Stickman Readers' Submissions September 14th, 2007

Ridiculing Thai Marriages

In light of some comments seen on various websites and after hearing the many comments farangs make casting dark clouds over marrying a Thai, I'd like to add some comments to the mix and hopefully shed some different light on the topic.

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One recent posting on your website was from someone stating that his friends were warning him against marrying his Thai girlfriend because all of them had had problems. He stated that he too was having issues. The post stated that they knew no-one who was not having problems. Anyone thinking of marrying a Thai woman is an idiot.

People with these problems could avoid them if, as foreigners, they just gave these relationships some thought. From my experience in this country, the people who are having serious issues with wives and girlfriends have them because they married or are dating the wrong person or they are treating them the wrong way. Their own behavior is the root to most of the problems!

Western men come to Thailand either to find a girlfriend / wife or for other reasons and end up having a Thai girlfriend. In most cases they jump into the relationship because they don't have the ability to look at the social aspect of the girls they are dating. In our own countries it easy for us to judge whether we like a person based upon what they say, the way they say it and even based upon social aspects such as class, friends and family; even the way they dress. However, Western men coming here have no idea about social status, education, background and, in many cases, even what is being said.

The men that come over here and jump into the first relationship they come across are bound to end up in a relationship that isn't perfect. The "honeymoon" where miscommunication is funny and the way she sits is cute soon comes to an end and they each start looking at each other for who they really are.

Any relationship must be built on understanding the other person and by mutual give and take. Any man coming over here expecting their girlfriend to wait at home while they go and get hammered each night will end up in a bad relationship. If mutual trust doesn't exist then arguments will occur.

If the men having arguments receive strange phone calls on a regular basis and have strange numbers stored on their phones, or come home late regularly, they can hardly be surprised when they start to argue with their partners. All the guys who moan about their wives and girlfriends behave in this manner. Sure, some are driven to this because of life at home, but there will be other underlying factors.

All the men I know who have successful relationships treat their wives or girlfriends with a decent amount of respect and mutual trust. These guys don't go out often. They don't receive strange phone calls. They don't expect their wives or girlfriends to stay home. These guys work at their relationships in the same manner they would as if dating a girl from their own country. They go out with her friends and treat them properly rather than looking down at them for being Thai. These guys visit her parents, take them out for meals and show respect and this is all it takes to develop a successful relationship. It's not rocket science.

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How many guys with a decent girlfriend or a successful marriage have to listen to clap trap from other guys stating that things will go wrong, that spending money on her is a waste and that seeing her friends or family is stupid because Thais aren't worth it and they are all out to get something?

All too often I hear "big men" state how they treat their wives and girlfriends or have to sit and listen as they give advice on how they think Thai women ought to be treated. These people ought to be ashamed of themselves because it is usually
they who are at fault. They chose the wrong girl and lay all the blame firmly at her feet. They behave badly, end up in a failed relationship, break up and then rush into another relationship and behave in the same manner whilst all the time
blaming the girl.

There are those who make sweeping statements about the perils of marrying a Thai lady and all because they have messed up their own relationships through cheating, lying and deceiving the girl from the beginning. Bad behavior begets bad behavior.

There are those who feel a Thai wedding is a waste of money and that giving a dowry or sin sot is a fool’s game. I hear many people say they'd never do it and that they'd never pay anything to her family, but the
reality of this is that they just don't respect their wife enough to do it and its shameful behaviour. <The sin sot is MUCH more complicated than this and I personally believe it is now an outdated tradition that has little relevance in the modern worldStick>

Should they have chosen to marry a lady from their own country their wedding would be much more expensive and the only real reason for not having one is cost. How many men marrying someone from their own country would state that they aren't prepared
to throw a wedding because all the guests would be village idiots and they wouldn't respect them and so on. Sure, if you marry a strange girl, from a strange country, from a village you've never been to, the chances are, you'll
be paying to entertain people you've never met and will never meet again, but this is what you have to do IF you love your wife and intend staying together. The respect isn't for you. It's for her and her family. It's called
"a tradition" and those not prepared to do it feel no loyalty or respect for their wives and think that their own ideas are the only ones that matter. <Sorry, but I completely disagree here. Is not the tradition, in the West, that the father of the bride pays?!Stick>

In a normal wedding situation, there will be a good percentage of people you don't know and will never meet again. The difference here is that you probably don't know any of them… take your pick; marry and accept the cost involved, or don't
marry, but don't get on your high horse and make her lose face by refusing to pay for her dream wedding just because you don't respect her family, relatives and friends. You are supposed to love this woman and if you do, make
some sacrifices and do the honourable thing. Don't think only of yourself and then feel it's a story worth bragging about to your lonesome mates.

The farang who preach all of this to others are sad because they've lost the plot. They've lost the reason for finding a partner and feel the best thing to do is find a bunch of mates who agree and spend their time laughing and ridiculing the happy man and giving reasons why, in all reality he is living a sorry life. Staying at home with your wife becomes a point of ridicule because it proves you are under the thumb of your Thai wife, but the reality is, the days of getting pissed with your mates every night is over. Staying home is the sensible and responsible thing to do. It has little to do with the wife. Those who still go out and get pissed all the time do so because they don't want to stay home or are unhappy at home. Those that need to find regular entertainment in bars and clubs and with ladies of the night are the ones who should face the laughter and finger pointing of others. They are the sorry ones.

As someone happily married to a Thai for a number of years I am happy to say that I chose my partner carefully, as she did me. We were both able to communicate easily with each other, we are both well educated, find the same things funny and both put an equal amount of effort into making sure that the things we do are in equal measure. I make sure we see her family often and I am more than happy to spend money (our money) on a meal for 8+ people. They talk to me, I talk to them, we share stories and all is well. The next time we meet, they will pay for the meal and so on. My wife's sister is a doctor, her brother a manager for a telecommunications company. Her parents run their own business. They are all educated and they've never asked me for money….but should they really need it, I'll be the first to offer assistance because they are family. My wife sees the effort I make which is why we don't have the arguments that others seem to have. This goes for my friends who are also happily married.

If you are a guy who is in a bad relationship and argue all the time and you can't trust your girlfriend, take a step back and look at your behaviour towards her.

Do you sleep around with as many women as you can get? Is collecting numbers and receiving phone calls a big game between you and your mates? Do you go out often and spend a lot of money that could be spent more wisely on your future together? Do you disrespect her family and friends? Do you think all Thais are stupid and spend your time telling her so? Do you give her reasons to distrust you by receiving text messages at strange times from strange numbers? Do you always make the decisions and do what you want to do?

I bet any amount of money that the vast majority of those who are in a bad relationship behave in the manner above. I bet the people who preach to others are in this kind of relationship and are trying to justify their actions by pointing out what the
happy man s doing "wrong" or why it will all "go wrong".

The point of this article is to stop people from believing that all Thai relationships are doomed and that all Thai women are crazy, cheats, liars and all together bad people.

The horror stories don't come from well paid expats who live a normal life. The stories we read about are usually from guys who've got poor jobs or who have little money and / or have come over to retire and are looking for much younger girlfriends.

The people with happy relationships live a normal, standard, non-boozing and womanizing life style. They respect their partners and work hard to make things work.

The truth is, there are many, many decent women out there. The point is, the average person coming to Thailand doesn't meet them because they aren't to be found in bars and clubs.

Stickman's thoughts:

I agree with a lot that you say, but disagree with a chunk of the submission too.

What I agree with is that you should find someone who is similar to yourself in background, education and interests. This is actually much more difficult than it sounds. If you can find someone that meets this criteria, and you treat them well, you are drastically increasing the odds of having a happy, successful marriage. Taking the time to actually find such person might be the hardest part.

Of course I strongly agree with the fact that the bars are not the best place to find an ideal wife, and that boozing it up and disrespectful behaviour are a sure way to cause marital problems.

As noted in the submission, I disagree with the concept of the sin sot. I think it is outdated – and I hear more and more Thais saying that these days too! Still a minority, but you do hear it!

I think you were unreasonably harsh on other people’s lifestyles. I would suggest that people should do what makes then *genuinely* happy so long as they don't infringe on others' rights. It is different for each and every one of us. If someone is genuinely happy boozing it up every night, then so be it. Of course, such a person might not easily find a woman for marriage…

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