Recently the BBC Thai news service ran a story based on Thai girls marrying foreigners. In one Isan town, it was discovered that 100 plus families had daughters who had married a foreigner, in the hope that they can achieve a better lifestyle.
Most girls marry a westerner for example because it usually offers financial security for both themselves and often their families too but it can also mean many problems such as cultural issues when settling into a new life in a foreign country. Many girls become lonely and feel trapped and again possible problems with language and dialect could result in a very unhappy experience for a Thai bride.
Of course if the farang marries a Thai girl and decides to live in Thailand, more often than not, the marriage will succeed, for the husband can get by with a basic understanding of the Thai language or even no knowledge of the lingo at all, for most people in the cities, speak reasonable or very good English.
But reverse the situation and you have a potential nightmare on your hands for the girl. Imagine a Thai bride with basic knowledge of English, moving to Glasgow, Liverpool or Newcastle in the UK where strong accents and dialects make it difficult for even British people to comprehend at times.
If they are lucky, they may find another Thai person also living in the vicinity but they could find themselves completely isolated and spending most of their time on Facebook chatting to friends and family at home.
In the BBC article, they spoke to a 36-year-old woman who married a gent from Switzerland who was 24 years older than her. The family were fortunate in that their new son-in-law wanted his bride’s family to live in luxury, providing them with a modern home, air conditioning, proper western style toilets, hot water, microwave and many other appliances and amenities that they did not possess previously.
“My son-in-law said he wanted me and my husband to be comfortable,” said Sumet, 54. “He has done everything for us including a thorough refurbishment on the house”.
He even sends her parents a substantial amount of money every month.
Now Sumet is the envy of her town, yet chooses still to work in her job, producing cloth. But not all men can afford to provide for both the wife and her family.
These days it is more acceptable for Thai girls to marry foreign men, even though, many are doing for the lifestyle or to help their parents improve their way of life. It has become the norm so to speak.
But not all foreigners are wealthy and will return to Europe or wherever with their new wife, because he has to work to make a living. This is where disasters can happen.
Moving to a new country where the only person you know is your husband has its own complications. He will probably be out working all day and relying on the girl to do the shopping, which in other countries, could be a completely different experience from what they are accustomed to.
320 Thai women who married foreigners were interviewed, which revealed some interesting figures. For instance over 30% had been married to a Thai man and had children to care for, plus the tradition of sending money home to their parents as an additional financial burden.
It was also discovered that the girl’s parents applied pressure on their daughter to extract
money from their foreign partner, married or not. This again is very common and if the foreigner is not forthcoming with cash, they often demand their daughter ends the relationship.
For those whose relationship is a success and the new bride moves abroad, it may not be the bed of roses they imagined either.
Courses are now available to help prepare Thai brides for making that step, in the hope that it eases the transition of moving to a new country and helps them obtain a better life.
Content: Love Pattaya Thailand