Family Matters
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My family from overseas wants to use me

A couple of years ago I made the trek from my birth country to California (being a US citizen myself). Back in the day, it was REALLY tough for me to find a job in my birthplace, so I decided to invest all my savings to finally get away from that dead-end hole. Some family members disrespected me during those times, nobody supported me while I was trying to accomplish my goal and most took me as a joke when I said I was leaving.

I built myself a new life here with friends, a job and my own place and ppl back home seem to look at me in a different way now. Thing is: an uncle of mine who was in a better economic/social standing wants to send his son here with me so I help him to make a living in this country. The guy always treated me like I was incapable of accomplishing anything on my own. He constantly teased in front of people to embarrass me, he even treats me mom like she's worthless and inferior in comparison with others. He's the kind of guy who always seems to get away with everything he does and he thinks he's better than the rest. He's capable of lying, exaggerating details to make everything he does look better. I know he still derides me and he wants to use me to get his son a better future here. Now I can choose on what side of his tales I want to be: the one who turned his back on the family or the ''worthless'' one who's been ''surpassed'' by his son in the new country.

My cousin is also a US citizen and is already learning English. We have some common family here they hadn't talked to in years and I was the one who got in touch with them again. They helped me a lot through this time and we built a really nice relationship with one another.

Now that I'm established my cousin wants to move in with me and wants me to get him in touch with our family here. I'm going to say NO to the first one. No matter what they think. But I'm really afraid he's gonna screw things up with the local family. His personality is way different from mine and I've never liked him quite much besides the rivalry with his father. And like I said, I have a nice relationship with this people and I don't want this guy to screw it all up.

I worked really hard to get where I am and I'm not willing to be used be people who deride me. So I was wondering if you got any suggestions on how to discourage this guy from coming (which seems difficult) or on how to make clear I don't want anything to do with him if he comes here  

Re: My family from overseas wants to use me

  • Honestly, if you are not letting him live with you and you are not facilitating his interactions with your American extended family (AEF), how would the AEF even think his behaviors/beliefs are on you?

    Now, let's look at the rest.  You CANNOT stop him from coming to the US.  That is not your place. 
    And no, you do not have to let him live with you, you do not have to help him find a home, job, car, etc.  

    But why not at least meet up with him a couple of times (remember, that first meeting will not go well because it has been years, he is new to the area/life, and you are not friends) for a public lunch (and yes, pay for his first meal just to be polite). 

    Just like you have grown and matured and expanded your horizons since you left your country of origin, who knows which path your cousin is going to follow once he is outside of his father's influence.  

    You can be supportive without being used. 
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    Largely "ditto" Illumine. 

    Definitely say "no" to him living with you, but come up w/ a list of resources to give him.

    As far as your local family goes, introduce him to them, but then leave it at that.  I REALLY don't see how his behaviors/actions will fall on you if you just keep your distance from him. 
  • I agree, keep your distance is all you need to do. Be polite and offer to meet up, publicly, for lunch. Don't give him the address of your place, don't let him stay with you. Suggest a nice little hotel somewhere away from you.Introduce him to that side of the family by email, not in person. Just remain busy.

    If your family back home gives you a hard time about it it may be time for some harsh honesty. I'm sorry, I've worked hard to build myself a life here and Uncle was a very negative influence in my life before I cam here. I'd prefer to maintain the distance from him that I've worked hard to establish.
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  • Say no to this.

    These people were outwardly rude to you when you made a plan to come here, but now it's cool because they want you to take somebody in.

    Say no to this.

    Simply because you do not have to and you are not obligated and  it is not mandatory.

    "I'd like to help you but sorry, I cannot accommodate John. Tell him I wish him good luck" and that's what you tell them.
  • Thanks you guys for all your quick answers. In this case keeping the distance sounds like the ideal solution and saying NO is a must. I'd like to keep this people away from my place, but the problem is: they're coming as a ''family visit'' to meet our American family. Some of them people are actually good, but my mean uncle and his annoying son are coming along. I don't hold anything against the rest and I would gladly show them my town and all that, but the bad part of my family is in the mix. I don't how much I can do to keep these two guys away from the local family (one is a blood relative and the other ain't), but I now they'll want to see where I live (and with what purposes), so the problem is how to deal with them while they're around.
  • Let them figure what what to do. I'm sure there are places to see and places to go and things they can do on their own.
  • Well even if they do see your place, you can still say no.  Space doesn't have to be an excuse, just say "no it won't work" and don't go into details.  If they are as bold enough to ask why it won't work, just keep repeating yourself, " No, he can't live with me and I am not going to discuss this anymore."


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