Craigslist

Grieving widow supported for kicking her brother out of the house

A woman has been praised online when she revealed she kicked her brother and wife out of her home after finding out they had given away her late husband’s piano.

The original poster (OP), known as u/Throwaway69509765, posted about her situation in Reddit’s popular “Am I The A**hole” forum where she received over 12,400 upvotes and 2,300 comments. The job can be found here.

Conflict between siblings

Research on sibling jealousy has also shown that sibling resentment from childhood often carries over into adulthood. A study conducted by Oakland University found that about 30% of respondents felt apathy or animosity toward their adult siblings.

As Marlene F. Watson, Ph.D., LMFT, and Training Director of the Ackerman Institute put it Newsweekconflicts between siblings in adulthood often stem from a biased perception of their siblings.

Here, an archive image of a couple stressed out about moving house. A woman has been praised for kicking her brother out of her home and told to contact authorities about her piano being moved without her permission.
fizkes/iStock

“People are locked into specific roles and how one perceives the other,” Watson said. “Some of it is determined by gender or culture. For example, let’s say you have someone who has been seen as the most successful in the family, sometimes the other siblings see that as an obligation to help them.”

She explained that this sense of obligation, or sense of being owed, is common but often leads siblings to allow each other’s unhealthy choices.

“By virtue of being in a family, there are obligatory bonds that we can have, like showing up for the holiday dinner,” Watson said. “We develop these expectations within the family about what we should get and they don’t go away just because we become adults.”

Some of these expectations can be as simple as wishing someone a happy birthday and as complex as moving a family in during a difficult time.

“There may be a brother who has been identified as ‘the good brother’ or the ‘nice brother’ and that’s usually the person who will be taken advantage of,” Watson said. “As siblings, you have to think about whether you’re allowing the behavior or not.”

She said it is important for individuals to set strict boundaries with their siblings to ensure they are not manipulated and do not allow sibling behavior.

“Just because someone gives you the role of good brother doesn’t mean you have to accept it or have to do things you really don’t want to do,” she said.

But most importantly, Watson said it’s important to save yourself the “angst” and energy of being angry by accepting forgiveness.

“Learn to forgive, then set your boundaries and stick to them,” she said.

‘AITA?’

In the post titled “AITA for giving my brother and his wife 2 days to return my piano?” the 32-year-old said her late husband died six months ago.

She said that after they met, she developed an interest in the piano since her husband was a piano teacher.

“He taught me how to play it and he helped me buy one (used but still a bit expensive) 2 years ago,” the post read. “I play it every day, after he passed away. I just find comfort in spending time playing.”

However, the PO explained that her brother and his wife have come to stay with her for the past two months after losing their apartment and often complain about her gambling.

Although she only performs during the day, she said her sister-in-law and brother told her to only perform when they weren’t home and she refused.

‘Last Effort’

“Yesterday I was out with friends for the day then came in the evening to find my piano was missing,” the post read. “Turns out my brother had moved it to a friend’s garage while I was away.”

The PO said she “exploded” on her brother and said he was not allowed to touch or move his piano. The OP’s sister-in-law replied that it was a “last ditch effort” to get “peace and quiet in the house”.

His brother then said he would return the piano once he and his wife found a home of their own and she would “live alone” to “play the piano all day”.

“He was sarcastic in his last line and couldn’t take it. I told them to pack their bags and leave my house as they weren’t welcome after that,” the post read. “He panicked and tried to beg me to calm down and be more rational, but I threatened to call the police if they refused to leave.”

The PO’s brother then packed up with his family and left, but said he would only return the piano if she agreed to let them move in.

“They believe what happened was a misunderstanding and each of us mishandled the situation, so they want to start over,” the post read. “I lost it and told them they had 2 days to return it or I’ll call the cops.”

But the OP’s mother is pressuring her to let her brother and his family go home because it was “her fault” for not having “consideration” for her guests. Now the PO is being branded ‘irrational’ and ‘cruel’ for kicking him out and ‘watching him struggle’.

Editors’ reactions

More than 2,200 users commented on the post, with many urging the PO to contact authorities and report his brother and wife.

“You’re still grieving and your brother AH (and your mom??) is fucking doing this stunt for you?! He’s gonna put the piano on Craigslist for some money after he had to move…wake up! !Call the cops today!!!NTA.”

“NTA is your place and your piano,” another commented. “GET THE COPS INTO ACTION. They had no right to pull this shit with you. This is your home, your property. The audacity is mind-blowing. They take advantage of you so graciously giving them a place to stay, especially at such a difficult time in life for you.”

“Do that police report now,” another user commented. “They had their chance to be reasonable and do the right thing, but they didn’t. They don’t deserve any more warnings.”

“You can also try posting on social media tagging your brother so his friends can see it. Let them know that whoever is storing the piano is currently storing a stolen item and they have XX hours to return it before the police intervene?” another user suggested. “You just know he didn’t tell the truth to whoever keeps it!”

“I’m shocked that anyone, especially your own mother, condones your brother’s a**hole behavior. This wasn’t his house, this was yours,” another commented. “He had no right to dictate your actions, or touch your property, let alone hold it hostage to make more demands???”

Newsweek has contacted u/Throwaway69509765 for comment. We were unable to verify the details of the case.

Newsweek’s “What should I do?” offers expert advice to readers. If you have a personal dilemma, let us know via [email protected] We can ask experts for advice on relationships, family, friends, money and work and your story could be featured on WSID at Newsweek.

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