Der Geldist: My older father was bodily abusive and can depart his farm to my two sisters. Ought to I problem his will?

Dear Moneyist,

I have 2 daughters. Growing up in a farming family during the farm crisis was difficult. My father was extremely abusive, both physically and mentally. When he was 12, he pinched my ears with a pair of pliers. He once told me that he loved me, but he treated me like a farm laborer and always punished me for not doing what he asked.

He paid $ 10,000 apiece for my sisters' weddings and roughly the same for their divorces. I do not have anything. He said, “Pay for girls. Not guys. "I'm 52 years old. Until 3 years ago when my mother divorced him because of his drinking, he still asked me to come out to help on the farm. I did. Through the counseling, I realized that I sought my father's approval. I am still.

The money is:"More help is on the way": The long wait for the second stimulus check is over, but is 600 US dollars enough?

So I did everything he asked. I was repeatedly cursed and he told false stories about me to my family and community. He blamed me for divorcing my mother. Because of the divorce, he wouldn't speak to my sisters for a couple of years either. My sisters told me that they hadn't spoken to him, but they did. They were always preferred.

A sister is now likely facing a great legacy: the farm and equipment. I have been told by several people that Papa wrote to me out of his will. Everything goes to at least one sister, if not both. I'm in iowa. This is really hard to hear as I did most of the farm chores when I was growing up and I was the only one who helped out as an adult. The girls see him all the time now.

Should I challenge the will when my father dies, provided I am written out of him?

Neglected son

Dear son,

I advise against contesting the will. It will prolong the drama and trauma of your childhood. Thank your dad for showing you how not to treat people. It's time to move on.

Whatever you are looking for, you won't find it in your father's final wishes. Any pain that you have had since childhood will not go away with a grand gesture or by contesting that will, even if you have won. This would be an expensive, unlikely, and emotionally exhausting process. It is time you stopped looking for that confirmation from your father.

The answer to your question has nothing to do with your father's farm or your sister's marriages and divorces. Every time your father favors your sisters, you seem to relive the rejection you experienced as a child. He's your father, but he's just another person who abused you, may or may not have been abused himself, and was not the father you deserved.

Susan Forward writes in her book, Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Injurious Legacies and Reclaiming Your Life, “Unhealthy families discourage individual expression. Everyone has to adapt to the thoughts and actions of the toxic parents. They promote merging, the blurring of personal boundaries and the bonding of family members. "

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"Many toxic parents compare one sibling unfavorably with another to make the target child feel like they are not doing enough to acquire parental affection," she adds. “This motivates the child to do whatever the parents want to regain their favor. This divide-and-conquer technique is often used against children who become a little too independent and endanger the balance of the family system. "

Your father raised you and sadly had financial, physical and emotional influence on you as a child. He is a compromised person who appears to have serious problems with anger management, alcohol, and a variety of other unresolved trauma or resentment. But you can't fix him, and you can't fix your relationship with him. This is not your job. You can only fix yourself.

A parent should instill confidence in their child, tell them they are no better or worse than anyone, and train them to make healthy, positive choices. The expectation of pursuing a career that you love and choosing a partner to nourish you is among the most valuable qualities a parent can instill in a child. It can change the course of your life.

Your father didn't do that. But now with therapy you can take that power back and create financial and life goals that have absolutely nothing to do with your family. You are more than your sisters' brother and your father's son. You are now your own husband with your own children and it is time to break free of this dysfunctional family system.

Be the father your father never was. You can be generous with your time and your love and support. He gave you a present: a template on how not to raise children.

The money is: My friend's father buried $ 50,000 in the backyard for his grandchildren. My friend has 2 children but his prodigal brother doesn't have any. Should you share it?

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Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch's Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist at with any financial or ethical questions. By emailing your questions, you consent to them being published anonymously on MarketWatch.

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