Letter To Kiwi James Re; “Is This Right?”
Dear Kiwi James,
Wow. We don’t see a submission like that on the Stickman website very often. Reading it was a bit of a jaw-dropper let me tell you.
A very close friend of mine who is very attached to his offspring even before they were conceived was in a similar position to you. A few years ago he married a rather wealthy Chinese-Thai girl from the Isaan province.
He sold his successful business and left Australia to live in the countryside with her. To his surprise the family insisted he live in their home and manage sectors of their rather large business empire to which he did not get well remunerated for. Obviously they were testing his trust and loyalty and expertise with the business and perhaps remuneration may have been forthcoming in years to some, but with Chinese-Thai you never know.
Anyway the reason I mention this is that when his first daughter was born 8 months ago the Thai family (sisters, aunties, cousins etc) immediately took over the child and would not even acknowledge my friend's existence. He had provided his Caucasian seed to father the child and after that he was redundant and had no say in what happened to the child. They did not despise him at all; they simply felt he was irrelevant to the situation and they saw right thru him like he wasn’t even there at all. And due to the hormonal imbalance of childbirth, his usually quite rational wife was of no help in this situation. Thai people certainly can be quite ruthless in their selfishness and close-mindedness. <CLASSIC OBSERVATION, this last sentence – Stick>
My friend just couldn’t believe the way they were all treating him and shutting him out. The was only two options open to him – put up with their crap or dig in for a big fight with them that would surely have long lasting repercussions for the long term future. I advised him to keep his cool. The Thai women are all excited about a new baby and they get all these bizarre ideas about what is “best” for the child. And don’t be too harsh on your wife and expect her support when she has just been thru her first pregnancy because her head will be off in the clouds due to excess hormones and chemicals running around her little body. These are rich country folk with nothing better than to get all worked up and excited about a new child in the village.
But guess what? Next month there will be some new saga and the novelty of the new born child will wear off and then you will be able to step in and take control and exert some Western style influence over the rearing of your child. Sure enough, it took a little while but eventually my friend has managed to take firm control of the situation and all the fanatical “rellies” have backed off and level headed Western thinking is now firmly at the helm. Common sense dictates that inevitably the situation will always manifest into this logical outcome in the end.
Certainly in the future there will be the occasional little episode where the Thai women of the family will flair up and get a bit nutty with ridiculously daft ideas about what is best for the child such as when the child gets a little sniffle they will insist the child had pneumonia and a dramatic course of action is required. But generally the Western common sense will prevail. I suspect that this is partly why the Thais secretly like the involvement of a Westerner. On the one hand they unquestioningly believe that the Thai culture and way of life is far superior to all others but on the other hand they know that Western influence on the child’s upbringing will instill ethics of hard work and good education and the ability to speak English well. They subconsciously know that the Western influence is an asset to the child and they secretly do not want to stand in the way of this.
Getting back to the issue of the problems with your marriage to your wife, I can only echo Stickman’s advice to you. The sad fact is that most likely your marriage is doomed. If you had not been caught foolishly engaging another woman in a platonic affair then another equally bizarre set of circumstances would have transpired in the future and created insurmountable and irreconcilable strains in your marriage. You are both to blame for this culture and communication problem because your wife is not able to understand you and compromise with you and you are not strong enough to take charge and set a workable agenda for which the marriage can develop and flourish. You are simply too weak to handle a woman like her.
As with many other authors of submissions to this website, you appear to be a sucker for mental and physical punishment. You cannot stay in a hopeless relationship for the sake of your child and you are still able to live up to your moral obligations of responsibility to your child without remaining in the ill-fated marriage. Your proposed contract with your wife is a farce and is simply delaying the inevitable breakdown of your marriage. Your wife probably does not have the ability to change her ways, you could offer her a final ultimatum to change or you will end the relationship and she will live a lonely life without love. But the truth is she probably will not and cannot change. You may have to leave her for a period of time and give her a taste of life raising a child as a single mother in the village without a husband. The shock of that realisation may make her come to her senses but probably it will not.
One thing is for sure, as your wife has only recently given birth to your child, she is really not capable of any long term rational thought at this point in time. You certainly have put her thru a lot at a time when she was quite vulnerable. The best thing would be to back off for a while and let things settle down and carefully assess whether there is potential for a practical and constructive reconciliation. The answer to your problems is not to antagonise your wife and put her in confronting situations where she is likely to flare up, but at the same time you must show her a new found strength and not put up with any crap. For example starting from today she is never to use physical violence against you because that is totally unacceptable.
Having said all that, I still maintain that your marriage is doomed to failure and the sooner you learn to accept this fact then the easier it will be to get over your depression and get on with your life.
Words of wisdom!