I Buy My Parents Things That Cannot Be Shared, as My Brother Resides With Us

Family & kids
2 months ago

Navigating the complexities of sibling relationships as we grow up can be challenging, often marked by a blend of rivalry and misunderstanding. As we evolve and develop our own identities, the differences in our values, life choices, and paths can further strain these bonds, making it difficult to maintain the same closeness we once had. One of the Redditors shared a story of the conflict with their brother over providing for their parents.

An internet user shared their story online.

My 32-year-old brother has been with his wife since high school, and they have four children, the eldest being 13. He works in a FIFO camp and earns well, but they spend a lot on luxuries like gaming systems and smartphones for their kids.

I’m 28, living rent-free in my parents’ garage loft to save money. I help with chores and buy groceries for my parents and I.

My brother’s family lives in my parents’ basement suite, initially intended for rent. They moved in after he lost his job.

I used to buy gifts for my family, but my brother’s family often took them for themselves. For instance, my niece lost a special bag I bought for my mom, and my brother and his wife drank a rare beverage I got for my dad.

Now, I treat my parents to experiences like theater shows and fancy dinners, which they enjoy but wouldn’t spend on themselves. I keep groceries in my loft and cook for my parents.

My brother questioned why I don’t share groceries and stopped giving gifts. He doesn’t pay rent and contributes little at home. I work full-time, volunteer, and help with housework and my grandmother in a dementia facility. He called me selfish when I explained I don’t leave things for his family to take.

This led to a fight, and my parents became upset. His wife criticized me for not sharing treats with them. I can afford to treat my parents, but not for five more people who don’t help out.

Netizens even praised the author for their approach.

  • That is actually clever. I’d keep that up. Sporting events, movies, more dinners, shows and any kind of experience rather than effects that can be stolen!
    As for your paying rent or not, that is between your parents and you, none of your mooching, stealing brother’s business. In the long run, I don’t think you will be happy in that house as long as your brother is there. What you have to figure out is which one of you will move out. I find it ridiculous that a man who can father half a football team has had to move in with his parents. FragrantEconomist386 / Reddit
  • You did give physical gifts, and your brother and his family have used them instead of the intended recipients. You might not pay rent in money, but you do contribute to the household in that you help with chores and other things. Your parents should be the ones dealing with your brother, SIL, and their kids because it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Efficient_Wheel_6333 / Reddit
  • You found a way to bypass your brother and family to get nice and thoughtful gifts for your parents, ones that could not be stolen. It shows initiative. Be sure to always keep your loft locked and do not let anyone have a key. If you give your parents a key, your brother will weasel it out of them and then rob you blind. No-To-Newspeak / Reddit
  • He’s expecting you to provide for him and his family by asking you to put groceries/gifts in their side of the house. If he was originally there as a renter, he should understand that he is paying for access to the space, and with it, he is not guaranteed what your parents own, only what he originally agreed to when he began renting. borntoparty221 / Reddit
  • He’s made his decisions, he’ll have to live with them. Doing nice things for your parents is awesome and a great way to repay their kindness. But your brother doesn’t contribute anything to your life, all he does is take, so why would you give him anything? He’s the one with a wife and kids. Maybe if he spent his money better, he could go 50/50 with you and have a say in things. ProblemCouple / Reddit
  • You buying someone gifts is not your brother’s business. Your arrangement with your parents (rent) is also not his business. Where you store your food... again, not his business. What your parents (fully capable adults) decide is appropriate for their house... is their decision alone. Your parents sound awesome, you should take them out for supper in the near future. Grand-Corner1030 / Reddit

Another Reddit user, a mother showing great warmth and support to her daughter who lives with her along with her children, faces a family crisis. This complex situation, stemming from the close-knit relationship, risks harming many, including the children.

Preview photo credit Hungry_Tear7605 / Reddit


Get notifications
Lucky you! This thread is empty,
which means you've got dibs on the first comment.
Go for it!

Related Reads