Stickman Readers' Submissions February 4th, 2010

Been Becoming Unnecessary

Just before I left for England for Christmas and New Year, to be with my children and elderly parents, my girlfriend dropped the bombshell that she had bought a shop lease and was going to run a massage etc shop while I was away in England.

It was hard to take. I had told her many times in the past that any business involving a woman touching a man in return for money, except in a hospital situation, would be unacceptable to me because my friends all have a view about the real nature of such shops.

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It is exactly true what Caveman (Stick submission Jan 2010) points out, that a Thai woman would generally not know anything about Western “love” which involves self-sacrifice. He says: “If she ceases to need what you are providing [like sustenance], you have become unnecessary. When you become unnecessary, you’re history.”

I have wholly supported my Thai girlfriend for 6+ years while she had various needs ranging from repairing damage done to her shop by the tsunami, to looking after her during her pregnancy. All her present needs and future security I have assured all along because we were so very happy. So she got somewhere to live and what she wanted in it, hospital operations paid for, a car, holidays around Thailand, travel abroad, a permanent visa for the U.K. (not cheap now!) and all the usual things to show that I am jai dee (which means she never has to pay for anything). – Oh, how they all want a man who has “a good heart”.

I also gave her (in addition to a “contingency” that she always wanted) an allowance by way of property rents when I had to leave her and go back to England for short periods, an allowance which she still collected when we were together afterwards and I was paying for everything! (It was quite a struggle regaining control of those rents.) I bought stock for her previous clothes business and a good number of other things for her on promises to repay me from the profits of the business, promises which of course were never met. Every one of her businesses apparently failed after we met. I did not mind.

She smiled and never screamed and shouted and was so laid back she was almost horizontal. I worshipped her and did not hide the fact. Someone said my house back in England was kitted out like a shrine to her.

But it all counted for nothing when her brother provided her with a substantial sum of money so that she could renovate a shop and open a “massage etc” business and earn money from farang – what she called “big money” – and hopefully find farang who would give her more money than I’ve given her. It was then that I became unnecessary and she suggested we “separate for 6 months”. I’m not naïve and knew that meant she was aiming to separate permanently, but wanted to leave her options open in case she didn’t find a new farang.. So I didn’t buy that one. No change in my love then, even though she was crossing the line in the sand that I had set.

During the renovations we looked at different ideas and variations and sale but eventually she opened the shop up substantially the same as she had planned, what a recent visitor has described as “a massage parlour”.

I look at the photos of the times we have had together. They were immensely happy times for both of us and it amazes me that she could be so heartless that they are of no account to her. They can be sacrificed for the chance she now has to ply the physical trade with a degree of respectability. (She is a “good woman”, her friends and family tell me. – I think they just mean she hasn't worked in a bar.) But we all know that, in Thailand, massage is the acceptable face of prostitution. Yet her mind is closed to that: she will believe people will believe the unbelievable. And now that she can earn big money I have become unnecessary.

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It is not enough to take them to the water. Some Thai women will not drink. She wanted to work rather than be a full-time mum and make a nice home for us and the baby. Although I am old-fashioned and disapproved, I agreed to pay over 100k to put our 2-year-old into the school she suggested – with an international curriculum – for the current year. As a Westerner I have been taught to be understanding and flexible. The child being at school, it would give my girlfriend “space” to do what she wanted outside the home. I said she could do whatever work she likes to, provided she did not run a brothel or a massage shop or anywhere else where sex of some nature is easily available, whether openly offered or not.

She was not interested in entering the profession in which subject she had got a bachelor degree. She had tried it, she said, but it was hard work. She would in fact like to do massage instead. I drew the line, explained why not and offered to pay for her to have further education and training to become a physiotherapist. I wanted her to do a good job she could be proud of.

After that she went on courses on make-up techniques and started applying her knowledge and looking like a different sort of woman. She got her hair to be even longer, fuller and shinier. (No contract to do a commercial yet. Don’t know why.) We talked about her running a beauty salon, but decided there were already too many.

She started watching certain DVDs behind closed doors with a masseuse she knew, but I found out. She said she liked to, because it was educational. (I saw no need for further education in such matters. She is very capable.) It did however stimulate things in that department and I often felt she was investigating how many times we could “do it” in a day. She also (a previously agreed no-no) shaved and trimmed her hair down-below because, she said, that was recommended to her by some bar-girls. (A great source of advice, I said, but she was not moved.) Eventually the only thing I had found at all unattractive about her she dealt with and lost 6 kilos in as many weeks.

The bombshell was then dropped. She would employ enough masseuses so that there was always someone to look after our baby at the shop in the evenings. The shop was actually not in an area to catch the passing rich farang from the big hotels but she had wanted to be in a pedestrian soi with no risk to the child from traffic, even though it was more than a bit noisy with bars adjacent, opposite and all around.. She had it all planned. I had no option but to leave it to her through the high season. I had not been a factor in the planning. My money had not been required. Unnecessary.

It is all very disappointing. Especially after giving much (mostly time) to make the relationship one that would benefit both of us. Imperfect though I am, like any man, I was nevertheless going to love and make this woman mine and above all stay loyal to her. So I told her. And everyone. But as you hear from people like Caveman, you may just be deceived if you think you have made a Thai woman yours. At least, it seems to me, if you’re with a Thai woman over here who has spent her working life selling to tourists, she is probably just looking for the richest pickings she can get from her customers. You are irrelevant, unless you have not yet become unnecessary.

Stickman's thoughts:

What I find unusual here is that you have a child together and she is turning her back on that, essentially sending the father of her child away. It's not entirely clear from the story but her involvement with / discussion with bargirls makes me wonder if perhaps she had some involvement in the industry in the past which perhaps you're not aware of. I can't put my finger on it but there seems to be something missing here. 1+1 doesn't seem to equal 2.

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