Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Mom favors my brother

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  • This topic has 22 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 weeks, 1 day ago by avatarsgsaneinca.
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  • #848954 Reply

    Hello, I’m a 40 year old guy, my brother is 3 years my senior.
    I’ve ignored this problem for a long time but the older I get the more it bothers me.
    Here goes;
    My mom favors my brother, always has. Even as children she treated me differently.
    My mother paid for my brothers university in cash, and he dropped out. She wouldnt even fill out her portion of the financial aid application when I wanted to go. Therefore I had to wait until I was 23 to go to college(that’s when parental support is not considered)
    She calls him on birthdays and fathers day. Doesnt call me(I always call her)
    Whenever I see her(a few times a year as she lives 4 hours away) she brings up things I did as a child like how I smoked or got caught sneaking out at night etc)
    She threw him a huge party for his 40th Birthday, she didnt even call me. She bought him 2 cars when he was younger, never bought me one.
    Now shes doing it with my kids. She takes my 12 y/o places but ignores my 9 y/o. She literally hasnt even seen my 18 month old twins.
    And it’s not my brother is super special, by all measures of success I have a better job and have never had to depend on anybody else. Hes been fired from several jobs, cheats on his wife, and hes kinda a jerk tbh.
    Idk what to do. On one hand I’m mad, the other im sad. Part of me wants to just cut ties with her.

    #848957 Reply

    That really sucks. Unfortunately, as you seem to understand, she’s not going to change this behavior. I’d focus on your kids’ experience and making sure the younger kids don’t feel slighted by grandma – maybe stop letting her do one on one things with the eldest for a while? It’s tough territory, but you’d be justified in cutting ties or just scaling way back on contact… whatever you need to take care of your emotional wellbeing. Counseling would help too!

    #848964 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    Therapy, and stop letting her have one-on-one time with your kids. It’s tbe whole group or none of them. And limiting your interactions with her to just a couple times a year would probably be helpful for everyone too.

    #848966 Reply

    Definitely look into therapy. Not to fix anything, but it can help you let go of the mother you wish you had, the one you deserve, etc and come to terms with the reality of the one you have.

    Don’t allow her to do the favoritism with your kids. She can come visit all of you, the entire family or none of you. Quite frankly, with her past behavior I’m not sure I’d let her have time with the kids without another adult supervising.

    #848969 Reply

    I agree with therapy and with not letting her show favoritism with your kids. No grandma visits are better than grandma ignoring 3 out of 4 kids.

    #848973 Reply

    I think I’d mostly cut out grandma visits. Even if you insisted she take all the kids or both of the older kids you know she could still ignore everyone but the oldest, even if they are all there. Do this for the well-being of all of your kids, including the eldest. Probably a big factor in how your brother turned out is that your mom favored him so much. He could do no wrong, even when he did wrong. He never had to learn to work hard to get the things he wanted and he didn’t have to be nice to people. If you don’t want that for your oldest then they shouldn’t be having time with grandma anymore than the other kids should.

    You are the gatekeeper to your family. Your mom isn’t good for any of you. You have no obligation to go and visit her. You have no obligation to host her in your home. You can draw the boundaries that work for you. You get to decide how much time, if any, she spends with your family. If you decide that no time is what’s best then that’s fine. If you decide that brief, supervised visits is best, that’s fine.

    Your obligation is to take the best care of your family that you can.

    #848975 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ

    Please don’t let your mother inject this poison into your kids’ lives like she did yours. She’s not good for your kids. And like anything else that was harmful to them, you should cut contact, or at least severely limit it and have their interactions with her always be under supervision, with the understanding that if she starts the favoritism BS, it will end.

    #848981 Reply

    To repeat what others have said, it’s your job to protect your kids from her now. Don’t indulge her favoritism.

    #848985 Reply

    Cut ties. You have suffered your whole life over this and what? You want that for your kids? If you want to give her one last chance tell her treat them equally or not at all. Then walk away when she pulls her nonsense. If kids ask tell them she’s in a time out until her behaviour improves. Kids understand.
    Go volunteer at a senior’s centre and find a new grandma for them. One that isn’t a sociopath. I’m sorry. No grandma is better than an abusive one sowing seeds of resentment amongst your children and damaging their relationship with each other.

    #848993 Reply

    Why don’t you just send your mom a letter describing all the things you have witnessed and experienced and felt during your up bringing and now with your kids. Send the letter with a signed by recipient so you know she received it.

    Once she reads it you can be all ears to how she reacts to what you had to say and move on from there.

    A letter is the the best way because you can write down everything vs choking back on words and emotions when you try to express your thoughts in person.

    #848997 Reply

    I do not recommend writing that letter and actually sending it. @Logan the likely response from this woman will be to attack him, rant about him to anyone who will listen and make this much much worse.

    This mother sounds like a classic narcissist. In some families a narcissistic parent labels someone as “The Golden Child”. This child can do no wrong. It keeps everyone off center. Everyone is trying to have the status of the golden child and be loved like that kid so everyone is competing for love.

    @The_dude, you are not alone. Please read up on narcissistic behavior and narcissistic parents. I have a feeling you’ll see a lot of similarities. There are a lot of different techniques for dealing with narcs. The biggest one is to just let them be who they are, but limit your time with them (or just cut them off). Once you stop fighting for their affection, she may pull out a lot of different escalation techniques. I think here the best path is “grey rocking” or “dropping the rope” – in short, when she says how wonderful your brother is or his kids, you simply acknowledge her feelings.
    “Brother’s kids are so wonderful, they do these fantastic things.” “Yup, you sure like to talk about brother’s kids.” End. No comment on your kid. No highlighting their accomplishments. When you get off the phone you hug them and tell them how wonderful they are.

    #848998 Reply

    Yeah, for a lot of reasons I don’t recommend writing a letter like that. I don’t even recommend trying to sit down and talk with her or take any action until you know what you’re dealing with. Could be narcissistic personality (do read up on it for sure), could be something else… I’d recommend talking to a therapist about your mom and your feelings about her. See if they can help you figure out what’s going on with her, and develop coping mechanisms, process your feelings, bolster your self-esteem.

    Basically I don’t think her behavior is ever going to change, but you can change how you deal with her and how you respond.

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