Good Wife, My Story
Two years ago I met my wife on a webpage. From the manner the ads are placed, I could tell she had been on the site for over one year with no contacts. I suspected no contacts as she listed no English, three children and a very simple picture of herself,
not like many where they are selling themselves. When I contacted her I found that her friend had placed her ad online and they had forgotten about it as it was over 1 year old, so they were surprised at the letter. The no English to me was a
good sign, as bargirls speak English and use email a lot.
The wife I found was from the Isaan area, but now lived in the South where at age 13 she had gone to help sister raise her children. Her first husband never registered the marriage and left when his parents found a more suitable wife (Chinese Southern Thai). She was unwilling to be second wife (mia noi).
We emailed for 9 months using friends to translate. Was told that she allowed the ad on the Internet as she was looking for something for herself. Up until now she had worked all her life for sister and for her children. Life was hard as she cooked food from home and sold on street. I had read much Stickman's and other forums and had developed Thai friends before going to Thailand. So I watched for the worse. I would note that I offered to send money for her to take English classes and she told me that with violence in the South it was very hard to find teacher and thus did not wish any money.
My first trip I noted they were talking about the train trip the future wife took to Bangkok (24 hours). They seemed happy about the trip and I asked why. I was told that since I had sent money to pay for the trip to Bangkok she had been able to travel first class (and sleep) all the way to Bangkok, something she has never done before.
My friend in Thailand (female, past editor for the Bangkok Post and owned store / food service at hotel I stayed at) met and spoke with my wife. Told me that wife was a simple old fashioned lady. During the first three weeks visit most days we were escorted by family. I treated her as lady and she set the tone for all physical contact. I also had been told up front that sex before marriage was not possible, but after marriage she would be all mine. Which was the real case and was pleasant not to have to worry about this while dating. Be nice and enjoy myself with courting.
The first time she sat with me all day at my hotel alone watching TV and speaking a little using a translation computer was very strange. The next day I was told they were up until 4 AM talking about our day together. The fact that I had been a gentleman and not tried to maul her had won me many points. Each day she became closer as I could see her trust growing.
My future wife was not interested in shopping and refused for me to buy anything for her. She daily bought little food snacks for me to have at my hotel room, which she took great pleasure in paying for on her own. She allowed me to pay for meals, her family provided transportation and took me to every temple in Bangkok. I asked about buying gifts for children and she told me that they did not need anything. She also said she was sorry she had not told the children about me but wanted to be sure about me before she told them. She also said the same about the use of the words "I love you" when she said them to me they would mean something, so I had to wait. I think I heard the words a few days after we were married.
By the end of three weeks, we were closer and closer each day, but always in private. I would refrain contact in public. The three weeds ended with one light kiss in private before I left. I had received many little sniffs and many smiles. She did stay with me the last night at the hotel, but again I think a test of me as we cuddled and that was all that was allowed. Many points again for me for as I had read that this may happen and not to expect that it was a sexual advance. So I behaved which she could physically tell took lots of will power. I think this shows you may not be a butterfly as you can show that the big head can control the little.
When I returned for my next trip, they told me they thought 50/50 I would return. Without sex many men do not think the trip is worth it.
When I returned to get married my wife stayed with me at my hotel, four days of being together without crossing that point, again maybe a test of your being a butterfly, but the time was very enjoyable. At one point she almost allowed her own physical desires to go too far and she became upset with herself.
I brought up the issue of dowry with my Thai friend. She told me wife had already received dowry from her first husband (simple farm ceremony) and was not highly educated. She was a farm girl, had three children and thus little to no dowry was required. I could tell she also did not believe in the dowry system. So I made what I felt was a reasonable offer and it seemed that it was well taken. I explained that I paid as I felt my wife was worth much to me and not by the terms listed by the Thai friend. This went over well.
I also addressed the issue that I would support parents with an amount that would be around one Thai person’s salary, 8,000 to 10,000 baht per month. But that was for all the sisters we would help from time to time if we had spare money or when we visited. She seemed happy with this. Best to address issues and not just complain about them later.
My wife when shopping for gold as part of the wedding gift was strange. She picked out sparkling jewelry over Thai baht gold which can be resold quickly. It told me she was getting it for herself and not to sell. I have seen her wearing it ever since. Three sisters in a gold store is a sight to see and again I picked out how many items she could get and enjoyed it myself. Again she also picked out very reasonably priced items. Our wedding ceremony included 9 monks chanting but again all costs were kept very low as we rented a place that provided all the needs and we rented our wedding clothing. This is where I think I met my first ladyboy as the dresser was too tall and her hands were too big.
Mother, father, and sister shared a hotel room and other family stayed at relatives’ homes. This was the first formal wedding for my wife and we registered the wedding in Thailand and with the embassy. That is a task all of its own with each agency trying to find ways to make it difficult.
My wife's mother was visibly sick when she got off the bus. I found out later she had been sick at home but wanted to make the 11 hour bus trip to see the wedding. We took mother to hospital and my wife cared for her. When the bill came, I offered to pay and my future wife told me that it was her duty and she then paid the bill.
After the wedding my wife asked where I wanted to go for the rest of our time together. She smiled so big when I said we all could go back to family village as I knew she had not been home in some time. I was paraded around meeting all the village people. I was the first American but not the first white person. The wife took me on a long boat up the river as she knew I wanted to take a boat trip in Bangkok but she did not want me to spend the money.
Before we left I gave the wife money to give to her sisters. Again this was something she did not ask for but was offered. I have found that my offering was well received. On future visits I gave wife money for her sisters when we arrived. I noted later wife looking disturbed about something. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me nothing. Later I asked again at the hotel and she told me sister had asked her for more money. She was upset as she did not know how to respond to this as she had never been asked for money before and she knew I had already been helpful. I could see that she did not like to ask me about money. I told her if we had money left when I went home I would help the sister and this made for a happy wife.
I would note that sister’s house is a shack near the river, no road to the home. Small amounts of cash go a long way to help her so I do not mind.
My wife and children's visa has been approved and she is coming in April. When I left after marriage I gave her an ATM card to my bank account and she takes 20,000 baht a month out. An amount I picked. She has never taken more out or asked for more. She has told me that money allows her oldest daughter to go to boarding school, better food for all, she now can send money to mother and father (which makes us both look good) and she does not have to ask for money from her children's father for school. She now has a cellphone which she did not have when we met. I have friends in the US call and speak to my wife for me as we are finding friends for her in the US before she comes.
Since marriage return trips continue to be simple, touring the countryside, visiting temples and non tourist areas. No they never took me to a club or bar areas. We did once drive by a place in a city near the village and I noted girls outside. I said short time wives and she smiled and nodded her head.
I spent many hours playing cards with mother and father (did not always loose). Wife has been attentive, loving and all I could dream of. We stay at simple hotel near village as I need air-con to sleep. I pay for meals when relative drive us for the day and buy food to be cooked at the home. I make points in that I eat at the mat with the rest of the family even if some foods makes my face turn red (they think it is funny) I drink bottled water and laughed when I saw sister in law refilling bottles from rain barrel. Yes I have to squat (man that is hard) and shower with buckets over the head. But I love it. I also love handing out small money to the children who run to the little store and buy a snack. So little to us makes them so happy.
What is this all about. It is my way of saying that not all relationships go bad or everyone is after your money. I know I may be lucky and every indication is that my wife is not a bar girl. I think reading Stickman's guide / forums and much more has help me watch for the warning signs. It has also allowed me to address items before they become an issue. I think many misunderstandings makes things go bad. What I have read helps me avoid these mistakes.
The phenomenon of marrying a woman and then returning home to await the visa process to go though the motions and then for her to arrive seems to be much more common that I ever realised.