Problems with Taiwanese ex -- can anyone shed some light?

My Taiwanese g/f “Jenny” and I moved from Taiwan to the US 1.5 years ago. I helped her get set up in a college program here, and while she was here, I did pretty much everything for her. Her interest in me, nonetheless, kept fading steadily.

We broke up when she went back to TW this past summer. This same summer, she and I both found somebody new. “Jenny” came back to the US in the fall to study at a Masters program, and I decided, in my usual fashion, that there was no use hanging on to old grudges, and that I’d just be her friend.

This past weekend was her b-day. For her, I took off a day of work and drove 6.5 hours to see her. At her request, I was able to finagle two things that she really needed for her study, but has had a hard time finding where she is. As soon as I got to her place, I run into an old college friend “Wilma” from across the US, whom Jenny and I both knew in Taiwan. “Wilma” has no way back to Boston, and asks if I’d give her a lift (1 hour) the next day after the party. I told her maybe, because I certainly was willing if possible, but since Jenny had already told me she had no room for me to stay at her place, I saw it as highly unlikely.

Jenny had asked me several times to invite two of my friends from Boston to her party. But I didn’t feel comfortable bringing them to that scene, so I didn’t. Little did I know that Jenny had, in her mind, banked on me being able to stay with these friends in Boston, and thus had banked on me being able to give Wilma a lift the next day. Jenny saw it as less like “You can invite Jimbob and Cliff to my party if you want”, and more like “I am delegating to you the task of making sure Jimbob and Cliff are involved in this.” Um… whose party is it?

Luckily, some good friends of mine who live 2h from Jenny’s Uni offered me a place to stay. By that time Wilma had felt sick and gone to sleep, so I couldn’t say anything to her. So I left. The next day, Jenny calls me simply to tell me, “badly done on the whole Wilma thing”. “She’s YOUR old college classmate, and that ride back would have been an important chance for you to catch back up with her. Shame on you. You need to have better social skills, dude.” I held my temper and explained calmly that giving Wilma a lift back was not reasonable or doable. Jenny wouldn’t let it go, and put the blame on MY HEAD for being flaky with Wilma about the whole ride thing, never discussing it or giving her a direct answer.

One day later, Jenny calls me again. At first it’s all smiles, but as usual, it gets down to business very fast with her. Jenny’s hard up on cash. She wants me to buy back a $50 kitchen tool she paid for while living with me but doesn’t need. She makes her case, and I say calmly “I’ll think about that.” But Jenny doesn’t like that answer. Her tone turns nastier, as she brings up how much she sacrificed for me. “I went to an east coast school just to be near YOU, while I’d rather be on the West Coast!” “I paid for the hotel in NYC right before I left the states” Yadda yadda. Trying to shame me into feeling obligated to buy her kitchen tool back. She plays the “social skills” card again. I’ll hear none of it.

The thing is, not once did Jenny directly ASK me if I would DO HER THE FAVOR OF buying back the item. She beat around the bush and got annoyed when I wouldn’t take the hint and offer to buy it back. I call foul on that approach! :fume:

Here’s the thing I need to know. It’s obvious Jenny is taking a ride on my back, you don’t need to tell me that. But is this most likely a problem with Jenny personally, or can our disagreements be traced to cultural differences as to what constitutes an obligation, and how obligations are handled? If it is cultural I have even LESS pity for her – you’re in my culture and my country now, sweetcakes.

I ask because a similar problem came up with my first employer in Taiwan, in this thread:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph … highlight=
In a nutshell, they asked and I gave, they asked and I gave, they asked and I gave. But the second I put my foot down and refused to give them one thing they wanted, I was labeled the unreasonable one.

I’m guessing that Jenny is in not only in her early to mid twenties but also living abroad on daddies dime. If so that makes her part of the most selfish, manipulative, mean spirited, petty, two faced demographic to ever grace the planet. She may not herself possess these qualities but from what you describe it appears that she does. You on the other hand come across as the sensitive, reasonable, accomodating, generous door mat type that can’t get over being used as, you guessed it, a door mat. It’s a match made in hell Dave. Pay her for the kitchen utensil and then tell her to fuck off and find another sucker.

Bullseye, bob. She’s a self-described princess. Her family is new money from Taipei.

The thing is, I don’t have these kinds of problems with my American friends, which is why I won’t let Jenny lecture me on social skills. Hell, even Wilma sees my side of things, and holds nothing against me for not being able to give her a lift, or so she says. I am a very generous person to people I care about, and typically this works out fine because 99% of people I choose to interact with don’t abuse my kindness.

No other “friend” of mine but Jenny ever leaves me literally shaking with anger. When I got off the phone with her yesterday, I was fit to be sedated!

[quote]I decided, in my usual fashion, that there was no use hanging on to old grudges, and that I’d just be her friend.

This past weekend was her b-day. For her, I took off a day of work and drove 6.5 hours to see her.[/quote]

Anyone else catch this?

Jenny is a controlfreak. That’s easy to see.

But you driving 6.5 hours to give her a present seems slightly out of whack to me.

Give her 50NT$ for the tool. :smiling_imp:

Bob is only half right, tell her to fuck off. Give her no money.

This situation reminds me of when I visit the Starbucks on Chungshiao Dun Lu Sec #4 beside Luxy and California Gym. Loads of pot bellied, rich men with gorgeous wives. But these are the same women that run off with young English teachers while their husbands are at the “barber shop” or KTV. In your case you seem to be the reserve chute while she gets her lovin elsewhere.

Just a thought.

She is your “ex-Taiwanese” girlfriend, and not your ex-Taiwanese wife, right?

If the answer to the above question is yes, follow Dr Zoid_Berg’s advice.

Tee hee. :notworthy:

Dave, she doesn’t need $50. Tell her to take a running jump.

Tell her to hold a yard/garage sale to sell her not needed kitchen tool … psycho Xioujie … :s

She was using you from the start, sodon’t give her any money, and don’t have any more contact with her.
The misunderstanding was partly a cultural thing, sure, but you don’t need “friends” that leave you shaking with rage.

No… :noway:

by the mercy of Allah most merciful… :notworthy:

I was never married to her. :noway:

You asked whether anyone here can shed some light…

Well, I mean this in a most benevolent and helpful way:

If you will take your head out of your arse, there will be plenty of light.

Good luck.

Dave, forgive me for being a bit too presumptuous with a stranger, but I’m going to guess that the sex had to have been absolutely amazing for you to have endured this woman for any amount of time. If reality is as you have written here, then it seems to me that you’ve already been far too generous with this girl. Keep the $50. Tell her where to stick the chair. Just my two cents.

What is your question again?

Seriously, sounds like you know what to do…I really don’t know what you are asking…is it cultural that she takes advantage of you? Sure, could be, why not? Could it be her personality, possibly, don’t you think? Could it be that there are other elements involved, very likely, right? Since human beings are complicated and human relationships can be complicated, too?

What exactly did you need advice on? Or did you want to be reassured that it was all her and not you that you were mistreated? It’s a very common reaction, after all, after one has been mistreated to want to know for sure that they didn’t contribute to getting treated badly. If so, I have absolutely no answer to that. Give yourself some credit. No one is perfect. Sounds like you tried. Cut her loose.

[quote=“Tigerman”]You asked whether anyone here can shed some light…

Well, I mean this in a most benevolent and helpful way:

If you will take your head out of your arse, there will be plenty of light.

Good luck.[/quote]

Tigerman!!!

This is D&R Forum, not International Politics. Behave!!!

[quote=“Notsu”][quote=“Tigerman”]You asked whether anyone here can shed some light…

Well, I mean this in a most benevolent and helpful way:

If you will take your head out of your arse, there will be plenty of light.

Good luck.[/quote]

Tigerman!!!

This is D&R Forum, not International Politics. Behave!!![/quote]

You’ve gotta be cruel to be kind…

Man, I didn’t want to post that, but it was exactly what I was thinking. :bravo: :laughing:

The Pycho xiaojie’s aren’t only in their 20’s as I just came across one who is 44. Started off very pleasant and genial but as soon as the friendship began to get to that sharing about ourselves stage, I began to see some really nasty behavior. I have never in my life seen a more immature display of behavior. I really feel for the guys here now, as I got the tip of the iceburg. I can’t EVEN imagine what it would be like to be in a love relationship with these women (the pycho one’s) :loco:

Yeah this seems to be a phenomenon. Is there a factory somewhere in Taoyuan that churns these witches out?

Excuse me while I offend a lot of people. I may not think this all the time, but it’s one way of looking at the problem. Take it for what it’s worth, and discuss the idea, not the poster.

I think, yes, it is cultural, but not simply Chinese culture. It seems to be a feature of every non-Western culture – the shameless self-absorption.

This isn’t to put down non-Western cultures. I think the same thing existed in America and Europe a century ago, and only changed, really, since World War II. It’s the same attitude that lead to Victorian gentlemen and their treatment of natives and wives as second class citizens, and the segregation of blacks in America.

It takes a certain kind of education to treat other people with real respect, and not use them like tools of self-gratification. I’ve known a lot of Americans who still act like that.

The thing is, we’ve been inundated for years with after-school specials and morals in our movies and books, how everyone has value and should be treated equally. It’s been a reaction of white/black racism in America, but it’s affected how we treat all people across the board. We think that we should be treated with dignity simply because we are human. That can’t have always been true, because if it were the natural order of things, we wouldn’t need all the after-school specials to teach us how to think like that.

It’s not true everywhere, and certainly not here. Taiwanese don’t seem to have the concept of treating strangers with a special dignity. That’s a Western obsession. We insist on being called “mister” and “missus”, which are corruptions of “master” and “mistress.” We would never think about calling a stranger “little sister” (xiaojie, after all) or “little brother” or “grandfather,” like the Chinese do. It would be a sign of contempt, or offensive forwardness.

Anyway, Westerners are taught to be ashamed of their self-absorption, while Taiwanese are not. That’s why many relationships with Taiwanese seem to be somewhat childish, because compared to Western relationships they are. Each individual has to learn to be better through trial and error, and not everyone gets the right influences. In the West, it’s part of our culture. Here, it’s ignored.

[quote]I ask because a similar problem came up with my first employer in Taiwan, in this thread:
forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph … highlight=
In a nutshell, they asked and I gave, they asked and I gave, they asked and I gave. But the second I put my foot down and refused to give them one thing they wanted, I was labeled the unreasonable one.[/quote]

What it comes down to is that Westerners try to see the situation from an objective point of view, and don’t realize how hard it is for other people to see it. Taiwanese don’t understand objective POVs. It’s not part of their background.

Without an objective POV, there’s no sense of “fair play.” Relationships are never about an even exchange between equals. It’s about getting what you can out others. They have a morality, but it’s not based on fairness, or being reasonable.

In short, America and the West are the weird cultures. They’re actually doing something that is quite unusual for humanity – insisting that we have to take others into account when we act. We can accept on a certain level that there’s a point of view that doesn’t include us, and we can emotionally accept that we are not the most important person in the world all the time. That’s what we call growing up. That’s what we call maturity. Those are our expectations, not Nature’s, however, and not taught everywhere.

It does sound like your ex is an extreme version of this, however. New money takes all the breaks off. I’ve run into similar problems through my years here. This is the closest thing to an explanation that I’ve managed. This self-absorption exists in Westerners, except we think of it as somewhat ‘wrong.’ At the same time, these problems can occur in any couple because relationships are about seeking self-gratification, and it’s hard to not become self-absorbed.