Western men looking for a Thai wife in Thailand
One of the well-known facts about Thailand is it’s a country known by Western men as a place to find a wife. In fact, every year, tens of thousands of western men come to Thailand to either find a Thai bride and take her back home with them, or to move to Thailand and create a life here with a Thai woman.
After all, as Western society changes and Western women become more independent and more like men, traditional Western men are looking to Thailand to find a more traditional wife, as Thai women often fit the bill.
Thai women are usually thought of as exotic, beautiful, slim, take good care of themselves and also treat their husbands well. They cook, they clean, they take care of the children and they make their man feel like a million dollars. It’s no wonder so many Western men want Thai wives. They sound like a dream, don’t they?
But, although this sounds wonderful, are their drawbacks to having a Thai wife? Even more fascinating, are their drawbacks for Thai women if they have a Western husband?
Western men for Thai women
For the women, Western men are thought of as a good catch. Western men, even poorer ones, usually have more money than the average Thai man. Western men offer a Thai woman a chance to leave Thailand and see another country. Western men are seen by some Thai women as being kinder than Thai men (I’m not really sure where they get this idea from?), and Thai men unfortunately have a reputation of being unfaithful.
This is due to many Thai men not settling down after marriage, and still having a mistress, or mia noi, even though they have a wife and children at home. So for some Thai women, they believe a Western man offers things a Thai man does not.
Dating agencies in Bangkok
When Western men come to Thailand to meet a woman, many sign up with one of the dating agencies that are all over Bangkok. Here, they are introduced to several women who match their criteria, most of them young and attractive and, for a high percentage of these men, marriage follows soon after. They end up with a younger wife, who is usually beautiful and has everything a Western man believes he wants.
For the women who sign up with the dating agencies, they usually mention they want somebody who is “kind, gentle, will take care of me, has money and a good job”. When they meet an older Western man, they assume he has all these things, although as we all know, that’s not always necessarily true.
The problems start for the women when they get back to the man’s home country to find he is a working class man with not as much money as they thought he had. I’ve met Thai women who have married a man like this, gone to England or America to be with them, and realized within a few weeks that this man and way of life is not for them.
They ended up back on the first plane to Bangkok a few months later.
For Thai women who choose this life, they want to see other countries. All Thais however love Thailand and the way of life here. It only takes a couple of months in the cold of England or the brashness of the US for them to realize they want no part of it and back they come to Thailand.
For the men, they marry a Thai woman believing they’ve got somebody who is beautiful, young, will love them and take care of them, and be their fantasy wife. Reality sets in for many when the true personality of the Thai wife sets in.
After all, Thai women have an outer appearance of calmness and subservience. In reality, Thai women rule the roost and have strong personalities. For a Western man who thought he had his obedient dream girl, it’s a huge wake up call.
Suddenly their wife is stricter and more difficult to please than any Western woman they’ve ever been with, and the gild is quickly off the lily.
There’s also the fact the Western man is often fooling himself when he thinks a young, beautiful Thai girl is marrying him for himself. These women are looking for a better life (who can blame them), and it’s all about economics. Most of them wouldn’t choose the 55 year old Western guy if they had other options.
But, if the 55 year old Western guy comes with a big house, a nice car and a good bank account – yes, they’ll take him.
A year down the road though, when he realizes conversation with his wife is limited because her English skills are low, or she has different interests and tastes, that’s when these men start thinking about divorce.
I know a few men in Bangkok who are now on their third or fourth Thai wives. The problems they had with the first couple are already apparent with the new one, but they keep trying, thinking this time will be different. Who really knows why?
For many Thai women, Thailand has become a country that is all about money and material wealth. Most average Thai women have no way of achieving this so, when a Western guy appears like a knight in shining armor, few of them will refuse his advances. Everything they’ve ever wanted is being handed to them. Why would they turn it down?
I’ve been in Bangkok for seven years and have seen a lot of these Western-Thai relationships. The ones that survive and even thrive are usually between the younger Western men who meet a Thai woman at work, at a party, out with friends – in the same social situations in which you would meet a woman in the West.
The ones that die are those where the man has met the woman through a dating agency or in a bar. A certain type of Thai girl signs up for these things. For most ‘good Thai girls’ these places would be the last place she’d think of going to meet a husband.
I say all this without judgment, just with knowledge and experience from what I’ve seen.
After all, I feel sorry for both parties in the affair. The man is coming to Thailand because he’s lonely, doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life alone, and hopes he can meet someone to take care of and love. The woman wants a better life, and this is the chance she has of finding it.
That the majority of these relationships don’t work out is a testimony to true love. The men I know who have fabulous marriages with their Thai wives are the ones who found it naturally.
They’re a similar age, have similar interests and similar educational backgrounds. Their relationships are the same as they would be if married to a Western woman. They’re also usually the ones who stayed in Thailand, as there’s something about the country most Thai women miss too much when they leave it.
To the men who come to Thailand looking for love, I say “Good luck” and “Beware”. It can of course happen for you but the natural way of finding it is usually the best and not through a Thai dating agency.
To the Thai women I say “Get to know the man slowly. In any culture, there are good and bad men. Look out for warning signs, and trust your heart. If you have doubts, they are there for a reason. Money isn’t everything, happiness is.”
And to both – “Good luck”, sincerely “Good luck”.