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Rock and I do not support our girlfriend's families. His girlfriend has her own money, assets and credit cards. Yet he is "happier abroad" too. And my girlfriend hasn't left me simply cause I can't support her family.
Thus such examples do not fit into what you are saying.
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I think you're over thinking this and you're overestimating the amount of thought Filipinos, Thais, etc.. put into this sort of thing. They don't think about it at all. In this way a lot of SE Asians act exactly like children and yes children are inconsiderate but not always maliciously. The culture they are in often doesn't think in terms of consequences, deeper perceptions, or rationalizations. It's all based on superficial face, emotions, or an immediate need for gratification. The last thing on their mind is how you feel about it or why you should help them at all. It simply doesn't factor into their worldview.
You can say it's selfish..but it's purely impulsive. A selfish act would be them conning you out of a large sum of cash/home through purposely deceiving you. In this case they are telling you straight away they have a need and you can say yes or no. There's no deceit involved.
One of my friends here in China said one of the reasons he is not married yet is because he knows he will have to not only support his family, but his wife's family as well. He wasn't talking about a specific girl, he was speaking in general. I would say it is a part of the culture here. (This is primarily inclusive of parents and grandparents, however, not brothers, sisters, cousins, close friends and whoever might be included in Philippines.)
“b***y is so strong that there are dudes willing to blow themselves up for the highly unlikely possibility of b***y in another dimension." -- Joe Rogan
Even in China you can get lucky if you choose carefully. One of my close friends was looking for a wife 10 yeas ago. He corresponded w/ a few Fillpinas and a Chinese he met from some of those match maker services. He also took a trip to Colombia (where I first met him) to hunt. Well a couple years later, he decided to go to China and take the girl back to States on a fiance visa (she was scared to go alone). They had met once earlier for 2 weeks and he shaved 10 years off his age. She found out before the marriage and was OK but parents were a bit angry about being lied to by her when they eventually found out.
He was mid-40s, just 5'4", athletic and decent looking but absolutely showed his age, and spoke no Chinese
She was 20 from Shenyang, worked in a hotel, was attractive and slim by mainstream standards (around 6-7), 5'3", and spoke some English picked-up in class and on her job. Her mother was a teacher and father worked in government (decent level I believe). They had modest housing provided by the government too and would have a lifetime pension.
After she went to States and they got married, she would work sometimes (Taiwan bobo tea shop, cosmetics counter at mall) and make around $1,500 per month. But her parents told her to use all the money she made to improve their lives in the States, they did not want a dime. Eventually she had a child and sometimes the dad or mom would come for short stays to help out (couldn't come together cus they had a dog at home they treated like a baby). Parents were very respectful to him (even though no common language) and didn't interfere at all in their lives during visits.
I'm not saying things were perfect. The girl has somewhat of a temper and a stubborn personality. But I'm completely confident that she's absolutely faithful. She's very dependent on him and refuses to ever stay home alone at night. Before they married, I had some talks with her to get a sense and found her to be sincere and good wife material.
During my visits to China, I have met several nice girls in northern cities like Qingdao, Changchun, and even Harbin. Perhaps it was just my luck but I found them to be generally simpler and more straightforward than girls I met from Shanghai or Guangzhou/Shenzhen areas. China is a very big country. When analyzing its people and their customers, its not so easy to find accurate generalizations which don't have lots of exceptions.
Yaterman, as one of the guys who found his wife online (Cherryblossoms) and brought her back to the States, I'm living proof that a successful and dynamic relationship can happen!
Doesn't sound as if you have enough money to travel abroad right now so the online option would be the best way to proceed. Most guys that met girls online filtered thru dozens of women before they found the right one. I know I did! Due to the sheer volume of nice women abroad, I'm confident you'll find a nice lady if you are 1) persistant 2) smart and 3) patient.
Meet one, keep in touch with her, get a job and save your money and then go travel to her country eventually. Technically you only need to meet her once to satisfy the K1 Fiancee Visa requirements.
The other guys are right. Part and parcel of dating many Asian ladies is helping support their families. But trust me, this is a piece of cake if done properly. Why not find a nice SMART and educated girl that has job skills and bring her to the US? My wife got her 4 year degree in biology while in Philippines. Here in Seattle she is a dental assitant making 30k a year. She'll eventually go on to be a hygienist and make twice that much money. So, sending home a couple hundred dollars a month to support her family is CHUMP CHANGE! So find a nurse, an accountant, an IT professional etc with job skills. It will make your life easier.
Yaterman, don't give up the dream. Have confidence in yourself and be smart. You'll do just fine