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Brother versus husband

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:40 pm
by littlescottie
My mother died nearly 2 years ago and left me and my brother the house to sell. My brother has recently returned from an around the world trip. He has no money left and nowhere to live. I still have some money left, but I live with my husband and 2 children. The problem is that my husband seems to think that my brother is now only using me for my money. He has given me the ultimatum that I either refuse to see my brother or he walks out. I have had to do what is best for my kids, so I am only seeing my brother when my husband is at work. I feel really guilty because I want to be able to help my brother.

Is my husband right to protect me from my brother using me, or is he overreacting?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:35 pm
by brfc
well personally i cant see why you need too stop seeing your brother if he hasnt asked you for money. at the end of the day your mums house will be sold and i gather the money will be split 50/50 so he will get some money to set himself up.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:24 pm
by all_apologies
I take it from what you've written that you have been giving your brother money? I'm thinking along the same lines as brfc - you have a house to sell from which your brother will get enough money to set himself up, so where's the problem? Are you having problems selling it?

I think you need to respect both parties. Unless your brother is desperately poor, stop giving him money. Explain that you can't help him out financially anymore (especially considering you have a family of your own to provide for) and that he needs to get a job to support himself.

Also, reason with your husband about seeing your brother. He's probably just worried you're being made a fool of. If you let him know that you'll stop paying your brother's ways, there's no reason why he should be unhappy about you seeing him. There are other ways you can help your brother without giving him cash, like helping him find a job, or at least to sign on in the meantime. Also, getting the ball rolling with selling the house should mean you have no need to worry about him financially.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:51 pm
by littlescottie
We actually sold the house over 12 months ago and my brother has spent all of his money (just over £30K). He doesn't have anywhere to live, and I even worry about whether or not he even has had something to eat.

I know that it is not my responsibility that he hasn't saved any of his money to provide for himself, but my mother always bailed him out of a tight spot and I think that sometimes I feel as though I should take her place - even though he is my elder brother by 4 years!

He owes me money already because I had to fly him back home to get him out of a tight spot in Thailand.

My husband is probably only trying to do the right thing by stopping him taking advantage of my good nature, but it seems a bit extreme to me.

Should I allow myself to be taken advantage of as long as it makes me feel better, or should I really be saying that I am being cruel to be kind making my brother fend for himself?

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:30 pm
by brfc
im afraid that after reading this i feel you have to be cruel to be kind. he wont be able to stand on his own two feet if you keep bailing him out. if he was stupid enough to blow all of his money and not use it on a place to live first then thats his problem. family or not hes a grown adult who should fend for himself.

a trip to the citizens advice would do him some good. be able to tell him how to get back on track with housing and money. i wouldnt lend him anymore he needs to stand on his own two feet and learn from his mistake.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:53 pm
by all_apologies
Yeah this is very difficult. It's all very well for us to say cut him off, but I do appreciate that in real life it's not that easy.

First off, I'd suggest you don't resent your husband. After reading your story, I don't think his ultimatum is extreme at all. He is looking out for your own family's best interests, only because he cares for you and your relationship with him. Imagine if it was the other way round - what if his sister had blown 30k in a year and was milking him for all he was worth?

How much have you spoken about the situation with your brother? If you haven't, I think you need to have a serious chat with him about how you can't continue to support him. As brfc suggested, take him to citizen's advice. It might be easiest on both of you if you do it in a caring way rather than being callous. Let him know you will help him find his way, but that you can't support him financially. Obviously this would go against your husband's ultimatum of cutting him off altogether, but I reckon if you let your husband know that you're no longer going to give your brother money, he'll ease off on the "no contact" rule.

In the meantime you could always have your brother round every few days just to eat with you so at least you know he's getting a decent meal. Once he realises you're not going to pander to him anymore he'll have no choice but to start to fend for himself. Getting a job would do him a lot of good, not just in terms of finances, but in giving him some purpose and hopefully motivating him to grow up and lead his own life.