Thai Family Pressure

A Thai family can place enormous pressure on their children. This is a fact of life, but it can have a serious impact on any relationship the girl has. I’m sure I am not alone in noticing this.

Most of this pressure has to do with saving “Face”, but it can lead to untold stress for the couple involved. I love my girlfriends family, but I try to discourage my her from visiting them too often. This is not because I don’t want her to see them, it is because everytime she does, she will come home in a state of severe depression.

I have the unfortunate circumstance, that I am seen as the person who is going to restore the families “Face” issues.

Let me give you a bit of the family background:

“They are a poor Isaan family who, as most Thai families, have quite a few children. Due to some past family feud, they feel they have to prove themselves to everyone. The elder sister found a Farang boyfriend, but never married him, they had a child together and this led to serious “Face” loss for the family.”

The younger sister, my girlfriend, used to live with her older sister in the sisters apartment. We weren’t going to move in together until our engagement, but due to an argument with the sisters boyfriend, she had nowhere to go and was forced to move in with me. The family is now placing enormous pressure on us to get engaged and then get married. I would love to get married, but there are complications. To save “Face”, the family have asked for an enormous dowry, or sinsod of 2 Million Baht, to be exact and I will need to give them 100,000 of it on our engagement day. This is money I can not afford at the moment. The other complication is that she cannot get married while she is still in university, we could do the traditional ceremony, but we would not be able to register our marriage until she graduates.

It’s a catch 22 situation that is causing untold stress on our relationship. Am I the only one experiencing these problems? I would love to hear from you all.

28 thoughts on “Thai Family Pressure”

  1. Easier said than done. On my teaching salary, it would take about 8 years to save that up.

    @ BigBicepDude: I wish he was a Tuk Tuk driver, then he would atleast be working. He is unemployed.

  2. Two million? I think you should make her choose between you or the family. If she chooses to leave you, you’ll be a LOT better off in the long run.

    Alternatively, make the family sell her some of their land and build you both a house to prove they’re serious about having you as part of the family. That’ll turn the tables on them.

  3. Holy shit. 2 million Baht is just crazy. It must be velvet lined and taste like honey for you even consider it.

  4. Mate,
    That figure is an opener in a negotiation, counterpropose if you are serious about this lady. Also, the requests for more money after the marriage will come, think carefully, as you will be the deep pockets and lender (think “giver”)of first recouse.

  5. 2 million is absurd. And the fact that she has such a strained relationship with her parents is also very worrying. I hate to say this, but you may wish to reconsider this relationship. Family is the most important thing to a Thai, and so if she’s going to come home in a deep state of depression every time she spends time with them, you are going to have a lot of unhappy moments in your marriage…

  6. Sucker!!!

    Don’t even think about paying a Sin Sod. This is just an excuse. Talk to your girlfriend. Make her understand that if she wants you she must meet YOUR criteria…not her family’s. You are a Westerner. Act like a man.

  7. Well said, Marc! Don’t even think about paying Sin Sod. Whilst it’s important to acknowledge Thai culture while you are a guest here, that doesn’t mean you have to fall for any unnecessary Thai nonsense that comes at your expense.

    You don’t have to pay Sin Sod. Why? Because YOU ARE NOT THAI!!!!!!

  8. Dear friend, 2 million baht is not so bad, just add the clause that it will be the only money they will get from you!
    I am married with a poor Isaan girl and I perfectly know what you mean: just after talking with the parents she is so sad because they push her to ask me money. I don’t need to ask her nothing, just after she put down the mobile I know from her face that family have some problem.
    I hate her family. I don’t hate my wife. I can understand her feelings. So…this is the life I have chosen, some husbands make presents, gold and jewels, I pay sometimes for my wife’s family.

  9. There is no end to the Thai families demands for money and it will destroy any relationship. Thai girls are hopelessly devoted to their families and it is impossible to intelligently and rationally to discuss anything as simple as where does the 15000 baht I give you now every month go? It goes straight to Isaan and the next day my gf does not even have enough money to put gas in her own motorcycle or by a meal. Supposedly she is saving money to build a house in Isaan for her and her daughter but a simple question like how much have you saved in the 3 years I’ve been paying you every month is met with an evasive answer or an obvious lie. Her brothers are sisters are all alcoholics, and they are drunk even at 10:00am. I have no respect or pity for them, their miserable lives are clearly their own fault. I will never marry her because of her family, and even though I basically like her I have no choice but to soon tell her to leave. I do not intend to do this crap the rest of my life.

  10. I’m so sorry to read this kind of story and understand why many foreigners are upset about it. The losing and saving face and money issues have caused many problems between Thais and foreigners. It’s unfortunate that you will have to deal with this a lot if you are in a relationship with a Thai girl from a poor family. I don’t mean to say that all poor family are like that, but there are plenty enough of them to paint the picture. Normally, the middle class and the upper will ask for sin-sod just to follow the tradition and maybe show a bit of the wealth. The amount is usually negotiable. Once married, the family of the girl who really concern about their dauther’s being rather than money will give the sin-sod back to the couple as a saving money for starting the couple’s own family.

    One of my close friends from a middle class family just recently married to a British man. Her family never pushed her with the money issue. You can not make a Thai girl choose between you and her family because often, you will be the one losing. So, my suggestion to foreigners wanting to have a serious relationship with a Thai lady is that do look hard for the right girl from the right family. Don’t just land on the first girl you see appropriate enough and later find yourself tangled with her troublesome family.

    I wish you luck Gentlemen.

  11. Thanks for the good wishes and the intelligent response. The biggest problem I’m having now is that after close to 4 years, it’s difficult to just tell someone to get lost even if there is good reason for it. Especially since I really do care about her. Like I said before, she is a good person, but I will not support her family, and don’t even want to be around them. I drive her to Sukhothai, then drive home after staying only long enough to say hello. How they live and what they do is disgusting to me. I do have pity for her daughter, who is now 14. The girl has always been very polite to me and I’ve been to her school. (I’m a retired attorney but I teach in Thailand for something to do). She is an excellent student loved by her teachers who stays at school until the last teacher leaves at about 5:00pm to avoid going home. Obviously getting rid of my gf’s family, which would not bother me a bit also means cutting off this girls source of school funds. This is an ugly mess that is having a severe negative impact on my life, but there is no easy way out of it.

  12. Dear Robert,

    It seems you are in a dilemma. It’s difficult but you seem to have made up your mind: “you don’t want to do this crap for the rest of your life”. From your comments, the way I see it is that although you feel responsible for your gf’s daughter, sooner or later you will reach the point of having enough and leave them anway. You know what you want to do, but you can’t gather the willpower to do it yet. It’s understandable.

    I just happen to pass by, so I can only give my point of view based on what you wrote. However, I’d to say that you need to be straight with your girlfriend. If it’s obvious that her family is draining your wallet, tell her so. If she is really a good person as you said, she will understand. Well, the choice is yours, so do what you will.

  13. Good exchange @Robert and @Dariya.

    They always say that when you marry a Thai girl you are also marrying her family. That’s somewhat different than a farang relationship where once a child turns 18 they are on their own financially and otherwise. Not that farangs don’t care for their children or the children don’t care for their parents but it’s understood that once you are 18 you are an adult and should be independent.

    But back to the Thai culture . . . I have to agree with Dariya. In poor families the lust for money often consumes people. I’ve seen so much less of it in middle or upper class families. It’s sad and unfortunate but true. Not all poor people are like that (far from it) but it’s sort of a self-selecting pool most farangs are fishing in. Girls who greedy or come from greedy families go after farangs. So, they’re over-represented in the dating pool.

    But Robert, it does sound like you’ve already made up your mind. She is never going to turn her back on her family. In fact, I would imagine it is the fact that they are raising your gf’s daughter which is the source of a lot of their leverage. If you can imagine what her life would be like if she had to raise her own daughter while working or otherwise making a living it becomes clear that her parents have lifted a heavy burden from her. Unfortunately, they now use that as an excuse for their poor behavior.

    My advice is that once you know it’s not going to work, cut things off. It’s much more simple that way. The longer you drag it out the less time she has to find someone new and to get on with her life.

  14. If you’re going to pay sin sod at alll, don’t pay more than 100,000 baht.
    2 million is a ridiculous amount, and shows they think of you as an ATM.
    The requests for money won’t stop either after you’ve pay it and got married.

  15. I was married to a Thai g/f . I paid 40000 baht sin sot . Built her an annex on her mothers house bought her a motorbike , gave her 15000 baht a month , built her a hair salon and dropped the 15000 a month to 5000 as she could work . Her father managed to learn English , 1 word car car car . Her brother knew 1 work , sorry 2 words ( beer whiskey) . It all fell appart when I refused to pay for her brothers wedding .. Tik was a beautiful kind girl who I would happily off looked after forever , but not the father mother brother granddad grandmother aunties uncles and the rest of the freeloaders … It’s very sad ….

  16. Since I wrote the comments above, I did get rid of the girl I had living with me, and it was a real circus getting her out, she obviously did not want to go, but the family nonsense was endless.
    Gareth, sorry but not surprised that happened to you. I ‘m sure you probably would not have minded helping (to a reasonable degree) her parents, but I have always drawn the line at helping their brothers, at least on a continual basis. Our western culture is not compatible with the Thai culture in which you essentially marry the entire klan.

  17. Have you ever seen a bunch of Thais eating in a restaurant? Did you notice when the bill comes, most of the time one person pays? The rich one pays. This is a Thai culture. The rich man pays for the poor people. I have seen it many times and I have lived it among Thais. So when a Farang is expected to pay for the klan, it is really not that different from the rich Thai being asked to pay for everything else. It is a bit worse if a Farang in involved because now the Thais REALLY expect him to pay for everything. Farangs are nothing but ATMS to most non wealthy Thais. This the way this society has always been and will always be this way. It is a messed up situation and there is nothing anyone can do about it. The best thing to do is to never to get involved is such a total mess!

  18. Hi All.
    I had a relationship with a thai nurse who I thought the world of,she was from isaan si sa ket.
    Everything was great to begin with but requests came from her family every week and I did not want to lose her so I paid what I could.
    We decided to move to isaan and that is where the hell started.
    Cut a long story short I was being fed sleeping tablets in my daily meals by the family so I would not spend my money and she would use my atm card till it was dry every month when my pension came in.
    I was threatened and had most of my things stolen by the family,I was told if I did not build a house asap her mother and father would stoo her seeing me.
    I walked out that village at 1am and got a taxi to safety but I could never ever have a relationship again with a thai girl even though I live here alone but I’m happy and glad I’m alive to warn others that the greed for money has no boundary

  19. BTW, any time the Thai family starts to pressure your GF for money, it is time to move on…There are plenty of Thai ladies out there…just keep on sampling the field, there are thousands of 2nd hand ladies the Thai man has already used up and left for us . Farangs are nothing but ATMs to the poor Thais and Thai bar girls are nothing but meat to the Farangs..this is the way it is…

  20. I challane everybody to tell me that after or before sex, they have been able to speak about something with a thai lady, if not money gold house car and thai blackmail culture. The impertinence of a thai woman has no limit, it goest over the proud and dignity. They aew aware that farangs have only sex in mind and they know how to sell their product, they also know what kind of frankenstein cmbination men are in thailand and this make it easy for them. They never say what they think, use words like “teerak” (darling) same as english men us word”fuck” I don’t even believe that they love their family, but they love eat drink and be with the family especially when food is there and especially when a woman in the family has found a victim(farang) who pay. If they love family, then why kids are in one place and mother work (prostitution or massages) in another places?…Thai Government is very very lucky about farangs support thai family with childreen from other men…so thai men fuck left and right and farangs pay left and right and Gpvernment save left and right,,,,thai women love only sex and money and brain seems something missing, but same i would say about monsters farngs who still believe in thai love. ….and what is amazing is that such stupid men exist and never learn

  21. i think on this blog, you make thai women som important and you dont realize that thailand is sex industry, sex and money according to performance and marry farangs because they are still more and more blind and naive not to see that all thailand is made of prostitution, no matter if at bars or at school or at hospitals ….only farangs need 100 years to wake up

  22. most women in the world like tomhave a sexy relation, but thai and philippines want to marry farangs…usually women prefer a relation after first marriage and divorce…all women in the world are like that….why thai women are different? because they love you….??????????????????????????????????????

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