I have always tried to sidestep getting involved in relationships unless I actually know the people well. The reason being is that trying to help you can make things 10 x worse as neither person actually gives you all the facts but in the mud slinging stages it can get extremely messy.
In my time in the Philippines though I have seen all sorts of things happen and some on self destruct others people manipulating things to the max to bleed a person dry.
I remember a guy complaining about his wife taking him for his house and money, but not telling people the reason behind her leaving him was his own doing. He was spending his time at Bikini bars (brothels) and I would respect her if she took a machete to the guy as she had done nothing wrong. She committed to the marriage and was busy being a wife and mother while her husband was out entertaining ladies of the night.
Many expats bring these things on themselves and simply lie about things to fluff them up for themselves so they don’t look so bad. Blame it all on the wife and everyone gives a bit of sympathy. Problem is the wives often don’t have anything negative going on except their partners in these cases.
Yet there are many other types of problems that go on that are premeditated and without remorse. Could you imagine leaving your husband in the Philippines and cleaning him out financially while you disappear back to the U.S.? Even more so leaving him to die here as you’ve got control of his pension still in the U.S. and taken the marital home and moved the boyfriend in? That is yet another persons story.
I find the Philippines can be quite a dark place and I still fully don’t understand what causes it for some. I know there are generations of people who have ripped off westerners and as such teach the next generations to do the exact same. If this is the aim are people pre-programming themselves that its just a game? As it can be pretty brutal to the point some of these people are murdered for financial gain. Sold false promises and they drop everything to move to be near the person they love to find out a web has been cast.
The same goes for people taking partners overseas as I find its got more to do with people around them overseas. The other Filipinos in the area than anyone else. Many times I have spoken to women married to Western guys and you will hear how other Filipinas tell them what they are entitled to. How to get money out of the husband, child support, taking the husband for the house. etc. etc. they were only meeting for a coffee! But poison and manipulation can be pushed in many ways. I honestly think a lot of the people doing this overseas have had bad relationships or were simply honey traps after getting a passport overseas before robbing the husband blind.
Yet every year thousands of people go through the same process in meeting people and marrying them. Because in many cases relationships do work well, I for example have been happily married 7 years and know many people with long-term marriages. But I also find the majority of people we know come from a good education and what would be the middle classes of the Philippines if it had one.
Most of the failed marriages seem to come from the lower end of Philippines society and I do believe there is a lot of manipulation going on within families. As one marriage can lift an entire family out of poverty in theory. But if its built on theft and corruption how long until the money is gone and they are back where they started? Answer is pretty quick and its where all the assets go. As they want a big car but can’t afford to run or maintain it, they want the big house but its too expensive to keep cool and maintain. So eventually everything ends up sold and the ex-wife ends up broke as the family fritter away the cash.
For me its all about choices and understanding the person your going to meet or have met. If there are some things bothering you already I would find out what it is and get some answers. Why is it your wife gives half her salary to an aunt? Why is it you seem to send money for a sick child every other week? Why is it your blinded to the fact your already being skimmed for cash. Because your likely to be entering the relationship by already making sacrifices and as such committing to it early on. Your partner what have they lost or giving up? As often its all to their benefit everything you do. Are they respecting you for it? Are they thankful for things you do? or are they constantly coming up with a shopping list of things you need to spend money on for the family?
I could list a long list of relationships that went sour in the Philippines including a friends restaurant who was sold by his wife from under him. But I honestly don’t think it makes people change their minds or often even think about consequences. Because its only by hitting pause and analysing your relationship can you see negative patterns already emerging. But most people don’t, most people don’t want to hear about it they are happy and in love. Yet 6 – 12 months later they could be broke, homeless and unable to leave the Philippines because they have nothing. Passport has been taken by the ex or held for guarantee somewhere, every piece of cash taken, home gone, not one asset except maybe a friend or two that can help them go home. Yet many don’t want to go home because they have lost everything and lost face. Relying on the embassy for help you may as well be talking to yourself. They leave people overseas every day of the year, you are not their problem embassies are fundamentally for trade only. Unless your the son of a senator don’t expect any help.