Dear Katie & Kelly,
My brother frequently takes advantage of my parents. They live an hour away from him and his wife who constantly ask my parents to babysit their kids for any myriad reason. My parents are older and don’t need the extra stress of driving back and forth so often. I told my brother that I thought he should be more thoughtful of our parents’ time and health given their age. He was so rude to me in return. I don’t even want to get into what he said to me because it was beyond mean. I don’t even know if I can ever speak to him again. I can’t believe I was in the wrong for simply mentioning my brother might want to think about their well being.
Looking for answers
Dear Looking for Answers,
Adult sibling relationships can be fraught with issues even more so than when we’re kids. Your parents are old, not slaves stripped of their free will. They can say “no” to your brother and his wife but choose to say “yes”. You were not in the wrong per se because it’s how you feel and you shared it with your brother. His reaction seems a bit OTT (“over the top”). But, telling your sibling he’s not being as thoughtful as you are isn’t exactly the path toward a friendship with him. If you want a good relationship with your sibling — and we assume that’s why you’re writing — then learning when and where to bite your tongue and to pick your battles is the key ingredient.
All our best: K & K
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