Stickman Readers' Submissions April 15th, 2002

My Thai Marriage Experience

I am not one who would normally write about my experiences, but I read through a couple of your back news letters and there was a picture of a bg with a small child and unknown
father. This hit so close to home I thought I would write of my experience.

I started working in the Middle East and taking my vacation time in Thailand just like many of the expats. I met a girl in a bar and she moved in with me during my month stay. She quit going to the bar and I paid rent and expenses. She basically had no family so I did not have to pay for any sick cows. She made no bones about it: she wanted to get married and have a child. I truly believe my brains were in my pants instead of my head, but we got married, purchased a townhouse and along came the baby. Life was good. I continued to travel back and forth to the Middle Ethat ast and everything seemed to be in order. We made a couple of trips to the United States and I learned right then she would never live in the US. Oh well maybe I will just live in Thailand.

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Problems started when the baby was about two years old. I would come home and she told me she was going to the store and would be back shortly. Well shortly turned into the next day and I was stuck home with the child. This happened a few times over the next year and I simply could not handle it. Was it a boyfriend on the side? I assumed it was and I had probably been supporting him. It would have been easy to walk away from the situation, but there was the child. I could never just abandon that child. On the next few visits I stayed in a hotel and she would bring the child to visit me. Sometimes I would keep him for two or three days. I had no choice but to continue sending money as he was my responsibility and even if all the money did not go for him I had no other choice in the matter. I continued to pay for the townhouse and living expenses. I will guess my son was probably 6 years old when I finished my job and moved back to the US. I would have him fly to the US when he was out of school and we always had a terrific time together.

About the time he turned 9 years old he came to the US for the summer as his school was out and he had been there about a month when he told me he was not going back. As young as he was he understood he was an American citizen and was simply not going back. Boy this was a wake-up call. Here I am, a single 48 year old and becoming a mother and a father. I decided to give it a try and days lead into weeks and weeks into months and months into years. It was not long after he decided to stay I cut off the finances to Thailand. Yes there were some letters, but I simply did not answer them. I told my accountant to simply remove her name from my income tax.

There were difficult times. I remember the first day I put him in school. He did not have the slightest idea of what that teacher said all day. We started at night with 10 words each day. I had to translate them, mostly using charades and then he would spell them. We went until midnight on many occasions. It was rough on both of us, but the desire was there. I remember asking him not long after he came to the US what do you want to be
when you grow up. Without hesitation he said an Airline Pilot.

Well folks we do not hear from his mother and have no idea where she is. He only mentions her on his birthday. He has never told me of the experiences he had when he was little and I was at work. I do believe it was difficult for him. I never bring up the subject. It is history.

Oh yes he always studied hard and never was a problem for me. He is my best friend. Never was in any kind of trouble and right now he is 20 years old in college and working on his degree in Aviation Science. He will see his dream as an airline pilot in a few years.

Although the marriage was a bust I do not regret anything I have done.

Stickman says:

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You are an absolute prince, a gentleman and an all round nice guy. Thrown into what must have been an incomprehensibly difficult situation, you handled it with absolutely flying colours. Give yourself the biggest pat on the back, sit back and be very, very proud. In my mind, you are nothing short of a real life hero. The difference that you have made to your son's life is immeasurable.

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