There Is a Way
I am writing in response to the recent submission, “Hopefully There Is A Way”. Additionally, as this is my first submission to the Stickman site, I am really happy to finally be a part of this historic chronicle of the adventures and misadventures of those who have travelled around the world in search of, well, whatever we are in search of.
I want to applaud the writer of the abovementioned submission for his courage and decency to address his dilemma and search for a solution with such compassion. As I have learned, failures of these relationships are not uncommon and I have come to know a few bargirls as friends who have been in this situation. What is not as common is the attempt to resolve it with kindness and decency.
I will make a trip to Thailand this December, in part to assist a bargirl who became a friend resolve lingering issues from just such a marriage where she was brutalized and defrauded and kicked to the curb after a marriage to a wealthy American executive. She is now ill and my intuition says she is on a decline that will probably not end well in a few years. She drinks a bit., is 36 and the age parameters in her marriage were similar. For reasons of privacy, I can’t go into the details here at this time but hopefully I will be able to report back in late December. It is because of the contributions to this site and Steve Rosse's recent submission “A Sense Of Obligation” in particular, that I am choosing to get involved.
The other part of the reason I will return to Thailand this winter is to have some fun, of course. I’m not that nice.
Returning to "Hopefully's" issue, it has been said by people much wiser than I, that sooner or later ALL relationships / marriages come to a point of failure. A good family therapist will tell you the most common points are at 7 and 11 years into a marriage, AKA the 7-year itch. At that point couples usually do one of 3 things: divorce, endure or work on the issues. We all know of couples who stuck it out and endured, usually seen in the older generations of the past. Now, most people just split as is demonstrated by the high divorce rate in the west. When things start go south we tend to triangulate and pull a 3rd person into the drama. Been there, done that…
Let me make a few observations. This is the writer's 3rd marriage and on the rocks, yes? What is the one common dominator in all 3 marriages? Anonymous, I am not trying to be cruel and blame you or put you down, just asking you take a look at yourself and ask yourself if the 41-year old is really the answer? I mean, wasn’t the bargirl the answer at one time? I would bet that that relationship will be problematic at some point as well.
If I were in your shoes I think I would, at the very least, put the cards on the table with this girl and talk about the issues. Tell her some of what you told us and try to elicit her concerns and fears too. I know, not so easy with a Thai girl but seems to me you must. Can’t dance around the elephant in the room forever. Passion dies when 2 people can’t connect and I would think some of it may return if you two can get to the business of being real and leveling with each other and finding out what both of you need.
Second, you must absolutely reduce her dependence on you and facilitate her to have a life outside of you alone. Wanting out of poverty and the bars was the first order of business for her and now that it has been achieved, it’s time for her to develop herself. When survival is such an overriding issue for a person once that task is met, it’s on to address other needs and sounds like she never really had a chance to even dream of what else she could become. Is there a Thai community near? Thai restaurants? Anything? Are there educational options for here nearby? She must get a life of her own and she sounds scared to do it. Additionally, life in Farangland is hard for Thai people with its isolation. Thais are essentially a communal people and need a community.
Ok, so that was the ‘make it work’ possibility. Now the divorce possibility. If you go this route, remember one thing – her life will change much more than yours will if you go this route – and probably not for the better. It is my firm opinion – and that’s all it is, I strongly believe if you pull someone out of a situation such as the bar scene and give them a better standard of living and hope for a better life and it doesn’t work out, I think a person has the responsibility at the very least to set the woman up with a way to make a respectable living once she returns to Thailand – a trade or whatever so they don’t have to return to the bars or else they usually will. Then again, you can only do so much.
I think things can work if you both want them to but you must put the cards on the table and talk…sooner or later it will blow up in your face…and if you both decide you don’t want to continue then you can find a way to end peacefully and hopefully ease her back into Thailand with a way to make a living that gives her a chance to stay out of the bars.
Again, I really appreciate the decency with which you are trying to resolve this and wish you the best in your decision.