My Brother Is Controlling My Mother

Last Updated on June 13th, 2023

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Family is the single most important thing in many people’s beliefs. Yet, while some people do share particularly strong bonds with those who are related by blood

The sad truth is there is no end to dysfunctional families with unhealthy relationships between siblings and parents alike.

One example is when your brother manipulates and controls your mother, especially for financial gain. There are several reasons why and how they might do this, so it’s important to recognize the signs before things get out of hand.

Keep reading to learn more about how you should approach this subject and more.

Man wearing a white tank top and suspenders sitting on the floor - My Brother Is Controlling My Mother

How Can You Stop it?

Unfortunately, depending on the situation, you might not be able to stop your brother. Situations where this is the case are typically when you have an elderly or aging mother, and your brother has been given power of attorney (POA) over her assets and finances.

You might be able to fight for the POA through legal recourse if you can prove that your brother is not using the authority in your mother’s best interests, but that can cause a deeper rift between you and your brother as well as emotional anguish for your mother.

If possible, it is best to talk with your brother and mother separately because they may not know they are manipulating or being manipulated, respectively.


How To Talk to Your Mother About it?

Talking to your mother is one of the best courses of action because she is the victim (even if she doesn’t feel like it). Chances are, however, that an elderly mother simply wants to provide for and dote on her children during her twilight years.

If this includes letting herself be manipulated, she may not want to talk about your brother’s actions. She may also have diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s that make communication difficult.

The best way to talk to your mother about a brother’s manipulation is to be gentle with your speech and keep things as simple as possible. Point out how your brother has been manipulating her and voice your concern for her.


How Should You Confront Your Brother About it?

Confronting your brother about his apparent or even blatant manipulation of your mother is no easy task.

As we discussed earlier, you could always take a legal approach, but this method is often costly and lengthy and can ruin any hope of having a relationship with your brother in the future. So instead, it is often better to talk things out in a neutral setting where possible.

Avoid being overly confrontational and placing blame on your brother because this will make him defensive about his actions or aggressive about how you don’t help look after your mother (even if you do).


Things You Need to Say

Frame your confrontation and concerns around your mother – your brother may not know or feel he was manipulating her. Instead of directly calling out your brother, use sentences that start with, “I feel…” to shift the blame away from your brother slightly.

Discuss how your mother may be suffering from his actions so that he is aware. Unless he is truly narcissistic or lacking in social empathy, it will be hard for him to ignore the consequences of his manipulation.

As you start making progress, you may be able to set boundaries for what is and isn’t acceptable or even consider a changing of hands for the POA.


Behaviors You Should Avoid

Getting through to your brother to change his ways is often slow. It may take several discussions to reach a satisfactory conclusion for all parties involved. This means you should avoid trying to solve everything as soon as possible, even if that would be what’s best for your mother.

Rushing things is likely to put your brother under pressure and give him anxiety. This could mean he leans more heavily on comforting and familiar behaviors, including manipulating your mother, instead of working towards becoming a better sibling and son.

Steer clear of accusatory remarks and tones unless you are prepared to lose the relationship you have with him and possibly make things worse for your mother.


Final Thoughts on Your Brother Controlling Your Mother

The real world is cruel, and families don’t always get along with each other. One of the worst things that can happen is having a brother that controls your mother.

You can do few things when your brother has established his manipulative schemes and even fewer things when he has been given the POA. The best you can hope for is to have honest and open conversations with both your brother and mother individually.

If things go well, changes for the better may be on the horizon but don’t expect these changes to be quick or anytime soon.

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