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Dad is Abusing Sister's Kindness

  • 03-05-2021 2:48pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    So our dad is a small business owner who was hit hard by the pandemic. He lost a lot of his freelance and contract work. My sister works a minimum wage job, he drops her in and out most days as she cannot drive. Since the pandemic my sister has started paying all the bills in the house. The heat, electricity, internet, tv licence, etc. At first he would ask her if she would give him the money for things and now he just expects it, he tells her to give him her card, he has a bill due. Our dad is a fudging idiot and borderline dangerous with money anyways, he spends huge amounts of money on the most frivolous of things but can't pay for food bar himself, even when we were kids, we survived off food our mother stole from work whilst he would eat out breakfast lunch and dinner, spend huge amounts of money on things we didn't need but he decided he wanted (an apartment abroad springs to mind....I owned one t-shirt to wear outside of school, my jeans were a hand me down from a neighbour).

    Well anyway things have started turning up, he's gotten some contract work back, so now has an income. But instead of helping out with the bills (after all my sister is on minimum wage and pays 100% of all the bills) he's decided he's going to treat himself and his girlfriend to a holidays to the states and the Canary Islands this and next year, he's going to go on a few overnight weekend trips with his girlfriend around the country too when things open up more, he's going to go antique shopping as soon as the stores open up, he's going to buy a new bus, and it goes on like this. I'm of the opinion if he can afford to go buy an antique clocks he can afford to start chipping back into the bills. Even if he just started paying one of the bills like electricity.

    I understand that the lockdown had been hard, and people want to get back to doing the things they used to do but he has just so many, many, many plans to spend money on unnecessary things, meanwhile my sister is expected to pay for everything in the house. He's living off of her dime. She was already paying for her own food and internet before Covid but now she pays for everything. I can't chip in as I am on illness benefit and am living hand to mouth paying rent and my own bills, I've even had to get my sister to help pay for groceries a few times, but dad just keeps demanding a few hundred euro off her every few weeks, he hasn't paid a single bill in over 6 months and now that he has money incoming he doesn't want to help out at all.

    He's a mean old man and will just throw it in her face that he brings her into work and back out off she was to bring it up, he's so mean to her, he's always onto her about her weight, how she's lazy, how she doesn't drive. He forces her to apply for any and all HSE admin jobs going in the local area cause it's a permeant pensionable job from which she can never be fired from; it's her worst nightmare of a job and she really doesn't want it, she's 25 but he loses the rag at her for not having one or when she gets rejected having applied to it bacause he made her apply for it. Anyways my point is our dad is no longer does, and has no plans to help contribute financially towards the house and expects my sister who wouldnt be in the best financial position either to pay for EVERYTHING, instead of helping at all he is going to go on multiple domestic and foreign holidays in the near future, buy antiques and spend lots of money on other lavish things that are not needed, whilst not contributing 1 cent to the house.

    There's no mortgage on the house due to a life insurance policy that was cashed in a decade ago so my sister pays literally 100% of everything. Last year he spent 50k to get a sunroom extension onto the house (part of this was funded via money he took from my sister and I, he doesn't realise we know about this) but yet he still had my sister pay for the electrician and painter. He just gets my sister to pay for everything he can get her to pay for meanwhile he's got plans on how to spend every single cent he has incoming in the next few months and not one bit of it wouldn't be considered a luxury item.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,447 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    Why doesn’t she move out and leave him to it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,533 ✭✭✭Jequ0n

    If you are this irked why don't you focus on helping your sister to leave this unhealthy dynamic?

    If a 25 year old cannot stand up for themselves and live independently they have a massive problem that they might not be able to overcome by themselves.

    Your Dad has no reason to change anything, I wouldn't either. If you are bothered then focus on your sister and not the old sponger.

  • Registered Users Posts: 459 ✭✭Sonic the Shaghog

    Would you and your sister getting a place between ye be an option?

    Sorry for the situation, Jesus I feel sick reading it

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,447 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    Similar advice on this similar thread

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,005 ✭✭✭Tork

    You're being too distracted by your father's behaviour here. He was a lousy husband and father when you were growing up. The only thing that has changed is that now your sister is his victim. Her voice is very absent from what you wrote here. If she can afford to pay all these bills in full while living at home, surely she can afford to move into a house-share and get away from him? That's the most logical, simple solution to me.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought

    what is his girlfriend contributing? Does she live there too?

    Perhaps your father is offsetting the bi-monthly bills with the amount he spends
    driving her twice a day & paying for the petrol - AND her living at hime I assume rent free? Still much cheaper than paying bills AND rent.

    What do you contribute financially? It sounda
    like you are also living off your sister.

    Where is your mother or supporting family in all

    As regards your father it seems like he knows what it is to have no steady fixed income but is trying to not let his daughter repeat his mistakes - and encourage her to get a permanent job where sge will guaranteed pay rises and have a job for life and a career locally - something many people would give their right hand for instead of working irregular minimum wage jobs in dead end jobs with no career prospects.

    I hope your sister kept receipts because if he goes to sell the house she will have a stake in it, and if he tries to leave it to anyone else ( his partner) and edit you or her out - she will have a vested and provable interest/claim in it - far more so than you.

    She sounds like a good sister and henpecked daughter. I have to wonder where she got 50k from if she is working a minimum wage job - dies she simply never ever spend a single penny for 5 years? Seems unlikely but possible.

    You have benefited considerably from her - what have you contributed? And why not?

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,605 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    How do you mean he got yourself and your sister to pay for the sun room without realising you know you've part paid for it?

    He's doing more than abusing your sister's kindness if he's insulting her appearance and intelligence every chance he gets. I don't see why your sister doesn't go for one of those permanent pensionable admin jobs if even just to make some decent money to move out. It might be her worst nightmare, but it couldn't be any worse than enduring her current living arrangements?

    She has to move out and if she won't, I can't see what you can do? Other than tell her to stop handing out money, or come to some arrangement about splitting bills? That said if she moves out she'll likely be paying more than a few hundred every couple of months.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,021 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    So your minimum wage sister is being financially abused by your father, and you admit to also asking her to bail you out on occasion with your bills and groceries?

    It seems like your minimum wage sister is the only one who has a bit of money sense in that family. Have you discussed this with her? Have you offered to help her move out? Have you offered her any help at all?

    Your post is quite long and you obviously are annoyed at your father, but unless your sister actually wants help to change her situation and unless you are actively going to help, then advising you is not worth much. Your sister needs to be the one seeking the advice. It sounds like you are not in a great financial situation yourself.

    Can I just ask, as it's unclear from your post - what advice would you like from people here, and what are you prepared to do to help your sister out of this situation?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,691 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    HI Op

    if your sister does the maths she pays X, living and home and paying the utilities gets her a roof over her head, her own room?, and presumably a comfortable living situation. She also gets lifts to work, which isnt a bad perk of itself.

    If your sister moves out she pays Y to live with strangers in a house share or a bed sit etc. she may or may not get on with these people. She will lose the lift to work.

    I strongly suspect X is less than Y, and your sister is financially better off at home in the short term. That is a very important point. If she would be financially worse off moving out, then why cut off her nose to spite her face?

    Your other points are around her relationship with dad , and your opinion of that relationship. My advice is to be a friend to your sister but not to interfere directly in her relationship with dad. Perhaps she is a timid person who s poor at standing up for herself. You could suggest she does a course on assertiveness, to learn how to stand up for herself (if she feels she needs to). But when it come to dad, she needs to be the person who owns her relationship with dad. you cannot backseat drive for her. so be there for her to back her up, advise where appropriate but be aware how she interacts with dad, is between her and dad.

    Finally you say dad is a nightmare with money. there is a saying
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference

    you will not change your dad and his attitude to money. there are parents who would never accept their children even paying. I know some that think children should contribute when living at home. and there are some who perhaps allow the child to 'over contribute'. If you don't like how things work at dads house, then grown adults do have to power to move out, and if you have a job and an income, and are finished school it may be time for you to move out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,740 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    I'm just curious as to why it's you posting this thread and not your sister?
    If she's not looking to move away from your scrounger dad then why are you getting yourself upset over it?

    To thine own self be true

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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,119 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    Your sister and you need to learn to say NO to your dad.

    He is draining you dry.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 Snoozecruise

    Op, I feel for you reading this post, it is such a horrible situation to be in, I also have parents that would take and take off us and if questioned its "I got you out of trouble when.." an you owe me attitude.

    The only advice I can give smiliar to the previous poster is for you and your sister to get a house share together. Your sister needs to get out of that toxic environment. Even if it means paying rent on minimum wage, you do learn how to budget.

    I see some comments stating that at 25 your sister should be able to stand up for herself but believe me this falls into emotional blackmail and you are really made feel worthless until you give in and then made feel guilty or worthless when they need cash next, smiliar to your comments about her driving/weight.

    I do hope your sister manages to get out soon and leave your dad accountable to some responsibility.