Readers' Submissions

Introspection: Relationships, Communication and Money



This submission is outside the ongoing story of my woes with my Filipina Princess (the ‘Told You So’ series). That story only gets worse and real-time events will be reported here. (Why? Because it does me good to record them and because just maybe some reader may learn from my experience). My experiences with her have made me stop and think, and that’s never a bad thing.

Those who have read my story may understand why I stop and ask myself just where it all went wrong. Some, who have taken the time to read previous submissions to Stickman, will recognise a prevailing theme in dealings with SEA women (mine, this time, was from the Philippines but a previous one was from Thailand). There’s probably nothing new to add, nothing that thinking men won’t have thought about before but (subject to Stick’s editorial pen) I’d like to put forward my thoughts.

Relationships

I don’t think that I’m that unusual in the results I want from my relationships with women (correct me if I’m wrong). Mutual (this may be the key-word) respect, goals, aims, physical attraction, enjoyment, and so on, and a determination that the most important thing is to be together and to work towards that goal. I don’t necessarily want or need to be the caveman-hunter (though I’m happy to be the main provider if necessary) but I’d rather sit down with my partner and discuss our requirements.

I met my first wife in unusual circumstances. I was a cop (23), she was a police cadet (18). I was just finishing a night shift (6am) when a burglar alarm call came in. My partner and I were in the process of ‘booking off’, handing in the radios, etc. Being young and enthusiastic my partner and I jumped back into our police car and set off. We spotted the suspect and gave chase. He ran across a road and my partner (driving the police car) in his enthusiasm drove the car into a lamp-post. Those with experience of the relevant bureaucracy will know that the paperwork in these cases is horrendous. It can be lessened by catching the suspect. We pursued on foot, having recognised our suspect as a regular client. The chase continued through some back gardens until at last (feelingly thoroughly fed up by now) I jumped half over a high garden fence to find my quarry stumbling up the other side. I grabbed him by his ears (Health & Safety rules weren’t in force then) and did the legal bit, telling him he was nicked. I was a little tired after the night shift and after the chase, my balls were being crushed by the top of the fence, and the ‘client’ wanted to go home (so did I, but our aims and objectives were different at this point). My radio (walkie-talkie) had fallen off and was being trampled into the mud (more paperwork!) and then a police car pulled up.

Relief! But only of a sort. It was driven a friend and colleague who was a really nice guy, but one couldn’t help but wonder if he’d chosen the right profession. He opened the door, was overwhelmed by all the excitement, got entangled in his seat belt, and fell full length on the road. His passenger, the female cadet, approached the unholy tableau and aided and instructed by my many shouted expletives handcuffed the suspect and rescued the situation (and my crushed balls).

(The suspect pleaded guilty, the police car was repaired, and all was well again in the world of law enforcement).

The following night I was off duty, and overwhelmed by feelings of guilt (tempered by lust and attraction) I sought out the police cadet to apologise for my behaviour. She was on patrol with a very attractive woman police officer (aka the station bike) and when I pulled up she discreetly moved away thinking I wanted to speak to her colleague. I got the apologies out of the way, we dated, married for 23 years, have two children (with one grandchild and more on the way) and despite our divorce 10 years ago we are the best of friends. We still laugh about how we met and my first words to her.

Why did that relationship work out? Well, it wasn’t based on money, that’s for sure. Before we married we talked about (at great length) our shared aspirations, our hopes, our dreams. We had quite a lot in common. Importantly, I think, she had no illusions as to what I could provide and recognised her role in providing for our shared aims. It worked out pretty well and to be honest if I were to enter a new relationship I’d probably follow that same model. ‘Mutuality’ seems to be (to me at least) the name of the game.

I tried to bring the same sort of thinking to bear in my relationship with a Thai girlfriend about 3 years ago (submissions were posted). That relationship failed because of financial and intelligence issues (she thought I had more money than I did and that I was stupid enough to give it all to her).

The relationship with my Filipina Princess? I used the same principles and the disastrous results are posted here for all to see.

Communication

How can you build a relationship if you can’t communicate? I am reminded here of the TV advert featuring Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean, beloved of SEA girls in my experience). The punch line is ‘We are both fluent, but not in the same language’.

I love France. I have spent a great deal of time there, and I’m pretty good with the language. But I cannot have a conversation in just the same way as I can in English. I don’t pick up the nuances, understand all the non-verbal communication, the expressions, etc. I accept that. I ‘get by’.

When I was with my Thai girlfriend, because her English was so good, I thought we were communicating effectively. The laughs, the smiles, the giggles and the rest of it, seemed to make up for any gaps between us. They didn’t, of course, and any hopes of a long term relationship (and I did my best) went down the pan.

With Filipina Princess, I thought, there wouldn’t be a problem. Her spoken and written English is excellent (as it is with many Filipinas). There should have been no problem when we discussed our relationship, our plans, etc. But there was, big time. I can only equate it to being in France, where I know the vocabulary, the pronunciation but somehow we’re not exactly on the same wavelength. ‘Communication’ is more than sharing a common language.

Money

This is a big, if not the biggest, issue and West meets East comes into play. To use very rough examples, suppose that in Thailand and the Philippines a ‘good’ job brings in about £150 – £200 a month. In the UK the average gross salary is about £26,000 p.a. (For the purpose of this discussion it doesn’t matter if these figures are accurate).

‘Gross’ or ‘net’ earnings are fairly irrelevant – what is important (and it doesn’t matter where in the world you are) is disposable income. In other words, after you’ve paid your housing costs, your utilities, your food, etc., what’s left?

This is where I went wrong, I think, in my previous dealings with my Thai girlfriend and with FP.

Some real life examples from the UK (and yes, times are tough). Both partners working, they pay all the bills and may have £200 over at the end of the month to save or spend as they wish. Both partners working, they pay all the bills, but there was a problem with the car. Put the £200 bill on the credit card (hope it’s not maxed out) and hope to pay it off next month. There are, of course, wildly deferring examples from those who can afford to buy the stuff in the weekend newspaper supplements to those who put all their purchases on successive credit cards until one day the house of cards collapses.

I’m OK, lucky even. I live on a guaranteed pension and after all my bills, housing, food, etc., I’ve got about £1000 a month ‘spare’. How does this compare with the SEA ladies I’ve known?

(These are examples in Cyprus)

My Thai girlfriend worked in a restaurant. Long, long hours but was paid about €600 a month. Because she ‘lived-in’ all of this was disposable income.

Filipinas working in ‘live-in’ jobs, long hours, paid about €300 – €400 a month, all of this was disposable income.

My FP, working on a poultry farm, 78 hours a week. €500 a month, all disposable income.

Maybe I’m mixing in the wrong circles. Maybe my experiences are way different from those of most readers, but I would suggest that anyone with a disposable income of more than €500 a month isn’t doing too badly.

My FP works in the UK at a minimum wage job. Her net pay is about £1,100 a month. While she was living with me I paid all her bills so that was effectively all net disposable income. Now she’s living with new boyfriend I guess that she has that plus handouts. She isn’t doing too badly!

I close with a quote from my daughter-in-law (a professionally qualified woman holding down a ‘good’ job): ‘God, I wish I had £100 a month spare!’

Makes you think, doesn’t it?


Stickman's thoughts:

On the subject of communication, even if your South-East Asian lady speaks English fluently, or you speak her language fluently, the whole way of thinking is so different that it can go beyond mere communication.

On the subject of money with South-East Asian women, I think it's fair to say that the majority expect the man to "take care", as Thai ladies term it.