Stickman Readers' Submissions May 6th, 2010

Stickman’s Request About Failed Relationships

In a recent submission named You Must Be Joking 2, Stick left the following comment:

"For the readers / complainers, those who had their egos deflated or feelings hurt by Jayson's piece, why not offer up why you think the failure rate amongst farang male / Thai female couples is so dismally high – and the fact that a good number of these failures are not just routine break-ups, but certifiable train wrecks. Don't go into denial! Why have a good number of farangs come to the conclusion that Thai women – from the farang's own perspective – by and large, are dishonest, evil, stupid, and insensitive nut cases, all only interested in money? Have you come up with your own theories? Will you be able to do so without taking pot shots at Thai women? Would you be willing to actually take some personal responsibility?"

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Before I give my own theory, which is just my theory and not concrete fact, I need to explain a little more about my latest submission A Reality Check – You Must Be Joking. Jayson's article did elicit a somewhat emotional response as I hate to be labeled. I am an independent thinker and find labels usually incorrect and just someone's opinion only as I do not fall into general categories. Obviously, some people think he is dead on with his submission and for them it is fact and not opinion. My point of us being different shows true as we have so many differing ideas or rebuttals to Jayson's article.

Caveman was trying to summarize me as to the list I had given, but as communication goes, I suppose I did not articulate my point for his understanding. It was just an example and not my necessary preference. I did this to say we are different and was simply that point. I do not intend to redo my entire article to explain every detail to rebut people that may not have understood, it simply is what it is. This is just an example of failed communication between two people and nothing more. Ok, enough said and let us get to Stickman's request.

Being from the US, I will speak to these experiences and thoughts as I do not have European experience and when I say western it is applicable to the US. Western divorce rates are incredibly high now as compared to 50 years ago. Maybe it is 50%, but can not be certain. Why is this the case? Is this modern day women's liberation? Is it media influenced? Is it because we have lost family values and it is not important to stay with the same mate? Is it because we have lost our sense of personal responsibility and always have excuses? So many possibilities and I would surmise it is a mix of all of these and much more.

Now let us look at the farang in Thailand. Is he a bitter divorcee? Is he just here for mongering? Is he tired of western women (regardless of the reason) and wants to try something different? Is he here for work? Is he just travelling abroad and finds Thailand? We all have our reasons for visiting or choosing to live here in Thailand. We are men and a majority seem to be single when arriving and of course we want to date. So, we date in the location we are at regardless of where in the world we live.

So now enters the local Thai woman. We meet said Thai woman and may fall in love (I think more fall into fantasy), but you understand my point. We are bred to be the providers in the west. It is instilled in us from birth. We have responsibility to our family and we work hard at whatever jobs we do because we have to provide. We do not want to be thought of as lazy and we work hard to gain whatever it is we require. So, here we are in LOS and meet some woman that we think is the most beautiful or sexy woman we have met in our life. We view their current situation as bad (because we compare to our western economic situation) and want to be the rescuer. Another trait we seem to have in us. I must rescue someone in need.

Well a majority are here a short time. Meet the supposed woman of our dreams and make all kinds of promises to help them out while we go back to our own country. We fantasize of how much better their life will be with us and assume they will be so grateful. We, of course, never take into consideration their life, culture, family ties, etc. We keep in communication and maybe see our beloved teerak 2 – 3 times a year over the course of a couple years or in some cases 3 months and then choose to get married. Yet many still fail to understand the foreign culture we are trying to attain our new wife from. (This does not apply just to Thailand, but the point of this is for Thai / Farang relationship failures)

We now take our new wife home to start this new great life. I think our arrogance and selfishness can not believe she is not so grateful with being in a new country with money and a house to boast about. We want her to only speak English and become a citizen of our country. Our independence sees only our immediate family as important and again fail to realize her true needs. We do not care about her religion or if a temple is close to us. We do not think she needs to go back to Thailand so much and think if she just sends money (which our independence again causes frustration) that she should be happy. We do not care if she can get Thai food as she is in the west and should be eating western food or preparing our western food.

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This again is not 100% the western man's fault and is also partly the Thai woman's fault. She was looking for a better life and assumed it is some fantasy to go live in another country. We all have had this experience where the reality fails miserably to the fantasy we perceive can occur. She does not realize being away from home will cause many problems. She is not satisfied with having no Thai friends or having food vendors or the simple way she lived life back in her home country. She may start to express this, but the western man will here none of it because he rescued her from her "poor" country.

We can label the above situation as poor communication, but I will say it is poor understanding. Poor understanding for your future and poor understanding of your mate. This is just as true as any Thai/Thai or western/western or whatever country you hail from. Not understanding your partners needs. This becomes increasingly difficult when you have cross cultural relationships. Lets face it, many of us become lazy in our relationships over time and think they should just work and give up on our said mate. This applies to the understanding part, because though we may think we are doing everything right, we may not be doing what is right for our spouse.

I do need to comment on the age difference. How can you think you will have a successful relationship with someone 20-30 years difference? Yes, to many it is a fantasy and maybe even to some they realize that it is only a partnership (she gets security and you get the young body). Do these men really think they have a chance? Since I do not think the same, I can only comment on my belief. I am 39 and only date women 30+. I do this because I personally have nothing in common with a child (i.e. 20). I have lived a long enough life that I want someone closer to my age. I meet young woman all the time that want to date or become involved and I politely decline and try my best to explain to them they are too young for me. It seems in Thailand because of the stereotype of the older farang and younger woman, that it is OK to date these older men. It also seems to be a Thai style with older and young, but this is applicable to Thai / Farang relationship problems.

I love Thai women. Of all my travels I found them to be the most intriguing for myself. I felt my best success to have a Thai partner was to live in their country, learn their language and do my best to understand their culture. This is my personal recipe for me and may or may not be right for anyone else. When and if I do meet the right one, I will be happy to share my success or failure if that be the case. We have no guarantees in life, but can only try to do what we think is appropriate for our current situation.

I think Stickman's readership is biased because it seems to represent the monger/punter or only the failed relationships. We rarely get to see the insight into the successful ones, though we are graced with the occasional story. We always see more failed stories than happy because we all prefer the misery over success. This is a generalization, but applies to most things in life. We see it in the media. I used to think it would be a good idea to have a Good News Channel, where everything is positive, but many would never watch because we seem to be drawn to failure stories more. Anyway, I digress.

Let me discuss our home country for a minute. Could I meet a woman in California and then go live in Europe with the occasional visit each year and expect her to be loyal, even though I speak the same language and we communicate perfectly? Can I expect her to wait for me for 2-3 years and feel this is appropriate? Yet so many western men do this with women in Thailand and then get frustrated when things seem to go wrong? How do we lose are common sense? Are we truly that arrogant and feel if we just send money or the occasional email/phone call we are doing what is best for her? We fall into a belief that because she is from a different culture, the common sense things we hold to be true do not apply. We fail to realize she is still a woman with needs and we are not meeting those needs.

To summarize: If we do not understand the culture, if we think we can rescue someone who does not need to be rescued, if we think it is appropriate to have 20-30 years age difference, if we want to have success with a bar girl, if we think occasional visits are appropriate then we are only making a recipe for disaster. Now I know there have been successful relationships that do all of the above, but I am quite certain these are rare and not the "norm". If we want a successful relationship with a Thai, then in my opinion we have a lot of work ahead and can not just think because we are western this will work out perfectly.

This is just my opinion and I expect Caveman to reply soon with how wrong I am (ha ha). I hope that we can see more of this topic as there are quite a few eloquent writers here and I am sorry I am not one of them.

Take care gang,


Stickman's thoughts:

A lot of sense said here, a lot of sense. Large age gaps and unrealistic expectations can be difficult to overcome.

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