Readers' Submissions

Western Wives

  • Written by Siam Sam
  • October 8th, 2004
  • 4 min read

Simon Templar wrote the following in one of his recent contributions. While this was not the main point of his submission, it is the subject of my comments.

"Take any 2 relationships, say one between a bargirl and her farang, and one between a wife and husband say, living in America. Tell each man to stop paying or supporting his respective woman, a complete financial 'cut-off', – separate bank accounts, the works, and yes, even stop doing the housework for her. Let's just see whose relationship runs into trouble first then shall we?? I'll wager it will be about the same time, but the poor hapless American guy stands to lose everything including the shirt on his back in a court of law and be sentenced to years of alimony and debt….It's never pretty, divorce western style…."

Simon is correct, that SOME Western wives are like this, but as a general rule, his statement does not hold up.

I won't go into how many Western wives absolutely demand money or "support" in their marriages, but I can say that in my limited years on this earth, most men I know and women I have known are not like this in the West.

I am decidedly middle or upper-middle class. Most of the married friends I know are in the same grouping. Their marriages usually involve a working wife who makes money in a similar range as them. Usually the woman makes 20-40% less, due to various factors such as goals (women have child-care and family concerns and are not often as willing to give up everything for a job), various points in their lives where they may leave the workforce for kids, and maybe even some gender / earnings issues.

Usually both the husband and wife contribute to the house mortgage, car insurance, utilities, retirement accounts, and other costs of Western living. In most cases, the man does make more, so he contributes more, but it is essentially a partnership. There is few cases where the woman keeps all her own money and makes the man pay for it all. In cases where this occurs, the woman is basically termed a golddigger. In Thailand, these would be bargirls and Thai girls marrying for money, though some would say many middle class Thai women are the same way.

Western women will like Western men, try to get their fair share if a marriage goes bad. And like most Westerners, farang women will think their fair share to be usually much more than what they put in financially. Why? Because first, Westerners have ridiculously large egos, which anyone who's in sales or management should be able to attest to in Europe or America. Second, because post ERA feminism, for good or bad, has taught women that their "contributions" in a marriage have a financial equivalent, whether it is money they put into the family expenses / savings OR the time / support / effort they put into the relationship / family home / kids / etc.

With all of the above in mind, I can follow why some men, like Simon, would argue that farang women are in a marriage with the expectation of financial support. However, that is not a correct conclusion. It is that when things go bad, farang women will push to get as much as they can, because they are just like the farang men, and have learned they can often get more than they put into something financially. Thai women would and will do the same thing, once they learn they can and even now Thai laws do allow it and they are learning already.

However, Simon overlooks one counter fact to his claim, and that is that most Western and farang women will actually contribute financially to a marriage and the common expenses. In the cases where the woman earns more, and where I've had personal first hand knowledge, the woman actually paid equally if not more into the family costs. Women with good incomes also often don't mind paying on their dates – sometimes they split the bill and sometimes they actually pay the full bill on a rotating basis. I have seen the above occurrences in my past US dating life and in the lives of married siblings.

The few cases I've seen of the US housewife involved women not much unlike Thai women, expecting everything to be paid by their husbands. They are often the golddigger types who would marry the richest man they can and would argue that their "domestic contributions" justify large divorce settlements. The kind of men who marry such women….they are not unlike the kind in Thailand so often, who want / expect to pay everything but expect to control their new Thai wives in their movements, emotions, and spending.

As Stickman once said, punters and bargirls deserve each other. To paraphrase, men who get taken by farang women usually seek out and marry golddiggers. The prevailing theory in the West is to marry someone similar / comparable to you in class / education / earnings and to be treated as an equal. Sharing expenses and being in a true partnership is the goal. When partnerships go bad, there will be arguments, but at least there was a partnership to start with!

Stickman's thoughts:

While I have no idea how the west is these days, I agree with what you say completely.