Stickman Readers' Submissions January 14th, 2009

Response to My son’s Thai fiancée

Hi Aussie Mum,

I am very sorry to hear of your sad story.

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You sure have been through a very difficult six months.

I would like to offer a few observations regarding your situation.

My first thoughts are that most Thai women are quite outgoing, particularly the ones who choose to associate with Western men, so I feel that this woman’s inability to socialize is not so common amongst Thai people. She is certainly not your typical Thai person by any means but I have met Thai people as introverted as this woman appears to be. Unfortunately they do exist. Anybody who can spend hours on end staying in their bedroom is very antisocial indeed. Her behavior is not a typical Thai cultural trait but nor are Thai women particularly humble, meek or overly appreciative as you were anticipating before you met her.

Essentially all your problems boil down to your son’s fiancé's inability to socialize. From this point you have concluded that she came to Australia to be lazy and to manipulate the situation. That may indeed be true. However I have found Thai people to be very sensitive to their surroundings particularly when they sense a mounting degree of hostility against them. I would guess that she sensed your apprehension with her and her antisocial behavior from an early point, possibly even before you left Thailand, and she then went into a typical Thai form of self defense whereby she subconsciously set about making your son choose between you and her. And that was a choice she was always going to win. Your son was always going to side with her because she is young, attractive, available for intimacy and part of his optimism for a bright future.

You never really stood a chance against this woman and she knew it.

Most Thai women are very sociable and very respectful of their partner’s family and very lazy. This woman is one out of three. If your son is also introverted then they will probably make a good couple together and in time her confidence in the West may grow and you may form a relationship with her. Thai people have short memories and if you put yourself in a position whereby she thinks you may in some way be of assistance to her then she may forget the past and choose to open up to you. For example if you can help her with English studies or get her Thai satellite TV or things of that nature which may be important to her.

If however your son is outgoing and through infatuation he has blinded himself into believing that his fiancé is normal and the rest of the world is not. And that it is your fault she is in a “shell” but she will soon break out of it and go and get a job, then you have a SERIOUS problem because they are clearly incompatible and their forthcoming marriage WILL fail.

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As a parent this is what you must do:

Obviously you can clearly see the problem but it is not your job to fix all your son's problems. He will learn nothing from that and besides he will simply not believe what you tell him anyway. It will be far easier to believe the stories his fiancé is concocting up. Remember she is younger than you, more attractive and he is sleeping with her not you, besides he wants to believe her. So you should only lightly mention to him that she has a socialization problem and leave it at that. You should get other people around him (particularly his male friends) to also lightly mention to him the fact that she is so introverted but not push the point. Then leave it in his head to simmer for a while. On his own terms he must first get over his blind infatuation and see clearly that she is introverted. Then he must decide weather he wants to make a lifelong commitment with an introverted person.

Whilst this is happening you could consider doing everything in your power to be positive around him and his fiancé and attempt to rebuild the relationship. When his fiancé rejects you time and again, don’t mention it to him, just let him see for himself that she is incapable of any form of relationship with anybody other than your son. It may seem like your son is blind to her anti social behavior but deep down he will know it exists and even though he makes pitiful excuses to explain it away, he will definitely be having his own doubts and will be thinking if he has found the right person to tie the knot with.

The very very very good news is that this is all an excellent learning process for your son to teach him to be more careful when he selects a partner for marriage. This is because if and when the current partnership fails, it will not cost him too much. It is only after they are married that she can apply for a marriage visa. And it is only 4 years after that she can apply for permanent residence. If the marriage ends before she gains permanent residence (which it most certainly will) the she will be kicked out of the country on the first available plane and your son can set about searching for a more suitable partner. If they stay married long enough for her to gain PR (permanent residence) then that is another story.

The very very very bad news is that if she falls pregnant then the whole game changes and it is all over for your son. You must strongly advice your son to use prophylactic protection and not trust that his fiancé is taking oral contraceptives (or any other form of contraceptives that she can fake). If she falls pregnant then she has ALL the power. In the event of a break up, she will not necessarily have to leave the country immediately. She can obtain PR (permanent residence) thru her child who will be an Australian citizen by descent. This will take time, but she will be easily able to obtain bridging visas for years whilst this process takes place. She can even do it back in Thailand and wait for the papers to come thru. Then when she has obtained PR and is living happily in Australia with her new boyfriend and the child, she will have her claws firmly around your son’s wallet, milking him for up to 17% of his gross income for the next 18 years.

Provided your son's fiancé does not fall pregnant then I have no doubt whatsoever that eventually logic and reason will prevail, the relationship will end, the woman will be sent back to Thailand where she belongs and the world will go back to normal. There is no possible way that this marriage will work. You will be in for a rocky time ahead but you must stay the course and order will eventually reign over anarchy. You just have to make sure that she does not fall pregnant and you will be alright. It is generally quite difficult to fall pregnant but in my experience Thai women seem to be very fertile.

Good Luck,


Stickman's thoughts:

I've got a funny feeling that some might see your response to her predicament as controversial…

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