Tens of thousands of western men marry Thai women every year or think about marrying one. With western men either moving to Thailand to find a Thai wife or coming to Thailand to meet someone and take them home, it’s amazing how many of them still don’t think through the consequences of marriage. If you’re thinking of proposing to a Thai girl, make sure you consider these things before you do so.
Do You Have Something in Common? – Over my seven years living in Bangkok, I’ve met too many western guys who proposed to and married a Thai girl because she was beautiful. A year or two later, they’re already realizing not only do they have little in common, they can’t communicate very well as the girl doesn’t speak much English and he doesn’t speak much Thai. Before you propose to a Thai woman, be absolutely sure you actually have something in common. Just like you would with a western girl.
Can You Accept Her Family? – Thai girls are close to their families so, when you marry a Thai woman, you marry her whole family too. Make sure you can accept her closeness to her family, don’t mind helping them out financially and, if your wife’s mother suddenly descends on you from far Isaan for a month, you won’t feel like killing her. If you can’t handle being married to a woman who is exceedingly close to their family, then proposing and marrying a Thai girl probably isn’t for you.
Are You Willing to Send Money to Her Family? – Many western men who marry Thai women complain about being asked to send money to their wife’s family and see it as ‘manipulative’ and them as being ‘taken for a ride’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thailand does not have a social security system so, when mom and dad are too old to work (and many of them work well into their 70s) the only people who are around to take care of them are their kids. If you can’t accept sending money to your wife’s elderly parents then, 100%, marrying a Thai girl is not for you. Find a nice western girl who’s parents have money and a pension coming in and, long-term, you’ll be a lot happier.
Will You Put Property in Her Name? – This one is the most important question for western men considering proposing to and marrying a Thai girl and staying in Thailand. For westerners living in Thailand, the only property we are allowed to own by law are apartments but most Thai women eventually like to buy a house. Be aware, if you buy a house with your Thai wife, the property will be in her name and, if she leaves you, she can and probably will get the house along with all the money you put into it. If it’s going to kill you to put property in your wife’s name, then marrying a Thai girl is not for you.
Does She Speak English or Can You Speak Thai? – Too many western men marry Thai women because they’re gorgeous. A few months into the marriage, it suddenly dawns on the guy he and his wife are barely communicating. Make sure, before you propose to a Thai woman, that she either speaks good enough English to communicate well or that you are willing to learn Thai. If not, your marriage has a slim chance of surviving, simply because day to day decisions will be a nightmare to come to if you can’t figure out what the other one is thinking.
The most successful marriages I’ve seen between a western man and a Thai woman are the ones where they can both communicate in the same language (whether it’s English or Thai) and where the woman is on the same educational level as the man.
Are You Willing to Learn About Thai Culture? – Thai culture is one of the world’s most fascinating cultures. Years of studying it and most westerners have still only scratched the surface of what makes Thai people tick, and much of it is to do with their culture. Before you propose to a Thai girl, are you willing to learn about her culture and not to look down on it like, unfortunately, many western men do?
Cross-cultural relationships statistically have far more stresses than those of relationships between the same culture, so if you’re not willing to adapt yourself to her culture (as she will adapt herself to yours), you really are on the road to impending doom.
Marrying a Thai women, if you find the right one for you and if you can adapt to her culture and she to yours, can set you up for one of the most fulfilling relationships ever. Many Thai women are beautiful, gentle, kind, will make good partners and even better mothers, and will take care of their husbands well into old age. Just make sure, before you propose to your Thai girl that you’re sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and not just swept away because she’s so darned gorgeous. Heed these words and, in the long run, you’ll thank me.