Confessions of a Thai Minor Wife (Part One)

Getting the idea

Not so long ago, I started work on compiling a set of interviews with a variety of Thais from different sectors of society. The interview below, the first of two parts, was the first one which I completed.
I originally met Yui by a chance a couple of years ago and we became good friends. She had always told me that she had a boyfriend and I would often see him come pick her up, take her to eat and buy her stuff etc…It was only after knowing her for the better part of one and half years that she admitted one evening “Steve, Yui pen mia noi na”. (“Steve, I am a minor wife). Actually, I wasn’t very surprised, perhaps she thought that I knew all along – Thai-style like…..she guessed I would find out all by myself.

As you will read, Yui can certainly think for herself; she is charming, has a fun personality and without a doubt would have no problem at all, at just 30 years of age, to find a ‘proper’ boyfriend. She prefers to live though, the life of a minor wife (mistress) – and it is that which encouraged me to encourage her, to tell her story.
In this translation of the interview, I have tried my best to keep to Yui’s style of wording – only some names have been changed. The first part concerns Yui’s life…… prior to becoming a Thai Mistress.

Maybe you could start by telling us a bit about your family.

Sure. I’m the forth of five children. I’ve got an elder sister, a younger sister and two elder brothers. I still got my mum and dad, they live in Pathumthani province – my mum used to be a teacher and my dad used to work for the local government administration. As for my brothers, one of them works as an engineer in Bangkok and the other stays near our parents home running his own small Garage business. They are already married with children, same goes for my elder sister, she lives in Nonthaburi. Now, my younger sister too, is in a relationship with some guy but she didn’t say if she had plans to get married. Anyway, I think she’s still too young for commitment, she’s just turned 25.

So, it doesn’t sound like you come from a poor family.

My family aren’t poor and they aren’t rich, but they do all right. My parents are retired now and they get a government pension. When we were younger, our parents didn’t save much money for themselves as they wanted to spend their savings on giving their children the best education. We all pity our parents though and try to send money home as often a possible, you can say it’s a kind of traditional payback. But to tell you the truth, my parents don’t really need the money – they live a simple life, like a ‘self-sufficiency economy’.

You spoke about your parents giving their children the best education. Please explain.

Except for one of my brothers, we all went to university in Bangkok and so my parents had to pay for all of that. Our dad wanted us to study hard and that meant no working at the same time. So, you can think how much he had to pay for everything. On top of that, my brother and I went to private universities which cost a lot.

How about your university days?

My university was located on Rangsit-Viphavadi road, not too far I guess from the old airport. It’s quite a famous university and most students who go there can learn to speak English well. But, not me! I graduated in Business Administration but since I liked to go out a lot with friends, go to parties, go to nightclubs, drink and stuff – my grades were low.

You sound like you were a bit of a wild student. Did your parents know?

No way, I could never have let them known, they would have been really sad.

Were your parents very strict?

Not at all, the very opposite – especially dad. When I was growing up my parents were protective of me but at the same time they would let me do my own thing, I suppose you can say I was a spoilt kid.

You are an attractive woman, so I can imagine that you had a lot of guys hitting on you during your time at university.

Hah! Most of my friends were actually guys, I always hung around more with my male friends. I guess I liked their life-styles, partying and drinking – most of my girlfriends though, as they lived with their parents in Bangkok, wouldn’t go out that much. In Thai society it’s all right for guys to do what they want, like sleeping around with a lot of girls and although I didn’t encourage such practices, I accepted it as the normal kind of male behaviour. At that time I was pretty scared of getting AIDS or something so there was no way that I wanted to get into any kind of intimate relationship with one of them.

Are you trying to say that you never had a boyfriend then?

No, I had a boyfriend, but since he wasn’t part of our circle, I didn’t bother telling my friends about him. I don’t think they would have taken to him that much anyway. He wasn’t like them.

Please explain further.

He was a really clean guy, clean on the outside anyway. He didn’t smoke, drink or do drugs. He wasn’t a student too, he worked for his father’s business in Thonburi (Western Side of Bangkok). His family were rich and he had been to study in America before.

Did you meet his family?

Yes, but they didn’t like me. Kind of looked down on me, I think they wanted their son to marry a really proper Thai girl, a girl who would bow and kiss their feet and serve their son like a maid not a wife.

You sound angry.

Who me? My dad had always brought me up to have self-pride and taught me that everyone was equal. Yes, I was very proud of all the things he had done for his family. He also taught me that I should look for a husband that really loves me for what I am, regardless to whether he is rich or poor. That’s why I didn’t like his parents, they would look at me a like I was a country-bumpkin who only wanted to marry into money. I loved my boyfriend a lot and just had to put up with his parents but I tried to meet them as little as possible. In my heart too, I was wishing that one day they would accept me.

You were really serious about this guy then.

Sure, I thought he was the perfect guy. He cared about me a lot, was very kind and didn’t fool around with any other girls. One thing I liked about him too was that he was more grown up than my friends – he was about 28 – he was more responsible and hard-working – we could have a decent conversation about more-or-less anything. He was the first guy I ever took to meet my parents and they liked him a lot, my boyfriend would buy lots of little gifts for mum and even bottles of imported wine for dad. They believed him too and so I would use him to explain that I was a diligent well-behaved student who did nothing in her free time besides reading books!

What did your boyfriend think about your wildish behaviour?

He didn’t really care that much. I don’t know why but he completely trusted me. Sure, he cared for me but just like my dad, he thought the best way to deal with a wayward girl was to just let her go but support and teach her along the way. He was glad though when I graduated from university and got myself a job.

So, what happened?

Let me say first, I loved the guy so much that I put up with family insults and sarcasm, I just hoped that they would one day see me in a brighter light. My dad would have been very upset if he had known, but my boyfriend would often come to sleep over at my place and we would sometimes go away for the weekend just him and me. I never suspected anything, I was so stupid, it’s unbelievable. His family would often call him, like he was a big baby or something, asking him what he was doing and what he was up to, so I didn’t think anything when a cousin of his ‘Tuk’ would call a lot.

The first time I started to find out the truth, was the time I accidentally found a strange mobile phone zipped-up in his bag. I asked him whose mobile phone it was and he replied that it was one of his friend’s – he had forgotten it or some crap like that. Just then while I was holding the thing, someone called in, but the phone’s sound and vibration mode had been turned off. To cut a long story short, I found out that this ‘cousin’ of his was in fact his new girlfriend – she knew about us and was waiting all along for us to split up. After a bloody row not long after, he disappeared and that was the end.

How did you feel after the relationship ended?

I wasn’t just heart-broken but I felt like a dumb idiot who had been used like some dirty rag. I felt bitter too abut his family who were probably celebrating. I was also mad about that girl ‘Tuk’ who had no heart – she just came in deliberate to destroy our relationship. After that, I didn’t have any proper boyfriends for a long time – sure, I went out with some guys, even had casual safe-sex at times, but I just couldn’t trust guys anymore. I was also really embarrassed too, to tell my parents – I knew that if they knew the truth they would be very hurt. So, I just said that he went abroad to further his studies and that he would be back one day.

You seem to be very open and frank.

My parents always tried to teach me to speak my mind and let go of my feelings. So, that’s what I do – but not always with them – I don’t wanna hurt their feelings anymore.

Update: Read the conclusion on thai-blogs.com by clicking here.

25 responses to “Confessions of a Thai Minor Wife (Part One)

  1. good upbringing but sadly,
    a loose chick with an attitude

  2. Het Steve. Great post and a very good read. I don’t understand the visitor’s comment about a good upbringing but a loose chick with an attitude.

    I wish more girls had attitudes in Thailand instead of being viewed as a minority. So she enjoyed her life and lived her life. Good on her I say.

    Why can Thai men do whatever they like and not be viewed as a good upbringing but loose attitude. Drink, fall over, hope on the motorbike and endanger everyones life!

    I know of a few other families who also looked down on their prospective daughter in laws. These stuck up people are nothing but snobs. Thai people and their status is a joke when it comes to them being better than others as they have money or status.

    I see this behaviour with the very men I play golf with every weekend. They all believe they are better than the caddies and so forth and treat them this way.

    Well, anyway. I look forward to reading part 2 of Yui’s life.

  3. Very interesting story Steve. I agree with Jason — this is refreshing for a woman in Thailand to display so much of an assertive, independent personality. Very brave. And i”m sure those same qualities play a major role in how she doesn’t have a problem being a minor wife. Look forward to hearing more about that. Thanks for this glimpse into Thai society Steve!

    (BTW – There seems to be a formatting error in your blog where hyphens are coming out as question marks, both in firefox and IE here) Have a look…

  4. I think if you talk to Thai women in Thai – like i assume Steve did – you will see that a lot of women are very open and frank about her views.

    These usually do not fit at all the stereotype western man have (or like to have) about Thai women.

    Bangkok women are as cosmopolitan as anywhere, and yet so different.

    I always told my wife, I will sue the guy who came up with the story of nice and obidient girls 😉

    I know some girls or are going for a mia noi and even some who are going for mia jay. For both it can be a matter of choice for that moment … while for mia jay’s it usually isn’t.

    they start do that for some time and then they move on. in many cases it has nothing to do with being poor, starving, being a prostitute, etc …

    just some thoughts.

    Cheers!

  5. Mia jay?

  6. Main Wife.

  7. Main wife (common-in-law) wife in Thai is is Mia Luang.

  8. Steve,
    I jus wanna know one thing.. is she as foxy as the pic? :-D~

  9. just a lazy Thai woman that won’t earn her own keep.
    honestly, i really looked down on people liked her.
    money talks and bull walks…
    cheapest than a bar gir and i meant no disrespect to the bargirls
    they are the lowest scum of the Thai society
    for breaking up others’ families.

    that’s my 2 salung on them.

  10. sorry to disappoint you lot….
    for trolling i was not….
    as i stated in my previous post, these people are simply parasitic, wanting a good life but never wanted to work for it.
    my apology to Mr. Stephen Cleary
    if i am messing up your blog.
    to Art Malevont and Jason brunt,

    my apology again, Mr.Cleary.

  11. Um, Jules. Where did you get bargirl from? It doesn’t mention her being a bargirl in story at all.

    It says her parents paid her way through university. To be a “Mia Noi” this doesn’t mean they are bargirls.

    Why blame the girls?? What about the scumbag guys that are cheating on their wives?

    Did you know that most new aids cases are married women who catch it from their cheating husbands who are sleeping around with who knows who.

    Jules also did you know you talk in the “past tense” You really looked down on people like her” Does this mean you have changed your opinion now?

    You seem like a person who thinks you are better than others because you maybe have a little more money than they do but as a good person you wouldn’t be a blip on a radar.

    Good on the girls who want to be Mia Noi and enjoy the benefits that come with it. A better lifestyle and not having to worry about scraping money together to buy things.

    That’s my 2 cents Jules.

  12. Art Malevont

    What troll Jules! Are you just another sex-tourist who got a chip on his shoulder?
    The lowest scum are the likes of you man who come to Thailand just for the sex. After you get scammed you get pissed off. Go to to the bars Jules same place you always go.

    My 2 salung on you, or should i say 2 baht?

  13. Don’t worry Jules, haven’t been messing up our blog at all. We always welcome analytical criticism.
    I think what some of the readers will be wondering is why you are so angry at Thai mistresses and girls who work the bar. You have called them ‘lowest scum’ but you still have respect. Interesting. Perhaps you would care to enlighten us on where your anger comes from?

    So Jules, did you ever marry your Thai girlfriend after last Songkran?

  14. suwat should know the multiple option of mia in thai language …

  15. I don’t think jules is a rich guy. By a language he used, I think he is one of thise guys i met at my apartment. They cannot rearn proper wife who have the complexity of her skin in thier color too–a guy to be spurned upon by all white women–pitiful.

  16. thumbs up jules, ur not alone!
    i believe simple issan girls are better off than this type of girl anytime

  17. Hey Jules. I am all for people xpressing their points of views but when they seem to just come from left field with no real back up to the comments you make it’s a bit hard to understand your point of view.

    To Visitor. Did you know that “simple Isaan girls” are many of the girls who work in the bars frequented by Farangs as their families are poor and they have large debts.

    Yes, simple Isaan girls are amazing and fantastic I agree with you 100% but can you inform me where the bad girls come from?

    Is it Bangkok or where? The root of the problem again isn’t the “girls” it’s the cheating men taking on these little wifes or extra girlfriends.

    Why are the girls to blame and not the men?

  18. thanks Steve, for still allowing me to comment on your blog,cheers.
    yes, to your question…..i am married to her now and in the process of legally adopting her 8 years old daughter.Thailand seems to be giving me the merry go round treament.any tips will be welcomed, Steve.if you could help in any ways,
    it will be much appreciated.ta.

    to answer bebe, yes you are right, i am not a rich person as a rich person goes, but i do live a comfortable life and i am very much thankful for that.
    the language that i used, i still think that is english and no, i am not a racist and the colour is only skindeep so, please don’t jump the gun by start profiling me.you failed miserably.

    now, the main reasons that i disliked those mia nois are the havocs that they wrought to those tangible parties.no winners, all are losers.you have to see first hand what those vultures are capable of.
    in fact, i knew quite a few mia nois personally and they are still my friends but i made my stand clear, that i am not supporting their endeavours.
    i am not a malicious person, i just call a spade, a spade.and most of the are lazy spades, anyway.

    cheers.

    ps, steve,
    if you have any tips regarding the adoption, could you please email me ?
    or maybe we could chat on the phone….i will do the calling and bear all the costs.

    thanking you in advance, jules.

  19. Hey Steve —

    Are you going to wait until the Minor Wife becomes a Major One before you write the sequel or what?!

    Inquiring minds need to know!

  20. Hey Steve enjoyed your article in the newspaper on Bangkok buses.

    Amusing and very true.

  21. You made up this interveiw

    you call thai people fake are critical of corrupt politicians but you worse

    how dare you fabricate something is another persons country

  22. Jules

    You were absolutely spot on. Thats exactly what “mia noi’s” are – lazy and parasitic. Individually they may be nice people, as are several girls I know who are doing the same thing. But their behaviour is beneath contempt.

    Wake up people. What is the difference between mistresses and prostitutes???!? A mia noi is usually very well kept (read PAID FOR) by her..eh….sponsor. In many ways, both direct and indirect. Thats the whole point for them. Any protestations to the contrary is just bull.

    And in return for being financially looked after, she is not exactly expected to provide merely intellectual conversation!! So they provide sex and companionship in return for financial and material reward. Sounds like a hooker to me. Btw Jason, thats what was meant by a loose attitude.

    But worst of all is the damage they inflict (together with the husband of course) on the wife and family of the man.

    So good on her james, eh? You wish more thai girls behaved like her? Are you looking for a live in prostitute too? What about the wife and family she is helping to destroy? This is not a poor isaan girl forced into this to feed her family. This is a girl who has many options if she was prepared to get off her lazy ass. Being a mia noi is a career move for her. She is prepared to benefit herself regardless of the possible consequences to the wife and family. Nauseating.

    And what the hell do you mean dont blame the girls?? Are you for real? They are EVERY BIT as much to blame as the guy. There is a little concept we grown ups call TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS.

    No doubt you still think what she is doing is a laudable thing. I sincerely hope people like you are in the minority in society.

    While I respect her honesty, thats about all I respect about her.

  23. Notsuchanidiot

    What a stupid comment that is from Robert (above mine). It is obvious that he didn’t read part two! How can this idiot Robert call her a hooker when she never asks for money?

  24. Oh…..my…….God…….How can you be so obtuse notsuchanidiot?? Are you being serious???

    Allow me to quote the relevant passage from part two since you obviously dont have a clue what you are talking about.

    “You told me a while back that you have your condo and car. Now, you said too that you don’t earn so much, so where did you get the money for all that, did Korn buy them for you?

    No, not really. I didn’t tell you before Steve, BUT I DON’T ACTUALLY OWN MY OWN CAR AND CONDO IT IS ALL IN HIS NAME. HE BOUGHT THE CONDO AND LETS ME STAY THERE, SAME GOES FOR THE CAR, I suppose he just wants my life to be more convenient”

    I have even put it in capitals in case you missed it a second time. I repeat, she is a KEPT WOMAN. If you think this is acceptable behaviour, to screw a married man (even if there was no material benefit, which there so obviously is for anyone with half a brain to see) then you are simply pondscum. Get a clue, gobshite.

  25. I hate seeing the exterme left and right positions. I am a western Farang and have lived in Bangkok. These stories are rarely black and white like a lot of people want you to believe.

    I know that this issue is a large and complicated one, but I would like to focus in and point out a social benefit to this practice (and it occurs throughout Asia, not just Thailand). A lot of these girls are from middle income or poorer families. A lot of them come from outlying areas and only come to Bangkok for university or work.

    Being a mistress is not their end goal, but it provides them with an opportunity to be taken care of by a well off Thai man. This relationship often leads to other benefits for the woman… greater access to people who can advance her career, for example. The safety and security of living in better neighborhoods. The safety of driving your own car instead of taking public transportation late at night.

    This is how I have seen it first hand. I have Thai friends who have minor wives, and they are genuinely well-educated, nice guys. I could not imagine for a moment that they mistreat their mistresses… I believe that they truly care for them.

    I am sure that there are others who don’t, but by the same token, how many girls (anywhere in the world) have asshole boyfriends who knock them around? Proportionately speaking, I doubt the numbers are higher for Thai mistresses than they are in the general popluation.