A series of books on the market giving advice to Thai women on how to find a foreign husband have caused quite a reaction from a Thai woman already married to a foreigner and it's not very positive.
'I would advice any Thai woman trying to find a foreign husband that, Yes it's a good idea, but it certainly is not a matter of looking sexy or meeting foreigners in bars,' says Cherie from her extensive new home in Auckland New Zealand. 'My husband is only two years older than me
and that's another thing that Thai woman can know, it's ok to marry an older man sure, I mean there are some real nice gentlemen out there. But if you're not afraid to work, there are many younger foreigners and especially guys from New Zealand and Australia who appreciate a Thai
woman and want to be married with one.'
Cheri's outburst comes in response to a number of new books which have been published recently in Thailand. Keys pieces of advice for any Thai woman trying to find a foreign husband are to frequent bars of shopping areas where foreigners or farang congregate, smile directly at
foreigners and wear sexy and revealing clothing. Cherie from New Zealand dismisses both the books and the advice. 'Utter rubbish, this is in my view, it is how to find the wrong sort of man or foreign husband and it is not in agreement with real Thai values. 'Sure, look good and even
attractive but this advice is wrong.' Cherie is a dental nurse who studied in Australia but returned to Thailand in 2005 and shortly after was able to find her soon to be husband on the internet.
'One of the first things any Thai woman looking to find a foreign husband should do is the research and find out what the real story is,' says Carla Boonkong, a journalist for an international magazine in Bangkok who has many Thai girlfriends. 'I wouldn't advise any Thai woman to settle
for the first foreigner she meets in a bar or department store, it's really possible to find the right foreigner or even husband and a better life either in Thailand or in a foreign country but it takes effort and there is risk involved. So why don't Thai women, first of all, find out about the foreigners
who are looking for Thai wives and why? Or maybe speak with another Thai woman who is married to a foreigner and knows what living with a foreign husband is like.'
Foreigners find Thai wives and marriage partners?
Often, foreigners looking to find marriage with Thai women come from countries which are wealthy or developed. Over the last four decades in western countries there has been an unprecedented breakdown in marriage. This has grown to alarmingly levels to such an extent that today
40% of children born in America are born outside marriage. The current divorce rate in highly developed western countries is over 50%. It is actually higher in some foreign countries including Europe. The reasons for this include:
- Laws which have made divorce easier and impose onerous conditions on ex-marriage partners (usually men) after the divorce.
- Modern culture in most developed foreign countries which has raised expectations of married women in western countries who are twice as likely to file for divorce as a married woman in Thailand.
- More of an emphasis on foreign women going to work. Feminism, popular culture and economic policies have encouraged foreign women to seek employment outside the home. It should be pointed out that while laws in Thailand have also been changed to improve the place of women
in society and perhaps as many of not more women in Thailand work outside the home, it is the culture that has changed.
- A breakdown in traditional beliefs and concepts particularly religious belief.
The result of these forces is that there are many men who are divorced or seperated. In addition there are younger men in foreign countries who are reluctant to marry a western woman. Figures show also a sharp decline in younger men seeking marriage. Many foreigners coming to
Thailand, who are trying to find marriage or love partners, are either middle aged men who have divorced or seperated or younger or even older foreigners who have not yet married. A key thing for a Thai woman to know is that there are also many younger foreigners who come to
Thailand for the sex industry and sometimes both ideas can overlap.
Foreigners exploring new internet dating age
Thai women should also know that significant proportions of foreigners both younger and middle aged who like the idea of exploring broader horizons in a new age with the growing influence of the internet and the expansion of the international airline industry. But it has to be said that
even these foreigners are influenced by the social changes in western societies. The recession in western economies is a smaller factor which caused some foreigners particularly in America and Europe to take a career break or explore a new lifestyle.
Sex workers trying to find a foreign husband
A recent mini study in the United Kingdom with a very small sample showed that 53% of foreigners who had found a Thai wife in Thailand owned their own property without debt. It emerged that many English men married to Thai women were small business owners, traders or self
employed but who had very little job security. 'These men are very independent minded but they face difficulties finding a suitable long term partner in the current social realities in the United Kingdom,' says Alison Dewar, the author of the report.
However there are also horror stories that are reported in the UK press of English men being abused or exploited by some Thai women seeking to find foreign husbands, who are, in fact sex workers in Pattaya or other places in Thailand. These Thai women often have multiple
boyfriends sending them money.
Genuine Thai women seeking foreign marriage
This article addresses normal Thai women who are sincere and want to find a husband or a foreigner as suitable long term life or marriage partner. Many Thai women who found a foreign husband or love partner are also seeking an alternative lifestyle with in Thailand or a foreign
Thai woman abused by foreign husbands
There are also reports from the United Kingdom of English husbands who have abused Thai women. Last year, a young English man murdered his Thai wife after she destroyed his Star Wars toys and was sent to jail for life. In another case, an elderly man assaulted his young Thai
wife when she dropped a dinner plate. In the latter instance, the young Thai woman obtained a divorce and ended up as the sole owner of large house the couple had built in Thailand where they were planning to move prior to the incident.
However the huge growth in Thai women opting to find a foreign husband and the growth of Thai foreigner marriages is testimony to the fact that these relationships are successful. Recent surveys in Switzerland and Sweden as well as research on divorce rates at marriage
registration offices in Bangkok show:
- A very low divorce rate under 20% and perhaps 15%. This tends to suggest that a marriage between a Thai woman and a foreign husband is at least 50% more likely to be successful than a Thai woman who marries a non foreigner at home in Thailand.
- In the research project in Sweden, it was shown that Swedish men married to Thai women tended to live in rural areas and the marriages were by and large happy.
Foreign husband who can support a Thai wife
The bad news is that there are some foreigners who may not be what they appear to be or have the resources to support a good Thai wife or partner but the good news is that the overwhelming majority of relationships between foreign husbands and Thai wives are successful.
Research on divorce rates while showing a divorce rate as low as 15% also shows that even where a Thai woman finds a husband who is significantly older that the divorce rate is still well below western norms at 35%.
Internet dating is No. 1 to find a foreign husband
Internet dating is now the most popular way for a Thai woman to find a suitable marriage partner or husband with personal introductions or recommendations coming in second. Internet dating offers the following key benefits for a Thai woman trying to find a foreign husband or life
- It offers the Thai woman an opportunity to learn about foreigners and cultures in foreign countries at a relaxed pace that suits the woman. This allows the Thai woman to contemplate life with a foreign husband.
- It offers an opportunity to meet large numbers of foreigners seeking marriage in Thailand. It is clear that one of the key considerations for a Thai woman is to realise that not all foreigners are the same.
- Once a Thai woman is familiar with the online threats, security risks and danger of internet dating, ironically, they are safe from them. After this, the internet becomes a way for any Thai woman to meet foreigners or even find a foreign husband while being perfectly safe and
Online dating to find a husband
When any person, a Thai woman, Thai man or foreigner uses an online dating site to seek a new relationship, marriage or husband especially if they are contemplating a relationship with a person from a different culture, they are vulnerable and therefore often nervous. The key to making
a success of online communication is therefore honesty. However it should be clear that Thai women or foreigners seeking love online should try to present themselves in the best possible light. However it is equally important that the online dating profile and information presented in profiles,
chats and e-mails are authentic.
An authentic dating profile online
If a person online is being honest and authentic it follows that there should not be a problem creating a full profile and picture. Providing a range of photographs and as detailed a profile as possible creates trust and can be the basis for exploratory communications.
Find a husband in a foreign country online
- Learn about different foreign countries: find out more about the countries linked to the nationalities of the foreigners you are dating online. It might not be bad idea to ask questions about life in these countries, the culture, and the history and so on. Explore the subject of marriage in
these foreign countries with foreigners you chat with online. Politely of course, but try to discover the difference between marriage in the foreign country and Thailand.
- From exchanges online and interaction try to create a fuller impression of different foreigners you are communicating with. Obviously, at the outset, it is a good idea to create a large network of contacts and to be patient in developing relationships. One for them could be your
- Learn language skills, phrase and how to interact or chat online with foreigners.
- Again be honest with those you are dealing with online and to yourself. For example, are you ready to live a cold foreign country such as Norway? Would you be capable of working in foreign country? How would you really feel with a foreign relationship partner or a foreign
husband? Interaction and communication online will help you to explore and develop your own thoughts.
- Be open minded: The great thing about online dating is that you can meet and interact with large numbers of potential love or marriage partners from all over the world and don't forget, here in Thailand also. Whether it turns out that your search is successful or not or who you
meet, which country or what sort of background or personality, the chances for the best outcome are increased by having an open and patient mind.
It is quite possible to find a foreign husband or marriage partner online but it may also be possible that you will learn from the online dating experience.
Assama's story from New Zealand
'My name is Assama but my friends call me Cherie, I have been living in Auckland New Zealand for five years. I am a dental nurse and my husband David, he is an engineer and he's about the same age as me. I think Thai women must have more respect for themselves. They should
also know that our Thai culture and thinking is one of our most attractive qualities. I do not agree that a Thai woman must look for a foreigner in a shopping arcade or a hotel or anything like that. I have heard bad talk about Thai women since I have lived in New Zealand. I know many Thai
woman with husbands here in New Zealand and all of them are sincere women from good families who work hard and are a making a success,' she says.
Assama had one boyfriend in Thailand before she met her foreign husband online. She was lucky to study in Australia for two years before this. She says that she had many choices but decided to choose a man the same age as she was with good career prospects. 'I did meet up men
online in Australia, England and Florida in America. This was the hardest thing for me to do, to decide,' she says.
Assama says that any Thai woman who really wants to find a foreign husband should think less about the super rich farang with the huge mansion who will take care of her every dream. But curiously she says; 'But really it is like a dream to live in beautiful home with a good husband and
a good life.'
Assama's key tips for Thai women seeking foreign husband:
- Take a long time and be serious. It can be done but it is a big decision so learn everything possible. Do this online or by speaking with other Thai women who have a foreign husband.
- Do not fall in love with the first foreigner that visits Thailand. Be circumspect about meeting men who you've made contact online and certainly bring a third party. 'If you are looking for a boyfriend, money or something like that it's different but if you are thinking about a foreign
husband, it must be right,' she says.
- Study, learn, work and develop your skills in Thailand. Assama says the reality for most Thai women trying to find a foreign husband is that they will want to or even have to work in the foreign country and it pays to have good experience. But she has encouraging words: 'In
New Zealand things are more serious but the pay is very good and when people come to know a Thai woman, it is easy to make friends.'
While the fate of a Thai women who are married to a foreign husband been has examined more closely in Thailand in recent years. There are some stories of relationships failure and even abuse, the numbers of Thai women with a foreign husband continues to grow. One commentator
has expressed an opinion that the extent of Thai women marrying foreigners is creating a powerful 'Diaspora' for Thailand which is already having an effect on life within Thailand itself.
A recent survey showed that 53% of younger Thai women would be interested in meeting a foreigner online or exploring the possibility of living abroad. However the reality is that only a small percentage actually pursues this course. It is decision that bring with it unique challenges and of