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Too ungrateful

I have a problem with ungrateful people

Some times you go out of your way to accommodate them and it still isn’t enough.

Now imagine, I have a sister who is pregnant as well as my brother’s girlfriend, and my sister is complaining that I don’t help her do anything.

She lives on her own and this is not her first pregnancy. The first one was hard and she had to get lots of bed rest because she was ill and had people bending over backwards to help. She abused that right up to when she went into labour.

She loved that! Family, friends, co-workers and neighbours and her husband waiting on her and doing whatever she wanted because of “her delicate stage”. Now she’s pregnant again she’s expecting the same treatment but she’s not sick at all.

Her husband has left their home and moved in with his brother. He said he will move back in when their baby is born and we, her family, totally agree.

She wants us to cook, wash, clean, pick up and take my nephew to school, do her shopping for groceries and clothes, pay her bills with our money while she does nothing. Oh and drive her to and from work.

Before he moved out — which she calls abandonment — her husband did everything but she said he wasn’t doing enough.

She had him so tired he couldn’t function at work and he always got there late because she would always remember something that had to be done at the last minute. She told him to move out! She attacked him and threw his clothes outside and told him he wasn’t a man. To make matters worse she called his boss to complain for him.

We had to convince him to leave because he didn’t want to leave her. We helped him move and we put it down to hormones and pregnancy and agreed as a family we would chip in but she is so ungrateful that what we do is never enough. So we agreed we would only do so much because we too have our own families.

There are four of us.

Which brings me to my brother’s girlfriend who is pregnant for the first time and is absolutely glowing.

She is so pleasant, enjoys being pregnant and loves my brother so much. I have never seen him happier.

She has also asked us, me and my other sister who has no children, to help her plan her wedding.

That caused a big argument with the pregnant one who wanted to know how we could spend so much time with her, that she’s being unreasonable because she’s “taking away the time” we should be doing things for her to help her with her wedding.

She had her six-year-old son washing his own clothes and cleaning the house and calling us to take him to the supermarket for “things to cook for me and my mother” and wanting a ride to pay the bills.

We spoke to our brother-in-law and agreed that was time for us to move him so we packed our nephew’s things and he’s with his father until his mother delivers. We didn’t want her to be alone.

Now she calls our mother daily crying saying no one loves her and we’re not treating her with respect. Mum told her to start behaving like an adult and she would be treated like one but she didn’t like that.

The thing is, we’ve only now realised she was always like this and have agreed to help with our niece or nephew but not her.

How can we get her to see she’s being unreasonable and needs to get her self together before she loses everyone in her life? – L. L

Since Yuh Asked, LL, I’d have to say you are doing exactly what needs to be done. I think it is clear from your letter that your family is sincere about assisting her during her pregnancy, but when she needs assistance as opposed to when she wants to be a bother to everyone. I think that’s quite fair. It is clear that your sister is more than a little selfish, and it’s a pity she has to be taught a lesson during her pregnancy, but do what you must.

And don’t let her make you and the rest of the family feel guilty about assisting your sister in law. From all indications she appreciates the kindness she is getting, but is not going out of her way to be a burden. That’s reasonable.

The only thing I am concerned about is your brother leaving home at this time. I understand the constant nagging, but a man has first to be a man in his own home, and pregnant or not he has to let his wife know that he is head of the household and will act the part. He cannot walk out and do that at the same time, even if it is temporary.

But I will say this: If the level of her behaviour threatens his physical and mental health and that is his way of retaining his sanity and good health, then I guess survival must come first. After all, a breakdown that puts him in hospital would have the same effect of separating them during the pregnancy.

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