Should I Financially Support My Sister?

My sister is single and has always struggled financially. However, she is a chain smoker, drinks heavily, and has never been good with money. I am blessed with a good middle class married existence. She drops hints a lot about how broke she is. In the past, I have “loaned” her money. (It is never paid back), but I simply cannot do this forever. Both of our parents are gone now, so she has no one else to rely on. What should I do?

Not a new concept. The “help” you mention should not be for Cigarettes, Alcohol, Drugs and every other concievable evil under the Sun and Moon.

First and Foremost intervention means “confrontational reality” and that needs to be clearly understood. Helping another with any of the above mentioned issues? Is helping them to self-destruct. Helping another to chose “life” is a totally different idea. And when its said “Thansk for the help but don’t tell so and so”? Thats exactly who you shoul tell!

Your sister needs therapy. She needs to come to terms with her issues. Otherwise you will simply be speeding up the process of Death.

Listen I could sit at your kitchen table and cry real live tears, and solemly swear to change to life, “I’ll never do it again”, I’ve learned from my mistakes, and Thank God I have you. And the moment you give then the “cash” they run straight to the Dope-Man. And probly believe God lives inside that Glass Bottle. Sound familiar?

Whos the pity and emotions for? Themself, thats who they feel sorry for, themself. For being in that situation!!!

Helping someone, ANYONE is a beautiful jesture that I’m sure God see’s. But enabling someone to continue a negative lifestyle is a totally different concept.

Help them “get help” by those who are able and qualified to help them. And let them know that if they don’t complete the 3-day program or 30-day or 60-day or whatever it is. You don’t want them coming around disrupting your life constantly. Have them understand you want to help. But not help with their addictions.

The question often comes up…How long should I help? When is enough, enough? There is NO-END to helping others. There are no limit on it. It unconditional. And if you can’t help them? Than most importantly… don’t hurt them!

But help does not mean enabling. Its does not mean giving someone $10-dollars for a bottle when they have the shakes and are in withdrawal. HELP is the alternative to enabling. And its not debatable.

Theres a Hot-Line in every single state in the USA. Find out what your is. Call and find the immeditate services available. And this doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Most state facitlitys have been dealing with these issues longer than all of us been alive. Matter of fact the best programs I’ve seen throughout the country are Non-Profit organizations and many ran by and many associated with the church like Father O’Brian.

Throwing money at problems doesn’t make them go away. Matter of Fact as I mentioned it enables them. And thats definatly not what you want to do. Tell your family memeber you are more than willing to help them…To get professional help. And if they prefer help from other like themselves? Thats OK to, there are plenty out here today with practical experience working in these field.

God Bless,GT

Now is the time to start treating her as an adult. Stop letting her use you, and stop pretending you were put on this earth to save her.

what you should do is examine the real issues underlying your relationship with your sister and deal with them, or at least come to terms with them. She is not going to change, only you can change in your attitude, reactions and behaviors toward her. Do this in love, decide which response is the most loving–and throwing money at someone is often the least loving, thoughtful and caring thing to do–and do it. If it involves an gift of cash (there is no such thing as a loan between family members) consult your husband. You two have to be in agreement on things like are we going to co-sign her loan (never), is she going to live here etc.

If you have reason to believe she is an alcoholic (and a person who drinks heavily, can’t support themselves, ignores their health, is not good with money and has a life in shambles fits the picture) join Al-anon. If either of your parents were drinkers do this today to help you recover from that.

Giving money to an addict or alchoholic is called enabling. look it up.

I have a brother who’s the same way, I’ll buy him food, directly, meaning that I take food to him, however that is ALL.

Invite her to eat with you whenever she is hungry or feels like it. Do not give her money because she’ll just drink it or smoke it up. You could, like Jade above mentioned, give her food. (Couple of grocery bags, with good staples.) Other than that, pray for her that she be delivered from her addictions. And fast, offer penance, etc.

Doesn’t she work? How does she support herself then? Does she have an apartment?

If you want to assist, you could always buy her a grocery store gift card. The Lord does call us to help those less fortunate than ourselves. But I don’t think “support” her is really necessary unless she is mentally incapable, then perhaps she needs to live in a board and care facility.

It’s good of you to want to help!!!

God Bless You:thumbsup:

Corinne, while I agree that a grocery store gift card is a great gift, my brother would return the food for money to buy drugs. I don’t know HOW to get past this except to buy the food, carry it to his house, and keep the receipt.

BTW, thank GOD he’s been off drugs for about ten years now, and that was only when the entire family decided to stop enabling him, he would go to each of us when he was in trouble and at first, we each would help him, unaware of the help given by the other family members. EVEN when he was in jail, he was able to get drugs, how I do NOT know, so
jail is not the place for addicts, unless they’ve committed another crime.

e3342 said on this thread:

" I am blessed with a good middle class married existence."


e3342 said on another thread just the other day:

Well, it was 31 years yesterday. It is very difficult living with such a clueless man. Right now, he is sick with Lymes disease, so I haven’t been bringing up our problems. But if he had his way, we’d just go on as we are. I simply can’t as long as he insists he did nothing wrong. In my state, you don’t need a lawyer to get legally separated. As Catholics, are we allowed to date others while separated?

This doesn’t sound like a you really feel blessed with a good middle class married existance.

See how inconsistancy in threads can confuse those trying to offer assistance.

Anyway----I just spent 6 yrs helping my older sister that has never been able to support herself because frankly she is a lazy slug. She would rather live off a man than get a real job and so when things got tight for her she asked to move in with me and my son with the stipulation that she had to pay her own way and work, that she could live with me but not live off of me. I was willing to give her a fresh start but she had to help herself too. Out of the 6yrs she lived with me she worked for only 2 yrs and only paid a small amount to live here. The last 4 years I paid her way. Finally, I couldn’t handle this anymore and I drove her back to Indiana. She must have had some $$$ somewhere because she was able to get a pretty nice apt and furniture and buy a brand new car. I drive a ‘92’ Buick.

Since you have “been blessed with a good middle class married existance” ORRRRR thinking about getting separated from your clueless husband and wondering if you (as a Catholic) can start dating again while separated--------
whichever the truth is, might be better off getting your ducks in a row and allow your sister to find her own way.


There is no way to be certain of this. She cannot control her sister’s choice of what she buys. What matters is what e332 :thumbsup: does to help, not what her sister does, or what she buys with the grocery store gift card. She is doing a good deed period. And I admire her for wanting to help her sister out.

Horse Lover:

I am very disappointed you always try to drag up previous posts bringing out the negative calling people on this that or the other. Just because e332’s husband is sick, maybe he’s committing adultery, maybe they even have an in-house separation so???----it doesn’t matter in this thread and is irrelevant. She still has the financial resources as a married woman. That is what she is saying. Financially, she is able to help her sister, and is merely asking if she should? And what are some peoples’ thoughts about it. Are you unable to see this?


Oh, I can see plenty. LOL. I have already stated my opinion concerning helping her sister so no need to repeat myself however:

If you or your friends in misery don’t want me to drag up contradictory posts that you make on other threads then I’d advise you (meaning, collectively you) to stick to the facts and not claim one thing in one thread and something entirely different in another. Saying one has a good middle class marriage in one thread and then in another thread state how it is so difficult living with a clueless man that she is not only considering separation, but is already setting her sights on dating again.

Oh and I know—it is really terrible for me to drag up this or that especially since I have caught you being inconsistant in threads a few times too. I don’t understand why you girls find it so very difficult to post accurate facts.

Anyway, you will find that sticking to the facts is always relevant ----on these threads, and most especially in divorce court. :cool:

Helping is doing something for someone that they can’t do for themselves. Enabling is doing for someone what they can and should be doing for themselves. Whatever your situation is, supporting someone who is fully capable of doing it themselves is enabling them in their bad choices. It might make you feel good, but it’s not helping the other person - it’s hurting them.

When she quits dropping hints and talks to you directly about wanting some money, you can talk to her directly about what she’s doing to keep from running out of what she’s gone through already. In the meantime, she does not have “no one else to rely on.” She has *herself *to rely on. It is best for her and the fairest to everyone else if she is expected to hit herself up for help first and foremost, even if it is just expecting herself to come to others openly and directly with her requests.

If she says she doesn’t know how to do this, well…it is the kind of thing you learn in AA. She might need to try that.

She will never change as long as what she is currently doing works for her. And as long as you keep feeding her money, it is working for her.

Hi, I will repost my reply again, because the first time I did it, I did it from my phone and it is buried in the middle of horselovers’s post.

What I said was that it is a habit to call myself married. We are still living in the same house. You know, people here are not looking for the correction police. For the most part, people here are in pain and want good advice, not snide sarcasm dressed up as compassion. From here on out, horselover, please do not respond to any of my posts.

I’d say it’s time to teach your sister to fish. When she complains she’s broke, tell her, well, dear sister, you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day if you stopped smoking that would be an extra $70 a week (I’m guessing it would be more if she’s a chain smoker).

Point her in the direction of Dave Ramsay or Suze Orman and tell her she needs to figure out how to cut expenses and/or increase income and live beneath her means. Help her with a budget.

If she’s genuinely hungry, have her over for dinner but the moneygiving stops.

This is exactly right. I kindly ask you horse lover to refrain from posting on any of my threads either. Thank you. :shrug:

I know you will figure out the right thing to do e3342. Your sister is lucky to have such a nice and caring and generous sister as you. :thumbsup:

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