My Gold Gold Thai Wife
I am an avid reader of Stickman and have truly enjoyed numerous hours of good reading of so many good submissions from so many, whose names, elude me except for a few like Phet, his “Brokenman series” and his misfortune with Nat and Bill Bunter and his story about his “Chiang Mai Princess” that turned bad unexpectedly in the end and recent gripping missives from “Wai The Dog”“ and “Karma Man”. I am so sad to hear about their sorry tales and I wish them well. A big thank you to all for providing such a rich reservoir of valuable information about life in Thailand and relationship issues between Thai ladies and Farang. We are all better guarded of and from any potential relationship problems as the result.
Here is my love story…
I am 57 years old and am of Malaysian origin and I reside permanently in Sydney, Australia. This is my second submission. My first was titled “Maybe I Mm Lucky This Time ”, way back in 2007. Guess what? I was lucky that time with a Thai lady whom I met via a popular internet dating site. She was one of few I got to know. Suffice to say, none of the others were any good and most were of very dubious character with equally dubious financial motives and real love was not high in their priority list. May I also add that all except one (whom I found out much later) that I dated was involved with bar scene.
Yes, that one was definitely “catch and very quick release”. And for those who recall my last submission, an update: Buriram girl was found to be no good too as she was a mia noi of some Thai man. I did the “catch and release” on her too.
Then, in June 2007, I met my now wife, K, of Udon Thani. She celebrated her 32nd birthday when I met her and I got lucky. I can proudly now say, I really got very lucky. We have now been together for over two year as a happily married couple and we have our first son last July. He is a angel, an apple to every parent’s eyes.
So, how did I get so lucky? Why has our relationship worked to date? Well, in truth, I think I have made my own luck with her. Concurrently, I think my God has been gracious to me. From the very start, I was in control of the whole relationship situation. I defined what I wanted out of the relationship and set out the clear strategies of how to get them.
I was adamant not to accept her greed for gold and material things as well as money, and her sulking as a way of response to her dislike of what was reasonable and right, her forced compliance on me to follow her Thai way or no way by naïve Thai logic, her use of sex as tool to get what she wanted. I would have none of them! Instead, I started from the beginning by setting out clear parameters and my limits to her greed and unreasonable demands for material things, told her of the need for compromise as we were very much individuals with different social and educational backgrounds, and I wanted her to express love with deeds rather than words. I asked her to tell the truth even if it hurts, advised her to show good examples to her young son by her own good behaviour, told her my desire for her to work and earn her own money as a nurse even after marriage and having kids.
Wow! Such a thorough set of goals from me, was I setting the bar too high for her? Yes, indeed I was because I was determined to find a good wife, not just a bed partner. I guess why she hung in there with me was because she saw something in me that she wanted such as leadership, security, integrity and courage for telling her when she was wrong. I suppose I was the first man in her life that ever dared to do that. Perhaps that was a great relief to her for once being told the truth, not falsehoods which were so commonly practiced on and “fed” to one another Thai in the society that she lives for all her life.
A few months after we courted, I decided to stay in Udon to test her out and really wanted to find out whether she was the right person for me.
K suggested I move to stay with her as long term stay in the hotel in Udon would have cost me a bundle and she was considerate about that for me. I thought then that that was the first good signal from her that she was thinking for me as well as of me.
I accepted her offer and on recollection now it was a right decision because it would have been quite difficult to get to learn her intimately any other ways.
Learn about her I did. Earlier on, I set my view of her like for everything gold clear. I told her I would only buy her gold when I think it is appropriate like our wedding anniversary if we ever got to that stage in our romance, but I have no objection to her hogging gold bought with her own income from her nursing job. Let me digress slightly, K differs from other Thai ladies reported by many writers especially the bar type in that she never during my time knowing her sold a single baht of gold given to her by her ex-husband or parents. She always said to me there were valuable memories embedded in each and every one of them and she would never pawn her gold unless in a calamity where she had no other source of income left. This attitude is still with her today. So my earlier assertion that I would not freely buy or hand out gold to her or her family members did not go down well with her at first as she reckoned if I “really” loved her I would not be khee-neow with buying her things she liked. I said to her I was not rich and told her if she genuinely loved me she would love me as what I was then, not what I could buy her with money. In addition to gold, K, also loved to hog handbags which were really quite harmless except it signified to me how “greedy” she was at the time and her mentality of “just a bit more of everything” frightened me. Her 6-year old son was not an easy boy to love as he was also very demanding and difficult in many ways. I told her that if I were to love him like my own, we must set good examples for him to follow. Lying and cheating would not be tolerated and I told her this very clearly at the start and to tell the truth even if the truth hurts. Not to act like an ostrich when problems arose between us but to have the courage to face them and tried to solve them together.
But why did I want to get myself into so much trouble and tried so hard to transform someone when I could have quite easily found another lady, as Thailand was full of them? One main reason was because K has many good qualities which I thought outweighed her negative characteristics. She was very sweet and very caring and the special Thai feminine demeanour surely have been written about to death by many before me. She would massage me when I was tired and clipped my nails without me prompting her. During cold weather she would boil bath water for me. At the village feast she would go out of her way to buy a fresh fish to deep fry for me as she knew I could not eat a lot of the village food. She would protect my financial interests while shopping at the “talat” and made sure we got the best price even if I was the one who paid. Little things she did for me endeared her to me, like when I returned to Udon after a short break from Malaysia, she would fetch me from the airport even when she was busy at work despite my insistence I would be fine with my own transport and yet she would specially get her car vacuumed and polished the day before just to please me!
How did it all go at first? In truth, not very well. I could see her good side and yet some of her bad side was bothering me. Top on the list was her exertion to dominate me with her Thai ways of thinking when I knew it went against all my wisdom gained from tertiary education from the west. Many small “fights” ensued such as from her unwillingness to save time by calling a bank for example, to find out things like whether an offer of something was still on: like an offer of bank debentures, would culminate in me having a dog fight with her because her view was, calling first on cell phone would not yield much benefit of time saving and free information gathering. Instead she would drive around town in the blazing hot sun going from branch to branch of a certain Government Bank requesting such information. Now recalling what she did then I can understand her better as the word “efficiency” did not really mean much to a village girl, as in the provincial town, everybody takes things including use of time “sabai sabai” as time is what they have plenty of, so why be efficient with it? It was me, the farang, from an efficiency-driven West who had a problem, not her! But this “naïve” behaviour drove me witless then. Frequently, if I suggested she open her mouth to ask someone for information of say, directions or something else, this would to her amount to “loss of face” but to me that was poppycock! It was not just sheer stupidity but totally unacceptable to me when one can be so dumb to not take or source valuable information when it is usually there to take for free. Furthermore, her inability to forgive, and her sense of self-righteousness drove me to the edge. <Excellent point here. I think Thais struggle to forgive. They make out that they have forgiven but actually it festers away at them and makes them feel angry and perhaps even determined to seek revenge – Stick> It ended with me packing up on her twice because I was adamant that there were surly more “fish” in the Thai ocean that I could “catch” and learn more about. Somehow, beyond my comprehension, we were fated to be with each other. Each separation and my walking out would paradoxically bring us closer. NO, I had not lost my big head and succumbed to my little head. YES, I was firm about my goals and I had written out my strategies on paper for us both to peruse and contemplate. I knew from the beginning it would be ideal if I could find a partner with characteristics and goals that matched my own because trying to or expect her to change for me after I have married her would be extremely difficult, even impossible. I did not meet the perfect person of my dream so I decided after much thinking that we would talk about all the important issues and our goals and see where that would take us. At that juncture, her religion in Buddhism and mine of Christianity collided and I was determined she either converted to mine or I to hers. I knew if we were to marry, one of the most important issues of our relationship is how we place values on certain things in life like morality, honesty, considerations for one another, compassion, caring and sharing and most of all conscience of right from wrong of doing certain things. These values plus others like how we reconcile if we have disagreement on things such as the methods used for raising our kids and money matters and other domestic matters of importance. In the end, I concluded that God is the one who will give us the ultimate ministry of reconciliation and we both must accept Him and place HIM in the centre of our lives. I hold a strong Christian belief and moral codes of God. Disparaging moral codes of her to mine were not good. I decided then, we had to start on the same platform of one religion and its moral codes shared commonly between us.
At the time I was still living at her mother’s home in Udon and her mother was a devout Buddhist. I prayed with her each day and shared some of God’s laws with her about God’s teaching about many things like greed and dishonesty and so on and what remedies God offered. Morning after morning it went on before breakfast I would pray and share with her God’s inspired words and she would still be horizontal at the time with her eyes half closed and she took them all in. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months and slowly, I was convinced by K’s deeds and new behaviour that she was becoming more reconciliatory. She was becoming less self-righteous and more forgiving of my imperfections. Each night we would pray together, taking turn praying for one another and her family. I could not and still cannot explain how the spirit of God works but all I know was it surely and slowly was making a difference on her. In the end, I decided that I would concur to her offer of engagement at her village home. Some months after I applied for her spouse visa to Australia and finally she was granted the visa.
I now write this from Farangland. We are still happy married. Things were not all rosy in her first year here in Aussie land with me. Shallowness in her thinking kept popping up. We fought more than a few times and the worst one culminated in her moving out my house while at the time she was already pregnant with our son. Her threat to return to Thailand permanently and not ever return and not wanting anything from me were met with many mixed feelings from me at the time. But she had some Thai friends from her work at the nursing home who were more understanding and one Thai man friend in particular has been here for years. When I approached him for assistance he was helpful and talked to K in her own language on my behalf and explained to her the requirement on her side to be tolerant as many misunderstandings were bound to happen as she was only new to the country at the time. He also very rightfully told her the need to exercise a “cool head” and think things through instead of being hasty and getting careless and naïve with her ways which would inevitably lead to her later regret. Each time we fought, I stood firm on certain moral values and I would not allow her to degrade them and me caving in to her. I knew I stood a great risk at that time that I could lose her but I was thinking if she was that way then she really did not deserve me and perhaps it was best that this happened before we got ourselves too deep.
So how now? She was already pregnant with my child. She knew her options were quite limited if she was thinking of extracting undue advantages from me from the legal marriage we executed here in Australia. I had planned for this scenario and had set a pre-nuptial in place for this eventuality if it ever will to occur. In it I wrote a sunset clause of 25 years of marriage before she would have any claim for any of my assets locally. This is my safeguard just in case she turns out to be a “lemon” and a gold digger. I explained to her the need to do a pre-nup and she was fine with that. I told her that if our relationship lasted for life, the pre-nup would serve no purpose but it would save us a lots of heartache and confusions of where each of us stands when and if our relationship broke down and we need to part way. By the pre-nup I also made myself worth more to her alive than death just in case she had a dark side which was not apparent to me at the time.
Well, our first year in Sydney passed despite of all our little fights which I was thinking then it was better we had all those “little” fights and got our differences out of the way and learnt to compromise instead of bottling things inside us like an ostrich “burying” our heads in the sand hoping the problems would just vanish if we cannot see them. I chose the former in-order to prevent a mammoth fight later which would surely decimate us to extinction. I stood firm with her on many important issues instead of going jelly at the knees. For my steadfastness, guess what? She has now come to respect me and love me as both her husband, lover, best friend and teacher.
So, at the end of our first year we decided to marry and by then she had truly accepted our ONE same God.
In 2009, we officiated our marriage Thai style in her hometown of Udon Thani with a big feast ceremony for nearly 300 guests. K asked for sin-sot of half a million baht for her mother which she agreed to put in half that amount from her own income acquired from Australia. I thought that was fair and some purchase of gold and a piece of vacant land for her. In all, I spent over a million baht for the ceremony and sin-sot and land. Even though the title of the vacant land was in her name, and was gifted to her in our pre-nup, she always referred the land as OURS and said if and when we decided to go back to Thailand to retire, we will build and live in our own new Thai residence.
It has now been just over one year that her son and our new son arrived with her in Australia. Many things have happened for the better. Her son is now better behaved and setting a good example for her younger step brother. She is working hard so that she can earn her own money instead of being a parasite sucking me dry. Presently, she is at the juncture of a new direction in her nursing career here in Australia. Next year, she will accept an offer to start a nursing degree here as her Thai degree is not recognised in Aussie land. I encouraged her to further her studies and still keep a contact with her work place by going part time.
At this moment, I am happy to report that since her conversion to Christianity, our lives together could not have been better. In our regular Bible studies group meeting, she testified that she is now very happy with her life and family after she found God. She is all the wife I ever wanted.
Her life was transformed by God’s teaching. I could not remember the last time we fought since she accepted God. Although, certain traits of her past still remain, the big picture is she is now changed person to the one I once knew. My wife is now caring, non-belligerent, forgiving, loving and considerate to myself and our children. She is always careful with her money and has not asked me for any at all unless I give it to her and prefers to save it for our two boys than spend it. She is still keen with her handbags but look!!, I am giving her all the latitude for her hobby on this one. Even with this hobby, she mostly buys second hand at a good price. Now she never asks me for gold as she now realizes my true love for her is worth more than gold and that physical metal is relegated in her mind to a dark bank vault she kept them in. MY wife’s gentle ways which only the Thai knows how to treat her man are so much treasured by myself. She is often an envy of her Thai friends at her current work place of having such “choke dee” with marriage and she often tells me how proud she is of me and how she could not contain her pride that she often talked to her friends about me. When I heard her telling me this: “my friends jealous me when I tell them about you”, I could not help but chuckled inside and said to myself “Lucky old boy, hehe!!”
Now I am very content with my life and my only hope and prayer is our God will continue to keep us healthy to enjoy the many wonderful years we have ahead of us.
My apology to some Stickman's readers who may find my story slightly boring as well as unconventional because of its religious components in our relationship. I am telling my story exactly how it had happened to us and how it is now so If I offended some readers, sorry about that!!
Thank you all for reading
Good on you for being firm and refusing to compromise your principles. That's where many Western men involved with Thai women come unstuck. The negotiate and compromise on things that they really should not move on.
You were VERY generous with the dowry!