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Thread: Paying everything for girlfriend and her family

  1. #1

    Paying everything for girlfriend and her family

    Hello everyone. I have a few burning questions with regards to what i'm facing in the relationship. So some brief background. I met this girl on a dating app (CMB) and we hanged out as friends for about a year, before actually moving onto gf and bf. We've dated each other for 1.5 years now. I have a stable job and my family isn't too shabby at all. At least, we're living our lives without any issues.

    My girlfriend earns less than me, so I don't mind paying for her. Throughout the dating period, i paid for almost everything, from food, movies, gifts...etc, anything you can probably think of. Sometimes, occasionally, she does pick the tab for me, and it's a nice gesture for sure. I mean, I think it's fair game that I should be contributing more in terms of money since I'm the more capable one. My girlfriend values me a lot and she's quite concerned with how her parents view me, so early on in the relationship, she has been trying to let me get close to them. She's the only daughter, so a family of three it is. Most of the time, we hung out like every once in a while, the four of us. We would have lunch/dinner, and then movie at the cinemas afterwards. In between when we're waiting, we may actually do a bit of walking around and window shopping, looking at latest products, trends...etc.

    Here's the thing though. I don't have enough relationship experience so this is bothering me. I literally paid for almost 98% of stuff, while her parents treated me like say, 2 times ? And it's not like the things we eat are cheap either. I can afford it but it's really going to put a lot of stress on me. I paid for almost all dinner, all movie tickets (Imax, 3d...you name it) and gifts. We only go for imax for the blockbuster movies, but that's not the point. I'm happy to treat them as my family since I love my gf so much, so in the beginning of the first few treats, I honestly didn't mind. And i thought this was how it works, me treating my gf and her family like really precious. Here's a catch though. My gf's family is rich. Like her mum is a successful business woman, father...not so much but still okay, so money isn't a concern for her despite how much she earns. Previously I did open up to my gf and ask her like: why is it that everytime I'm the one treating ? i really treated them so well. I come from an Asian country so in terms of USD, the amount we're spending on each dinner would be approximately USD $200-300 at least, which is a lot. We actually argued about this before, since she kept saying: we're not eating with my family that often, probably once or twice a month, what's so hard asking you to pay that amount monthly ?' She said the reason why they think it's better for us young ones to treat the elders is that, her mum feels that as an elder, it would be very satisfying and happy to see the younger ones working now, and capable of treating them well now. I sort of understand this theory, but I'm already treating their daughter so much, and now I have to treat her parents as well, like almost every single time ! I honestly don't mind treating on special occasions like birthdays, mother's day...etc, but i'm literally treating very very often. My girlfriend never got the point and kept asking me: is this about money ? is there a concern about money ? It's the only reason why you wouldn't want to treat my parents.' I didn't really argue with her on this aspect, seeing how futile it was, and soon we just forgot it and let it go.

    A second thing. My girlfriend loves jewelery and bags, clothes, fashionable stuff from famous brands like hermes, chanel, you name it. They would love to go window shopping and see what's the latest trends, what's in season...etc. The very weird thing is, they would just look, and when they find something really nice for my gf, the parents wouldnt buy anything. Instead, my gf would send me pics about a specific clothes, bag she likes, and asks for my opinion. I would say it looks great, to which she responds: Good ! mum thinks it looks good too, and so do i !!! So i'll leave this to you then !' What she meant by that is: I'll leave it to you to buy it for me then. You guys would know how much these famous brands cost...and these are extra stressors financially. Once again, I do buy these gifts for her, but it feels like it's getting out of hand when they're expecting me to buy these like even on normal days.

    A third thing. Recently, a month ago it was mother's day. So it's well assumed that I would be paying for lunch. No biggie, she's the boss that day. But we needed flowers, so 1 week ago, she asked her mum what she wanted and we went looking for pretty roses. There's something else though. They wanted a vase too so they could put beautiful flowers inside the beautiful vase for photo taking. Okay. Knowing, them, a beautiful vase definitely means something that isn't cheap. And so my gf and I went around shops and managed to stumble upon this italian brand vase shop. We took a few photos, and then she went home and asked her mum about it. Anyway, the week before mother's day, I had to work during the weekend, and so they went out and enjoyed themselves. They went to that italian vase shop, and sat down quite a while to look at all sorts of vases. Finally they made a decision, and which I got a text telling me: Let's get this sorted out by tomorrow ! I understood immediately. They didn't buy the vase, and i will be buying it tomorrow.

    So the next day, we both went to the shop after work. Now some further background info. My gf and her family wants to have 'face' a lot. What this means is, they value and care much about how people view them, in everything, even in all unnecessary small things that most people would normally consider. So with that in mind, I figured it maybe a better idea for my gf to pay for the vase since the 3 of them went here yesterday. The sales would recognize her, and it would be lovely on her overall since the sales would think: what a lovely daughter. Buying a gift for her mum..etc' Plus, her credit card has an added discount, so it would be wise to use hers. Mind you, they care about discounts and values as much as we less rich people do. So it seems sensible that she's paying for it. Now, everything seems well, but as soon as we left the shop, i already felt something is wrong with her, she's getting moody, but she wouldnt tell me what's wrong. So as soon as we both reached home, she called me at night (we have night talks daily), and she lashed out at me. She told her mum what happened, and even she is disappointed. She said her mum was expecting me to buy her this beautiful vase, and she would put this vase in the middle of their dining table, since she values me a lot. I told her I would be buying the roses (which is quite expensive either) and paying for lunch, so why can't she handle the vase ? My gf said: the vase and flowers are considered as one entity, so it feels that you should be buying both to make it feel more complete. And then, she said her mum also feels that its very embarrassing to them since they went to that vase shop and spent so much time there. I began asking: what's so embarrassing ? what the hell ? How did i embarrass them ? My girlfriend said: If they wanted to buy it, they would have bought it on the spot already. Instead, they wanted to let me have a go at it, thats why they felt it's very ugly on their image. Honestly, I don't even understand where this logic comes from. She began crying saying I let them down and bullying them. What...? but eventually, she calmed down. I told her my original intention of her paying so that she looks good in front of the sales. Eventually, she agreed with my decision. But this happened. She told me to pay her back the money for the vase (USD $1000), so that she can give this money to her mum and explained to her that: my boyfriend's intention is to buy you this vase, but he also wanted me to look good in front of the sales, so I bought the vase, but my boyfriend pays the sum back. Is this making sense to anyone here ???

    Anyway, I paid her. I know I sound stupid, but I do love her. Moving on, I booked a nice restaurant for lunch during mother's day. Now since we got the vase, we have to pick flowers, which was also a hassle since they have such high expectations, but eventually we chose something. Here's something else stupid. Obviously they wanted to take photos with the flowers at the restaurant, so it's okay right. But my gf asked: then what's the point of buying the vase ? the point is to put the flowers in the vase, so we could take photos of it at the restaurant. I then ask her: are you saying we're carrying this heavy vase out there ? She said: I dont know, you think. I was like ???? Why would anyone carrying a vase with flowers in it in public ??? Why cant you just leave the vase at home, and take pictures of it when you head home ? more convenient ????? And after lunch, we're going to be walking around, so how the hell do you think walking around with a heavy vase and flowers make perfect sense under this hot weather ?

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. I just wanted to see how you guys view this as a third person perspective. Apart from the money problem, what else do you smell from this relationship and from my gf and her family ? I have yet to tell you so much more bull, but I'm only choosing the money topic today. Let me know what you guys think. Like, even if it comes to my parents, if my friends or gf are eating with us, I can guarantee you they will snatch the bill and pay for it. Her parents never shown any initiation to pay any bills, which is really weird in this society, since most Asians take the initiative. The "face' and image thing is really an odd issue. I don't know if it's because her mum is a successful business woman such that their principles are so odd. They even mention that they don't dare to walk past that italian vase shop anymore in fear that the sales would recognize them. I don't even understand.....?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    I read the beginning and skimmed through the rest. You're a doormat and being used. There is no need to regularly go to the movies and out to dinner with her parents, and I'm sure that was her suggestion. You're an adult and you decide what you're comfortable with and what you're not comfortable with. You see the pattern that you're being financially used so stop it. Have chats with her parents when you pick her up, and don't be their cash cow and have outings together any longer unless, as you say, it's a special occasion.

    Only buy gifts for you gf when you choose to, like on her birthday, etc. Don't be railroaded into purchasing things for her just because she asks. What are her career goals? Is she content with being a low wage worker because she can count on you to treat her like royalty and she doesn't have to earn a decent living because you're the bread winner and that's how she likes it? Is having a partner who is financially stable and has a high work ethic important to you? Maybe you should start making a list of must-haves and dealbreakers to determine who an ideal lifetime partner would be. It's the most important decision you will ever have to make, so this should be a wakeup call for you to consider if these red flags are trying to alert you to major problems that if not addressed now and rectified, then perhaps you should consider breaking up and finding someone who doesn't take advantage of you.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree with Andrina, they are treating you like a cash cow. You need to set up some boundaries especially with her parents. They take advantage of you because you let them.

  4. #4
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Instead of complaining about it, why not do something about it? Personally, I think you should get a new girlfriend, not one who thinks more of your money than she does of you. The whole family is using you, and you're allowing it.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I don't think it's about money. I'm from Asian background and this is just manipulative. They want to see how well you fit in and whether you can jump every time one of them says jump. This will be important to them once you're married into the family. They want to see how far you'll break your back bending to their whims and desires. It's psychological control and I know it very well. They're also insecure about their daughter dating and they seem to have instilled terrible values and habits in her in the process. In the end it's about control and the ability to feel in control.

    You're treading in some dangerous waters if you don't know how to manage or deal with your relationship with them. These are not passive, generous or forward-thinking individuals. Her mother is also testing what kind of business person you are if you continue with this. Start negotiating and thinking more like them if you want to succeed in this type of relationship. Some of your growing habits have to change around them. If they are offended you'll have to speak their lingo and start thinking more or less like a shark. The more you continue like this, I'm afraid, the less secure they will be around you and especially with their daughter.

  7. #6
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    I know someone who got a guy to buy her all kinds of expensive stuff. Turns out, she had another boyfriend, one she actually liked, and the one buying her gifts, she didn't really care about him. When I asked her, she said "yeah, I know it's not nice but I'm going to keep using him".

    You are being used for money and gifts.

  8. #7
    Silver Member dundermiflin's Avatar
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    You two might love each other, but she and her family are rude (they pick out their own posh gifts that you have to buy??) and have terrible values like another poster said. I think that will get worse with time. Who will pay for the wedding if you get to that point? I'm guessing it would be over the top, lavish, and will break only your bank. If that makes you feel resentful, then please get away while you can. I know you've tried to talk to her and she doesn't get it. I think that says it's over. I think you should break up with her by picking out a super expensive tie for your birthday, send her texts/pics of it, and tell her you want it wrapped up for you tomorrow. When she cries, just leave. She sounds awful in any culture.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Fudgie's Avatar
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    These people are selfish leeches and the apple doesn't fall far from the free. Time to lose the GF.

  10. #9
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    You're too young to be a sugar daddy and do not have the life experiences to want to be one either,

    Move on, find a decent GF who is not needing you to improve their materialistic life.

    Stop trying to buy love.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Tengenchris, This problem will not go away. Since your gf and her family simply cannot comprehend common sense about your spending a lot of money on them, you need to speak up and make changes.

    I understand you pay for your gf's meals since your income is higher and special occasions such as Mother's Day seems reasonable. However, buying expensive gifts for your gf and her family throughout the year is over the top unreasonable and ridiculous.

    There are less expensive ways to be in a relationship such as cooking at home and not going out so much for entertainment, material goods and spending sprees.

    You need to put your foot down with your gf and tell her that she and her family are draining your finances every month. If they simply do not care and expect you to pay for everything all the time, then you need to determine whether or not your gf and her family are worth maintaining in your life.

    The way I see it, the only way to escape this money drain every month is to break up and be free of this taxing situation. Granted, it's drastic action but if you cannot enforce healthy financial boundaries with your gf and her family, they will have no qualms continuing to take advantage of you because you allow it.

    The cost of keeping your gf is what you monetarily pay for her and she's a package deal. The package deal is her family which you support with your wallet. If the price is too high, then do something about this. Speak up and create a new set of monetary boundaries. If they refuse to compromise, then either continue paying out while keeping your mouth shut or part ways with your gf and her family. All of them are toxic. They don't feel for you which means they could care less about you and your wallet.

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