Readers' Submissions

A Moral Dilemna

  • Written by Same Issue
  • December 26th, 2006
  • 5 min read


Thought I would look for some insight from the masses that religiously review and scrutinize articles posted on this site. The submission title is exactly that. When do you step in? When do you stand back? It’s a moral dilemma. All names have been changed to protect the innocent, the not so innocent and the blind.

The scenario. My wife’s cousin works and lives in Pattaya. Most on this site will put 2 and 2 together and come up with 4. The person this submission relates to has been coming up with 3 for the past 12 months. I am asking for your views and should I step over the line between family and friendship.

The situation as it stands and has for the past 12 months: My wife’s cousin has a boyfriend / fiancé who on a monthly basis send her funds to support her on the understanding she stays away form the bar scene. At the same time he is taking a course with the intention of moving to Thailand next year. The marriage is planned for late January.

To the guy in question, call him Len is aware of Lek’s past but not present. Len is currently in the Army serving in Iraq. He is 25 years old with his whole future ahead of him. He met Lek (19 years old) while on leave just over 12 months ago and returns to be with her at every opportunity including some long weekends. Len decided 8 months ago to quit his job, take a teaching qualification (TEFL) and move to Thailand following his army discharge.

At this time Len has 6 months of his 14-month notice period to serve and he will then be discharged from the Army.

I would not describe Len as a best friend but would give him the status of a friend. He is also not the sharpest knife in the draw. We have had many a beer and laugh together, he’s a nice guy and I can just see him walking into a potential disaster zone, I believe this is a disaster looking for somewhere to happen.

So firstly I am not fully aware of the requirements to come to Thailand to teach, Len has no degree (I believe you now need one). That may well be a huge stumbling block for him. I’m sure many of the teachers frequenting this site will have full knowledge of the current requirements. As far as I can see Len is going to have a difficult time coming here to work. I have been asked to get him a job, unfortunately he does not fit the criteria to work for the same company as myself.

My dilemma. Well Len sends money every month, he is also saving to purchase a house when he finally makes the move. Well Lek lives in Pattaya and has an extravagant lifestyle way beyond what he sends her I would imagine. I know for a fact she is still working and deep down so does my wife.

Len cannot put 2 and 2 together. He struggles to call her late at night (phone frequently off), she effectively disappears for days on end, one long weekend apparently she stayed with myself and my wife but forgot the phone. She has the most unreliable phone in the world, being repaired at least once per month or so Len seems to believe. Need I say more?

This guy has already quit his career and will purchase a house in her name for them. As a teacher, assuming he can get a job, I cannot imagine his income would suit her for long. He has frequently complained about the sums of money she spends when he is with her.

So my question to all those that care to offer an opinion. Do I leave sleeping dogs alone? She may well change once he is in Thailand. He has shown a devotion to her that one truly looks for in life, she responds with lies. My wife believes she can change; I’m skeptical on this. What’s my future if I pass what I know to the victim. This guy is risking life and limb serving his country (rightly or wrongly). He is in possibly the worst place on this planet while the woman he loves is drinking and gambling his hard earned cash away. They say the truth hurts. Does he have a right to know (I would say yes). Do I have the right to tell him? The jury is out on that.

In short they marry at the end of January and I need to make a decision. So I’m requesting your thoughts on this so I can weigh up the collective thoughts and reach an objective opinion. Len cannot work out what’s going on. The Thai family will stick together, it’s better to avoid the truth for them. I’m the one with a feeling of guilt knowing what I know. Maybe she will change, she claims to love him and that may be true. Possibly I should just watch from the sideline and be there to help pick up the pieces if it all goes to hell.

Stickman's thoughts:

This issue is one which is seen frequently in Thailand and one which I personally have very strong thoughts on. I simply cannot stand there and do nothing in a situation like this. It is, as far as I am concerned, pre-meditated theft. I could not look the guy in the eye if I knew what was about to happen and did nothing about it.

Now I know that Thai families are awfully close, but I would put big pressure on your wife to do something about this. Difficult I know.

If the wedding does go ahead and the guy is robbed, as well as made to feel pretty bloody ordinary, then how will *you* feel?

I would LOVE to hear readers' opinions on this sort of situation.