This user’s parents approached him about their plans since they’re getting older. They wanted him to care for them financially, but he refused unless they stopped doing everything for his brother.
Reaching That Age
OP (Original Poster) is a 34-year-old man approached by his parents about their plans. His parents are entering their 60s, and they have begun to make plans and preparations for their elder years.
Both told OP they expected him to help them financially and as a caregiver. They told him it was his duty as their son to care for them as they got older.
Not So Fast
OP told them he wouldn’t help them with money or care as long as they supported his brother. His only brother is 13 months younger than him and doesn’t have a job or a means of supporting himself, unlike OP.
A Leech Amongst You
Not only does his brother not have a job, but OP said he doesn’t even do chores around the house. His parents do everything for his brother, and he has never pursued an education or a career or gotten any training.
Works for Him
His brother had no problem with this arrangement since it meant he had no responsibilities. OP’s parents even provided him with any money he needed.
OP’s parents did his brother’s laundry and cleaned up after him. He could do what he wanted, when he wanted, and avoided having anything resembling an adult life.
How Could You?
The situation might have been different, OP said, if his parents were wealthy, but they aren’t. On top of that, there’s no reason why his brother can’t take care of himself.
OP said that his brother had no medical impairment or disability. He was non-disabled, and the only reason why he didn’t get a job was because of his parents’ continued support.
Forging His Path
When he turned 18, OP moved out of his parents’ house quickly. His parents had never allowed him to “sponge off them” as they let his brother to.
Self Sufficient Culture
Where OP and his family live, there is no culture of adult children remaining at home and not working. OP and his parents moved out independently when they were 18, but his brother never had.
It’s Just Us
To make matters worse, no one other than OP could help his parents. His brother couldn’t, and their only other family were grandparents, who were even older than his parents.
When he told them he wouldn’t help unless they stopped supporting his brother, OP said his parents got angry. They started putting a lot of pressure on OP, and guilt-tripping him made him doubt whether or not he was doing the right thing.
A Bit of Regret
OP didn’t know if he had done the right thing and wanted honest advice. The main sticking point in his mind was whether or not his demand for his brother went overboard.
The Community’s Two Cents
Redditors came out in strong support of OP, and many had a lot of things to say about the entire situation.
A short, sweet response was the most popular answer, “Not the a**hole. And your parents are the a**holes for planning their future on your dime.”
Some Redditors were a lot harsher, with this comment encapsulating the general mood of the community, “Not the a**hole. They’re asking you to support your brother since they can’t afford to. They want to support him, and they have to pay for it. They think asking you for money for them so they can spend it on a sponge is some clever loophole, but it’s just absurd and unjust. Please stand firm. You only get one life to live; don’t waste it sacrificing for people who don’t deserve it.”
Issues in the Future
No matter what OP does in this situation, he will have to continue dealing with this problem for years.
One Redditor suggested a more extreme course of action, saying, “Not the a**hole! Don’t give up anything for your parents, not money, time, or emotional energy. I grew up believing that adult children had to care for their parents. I wasted every year of my 20s and over half my 30s taking care of my folks, one of whom was an alcoholic. The other parent didn’t take care of themself. It wasn’t till 2020, the height of the pandemic, that I started living my own life. I repeat, do not give up anything. Not money, time, or emotional energy. If they keep up the guilt-tripping, I suggest going no contact.”
Do you think OP should risk going without contact when his parents and brother are going to be the only living family he has? What would you do if you were in his situation?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Support His Parents as Long as They Continued to Support His Brother, Who Still Lives at Home and Takes Advantage of Them. Now They’re Angry at Him! on Quote Ambition.