I read this article that my friend linked on Facebook (Local men going for Thai mistresses, link here) with a little amusement  The more amusing bit was not so much the article itself but some of the comments that followed her post. Samples include the following which have been rephrased by yours truly:

“This guy (referring to a guy in the article) sounds like he should marry a maid!”

“Sigh…local girls are so pitiful, facing all these competition from FT…They’re all so submissive and know how to please their man.”

Now, it’s very tempting to take the stand of the poor wives, especially for sympathetic females who all wish they’d have a happy marriage in future- after all marriage is a sacred vow that should never be broken unless under the most extreme of circumstances; and a man who is in a marriage but falls in love with another woman is undoubtedly breaking a part of that sacred vow.

But, let’s all step back and take things apart one by one.

Is the man always to blame? Sure, there are some guys who are assholes and lack the character and integrity to live up to the vow they made on their wedding day but can you blame him? Can a girl blame a guy because she chose to marry him? As with all investments (and marriage is probably the biggest of them all), caveat emptor must apply, due diligence must be met.

Some may say that there’s no test of certainty as to one’s character- I say true but likewise with all investments, there is nothing certain in live but death and taxes. However, one can certainly raise his/her odds. By the time one is of the age to be married, surely one has had enough experience choosing friends, mentors, music, entertainment and other aspects of life in order to know whether the potential spouse is a spouse or a mate. The problem is, too often, many people marry people that they know have little odds of succeeding and yet they do so because they suffer from cognitive dissonance– i.e. they find all sorts of reasons to defy their gut.

Then there’s the other reason- some men may have vowed to live with that promise of marriage but have their spouses? From the article:

Even more astonishing is that these men’s wives are not usually housewives but new-age women with their own careers.

“These wives are in their 30s and no less attractive than the Thai women so it is difficult to understand why the men stray,” said Chen.

“These young, attractive, new-age wives also get very hurt by the affairs,” she added (referring to a divorce lawyer familiar with the trend).

Now, every marriage is different so I don’t assume that the following applies to all cases but some plausible scenarios because the wife has become so focused on her career that results in neglect of the relationship? Neglect could come in many forms- lack of quality time spent together, lack of realisation that the Husband’s ego has been deflated by being less successful than his wife, not being a pillar of support in time of need due to chasing career aspirations and etc.

My point is not to dissuade any women from being too career driven (lest any AWARE or pro-feminist people jump the gun) but to point out to all women out there is that one shouldn’t  just blame external forces for a broken marriage because:

1) If the guy was a jerk before you both got married, you probably chose to marry him despite what your gut/friends told you.

2) If the marriage is breaking down due to neglect, it’s easier to start reflecting on what you can do rather blaming what you can’t.

At the end of the day, the fittest (in a key and keyhole-sense) survive.