How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jen Helant Your Own Question

Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Jen Helant is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My younger brother (aged 42) is a waste of space

Resolved Question:

My younger brother has lost his job (he has lost several over the years through redundancy or incompetence). My elderly Dad has been giving him money to live on while he looks for a job. It has been 5 months! I found out that he is applying for high-powered jobs that he hasn't a hope of getting because he doesn't have the experience. Dad is worrying about my brother & about his own financial situation. MB was already in a huge amount of debt before this. He also borrowed Dads car a few weeks & wrote it off. Another worry & expense. I can't help getting angry every time I hear the latest outrage that has happened. But today, my Dad told me to bury my enmity, especially as it is near Christmas. I told him if he didn't want me to get angry, then not to tell me the latest outrage that has happened. The thing is, I can try to distance myself from this but actually Dad insists on telling me everything & moaning about it. If I offer advice, he will not take it. My brother never takes advice. I am very worried about my future & my sister's when we eventually lose my Dad. I cannot carry my brother either financially or emotionally. He is incapable of doing anything without family help. What can I do to save my own sanity & help my family?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 3 years ago.

I understand how difficult this is for you because you are trying to help your Dad deal with this, but although he complains he still does not want to accept it. You also do not want to take your Dad's position in the future and I agree should not need to.

Everyone may need help from time to time and it is wonderful your Dad helps. However, there is a thin line between help and being taken advantage of. Your brother needs to do what he is supposed to do and apply for the correct jobs. If what he is doing is not working then he needs to make some changes. Your Dad helping is good just temporarily. It sounds like it is becoming out of control. What your Dad needs to realize is if he continues to help then it will not teach his son anything and just make him more dependent. Sometimes the best way we can help them is by stop helping them financially and just be there for them emotionally if needed. Being strict sometimes is the way to help people change. If your brother does not need to get a job because everything is given to him then he will not, but if he needs to because is no longer supported then he will find any job in order to make a living. It is time for your Dad to have him grow up by stopping the financial support. I would sit down with your Dad and let him know this if you have not already. Tell him that you do not want to tell him not what to do, but just to show your concern about your Dad. Let him know how he can help him to grow up. Be sure to show him you are not demanding what he does, but you do not want your brother to take advantage of him and you want the best for your brother. Explain how this will continue to hurt both of them, but if he stops then your brother will actually "need" to do something and your father can no longer be put in this position. It will help the both of them. Also, explain how it is his decision if he chooses to continue, but make everyone aware that you will not be taking your Dad's place if something were to happen.

After you do this try to not let this bother you any longer. If your Dad continues then that is his issue. Do not allow it to affect your good well being or stress you out and in the future when you do lose your Dad you have no obligation to do what he is doing. Live your life ignoring their issues. It is up to you if you continue to listen to your Dad or you can just tell him nicely that you already gave your opinion and help. Explain how you really do not want to hear him complain about it if he is not willing to do anything about it. Otherwise if he is willing to take action you will be there to support him emotionally with that. In any case take care of yourself because unfortunately we can help others, but we can not force them to change. At least you will know you did your part and you are not responsible. Maybe it is when your father is no longer around when your brother will finally learn and change if your father does not help the situation sooner.

Please reply back if I can help further even after you leave positive feedback. You can always request me in the future if you like. I wish you all the best.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX

Meet The Experts:

  • Kate McCoy

    Kate McCoy


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
< Last | Next >
  • Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist


    Satisfied Customers:

    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • Ms Chase's Avatar

    Ms Chase

    Life Coach

    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
  • Alicia_MSW's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Specializing in relationship/family counseling
  • Dr. Norman Brown's Avatar

    Dr. Norman Brown

    Marriage Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
  • Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L


    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • Suzanne's Avatar


    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency

Related Relationship Questions