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I chose not to stay with my boyfriend's family while in his country and now no one is speaking to me

Tagged as: Dating, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 March 2015) 2 Answers - (Newest, 1 April 2015)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT ID DID WRONG???

My boyfriend"s cousin lives in one of the Europian countries. The family is very close to absurdity. Even if someone is wrong they are still right.

i am planning a vacation where my boyfriend can't go. I travel 3 times a year, i love it and when i met my boyfriend i told him that, and he was totally ok with it. I am traveling with one my girl friends. But for 3 days i will be in this one town by myself, and this is the town where the cousin lives in. Before i knew that, i booked a hotel in advance, and it was very cheap, with breakfast in the center of the city.

When his mother found out that i will be in that town, she said, she has an idea for me: to stay in cousins house, and cousin can drive me around. At first i though they are offering it to me for free, because i am "kind of" part of a family. But, no, they wanted me to stay in cousins house so i can help her kurt by paying for her services, because she is newly divorced.

The cousin speeks absolutely no English, she was housewife for many years. I thought why not, i speak her language, it will be a good practice to me, and i assumed that it will be cheaper for me to stay with her.

When the final price came finally, i laughed. The room in her house was only a couple$ less than i would be paying in mine reserved 4* hotel. Alos she live 4 miles from the center. On top of that i have to pay her for gas, and hourly rate which would put me into 150$ per day only for her driving me around. That made very little sense to me. I don't even need to use her services, nor stay at her house. I can get around for 10$ a day easily using public trains. Also by staying in her house it will create a major inconvenience for me to go at night somewhere, as to get into center is very far.

I declined politely, and i thought that was over until the mother called. She asked why I am having a problem staying with the cousin. I explained to her that i am not saving any money this way, not only that but i also will be spending more by getting around, and the rate she is charging me by hour is totally out of my budget.I also added, that the rate she is charging me, i could get a private tour wit a professional tour guide who does it for living. But i am not doing it because i can't afford it.

May be i shouldn't have said it. It sounded like i was implying that the cousin is overcharging me. The mother since that doesn't really communicate with me. We would exchange texts few times a week, phone calls, now it stopped. My boyfriend said, i definitely shouldn't just say about professional guide.

I don't know, may be its me, but if we are not talking here about favors, if it is a business transaction, why i can't behave in a business like manner and tell them why i think its not for me.

View related questions: cheap, cousin, divorce, money, text

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (1 April 2015):

CindyCares agony aunt I guess you answered your own question, i.e. although you have all reasons to be annoyed / surprised / irritated, - it's not necessary to shoot at flies with a cannon and you could have chosen to express yourself in a more tactful ,neutral way.

It is true that , this being a business transaction, it should have been handled in a businesslike way- but that's the point !, what you said was, or at least SOUNDED , or could be read as, NOT businesslike at all -just personal,petty,malicious .

Suppose you ask a quote for some hotel and they ask a price, in your opinion , way too high, what do you answer ? :" As if ! I would not dream to stay in a den of damn thieves like yours !! " ?

Or a neutral " Thanks but no thanks ". ?

I think that , being this cousin perhaps greedy but yet is your bf's relative and there are family ties involved - you did not need to comment about the professional tourist guide and stuff like that.

You implied , or seemed to imply, that she is dishonest and out to scam you on purpose ( which may be true but of course her family, bf included, can't be grateful to you for commenting on that - or else, may be not true, meaning she is in good faith and she honestly values her services at that rate ).

In fact , ... you did not need to comment at all, actually, you could have sticked to a " thanks but no thanks ", or "I have a different budget " or " I already got different plans ", or " I'll just stay downtown "....- short, to the point and unemotional.

It is NOT businesslike to explain the how and whys of your refusal ; would you discuss your tastes, decisions and preferences with the manager of an hotel which you won't patronize ?!

After all, what was relevant to you was that you'd get to travel your way to your satisfaction, right ?

- not that you'd get to point fingers, and blame people in your bf's ( and his mother's ) family ,and no wonder that they are a bit coldish now.

Moral : everybody can be in the right- but being in the right with elegance is more difficult. Although in substance your annoyance is very understandable, it could have been handled and expressed in a different way.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 March 2015):

Honeypie agony auntYikes!

I think his family sees you with $$ in their eyes. And I think you need to be mindful of that with the BF too.

Honestly, I would have told them that it was NICE of them to offer but your plans are already made, no further excuses. BUT I see nothing really offensive in what you write. I actually find it VERY offensive that they PRESUME that you should FORK out money to some cousin. Her financial state is NOT your fault, not should YOU be responsible for paying her outrageous amounts of money for doing what FAMILY normally would OFFER for free.

Never let money come between family & friends. AND even less with "in-laws".

You BF might come from a VERY different culture than you. To me it sounds like he is from Turkey or North Africa (Morocco/Tunisia) and I say that because I have traveled both places and I swear the whole barter thing is HUGE part of their culture. And the whole wheeling and dealing, specially with people who are not used to it. Now I DO NOT mean it in an offensive way, but for someone who is NOT used to it (the barter thing) it really can throw you off.

What would be proper would be for them to OFFER to either meet up for a dinner or invite you to dinner (and then you can bring an appropriate gift) but what they are doing is trying to basically RIP you off, have you finance ANOTHER cousin's life for a few WEEKS.

I would talk to your BF - and honestly IF he doesn't agree with you, isn't that a big kind of indication that you have VERY different views on things? But also I would ask him what he thinks you should do (and no, DO NOT go stay and pay out the EARS at the cousins), but how to handle his mother.

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