I expect to get a lot of feedback from this as its something ive been looking at for nearly a year now. Why do relationships between Filipinas and Foreigners go wrong. There are many factors and although every relationship is unique many of the problems are similar.
As a British male i am confident and although i have respect for older generations and the knowledge they have i wouldn’t let someone force a judgement i didn’t agree with. I have a fairly high standard of living and have a lot of luxuries in life that most people in the Philippines only get to see on the TV.
Now most Filipinas that are either pro-active in looking for a foreign male are either from low or middle class backgrounds and have experience and knowledge of real poverty. Many have seen relatives die from medical needs which if there was money available wouldn’t have happened. They live day-to-day as looking further in the future only gets hopes up that are unlikely to develop all in all the Filipina is practical with life.
Many find guys on the net generations older and this is where complications start. The majority of Filipina’s aren’t out to rob you blind and are likely to be loyal,loving and put the husband before most things over time. But you have to be practical to if you’re a 50+ guy with a 19+ woman she may like to cruise the malls with you and be content with all life throws but you have to give a bit back. Its ok sitting around most of the time but people need to be busy. Yes your semi or completely retired but your wife/girlfriend isnt and needs to get up to things that keep her occupied. Ive met several expats that treat their other half as a second citizen and this is likely to come back and bite them hard when they least expect it. Because although Filipinas will put up with crap for a time they dont have to and often will put up with it for the sake of peace but it doesn’t mean they forget the way you treat them.
The other problem that occurs is many Filipina’s are lifted from poverty in one swoop and suddenly many family members are expecting to be lifted out of the same scenario and after helping a few members of family sometimes jealousy grows with other members that are outside the immediate family and also sometimes as a foreigner you are seen as an “outsider” a means to an end regardless of what you do. So be aware that not all problems are for you to fix and a lot of the time helping can make things a lot worse.
Aunts and parents, your new better half is likely to have a lot of responsibility and expectations to assist with aunts and parents that helped them through life with education, food on the table or anything else that happened before you met. Family is family here and a lot of the things I don’t understand are put up with by families because of someone being an elder even though a lot of it pure greed or jealousy. A foreigner stamping his ground can make things worse for your wife and the best way ive seen people deal with this scenario is to create a distance from family via moving away from the families current location maybe not miles but far enough that your business becomes YOUR business and no one elses.
Communication is the key to keeping things rolling and working out from both sides, sometimes you will find your partner keeps things from you to save confrontation or sometimes to save you from worrying about things outside your control “that can be fixed when your back in the Philippines”. Because unlike your wife you are not ruled by family your still a foreigner and can use that card to advantage. But many people create a drama out of a crisis because of a wife being stuck between her loyalty to her family and her loyalty to you. Best thing is to try to deal with things diplomatically and get a better understanding of Filipino culture and its habits. You don’t want to be hated by your wife’s family and you don’t want to be taken as a fool. A good wife understands this and will suffer a lot of stress unless you strike the balance for her. She looks to you for leadership because many of the solutions are between you and the family not your wife but she is the one taking the brunt from both sides.
Spending too much money, it’s a big problem and bigger than you think. Because as soon as your girlfriend wife is attached to a foreigner she is automatically given millionaire status and it doesn’t matter how much she tries to explain that life is still difficult people just don’t listen and many will try to take advantage of that. So try to keep things low-key, you don’t need to spend lots of money on nice cars,electronics or a big house because your wife is more likely to feel at home with a small house a few animals and a multi-cab than having to deal with prying eyes and worry about theft. Because at the beginning you are unlikely to both be in the Philippines all the time together which means she has the responsibility of the property. You can imagine how she would feel if something was stolen. So please be aware of that!
The American dream, this one real bugs me because its pumped into the Filipino culture 24/7 and the false expectations that are given can be shattered when a wife first heads to America or anywhere else. This is where things go back to telling the truth and communication. I come from the UK if i moved there with my wife we would probably be living in a 2 bedroom apartment for the same price I can buy several houses and a farm in the Philippines. Explain these things and your standard of living and the variables of prices.
Foreign interference, I’ve heard this several times by Americans not sure if the same problem happens in the UK but a lot of the mentality is questioned by foreign women telling Filipinas how things are in the West and that her husband is mistreating her and she shouldnt have to do this and that. Its something that is difficult to stop but it all comes down on how you treat each other. Yes my asawa (wife) may give me a back massage even if she is tired. But i do the same back. We find a happy medium where we are both content.
The green-eyed monster, this is also something that has come up time and time again and i have never experienced personally, yes i have had ex-girlfriends who happily lived off my back. But when we split i was content to just take a bag of clothes, my car and computers. I really can’t be bothered with the lawyers taking everything at least that way someone walks away with the majority of the goods and both debt free. But i know in most cases it doesn’t happen that way. Money can always be a problem in a relationship as much as it gives you the things you desire it can take the things that are most important. That is why I really don’t care about cash. As long as i can provide for my daughters and family everything else can float through life.
To make a relationship work you really need to keep awake on what is going on if something doesn’t feel right then there is probably something you don’t know but need to find out to keep on an even keel. Filipinos in general don’t like confrontation or stress. Many people get confused with poverty because they base things on western ideals. But if you’ve lived in a Bamboo house all your life can eat 3 meals a day and have a job even low paid most filipinos are content. So try not to change people too much. Respect its a way of life and many are happy to stay that way it’s not your job to change it. Respect your partner take good care of her and she will do the same.