Readers' Submissions

Devastated, My Problems

Hi Stickman,

I would appreciate it if the following could be posted as a reader's letter in the hope that I may receive some realistic advice from any expat who has relative knowledge and maybe a warning to others long term married to a Thai.

Over twenty years ago whilst working in Bangkok I met and fell head over heels in love with a Thai woman. Obtaining a visa for her then was far easier than it is today and so when I returned home to the UK she accompanied me in order to see if she would like the life there before becoming fully committed. She then returned to Thailand six months later and having found life in the UK agreeable to her we obtained a further visa permitting her re-entry to the UK for the purpose of marriage to me. We subsequently married in England.

Life was not without its problems but we survived. I paid for her education there, followed by three years at university where she obtained a degree.

She was quite lazy in other respects and once qualified never found employment! Not a great problem as I was earning very successfully.

I worked hard for the next twenty years and saved for early retirement despite the occasional Thai family financial problems which cost me thousands of pounds.

About five years ago a huge split between her uncles and her mother meant that the aging mother would be kicked off the family land so muggings bought land and built a house for the mother to live in. This was done on the understanding that the chanote for the land would be transferred into my wife’s name upon our retirement to Thailand which was then on being planned.

We arrived here finally two years ago and went to build a further house for ourselves on this land. The mother by now was totally crippled and her mind was gone. She is not even capable of conversation now. The sister whose name was on the chanote refused to sign the land over to my wife. After threats of legal action the land was eventually signed into my wife’s name.

For the first time my wife saw her family for the treacherous greedy people they really were and has refused to have anything to do with them since then.

We looked around and eventually purchased a nice bungalow in a select area nearby. It is a small town and a nice area and our neighbours are all people of some wealth and standing in the Thai community.

After more than twenty years of marriage I trusted my wife completely.

Then the PAD reared its head! She was incensed that anyone would (in her words) dare to try to subvert her King and went to join them at Sapan Mekawan! At first it was simply daily visits as we only live a little over one hour from Bangkok. This changed to living there when PAD took over Government House and her returns to our home became increasingly infrequent as the political pressures increased! Eventually I had not seen her for over two months although she telephoned me daily to assure me of her safety.

I became very suspicious and asked Stickman if he had Thai staff able to investigate (Farangs at PAD would have gotten no where). He said that this was beyond the scope of what he could do and was unable to help, citing that this was an investigation that a farang could not carry out and for some reason he does not employ Thai staff for investigation works (Unreliable he said and I can see his point. Can we really trust any Thai to have our best interests at heart here whilst investigating one of their own on behalf of a farang?) He did refer me to another investigator who does do this kind of work and does use Thai staff but at that point in time my wife was chosen to lead a detachment of people who were going to do guard duties at ASTV where security would be far tighter and any new face would either not be allowed on site or would be at great danger from the guards.

I decided not to proceed as I saw little chance of success at ASTV.

PAD demobilised when the then PM was found guilty of irregularities by the courts and I fondly expected my wife to return home.

A telephone call later that day. Sondthi has asked the guards at ASTV to stay on for a further week to ensure the safety of their property.

There were a couple of grenade attacks for sure and she was even mildly injured in one but eventually returned home on 6th December.

It took me two days to get the truth out of her!

She now says she loves me but has met someone else working at ASTV with her! She wants to remain friends with me and will be on call to help me with translation etc when required. The guy is Thai and is 58 so almost the same age as myself and she has now gone to stay with him for a few days (she says). She will tell me no names and not even the area he lives as she says she is afraid I will kill him.

In truth I am too sick to the back teeth by her betrayal to care a jot. The damage has been done and revenge would not undo it. I can only hope that they deserve each other for she is totally lacking in moral fibre to do this to a person who has done only good things for her over such a long period of time.

I want a divorce! The problems with that are many.

1. We were married in the UK—-can we divorce in Thailand?
< Yes, you can divorce in ThailandStick>

2. The two chanotes, one for land I bought years ago for her mother to have a home pending our retirement here and the one for the land and house where I currently live are in her name only (Yes, I know but after so long I really thought I could trust her).
< A *good* lawyer could wrangle the same of property in a settlementStick>

3. The vehicle I drive is also in her name (sob, sob!)
< You stupid sod. There is no reason why a foreigner should put a vehicle for which he is the primary user in another person's nameStick>

4 half the money we brought here is also in her name ( cupid stunt eh).
< Lord have mercy on you!Stick>

Fortunately most of my money remains in the UK (certainly a better idea!) but will the Thai courts take this into account when accessing any settlement here (If I can indeed commence divorce proceedings of a UK marriage to a Thai national in a Thai court). Especially as she says she does not want a divorce!

5. When she went to see her new fellow yesterday it now transpires that all her and my own bank books here went with her. I will visit the bank today to hopefully prevent her cleaning out the accounts that are in my own name. (small local bank and the manager knows me so even without the bank books I am hopeful of success there)

6. I live a clean life here, I am not a whoremonger BUT since the very day she telephoned me to say she was returning home I have been getting telephone calls from some male Thai sleazebag in Bangkok asking me to go to the Bang Na area to meet a young 24 year old woman who he says wants my company. I have no idea who the man is and why he thinks I want some young hooker! I suspect that this is some kind of trap to lure me to an area where I can be quietly disappeared.

The age difference between myself and my wife is only three years and until this happened I still thought that despite the grey hair and wrinkles she was still the most beautiful woman ever.

Strangely now this has happened that opinion seems to have changed for me.

If she succeeds in taking the house and land and the monies held her in her name I can struggle a little but still survive here. My state pension will kick in a few years from now and that will help.

However it is a matter of principle and the feeling of complete and utter betrayal disgusts me.

I would appreciate any advice from knowledgeable people here in Thailand.

I do not want to receive emails telling me what a fool I have been. I am painfully aware of that.

I hope that others in similar lengthy marriages will learn from this my biggest mistake in life so far

Stickman's thoughts:

I can give you some advice here. The first thing you should do, and do it TODAY, is to go and get a good lawyer. Don't piss around. Get the best. Go straight to Tilleke and Gibbons. They charge like a wounded bull but they are the best! My suggested egal strategy would be this: Get a good private investigator who can get proof that she is having an affair with this man. Once you have that, you file for divorce and make a claim for ALL marital assets. By sleeping around she has screwed up and legally you have the upper hand. You will need good proof for the courts. Essentially, in a case like this, you can sue your wife AND the guy she is having an affair with. The legal firm can give you all the details. DO IT!

Basically, you get her to agree to sign over everything to you OR you sue the living daylights out of her. Let's face it – it is HER who ruined this marriage so why should you pay for it? You shouldn't! It isn't the warped politically correct West!

Don't be a victim and take it up the rear end. You can actually come out of this with most of these assets back in your name. I imagine the property you bought for mother in law years ago might be gone, however. Get a bulldog of a lawyer and attack. That is what I would do…and that is what you should do!