thai-western couples

Thai-Western Couples




main thing (2) dream (2)
region share (3) just happened to
local common takes care of
settle overcome rather than
gather expect choose/chose/chosen
local support at the same time
attract care (2) don’t care
retire pension opinionated
dowry improve affectionate
strain salon (2) cross-cultural
crisis mean (3) run out of
cause issue (2) look after
doom quarrel survive (2)
gap draw (3) beauty salon
notice security son-in-law
gossip relatives accommodate (2)
equal right (4) believe (2)
hardly standard strong-headed
cross situation run/ran/run (2)






Nui Davis, Thai Wife: “The main thing about my life is that I always dreamed about marrying a foreigner.

Joe Davis, American Husband: “I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

This is Seth Maiden in Udon, Thailand. Here in a poor, farming region of northeast Thailand, many young women share this dream, and many like Nui Davis, it does come true.

Marriages between Western men and Thai women are so common that they’ve become a local business.

Pennapa Sorensen, Thai Wife: “He takes care of my family. He takes care of my daughter. He takes care of everything for me. Before, I didn’t have anything. But right now I have food, I have a car. I don’t work; I only stay at home, and look after my baby.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Thousands of men like Joe Davis and Dennis Sorensen have chosen to settle in the towns and villages here, rather than taking their new wives home with them to the United States or Europe.

There’s even a street where foreign husbands gather to eat and drink, known as “Son-in-law Street”.

John Thavon, Manager of International Services, Local Hospital: “The foreigners coming here is a very big support. Our economy has gotten support, and also they are helping the poor Thai ladies improve their lives, and at the same time it has started to become a business.

Most of the girls who get married don’t care about the man’s age, but care about his money.”

The husbands are often retired men on pensions, but they’re wealthy by local standards. They’re usually expected to pay a dowry of thousands of dollars, and to help support the relatives of their wives.

More than anything, it’s money than can strain these cross cultural marriages.

John Thavon, Manager of International Services, Local Hospital: “In Thailand, you’re marrying the whole village and the whole family. That means you will become part of the whole family somehow.”

The man doesn’t understand, but the lady expects that.

American Husband: “We’ve had issues where I’ve run out of money, where I cannot take care of everybody. And that has caused some . . . crisis . . . but we’ve overcome everything the best that we can.”

Differences in culture and quarrels over money can doom a marriage, and fewer than half survive.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Age differences are also common: Dennis Sorensen is 32 years older than his wife. The gap for Joe and Nui Davis is 24 years. But he says he hardly notices the difference.

Joe Davis, American Husband: “Age is not a factor here. In America, if I were to marry a girl that’s 24 years younger than me, all you’re going to get is eyes and bad talk, bad gossip.

Here, it’s not an issue; it happens every day.”

If it’s money and security that attract the women, it’s the image of an accommodating, affectionate woman that draws many men.

Joe Davis, American Husband: “Thai women are a lot like women in America were fifty years ago.

I’ve always been an equal rights supporter in America, and I strongly believe women are equal to men.

But somewhere in the process of all of that happening, it has become more difficult for American women and American men to have a good relationship, because they’re both strong-headed, they’re both opinionated. The women now know that they are equal, so the situation is not as relaxed and peaceful as it is between an American and a Thai lady.

Nui Davis, Thai Wife: “We will have kids soon.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Bernhard Kokoschka is originally from Germany. He met his wife Maneerat at a friend’s wedding.

Maneerat Kokoschka, Thai Wife: “I didn’t like him that much. But he really liked me.”

They’ve been married for fourteen years. And they’ve settled near her family’s rice fields where he farms, and she runs a small beauty salon.

Theirs is one of the success stories.

Bernhard Kokoschka, German Husband: “Our dream was to build a house and have a farm. You see, I have a beautiful house. I’ve got a swimming pool. Not expensive. It’s not expensive living here.

Ladies from Udon work very hard. They’re not lazy: they like working.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


Baby, Infant. The dream of Thai women is to go to university and have a successful career. Is this entirely true, mostly true, partly true, mostly false or entirely false? Why do they desire this?

Child, Girl, Boy. Is the economy of all of Thailand based on tourism, manufacturing and finance?

Adolescent, Teenager, Teen. Strangers and foreigners are rare in northeastern Thailand. Is this right or wrong? Do locals welcome Westerners settling in their region?

Young Adult, Woman, Man. Do the White husbands and their local wives have a lot in common? What are some of their differences? Can these differences interfere with their marriages?

Middle-Aged. Why do many Westerners want to marry Thai women? Do they all want to return to the US with their Thai brides?

Senior Citizen, Elderly, Old. Everyone meets and gets married though marriage agencies or online dating platforms. Is this correct or incorrect?

Daughter, Sister. Compare the living standard of the Westerners in Thailand with their home countries. Is it the same, similar or different?

Son, Brother. Do all inter-marriages or mixed-marriages succeed in the long-term?


Wife, Mother. I know people who are married to foreigners or people of a different ethnicity. Yes or no? If yes, who are they? Describe their backgrounds.

Husband, Father. Is it very common, common, not very common or rare for people in your country to marry people of other nationalities? Has it been changing?

Aunt, Uncle. Do some men and women complain about women and men in their community?

Niece, Nephew. Do many women and men wish to marry foreigners or someone of a different nationality, race or ethnicity?

Grandparents, Grandmother, Grandfather. Many people emigrate or move to other countries and marry locals there. True or false?

Grandchildren, Granddaughter, Grandson. Has the reality turned out to be different that what they had expected?

Great-Grandmother, Great-Grandfather. What will happen in the future?


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