Why I Married A Thai
Many of the articles on this site would lead you to believe that marrying a Thai is doomed to failure. There have been very valid points to support this theory, yet I would say that marrying a Thai has no greater risk of failure than marrying a western
woman. Please don’t forget that the divorce rate in the west is an astonishing 50%. I won’t argue the fact that marrying a Thai is difficult; there are so many cultural differences that it takes much understanding and effort in order
to have a successful marriage, perhaps much more understanding and effort than marrying a western woman (although one could easily say it’s just a different type of understanding and effort). However, I would also argue that the rewards
of that effort are incredible; much more so than a western woman.
In an effort to structure this in a way that is familiar with many of the readers, I’ve adopted the same approach that Arthur used in his article, title “Why I never married a Thai”. Arthur was quick to point out that these were his observations and that he didn’t expect similar experiences or opinions, so adopting this style is in no way meant as a “knock” on Arthur. Further, I would add that these are my observations and I wouldn’t expect you to have the same observations or opinions. Frankly, I would expect the majority of the readers to differ with the enclosed opinion.
I have been blessed with a wonderful life, and I really don’t deserve all that I have been given. Yet I was blessed once again by meeting and marrying my wife and my life has been enriched even more because of it. This article is meant to give you a bit different perspective on the trials and tribulations of Thai life that we often read about here and provide you with a story of success which doesn’t often hit these pages.
With that said, here we go:
• Honesty – Integrity
• Intellectualism-Style vs. Substance
• Value of a Husband
• Accommodation, Compromise, Gratitude
1. Honesty – Integrity
Like most of you, I value honesty and integrity with my close friends and spouse. However, unlike most of you, I do feel I can find this in Thailand; maybe not as easy as the U.S., UK, or Australia, but at the same time easier than Latin America or Russia. There are a few areas that I believe impact the level of integrity one has. Yes, the culture of the country has a lot to do with it, but I also feel you can not discount the age and education level of the person you are dealing with and how that person was brought up. So, in essence we have four drivers. Note, the following are generalizations and obviously there are exceptions to all items below.
Age – Children the world over are known to “lie”. They lie to avoid punishment and they lie to avoid shame (read “losing face” – Yes, even in western society, children “lose face” and want to be accepted). We expect as we get older to develop more integrity and understand the value of honesty, yet not all of us get there. Throughout this web site and through the various articles, we are constantly reminded of how “young” the minds of the average Thai are, so since other parts of the intellectual system are still developing, why would we expect honesty and integrity to just develop instantly?
Education – I like to compare apples to apples and not make generalizations across two different characteristics as that would be grossly unfair. Like age, I believe that education level greatly impacts the ethics of an individual. The more educated one is, the more honesty and integrity one will show in general. Granted, you will always have highly educated crooks – the executives at Enron and Worldcom quickly come to mind, however, in general my business dealings with corporate leaders in Asia have been some of the most ethical dealings I have had anywhere. Just as much as saving face is part of the culture, honor is also part of the culture; such that when an agreement is reached it is generally honored. I have had the same success with much of my business dealings with educated individuals elsewhere. Let’s contrast that with people in the sex industry, bars, high school education. Well, SHIT, I wouldn’t trust those type of people with your money, why should I trust them with mine? Is that a statement on Thais? Absolutely NOT. I find myself feeling the same way in Europe, North America, and Latin America. Frankly, the people in North America, parts of Europe, and Latin America bother me even more, because if you actually are ignorant enough to call them on their unethical behavior, you may find yourself with a knife in your abdomen or worse.
Combine that with the fact that many in the sex and bar industries are young and you have a double whammy. Not much better are the entry-level office workers or the retail trade. Some may have gone to college, but in general many of those people are not going anywhere and thus the low level of education along with the lack of drive put them in my opinion on the lower rung of the ladder for integrity and honesty. Again, I say the exact same thing about that class of people here in the states.
Further, one has to remember that Thailand is a 3rd World country that is developing. Many do not get the opportunity to get a higher level of education, so if you are comparing an uneducated Thai to an educated westerner, you are comparing apples and oranges and not apples to apples, which is grossly unfair in my opinion to that population set.
Culture – Certainly the Thai culture has not been brought up to be unethical, but rather it is ingrained in the culture to save face. One could successfully argue that saving face is something that is ingrained throughout most of Asia on different levels. If one is marrying a women from Thailand, doing business in Thailand, or just developing a friendship, one should not try to compare the Thai culture to your western culture and ask why it is not like ours. Instead, one should try to understand the Thai culture, recognize the attitude of saving face, and strive to put situations in a context that allows the Thai to be honest, while also saving face. It is much harder on the westerner to do that because it is not part of our make-up and thus we really have to stop, think about their culture and try to put a situation into a context that is much more bearable. Yes, that is difficult for us, and one that will often cause us stress, but in the long-run, it is much more successful.
If I were to contrast the Thai culture with a Latin America culture, I would take the Thai culture hands down. I don’t know how much exposure many of you have had to the Latin America culture, but you can have a written Fxxxing agreement and it won’t matter. An agreement is only made to hold YOU, the gringo, in check. The Latins will bend over backwards to Fxxx you up the A$$ on your agreement. It is part of their culture to always feel like they have won and gotten the upper hand. As part of my job, I have to continue to do work in Latin America and as an American, I have to understand this, deal with it and limit the amount of Fxxxing we take. Again, it’s not so much trying to make their culture like us, which will never happen, but rather to understand their culture and try to work within that context in order to still be successful. Russia – another story all-together. Bring lots of American $ and be prepared to slide money everywhere in order to get agreements. Honesty in Russia is bought!
One of the points many have made over the years is that Thais will just ask favors from many people until someone says Yes and justify this complaint with the fact that it is not common in Western culture as this is a breach of trust. I have one word to say to that – BULLSHIT!!! Yes, there are many in Thai society that will ask favors from anyone and everyone until someone says Yes. Is this all of Thai society- NO. As a matter of fact, my wife has an older brother that certainly fits this mold. This practice is looked down upon Thais just as much as westerners. Further, to think this doesn’t happen in the West is just being ignorant to the facts. None of my friends would do this and based on many of the readers' comments, none of your friends would do this either, but that is not because it doesn’t exist in the west, but again comes down to the individual. I know many, let’s just say, distant acquaintances in the west that do this constantly, always looking for handouts and favors without a thought as to paying it back. It comes back to a class and education thing. The lower the class and education of the individual, the more you will see this behavior. Where you may see this in an educated person would usually be with someone with a drinking and/or drug problem. But to say this doesn’t happen in the west and it runs rampant in Thailand is a distortion of the facts, in my humble opinion.
My wife has earned my trust over the years and I have earned hers by being honest with each other, understanding each other, and working to make our life one. As difficult as it is for me, I think it is much more difficult for her for several reasons. One, she is in a new environment, living in the US, trying to adapt to our culture. Certainly, she struggles with it at times and does find herself in that trap of trying to please everyone. I will catch her on it, challenge her, and try to make her realize it will be very stressful on her if she continues to do that. And, please don’t believe that it is not stressful on her, because it is. She truly does want to please everyone and thus the conundrum. She will sometimes fail to please everyone but it is not because she is not being ethical, but rather because her culture has taught her to do that and she will bend over backwards trying to please everyone, which in the end only disadvantages herself. I know her heart is in the right place and she has never said anything dishonest to reap gain from it. It has only been to try and please others or in instances where she is trying to save herself from embarrassment (save face). Even in the cases where she is trying to save face, I will often try to tease her and laugh about it while at the same time indirectly telling her I know what she is doing – don’t worry about it!!
Many of you say there are few (or no) Thais that you can put your trust in. Well, no Fxxxing Shit! Let me bring you back to your own country for awhile. Honestly ask yourself how many people you can implicitly trust in your own country. With me personally, outside of my family, there are only a handful of people that I can implicitly trust and all of those I have known for many, many years. It takes time to build up trust with someone, and one should not expect it from a person that is probably eyeing you with as much distrust as you are eyeing him or her.
I love my wife and completely believe in her. She is incredibly honest yet she is Thai! How can that be you ask? How can a Thai person be honest? I will refer you to the paragraph above and add the following. I put my faith and trust in very few people. I could care less what country they come from, there are very few people I can truly trust. When I do, it usually takes years of contact to develop that trust. I would never expect anyone from any country to trust me after knowing me for a short period of time (1day, 1 week, 1 month, even 1 year) and I hope no one would expect me to trust them in that amount of time. I do consider my wife a “diamond in the rough” and that trust can only be broken by her.
So how do you go about helping your Thai girlfriend/wife through these changes. One, she has to be willing to change. You can’t make her change. She has to be old enough and educated enough to realize the importance of change. Many of you wouldn’t marry an uneducated girl in your hometown, so why do you think an uneducated farm girl that is 15, 20, 30 years your junior is the perfect catch if she would just change qualities A, B, and C. Wake the Fxxx up! It’s not going to happen. But assuming you find someone your approximate age that is educated, she will more than likely see the benefit in adopting some of the thoughts of western culture that goes against her Thai culture. Do not expect it overnight. It will be difficult for her, however, through the years, you will see meaningful change. You have to be patient, which is not always a virtue of the male species and you have to remember to understand that she grew up for 25, 30, 35 years thinking one way and you are trying to change all of that in a much shorter period of time. Just be patient and understanding.
2. Intellectualism – Style vs. Substance
Like most of the readers on Stick's site, I too, find the lack of intellectual curiosity difficult to deal with. In Bangkok, especially, I find the value on appearances annoying. However, unlike, most of the readers, I find this in nearly every big city I visit. Go to Los Angeles, Miami, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Paris, Hong Kong, Beijing, and of course our beloved Bangkok. People value you on how you look, what you drive, where you live. It may not be right or intellectual, but it is not a reflection on the Thais, but more on society as a whole. “60 Minutes”, a TV show in the states that addresses various issues did a show a couple of years back on perceptions of people. They showed that these tendencies are in all of us at a very early age. They put a very pretty, well dressed, but non-qualified teacher into a grade school; they then complemented that with an ugly (even made up to look even uglier), dressed nice, but with older clothes, and extremely well qualified into a grade school. The good looking teacher won rave reviews from the students hands down. The not as well made teacher was ridiculed by the students. These were grade school kids!
They repeated these findings with women and men in various experiments in differing levels; fat versus thin; well dressed versus not as well dressed; attractive versus not attractive. The environments varied; A woman needing assistance on the side of the road because her car was broken down, a job interview; the perception of how well someone was doing in their job. In each an every case, the better looking individual won hands down. For the job related activities, they exaggerated the experiment by always putting an extremely qualified person in the role that was not as attractive and a less than qualified person in the qualified role. All this proves to me is that we as a society value looks more than substance and Thailand’s ability to take advantage of that is what society demands. Further, I do believe this is always exaggerated in the larger cities around the world. Once you get outside major cities, I have always found more substance with the people and a more focused effort on who you are as opposed to how you look. This is the case whether I am in Thailand or any other country.
The July 20, 2005 issue of the USA Today just printed an article that states the exact same thing. Those that look the right way (thin, dress well, taller, etc.) make more money than those that do not. The article did not do their own study like 60 minutes, but instead took real life examples, and facts from numerous studies that support this. So give me the Thais any day with their penchant for dressing well. At least they haven’t gotten to the point (yet) that pervades the US where people not only care about how they look but also run to their doctor in record numbers for cosmetic surgery to look better. Last year alone, over 325,000 teens under 18 (American Society of Plastic Surgery) had cosmetic surgery in the US. These are teenagers!! What are we becoming! Over 9 Million in 2004 across all age groups.
I know I am guilty of this as well, especially with fat people. The minute I see someone that is overweight, I immediately think lazy, lack of a work ethic, doesn’t care about him or herself. Is this fair? Absolutely not, but it is one of the many faults that I have.
As I already mentioned, I do believe you find more substance outside of the cities, and like honesty and integrity, it is difficult to find, but not impossible. I have had some very educational, intellectually stimulating conversations with various individuals in the little villages outside of the major cities. One day, I was sitting around eating lunch up in a village near Udon Thani. I was with a group of three older Thai gentlemen. All were very curious and intelligent about US policies and politics. One, in particular, amazed me, because this individual was asking me many questions about American policies and politics, which quite frankly took me off-guard. This was before the 2000 Presidential elections and also before we were down to 2 candidates. He was asking questions about each of the remaining candidates (at the time, there were still about 8 candidates that had a shot). He knew their political slants, he knew them by name, and he wondered how America would change based on the election of each of these candidates. I was very impressed with his knowledge and his curiosity, especially, given the fact that you can ask people in the US today who the President of the United States is and you would be amazed how many thousands of individuals would give you blank stares or give you the wrong answer. It’s really pathetic how uneducated and lacking in curiosity some individuals will allow themselves to be. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Basically, I do believe that there is a big style vs. substance gap in Thailand when it comes to intelligence, but I also believe that same gap exists everywhere in the world. Yes, I also believe it is bigger in Thailand than in the western countries, but let’s not forget, Thailand is a 3rd world country. The opportunity to get an education is not the same in Thailand as it is for the western countries. It is much more difficult.
I was lucky in so many ways. I was lucky to be a citizen of a western country with opportunities given to me. What would have happened if I was born on a farm in a little village in North-eastern Thailand. Surely, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I have had in the west. Let’s please not forget how lucky we have been versus the situation that so many other people are in. You can’t just say they have no intellectual curiosity because they are Thai. It is much deeper than that and we have to understand that.
I think there are intelligent people all over the planet. And there are some very ignorant people all over the planet. I would agree that it is harder to have the intelligent conversations in Thailand, but not because of a lack of understanding in Thailand, but rather a lack of opportunities. If you were working on a farm for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week during the planting or harvesting season, what would be your next move – Oh, let’s go get a paper or get some news? I can guaran-damn-tee you my move would be “Let’s get some FOOD”.
My wife is college educated. She did work on a farm and she worked her A$$ off. At the same time, her Dad was involved in politics in her little village and her Mom and Dad put an emphasis on education. They scrimped and saved enough to put all of their children through college (and yes, they did get assistance from the government because of her Dad’s position as well as low interest rate government loans). All of this gave her an opportunity that most in her village did not get.
So does this make her intellectually curious? Not really. My biggest complaint of the Thai educational system is that they teach you many of the same things as in the west, but it is based more on rote memorization. They teach you in a way to memorize items that increase your knowledge base but does not necessarily challenge you to think through situations. This is probably the one area that really allows us to think through situations with a longer-term perspective and focus on what is really important when we are presented with problems. However, I would put an even greater emphasis on the fact that we are given the opportunity of higher levels of education that many are not privileged enough to be given in Thailand.
Going back to my apples to apples examples, I do believe that most college educated western men want to be around college educated women while in the west. So how come they go after the orange when they are in Thailand and then complain that their Tee-rak isn’t very smart. Gentleman, if you want a relationship, you must take the time to find someone that fits your profile. Yes, it may be harder in Thailand, because so many lack that education, but it is not impossible.
My other position on becoming more mature and intelligent has to do with a topic I briefly glossed over in the Honesty section; how quickly Thais grow up? We rail on an on through all of these articles on how Thais are like little kids and it is like baby sitting.
Well, the simple answer would be stop hanging around little kids and trying to bonk them. No wonder you feel like they are like little kids; THEY ARE!! The same would happen if you tried to develop a relationship with a 17 or 18 year old here in the states that went into the sex industry. Young, immature, uneducated, what do you expect. But let’s bring this a bit further. We have already stated that many just are not given the opportunity to go onto higher levels of education. So they stay home and continue to work on the farm or go to the Big city and get a retail or restaurant job; assuming they do not want to partake in the sex industry.
Well, in the west, most kids are also experimenting with their independence for the first time at about that same age. Here, we encourage them to go to college, and they mature quite rapidly in those 4 years and are given a leg up on their Thai counterparts simply because they are away from home for the first time. Our value on independence and further education allows our children to progress more in those 4 years than probably any other portion of their life. However, this is a double-edged sword. Just like we say Thais want all the good and none of the bad (they want it both ways – not unlike western women I might add). We have virtually given up on our family values as a society. The love I see for each other in Thai families is something that I think we all should envy. No society is perfect, but to just ridicule Thais for their culture without recognizing that some things are seriously broken in ours is almost the same as wanting it both ways. We want Thais to be more like us, yet we turn a blind eye towards those things that are not working as well in our own society.
I guess I will state again, if you want your relationship to work with a Thai person, it is not impossible, but like age, you need to find someone with a similar background in education. Much more difficult in Thailand, agreed, but not impossible and well worth the effort.
My wife not only received her degree in Thailand in Computer Science, but it was important for her to work here in the states. It allows her to develop relationships, continue to educate herself with spoken English as well as basic business skills, and probably most important of all be productive during the day while I was also at work, so she wouldn’t sit down alone all day and become depressed about her life in the US versus back in Thailand. People need to continually stay active and embrace new opportunities or else they will begin to waste away as a person. I think this is extremely important as it relates to Thai/Farang relationships. I see too many men out there that want to bring their wife back to their foreign country, plop them in the living room while they are at work and then come back at night and expect to bonk them and be fed dinner. Well, no reason these relationships don’t work out in the long run. You have essentially hired a slave and resentment will eventually bore out. I know, I can hear you now. Oh, no Joe, we are not slave-owners. We give these girls an opportunity they wouldn’t have elsewhere. They have nice clothes, cars, they travel, they never have to worry about money, and we treat them kind. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure all that is true, but you are not treating them like a human being.
Imagine if you would if you moved to Thailand and your Tee-rak went into Bangkok everyday to go to work while you were sitting in a house in her village waiting on her everyday. How long would that last before you fly the coop?
Just to end this section, in addition to her Monday-Friday job, my wife is also going to school at night to obtain her real estate license. I will also say 7 of the 9 Thai/Farang relationships that I am close to, the Thai spouse works. In the 2 where she doesn’t work, they are the most shaky right now. I will talk more about that at the end of this article.
3. Value of a Husband
This is a section that is very important to all of you considering a Thai / Farang relationship. We all want to be deemed as important to our wife. At the same time, our wives need to feel like they are important to us also, so give them room to feel important. As listed above in section 2, allow them to find work.
But will she ever value her husband more than her family? My answer to the chagrin of all the Thai bashers out there is Yes. Again, in 7 of the 9 marriages I am close to, 7 of those women do value their husband more, so it is not some pipe dream. It is real, but like everything else, you have to take the time to find it.
Certainly, as a man, I am considered to be the provider. Nothing new there, that is the same throughout the entire world. Yes, even in the good ole USA with our liberated women. Men are still supposed to be the provider and women still want to make as much as men which is only disposable income for the US women to enjoy on their own. Men must pay the mortgage, the bills, etc. Welcome to the age of liberalization.
But since we are talking about Thai / Farang relationships, let’s talk about the 2 things that bother most western men the most; The dreaded Dowry and the Monthly stipend to feed the alcoholic relatives.
A little about my wife’s family. She has 2 sisters and 3 brothers. Almost all are hard-working. Her oldest brother is the “black sheep” of the family. He is the alcoholic. He is the one asking for money all the time. It’s amazing too, because his entire family is that way. I think his wife is worse than him and if I was married to her, I would probably be a drunk too!! But people seem to be attracted to those that are like them. His wife has gone down to Pattaya to work and even to Germany for 6 months to work. Everything is always about money, money, money, and yet with all they make, they never have any because what they have is spent on cigarettes, booze, gold, etc. They have 2 daughters that are about college aged. Instead of sending them off to school, the Mom wants to send them to BKK or Pattaya to find a rich husband. When I was going to college, we used to call these girls, the ones majoring in their MRS. Degree as they were only there for one thing; marriage. The sad thing is the daughters are just like their parents. It’s always money, money, money and yet they don’t want to work hard for it. They want to find the easy way out in which they can make a lot of money for very little effort. Unfortunately, we all as people are presented with these quandaries in life. Some choose the easy way out and I do believe most suffer for it in the long run while others work hard at what they have and I believe are much better people with substance at the end of the day.
Mom also likes to ask for money. Both my wife and her father hold her in check, so she will sometimes do it when they are not around. I’ve seen both my wife and my wife’s Dad get visibly upset if she asks for money.
Other than that, the rest of the family is extremely hard-working and all would be considered successful. One of my brother-in-laws is pretty high up within the police ranks and that can’t be a bad thing. They have always treated me with respect and each and every time we are in town, and we are buying food and drink for the family, it has not been asked even ONE time, Joe, can you pay for the food. In each case, we go out as a group, load up the truck with food and everyone puts in an equal share. And yes, I know this because I am doing the shopping with them. If for no other reason, then just to walk around the market and enjoy the surroundings.
So what happened when the dreaded “D” word came up. Well, to be honest, my wife never brought it up. I was the first to bring it up and this was after nearly 2 years of dating before we decided to get married. We discussed what we thought was reasonable and she was very forthcoming about what her brother-in-laws paid for her sisters and what her brothers paid for their wife. The high water mark was 100,000 baht paid by one of the brothers and one of the brother-in-laws. I am not against the dowry. It is new to me and something I am not familiar with, but I am by all means not going to “DISS” a tradition that I know has no root in fleecing ignorant farangs. This tradition has been part of Thailand for many years; many more years before ignorant farangs began giving into extortion to fulfill their fantasies. Further, I am about to bring my wife not only away from her family, but half way around the world. It’s not like if a family member gets sick, she can go right home. My wife has made a supreme sacrifice in my opinion that goes way beyond what I have done.
And again, please don’t give me that “I am providing a better life for her routine”. That stinks like SHIT if you ask me. I have seen some of the most miserable millionaires right here in the good ole USA and some of the most poverty stricken happy people in the villages of Thailand. Believe me, your Tee-rak would much rather live in Thailand than go to a foreign country. That should not be a knock on her but a realization of nature. Most people in the US never move to another state in their entire lives and when they do often complain that it isn’t like home and they would rather go back to the state that they are from and comfortable with. Don’t ever forget, your Tee-rak is making the ultimate sacrifice for you. The least you can do is realize that and do everything in your power to make it work. Granted, there are hundreds of thousands of Thai girls (if not millions) that would gladly go to your home country if you present it as the “golden egg” and she can fleece you of some of your riches in a couple of years and then return to her country, but the “good girl” is there to make it work and as long as you haven’t presented yourself as a wealthy farang who is careless with his money, her intentions are going to be slanted towards the right way.
So what did I agree to pay? I agreed to pay approximately 41,000 baht, a number which was a nice round $1,000 US at the time. Could I have afforded more? Absolutely, but that wasn’t the point. I wanted to provide an amount that would save face for my wife and her family while also being reasonable in nature so people wouldn’t laugh and say, “Look at the stupid farang throwing his money around”. <I have to interject here and say that 41,000 baht is a miserably low amount for an educated "good girl" and as you are a farang, she did NOT save face at all. If you had really wanted her to not just save face, but gain face, an amount of around 200,000 baht with the bulk of it returned as per pre-made arrangements would have done that. Even 200,000 baht dowries are not considered that high – Stick> People all over the world do not respect those people that throw their money around. They will gladly take it and enjoy the parties paid for by it, but at the end of the day, they are not going to pay you much respect. Please remember that. If you expect honesty and respect from your Thai counterparts, then don’t try to buy it. As one large financial company in the US says, “We earn it”. You should do the same and earn the respect of your Thai counterparts. Probably looking back on it, kicking that number up to 50,000 baht may have been better, but 1 Million or more? Give me a break guys!
What happened to the dowry money? It did not go back to my wife, like what happens in many cases. Instead, it went to pay for the wedding. I really didn’t want a wedding like this and objected to it before hand many times. After it was over, I had wished I never objected to it. Her father invited the entire village. The morning started out paying alms to the monks. The afternoon was the wedding itself with the monks and village leaders paying their respects and going through the chants, and then there was the “reception” at the end of the day well into the night with around 200 people there with more food and drink than anyone could eat. They had a band, the village leaders speaking some words and interviewing Bom and I, and Thai traditional dance. It was a spectacle for me as I was completely dumbfounded, but what got me the most was the look on her father's face. Her father's face was filled with LOVE for his daughter. He certainly didn’t do all of this for me, but rather his daughter and it was a wonderful sight to see. So, having that wedding was probably more important to him than anyone else there and yes, I felt more than a little embarrassed that I had objected as vehemently as I had to the wedding in the first place. Believe me, the dowry probably didn’t pay for what was provided, but we had agreed ahead of time that we wouldn’t be paying for any of the wedding.
The gifts ($$$) from the guests went back to my wife.
Next, the monthly stipend. This is where I can really see the dedication of my wife that you will always be told NEVER happens. All I can say is NEVER say NEVER. I never gave my wife any extra money whether monthly or just for the hell of it anytime when we dated and guess what? She never asked for any money. Yet, I know that she was sending money to her parents during the time we dated that she was earning from her job. Whether you want to believe it or not, it is real that family members (both sons and daughters) give back to their parents.
My wife is in a real bind. On one hand she feels the need to give back to her parents. It is a real need. On the other, she feels a real need to protect me from her Mom and her older brother who do ask for handouts. She is constantly protecting me from those two and I value her for it. It’s amazing because I know this is very stressful for her. Her parents worked hard and saved up in order to send her to college and the Thai culture of giving to back to her parents is an enormous pressure. Yet, she also knows that in the US, we have to build for ourselves, so she has to balance those two out and I commend her for doing an exceptional job.
You're not going to believe this, but it is true. I don’t give my wife any spending money at all from month to month. Instead, I expect her to work and guess what? She gives me $900 per month, each and every month. Yes, you read that right. She pays ME each month. Why? Because she knows it is going to help pay for many of our monthly expenses (real estate holdings, utilities, college savings for kids, etc). In addition, I have convinced her to contribute to her 401K plan at work (in the US, that is a retirement plan). She has been doing that for nearly 5 years now and she is so excited to see how much she has saved up. My reasoning for that is two-fold. One, it teaches her the value of saving and what happens year over year, but two, whether we are together or not, that is a substantial amount of money that she will have banked away for her retirement.
Now, after Uncle Sammy (taxes) gets his portion, the retirement savings has been funded, and she has paid me her monthly stipend to pay for our expenses, whatever is left over, she can do with what she pleases. She saves most of it for her parents. She never asks me to help support her parents yet she is caught in this double-standard. Again, I will say this marriage is probably more difficult on her than me because I have given up so little in comparison to the trials and tribulations she is going through. Remember that too, guys, because it will be the same with you. She is giving up her friends for the most part to be in your country. You are not giving up your friends. You have a social network. You are not in a strange country where the language is different. You have to work doubly hard to help her adapt to your country and that does not mean “I am giving her opportunities she never would have had.”
4. Accommodation, Compromise, Gratitude
I truly believe that women world-wide can be “high maintenance”. If you think asking for a gold chain is high maintenance, try being married to one of our famous American women. One of my neighbors, a good friend who we often go boating or skiing with can’t win with his wife. For an anniversary, he surprised her with a trip to Hawaii for a week. Do you know how she responded? While she was happy and wanted to take the trip, she wanted some expensive piece of jewelry to show his appreciation for her. He asked if he should cancel the trip and buy this jewelry and she just pouted and began telling him that he didn’t love her enough. This piece of jewelry by the way was around $5,000 US. She asks for jewelry on birthdays, anniversaries, mother's day, and Christmas and she is not cheap. She asks for the best. And this woman is fat, self-centered, and selfish. It’s not like she has model looks. My friend often confides in me his debt load because of the need to satisfy his wife and get laid. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop at jewelry. Her dining room set which was only about 4 years old “needed” to be replaced because it was nice enough. $12,000 US later, she had a new dining room set. Never mind, that they only use it about 3-4 times a year (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthday’s). <But are women like this the norm in America? I doubt they are. *If* they are, then the US has MAJOR problems – Stick>
My friend is not alone. I could go on and on about many of my friends' wives who make their husbands feel guilty and withhold sex in order to feed their need for displaying the “best” of everything to their friends. These are the type of women we have to deal with in the U.S. So when one tells me about the “high maintenance” women of Thailand, I say “Bring ‘em on”. Anything has to be better than what we are subjected to. But in all honesty, there are some fabulous, beautiful, down to earth, caring women here in the US, just as there are in Thailand. It’s just that it is hard to find them. You can’t expect to just see a beautiful girl and expect her to be yours at the drop of a hat. A relationship is developed over time without money clouding the picture. Men make it hard on themselves the world over, because many men do not have the confidence to let a woman walk if he doesn’t pay her in some form (gold, cash, gifts). This has been happening since the beginning of time, so it really isn’t a new concept.
What I believe is a new concept is middle of the road men having the access to control women with money. Let me explain. In the past 20 years, travel has become much more efficient and cheaper. At the same time, the economy has become more global. These two factors have allowed many more people to travel the world. The middle class or upper middle class guy from the west comes to the East. He knows he is a nice guy and he now has the means to buy nice things for his Tee-rak and he can’t understand with all that he is providing for her how she can reject him.
Well guess what guys? It’s just that the past 20 years has allowed us to play in a game that was off limits to us for centuries. For years, the Donald Trumps of the world have been buying their women and yet, it never worked for them. How the hell is it going to work for you? You say it does work for them? Oh really? Did it work for Donald Trump and Marla Maples? Of course not. He got tired of Marla acting like a little girl and she got tired of him trying to control her. Well, she was a little girl, half his age, and he was trying to control her with his money.
Did it work for Howard Marshall and Anna Nicole Smith? No again. It worked out great for Anna. She waited for the old geezer to die so she could collect his billions.
These are billionaires and it doesn’t work for them just like it won’t work for you. It’s better to keep them on the side, pay them and don’t get emotionally attached. That’s what works best for the billionaires around the world and they get to shag beautiful women all the time without getting emotionally attached and that is what will work best for you.
When you are in Thailand, you have the financial means to be a Donald Trump or a Brad Pitt, so enjoy it. Live it up, but don’t expect to have a marriage come out of it.
If you want to have a meaningful relationship with a Thai woman, it will take compromise and understanding. I will again say, that I believe my wife has compromised much more than I have, but certainly, I have compromised as well. It takes both parties. She supports me and the decisions I make and I support her and the decisions she makes.
Neither her parents nor my parents will ever be in need if they fall into serious financial or health decline. My wife takes better care of my parents than I do. She is caring, understanding and basically brings those womanly characteristics to them that I can not provide. If we have to put my parents into a home or if they need to live with us, I know my wife will support this. Not only because she has already verbally agreed to, but more importantly I can see it in her actions when they live with us for about 1 month each year.
Likewise, I will never allow her parents to fall into a position where they are not able to get the medical care and attention they may need. To me that is a responsibility that we both have to our parents and should be shared together. Luckily, her upbringing has formed the same type of thought to the care of our parents.
Gentleman, if this is important to you as it was to us, these are conversations you should have and be comfortable with before deciding to wed. All of these issues have to be agreed upon before you get married so that you know you are on the same plane. I believe that accommodating and compromising women can be found in Thailand and anywhere across the globe but it takes time to find them. Let’s not also forget that someone can not compromise on an issue that goes against their moral integrity or value set. Thus, again, the reason for making sure you are on the same mental path before pledging your love for your Tee-rak.
AHHHHH, Sex, one of the best things about your Asian (Thai) lover. You know it’s funny, some people have never met an Asian that wants to have sex beyond 40. Perhaps I’m lucky. I have never met an Asian that wants to stop at 40. I can see in old style Asia why that is the case, however. Many of the older Thais come from arranged marriages. You were arranged by your parents and you are expected to marry and have children. Once the child-rearing period is over, perhaps, you don’t want to have sex anyway. You may not have been sexually attracted to your spouse, you may have felt an obligation to your parents to marry, or some combination of the two.
But in my wife and others I have had relationships with in the past, sex has never been an issue. We are sexually attracted to each other and therefore there is always that excitement when we see each other. My wife and I have been together for 7 years now and we haven’t lost a single step. Further, she has often asked, do you think we will still be doing it this often when we are 90!!! 90 mind you. I love her spirit, but I don’t think I will be. Then again, it could be fun trying.
So what else is it about the Thai woman that I love? Well, let’s just compare the Thai woman. One thing I’ve noticed about the Thai woman is they usually have a nice rounder ass than their counterparts in Japan, China, and Korea, and lord knows, I love a nice ASS!! Ummmmm, I can almost taste it now. The honey dripping down from her love nest into the crack of her nice, firm round ass is enough to give me a hard-on right now!
OK, so that makes Thailand one of the best in Asia. Granted, other countries in S.E. Asia also have nice round assed women, but that certainly eliminates Northern Asia. What about the Western woman. Well, in addition to their bitchy ways, blondes really don’t have more fun. They might be fun at a party because they let loose more and are more gullible, thus making them easy targets for fun, but get them in the sack, and they are pretty boring compared to their counterparts.
Africans? Can’t say that I’ve ever tried them. Just not my taste. Never that attracted, therefore, never had a desire.
Latinas? Now you your talking my language. I LOVE Latinas. Very sexy. Very beautiful. Very uninhibited. If I didn’t marry an Asian, I would probably marry a Latin. However, there are some drawbacks. While a love a good romp in the sack, many Latinas that I have met are out of control each and every time you have sex. Believe it or not, that can actually be somewhat tiring at times, because there are times that I would like to just have a quickie and be done with it, but NO, with a Latina there will be screaming and kicking and “Oh, Papi” every time and it’s almost like your own porn show. I really shouldn’t complain about it because it is awesome. As I’m typing this I’m thinking back to some great times, but it is HARD Sex all the time.
That alone wouldn’t really bother me, but these next two items do bother me and I guess, as unfortunate as it sounds it comes back to the topic where we discuss how vain people are in this day and age.
Latinas have a LOT of hair. They have a pussy full of hair that could create its own dam and make a beaver proud. They have hair on their legs, hair on their arms, and dare I say it, hair on their ASS! Not a lot mind you, buy small, light, strands of hair on their ass. Compare that to our soft-skinned beauty from Thailand with very little hair anywhere on her body. She doesn’t own a razor because she doesn’t have to shave her legs or her underarms, etc.
What else kicks into our beautiful Latinas as they approach 40? Varicose veins and not small ones either, but multiple, huge veins going down her legs. It’s one of those things that have always given me the heebie-jeebies.
My wife is a wonderful lover how is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Yes, it took some coaxing to try different things, but that is what makes it so special also. She is still trying different things and getting better and better at those things she was initially uncomfortable with.
If you have a relationship built on love and trust, you will have a wonderful sex life with your Thai wife that will continue for many years well past your prime. <This is a GLARING generalisation. I know couples EXACTLY like this and they do NOT bonk anymore – Stick>
In summary, I would like to say that I am close to 9 Thai/Farang marriages, including my own. In 8 of the 9 cases, the marriages are all over 5 years old. One of the 9 is over 10 years old. In 7 of the 9 cases, the woman works and earns her own money. Some do send portions back to their parents. Two do not. These two are incredibly independent and refuse to send anything to their parents because in their mind the parents don’t need it. 8 of the couples live in the US and one lives in Germany.
8 of the 9 wives were not involved in the sex industry and those 8 are also within 15 years in age to their husband.
As of right now, I do not personally know of any divorces among Thai / Farang relationships mainly because 8 of the 9 were built on the attributes described in these pages.
However, in 1 case, they have been married about 1 year now and if I was a betting man, they will get a divorce. He is about 30 years her senior. He is rich and tries to control her with his money (yet, if you were to say this to him, he would look at you in aghast and not be able to even comprehend that statement). While I did not know her in the sex industry and she will tell you she was never part of that industry, all of the tell-tale signs are there. I do believe she was in that industry at one time. I believe this relationship has been developed the same way many Thai / Farang relationships are developed. Money on one side and Sex on the other. I believe this marriage will fail. But that is just my guess and won’t know for sure until the cards are played out.
You will never know completely what is going on in someone else’s head, but I do believe my wife and I have something that is extremely strong. My wife is hard working, honest, and she believes in the same ideals as me. Further, we work together as a team for everything we have. I believe we both have a healthy respect and love for each other that will be difficult to replace.
I won’t sit here and tell you that our marriage will never end. It may. I can’t predict the future. What I can tell you is that this marriage has enriched me in so many ways that has made my life better. It hasn’t all been perfect. There are issues to overcome, but it takes two strong people that are willing to understand and work towards a meaningful life together.
I hope that all of you out there can find a deep, meaningful relationship that enhances your life, if that is what you seek, whether that woman be Thai, western, or some other culture.
But what I would like you to come away from this article with is a belief that it can be done, it can be successful, and it can be meaningful. At the same time, just be careful and don’t let your small head and your wallet do your thinking.
It is great to hear that you and your wife have a happy marriage and that there do not seem to be any communication issues or cultural barriers holding back the relationship. A lot of good points are made, but there were a lot I just couldn't agree with either.
I felt you tended to just openly accept certain things about Thai culture when it would be just as valid not to because they go against Western culture.
Like I say, it is great that you and your Mrs. are happy, but I find myself agreeing more with Arthur…