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I have been doing my homework and it looks like for many women, helping their family financially after you marry is just part of the package. So, I had a couple of questions for those of you with real-life experience:
-How much did she initially want to send per month?
-How much did you end up sending?
Any relevant details would be helpful (her nationality, her family's general economic background, etc). I work at a good but not amazing blue collar job (think $45-55k-ish).
Saw a discussion on LivingInCebuForums 2-3 years ago about this topi, among retired guys, mostly vets, in the Philippines.
Most seemed to give the gal $100 a month, plus extra for birthdays, graduations etc. The high end budgeted $200 for all.
The guideline was to match what she could send them if working fulltime in her country.
"Well actually, she's not REALLY my daughter. But she does like to call me Daddy... at certain moments..."
I can't speak for myself as I am not married to a Filipina, but I do know that every one of my friends who are (were) married to Filipinas sends money (or "contributes" as they prefer to put it) to her family. Amounts vary, but averages $100-$200/month, as Mr. Jester suggested. One man I know sends $500/month plus extras at Christmas.
One of my friends claims he doesn't send money and his wife doesn't work, but I suspect part of the allowance he gives her for household budget is secretly sent to her family.
Another friend doesn't support her family, but his wife works and sends every penny of her income to her family; she contributes nothing financially to their marriage....so he tells me.
Another man I know who initially sent money to his wife's family, eventually had to discontinue the support because of his children's college expenses, his increasing medical expenses, etc. His Filipina wife reacted very negatively and eventually divorced him, but not before stripping him of most of his assets and getting the house.
There seems to be an unwritten contractual agreement between the husband and the Filipina wife: In return for her love, intimacy, sex, etc, he is obligated to support his wife's parents, siblings and extended family. Any attempt to abrogate the terms of this contract most likely will result in extreme hostility from the wife and her family.
Before you marry your Filipina girl (assuming she is a Filipina), meet her family and ascertain their financial situation and expectations. Make sure she understands your financial situation and spell out the cashflow, income, expenses and savings goals, etc. You'll have to show her just how far a dollar goes in the U.S. You may find your $45-55K salary may be not be enough AFTER deducting savings, tithing, taxes, mortgage, auto payments, insurance, medical, food, clothing expenses, etc., to support her family in the manner they expect.
Then you'll see her true colors emerge.
(By the way, I'm married to a Japanese woman. Her family is about middle class and they DO NOT expect financial support from me.)
Last edited by Halwick on September 23rd, 2013, 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I was fortunate I guess. Her parents are young enough to work and they earn well enough on their own. Probably better now that they do not have to give her money anymore actually. My wife is Chinese, and from my experience, it is not a guarantee that a foreign husband have to do something like that with Chinese women. Maybe later they might come live with us when they get old, but who knows.. I actually don't care. I expected things like that even when married to an AW.
They don't bother me any at all anyway and help me keep the wife in line in ways I cannot. Less work for me!
Thanks for all your input so far, everybody. It sounds like most Filipinas expect money to be sent. So enlighten me some more if you can...
1) Do the middle class Filipino parents have the same shame about accepting outside help that American middle class people might?
2) Would most Filipina fiancÃ©s/wives come to an explicit agreement, versus an implicit one, if you tried to get them to spell it out? How would they react?
3) As you have kids with her, does her family eventually take a back seat to the well-being of your own kids and you as a couple (i.e. making sure their higher ed gets funded, making sure you will be able to retire, etc.)?
I think it depends on the relationship she has with her parents/family as to whether or not she will expect you to send $$ to her family in the Philippines. From what my gf says, much of the money sent from an individual abroad to the family in the Philippines is spent on unnecessary things. When my gf arrived in the USA to live (she had green card when I met her, but now has citizenship), MANY members of her family immediately thought she was now rich and asked her to send them $$. Her stepmom in the USA tried to use her for her credit (wanted her to get a credit card for them to use). When she refused, a serious argument led her to move out on her own. This pissed her off so much that she stopped responding to them all for some time. They eventually got the message. I know many of her cousins that successfully have others send them $$ so that they can just party and have fun (not have to work at all) in the Philippines. They are my "friends" on Facebook so I see that they are ALWAYS out and about....drinking and partying on someone elses $$. Also, spouses that sit at home while their husband/wife is abroad working often use up all the money they receive and then end up cheating due to not being kept busy working and making ends meet. I just don't see how sending $$ benefits the overall situation...
My gf knows that I will NEVER send $$ to support her family. My family always expected me to take care of myself so that is deeply engrained in me. Welfare destroys motivation and idle minds/hands cause problems.
She will bring gifts when she goes to visit in the Philippines and pay a little when she stays at her mothers home in the Philippines. I found that odd, but I guess that is a country tradition. Filipino tradition is very different than what I am used to. I know when her father had a birthday dinner at a restaurant, I'd intended to contribute to the payment for his birthday dinner. However, it is tradition that the one HAVING the birthday actually PAY for the dinner...kind of backwards in my mind...lol.
A friend of a friend back in the UK sends them Â£0. He sends his Filipina out to work, and she sends part of HER money back home.
This is the way to handle this.
I quit my boring cubicle slave job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
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I am not sure it makes a big difference (other than psychologically) whether you send money from your paycheck or your wife sends it from her's. If you're married it's joint assets. Different story if you're not married.
I am newly married to a Filipina and I know my wife would like to be able to help her family. As a general theory I am for this. In reality however there has to be communication, agreement, and firm limits. Do you send a monthly allowance, assist only for emergencies, send the occasional box of goods, or as some fools do, send money every time a cousin knocks up his gf?
Every guy I talk to has a different notion of how to go about it and some refuse to do it at all. It's a topic that could fill a book.
Americans are very independent and like to think that they never have to help anyone but it isn't always true and certainly wasn't true in past generations. My maternal grandfather came to live with us the last couple years of his life, after he got cancer. I know for a fact that my dad helped pay for the nursing home care of my maternal grandmother.
Course nowadays most Americans don't have to do that because they get divorced before such events might occur, but if you actually marry and live with someone for a large chunk of years you have to expect that it is possible that at some point relatives will need help and you will be asked to chip in. So if it happens in this culture, you know it's gonna happen in a poor culture like PI.
YMMV. Personally I am sort of a cheap SOB and have let my wife know that while I am open to genuine major emergencies I have no interest in assisting every sibling or cousin wanting a handout.
LOL! Funny thing is that when you think about it, like Dave said, it is still his money so he is making his wife waste time outside the house to make money to send back there. That is less time for her to keep the house in order, cook for him, or care for the children. She is working for her parents still.
Anyone who manages household money like this is propping up a form of Feminism without realizing it as well.
Kai1275, I agree that the time she spends working is less time for housekeeping, caring for him and children as part of her responsibilites as wife. Also, she is not contributing monetarily, as an equal partner, to the family budget.
The money sent to her family, or the money he gives her as an allowance which she sends to her family (which as Dave correctly says is his money), could be utilized better for savings, emergency expenses, children's college savings, contribution to retirement, etc..
It's one thing for the man to send money to his family for occaisional emergency or urgent assistance, but it is another thing to send money regularly to her family for the purpose of SUBSIDIZING their lives.
You should publish a book!