Stickman Readers' Submissions December 5th, 2013

A Response to 10 Months On

I’ve just read your update and it saddens me more than before because, if I might be so bold, I now feel it might be time for you to consider yourself in all of this.

I repeat what I said before: any advice you receive might work for me or others, but not necessarily for you.

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As Stick says, your feelings of responsibility (and love) for your daughter are admirable. I would suspect the majority of guys in your position would run a mile, if given a chance. Your concern for Jae would appear to be a waste of your time, money, and especially your emotional state.

Some time you will need to rationalise just where all this fits in to your future. Obviously you’ve been more concerned with the present, and with Friday’s future. Some of this you can deal with (finances etc.) but some is simply out of your hands. You will never be able to ‘control’ Jae’s behaviour – if you can simply prevent her from controlling your life (which I assume was always her primary concern) then you’re ahead of the game, which is perhaps all many of us achieve.

Having taken care of Friday’s immediate concerns I feel, from your letter, you are now in need of a little TLC yourself, and I don’t mean in the arms of another lady. I mean you have to deal with your attitudes to your future.

It reminds me of the airline instruction to fit your own oxygen mask before attending to your children – or you might not be able to.

Your life has undergone a major change in the past couple of years and, being the sort of guy you are, you may have concentrated more, if not solely, on the others, and almost not at all on yourself. But you are equally important in this whole affair despite what Jae may have made you feel. And perhaps now you might need to give yourself some time – to yourself. I feel from your letter this might be wise.

In doing so you will, I’m sure, discover new aspects of this sorry saga where you’re not the bad guy. Not even one of the worst people here. You’re not the stupid one either. Like most of us you were the naive one, because most of our western upbringings do not prepare us for the sort of appalling deceit that is so widespread here. The deceitful lies we all experience are typical of this. What matters for us (I think) is that we first accept that the lies are innate and uncontrollable (even by the perpetrators), and then we learn to live with them – either we continue to live in Thailand, with Thai people (as partners or just as friends), or we live elsewhere with ourselves.

The important thing now is: to be able to live with yourself. To not feel disgraced and, perhaps more importantly, to not feel guilt. Guilt can be so damaging and this damage could be irreparable.

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So what I’m trying diplomatically to say is: Life goes on.

Yes, I know it’s a dreadful old cliché but it still has relevance – here as anywhere. For example, your inability to contemplate relationships with another woman now could lead to being unable, ever, to have any future relationships. I don’t want to sound like a prophet of doom but such things can happen. And this is why I now feel, from your letter, that maybe you might benefit by taking a back seat, up in the ‘gods’, and just observe for a while, and not feel you must be down in the stalls actually having to partake.

Maybe you’ve done all you can for the moment. Why not sit back and see how it pans out? It’s unlikely to get any worse.

I feel I need to mention the Swedish guy but as I have no understanding of his attitude I have no idea how to react. One thing that comes immediately to mind though: I am presuming you have not met, nor had any contact with this chap. Therefore all you know about him (or if he even exists as he has been described to you) is what you’ve been told by Jae. For the same reasons given before there is no reason why you should automatically believe her. Maybe this is why ‘his’ behaviour seems odd to us – but not to Jae when she fabricated this.

Maybe the guy is someone she knew in her past. Maybe she even lived with him in Sweden before. Maybe he dumped her, and his current roll in her life is a fiction – a fiction that she might not even realise herself is a fiction. Maybe this is why she decided the next guy would not get away so easily.

Personally I would have to ignore and try to erase all knowledge you have been given about him. Even if it’s all true (yeah, sure) you cannot (I think) have any influence on him, and his behaviour – unless you can contact him directly. Remember also, whatever Jae has told him about the baby is not likely to be true either. She might have told him you have deserted her. You can turn yourself in-side-out trying to come to grips with this.

For your own sanity, at least for the moment, maybe you will be better off dealing with your own problems for a bit.

I was touched by your comments about fatherhood making you re-evaluate your lifestyle. I would have to wonder: what was so wrong with it before? Aren’t you being too hard on yourself? To have behaved as you have in the past 2 – 3 years suggests you’re not the heathen you now feel yourself to have been.

Finally, let me return to the money again, because this is ongoing, and always will be. I still say what you are presently paying is 3 – 4 times as much as a 2-year-old can cost, and much more than she would cost within a ‘normal’ / ‘average’ Thai family. I only mention this because having managed to reduce payments to 10,000 / month (after having acknowledged 7,500 to be more than generous), you are OK with it rising to 12,500. Be careful of being too agreeable – or it will keep rising.

I would repeat my previous advice that occasionally the amount should drop (to at least 7,500), in order to temper Jae’s natural tendency to keep the figure rising – and only rising. If you maintain a consistent figure Jae will naturally attempt to increase it and, if you allow it to rise, she will naturally endeavour to keep it rising. I even think there is a valid purpose to actually miss a month or, to be more fair, drop to 5,000 for one month, partly to see how she reacts, but also to let her know you’re not the sap she takes you for.

If the Swede is still with her then he is presumably paying for Jae’s upkeep – and quite probably (not just, ‘possibly’) for Friday as well! Even if he isn’t, Jae should still be able to work – we are constantly told the unemployment figures are very low. I don’t even see how she is your responsibility at all, after having deliberately and maliciously engineered the situation she’s in.

And really, finally, I do not comprehend the 2,500 baht/month you are paying for health insurance. For whom? And are you paying this directly to the insurance company? I suspect this is a waste.

So that really is all. Other than to take care of yourself and to wish you good fortune in the future.

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