Sibling(s) that do nothing!

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My sister who lives 20 minutes away from our folks, visits them about 2 or 3 times a YEAR (holidays). My Mom was recently in the hospital and my sister did visit her there, (last time she saw our Mom was July 2013). My sister was crying and did seem genuinely concerned. I do not understand how someone could not visit their folks for such a long time and offer no help, yet I did very much get the impression that she cares. My sister does not work, and clearly has her days free, but does have time to travel, etc. My sister is an intelligent woman, and she knows that I am upset with her for never helping out, and she knows that our folks are hurt emotionally that she rarely visits. I cannot understand my sister's thinking. Is it arrogance, laziness, selfishness or a personality disorder? Would love to hear stories about her sibling(s) lack of help?


It could be arrogance, laziness, selfishness, a personality disorder, fear, denial, incidents in the relationship that you are not aware of, depression or other mental health issues, or lack of caring. You might be able to understand her thinking better if you ask her directly, in a nonjudgmental way.

You say that she does not "offer" to help. Does she turn down direct requests? If you say, "Can you stay with Mom on Saturday?" or "Can Mom come visit you for the weekend?" or "Would you take Mom to her hair appointment this week?" does she turn you down. If so, does she offer an excuse?

How does she know that you are upset with her? Have you explained your concerns, or is she picking this up from body language and tone of voice, etc. How does she know that your folks are hurt? Have they told her, or are they expecting her to pick up the vibes?

This is very disappointing. You'll get lots of responses -- you are definitely not alone!
I have asked her directly if she can help with doctor's appointments, and she says to "hire a driver". She says she will not help me with caregiving, because "she will not give up time with her husband". Her husband works during the week, so she could help during the week, and I have asked her and she refuses, and she always, always has another excuse. This has been on-going for years, so she won't change. My parents are very emotionally hurt that she rarely visits, and I have told my sister this, but she has not changed. She rarely calls them, about once every two months. don't understand her, and I agree that this is very disappointing.
It is disappointing for you. It is disappointing for your parents. But it is what it is. I doubt you'll ever know what her thinking is, but even if you did, it might not change anything.
It sure is disappointing... Just move on and continue to love and care for your parents.. Sister has to live with her decisions and so do you.. Your a better person!! Hugs..

FYI I'm youngest of 7 kids and Mom's been with me for over 12 years.. Only 1 of my siblings visit Mom... Mom needs my support and that's my priority..
parents somehow know years in advance who they can count on. they raised you, they know what your made of.. i have one son who thinks only of himself and another who would carry " stick man " across a burning desert. one will inherite a home and business someday and the other will inherite a closet full of used mc carbs. lol..
Not a lot you can do but let it go. I have a very similar situation. I care for my in laws by myself.

My sister in law lives 10 minutes away and may come to visit once a month and call once a month. Initially I was bitter about this, a break would have been much appreciated, but I realize that she has her own issues, own life and own priorities.

You really do just need to let it go because that's what's best for you.
Boy, don't get me started on this'm the daughter in law...there are 8 other kids..but only one tries to help which is my sister in laws been with us 13 years..sil was supposed to take them, backed out..her new husband of 2 years did not want them..I'm furious at is her marriage more important than mine? the other kids? yeah, cards at birthdays, son lives an hour away..haven't heard a peep out of him in 2 years. I gave up.

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