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My Eldest Sister Treats Me Like She's My Mother And Mum Allows It

Community Member

My eldest sister is 40 an I'm 37, we still live at home and for the past several years, she's treated me like she's my mother.

I don't know how many times I've overheard her having private conversations about me with mum. On one occasion, I was sitting in my room and heard her say to mum "Adam's not doing this, how should we punish him? Maybe not allowed to use the computer? How long would you say? A week? Two weeks? Yeah, how about two weeks? I know, why don't you go tell him? Go on! Go do it!" Then mum comes in and says "No computer for two weeks" and goes back out into the lounge-room with my sister and says "There I said it."

Several months ago, I went to go on a walk after dinner and she said "No you're not."

Just a few weeks ago I was talking to my young sister on the phone and she came up and said "Off the phone. Dad needs your help"and then shortly after she whacked me on the butt and said "You were told to get off!"

And now just earlier last night, my sister used the excuse of going outside to look at the flowers to have another private conversation with mum about me. I heard her say "And if he doesn't, I'm going on strike." Mum came over to me while I was on the computer and said "When you strip and make your bed, you will dust and vacuum your room." When she went into the lounge-room, my sister immediately asked "So what did he say?"

I like to buy DVDs and Blu-rays for myself and my sister has recently "revealed" that it upsets her. She tells Dad it's because I have so many and because of her, mum tells me "If we can't have what we want, you can't have what you want." The real reason is because they are "desperate" to get another dog but everywhere refuses their applications. They want none of the responsibility that goes with having a pet.

Mum just keeps letting my sister treat me like this but Dad on one occasion told her "You are not his mother, you are his sister. Stop treating him like you are."

8 Replies 8

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi adamc,

Thank you for your post and for sharing what's going on. Not going to lie, reading this really surprised me. If you haven't had told me you were 37 theres no way that I would have ever known and I'm so confused as to why your sister would say or request these things.

What is it like for you when this happens? Have you ever talked to your sister?


The problem with my sister is that she acts like a child whenever Mum's around, saying things like "I love my mummy" or "I need my mummy." She does things to get Mum's approval like putting out washing or making their bed and says to Mum "Look what I did for you. Are you proud of me?"

Many things she does is just sucking up to her like giving more board money or other things, which is of her own choosing. She then tries to get me to do the same and when I refuse she says "That's not fair. Why do I have to do it but he doesn't?"

I think you can imagine how I feel when it happens. I'm unable to stand up for myself. I'm 37 and I get treated like a child. I'm just waiting for, naturally from my sister's "hinting" to mum, that come dinner time I have mum say "Eat what I cook or you go hungry."

My sister used to have a friend but she'd try to control what she was doing so naturally the friend, who I'm great friends with now, called off the friendship with her. If people could describe my sister in one word, it would be "manipulative". Once when I went to the cinemas with this friend, I came home and found, because of my sister" I was not allowed to use the home internet or use Foxtel. It was only supposed to last two weeks but it went for six months!! And I didn't do a single thing wrong at all.

If I ever said anything to her, she'd immediately run to her "mummy."

Community Member

This sounds like a toxic environment, i am sorry you have to live with this. As the reader above i am shocked to hear you are 37 and having to put up with this.

Would moving out of home be an option?

Community Member

Anyone I tell this to is equally shocked when I say how old I am and what I put up with. When I was talking to my Dad about it yesterday he said "You know what will happen if I say something to your sister about it?I will get from your mother 'Don't you speak to her like that.'

My Dad and younger sister have suggested I move out but I'm not sure. I've grown too comfortable living in the house I am now.

Community Member
Hi. That's really messed up. At you're age, I suggest that you move out. It's being comfortable and that versus peace of mind and stress-free life. Hugs!

Community Member


About two days ago, my mum took down some suitcases that were on top of my tall cabinet in my room. I had also some old DVDs/Blu-rays up there and mum told me that a DVD fell down the back of it. I heard her talking to my sister about it later and heard her say "Oh well, not my problem."

Hi adamc,

It's really upsetting to hear that it's coming from your sister and your mother- I'm guessing that you'd get similar responses if you went straight to your mum directly and talked to her more/ or your dad?

It makes sense that you're comfortable living at home if you've never moved out of home, but I also think you might have to weigh up 'is it worth being uncomfortable' since this might be the only way to really remove yourself from this dynamic. If you do decide that it's worth being uncomfortable and moving out of home could be a good option, there's lots of people around to support you.


Community Member

Hello Adamc,

I have several children and have observed the older siblings 'parenting' the younger, I have tried to avoid it between myself and my siblings (I am the elder) but they would probably tell you that I am still the bossy one of us.

Ideally, as adults, you should all be able to have a discussion about what the expectations of each person is to each other. You are 37 and your sister 40, go out for coffee and ask each other, as adults what do you want/expect to happen as your interactions?

It is probably worth asking the older sibling if she feels they have an obligation to step into the role when mum isn't around, i.e. that they will have negative consequences if they do not 'become the mum'.

Hopefully you can talk through the situation and come to a better understanding