Are you in danger from your Thai Girlfriend?

Are you in danger from your Thai Girlfriend?

Violent deaths, suicides, drownings and other ‘accidents’ seem to be on the increase in Thailand, especially among western men.

Fatal road accidents, burglaries gone wrong and balcony plunges (usually reported as suicides) occur almost daily in Thailand. Usually they warrant only a couple of lines in the newspaper; rarely do them make the headlines back at home. But once you start to spend a longer time in Thailand, you begin to hear more and more accounts. Both bar stool anecdotes and those reported in the media.

A casual Google search will bring up such headlines as:

British pensioner clubbed to death in latest Thai wife killing

Raymond  Hyde, 68, from the UK was terminally ill with throat cancer and constriction of the arteries to his brain, was clubbed to death on his wife’s orders, say police.

“She told me she could not be bothered to wait until he died naturally,” said a close relative.

Thai Wife ‘Had Expat Murdered for US$1 Million’

A $US1 MILLION insurance policy was the main motive for the murder of a Canadian expat by his Thai wife, the victim’s brother said today.

Thai woman admits feeding her British husband to tigers

A wealthy British farmer was battered to death and then barbecued over charcoal by relatives of his former Thai wife. The body parts of Toby Charnaud, age 41, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, were then scattered in a Thai national park, one of the last areas in the country where tigers roam.

Thai woman charged with murdering Japanese man

A Thai woman has been charged with murdering a 75-year-old Japanese man who was reported missing by his golfing partner four days ago on the southern resort island of Phuket.

Yikes! Reading these headlines, you wouldn’t be wrong if you thought that a number of them suggest that Thai girlfriends and wives are capable of quite inexplicable behavior! And while (of course) not all Thai wifes and girlfriends treat their partners quite as badly as this, there are a minority that do… just like anywhere in the world. And it generally always occurs over one thing, and one thing only…

Money number one!

Dating or marrying a Thai Lady

The greatest fear most Westerners face when they marry a Thai woman is money. Rightly or wrongly, money had become a huge issue that can literally make or break a relationship. Some of this boils down to the fact that when people are poor, they will literally do anything to get their hands of some money, even to the extent of murdering their partner!  But, some of it too has to do with Thai law regarding ownership of property. The simple fact is, in Thailand, foreigners have never been allowed to own land in Thailand (with a few exceptions). The prohibition applies to foreign individuals and juristic entities (e.g., companies or partnerships). Therefore any property must be under the Thai partner’s name, regardless of certain ambiguities in the law. And the same goes with business transactions – where the wife and other in-laws must become directors resulting in them having a say in how to handle the business or the company.

Because of this the ‘30 Year lease with option to extend’ is probably the preferred method for most foreigners to ‘own’ in Thailand. The foreigner buys the land in a Thai citizen’s name (usually his wife) and leases it back from the Thai citizen for 30 years with option to renew. Many foreigners choose this option with their Thai spouse. And this is perhaps where some of the problems stem from money.

One of the most important things to point out here, is how well you know your girlfriend or wife, and how long you’ve been together.

If you’ve been married to your  Thai partner for several  years, and your on equal terms financially, and socially, you can probably sleep a little easier than they guy who meets a Thai bar girl and decides to get married instantly and buy a house in her name. That’s why its always a good suggestion to take it slowly at first… Get to know her for a period of time, to see how well you get on, and how well the relationship develops. This is an important step in gaining trust.

However, if you have just met your Thai girlfriend in a bar, and you are thinking of taking the plunge but you don’t know her all that well yet, here’s some advice:

Always listen to your inner voice.

It sounds like a cliché, but if anything is not jelling with you, if anything is not adding up in her story, or if you have any doubts at all… it’s in your best interest to listen to your voice and play it safe.

Advance cautiously

Try to exercise some caution in the amount of personal stuff that you reveal to begin with, as you get to know her. This certainly includes how much money you have or earn. And almost definitely don’t reveal too early if you have included her in a will or left any money in her name… Don’t invest anything in Thailand, until you are 100% sure that you are protected. Renting is cheaper than back home, and leaves you with a certain amount of freedom if things go badly.

Take her away from the bar scene

Go on holiday, get her a tourist visa, go to Australia… whatever it takes, but get her away from the bad influences around that scene.  A lot of Thai bargirls do have Thai partners. They may be introduced to you as their brothers or cousins and they behave like that in front of you. Don’t be fooled! And don’t be sucked in by the sad stories. These girls are masters of deception.

Read Private dancer! It should be on everyone’s bookshelf!

Read a review of what is possibly the best book every written about the Thai Bar Scene.

Unless you are quite certain that the Thai lady you are dating is pure of heart and without any hidden agenda, be careful, and protect yourself. When you marry a Thai, you are required by law to at least have four hundred thousand baht as your combined income.  Retirees need only show about sixty five thousand baht per month, which is why some Western men choose the married visa because of its affordability. Thai women, of course know this. What’s the moral of this harrowing tale? Don’t put yourself into a situation where you will be taken advantage of.  And never rush into a relationship you are unsure of.  It is still best to wait and weigh the right options.

So, do you have a big red target on your back, like this guy in Thailand?


On September 5, 2010, posted in: Marriage by
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