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

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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?


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.
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