Website design By BotEap.comthai marriage reality Website design By BotEap.com“Joe’s Story” Website design By BotEap.comJoe (this is not his real name) is a large, muscular Vietnam veteran. I put it in the park where I go to exercise. Joe is quite loud, politically far to the right of Attila the Hun, and speaks his mind quite strongly. In fact, he got himself expelled from Thailand for insulting the king. When I tell you that a well-known Thai television personality was jailed for publicly referring to the King as “The Captain,” a reference to the Monarchs’ well-known love of sailing, you’ll appreciate how heinous Joe’s crime was. Website design By BotEap.comJoe receives a disability pension related to his time in the military due to the severity of his disability, he is entitled to the maximum amount. I have no idea what the disability is, he didn’t offer the information and I didn’t ask. His disability pension, combined with his entitlement to social security, means that Joe is a relatively wealthy man in Thailand. Website design By BotEap.comJoe has been married to his Thai wife for just over five years. When he met her in Bangkok, she told him that she worked in a factory. It took Joe three years to realize that his wife really worked in the sex industry. Now, I don’t think Joe is stupid, but sometimes people are willing to be fooled, which is what I think happened in this case. Website design By BotEap.comJoe lives in an apartment block where his wife spends little time. He is convinced that she has a Thai boyfriend and that when he says that she goes to get a newspaper and disappears for three hours, he is actually visiting her boyfriend. By her estimate, she has had $100,000 of her money in the time they’ve been together, or more accurately, they haven’t been together. Most of this money will have gone to her family who lives in Rural Issan. Website design By BotEap.com“Why do you put up with that I asked him?” Joe thought about this for a while before answering. “Because I still can’t believe someone could be that stupid, I can’t believe how stupid I’ve been, but she gives stupid a whole new meaning!” Joe went on to tell me that he has had numerous Thai women who are married to ex-US servicemen or his widows explain to his wife how much money he will receive for the rest of her life when he dies. Website design By BotEap.comIn fact, according to Joe, there can often be quite a long delay from the time of his partner’s death until his widow begins collecting the aforementioned pension. Joe had even opened a bank account in her wife’s name where he had deposited 200,000 baht to help her after her death. “When I checked this account, Joe sadly said that she emptied it.” Website design By BotEap.comI explained my opinion of this behavior as quite typical of Thai thought. Promises of future wealth cut little ice, it’s what you can get today that matters. Although he agreed with me to some extent, Joe still professed his utter bewilderment at the complete lack of foresight or common sense that his wife’s attitude indicated. Website design By BotEap.comJoe hasn’t shared his $100,000 quietly. By his estimation, he and his wife have been kicked out of most of the city’s apartment buildings due to the disturbance caused to the other residents by the severity and frequency of their fights over money. I imagine what happens is that eventually his wife wears him down to the point where he capitulates just to have some peace! No one should underestimate the persistence of a greedy Thai woman in search of baht! Website design By BotEap.comJoe’s Wife has two teenage sons, as well as his stepchildren who are also eligible for some rather generous financial help from Uncle Sam. Joe sadly told me that what he had started out wanting to do was help someone less fortunate than himself. Instead, he ended up with a Wife who helps herself with his money on an ongoing basis, in-laws who spend that money as fast as his wife can Steal it. And two stepchildren who sit with the rest of the Family avoiding any type of work at all costs. Website design By BotEap.comJoe has quite an interesting insight into the workings of this particular family. While I have always understood that Thai families are so close because of the incredibly strong ties that exist within the group. Joe believes that the family that is essentially raising his stepchildren is using them as hostages. And that as long as they take care of the children, Joe’s wife will continue to bring home the bacon!! Website design By BotEap.comI think Joe’s theory, as explained above, is worth considering. When he considers that the vast majority of Thai women will have had at least one child at a very young age. While mothers often move to earn a living in the sex industry or whatever, their offspring will inevitably be raised by the family. The fact that their parents have total control over their sons can act as a pretty powerful spur to daughters willing to get money from their hapless western man!! Website design By BotEap.comJoe told me that he has recently clashed with the family. On a visit to the village, he yelled at them (in English) in front of all his neighbors who had seen their last baht of him. The cause of Joe’s anger was the appearance of a shiny new tractor that they had bought to harvest the rice. The explanation that seems to always be given to the appearance of goods that have obviously cost a lot of money is that the Family has sold some land!! How much land do they have made Joe mad, the truth is I paid for that tractor and every other damn thing they have? Website design By BotEap.comWhat saddened me about Joe’s story was that despite his volatileness and his wife’s machinations, he obviously still cares about her. “Nobody gives a damn,” he said, “not his family, not Buddha, nobody!” When I left him, Joe was talking about moving back to America. I couldn’t help feeling that here was a man who, while obviously the author of his own misfortunes, was more of a sinner than a sinner.