Stickman Readers' Submissions August 4th, 2009

Sound Familiar?

Apologies for over-punctuation and any incorrect grammar. The following is a true story.

My brother met her about 11 years ago. He was 22, she was 20. She already had a 3 year old daughter. Typical story, as soon as the baby came along the boyfriend/father disappeared. My brother bought an apartment, moved them in and they were married within
10 months of first meeting.

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They did all the usual married couple things like joint bank accounts, credit cards, household bills/insurances etc. in both their names and all which, to me, would be considered normal for a married couple.

As my brother worked and she stayed home he left it to her to pay the bills and sort the finances. This to me is absolutely crazy and even if I trusted someone enough to marry them I would never allow them full financial control over me. Maybe a joint
bank account, but I’d keep a separate account and would be in control of where my own money goes and I would expect the woman I marry to do the same with her finances. But to explain his actions, she didn’t work and so in his view
had the time to sort these things out. Also, and probably his biggest fault, he tries to emulate our father in everything he does (probably half sub-consciously) and my father has nothing to do with my parents finance’s and this works for

After maybe 2 years together they sold the apartment and moved into a house, in a nice area. After 4 years they had a child together. As my brother trusted her implicitly both myself and my parents trusted his judgement and trusted her. We all got on
quite well. I found her to be a little immature even though she was the same age as me.

Some early warning signals which should have been heeded: The first happened about 4 months after they married (1999 approx.). She rang me up one night while my brother was working and asked if she could borrow a small amount of money. She was family
so of course I said yes. I went to the ATM, withdrew the money and took it to her. When I got there I asked her why she needed the money. She said that she needed to put the money into their joint account so when my brother went to withdraw money
for petrol there would be something to take out and that she would pay me back in a couple of days when they received his pay check, also asking me not tell my brother. Obviously at this point I told her that she needed to be honest about this
and let by brother know what was going on. She agreed she would. I believed her and was glad she was going to as I didn’t want to be the cause of any arguments.

After this day I never saw her without my brother present. Obviously I never received the money back and I was reluctant to ask with my brother there as I didn’t want to start a row, thinking that she had told him and knowing he would have been
angry once told. I thought it better not to open any old wounds. So I never mentioned anything more about this.

Not long (6 months or so, 2001) after they moved into the new house my mother tried to call their landline. It was disconnected. Knowing that it was fine before this she thought it was strange and mentioned it to him. The reason his wife gave was they
lived at no. 18 and the phone company wanted to cut-off no. 118 but made a mistake. We all knew this was far-fetched but as he believed her nobody questioned it.

In 2003 we arranged a family trip. My parents, brother & wife (who was a few months pregnant at the time) and me (I was 24 & single). – Why would a 24 year old single male want to go on holiday with his parents? They had purchased a property, which was in the process of being built, and had offered to pay for the flights for all of us. We would only have to cover the cost of the hotels. Also I thought it would probably be the last time we would all holiday together due to each other's personal circumstances. I never knew just how right I would be – Due to my parents' experience of our destination we let them decide the hotels/location and book using their credit cards. When it came to settling with them my brother was forever saying he’ll pay the next day (not suspicious
as he’s always been a ‘mañana’ kind of guy).

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One Sunday afternoon we’d got together for a family dinner when the unpaid monies were mentioned. Both my father and I starting winding him up regarding welching on the payment. He lost his temper and stormed off to an ATM to withdraw the money.
When he returned he made some excuse about not taking the correct card with him. But we could all see something was wrong but again nobody wanted to cause a scene. He did eventually pay a few weeks later.

3 years ago almost to the day my brother had the day off work. He went out with his family (2 kids by now) shopping I think. When they arrived home the bailiffs had arrived and were in the process of repossessing his house. He had no idea. He fell into
a state of shock. The house was the banks. He and his family were homeless!

The following days were turmoil as more and more was uncovered. Basically no bills had been paid for at least 3 years. In the next few weeks everyone who was owed money came out of the woodwork. Credit cards, amenities, the list is endless. She had managed
to hide everything from him. Including court appearances. How you ask if it was joint accounts for everything? It turns out the bank account was in her name, his money went straight into her account. All bills were in her name only. The credit
cards were in both names but only one named card holder is required to appear before the courts. His trust in her and his naivety / un-interest in the finances had cost him everything. He was a total wreck for months. He couldn’t believe
the woman he loved could make him and her own children homeless.

He started the separation process. To split the debts if nothing else. With what he was earning they could have paid for everything they had. They were living quite modestly. The debts not including the house totalled over 8.5 million baht. How could
this have happened? Was she a complete idiot when it came to numbers? What she actually really clever and devious and hiding this for so long? Where did the money go? I will never know. If my brother knows he will never tell me.

Readers of this site may not be surprised by what I have written but what may surprise you is that he never went through with the separation and they are still together now.

And, if you haven’t already guessed, this happened in Farangland. She was a farang not a Thai. I write this to show you have to be careful with whoever you choose to trust. The chances of this happening are greater if you hook up with
a bargirl but it’s just as likely/unlikely to happen with a ‘normal/good’ woman in the west as in Thailand.

Be careful who you trust.



Stickman's thoughts:

I guess the only reason your brother is still with this wench is because they had kids together….

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