There has been some talk lately on this forum regarding relationships with “good girls” (that is, non bar girls). One of Stickman’s recent Sunday columns discussed this, with some words on Mia Noi’s (“minor wives” or mistresses).
I don’t recall reading any submissions from people with mia nois, so I thought I might start, as I have been in a relationship with my mia noi (MN) for over 5 years now.
The only pre-requisite for having a MN is first to have a panrayaa. I have been married all of my adult lifetime to my childhood sweetheart. We have raised a family together, and for our entire relationship my wife has been my best friend, mentor, and confidant.
It certainly is difficult staying with one person for so long, and despite our love for each other, we began to drift apart. While there is no question of divorce or even separation, we have begun to live our own lives. I travel for business most of the time, and am away for many days on end. My wife has developed her own lifestyle and circle of friends, and when I am home there are times I feel like a stranger. Similarly, my wife does not travel with me, and so on the road I have my own group of acquaintances.
When my wife reached menopause, she let it be known to me that her interest in sex had diminished to nothing, and that I was to feel free to find satisfaction in that area elsewhere. Obviously, I was not to embarrass her, bring home diseases, or undertake any extra-curricular activity in our home town.
I had been faithful during the many years of our marriage, but was not ready to give up sex completely. I began to quietly partake in the “pay for play” scene throughout Asia, as I assumed that it would involve the least hassle. One pays a girl not for sex, but to leave afterwards. I was discreet since I was in a high corporate position, and took pains not to be seen indulging.
I quickly realized that while a night of fun was all well and good, sex without something behind it was, for me, less than optimal. I began delving into my companion for the night’s background, and found that the more I knew about them, the more I enjoyed the activity. I learned that you don’t make love to a face or a body, you make love to a person.
Instead of finding a new girl every night, I started going back to some of the same girls. Not everyone was someone I wanted to be with more than once, but one out of ten might be worthwhile learning more about. When I found someone like that, I would spend time with her, taking her to dinner, and getting to know her as an individual. It was still pay for play, and I avoided any deep emotional commitments.
I met my MN through work related activity. She was quite young, and much younger than me, but showed a maturity far beyond her years. We began going out for dinner, and sometimes a movie, drinking, or dancing. For six months we built a relationship, although I continued to see other women and she was seeing other men. I had told her the first day we met that I was married, something that she accepted.
One night, over dinner, she confessed to me a secret desire…to go to University. We discussed this at length, and I became convinced she was sincere. She had applied, and been accepted, to a top University in Bangkok. Money was clearly an issue. For her to go to school full time she needed to quit her job.
After much discussion, and her responding to my request to prepare a monthly budget of expenses, we agreed that I would begin supporting her financially. She would stop seeing other men, and devote herself 100% to her studies (and to me, it goes without saying.)
Stick mentioned in his column that the going rate for a mia noi could be in the area of 60,000 baht/month. In my case, he is not far from the truth. An apartment close to the University, A/C, electricity, internet, cable TV, books, tuition, food, drinks, clothing, entertainment, spare change, plus money for the family all adds up. Plus, I was determined that she never should think about another man, and topped up her request with a few baht extra, reasoning that if she were financially secure there would be no reason to go elsewhere.
While there is no question that finances rank high on her list of priorities and if the spigot were turned off I can’t imagine how long she would stay with me, I like to think that that is not the only reason she has been faithful. I treat her well and with respect, as I also treat her family. I listen to her needs and she knows she can be open and sincere with me. She is not above criticising, nor above criticism, and we have a healthy and open relationship, given the inevitable barriers between any man and woman, Thai and foreigner, older and younger person.
By going to summer school, MN graduated in 3 years, and got a job at a multi-national. After a few years she has now decided to further her education, and has just been accepted in a Masters program.
What is the difference between a mia noi and a girlfriend? A girlfriend always can hope that the relationship might eventually end in marriage. A mia noi knows marriage is not a possibility. She sacrifices marriage and the possibility of having her own family for financial security. My relationship with my MN is now over 5 years long; she knows I can never marry her as I will not leave my wife.
Although she did not ask for it, I decided on my own to secure her future. I bought her a car, land, and a house. I have set aside money in a trust fund so that if something happens to me she would be financially secure for the rest of her life. While she knows about the trust fund, I take it as a positive sign that she has never asked me how much was in it; she has taken my word that she need not worry about her future.
Clearly, the overall cost to me is much more than a few barfines and payment for a night’s work. For me, the extra cost is worth it. I have someone who understands me, has my back, is ready to listen when I want to complain, be silent when I want to think, takes care of me when I want to relax. She has never created any trouble for me, and especially not as regards my relationship with my wife.
She gives me her youth and her beauty, her enthusiasm, her joy for life.
I am often asked “Does my wife know?” I think it hard to believe that she does not know; but we have never discussed it nor has my wife ever alluded to it.
Where lies the future? This is perhaps the most difficult question. If my wife and I grow old gracefully together, I would want to stay with my MN also. At some point she might decide to leave me and get married, or she might decide that a life with me is worthwhile, as long as she can continue to take care of her family. The decision is hers. I would be extremely sad if she were to leave me, but her happiness is always top on my list.
If my wife and I were no longer together, I would definitely continue my relationship with my MN, and marry her if she wanted me to.
Everyone seeks for happiness in their own way. Did I imagine when I said my marriage vows many years ago that I would end up being unfaithful with a woman younger than my own children; did MN imagine when she was a girl growing up dreaming of princes and men on white horses that she would be a “kept woman” by a man almost as old as her father? Life takes us in strange directions; sometimes it is best not to think too much but simply to enjoy the journey.
Thanks for sharing such a personal story with us. It’s not a small number of expats with mia nois, but like you say, you seldom hear about it.