This condition is as common as the ground we walk on. It causes us anguish and feelings of guilt – but do we really understand what it is that creates it? I feel qualified to comment on this as I am, very likely, what could be termed as a "Grand Master" of the subject. Sure, there are other "Grand Masters" of this subject – but what I am trying to do here is to identify the reasons and the feelings that drive us to "earn" this title.
Right now, I am enjoying a "shot" of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey – it's a cold, windy day and I am happy here, tapping away at the keyboard where I now spend half of my life. I see all of you readers, of what I write, as my friends – I've never met any of you but there is a bond there of commonality of feelings and experiences. Most of us all love (or love/hate) Thailand. The subject of "Infidelity" has no boundaries or recognition of Nation States – although the end product probably ends up in Thailand very often – just one of a large number of probable destinations to host the perpetrators and victims of this condition. It is important to recognize that the victims of this condition can be both Asian and Farang – male and female. As Farangs, we are not exclusive.
Let's take the case of a young couple (Sam and Nicole) who fall for what many would call "puppy love" before puberty. They lived next door to each other in separate families – but growing up as kids, they grew to depend on each other for companionship and truly did enjoy the company of each other by playing normal kid games and games of pretend – and by talking about how they wanted life to be for each of them. As time passed, they came to have feelings of real love for each other – and expressed it, in their teenage years, as intimacy. Even after that, they became closer and both had feelings that they would eventually marry. They shared the dreams of having a home, children and all the things that come with what they saw as married life. They could never imagine being with anybody else – they were "meant to be with each other". Both of them believed in a monogamous relationship for life – both as single status or if they were to marry.
Through College they remained true to each other, graduated in their chosen profession and began working life with the same love and the same values while living in a nice apartment as a couple. Sam traveled to another city to check out a better job and salary while Nicole stayed in her home city, wondering when Sam would come back home. He didn't come back home because he met someone else. We all know the story.
Take the situation – time has passed by and Nicole has remained single and is contented with her chosen job – but has never gotten over Sam. She has nobody special in her life. Then, Sam applies for a job at the same company and gets the job – bringing them both together again. She has feelings of excitement at seeing Sam, along with feelings of anger, confusion and the still-smouldering love that she vividly remembers they had. Sam is also confused – being now married to Penny but unable to let go of what he and Nicole shared for so long. Neither of them is game to cross over the line – but the attraction is palpable in the office where they now work. It was bound to happen that they eventually kissed – and reinforced the situation by both declaring that their strong feelings for each other remained. Penny is going to get hurt – and so are Sam and Nicole.
We've all been in this place in varying permutations of the same scenario – so lets look at a few examples that have been my own experience.
I cannot remember having a relationship at a young age like that of Sam and Nicole and, at that time, had no expectations of that "perfect someone" – I was more into roller-hockey and music than romance. It wasn't until I began work at the newspapers that I started dating girls – and I guess I just drifted into marriage with someone who was introduced to me by a mutual friend. Peer pressure (and sex) played a large part of it, along with lots of night work precluding the opportunity of having a greater choice of selecting what may have been that "perfect someone". I'm not complaining – I was just a young dickhead who didn't know better. The first kid comes along (my son) and we were in the fortunate position of already having a new house recently built – but I was branching out into music as a part-time job. Up until then my ability was a bit like the words from the song "Gitarzan" – you know, A – E – and working on B – you know what it's like if you ever wanted to learn guitar. Fortunately for me, my mother had me take piano lessons for some years (hated it) as she had a vision of Junior becoming a concert pianist (not bloody likely). Still, it gave me a good grounding in music theory.
Skipping forward a few years: Kid number two (my daughter) arrived and I started playing professionally on nights off – but the rot had already set in by discovering that my wife and I had very little in common. You must know the rest – she (Nancy) was lovely and we worked together on music (and love) – but that destroyed anything left in the marriage. Nancy moved on after almost two years – and I searched for a replacement. The marriage was "glued" back together but we both knew it would never last. Things only got worse after I turned a full-time musician.
Back in Thailand, I doubt there would be many with exactly the same set of circumstances as I related here. But I am fairly certain that the factor of losing the "magic" in the marriage or relationship would have been the component that caused the split for some of you. Once that "magic" has gone, it is very unlikely that anything can be saved. It may have been simply a matter of both of you deciding it was better to move on – so you chose to go to Thailand because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Perhaps travel agents were promoting Thailand as a great place to have a holiday – and it is, for sure. Maybe that's all you planned – but two weeks turned into two months – then into two years – and there was no turning back. You now had a Thai girlfriend – and the die was complete.
What I must point out here is that there should be no blame attached to either party in a relationship that falls apart. After my marriage with my second wife fell apart, I became physically sick to the point I was throwing up and a virtual physical wreck. At the beginning of our union, we were as one – it was a case of she and I against the world – there was nothing we could not accomplish as a team. I blamed myself for a long time as I had showed excessive attention to another lady who had a really great voice and talent at performing – so, naturally, jealousy came into play. She and I were never intimate but I felt a special bond with her that my wife confronted me with. I couldn't deny it as it was the truth. Some years later, I found out that lady had died from a terminal cancer – and I still feel the need to go to visit her resting place.
Going back to paragraph three: Back in the '90s I could really understand how Nicole was thinking – she was way ahead of me at her age. Of course I don't know her – but I do know her personality because now I share those same beliefs that she held. If I had met a Nicole, there is no way I would have left her (music would certainly have come last in my priorities). She would have been my "perfect someone". That last statement may or may not be true, allowing for the fact that I am writing this from a much-older point of view. I already stated that I was pretty bloody dumb, compared to Nicole.
In my mid-50s, most of my priorities had changed and I was now an adult – before then, I was not what I would call an adult. I heard these words, written by Vonda Shepard and James Newton Howard and they apply to everybody – no matter whether you are Asian or Farang – male or female:
Well I'd rather you be mean than love and lie
I'd rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye
I'd rather take a blow at least then I would know
But Baby don't you break my heart slow
It would be good to always remember these words – perhaps to even have them tattooed on your forearm as a reminder of the importance in considering the feelings of others with whom we become involved. In this superficial world that we have created in The West, hardly anyone writes meaningful lyrics in songs – and, even if they did, who would understand the meanings or interpret the references to life situations? Thai music has many good writers who are still writing about feelings and life situations – but I wonder for how much longer that will be the case before that will also be buried in the trash that comes out of most Western music today. Here is a thought to ponder on and it comes, from a young girl who held the same values as those held by Nicole: “There are some people who meet 'that somebody' that they can never stop loving, no matter how hard they try. I wouldn't expect you to understand that, or even believe it – but trust me, there are some loves that don't go away. And maybe that makes them crazy, but we should all be lucky enough to end up with somebody who has a little of that insanity. Someone who never lets go. Someone who cherishes you forever" – Ally.
Yes, I believe that statement also, with my heart and soul – and it can be an Asian person, despite all that we hear about family always coming first. I know it is true because I have loved many ladies, outside of Asia, whom I would have been happy to stay with – but one particular Asian lady is the only one of whom I think of each day and night in every living moment. Maybe it makes me a little crazy – perhaps filled with a little insanity – but I will never be ashamed to say that is how I feel. I only hope that some of you are fortunate enough to experience the same joy. For some of us, there is only that "perfect someone" – nothing less will do.