Dating foreign women vs american women
In Thai culture, and that of most Asian countries, the husband and wife are financially responsible for the bride's parents and grandparents, and also other members of the family that require financial help.
This is just one of the many reasons for the increasing divorce rate between Thai women and foreign men that settle in Thailand.
Howard from San Diego, a Thai Love Lines member who now lives in Chiang Mai with his Thai girlfriend: 'Sure, some relationships don't work out, I often think my own relationship is too good to be true but overall, it's a good deal for us guys and the Thai women.
I meet many wonderful couples who have been together for decades here, I don't see this very much at home anymore.' Commentators have attributed the problems to a conflict of reasons for the marriage, and partially due to cultural differences.
The two live in an upmarket air-conditioned home, which like many western homes in Thailand is an oasis of opulence surrounded by the poorer houses of their neighbours. Davis: 'Thai women are a lot like women in America were 50 years ago," before they become "strong-headed and opinionated.' Many American men grapple with the decision to seek a wife from a foreign country and come to Thailand intent on finding 'an honest relationship,' the vast majority are aware there is a financial motive to the desire of many Thai women to marry American men.
An American, John Forder who works with a UN funded programme in Thailand's North East describes this approach as 'healthy'.
In fact, it is the question of 'family' that comes as a culture shock to many American men who retire to Thailand with their young brides.
What many men have failed to understand is that when they marry a Thai bride, they also marry her extended family.
Many of these men are divorcees or widowers, who have found it quite acceptable in Thailand for older men to marry young Thai women without the social stigma that may be attached in the USA to marriages between people of significantly disparate ages.
She married her husband Joseph Davis of California, a twice-divorced retired naval officer, and her family kept telling her that she had finally found her dream.
However, like an increasing number of American men with new Thai brides, 54-year old Joe decided not to settle in California with his wife, but moved to Thailand instead.
They also find that their retirement income goes a lot farther in a country where the cost of living is relatively low.
A Thai Love Lines survey has found that of 340 American men who had found a Thai partner, 67 were planning to settle in Thailand within a year.
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It is not only American men that are attracted to move to Thailand to live with their young brides, because there are almost 11,000 men of many different nationalities living in the same region of Isaan as Joe.