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My Cousin Is Taking Advantage Of My Mom

Dear Sugar
About a month ago, my aunt passed away and my older cousin moved in with us. My mom is in the middle of building a new house so money has been a little tight. My cousin has no respect for watching her spending habits and is constantly buying clothes, makeup, etc... It makes me furious when she takes my mom’s credit card and spends frivolously when everyone else in the family is making a conscience effort to save.

Since my mom has been so busy and stressed out with our new house, she has asked us to pitch in and help with household chores. While I have been trying to support my mom and keep the house tidy, my cousin is a lazy slob. She leaves her things all over the house and never even makes her bed. My mom has had numerous conversations with her but she just won't change. I am so frustrated with her attitude. Fed up Fiona

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Fed Up Fiona
I am so very sorry for your loss. Your mom certainly has been compassionate and gracious to open her home to your cousin, and I can completely understand your frustration. Your cousin should be respecting your mother’s wishes instead of being a couch potato. However, try and give her some time before you take a stand with her.

Since her tragic loss, she could be acting out as a form of rebellion. It could be to gain attention, sympathy or maybe she's feeling angry right now and just doesn't feel that all of the rules apply to her right now. Has your mom taken the credit card away from her? Have there been any repercussions to her actions?

In time, if she continues to keep this up, then maybe you should talk to her and fill her in with what's going on with your mom, the new house etc. Gently let her know that you understand that she will be mourning for a long time, but that if she could be more considerate it would make this easier on everyone. Explain the house rules in a non-threatening way.

Also, be sure and let her know that you are always there for her whenever she wants to talk. Once you open the lines of communication with her, hopefully you can come to a middle ground and find a way to co-habitate.

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Blackwood Blackwood 8 years
while she is obviously hurt, and in her right to act out, it just doesn't mean that her family (which are supporting her by having her living in their house) has to take it. I mean, I take that they didn't kill the aunt, so why should be they be paying for the price of something like that? I get it, her mom died, but that doesn't mean that it's her family's fault and that they have to put up with her selfish sh*t because of that. It's not that she's sad and angry, she's being deliberately unconsiderate to the very same people that are taking care of her.
jaxon jaxon 10 years
While I agree that she's acting out because of her mother's passing you did say your OLDER cousin so I think she is old enough and mature enough to handle her grief with using your mothers credit cards wildly. I think the best thing to do is ask for them back if you want just tell her you need them for something. Then talk to her try to get her to open up about her feelings if she can't suggest counseling. Also, was your cousin a slob before she moved in? That might just be how she has always been and your guys will have to meet in the middle
ishtar ishtar 10 years
it does sound like your cousin is acting out bc of the death but your mother is the one that has to put limits on her. a start would be taking away the credit card. your mother should just tell her that you simply can't afford it. remember, people don't take advantage of you if you don't let them.
skyslang skyslang 10 years
OH my god, her mother DIED a MONTH ago. What is wrong with everyone?! I feel like I'm in crazy land. That is a horrible loss. The worst a kid can endure. Don't you all think it's understandable that she's acting out? BG
nicachica nicachica 10 years
it definately sounds like your cousin is acting out in frustration and sadness because of this huge life change. get her to counselor ASAP, especially since its only been a month since her mother died. i'm not excusing her behavior, but try and see things from her point of view and get her some help. she definately needs to find a healthier way to mourn and heal from this loss.
la_clique la_clique 10 years
I agree with the others...it is totally unreasonable that she is using your moms cc's! She is part of the family, she needs to pitch in, too!
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I can't get past the fact that she is using your Mom's credit cards. What is your mom doing to stop this from happening? I am all for mourning but she needs to start being responsible and your Mom needs to step up and tell her no when it comes to the credit card thing. I assume she is asking before she uses them if not then maybe you should also have a chat with your Mom!
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
how old is your cousin? this is very juvenile behavior. i definitely think she's dealing with the loss of her mother but stealing (using someone else's credit card is stealing) from family is unacceptable. i think dear has some good advice, maybe you can gently recommend a counselor so she lets her feelings out in a less harmful way to everyone around her.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
WHAT! I do not care if she lost her mother or not why is she spending on ur moms credit card? Why does she even have them? Snatch them up and tell her to chill. Sure she needs time to heal and such I get that but thats not an excuse to bite the hand that feeds you nor is it an excuse to let her trample on ur mom. Stick up for mom. ASAP -------------------- -------------------- Watch us play secret santa, and every tuesday fab find for our wishlist!
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