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Nice write up on this "elephant in the room " subject. I admit it has taken me a little time to comprehend the nuances of Love me love the family party line. But I came to realization, if you can make someone's life better and they appreciate the helping hand...whats wrong with that?
Wow, an article specifically for me!
It's good to push thoughts in new unexplored pathways!
I want to be honest, and I will tell that I found somebody (real life) who is married, not with filipina, but with Vietnamese.
When I asked him to tell me about this topic, do want to tell you what he told me?
These are his phrases:
"Totally b@@@@hit! You are sitting and listen to any idiot on the net, telling you wild stories! You know what I told to my mate? - I am poor, what I earn, I eat it too! With me, you may starve, but if I become rich you will become too! What do you want? To be a doll for an old men and showing you to the others? Or do you want to be with me, take care of you and loving you? I am not having any extra money, so please think about it, and make your decision."
And guess what, the vietnamese girl, married with this guy! When I told him 'they told me that I should help her family, nearly in a constant basis', he almost outraged by deception! And he told me what I wrote above.
I found and I still find valuable information in this forum.
But on this money topic, yes, there is alternative way. Not the only one that most of you are telling about.
Jeez....talk about turning a mole hill into a mountain!!! Think of it this way! You marry a cute Filipina and you bring her over to the west. She decides to that she'd like to drive a car. So instead of going out and buying a $20,000 car instead you buy her a $3000 used Honda Accord which will get to from point A to point B in fine fashion. Pay cash for the car. So now you don't have $300 a month car payments. Instead, let her send the $300 a month back to her family. Give her the choice on which option she'd like. Guaranteed she'll go for Door #2. There you go. Problem solved!
You guys are way over thinking this situation. If you can't handle an extra $300 a month to help your lady out then you're probably a better candidate to go MGTOW which is a movement custom tailored to selfish guys around the world.
End of story....
It's not that any individual expense will be a problem, but from what I've seen and heard, the requests for money just grow and grow and grow. Giving 50, or 200, or 500 pesos is no big deal. But when everyone is asking for it everyday...I think if I ever married a pinay, I would have to take her to another country. (Not the U.S. of course, that would be worse than living in Phils.)
A helpful guide:
Expatriation Apocalypse! The Guide to Expatriation for the Broke and Hopeless (Kindle)
Expatriation Apocalypse! (Paperback)
Two suggestions for you:
1: This article is about Filipinas specifically; so no reason for you to bring up a Vietnamese girl - let it go already.
2: Virtually all our members on this site who have Filipina wives, girlfriends and experience visiting\living in the country have told you: your criteria work against you, you set yourself up to fail. Why not forget about Filipinas and try a Vietnamese lady like your friend has? Maybe his wife has a sister or best friend.
Your friend, furthermore, calling us stupid, is irrelevant. After all his comments are from the perspective of a man married to a Vietnamese girl, whereas we are specifically talking about Filipinas. There is no point in bringing this up. You may want to either change your criteria a bit, be a bit more flexible, or broaden your scope and look at other countries as well. Since you don't want to visit the country anyway, why focus on only one?
You just have to judge in each individual case what you deem reasonable. You have to remember that, when there is an emergency, the relatives will reach out to their richer relatives. Say a grandfather dies, but he is poor and so are his children. They will ask a wealthy cousin, a nephew or aunt or great-aunt who works in America or Europe, to chip in. Most families have a few relatives who are overseas workers; these are treated the same way as many foreigners are treated; ATM machines. They refuse often enough. What they contribute is not always the highest, and some of them give out loans rather then give you outright.
What you can contribute will be limited unless you have a really high income. You tell them how much you make, and how much you need for your self, your wife, your children. You tell them what is needed for your own needs to be met, and perhaps you also wish to save up? If your Filipino in-laws are reasonable folks, they will understand. They will help you, rather then hold you back, and they will not be a problem.
My own experience with my wife's family has been positive. They help me in so many ways. When we wish to purchase property, engage in business, invest, or buy just about anything, I trust in my wife and her parents to help. They negotiate for me. They advice me. They managed to ensure I pay no more and no less then a Filipino would, and effectively avoid the "skin tax", usually by simply not showing my skin.
The Filipino family is warm. Caring. Large, and in close contact with even extended family over many generations. You will always have a free babysitter, or two, or twenty. You will always have the option of taking in a poor second cousin who, for the price of eating with you (and food is cheap there), will contribute to the household, help cook and clean, do chores. You give little, and receive a lot in return. No, not everybody will be asking everyday. And you aren't expected to always say yes. If you find the right family, your no and the accompanying explanation will be accepted without question. And your wife, if she is a quality wife and truly on your side as mine is, she will argue in your favor. Defend your motives and decisions to her relatives. And they will learn to accept your limitations, as you learn to accept theirs.
You don't have to be a walking ATM machine. You won't be, if you don't allow yourself to be. Just know that a little bit of generosity on your side can last a long way, that your kindness in helping someone out will not be forgotten, and that the cooperation of your wife's family can be crucial to your continued success in the country. Overall, I believe that I have gained more money from helping out my relatives then I have lost.
1) Ask her what's the absolute bare minimum that her parents will accept without complaint
2) Split it between you. If it's a bit too much, pay less than 50%
3) Figure out a way for her to fulfil her utang na loob without involving money
So, you tell anybody who wants to involve with a filipina, that he has to reveal and open discuss with the girl's family, all about his financial status, and then negotiate what he can give?
I thought that knowing my job, and a generic idea of where I reside, how I manage to live, would be enough. But you say that you should go with your bills in hand, deposit figures and so on, to negotiate.
I have a tolerance in reading different and unrealistic propositions but this time I think that the red line is crossed.
I'm glad that my piece stirred some discussion and debate. But let me go back to what I actually wrote. The key to all of this is to discuss and agree with your wife. Troubles arise not just because of the actual amount of money but because the couple has not come to an agreement or maintained the agreement. After all, most financial obligations are long term. If you buy a car and make the 1st 6 payments but then decide to stop paying - you lose the car. You can't go back to the car company and say "hey, I made the 1st 6 payments - that ought to be good enough."
So when you get married and presuming you want to be married for life, the 1st commitment ought to be to communicate and agree for life. It's easy to insist on your view only, but that doesn't fly for long. Sooner or later even a shy Filipina will state her views and needs.
The point of my blog piece was that at some level you will be responsible and it has always been that way. Guys who claim that they never help their wife or her family either haven't been married long enough, are lying or are cheap bastards. As I said in the piece even my father had to assist his inlaws when they had health problems.
Janet and I have had many discussions about how to "help." I won't get into the details about what we do or how we came to the conclusions that we did - but it was our mutual decision.
I have never given a dime for those extra "requests". In point of fact Janet's family has never come up with such requests. Most of what we do is because we want to and went to them with a proposal.
IMO, some guys go crazy and give too much - but it's their money and they can do what they want, I suppose. Other guys try to do as little as they can get away with and you can see their relationships suffer for it. Still other guys rationalize "I give the family nothing but my wife gives them out of her paycheck." That's just semantics.
BTW, I am also not suggesting that every guy has to give a monthly allowance to the family. Many guys do. In point of fact we do not. Once again, it's was a mutual decision on what we decided to do.
Addressing Mentor's point about talking to his friend married to a Vietnamese, all cultures are different. For example in India it is the son's (not the daughter's) responsibility to help the parents as they age. So each culture is different. In the US, while some children help parents, the reality is that the society as a whole has decided to assist those who are getting older or having health problems. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. exist to assist people as they age. In the Philippines such a social safety net does not exist and it falls on the children to attempt to help their parents. So, this question is cultural and the Philippines is different than our Western cultures, or even other Asian cultures.
In reality, assuming you married a good Filipina (and there are plenty) this is not that tough. The problem arises when some guys don't have the balls to say no or don't have the balls to sometimes say "yes."
Check out my blog @ www.marriedafilipina.com
Don't you feel like sponsors? Buying love?
Is filipina daughter, an investment for filipino families, that should bring back some revenue?
What about if a filipino guy marry a western girl? Should western girl pay the filipino family, because she married the filipino guy?
People are giving mentor too much of a hard time.
The Philippines is a weird country. It's not like the west. They do things differently. They have their own traditions. There's nothing wrong with a western guy being very hesitant about giving money to their girlfriend/wife's parents. In western culture that's a ridiculous thing to do, so reacting negatively to the idea of it is normal and understandable.
Filipinas should be understanding about the fact that in western society what they see as normal is considered rather stupid. That's why both people should understand each others motives and way of thinking. Helping out your family by paying what they consider to be a lifelong debt does make sense, but only after the culture is understood. Then it is no longer stupid. Expecting your westerner husband or boyfriend to take part in that is a lot to ask. You have to get past the initial "what the f**k?" reaction. There are a lot of scammers out there, so it's only normal to be on one's guard when it comes to handing out money for any reason. As far as I can see mentor isn't being unreasonable. He's reacting according to what he's used to, as well as cautiousness, which is good.
After doing a lot of reading, I think I understand the idea of giving back to your parents forever and ever (even though I don't agree with it) and why it's so important to them. I get it. That's why my solution would be to contribute a bit (but only if asked), but not much. Bare minimum. Just a gesture. And if she wants more and more, then I'd tell her to give to my parents, see how she likes that.
Johnny1975, thans for understanding and your supplementary comments.
If you do such things in the west, the girl's parents 99% will be offended!
And also a lot of scammers out there.
I am not expecting to find west culture in asia. But on the other hand, the 'money' topic is really hard to handle, as it affects many aspects.
I could understand to help any relatives of mine, and my parents, in any difficult situation, if I can. And this could happen too, with my mate's parents.
This is humanly, charity, philanthropy, I accept it. And I accept that we should behave to others, the way we want from them to have a similar attitude.
But, once again, money has become almost a devils' organ through centuries, so anything concerning money, especially involving such close relationship, should be carefully examined.
And it is different to help once in times, and other thing to help regularly.
Johnny1975, you told things, the way I would like to tell them. Very nicely.
You are putting words in my mouth. I never said you should go to your in-laws bills in hand... I told you, that if you have a reasonable girl from a reasonable family, they will be understanding of your limitations. You discuss things with your wife, who of course will have insight in your financial situation, and decide together what can be missed. This is not rocket science.
What I don't understand is why you refuse to consider a girl from a higher social class, with a richer family or perhaps an income of her own. Why she absolutely MUST be a simple poor girl without a job. If money is such a big deal to you and you are so terrified of spending too much on your wife and her family, you should be looking for a different type of girl. But, as I said before, this is a type of girl you could just as easily find back home.
And then you bring up a Vietnamese girl, which is an irrelevant observation as this is an article Davewe wrote specifically about sending money to your Filipino family. What does your friends experience with a girl from Vietnam have to do with the culture of "utang na loob" in the Philippines?
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