Stickman's guide to Bangkok
Interview With A Thai Girl
By James Olympic
The following is an interview with a Thai woman, about her relationship with her husband and others. Printed with permission.
James Olympic: How long have you been married?
Gina: 3 months.
JO: When did you meet your husband and how did your relationship develop?
Gina: I met him in August, 2001. When we first met we were just friends.
JO: What kind of friends?
Gina: We dated… Do you want me to say, ‘my customer?’ He was my customer. We met because he was a friend of one of my friends.
JO: How did this relationship change from a friend and a customer to where he became a guy you would marry?
Gina: He kept calling me and talking to me, and worrying about me.
JO: Did you see him often?
JO: How often?
Gina: Once every three months. And then, after five months, a lot more often.
JO: How often was that?
Gina: Every week or two.
JO: Was he still a customer?
JO: When did he stop being a customer?
Gina: Since January, 2002.
JO: How and why did he stop being a customer?
Gina: Because I liked him. At that time we became best friends. I found I could talk to him about anything.
JO: Were you boyfriend / girlfriend by that time?
Gina: No. I didn’t want that. He still had his own family. He was still married.
JO: So, you thought of your relationship as a friendship. What did he think of it?
Gina: He thought of me as his girlfriend.
JO: Were you friends, or were you romantically involved?
Gina: We had sex a lot. Can’t friends do that?
JO: Wasn’t he still a customer? Did he pay you for sex?
JO: Why not?
Gina: Because I loved him.
JO: Did he give you something instead of cash?
Gina: No. I was just happy to see him. I don’t understand myself at that time, either.
JO: What were you doing with your life at that time?
Gina: Still working, in a bar. I think I started to fall in love with him around the time I stopped working. But I still considered him as a friend. I started to love him in January, when he didn’t go back to America, and he stayed in Thailand.
JO: So in January, 2002, the relationship changed from him being your customer to the two of you having an affair?
JO: With no money involved?
JO: What were you getting out of a relationship like that? He was getting sex. What about you, if not money?
Gina: I was happy to be with someone I loved. I wasn’t thinking about a committed relationship with someone like that. I wanted to be with him, but I didn’t want to be with him. I couldn’t be – he wasn’t available. I thought it was possible to be in love, but not have to be together.
JO: What about him?
Gina: He loved me and wanted to be with me. But he was probably just happy to be getting sex and hanging around with me.
JO: This is a strange thing for a working girl to do – to spend time and be with someone for no money… And, it seems inconsiderate of him, not to give you something back, doesn’t it?
Gina: It was painful to be in love with someone who was married. I was just always happy to see him. He was in Thailand, and he was around me often, and I was always there for him.
JO: How long did that kind of relationship continue?
Gina: About five months. He moved away from his wife, in April. Even then, I can’t explain; I loved him, but I wanted him to go back to his wife. I felt guilty about being in love with a married guy, and I’d rather have been friends.
JO: How did your relationship change after he moved away from his wife?
Gina: We saw each other a lot more. Almost every day.
JO: Were you still working?
Gina: Kind of. A guy was paying for my apartment, and when he’d come to Thailand I would stay with him. Other than that, I wasn’t really working.
JO: So, your ‘friend’, let’s call him ‘Tim’, was cheating on his wife, and you were cheating on your boyfriend?
Gina: No, I wasn’t cheating on him. I didn’t love him. I didn’t think of him as my boyfriend. I thought of him as a friend.
JO: A friend who just happened to be paying for your apartment?
Gina: You see, in January, I kind of wanted to get away from Tim. And to do so, I said yes to a guy who offered to rent me a place, thinking that if I got into a deeper relationship with him, I would get away from Tim. But, after I started staying in the apartment, I actually started to see Tim more often.
JO: Was your boyfriend supporting you?
JO: While you were running around with Tim?
Gina: Sometimes with a couple of different guys.
JO: What kind of relationships did you have with them?
Gina: Friends – customers.
JO: So, we have (1) a guy who’s cheating on his wife, and (2) a girl who was working in the bar, and then being supported by her boyfriend, who she is cheating on, and still working at times with (3) various ‘friends’. Sounds interesting... Was everybody happy with this situation? Especially your boyfriend?
Gina: When I first took up in the apartment, my boyfriend knew I was still working, and he didn’t object. I told him I had to. I had 3 kids to support, and I was not going to take that kind of money from him. But, he didn’t know about my relationship with Tim. That was cheating.
JO: And how long did this go on for?
Gina: About six months. Finally, when my apartment lease expired, I moved in with Tim. My boyfriend came and stayed for a month, just before that time. The lease came up and we decided not to renew it. I told him I would move in with a girlfriend. I still wanted to keep up the relationship with him, but I didn’t want him supporting me or paying for an apartment for me.
JO: So after that you moved in with Tim. Did your boyfriend continue to think that you still had a relationship?
JO: Was he still supporting you?
JO: Did Tim know about this?
Gina: No. You see I never really believed that Tim and I would stay together too long. By then he was divorced, but there were lots of problems with his ex-wife, and I thought that sooner or later he would go back to her.
JO: And how long did the situation continue like this?
Gina: Maybe two or three months. My boyfriend found out about what was going on from Tim’s ex-wife, and called me at home, at Tim’s and realized I was living there.
JO: How did he react?
Gina: He was upset, and it was pretty much the end of our relationship. He stopped sending me any money, and that was a relief. Mostly I felt relieved. I was scared to tell him, for so long.
JO: Did that phone call end you relationship with your boyfriend?
Gina: Not exactly. I still saw him, when he came to Thailand once more in February, 2003.
JO: Did you go and stay with him?
Gina: I stayed with him for one night.
JO: Was Tim okay with this?
Gina: No. I wished he had been, but he wasn’t. But, at the time I still really didn’t believe I’d have a long term relationship with him, and that eventually he’d go back to his ex wife.
JO: Then why were you staying with him? A guy that you thought you had no future with, that would leave you for his ex-wife; why not stay with your boyfriend, who had already been supporting you?
Gina: I wanted to help Tim. His ex-wife said that he was no-good, and that he could never hold a successful job. I wanted to help show her wrong. And I loved him, too. I don’t know why I chose to stay with such a complicated guy. I would have been happy for him if he’d gone back to his ex-. I never thought there was any chance that we would stay together or marry. I just loved him, and I was happy just to have some time with him. Also, Mark, my boyfriend, and I had a lot of problems, too. We fought all the time, and he had some big emotional problems. As much as I doubted I’d ever be able to stay with Tim, I knew for sure that Mark and I could never stay together. It would never have worked out.
JO: Why did you believe there was no future with Tim?
Gina: His ex-wife was trying so hard to get him back.
JO: Was Tim involved with her?
JO: What was their relationship at that time?
Gina: They were parents of their son, and she was still causing us a lot of trouble. They still had a lot of problems about their son. And I knew that even though she’d left for America with their son, she was still trying to get Tim back, and I knew eventually he’d leave to go back to find his son, and probably just get back together with her.
JO: Did Tim go back to America?
Gina: Yes. When I spent the night with Mark, my old boyfriend. Tim then decided to go back to the U.S. I thought he’d go back and be with his ex- again.
JO: Did that happen?
Gina: No. He loves me.
JO: What did you do after Tim went back?
Gina: Tim asked Mark to come and stay with me, in our place, after he left. He kind of handed me over to Mark. It was hell. Mark and I stayed together for about two weeks, until the end of his holiday, and then he went back to the U.K. And I moved out of the apartment and back home to my village. That was the end of my relationship with Mark. I knew that Tim was the one I wanted. I knew that I loved Tim and not Mark, and that I couldn’t have two guys at the same time.
JO: What happened to Tim after he went back to the U.S.?
Gina: He went to court for several months and got custody of his son. He worked hard and he supported me and my kids, and I was able to stay at home in the village.
JO: Did anything happen between him and his ex-wife?
Gina: No. I was afraid it would, and even kind of hoped it would, but he didn’t. That’s when I first realized he was not going back to her.
JO: Tim supported you while you were in the village. Did Mark do so, too?
Gina: No. He still wanted to continue the relationship, but I refused to take anything from him.
JO: Did you continue to see him?
Gina: He came back once in April, 2003. I was at home, and he came up to the village. We had a terrible fight. He came and saw all Tim’s stuff and our furniture, and he knew we were still together. I had told him before, that I chose Tim, but he couldn’t believe it until he came and saw for himself. Mark wanted to destroy everything of Tim’s. He was crazy. I was angry. I felt terrible that he broke so much of Tim’s stuff, and that he made such a scene at my home, and scared everyone in my family.
JO: Don’t you think his anger was justified?
Gina: Yes. He was right to be angry.
JO: Anyone reading this is going to really feel sorry for Mark. It’s like he really got screwed by you two. I think his anger was natural.
Gina: Mark and I had nearly come apart many times in the past. The worst thing about our relationship was spending time together. We did not get along. But Mark always denied that, and part of the reason he held on so long was simply that he didn’t want to lose to Tim. Before he came that time, I told him that I didn’t want to see him or spend time with him. He just refused to accept that, and made his own way to my village. He was angry when he realized what I told him before was the truth. That’s when he really knew that he and I were finished. I felt sorry for him, but it was over. I’ve never seen him since.
JO: Did you ever hook up with any other ‘friends’ during that time?
Gina: No. Never. I never went to Bangkok or anywhere. I stayed home with my kids and my parents.
JO: Just how and when did you and Tim get back together?
Gina: Tim knew what happened that time in my village. He knew that I really chose him. After he finished with the court case in America, he was able to find a job in Malaysia, and I came down there to be with him. That was in June, 2003.
JO: What kind of relationship do you have now?
Gina: We’re married. We are happy. We are building a life together. I love him, he is a great guy. I think he’s the only man I’ve ever met that really, really loves me. He’s responsible, kind, good in bed, a great communicator, he’s funny. I think he’s the best husband for me.
JO: What does Tim think about you?
Gina: He thinks I’m nice, fun and sexy. I know he loves me with all of his heart. I never saw anyone who fell in love with someone as much as he did for me. It took me a long time before I let myself believe it was true.
JO: What’s the best thing about your relationship?
Gina: We understand each other more than anyone I ever knew. I love to talk to him more than anyone I ever met. And he understands me more than anyone ever did.
JO: What’s the worst thing about your relationship?
Gina: Being apart. We had a fight once, that was terrible. It was after I came back from being with Mark, my old boyfriend, for a month. There was too much emotions built up, and it all came out, and really hurt us both. Tim fucked around while I was off with Mark, and a few days after I came back, everything exploded one night in the worst fight we ever had. I thought our relationship was gonna be over, but somehow it wasn’t. We both felt too strongly to walk away, and if we hadn’t been apart, it never would have happened.
JO: Do you two fight very much?
Gina: Not much. Just disagreements. Actually our fights are nothing compared to what we had experienced in other relationships before. The worst fight we had happened after I was gone with Mark for a month and Tim had done stuff too, but another way to look at it is that we fought about it once. It was not violent, only emotional. And, we got over it. Other couples maybe could not do that. But fighting is not part of our relationship. We never shout at each other, never swear, and we really never had any violence – like throwing things or hitting. Some Thai people say “love too much, have to fight too much”, but this really is not true. Really love and understand each other means that disagreements can be talked about, without having to fight.
JO: Do you have any advice for other couples? What would you tell a Farang guy in a relationship with a Thai woman?
Gina: Don’t trust a Thai woman. Or, at least, think about it before you do trust her. You will have to know each other well for three or four years, and really try to know if she loves you or your money. And, don’t fall for their old trick of when she tells you that you can go fuck around with another girl. It’s just a trick to make you feel guilty to her, and she will use this to control you. Thai girls want money.
JO: What about advice for a Thai woman in a relationship with a Farang man?
Gina: Be honest to him. Some Farangs don’t care about honesty, though. If you really want to have a family with him, you can’t love money more than anything else. Also, a lot of Farangs, especially ones who live in Asia, can’t be trusted either. Usually there’s not enough honesty between the two to have a true relationship. Communication is so important for a couple, and there’s so much language difference where Thais and Farangs can mis-understand so much.
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