A man recently asked if he was being a jerk for not buying his brother a new computer. The brother had previously bought him one, but now he demanded another. Here’s what he had to say.
His brother has health problems
The man, 43, has a 40-year-old brother with a serious mental illness that prevents him from working.
He wanted to take classes
He never went to college. Two years ago, he was doing well, and the man told his brother that if he wanted to take classes at the local community college, he would pay his tuition fees.
His brother offered a computer
The brother showed a lot of interest in this. He said he would need a computer for the kinds of classes he wanted to take, so the brother agreed to buy him one. They agreed that he would get him a basic computer, the cost around $200 to $300.
He wanted an expensive one
But the day he went to buy it, the brother called and said that he needed another more expensive computer, which cost around $650.
His brother agreed
“I realize many people have computers more expensive than this — heck, mine is more expensive. I figured I might as well get him something he can use, so I bought the more expensive computer,” the man said.
He never went to school
Despite many attempts to help him connect with the community college, the brother never enrolled in the course. Instead, he used the computer for fun and took it everywhere he went. “I wished he would go with me to check out some classes – but I figured at least he was having fun,” the man said.
The computer broke
About a year and a half later, the brother called and told him that he had ‘fried’ the computer and would need a new one.
The brother was reluctant
“I told him I would need some time to think about it. I had so many mixed feelings about this. The whole point of the computer was to help him do something productive with his time. That’s not how he used it,” the man said.
His parents thought he should do it
The man knew that if he bought his brother another computer, he would simply use it as a toy. When it breaks, will he need to buy him another one? His parents think that he’s being mean and that he should buy him a cheaper computer to satisfy him.
He doesn’t feel obligated
“I don’t think I should have to buy him anything. It was a gift, and he broke it,” the man said. The parents are very disappointed with him and feel that he doesn’t consider the brother’s mental illness. Having said that, the parents haven’t bought the brother a computer either.
There’s some guilt
The man feels guilty because he can afford to buy his brother a new computer, and he knows that his brother doesn’t have much to do, and the laptop connects him to the outside world.
It might not end
“But I wonder when my responsibility will end. I’m afraid if I purchase another one, I’ll be on the hook forever,” the man explained.
He asked for advice
One user said, “Your parents should pay for a new computer if they want him to have one.”
Another wrote, “NTA and if your parents think he really deserves a computer, they should get him one and stop guilt tripping you into buying him one. And you’re right, if you buy him another one, it’s something that not only he will expect, but also your parents and the expectation of caring for him will never end.”
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