Dear Annie: I am a disabled single mother of two, and I work part time. We live in a modest mobile home that is becoming too difficult for me to maintain. The hard winter resulted in frequent frozen water pipes, no heat and high utility bills.
My parents have offered to purchase a house for us, and I would only have to pay the taxes. The problem is my sister, who lives out of state with a well-off husband. She does not agree with my parents’ generous offer and is very critical of me. This makes things uncomfortable. She will demand that my parents make a similar offer to her, which she certainly does not need.
Our parents have helped my sister in the past, including an extravagant wedding. Should I refuse the offer in order to keep the minimal peace I have with her? – Desperate Times
Dear Desperate: Please do not make this an issue between you and your sister. It is between your parents and your sister. She begrudges you this house because she believes her parents favor you, and that, for whatever reason, you don’t deserve it. She doesn’t see the things your parents have done for her as equally fair.
You have two children who need a stable home, so we say take the offer, but do your best to maintain it responsibly and repay your parents over time. Your sister accomplishes nothing by preventing you from accepting this deal, except perhaps the satisfaction of knowing that she has power over the family’s decisions. Let your parents discuss it with her and deal with the fallout.
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