Readers' Submissions

Terms And Conditions

  • Written by Swissman
  • August 2nd, 2006
  • 7 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

She told me that it might be a good idea to learn more about the Thai culture and Thai habits. Being a traditional Thai girl she wanted me to have a better understanding for her life and to know more about day-to-day life in Thailand, its culture, its religion, everything. Why not I thought, what can I lose? So I began to buy and read books in several languages, checked the Thailand forums in the Internet, spoke directly to people in my country who are either married to or divorced from a Thai lady. It took me quite some time to find the Readers' Submissions of Stickman. A friend told me about them. By that time, I may say that I had acquired a basic knowledge of Thailand and its way of living and thinking, still I began to read Stickman’s page. First just a few stories, but soon I spent hours by hours in it. There is still not one day that I don’t read several stories about the topic. Unfortunately talking to persons concerned by the issue, reading on the topic has not allowed me to find the answers I was looking for.


Background

Having spent a life with already rich in positive as well as negative experiences on the personal level and having attained some success in my professional life, I have now reached an age when most men settle down and lead a quieter life. Oh no, I am still young, at least I feel oung although to be specific I am nearing forty. Still, age is a question of how one feels and how one perceives one’s self. Sometimes, the way others see you matters as well. I live in a European country with a very high living standard and with high salaries. I am single and have a good job, thus I am comfortably off. This does not mean that I am as rich as some might expect, since the price level in my country is high too. For several years now I have been thinking about my future. My goal in life consists not only in leading a stable life with a corresponding job and salary, but also in finding a partner who loves me as I will love her, a partner who also appreciates the living standards of my home country. Today, all these things are not easy to achieve and it is no longer a matter of course to have a good life free of worries. Travelling around different parts of the world including Thailand in the past few years has opened my eyes as to other ways of living, and looking back to my travels, I am glad to have made these experiences. At the same time upon each return to my home country I appreciated its safety and modernity more.

English not being my mother tongue, I kindly ask for your understanding should there be spelling or grammatical errors in my text. I will try my best in transmitting my thoughts.


Questions and Doubts

The questions I am trying to find answers to are the following: Why is it that Thai girls demand that Western men adapt completely to the Thai way of thinking? Is it possible that I am the only one who was asked (directly and indirectly) by his Thai girlfriend to respect the Thai way of living and to live accordingly? Of course I do respect them, but this does not signify that I have to adapt my life completely and deny my own origins. Having respect is important and sounds good. But still there is a small but important difference between respecting and expecting. Maybe it is only a means for a Thai girlfriend to tell us to do what she want us to? Many Submission Writers tell about the many things that the Thai ladies teach them and what they expect from them. There are so many things that we, Western men, just have to respect and accept and then, most importantly integrate into our way of living.

First of all, be friendly and don’t talk about problems. Even discussing some topics is often considered as creating a problem and thus being unfriendly. Yet, in the Western World it is customary for men to want to discuss different points of views and to find solutions by discussing various possibilities. In relationships too, problems need to be addressed. By contrast, the Thai people's way is to run away from problems, to avoid mentioning them and to keep quiet in the following hours, days or weeks.

Second: You must accept all terms and conditions of your Thai girlfriend or Thai wife. By terms and conditions I mean all Thai habits your girlfriend or wife expects you to observe. Don’t try to change her, don’t work against it. Say yes to everything, never say no, never complain and always agree with everything she says. Fulfil all her wishes. She is the boss. Not officially, but in fact. Do not erect barriers – even after marriage and in your own house – which she does not like. Pay for what she wants you to pay for. Oh yes, and be careful what you say to her, especially in public. This might result in serious problems for you for the rest of your life…

Third, the case about sin sod: Having read dozens of articles on this topic, I know very well what the arguments for giving the sin sod are. Well-meant advice from other men married to Thai women stated that it would be advisable to pay sin sod because the quality of the partnership depends on whether you pay or not, as well as on the amount paid. The more sin sod you pay, the more respect you express and receive from the girl's parents. Should you pay less than the expected amount problems in daily life will arise immediately after the wedding. Wow! So, is there any reason to pay sin sod to her family, when the amount of it affects the quality of your future relationship with the girl, as well as the respect to her parents? In addition, is there any reason then to care for a person who cares only for the amount of money that you spend on her and her family? A person who obviously wants you only for financial reasons rather than love?

This does not correspond to my ideal of a relationship between husband and wife. In my view love, respect and understanding must be freely given, they cannot be bought. Selling “love” in the Thai manner, i.e. offering one’s body for exclusive use in return for having the whole family financed, is a weird kind of prostitution. It would be better for the Thai government to establish a good social security system in order to prevent families from “prostituting” their daughters to secure their needs and old age. I am sorry for this plain speaking, but I believe it needed to be said.


Conclusion

This behaviour of using a partner for personal profit makes me angry. In my opinion this capitalistic behaviour has nothing to do with love and the acceptance of a partner in one’s life as husband or wife. Compromise is a fundamental aspect of a partnership which should not conform only to the “ideology” of one partner alone. It seems to me that a traditional Thai girl does not want to make any adjustments for her Western husband. When no questions are allowed and no discussions are permitted there is little chance that a wedding will take place at all.

What is particularly disturbing – not to say revolting – about this Thai “tradition” is that while the Thai girl and her family demand unconditional respect, they in turn show a complete disrespect for the Western man as a person and human being entitled to unconditional respect and love no matter what his wealth and financial standing are.

With regard to Western men, one wonders whether they are really so desperate to be satisfied with such a relationship. Perhaps the men consider themselves to be unlovable and believe that the only way for them to obtain love and respect is to pay for it, something which obviously does not work with Thai girls. Or the men are experts at self-delusion and really believe that what they get for their money is love and respect. Obviously this might work as long as their financial situation is satisfactory, but should there be a financial down-turn, they most certainly will be replaced in no time by a man with better financial prospects.

Stickman's thoughts:

Only 1,500 odd words, but all of the concerns that you raise are very, very real. Relationships between Farang men and Thai women seldom work. THE DIFFERENCES ARE TOO GREAT! The ONLY marriages that I have personally seen that are truly successful are where she spent considerable time in the West studying, either at school or university age – and those relationships seem to thrive

It would be very easy for people to call you (and me) a cynic, but I just do not know how anyone can question some of the points you make.

For me, an excellent submission which was perfectly titled.