Stickman Readers' Submissions June 9th, 2009

Musing On Relationships With A Thai Lady

After reading the submission on Mr. Phet’s misfortune in his relationship with a Thai lady, I reflected upon my relationship with my Thai wife. It is difficult to render advice to somebody on how to find a so called good Thai lady and build a happy and stable relationship because we are so very different from each other even when on the surface we look almost the same through the lens of our public opinions. Our degree of loneliness or the strength of connection to our inner self, sexual fantasies and the overall expectation from a relationship is so very different from each other, most of that which remain hidden in our mind and heart that we are sometimes discernable to ourselves. The same lady may be a nightmare to one whereas a good life partner to another, based on how much their mutual expectation would wear the relationship. So I can only talk about what I have seen and experienced in my own life. So far contrary to what I have read here in this website I have seen many successful marriages between a western man, especially Americans from California, and a Thai lady not coming from a bar. By “successful marriage” I do not mean that all of their emotional and sexual expectations are being fulfilled on a continuous basis, what I mean is that they are married for over at least five years and have a sense of intimacy which cannot be supposed as a feigned veil over a dysfunctional relationship leads me to believe that they are happily married. What goes on behind the close doors of their bedroom I don’t know but it can be supposed that the kindling passion I see in their eyes in occasional social jamboree comes from a deeper understanding of each other and an inner sense of acceptance of others imperfections. Now love is such a loaded term that it makes any statement hyperbole and I hate to use it in the context of a relationship yet it shows up automatically. It means very different things to different people. To me the perception of love has changed over time as I have changed threading through myriad of life experiences. Standing at this age I might not be able to tell what is love but certainly I have the ability to percept what is not love. If my partner cannot understand my shortcomings, my deepest troubles and aspirations which eventually would lead me to alienation and loneliness then for sure there is no love in the relationship.

Relationship of any kind requires mutual trust and more so in the relationship with your potential life partner than others. And we all know trust comes from knowing which takes time and proximity to the lady and the social environ she lives in. Considering this as the first principle of building a relationship and especially a relationship on which I am going to bet my future on, after chatting, exchanging emails, conversing occasionally via long distance phone calls and meeting my would be wife for couple of times during my sojourns in land of smile and having a sense of confidence that she has the potential to be a life partner, I moved to Thailand leaving my job in California. Although I had made up my mind but before tending my resignation I had asked her if she wanted to move to US leaving her ten thousand Baht per month teaching job with Thai government instead of me leaving a close to half a million Baht per month IT job behind. It was a kind of trick question to know her mind. She didn’t give me any surprise. As expected she was also of the same opinion and told me “It is better for you to come here first since you can get a job in Thailand easily. Also if it doesn’t work out and I have to come back it would be very difficult for me to get a teaching job with government again. Moreover I am a lady so I have to be more careful” It was a huge financial sacrifice but I thought it would be impossible to know her from more than ten thousand miles away only by communicating via phone, email, chat and occasional meeting for a short period of time. It was important for me not only to know my wife but also her immediate family members that are her parents, sister and brother. In this part of the world a woman’s life is so enmeshed in the cobweb of family relationships that without knowing those threads of dependency binding her it would be impossible to know her true self. More over I thought the only way to know her would be by observing her interactions with her family members, colleagues and friends. I cannot stress it anymore that through a long distance relationship and for me which includes meeting the lady in person for a brief period of time say for two to three weeks a year, one cannot grow a sense of understanding of other as it is very easy to masquerade in an isolated brief encounter than in an ecosystem she lives and breaths in.

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Even though my moving to Thailand was the insinuation of my commitment to the relationship still before marrying and sharing all my fortunes I needed more warranty. The majority of my savings whatever had remained after a long tumultuous divorce which purged most of it were kept in long term CD accounts with the Bank here in US so that even if I was forced by circumstances to dispense them it would be extremely difficult to coordinate remotely to liquidate those accounts and having them transferred to my regular checking account with the Bank in Thailand. It was in a way acted as a safeguard against the uncertainties of not knowing me in such situations which might allure one in squandering the remaining of his savings. The intention was for it to be a Zen like slap when necessary to bring me back in to the realities of the present moment. What I thought was that at least it would prevent me from going to an ATM having hypnotically entranced by my lady and bleed cash profusely. At least I would get the necessary temporal space to reevaluate the situation.

Another important point to remember is that a Thai lady always is most comfortable emotionally in Thailand and this I have realized from my various interactions with Thai people here in California (bay area and Thai town in LA) as well as in Thailand. They always love to be immersed in Thainess which constitutes a medley of Thai soap opera to som tam. So going through the stress of building a long term relationship in a foreign land among foreign people and culture with no relatives or friends around might be too much for her to deal with. Most of them are so overwhelmingly dependent on their friends and family members emotionally that without them around they may feel alienated and utterly lonely. So in my opinion it is always better to build the foundation of the relationship in an ecosystem she feels home. She may waver in the eddy of her doubts and insecurities for awhile but once she feels comfortable and entrusts you with her heart then she would be happy to move with you to your own country. For me, I took my time, gave her time as well while I was living in Thailand before moving back to US with her and it worked out fine. Here she hadn’t had to torment herself with both the insecurities of a premature relationship as well as adapting to a very different pace of life.

I don’t know whether my wife can be categorized as the proverbial good Thai lady but even in this twenty first century her values are quite orthodox. Even long after our marriage I was not allowed to show intimacy in public for quite awhile. Although she has ultimately surrendered to my ongoing demand yet she still appears stifled and wary in front of known faces. Sorry for this digression. The point I wanted to make is that a good Thai lady on whom you can bestow your confidence in my observation can be quiet conservative which cannot be feigned on a daily basis if you two are living together.

A word of caution if you are married to a good Thai lady or about to get married to one, your sex life may droop after she becomes mother. At least that’s the case with me. My one year old daughter gets majority of her attention; she even sleeps every night with us while my son sleeps separately in his room. Most of the nights, after a long hard day at work, I don’t know when I drift into the slumber land watching them playing. And even when we get our chance the day they sleep early she would be so wary of waking them up with our moan and groan of the blissful torment of love making that it dilutes the ecstasy of the experience. But I have accepted less sex over infidelity hoping things will improve once she grows up to a point when my wife would feel confident to allow her to sleep separately. Does it bother her? No, which is little disturbing but this aspect of hers like many other inscrutable aspects of a Thai lady I don’t claim to understand.

Sometimes during my overseas business trips especially to cities like Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires this latent sexual dissatisfaction stirs up my old licentious self especially when after a long hard day at work when you go out with your co-workers to a night club like Kilt in Sao Paulo downtown where you are relaxing over a Casasa while watching the live performance by a girl from Amazonia. You are bound to be entranced by her occasional sidelong glance of dark mysterious eyes while her fully naked body of olive green hue still hissing with the rhythm of music unfurling her pure unabashed magic. It almost once threw me over the edge but that’s a different story. Buenos Aires has its own nocturnal charm. Walking the long stretch of Florida St you will realize how a whisper of a Peruvian girl can kindle the old, forgotten passion in your blood. She would invite you to her flat in the darkness of a side street where you can make love in her private room. Reminiscing over my back packing days in my tumultuous youth I suddenly remember the taste of their body – vaguely like their whisper. I could feel a paroxysm of desire and pain. An ancient voice calls out “Go ahead and get that thing out of your body. It is just a hormonal urgency”. While that is probably true it is also true that while I am pondering over whether to make love with the Peruvian or Chilean girl walking alone down the streets of Buenos Aires my wife tens of thousands of miles away taking the kids to bed also alone. I know this city like a sorcerer with its dark magic can draw you in to its quick sand life but more than anything at this point in life stability, a sense of home and family gives me peace. I want to see my kids growing and I want to see it together with her. If I take in a lady I cannot look straight in to her eyes and say no.

By the way it is not always smooth. Occasional fit jealousy when I am gone for prolonged business trips makes me concerned. After so many years of staying together I know from where it is coming. I have ever heard a statement that when a Thai lady gives her heart she gives everything, holding back anything. Those long trips leave her emotionally void. I know that she knows that when I am away I don’t miss her as intensely she does. It happened occasionally that she had been waiting for me eagerly while I had gone out with co-workers after work for a beer or two and later had faced her fury. It is interesting that when she gets angry she becomes silent and uncommunicative. And occasionally she would throw in a query whether I had brought in a lady in my room. She knows I don’t cheat on her back yet she asks purely to see me annoyed as she is. Is it a big problem? It can be if it happens too often but so far it is within the tolerable limit. On the other hand she is so caring that before every trip she would pack my luggage very meticulously and when I would open my luggage in my hotel to my amazement I would see nail cutter, band-aids and even a packet of Tylenol and only then I would realize how much I am to her. I sigh with a smile alone in my hotel room nodding my head in disbelief at how care and envy are enmeshed in that thing called love. Once to lighten the situation I told her “Darling do you want me to have a mia-noi? That way you don’t have to dwell in any confusion as to whether I have another lady or not. For sure with all the certainty you would always know the answer” She hung up.

Nobody can foretell future but so far we are two imperfect being from two different corners of this planet doing fine in a near perfect relationship. Once I have read in this very website that after eleven years of marriage a Thai lady leaving her husband and family in UK came back with all their collective savings to open a bar for her childhood Thai boy friend. Could something similar happen to me? Who knows what is in store in future but without entrusting her with everything what I have it is not possible to have a lasting relationship and family. And if I cannot trust her with money how can I trust her with my kids? Even though she has all the freedom to spend my money from our joint accounts, till now she has asked my permission before every purchase over twenty dollars she has made. This wariness a pattern in her behavior over many years has helped to grow trust a sense of trust in me. The money we earn is the result of our hard work so how cautiously and carefully she is handling it is also an indication of her faithfulness towards us.

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With a Thai lady especially from upcountry past debts can be a very big problem. Many of the families being nearly destitute resort to loan on occasions such as sending a family member to Korea or Taiwan for work or to university for higher education. In Mr. Phet’s case although I am not sure what drove Nat making such a big debt but that was the most perilous thing which eventually brought the emotional and financial disaster in his life. In my case before our marriage she told me how much debt she had from her education loan and assured that I don’t have to be responsible for that as she would take care of that from her salary but when we decided to move back to US she requested me to pay back that loan otherwise she wouldn’t have gotten the release letter from the government. The loan was around ninety thousand Baht with accrued interest which I had to pay off to facilitate her move to US. It hurt me at that time but on the other hand considering that that money would probably a small fraction of my monthly salary here in US and would enable us to have a life together here I found comfort in the situation.

Another quality which can be a measure of a good lady is her motherhood. My logic is motherhood probably is the most demanding relationship in this world which is most demanding and requires a tremendous proportion of sacrifice. If a lady can successfully treads that path she would have my vote of confidence. My wife scores big in that department. She is a great mother. My job is very demanding especially with the US and the global economy in decline you have to take more responsibilities due to ever shrinking workforce. And on top of long working hours frequent overseas trips as I have mentioned earlier in the submission leave her with two kids one five years preschool-going and the other just above one stays home with her yet she never complains and whenever I return home from a trip a warm smiling face awaits me in the doorway with a profound sense of certitude. At that very moment that picture of a static aliveness evokes a feeling which tells me in no uncertain terms that we can grow old together. I remember one day at night before going to bed after her daily ritual of prayer to Buddha my wife said “A good Thai lady does not want many men to lay hands on her body. Had my ex-husband not died I never would have looked for another man in this life despite of he having another lady. I want to spend my whole life with you till my last day. I don’t want to know another man again” The air of certainty which rung in her voice suddenly made me uneasy. Can I also vow to be with her till my last day? At that time the answer was no. It was not because I had any doubt in her love and integrity on the contrary I couldn’t trust myself. But now after many years of knowing her and observing myself in the mirror of this relationship I can say yes.

A good lady is good regardless of from which country she comes from and the same is true for the bad one. But in Thailand the sheer number of women available for dating to a middle aged westerner makes a big difference. And I believe a good percentage of them are sincere, honest and caring looking for a life partner not necessarily has to be a westerner but whom they can trust. Then again there are many like Nat who are skulking in the shadow of remoteness and masquerade a good Thai lady. I know this submission is full of “I” and “her” but I wrote this not to show off my own success in the relationship with her but to let others know a life with a good Thai lady may not always be perfect but it will always be full of care and compassion. For Mr. Phet, my suggestion would be to forestall such disaster what has happened, never will you know a Thai lady well unless you move to Thailand and stay close to her. That’s the only viable way you might find one who can make a good partner being sensitive enough to understand and love you truly. I have learned from your submission that you have taken a reasonably long time that is almost four to five years to make up your mind but I cannot stress it any more that proximity is no less important than time may be even more.

Stickman's thoughts:

Busy like crazy so sorry, no comments.

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