Stickman Readers' Submissions March 23rd, 2009

I Love My Wife To Bits But…

I read the submission by Maggie and the replies.


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The (sad) reality is that while the culture of the west remains as it is along with the pressures the culture brings on couples juggling mortgages & children etc, men will continue to become tired & bored. This situation leads many
men to feeling alienated & depressed. And then put this man into an environment like Thailand, and it will always be the last straw in the relationship. There is so much western woman could learn from their Asian sisters and their culture
and the way they ‘take care’ of their men. If only they could look within and learn, and try to understand men, rather than seeking to blame them and further alienate them.

Given that the west does not change, and western women do not change, stories like Maggie’s will continue to repeat. What we will also see along with globalization, the internet, and the ease of travel, is that more and more western
men will simply not marry a western woman in the first place.

On the issue of ‘activity’ outside of marriage, I think about a story with my 16-year old daughter. She wanted to have a boyfriend. But her mother will not hear of it – and any talk of boys inevitability escalated into
a big argument between them. Later she had a boyfriend. She talked to her Dad (me) about him. I even took her to meet him. At the point of her second boyfriend her mother happened to find out. A big fight ensued. One point emphasized by her mother
was that she had been dishonest and done things ‘behind her back’. As my daughter very succinctly noted – she had been honest with her Dad and had told him, and the reason she had been ‘dishonest’ with her mum
was because of they way she would have reacted had she said she had a boyfriend. She went on to say, how much she longed to be able to talk to her mother about her feelings, but did not knowing and fearing her reaction. So who’s fault was
it? My daughters? Or her mother because of the way she reacts?

What is the moral of this story when it comes to marriage, Thailand, and infidelity? Well, a woman, by not wanting or being prepared to understand their man and his feelings, desires, and needs, puts that man in the same situation as my daughter.
And what does the man do? He becomes ‘dishonest’ and ‘does things behind his wife’s back’. Or he suffers and becomes depressed. If the relationship is healthy and there is communication and it is open and honest,
then the couple have a chance to resolve issues. Maybe the man really feels / needs to go to a soapy massage parlor (for example) and have a good session with a young body. Having the wife become aggressive and insulted will never change the way
the man feels anymore than my daughter’s mother’s refusal to accept a boyfriend repressed her desire to have one. She just became more crafty in her methods to achieve her aims.

Repression, control, and dominance may seem to work short term, but will never work long term. In fact when things finally ‘explode’ the results can be very bad. Only honesty, communication, tolerance, and acceptance will work
in the long term.

I love my Thai wife to ‘bits’. And one of the many reasons is because of understanding, honesty, and there being a complete absence of control and dominance. We live in Singapore. It happens that we are not that far from a red-light
district. But I come home every day on time and my Friday and Saturday evenings are spent with my wife, not out drinking at bars nearby. In fact in 4 years here I have been out alone to the nearby bars just once. However, on the other hand, when
we go to Bangkok we both like a massage. Sometimes we go to a massage shop together. Sometimes I go to one of the massage shops known to offer ‘extras’. My wife is well aware and does not make it a problem. She always has two words
of advice. “Be safe”. But if I have a young girl without clothes giving me a massage all over she accepts it. And you know what? Because of that understanding and freedom I love her all the more. It makes our relationship all the
more stronger. On my side I spend time with her, respect her, tell her if I am going to a ‘suspect’ massage shop, and such activity is restricted to the 4 or so trips each year to Bangkok, and does not become part of day-to-day or
week-to-week life. I have asked her if she feels like a massage from a young man. But she is not interested. Her interest is handbags! So we have a cupboard full of handbags and she is happy. And once in a while in Bangkok I have a ‘fun’
massage and I am happy. And we have a fantastic relationship and as sure as you can be about anything in life, I believe I can grow old with her.

Different things will work for different people. But the fundamental must always be 100% honesty, communication, understanding, acceptance, and tolerance. And to all the woman out there, let your man be a man just once in a while –
he will love you all the more for it.

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Stickman's thoughts:

I like your last paragraph. I like it a lot. That honesty and communication is critical.

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