Stickman Readers' Submissions December 17th, 2008

My Girl Is Different

I have read some of your readers' submissions and I have to admit the stories make me a bit nervous. They are mostly so pessimistic about the chances of any happy relationships between a western man and a Thai woman. Do you believe this to be true,
or are you just publishing the worst stories to help warn people about the dangers of pursuing such a relationship? If you will allow me, I will share my situation with you, and would be quite grateful for your thoughts.

Currently, I am in a long distance relationship with a Thai woman of 22 years of age. We have been dating for over 2 and a half years. I am living in the USA, but being a physician and having my own business, I am able to see her for about
8 days every 2 months. Talk about jet lag. I am 42 years old, but look much younger (I am in the cosmetic business so get to use my own products), maybe mid 30s. I am thin, in good shape and decent looking. I say all this because I do believe
that we look like a cute couple when together. We do not look like some of the Pattaya couples I have seen, with the man being much older looking than his partner.

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I do love this woman very much and she loves me the same. Now I know you must hear this all the time, but I truly believe my girl is different from the normal Thai girl. I am not naive about the Thai bar girls and the sex business in Thailand.
Before I met my girlfriend, I had visited Thailand probably 4 times and have experienced fully the disco and bar scene. Usually, I met women at a disco and did not pay for them to go back with me. I would have mini 2 to 3 day relationships, taking
them to lunch, dinner, and traditional Thai massages. Then I would move on after a few days.

Now about my girlfriend. She does come from Isaan, and her family has a house in Roi Et and in Bangkok. Her family is poor, with the house in Bangkok in the Klong Toey area. None of her family speaks English. She has 3 sisters. The 2 oldest
are married to Thai men and have children. The other sister is the classic bad Thai woman. She has 4 children with 4 different Thai fathers. She spits them out then leaves them with her mother to care for. The father has been an alcoholic for
many years and has a bit of dementia. The mother also appears to think like the bar girls you describe, being very concerned about money. She does expect money from her daughters and their husbands and boyfriends. For instance, they were all to
contribute money to help rebuild the family house in the Roi Et area. She doesn't mind if her daughters get money from men they may meet. Actually, I know she expects it.

Reading the above, you can see my girlfriend has had a rough upbringing. But as I said before, she is not like other Thai girls. I think that is partly why I like her so much. To be raised in such a dysfunctional family, but to still turn
out so well. She is extremely smart. Not booksmart, but naturally smart. Her mother made her quit high school, even though my girlfriend wanted desperately to finish. She can speak English fluently with no accent. She learned on her own and from
a prior boyfriend. She does understand everything I say, although I do tone down my vocabulary somewhat. She understands my sarcastic jokes with me not having to explain. I believe her IQ to be very, very high, she just was never given a chance
to obtain good schooling. She loves watching the Nature shows and Discovery channels on TV. Now some evidence in why I think she does not have the same values as the typical Thai woman.

Before I met her, she did spend about 3 weeks meeting guys in discos and going home for money. She tells me everything, does not lie. After the 3 weeks, she had a bit of money but she asked herself 'so what. I will spend this money quickly
and then what. The money is not worth losing a little bit of my soul each time I go home with someone.' These are her exact words. She also hates the sister who has the 4 kids with 4 different fathers, calling her so stupid. She states she
will never get pregnant at a young age, and without being married first. She does not want a life where she is alone taking care of a baby at a young age.

Since we have been together, she has never cheated on me. I know you may be rolling your eyes to this statement but I believe it to be true with all my heart. I am not a naive stupid farang. For the first year together, I got her HIV tested
4 different times even though we used condoms. <4 times? This suggests that you do NOT trust her and when there is no trust…Stick> She does have a number of guys who want to be with her, probably because she
can have good, smart conversations with them. She is also pretty. She tells me everything. Her current boss is in love with her and would be more than willing to support her and her family if she would live with him. But she states she can't
do it, can't be with someone she does not love just for the money. During the first 2 years together, I very rarely gave her any money. I guess I was trying to test her. Maybe 8000 baht when leaving every once in a while (maybe every 3 months
or so). Not once has she ever asked me for money. I repeat, not once. She says it makes her very uncomfortable to ever ask me, and only will take money if I offer without asking. Also, I never took her shopping for the first 2 years. However,
I would take her for nice trips to the beaches, hotels and nice dinners whenever I visited.

The point is, I do not believe she has stayed with me for the money or for the trips. I believe she is really in love with me. A number of times she has even refused to go on trips with me to beautiful areas of Thailand. Her reason being
that it was too painful for her when I would leave. She will feel so sad waiting 2 more months to see me. She has even tried to break up with me a number of times, again being so fearful of her strong feelings and the pain she may feel if we got
closer and closer. She also does not believe 100% that she will able to get a visa to the USA. If she really wanted, this girl could get a lot of money from me. But instead, she is more worried about getting her heart broken than using me for

Now a bit about our current situation. About 3 months ago I gave her a small but good quality diamond ring to prove I am serious about being with her. This was the first gift I ever gave her besides a new cell phone (after I dropped her old
one in the ocean). She had a bit of a panic attack, having such fear of being hurt by me. She tried to break up again, giving my ring back. She said give it to your mother. After a few stressful days, I finally convinced her that I would not hurt
her, that I would always take care of her and she accepted the ring. Again, if she was just after money she could have kept the ring and then broke up with me after I left Bangkok. Given her fears of abandonment and difficult relationship with
her mother, I thought she needed counseling. Without her getting help, our relationship would be too much of a rollercoaster. So she started seeing a good psychologist with my support. 1 month later, she moved out of her toxic family home in Bangkok.
She first moved in with a friend, but later got her own place (very cheap about 3500 baht per month). She became much more stable since the moving away from her family.

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Our plan now is to apply for a k 1 fiancé visa next month, and to have her move to America by July. I asked her if she would be able to leave her family behind, and she says she can, that she has helped take care of her mother / father
/ sister's children and now it is her turn to have her own life. I also asked her where I would rank in importance if we ever were to get married. I was ahead of her mother and rest of the family. I probably would be below any children we
might have.

So Stickman, I guess I am asking if you think this relationship can work out. Do you hear of Thai women moving to America, getting married and being happy? Or is the culture shock too much, too different. Is the western way of life and thinking
too different from the Thai way? We already have the age difference against us. I only wish she was a bit older, but I never planned on this relationship getting so serious. Do you ever get happy reader submissions? I greatly appreciate any thoughts
you may have.

Stickman's thoughts:

So you think she is different, right?! She has a modest education yet she speaks supposedly fluent English? Where did she learn, I wonder? She went home with men from a disco for money? So she already made the decision to sell her body! Even if she may have stopped quickly, she still made the initial decision which, I am sorry to say, does say something about her character. It is NOT like she has children of her own to support. You see, that is a big red flag to me. I understand and am sympathetic to a mother who turns to prostitution to support her own children. But when a young woman with no children enters the industry then you have to start asking questions about just what their motivation was.

Of course there are some positives there. If what you say is true about her being particularly clever, this is a most unusual girl. My advice at this stage would be to get an opinion about her from others. Who, I don't know. There is something that just doesn't feel right about everything. Putting you ahead of her mother, for example, is MOST unThai!

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