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Author Topic: I need help in a culture clash relationship (mostly about money)

December 16, 2019, 09:37:40 AM
Read 925 times


Hi all, I am here because my relationship is currently really messed up  :'(

I am 25, girlfriend is 21.

So long story short, I am from Europe, and I met a girl in Kenya while I was there in March. We fell in love and got into a relationship. All good. I was only there temporarily, so I went back home. Since then 7 months went by, until we finally succeeded at getting her a 3 month visa to visit me.

She comes from a poor family, and they are often struggling with money. She has previously been in a relationship with a rich person, who always sent money to her mom, when she needed it, and never asked questions about it. Apparently he was really generous. She herself doesn't have a job, and her mom only earns a silly low salary, while her dad died many years ago. So they are struggling...

Now I do have money. But I am a student, and I don't earn that much. I have been lucky enough to save up money through out the last 5 years of my life or so, so I have a good looking bank account. Since January, I found a way to earn money online, that I have been spending a lot of time doing while I was free from school. Despite earning money online, my bank account has still drained A LOT since I met her, on helping her, most of all with visa-related expenses, but also simply sending her money for food, to make sure she didn't go around hungry. Often resulting in her starving anyways, because she sent them to her mom... And it caused some conflicts as well... Anyways, long story short: My economy is having a hard time - the money in my bank is still a decent amount - but if I don't start saving more I could potentially end up in trouble. So bottom line is: I have to save, and know where to draw the line.

So... After many months of waiting she finally came on November 22nd, and in the beginning we were so happy and joyful together. But things have now turned to shit. She stopped showing me affection, and right now, she only stays in my room like a guest, and we are kind of not in a relationship. I don't even know what to call her... A friend? Girlfriend? Guest? Everyday she is in my bed with her phone, and all she is thinking about, is her family struggling in Kenya. Yet she doesn't want to talk to me about it, because she knows I don't find it fair, if I should be the one responsible to help her family, when I barely know them. So she would rather keep it to herself, which results in her being in her own world all the time, not giving me any attention.

I buy only the necessary food, and pay for us to have a good time here and there, but I can't be buying us really nice food everyday, without spending way more than I earn. And I care a lot about not spending more than I earn, because I want my bank account to continue being decent, and not fall apart within a few years, to be honest...

Here comes the core problem: She is starting to say that I am stingy.
We have two different visions on relationships.

My vision:

A relationship is where you kiss, hold hands, have fun together, and simply share each other's company. Caring is all about listening, understanding, and being there for each other emotionally.

Her vision:

A relationship is where you help each other grow in the future, not only about kissing, laughing, holding hands and all that, it comes along with it, but you share what you have

And that's where the culture clash meets. Because I see money differently than her. I feel like she often forgets how good I am at showing my emotional care for her, listening to her, being close with her, holding her, cooking for her, doing her favors, taking her to places and stuff. But she only sees me as not caring, because I care about saving money, and not spending more that I earn. She wants me to rather look at what I have, than what I earn, and thus spend more on both myself and her. Because she thinks I am being mean to myself and her. But it's just a core value in me. I have always been like this. I always save, I don't buy new clothes if I don't absolutely need it. I wait until I find some for free, and I eat cheap food, usually the same food, because I want to grow my bank account, rather than draining it. Why? Well, because sometimes in life, you suddenly have some unpredicted huge expenses. And I always want to be prepared for that.

Yes, I might care more about my money than others, but I feel like it's only fair that I have my own ways. I wish sometimes she could choose not to care so much about me saving, relying on herself for finding her own ways to build a good future, and loving me only for my emotions and physical presense, rather than looking so much at my money usage. Maybe I just wish she could accept me for being stingy if she feels that way, but still love me..?

Anyways, I am looking for a solution. I can't deny the option of maybe changing to fit her needs more, but only as long as I find it fair and I am comfortable with it. I might agree to spend more, and worry less about my money. But not without a budget plan at least.
I am in desperate need to fix this relationship. Because it's the only way forward. She's still with me here until February 17th, and everyday she's just there without being close to me, and the only thing we do is argue. I am suffering more and more  :-\

Breaking up... I just don't see the option. Because she is here now, and we still have two more months to go before her flight leaves back to Kenya. We need to get the best out of this situation


December 17, 2019, 04:21:58 AM
Reply #1

Captain Black

This is my view and I have had a long and hard think about you situation here and also discussed it with my partner as it reminded us of a friend of ours . Some of this you may not like and I therefore apologise in advance .

First of all you are not stingy with money . I would choose careful as you try to live within your means but you finance all your dating activities . However you admit yourself your bank balance is slowly shrinking so you may need to tighten your purse strings . You cannot be expected to support your GF an her family financially .

Now going onto the subject of our friend . He was a single guy and a student ( mature student) . We think he saw an advert on the web advertising dates with Russian Princesses . He responded and started corresponding with his princess and he met her a couple of times in London ( he lives near Manchester ) . He funded her expenses including all her hotel stays. Her background was not dissimilar to your lady in that she came from a poor family of arable farmers and she obtained money off him to send back to Russia for the use of her family. So much for being a princess. As time went on blinded by love our friend carried on financing her and her family, slowly sucking him dry of his money. When he ran out of money she left him and stayed in Russia and broke off contact  , possibly looking for her next victim .

Now I am not saying this is exactly like your case but from your original post there does seem to be some similarities .

So the question I think you need to ask yourself and answer honestly is you girl really into you or is she into you for your money ? Sorry if I sound brutal but I think you need to have a long hard think about this . You have already stated that she has gone off you a bit because you don't want to release more funds . I think you have done correctly here .

So I do think you need to have a think about your situation here and I wish you well.

Kind Regards

December 19, 2019, 03:16:23 PM
Reply #2


Thanks for your reply, and taking your time to think this through! I am glad to hear someone who think I am using my money in a fair way, and that I can't be expected to finance her family (just because I COULD for a while, possibly a year or two, before going broke) I am really not in doubt that she's with me for other reasons than my money though. I've heard stories of rich men in Kenya saying they want her to leave me and be with her, and she has at least been telling them that money doesn't buy her love, and she wants to stay with me. I think she's right when she explains to me, that this is about her culture, and how she is used to relationships. ...That relationships is also about sharing what you have, when you have... even to a point beyond your partner, but to your partner's family also...

Anyways, update:

Three days ago, she was REALLY depressed. We usually have a bracelet each. Mine with her name, and her with my name. At this point we both had them off. But now she asked me to bring her hers. I brought it, and she put it back on her wrist, and then I found her with a knife behind her back. I slowly took the knife out of her hand, and she said the words "I wanted to die with your bracelet on my arm". I looked her deeply into her eyes, and told her she can't do this. She will make her mom suffer, from finding out her daughter died, secondly her family will hate me, thinking it was my fault, and other things to prevent her from getting those thoughts. I took the knife back to the kitchen, and sat down next to her, where she explained to me I shouldn't think she didn't love me, just because of how she is silent, and doesn't talk to me. It seemed she finally let something go off her chest, and we had an option to at least tell each other that we loved each other...

The following day, (two days ago) her mood changed COMPLETELY. She went from almost being suicidal (I don't know if she faked it though...) to being really happy and playful. It seemed very odd, as if something was not right, but at least I went along with the mood, and we had a good time together. Same with yesterday. We had a really great time, not talking about issues, or anything.

But today, she fell down into a hole again. She says it's not about me. But I just hate how her mood changes like this. She becomes a completely different person. It's like I am only a part-time boyfriend, and I am sick of this. She only needs me when she's happy. Then when she's sad, she stays in bed all day, and if I try to talk to her, she's like "Why can't you just be silent?" Even if I am just trying to advice her on her she might help herself feel better, by going outside, or at least something...

Today, I arranged my desktop, put candles on it, put on some romantic music, and served her pizza and some wine, to at least create a change, hoping she could be enjoying my company a bit, like on a romantic date. But we quickly started arguing, and she showed no gratitude or humbleness to my kind act. Only had an attitude of this being boring and useless. As soon as I started trying to talk to her about her mood, she got annoyed, and brought the pizza back into the bedroom and closed the door.

I am sick and tired of her bad mood every other day, where she completely excludes me from the relationship. Her family in Kenya is always on her mind, and she doesn't want to share her problems with me. The issue about being stingy is not at stake right now though... It's more like an issue of her not at least seeing my company as useful for her, even when she is sad.
I mean, if I was sad, at least I would be relieved to know I had a soulmate's shoulder to cry on, and someone to listen to me. Even if that person couldn't fix my problems... I wish she could see that in me - not like she has to expect me to fix her problems or share the details with me, but at least not pushing me away when she is sad... And at least making use of my emotional support

So that's the update from now.
Suggestions will be appreciated!

December 20, 2019, 10:32:03 AM
Reply #3


Sigh... I know this might seem like a small thing, but I still think it's a part of the bigger picture. Just came home from the last day of school. She is on the computer watching a movie on YouTube, I say hi, hug her and give her a little kiss, asking her what she is watching. She is just silent. I move the cursor to see the title. I ask again, what kind of a movie? How she found it? What it is about? And it's not really because I am that interested in knowing, but more because I feel like at least we should be giving each other attention, as I just arrived home.

And she's like "You just saw the title", saying she'll watch it first then explain, because she can't concentrate on the movie. As I find this a bit unfair I explain she could just pause the movie, talk to me about it, and allow me to also talk about my day, at least to give me some attention for five minutes when I come home, then continue watching afterwards, instead of just pushing me off like that saying I should not talk to her while watching. Seriously, who does that to their boyfriend who just came home and is just curious and interested in a little hello-what-are-you-up-to-talk? I feel no happiness or sparkle in her from seeing me return home... Just telling me to let her watch the movie in peace... Seriously... It's like that movie is more important to her than me. Like I am just a disturbance.

There is just something about her attitude in general I want to change. She should be happy to see me. She should be exposing interest in my company -sometimes she goes for days with this boring attitude. Then for a day or two, she can be really happy and affectionate with me, and then she changes again to become like this.
Of course I have tried talking to her about it, saying that I don't find it fair and all that, but she is always excusing herself saying she doesn't think I am fair either for having those expectations on her. But are my expectations not at least most fair when it comes to relationships? I mean where is the love? Is affection and attention too much to ask for in a relationship?

Anyone has an idea of a solution? Christmas is coming up, and I am having high expectations of us to have a really good time together with my family, so...

December 20, 2019, 01:39:11 PM
Reply #4


I don't know why, every time I modify my message, and press save, the changes are never saved, and I have to bump the thread with a new reply to post an update, even if no one replied in the meantime... If anyone can help me out, please do

Update: So I was fearing another bad day, but she became nice again. Explained to me that she had her monthly stomach cramps, which was the cause for her mood yesterday, and also today where she might be a bit grumpy. At least she was honest with me, and made me understand, so I am cool with it.

Still, however, there are some reoccuring issues in this relationship, especially about her mood swings and lack of affection from time to time, that I'd like to receive advice for if anyone can help. The biggest reoccuring issues we still haven't come to terms with, is:

1. Her lack of attention and affection, when she is sad because of problems in her family at home. As her boyfriend, of course I want her to learn to at least still be close to me during her hard times. Like, I want to be her "teddy bear", that she can stick to, to make herself comfortable with, when she is sad. Currently, she is pushing me away when she has issues, which kinda kills my pride as her boyfriend

2. The money... Like how I am by nature a person who saves money, and yes, I am also kinda stingy sometimes. I know other people in my situation would be more relaxed with their money usage, and spend more - but she wants me to change, and I feel like it's not very fair, that she can't just love me, even if I am stingy by nature, because I don't feel like my money usage is important in love. Still I want her to be satisfied, without crossing my own limits of what I find reasonable.

So issue 1 and 2 is not a stake right now, but I know it will be later, since these issues are always reoccuring. Help is still appreciated in advance of the next issue that WILL happen

December 22, 2019, 03:44:04 AM
Reply #5


This situation with my girlfriend changes all the time... Now she is becoming suicidal again.
Yesterday and the day before that, she was really happy. Yesterday, she was singing LOUD, laughing, stayed with me in the living room, danced, and chatted with a lot of people on WhatsApp, sending them videos of her singing, and with me as well. She seemed like a person who was completely free from troubles in her life.

Everything was really good until evening. At first she asked me if I could please send some money to a person in Kenya she owed to, because he was demanding his money back. I didn't knew about it, obviously, since she never wants to share that with me. All I know, is that she has been taken a lot of loans to help her mom, loans that she will get in trouble for sooner or later. I had already promised beforehand to send a specific amount of money to her mom for Christmas, so her family could also celebrate. I told her I didn't want to fall down a slide, where I pay back some guy, then another, and then another, because of the loans she took. And I asked her to clearify with me, who all these people were, how many and how much she had loaned. But she didn't want to tell me. So I told my girlfriend I could agree to send that guy the money, if I could deduct that amount from the money I would send her mom later. It didn't seem like it was a solution she liked. She just asked me to let her be alone again. I respected her decision and went back to my computer.
An hour later or so, I heard her crying in the bedroom. I went there to hold her. She cried real tears, I tried to ask her to tell me what was wrong. She didn't want to share, so all I got to do was to hold her and then go again.

As I was about to go to sleep, she was in the living room. I was quite nervous, and I wanted to know what she was up to. She tried to lock the door to the bedroom, so I could leave her in peace, but I prevented her and took the key, because I could sense something was up. I tried to sleep but I couldn't. Then I walked in, and found her writing a letter on my desk. I patiently waited for her to finish writing. When she was finished, she kept telling me to go to sleep, and read it in the morning. Obviously, I couldn't do that. So I took the paper and read it. It said:

From (her name) to (my name)

(My name) I know you can't help me in some situations and it's okay because I don't have a job and I'm kinda useless because I don't have anything. sometime I really feel bad knowing what I am going through and no one can help me. I have been in many situations that my whole lifetime has never been simple. I have suffered so much. I try my best of lack non comes my way. I am in real danger for taking loans and borrowing money in order to at least raise my family and myself. I know it's non of your concern, but I really feel so bad and weak knowing what I have been through right now I am in trouble with the people I owe money. When will this stop, when will I ever be in peace? I really want to be in peace, but it's not my choice to take loans. Situations takes me there because I know and I have been there where we lack even 10 ksh (10 cent in USD) to buy anything at home. I can't tell you my problems because I know I can't get help from you. Because your heart is cold. I am your girlfriend the one you call your future wife. And you can hlp me if you want, but you have a cold heart inside you. You can't help me, I really feel bad sometimes of what I go through. I can't be happy forever when someone is calling on my phone to threaten me. I would wish to be happy ever after with you and be happy for the rest of my life.
I am really sorry, just know I love you much, and if something I do will hurt my family, tell them I did it for their love and to decrease their suffering. I will take a loan in my phone and a BIG loan then I will send to my mum and all the people I owe money.
-Just know I loved you so much and you meant a lot to me
-Also tell my family they mean all my life to them, make sure my mum gets my phone I REALLY did love you (my name)

I was then shocked, and told her as much as I could that she couldn't do this. How would I feel to find her dead in the morning with this letter? How would her family feel if their daughter took her life? She was really crying, and she only talked of how she has suffered too much (keep in mind, she was SOOOO happy earlier this same day. It was clear she didn't fake her happiness) I tried to ask her to give me all the details. Apparently, those 100 USD I promised to send to her mom monthly wasn't enough to end the suffering. So HOW MUCH would be realistic? But she said she would tell me when her heart felt so... And in the middle of all this, she took a knife out of her pocket, liftet up, and she was about to stab herself in the stomach, but I was quick, and took her knife away. Eventually, I went to bed. She insisted I shouldn't stay there next to her in the livingroom. She was okay. I sent her mom the 100 USD, and she said she knew what to do... She wanted to stay at my place over Christmas, instead of going with me to my family's place, so she could walk around and ask for a job. I really disliked the idea of letting her be alone during Christmas, and told her, at least to start looking after Christmas when we would be back.
She had then talked to her mom on the phone for 15 minutes, and I think her mom convinced her she could go with me. I found her going to bed next to me in the middle of the night, after packing her back and watching some youtube videos. Today, it is morning, and we will leave soon. I am sitting with my laptop in the livingroom, and she is asleep in the bedroom.

I am really worried about her suicidal behavior.
I know there is a lot of information, but I keep this thread updated, to give the full picture of the situation. Please help!

January 07, 2020, 03:31:56 PM
Reply #6


Stop being such an emotional patsy.


Get rid of her, you're too young for all this nonsense.

Get rid of her, go out and have fun with your friends. Date other women, don't get serious with them. Focus on YOURSELF. Build your education, your career, etc. Be selfish!

Stop putting all this effort and time into some girl who is only using you for money.


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