Dear Viv: My brother is breaking our mum's heart

On this week's podcast, Viv discusses what to do when your brother is upsetting your mother

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By Viv Groskop on

Dear Viv,

My brother is 25 and two years older than I am. He lives with his fiancée about 10 minutes from the family home and works with our dad. He is an incredibly sweet and often sensitive man but now he and his fiancée are slowly breaking my mum's heart through their careless and often selfish actions. 

They will leave my mum's messages seen yet unanswered, coming to her only when they are in trouble, which is happening a lot at the moment with my brother's work. Although he speaks frequently about his duties, he seems to get into trouble [at work] through his own laziness and has been told that one more mistake will see him out, which in turn hurts my dad who supported him in getting that role, and leaves me worried there are possibly deeper issues at bay. My brother also makes rash and senseless decisions regarding his money and his time, which leaves my mum feeling dejected and torn between leaving him be and wanting to desperately help or have any communication with him.

I'm a firm believer in talking about any issues to resolve them but my mum lives in fear that if she does, both he and his fiancée will get angry at her and never speak to her again as similar actions have happened in the past. I feel unable to help as she has begged me not to speak to them about their behaviour but after he "forgot" to send her a card or even wish her a happy Mother's Day, I don't feel I can sit in silence anymore as my mum continues to get hurt, living with this constant anxiety surrounding my brother and his partner. 

How can we as a family possibly tackle this situation when my mum is so reluctant to speak up and my brother so blind to his actions? I feel like our once close family is falling apart and I don't know how to fix it.

Got a question for Viv? Email her at The Dear Viv podcast airs weekly on The Pool at 5pm on Tuesdays. All letters will be edited for length. Unfortunately Viv cannot reply to your emails personally. 

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Viv Groskop

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