A problem with a relative, any advice?


#1

We went out to eat with my husbands cousin. She saw us at Cracker Barrel ,and came over and said hi…we hadn’t seen her in probably almost 40 years

She asked if we could get together, and go out for dinner, which we did, at Cracker Barrel…My husband made some photos for her from old ones we had of her parents and grand parents…she seemed very happy to have them

All at once during the meal she started talking about seeing their cousin Bob at a financial planning meeting
She said Bob seemed rather surprised to see her. She said something to the effect, Bob thought he was better than she was. I really like Bob ,and he has never struck me as someone who

thinks like that. He was a bank manager for many years, but is very down to earth, and not snooty, nor a snob Then she went on to tell me they weren’t poor she gets a new car every 3 years, stuff like that. She wanted to know what my house was like…Questions I felt were a bit more nosey, than friendly,like wanting to know what we had, type questions, instead of tell me what you like, type questions…She knows where we live because she has some friends that live a few streets from us…I told her I liked wallpaper , and carpet,and a cosy home

I have never been one to try to keep up with the Jones, and am uncomfortable around people who base things on stuff that you own…We got a call on the answering machine the other night thanking us for meeting her at the restaurant…I just sort of feel like I am under a microscope with her…

I told her my husband was the only one that worked in our family, and we always lived simply…I am not ashamed of what we have by any means, nor envious of her…I just sort of get uncomfortable when I think that people need to make a big deal of what they own ,and want to compare…She kept talking about trips they took, and I told her I don’t like to travel ,because I can’t sleep when we do…It’s true, I have a terrbile time sleeping in a strange bed…My husband knows it and accepts it…She kept saying you should go here, and do this, and go up north ,not even listening to what I had told her about not being able to sleep in motels

My husband said today, as we let the restaurant, I am completely happy with my life and content with what we have. I feel the same way…I guess I am wondering if I am being too hard on his cousin? I really don’t want to get too chummy with them. I am not usually like this about people ,especially family members…but she makes me uncomfortable
Have you ever been in this kind of a situation before?


#2

You do not need to go out of your way to spend time with people like her, even if she is family. You could say hello if you see her when you are out, but you do not need to invite her to sit with you if you see her in a restaurant. Tell her you and your husband are having a ‘date’.

There is no reason to subject yourself to that kind of harassment & yes, that is what it is, even if she is “related”.

Sounds like you have a wonderful & supportive husband. God Bless you Both!


#3

I totally understand. I have a friend/coworker now, when every time I share that we bought something (I am not one to chat about everything we buy, but just when it comes to maybe cooking utensils so as to share the good news with others if they’re interested in buying…that sort of thing) and she will always have to tell me of a ‘much more expensive’ purchase that she recently bought (same product) I have since stopped sharing really much of anything with her, because I am also not one to keep up with Joneses. We used to be:blush: but it robbed us of the true joy and peace of a relationship with Christ. I don’t ever want to be like that again–we live nicely–and don’t feel the need to compete with others. I would suggest just keeping this cousin in your prayers…maybe she means nothing by it, maybe she does. Either way, talking about material things constantly just gets old…I don’t blame you for being a bit suspect.

I hope things work out. But, know that you’re not alone in feeling uncomfortable around people who want to know ‘what you got.’ lol Usually people who are always talking about their material possessions, lack something–it’s usually that they have a God shaped hole in their heart, where Christ should be. I really like this friend of mine and pray that she develops a relationship with God, because she strikes me as not altogether happy with her life. Happy with her things, but not her life.


#4

Just as you wish to live simply. She wishes not to. :shrug:

It’s what she knows, and is trying to make nice conversation… albeit in a very materialistic way. If she has the means to live such a life, god bless her and move on.

This is not unlike someone who has a passionate hobby that we don’t have or understand. That’s sometimes all they can think about and therefore talk to others about. Again try to meet her on an even plain and work to find something that you might have more in common with her… (maybe as simple as restaraunts you both like… obviously Cracker Barrel is one ;))

People like this are nosy and gossipy and can come off quite uncharitably, but I do not sense she is any of those things ON PURPOSE or with malice. She’s just interested in sharing life and interested in yours.

This doesn’t mean you need to make your life an open book:eek: , I’d just be nice and friendly. :slight_smile:


#5

well now you know why people in the family don’t see this women any oftener than every 40 yrs.

if she is older, give her the respect and latitude due her age, but no one can make you answer personal questions or intrude on your affairs without your cooperation. simply tell her, we prefer not to discuss such personal information, and change the subject. How 'bout dem Wings?


#6

I hardly know the woman and I am 61 ,yes she is older than I am, but I still feel very uncomfortable ,and feel she is very intrusive asking someone who is almost a total stranger these type of questions…:frowning:


#7

I agree with Shiann. That cousin’s world is materialistic, and that is what she knows to talk about, even if it seems inappropriate (which I agree, it is). “We’re into the voluntary simplicity thing” is enough of a response to that, not said defensively, but in as neutral a manner as if she said she liked football and you prefer baseball. I’m into the voluntary simplicity thing myself, so I know where you are coming from. People like that have a way of making it seem that they think you are less-than if you don’t have a new car and the latest gadgets and whatever, but that’s their problem, not yours. Keep it friendly, deflect any attempts to pry into your business, and change the subject when it comes up.


#8

I don’t wish to waste my time on someone that crass, or nosey. I am trying to figure out how to avoid her. I think she doesn’t feel the same way about us

I actually think we intrigued her, and she is looking for an invitation, which I don’t wish to extend. I have a very nice home, she is familiar with the area…I don’t like people to choose me for what they think I have


#9

In this day our first response is to believe the worst in people… it’s such a shame.

Here’s a perfect time to use the phrase, WWJD?

:shrug:

Don’t go out of your way to meet her all the time, but work to avoid her?

:confused:


#10

I do not want to hear tittle tattle about the rest of the family from her…Yes, I would rather avoid her than listen to her gossip about others in the family


#11

Sometimes people come into our lives not for what they can do for us, but what we can do FOR THEM.


#12

Yes I am sure she felt I could do something for her…


#13

Wow.


#14

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