Stickman Readers' Submissions January 7th, 2009

Bangkok Teacher In Dire Straits

I have been living in Bangkok relatively happily for about 8 years now. I have been working as a teacher, so not rich but in general things have been pretty good. I spent many years living with a girl and had 2 great kids. We split up a while ago which
was pretty difficult but things are good between us now. We still see each other quite a bit and make sure we have a good relationship because it's good for our children. My oldest boy lives with me and goes to school with me. My youngest
son lives with her family until he is old enough to come to school with me and his brother.

Some time ago I started a relationship with a new girl who I will call Ann. She is also a teacher but not at my school. After a while we split up due to nothing in particular other than we didn't get on that well. A few weeks after we
had split I received a call telling me she was pregnant. Ann was understandably distraught. I knew immediately that I didn't want this child as neither of us were in a position to take care of it. We didn't get on well and I was pretty
sure it would ruin our lives. Considering that I already had children I felt I could speak with some experience.

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Ann did not want the baby but said she was going to have it. She told her family who then disowned her. I had never met the family but knew the father was a domineering character who ruled the family with an iron fist. This led to a really
difficult time where she was in hospital due to the stress from the whole situation. Ann said the only thing she wanted from me was help in keeping her job. She was a government officer and would lose her job if she was unmarried but had a kid.
So I married her and she kept her job.

Her family then wanted to know, not unreasonably, what I planned to do next. Ann then made it clear to me that I could be in some danger. In the past she had had a problem with her ex-boyfriend and her father, a lawyer for the government from the south
of Thailand, had attempted to have drugs planted on him and have him arrested. The boyfriend fled Thailand so it never happened.

After further discussions with my ex she told me she would never let my kids stay with me if I live with Ann with her family being like this. If truth be told I didn't want to either. I didn't love or even like Ann and her family seemed dangerous.
Ann told her family and they demanded I pay 10,000 baht a month if this was to be the case. It's a lot of money for a teacher but I knew I had a responsibility so I agreed to this and have been paying ever since.

This carried on like this for a while. About 1 month ago I got a message saying the father was demanding a meeting with me wanting to know what I was going to do and that I needed to start paying in the region of 25,000 baht a month!

It seems Ann at first hadn't quite been truthful and had led them to believe we may get back together and I would be round holding her hand. When I hadn't been the father had wanted to know what was going on.

Being a teacher, 25,000 baht is an amount that would mean I certainly wouldn't be able to afford to take care of my other children and it would be virtually impossible to live. I agreed to meet the father in the hope that discussing
it face to face would be best and I would explain my position. Ann also explained that when the father had found out she was pregnant he had wanted her to go to the police and say I raped her so the police could arrest me which further worried
me about meeting the father.

When I met him he was not interested in anything I had to say. He simply wanted to know when I was moving in with his daughter or when I would start paying 25,000 baht. I explained it was too much and that I could lose my son over this. He
simply stated the 2 choices, said I had it too easy, that the other alternative was "or else", that I could now get out and gave me a slap to the body, I guess to suggest a bit of violence might be on the cards too. He has also suggested
to Ann that he would come to my school and cause problems there.

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So that is the situation as it is now, with him waiting for my answer. My choices are, have a loveless marriage with his daughter and lose my son who lives with me in the process, pay so much money that I don't have enough to look after
myself let alone my kids, perhaps have him cause problems at work so I have no job to take care of my kids, perhaps one of his attempts to put me in prison or perhaps something worse. Ann doesn't want anything from me or want me to lose my
children but would go for reconciliation. In any case she would never say no to her father and will always do what he wants her to do. Her aunt and uncle offered to adopt the baby which seemed an excellent solution but her father will not let
this happen as he dislikes the aunt. Ann has suggested the money isn't really important to him. He is just seeking to punish me so it's hard to see how to respond to that.

It's hard to see what I can do for the best. If anyone has any suggestions (other than to stop popping out kids) I would love to hear you or if anyone has been in a similar scenario I'd love to hear from you. Please fell free to
contact me at because I'm at the end of my tether with this and I can't see a way out.

It does feel like having an axe above my head…and my five year old son's head too… I hope 32 is too young to have a heart attack. The only suggestions I have had are to run. I've got 2 kids here already! Ann says lie to father
and pretend we are living together then don't. A friend says "he knows some boys" etc…none are very good options

Stickman's thoughts:

This is a really difficult situation and there are many different things you need to think about. My advice in the first instance would be to seek legal advice, simply to know where you stand legally. That will provide a basis for what you decide to do next.

I am sure you want to help support all of the kids but financially that is going to be a struggle on the money you currently earn. I really think you're going to have to talk with the respective mothers about assisting with the money side of things and not looking for you to finance everything on your limited income.

Given that you do not want to be with Ann, I would look at agreeing on a certain level of ongoing financial assistance with her. Spending time with her will only complicate your relationship with the mother of your first two kids – and the kids themselves. Ann's father is a real problem, perhaps THE problem. You cannot give in to his demands although from the sound of it that will be easier said than done. Frankly, he sounds like a thug.

I can but wish you luck and hope someone in the readership can come up with some sort of creative solution to this whole mess.

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