So I Married A Thai girl…A Love Story
For years I dated American women and even married one. After my first marriage went south and I had 1.5 years of dating women I decided that marriage with an American woman was not worth the effort. I could tell the entire story of why I did this or that
but I really wanted to just relay my experience in the search for a Thai wife and how it has turned out over 2 years later.
Step 1: The search
Your first step, if you are not already one of the many veterans on this site is to understand Thai culture to the best of your ability. I combed over countless websites for a month before I did anything else. There are plenty of resources on this site to get started. Once you have at least a basic understanding of what’s up with Thailand then get on Thailovelinks or one of the other social sites that are Thai oriented. Once you join a site start sending chats to as many girls as possible. The shotgun method works quite well to get communication going with as many women as possible. I would usually have 10-20 windows open at once and just say, “Hi, How are you today?”…then copy and paste that 20-50 times as needed. Since most Thai women's English sucks you will have almost no problem keeping up with all the conversations. Getting conversations with as many women as possible will help you understand the flow of online chat with Thai women. 50 percent of the women are either prostitutes or have a dozen or so boyfriends. If they have sexy pictures they are most likely prostitutes. No Thai woman that you would want to marry is going to put a picture up that is even close to sexual. In fact most prostitutes are smart enough to not do that. The more pictures they have of themselves partying at night, the more likely they are prostitutes. Sorry it’s for sure true. <Nope, some are just young girls having fun – Stick> In fact online chatting is not something I would recommend to actually use to find your wife. I met my wife that way but I feel like I got damn lucky. I also had a western friend over there who is married to a Thai lady that met my eventual wife in person after we started to talk every day. They went to her job and saw where she worked etc… Trust but verify.
But I get ahead of myself. Once you get chatting in the chat windows of a dating site, get their MSN address…they all use it. No Yahoo really that I saw. Then if there are girls that can slowly talk it may get mildly interesting with a few as you start adding them to MSN. All the time you are learning more about how Thai women think…and you are helping them learn more English so everyone wins. Don’t promise anything crazy and always be polite. After about 4 months of chatting you are a little less green than when you started. Go ahead and take off to Thailand for a month or whatever you can do. Maybe make arrangements to meet a girl or two that you have been talking with.
If you have never been to Thailand before please spend the first week having sex with prostitutes. You really just need to do that and get it out of the way. After that is out of your system get serious. If it is not out of your system then keep having sex for money until it isn’t. Maybe that will take 10 trips and 5 years…but you really need to make sure you are ready for marriage and Thailand really tests that well.
If you are lucky enough that a girl you met online is actually genuine and sweet and a virgin or near virgin well great. If she doesn’t speak English send her to English school. Make sure you know the real woman before you ask her to marry you. Once they learn more English their real personalities will come out more and more. You may assume they are agreeable and quiet but once they can speak your language…well maybe they are total pains in the butt. Take your time.
The web, talking to bad girls and good girls is a start. Making relationships with waitresses and bank tellers can be done. Of course having connections in Thailand helps. My friend had a line of women who were interested in meeting me that were college graduates and friends of the family. I ended up going with my own methods from the web but all these options are there as well.
Step 2: Knowing you are sure
Ok so you found the perfect woman for you. Are you sure? What do you want. You want a woman to take care of your every need and be a housewife? Girls whose families make a modest living are not bad bets because they are used to chilling out in rural villages without much action. But the family is so key. If the family gives you the impression of being greedy and your wife seems to be aligned with them then bolt. The size of the dowry is not what is the important factor, it is how you are treated. This of course depends also a lot on how you treat them. If you show up bowing and smiling you have a great chance of them giving you a chance. Lots of rural girls are looking for a ticket out of poverty and a way to help their families. And so what? You are looking for a ticket out of bitchy western women and someone to wash your feet. Everyone is looking for something and all of it has to do with love, sex and security. Don’t judge Thai people by how they look at money. Money is God to Thais… simple as that. Anyway, do you like her Mom and Dad? Are there hidden babies and other boyfriends? Usually if you feel uneasy then there are secrets. Girls in the south (Not the Muslim south but the mid south) are great. Lots of families make money on rubber trees and have extended family villages where they make a living. These people work hard and take care of their families. The family is number 1. Make her family your family and you are number 1 also.
But if you have spent time drinking with the men in the village and sleeping in their home and you feel like your money is being taken for granted and you are not being respected bolt. I say this because there are so many decent hard working rural Thai people. But maybe 30% are real blood suckers. Since there are so many good people there is no reason to tolerate the less decent of the Thai’s.
Honestly the best way to know if a woman really loves you and that the family loves you is to let them think you are poor for as long as possible. Yes some girls just want the Visa anyway so they would take a poor guy possibly but you help yourself by focusing on the relationship and seeing if that is enough for her. Don’t lie just avoid specifics and keep your cards close to your chest.
Step 3: Getting Married
If you are really sure you want to marry a Thai woman then you get the professionals at MyThaiFinacee.com. You walk into their office, pay their fee and roughly 5 months later your honey is sitting next to you. They are pretty good at vetting people as well. It’s worth the money. Don’t do it yourself. There is too much paperwork for your Thai fiancée to deal with. So the lawyer is handling the law stuff now, what about the ceremonies.
After the Fiancée Visa is approved, set up a non legally binding Buddhist ceremony in your wife’s village. If she is the kind of woman that you want to marry her whole family will help to make it a success. Try and be as traditional as possible to bring maximum honor to her family. You should have monks and hundreds of people to honor your wife and gain her face. For 50,000 to 100,000 baht you can have an incredible ceremony in a rural area with drummers, dancers, food, drink and everyone she knows for miles. It will be something that everyone remembers and it buys you good will for the rest of your life.
So the dowry. The average rural Thai guy may save money for years to present his bride’s family with 100k baht. Some Thai men give 400k but rarely. Most are giving 80-100k and no one is impressed. I poked around and asked questions around the dowry with my wife to find out what the family's expectations were. They constantly told me that it was up to me and would not give me a number. I decided 300k was a large dowry and that this would blow everyone away. Again…more good will. I didn’t get the concept of a dowry and thought it was kind of crap but I wanted to do it right and not have to worry about hearing anything other than I totally rocked. The key is not the money, the key is starting out your marriage with the best possible launch. Think of how much a wedding is in the United States…I know people that pay 20 to 50 thousand dollars!!! After these expensive ceremonies they are married to high maintenance women who will most likely get fat.
Once you get back to your home country. DO NOT get married until the 3 months are almost up. See how living together is and if her personality suddenly changes, does she miss her family and friends so much that she is miserable or is she elated and overjoyed with her new man and her new country. If you are sure then get the legal ceremony and get ready for the next round of paper work.
Step 4: Getting permanent residency for your wife
Again, get a lawyer. The Mythaifiancee.com folks can handle this also. I was lucky enough that my company provided these services to me for this part. Within 6 months after her arrival I had her green card, Social Security card and state ID. Seriously, use a damn good lawyer. The stress of waiting for the government to approve your paperwork is bad enough. Don’t take on the added stress of worrying about if you filled out papers correctly. Because I used lawyers I don’t have much to say here…it all just worked out.
Step 5: Learning to Live together
From the beginning my wife and I had interesting communication. We could make each other laugh without saying much of anything. She spoke some English from taking it in school. I found that typing everything in MSN was great. She could print out what I wrote and re-read it later with a dictionary. After a while of chat we went to the phone. I used a calling card to make sure I knew what I was spending. $50 got me an Asia direct calling card from callingcards.com. I knew when I had spent $50 bucks because the card ran out. $50 bucks lasted me a month and that was talking with her every day twice a day…sometimes for a hour or two. I had two visits to Thailand before we were married. One was a month long and one was 2 weeks. When you are trying to decide if you each like something for purchase…or what place to eat…use a 1-10 system. Once you teach her this you will get a good feeling for how much she wants to do something or how much she likes your idea. So you may ask, “Do you like this dress 1-10?” My wife and I decided, and still use this system to this day, that we could not buy or do anything unless both of us felt a 9 or 10 for a particular purchase or action. Numbers are universal so this totally works. Watch movies in your native language with subtitles in your native language so she hears and sees the words at the same time. Hopefully you have DVR so you can constantly pause every program and explain situations and cultural nuances…because she will ask every 2 minutes or so, “What does this or that mean?”
Make and agree to count to 5 before you get pissed off about something one of you said. I have found that 70% of all arguments occur because of Seinfeld style miscommunication. Get used to explaining things different ways and being very very patient. In my case my wife is totally content to stay home all day, clean the house, paint, cook and talk to her friends in Thailand via the web and the phone. I’m not sure if that is normal. You have to think when you bring a girl over that she is totally dependent on you for everything at first. I had to convince my wife to use a dishwasher, a vacuum rather than sweeping the carpet…and many other insane things that you would never imagine fighting over. But eventually after the first year or so…if your wife is smart you will be able to communicate at a very advanced level with no problem. Maybe she wants to go to school or maybe she wants a baby yesterday. My advice is to make every move slowly. Introduce her to cultural things and friends slowly. I’m not sure about every country but getting all of American culture smashed in your face too quickly could really be a disaster I think.
I eat Thai food every day. Now it is just food. I take my shoes off, I never go in the kitchen because I am not allowed to and I make sure that I give my wife tons of attention after work. She is super happy and so am I. We both give and take. Again normal mutually respectful relationship concepts here.
Step 6: Dealing with haters
No matter how true your love is and how special you may feel your relationship is…people will judge you and her. You for being a pig who went to Thailand to find a wife and her for being “stupid” because she doesn’t speak perfect English. I have found that people can be really insensitive assholes in regards to how they treat us. My family is great, my close friends all love her but having her find her own friends is a hard one and I think it is important. We have befriended several Thais here in our city from Thai restaurants that we frequent. You have to just not care what people think. Focus on your wife and your relationship and screw anyone who judges you. But if you can not take a bit of nasty judgmental stuff being throw your way once in a while then don’t marry a Thai woman or live with her in Thailand instead. That of course is a whole different set of issues.
Step 7: Be Happy
If you get a good Thai woman, one whose Mom and Dad beat right and wrong into her and embedded Thai respect and traditions, you are going to be a happy guy assuming she really loves you. Any more than a 10 year age gap is really stretching the ability for real love to occur. You have to have some similar interests and references just like any relationship. If you are just rich, old and lonely…well…move to Thailand and have sex with a different woman every night. Leave your money to kids…or maybe a Thai women close to your own age I guess…But if I was 60 …well I wouldn’t marry a 50 year old Thai woman…that’s for sure.
So 2.5 years after I met my wife if you were too ask me…”Well how did it go, 1-10?” My answer would be 9. Lots of bumps along the way and so many misunderstandings about dumb things. However, every night I come home to the most beautiful woman in the world who wants nothing more than to take care of me and make me happy. We snowboard together, go dancing together, play video games together and laugh together. We also both have bad tempers and we both think we are always right. I did not end up with some subservient little princess. I have a full on jungle hell cat who enforces all kinds of rules on me, mostly to protect my health. The mother hen thing can get old sometimes but I just always remind myself that this is what I signed up for. I got lucky, I got a 26 year old beauty who is an incredible artist, lover and thinker. She is wise beyond her years and always teaching me things in a way that sounds like something out of the show Kung Fu. Things like “More friends more problems”. Save money, don’t spend so much. She is the polar opposite of a gold digger. I have to beg her to let me buy her things. This is not common, I know. My story is a happy one but I just as easily could have ended up being drugged in a hotel room. Follow your heart, wear a condom along the way and never leave an unattended drink. Maybe someday you will find your angel.
9 out of 10 is pretty good!