Mother/Daughter arrangement divides family. Any advice on how to carry on?

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My mom and my sister have always been close, especially since the passing of my dad 4 years ago. My sister and I are different whereas I am more independent and I do not ask my mom for help and handle my own issues but my sister asks mom for everything with no guilt whatsoever! My mom is getting ready to retire and she is afraid of living alone as she is getting older. When my dad passed away, my sister sold her home and my mother sold her home and the bought a mother/daughter house out of state (where we are originally from) and slowly broke the news to me. I was hurt that they did that and my biggest mistake is that I failed to say anything in order to keep the peace. To make a long story short, the arrangement didn't work out after 3 years and they sold their mother/daughter house. My relatives were telling my mom that she was making a mistake and that it was unfair to me to even have made the purchase but she said she had to put herself first. Following the sale of their house, my sister and her family moved out of state and about a mile away from where I am living now. They are renting a house right now and looking to buy soon. Well, when mom was out visiting for spring break she started to talk about relocating as she missed the grandkids, etc. I would love for mom to be closer to us!!! So what is the problem? I am hurt that my mom and my sister purchased another mother/daughter house about a mile away from me and said NOTHING to me about it until the closing. They didn't even tell me about it - they went through my teenage kids and texted them the news. When I confronted them about how hurt I was - they told me that they thought I knew about their plans and that I need to not make any problems because we will all finally be together and that mom will be taken care of. All of these decisions were made without me. They basically called me and told me of the "terms and conditions" which I think was a pretty sneaky and disgusting thing to do. The mother/daughter house is quite extravagant and will be in my moms name - so she said it will be my house too. I just don't envision my sister and her husband maintaining a home that is part mine?? It's very complicated. In addition my sister is enjoying her new car and planning on putting her kids into private school next year - where is she getting this money from? MOM!!!. Ifeel my sister doesn't have my mother's best interest - she is enjoying her money!! My mom is to blame because she is enabling this situation and I feel very left out of all of it. I am hurt and upset as well as my husband. My mom and sister think I am being ridiculous - so that is why I am here - looking for advice as to how do I carry on - I am so hurt and disgusted. Has anyone experienced anything like this? I just can't go over there for family get togethers and pretend everything is fine - some people say it is what it is...other say walk away - I don't need the BS. But, it is my family! My husband says for me not to feel bad about anything because they obviously didn't care about me or my feelings when they were planning this behind my back! What a mess! Any advice would be so appreciated! Thank you!

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I had some experience in this area, but on the other side of things. I'm the Mom, 5 kids, husband diagnosed with dementia 10 years ago. A few months after the diagnosis our youngest son (unattached, no dependents, renting) offered to move in and take care of the household things Dad could no longer manage -- clean the gutters, change the furnace filters, mow, shovel, mop when the sump pump malfunctioned, etc. He was not primarily a caregiver but he helped with some of those tasks, too. It did not occur to me to consult the other four kids. This was between Youngest Son and me. I was (and am) competent to make my own decisions. We did not do this "behind the backs" of anyone, but we did not ask anyone's opinion, either.

Apparently you and your husband and your friends all think that they done you wrong by not consulting you. I have a hard time relating to that conclusion.
1) Why would Mother need your input or permission or consultation to decide where/how she wanted to live? Does she have dementia? Is she not competent to make her own decision? Did you have a long-standing pattern of the three of you talking her decisions over?
2) If she had kept you informed of what was going on, perhaps invited you to inspect the houses they were considering, and generally kept you in the loop, how to you think the outcome would have been different? What did you want the outcome to be? Did you want her to buy a house for the three of you + spouses? Did you want her to live alone? What would you have advised? What are the chances you could have convinced her to do it your way?

It sounds like perhaps you feel that your sister was always the favorite, always got more from your parents than you did. And perhaps your sister was/is taking financial advantage of your mother. Those kinds of "wrongs" make a little more sense to me. As Perseverance suggests, figure out what is really bothering you about this situation, and talk honestly about your feelings, with Mom and maybe with Sister.

My five children are not carbon copies. Even the identical twins are unique individuals. They have different personalities, different strengths, different needs. Though I love them all equally, I don't treat them all the same. I don't have the same kind of relationship with each of them. I would hope that if any of them ever question the inequities or feel slighted they would confront me about it and give me a chance to explain and assure them of my unconditional love.

I think your situation is what it is. You may be able to clear the air and come to some informed decisions about it if you carefully identify what hurts you and disgusts you, and in particular how you would like it remedied, and then talk calmly with your mother about it.
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They sound like my Mother/ older sister Narcissistic Team. Don't worry your sweet self over it. They deserve each other. Be happy you are set apart from them. You find your associations elsewhere and they have more compassion and care for you--right? If you think about it, nothing is different from your childhood and I urge you to remember your first instincts regarding their behavior toward you. Don't try to change things now. The movie is almost over. Be strong and retain your independence. You do not want to identify with them:) xo
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I think that there is real value on discussion boards like this to have different perspectives and opinions presented. Then the Original Poster is able to pick and choose what seems to fit best.

I especially think sharing personal experiences is helpful. But it is the nature of discussion boards that when you reveal something personal you open yourself up to judgment and criticism. Based on reading two paragraphs about my life, a poster feels qualified to say that I am a selfish parent, that I play favorites among my children, that I promote sibling rivalry, and that I’ll be lucky if any of my children deign to offer me assistance in my time of need. Whew!

I know the nature of discussion boards, and usually I am able to take this kind of attack in stride. This is not from someone who has ever met me or my children or who knows anything about my family life. But right now I’m feeling vulnerable and a bit fragile. I just don’t need this kind of grief, ya know?

I’m going to take a break from this board for a while. I have a strong feeling I’ll be back – there are some really good and insightful people here. I just need to protect myself from personal attack for a while. Call it respite … and I’m always preaching about the need for respite!
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There goes the smartest, most logical person on Aging Care driven away by an impulsive newby--and I'm being kind, generous, giving the benefit of the doubt. When people are new and make stupid judgements before getting the big picture, they are called "drive bys" on a long-standing thread.
But, Jeanne, a break is a break. Sometimes we need them, but please don't be effected by someone who made an ignorant assumption.
Jealousy and sabotage often attempt to thwart wisdom. Truth and common sense withstands the onslaught. Take Care, Jeanne:) xoxo
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jeannegibbs - I always find your posts to be the most insightful and helpful. I'm so sorry someone is so insecure about themselves that they felt it necessary to attack you personally. Hugs
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I have to agree with other posters. Jeanne gives very sound advice based on common sense and logic. From my own experience, I have only been around one family where the adult children have to live their life according to the elders approval or the approval of the overall family. I believe that when family members are very entwined with each other, it is not healthy. My son and dil came to live with us a year after they were married. They were and still are struggling to get by because of their own decisions regarding finances. They lived with us for a year. I did not consult my married daughter as to whether she approved or not, nor did she expect us to because while we are family, we respect each other. Just like my daughter did not consult us when she bought a motorcycle...much to my horror and fear, LOL!! She has sold it now and I have more peace of mind, but I had to stand back and let her have that experience. We may not agree with other peoples advice or family members decisions, however, attacking them is not a wise way to handle it. As far as our children stepping in to take care of us, I have personally made sure that my children will NOT have to give up their lives to the point of losing jobs, going bankrupt, getting divorced and putting their own health and well being in jeopardy for me.
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Karengra-- I think what you are feeling is by normal and reasonable but I also think it is going to drive you nutso if you dwell on it. You talked with your Mom, right? Did you talk to your sister? My suggestion would be to tell them how you feel, hear them out and then accept whatever they decide. On other words--try and be the bigger person. Only because it will drive you crazy trying to get them to change when, I have a feeling , they will not.
If possible I would try and just enjoy everyone being close together. For your own sanity-not for them. For you. You know they were wrong, your husband does as well, forgive them for their faults and try and be happy with what they can give. I know it is hard but I think it will save you some wasted energy--some people just will not change.

Good luck. And ---these are just my suggestions from what I gathered from your post---if I am way off base I am sorry. (((hugs))))
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I believe when families make major decisions each member needs to aware of what is taking place within the family. It does not matter how many children we have, each one deserves the same respect. I am by no means suggesting you need their approval to make your own decisions but I consider it a courtesy to allow the entire family know when major decisions are being made since it affect each member. I cannot understand why you would not want to meet with the family so each person is on the same sheet of music and not feel left out. Again, you certainly have a right to make your own decisions but why Not tell the children your plans? This is one of the problems that leads to sibling rivalry and the parent should be the last person to come between them by not informinmg them or allowing them to be involved in major decisions. To me this would be a slap in the face if my mother treated us like this way. I would not do it to one of my children. We are all family and have a right to know what is going on and why you made this decision. You may feel they have no rights when it comes to your family decisions , but they should be treated equally and with respect, and be included and informed on what is going on. How can you not see how it affects and and creates sibling rivalry between your other children or how unfair it is to the others? Mothers should not be responsible tor sibling rivarly. There is always too much of this by their own personalities.

It appears you may be a very selfish mother and maybe even have a "favorite son." I am a mother and know we love our children and since they can be so different, we treat them according to their individual personalities but "partially knowing it" and "partially showing it" are two different matters and we should not show partially. How could you hurt the others like that and not care?. What is wrong with families who do not discuss their problems or keep them together by allowing each one to be aware of what is going on in the family. One day the son cleaning the gutters may not be the one taking care of you when you need to be in unable to make your own decisions. But, if you continue to act like you are with your children, you may only have one willing to help you when you need each of them to be there for you, and the favorite son may not be there for you should he marry and no longer need you. I could understand the others reason for not wanting to be there for you when you are unable to take care of yourself? Discussing these family matters is a courtesy that we owe each other. I hope your other children will not hold this against you when you finally need them. Family's were put together to be together and help one other and it hurts when your own parent shuts you out.

Sunny
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I see your point Jeanne, and can see validity in it but it did seem odd to me that the poster's Mom would not have told her of the decision but tell her kids about it instead via text. And then the Mom said it was her house as well but she had no say? Sounds confusing.

See-this is one of those situations, no offense karengra, when I wish we could hear both sides of the story. Maybe we, as strangers unemotionally involved, could be bipartisan-is that the right phrase?

I feel we do not know your whole story karengra-maybe you could fill us in on details like -how communicative is your family on other issues? Is there a feeling of a favorite in the family? Does sis have a history of getting money from your parents? How is the relationship with your Mom outside of this manner?

Anyway-either way-good luck.
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Most of the regulars on here know how to read a post and offer knowledgable advice and opinions which help, not tear down, others. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there is NEVER room on here for judging others. And I've never ever read a post by jeannegibbs in which she judged anyone. Her advice is straightforward, from the heart and from her life experiences. I'd much rather read her answers than any from a drive by who seem to want to "start something" with a total stranger. I've been on the receiving end by one of these "judgemental" types, called names and insulted. They looked like an idiot to me. They claimed to be promoting the understanding of the written word or some far out idea, and after reading their post, it became obvious they couldn't even compose a post. I think some people get on this site just to stir up crap. Believe me, and I know I am right, these types would have a royal fit if anybody responded to them as they had responded first. Following the Golden Rule might be an option.
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