someone who have proved that they''re just waiting for the next handout. I know you don''t want to see the child suffer because he has a bum for a mother, so Maria''s suggestion of not giving money, but helping out with school stuff and food is a very good compromise. If your husband is willing to take the child on as a foster child, it would be in the childs'' best interest to do so. Then you could sue the kids'' father for maintenance yourselves.

And the family saying that they''re not capable of helping out because they work 8 to 5 is utterly ridiculous. Sure they can''t babysit during working hours, but they can help out by buying food etc. The truth is that they''re expecting you to do what they''re not willing to do themselves - talk about double standards!

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Maria | 2012/01/19

Nope, not selfish at all. Why should she bother to support herself while you keep on doing it for her? It''s always an issue when there are kids involved though. If you want to continue helping, could you a) buy school supplies and food instead of giving money  b) assist her in going to maintenance court to force the kid''s father into caring for his child  c) take the child into foster care yourselves? I know that will require a great deal and I''m not saying that you are obliged to do so in any way. What are your husband''s feelings about all this?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/01/19

His sister HASN'T found work, but one can't assume that she CAN'T find work. She should learn about contracweption, and go to the maintenance court to get an assessment of how much maintenance her bf should pay for the child, and have that enforced. If she hasn't bothered to learn any useful skills top help her find a job, she should not be too fussy, and take a lesser job than she might want, so as to earn money while learning skills to enable her to qualify for better jobs.
She will never bother to do anything to support herself and her child while your husband encourages her to do nothing, by funding this lifestyle.
Of course it is entirely reasonable for you to feel disgruntled - it'd be highly unreasonable to feel gruntled ! If other family members have jobs, they should also be able to contribute some money towards her costs, but they won't so long as your husband takes all that responsibility ffrom them ; and they should also make their aid conditional upon her doing specified things towards becoming independent. Nobody should judhe you unfavourably for not sponsoring her irresponsibility, especially not people who are not themselves bothering to become usefully involved in solving the problem.
I agree with Maria about HOW to help, in ways that minimize the risk of her spending aid intended for the child, on herself. And I agree with Liza - it's the sister who is being selfish and unreasonable, not you.

Reply to cybershrink

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