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Do I trust him?

(38 Posts)
NanKate Sun 11-Jan-15 15:59:17

A rather difficult situation has arisen.

I have not seen or been in touch with my distant cousin for 50 years and suddenly he gets in touch with me via Friends Reunited, which I haven't used for years.

He had emailed to say his Mum, one of my last living older relatives was nearing her final hours. I am very fond of her and have always kept in touch. I know at almost 90 she is ready to go so I am relieved for her.

At this point I need to give you a bit of the background story, my cousin has led a notoriously odd and unusual life which alienated him from his entire family and he has led a life of his choice with little contact with anyone we know.

I responded to his email in a positive way and he replied thanking me for being friendly. It turns out like DH and myself, he is interested in Family History. When I showed an interest he has emailed me lots of useful info which has filled in a lot of gaps about the family.

In my usual open way I told him about my family and sent him a family photo of my DS's 40th. I noticed he has made no comments at all on my bits of family news.

The bit that worries me is that he did some awful things to his parents over the years which distressed them terribly. E.G. Sending them a wreath as if one of them was dead - creepy. Silent phone calls etc.

I do not intend letting him have my phone number, but he could easily find it. He lives miles from me. I just wonder if in my usual naivety I have opened myself up to problems.

He seemed so nice in the email. I think once he has told me of his mum's death I will cease contact.

Sorry I have gone on a bit, but I felt I needed to share it with you.

Anya Sun 11-Jan-15 16:02:53

Do leopards ever change their spots? I think you're wise to be wary until such time he proves he's genuine or not.

Coolgran65 Sun 11-Jan-15 16:10:36

I agree.

grannyactivist Sun 11-Jan-15 16:17:56

People can and do change - especially over the course of many years, but I too would be wary until, as Anya says, he's proved he's not the man he used to be.

Marelli Sun 11-Jan-15 16:24:37

Just stay aware, NanKate. You've not given him any information that he wouldn't be able to find out by himself, if he so wished, anyway. Perhaps you wouldn't want to be asking him to visit, though.

Mishap Sun 11-Jan-15 16:28:09

It does seem strange that he should suddenly do this - and his behaviour as you describe it is distinctly odd. I would feel inclined to keep my distance a bit - it is nice to give people the benefit of the doubt, but you are entitled to enjoy your retirement without feeling hassled.

loopylou Sun 11-Jan-15 16:33:37

I agree with above posts, kept a distance, be polite but wary.

NanKate Sun 11-Jan-15 17:03:28

You are all of the same opinion as me.

I think he contacted me Mishap as he knew I was friends with his Mum, but didn't have my details as he is only in contact with one or two of his relatives who do not have my details.

Sometimes when there is a bereavement people want to talk to those people who knew their dead relative well.

I will be very wary though.

Charleygirl Sun 11-Jan-15 17:26:25

NanKate do you think that he is looking for money? That is the first thing which came into my head when I read your post. Please do not forget that you are a pensioner and times are tight. Keep your wits about you as I am sure that you will.

Nonu Sun 11-Jan-15 17:36:06

Be very,very, wary, remember this is someone you haven't seen for 50 years.

NanKate Sun 11-Jan-15 18:24:12

Charleygirl he tells me he owns properties in Manchester, London and Spain. I won't let him get hold of my cash, but thanks for your concern.

Mishap Sun 11-Jan-15 18:28:06

Maybe he has some thoughts that his Mum might have left you money that he thinks should be his legacy. Just a thought - unfortunately when elderly relatives die, money can sometimes become a bone of contention.

loopylou Sun 11-Jan-15 18:28:33

If he is totally alienated from his family then perhaps, because you kept in touch with his mother, you're the only one whose details he has or who links him to his mother and/or family?

J52 Sun 11-Jan-15 18:40:46

I would be very wary. Even if there is no alterior motive, you probably would have little in common apart from memories of unpleasant things. x

Marelli Sun 11-Jan-15 18:48:15

I don't mean to be picky, but have you thought why he mentioned the properties he owns? Of course, it may just have been within the conversation you were having, and there may just be a chance he was trying to show you how well he had done for himself (also, it may not be true....) hmm

NanKate Sun 11-Jan-15 19:40:06

This information was all in an email. I was surprised about the properties but when he mentioned a particularly dodgy job he had once had, I suspect that's where the money comes from.

I am keeping my emails between us just to the topics of his Mum, Family History and also keeping them brief.

I am split between wanting to know about all this fascinating info about my Mum's family 100 years ago and keeping him at arm's length. Tricky one this.

rosequartz Sun 11-Jan-15 20:13:01

Very tricky! Perhaps he is feeling nostalgic or perhaps he has other motives.
However, it sounds as if he has kept in touch with his parents despite previous difficulties. Does he have siblings you could contact?

Delving into family history is so interesting but sometimes it can open a can of worms!

loopylou Sun 11-Jan-15 20:19:12

50 years without contact is a very, very long time, Mishap's point about inheritance may be very pertinent.

FlicketyB Sun 11-Jan-15 21:00:54

Are you named as the executor of her will?

NanKate Sun 11-Jan-15 21:02:16

Yes he does have a sibling and I asked about him but got no reply.

If my Aunt (Uncle already dead) does have any money to leave it will go to her grandchildren, but as she has been in a Home for about 5 years I suspect no money will be left.

Once the funeral is over, which I won't be attending as it is too far away, I will drop any communication as I feel uneasy.

NanKate Sun 11-Jan-15 21:04:19

No I am not an Executor.

I suspect he contracted me as so few of his relatives will speak to him.

He was 8 last time we met and is now 57 to my 68.

NanKate Sun 11-Jan-15 21:04:52

Contacted not contracted. hmm

moonbeames Sat 17-Jan-15 01:20:54

Hi Nankate, I think that I would be very wary of him. Just watch from a distance if you can. Warning bells are going off about this situation.

NanKate Sat 17-Jan-15 07:36:14

Thanks Moonbeams and others. To update you I have received a number of emails from my cousin who has given me stacks of Family History info which has been fascinating.

My Aunt is still with us so he gives me regular updates.

I am not letting my guard down, but am enjoying hearing these family stories.

vampirequeen Sat 17-Jan-15 09:25:16

Keep your guard up but who know's maybe the years have changed him and he misses being part of a family. Maybe he's lonely.

Just don't let him too close. Keep it to an email relationship until you are certain one way or the other.