My Thai Lady Moves In
Long distance dating was never really going to work. Pat was in Bangkok and I was in Australia.
Sure, I travelled to Bangkok on business quite a bit, but we wanted to be together.
In Thai culture, it was not really the right thing to do to live together without being married, but we agreed to get engaged, as a sign of commitment and respect.
So we ‘set up’ house in Australia in a very nice three bedroom apartment near my work. And life was good.
But there were certainly some little problems and the odd clash in the early stages. Hardly surprising really. I mean moving in with a lady from my own culture would not be guaranteed to be smooth. But throw in a different culture, food, language and 101 other things and this was never going to be easy.
It probably took us a year to settle down together and for us to be certain that this was going to be a lifetime commitment. And at that stage, we got married. Both in Australia and in Thailand. I’ll tell you all about that in another post.
But looking back on that first year together, I can only have the greatest respect and admiration for Pat. She was taking a huge leap of faith.
- She was leaving her country for the first time, with a man she had known for just a few months. (Some people thought she might be kidnapped and sold as a sex slave! It happens…)
- She was moving to a country with a totally different culture and language.
- She had never lived away from home before.
- She would be out of touch with family and friends. Though our phone bills in the early days were about the same as our mortgage payments!
- And what if it did not work out? I was worried about losing ‘face’. She would lose a lot more, having to return home as ‘spoiled’ goods, regarded as having failed, and start all over again trying to find a new job and a husband.
So looking back on that first year together, what could I tell you that might help you understand the challenges you will face? This is assuming you are bringing your Thai Lady to live in your own country of course. Here are a few things that I might add to as I think of more.
Language. Be tolerant and supportive. Don’t act like a school teacher correcting every error. Can you imagine what it must be like to have no one around you that speaks your language, at all. (My Thai is very basic, I am ashamed to say)
Demonstrate your Love and Commitment, constantly. Pat needed constant reassurance that we really were going to be together for life and that she now had security. And of course that I genuinely loved her. My hesitation at getting married did not help this at all. As this just made her doubt me and became more anxious, which in turn made me doubt the long term viability of the relationship. I should have committed much earlier….
Help her stay in Touch with Family. We discovered phone cards fairly quickly, that allowed Pat to call home every day if she wanted to.
Keep her occupied! This helps with the stress of the change I think. I did not help. I’m a bit of a workaholic and did not really want Pat to work. I figured having one of us stressed out and tired was enough. Bad move. Pat was alone and lonely far too much. I was being selfish although I thought my motives were right.
Do your Homework. I did this even before I met Pat. What I mean is, study Thai culture, and a bit of the language. So that you understand your lady’s needs and what drives her emotions. Thai culture is very different and it helps you to know what’s going on in her head.
Support her Family! If you cannot get your head around this, do not marry a Thai Lady. Please. Most Thai women when they marry will provide ongoing support to heir parents. A bit like in the West, when the kids get a job, they help Mum with home expenses. But in a Thai family it goes on…………for life. With good reason. Thailand does not really provide public health and pension schemes like many Western countries. Do your home work on this and understand this cultural need please. I have seen many Thai wives under huge stress because their husbands just don’t ‘get it’. The considerate and supportive husbands understand this need and don’t question it.
I’ll add some more challenges as I think of them………
But looking back at that first year, we had our ups and downs, but deep down we knew we were meant to be together and we worked at the relationship to make it work. And it has.
10 years later we are very happy together and I cannot imagine my life without Pat, my Soul Mate.