Reassurance?

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  • ScottyBoy
    Member
    • Jan 2017
    • 8

    Reassurance?

    Hello, thanks for checking out my post. I'm hoping people can offer some advice/insight to either set my mind at ease or help me look at things more objectively, as I have no experience of this and want to know what I'm getting into.

    Apologies if this is a long post but I need to set the scene... (Having written it I see that to call this long might be an understatement! But I am fighting a battle in my head and would be incredibly grateful if you could take the time to read this and offer me your experienced opinion!)

    (If it helps to know, I'm a 27 year old British guy, and she is a 32 year old Indonesian.)

    I was travelling in SouthEast Asia for 5 weeks and on my first night in Hong Kong (2 months ago exactly) I met a nice Indonesian girl on the way back to my hostel. We had both had a fair bit to drink and ended up getting a hotel together for the night. Half way through the night we were talking in bed and she told me something to the effect that she goes out to the bar to meet guys to earn money. I took this to mean she was a "working girl" which made me uncomfortable and I expected her to demand payment when it was time to go. But we left the hotel in the early afternoon, we walked around a bit and she took me to see the market and we got a small snack at the Indonesian section. Then we said goodbye and parted ways. She didn't ask for money, but I asked for her number. I messaged her that evening and we met up again the next day.

    We spent a few days together before I had to leave Hong Kong. We talked a lot, walked in the park and went on a day out to one of the tourist attractions. We got on really well. She explained a bit more about how she would earn money at the bars with the "business drinks" in Wan Chai where the girls get a cut of the over inflated prices of the expensive drinks guys will buy from them and spend the night drinking and dancing. She even took me to the bars one night, we had a couple of drinks in a regular bar and then a couple in 2 of the main business bars, but I felt really uncomfortable and she didn't seem too happy there either. I figure maybe she didn't like it there but thought I would be interested to see it.

    At some point she explained that she didn't like to go further than the "business drinks" but had on 2 occasions spent the night and slept with men who she liked and who had offered her a decent tip (about £300) to go back to their hotel with them. I hate the idea of a woman selling her body but I'm trying to be open minded. I have had my share of one night stands, and understand that she needs money to support herself and her children. (She was married before to an Australian for about 7 years and they adopted 1 child and had a child together. He was unfaithful and her family insisted she leave him, about 6 years ago) She apparently came to Hong Kong a month before we met to work as a nanny to earn money to send home to support her kids through school and university, and to save some money to finish the house she has built near her parents. The ex-husband has no contact and gives no support (sounds like that was her choice to cut him out completely) so I understand it's tough on her and she is just trying to support her kids. She told me she had many, many offers in the bar from guys but would quote a ridiculous price just so they would say no. She also told me the bar staff had spoken with her because guys were complaining that she would take drinks but wouldn't go home with them. She said she accepted these 2 offers because she liked the guys and thought they were nice.

    So I can just about get my head around that, but it's still not nice to think about, and makes me wonder if she is telling me the full truth. A part of me sometimes wonders if she is just playing down what she confessed on the first night because she realises I could be a good catch and doesn't want me to be put off with the full ugly truth. I also was initially afraid that she was just a gold digger looking for a westerner, as that is the main stereotype I had heard before visiting Asia. I'm not a rich guy and have been very open about this, but she genuinely doesn't seem to care about that.

    I left to continue my trip, but we kept in touch daily and I ended up flying back to Hong Kong to spend my last few days with her again. We generally had a great time together, and she came with me to the airport when it was time to go home. Although we had only spent a week together in total it was very difficult to say goodbye, I felt like I was in a scene from some sad romance movie!

    We have been in touch daily since, and have frequent and lengthy video chats. At the beginning I was still worried she would be going out to the bars, but felt I couldn't ask her not to. She has told me and I now believe her that she hasn't. (Her staying up often half the night on video chats to me backs this up) She admitted that she agreed to go along with her friends once but felt too bad and couldn't bring herself to drink or dance with anyone now that she has me. I believe her, but occasionally I have niggling doubts. Tonight for instance, her friend came over to stay, so we only got to chat for 20 minutes. She then sent a message to say goodnight at about 1am Hong Kong time, with a picture of them both ready for bed. I admit I am a bit paranoid and find it difficult to trust people as I have been hurt badly in the past, and she hasn't given me any real reason to distrust her so I try to stop the negative thoughts, but sometimes it's hard not to worry. Which I guess is why I'm writing this very long post! (Well done if you've bothered reading this far!) Tonight for instance I wonder if that photo was taken earlier to pacify me and she is already out at the bar when she sent it, which I know is ridiculous but not impossible. (Once not long after I got home she sent a picture of herself lying in bed that she had sent me 2 days previously. I asked her why not send a new picture and she got angry and said I was calling her a liar. Then when I showed her a screenshot of the same picture in the first messages she claimed it was just a mistake. But the memory of that is not helping me tonight.)

    We have become quite serious rather quickly, but I understand that in Muslim/Indonesian culture people do not date or be boyfriend/girlfriend, the marriage comes before the relationship really starts. So we have obviously discussed these things, and how a future together might work. Me being a white, non Muslim living in the UK obviously complicates things, our financial situations don't help, and her family and their blessing are also obviously a big consideration. Her parents know about me now which was actually a big surprise for me and shows me that she really is serious about me. Due to me not being wealthy, and her needing to support her family, we have agreed that we will continue as we are for 2 years until her Hong Kong Visa runs out. This will let her support her family and finish her house and save some money, and allow me to save too. Then if all goes well we would have a Muslim wedding in Indonesia (which she suggested would cost 60 million Indonesian and that she would pay for half of it) and then she would move over to the UK with me (with me being responsible for paying everything else including flights for parents to attend ceremonies in our respective countries and her visa etc). Her children would not join us as the eldest (adopted) should be nearly finished university by then, and the youngest is now living with her Aunt & Uncle who have accepted him as their own, although she still sends money for his schooling etc. (She has previously said she wouldn't mind working here if I let her so that she wouldn't have to rely on me to support her younger son back in Indonesia.)

    I believe this to be standard practice, so am content with that, and pleasantly surprised that she said she would pay half the wedding and would be willing to work here in the UK. This furthers my belief that she is not after me for money. (Although saying that, it also has to be considered that her ex husband was a pilot and she knows that I hope to become an air traffic controller, so that does sometimes make me wonder if she is only thinking ahead to the comfortable life I could provide her.) However, during the talk of wedding and expenses etc she mentioned the Mahar and asked how much that would cost. I explained that was a new concept to me and that I didn't know much about it, but that it would probably be about the same as the wedding ring. (She had suggested £300 for a ring and I had said "maybe more, like £400 or £500).

    To be continued....
  • ScottyBoy
    Member
    • Jan 2017
    • 8

    #2
    .... Continued from above....

    I continued to explain I didn't yet really understand the rules about it but that I had read online (possibly a post on here?) that the minimum value is US$100. She took offense at this and got a bit upset/angry, saying that I think she's only worth this much. (She later told me her ex-husband had given her a gold necklace weighing 30 grams which I guess to cost around £600) She also got quite upset when I told her how much I expect to save in 2 years (about £9k, but with the real possibility of achieving my ambition of becoming an air traffic controller, with some extra savings (mortgage deposit) also available if necessary.) Her getting upset at both these things set alarm bells in my head thinking she only cares about the money after all. Talking it through I understood her offense at the Mahar thing, especially after reading a lot more about it. She also explained that she just didn't think that would be enough money for everything- apparently her friend flew to London last week and told her the ticket cost £1200, so she thought that after paying 5 flights (for me and her&my parents) and her visa there would not be enough left for everything else. I showed her I can get return flights for under £400 and ran through all the figures with her until she understood and things seemed to be OK after that. But her initial reaction didn't help my self admitted paranoia/doubt (which as I explained is mainly rooted from my past experiences with British girls).


    She also mentioned the "bride price" (can't remember what she called it) which the groom pays to the parents to "buy" the bride. She had mentioned it earlier in the conversation, saying her husband had paid about £6k, but that I didn't need to worry as that is really just for virgins. After the money upset though her story changed a bit and she said that it isn't only for virgins, but that she would talk to her parents and is sure they would be happy enough without it as long as we had a Muslim wedding and I paid my respects to Islam. I would have to convert for the wedding which I understand, and she is content if I don't wish to follow the religion after the wedding. I thought maybe she changed her story to make it seem like she would do me a favour by talking to her parents and save me a chunk of money.

    She had also previously said I would need to be circumcised and that her father wouldn't allow the wedding to happen until this was done! She had also previously said that it's my decision if I do or not, but then with her saying that about her father I figure I would have to do it if I want to marry her. I did some research on it and think it's something I might be happy enough to do, but am not sure if it is strictly necessary? Some things I read suggest it's not, but I gather some areas/families may be more or less strict on this?

    I apologise for the absurd length of this post (!!!) but there's no one I can talk to about this who would understand and could give some real insight. It has even been a little helpful just getting these things out, but what I'm really hoping for is someone who understands these things better than I do to tell me their thoughts on it, and whether or not I am being crazy, one way or the other.

    If it makes the reply easier, the points I am looking for clarity on are:

    Her experience in the bars & with men in Wan Chai.
    Is my paranoia irrational or not? / Should I trust her?
    What are the actual rules regarding the "bride price"?
    Should I readily accept circumcision or should/could I argue against that?

    Wow, does all this really boil down to only those 4 questions??

    If you have read all this, thank you. I really am grateful for your time and any advice you can give me!


    Also, I apologise if I have offended anyone, especially the people of Indonesia or Islamic faith, by my ignorance. I know that I am ignorant on a lot of matters relating to this, it is all very new to me and I am trying my best to understand. I only have my limited understandings to go by, and I am trying my best to open my mind to things I don't know about or have been misguided about by the limited stereotypes I have heard, which I am aware are only stereotypes and not indicative of the nature of all people.

    Comment

    • mockingbird
      Member
      • Oct 2013
      • 13

      #3
      Hi! Wow. I was so intrigued, yet also confused by your story that I came up with some questions (and insights) of my own! Check your PM!

      Comment

      • marcus
        Member
        • Jul 2008
        • 9173

        #4
        Originally posted by ScottyBoy View Post
        (1) Her experience in the bars & with men in Wan Chai.

        (2) Is my paranoia irrational or not? / Should I trust her?

        (3) What are the actual rules regarding the "bride price"?

        (4) Should I readily accept circumcision or should/could I argue against that? ...

        (1) I guess not an uncommon case .

        (2) I guess there is a lot more than just trust , but this depend on each person . If you go ahead with this plan , I would just recommend you to wait some 10 years before having your own children .

        (3) I don't know , but in my marriage , my wife asked me some money (maybe around Rp2 million or USD150) and she changed it to brand new Rp50'000 notes which they put the notes side by side in a thin box covered with glass , to show to people at the marriage ceremony . I suppose as a symbol of prosperity (??) . And in the marriage book (the official marriage certificate) it had stated that I gave some Rp500k to my wife's parent (don't remember the exact value but it was very low) .

        (4) I would not accept . In my case , nobody asked me to do it although it was a legal Muslim marriage .


        http://www.expat.or.id/info/dowryadvice.html (Dowry Advice for Mixed Marriages)

        http://www.expat.or.id/info/conversiontoislam.html (Conversion to Islam)

        http://www.expat.or.id/info/weddings.html (Indonesian Wedding Ceremonies and Customs)

        Comment

        • ScottyBoy
          Member
          • Jan 2017
          • 8

          #5
          Originally posted by mockingbird View Post
          Hi! Wow. I was so intrigued, yet also confused by your story that I came up with some questions (and insights) of my own! Check your PM!
          Thanks mockingbird, really appreciate the insight. I have replied to your PM

          Comment

          • ScottyBoy
            Member
            • Jan 2017
            • 8

            #6
            Originally posted by marcus View Post


            (1) I guess not an uncommon case .

            (2) I guess there is a lot more than just trust , but this depend on each person . If you go ahead with this plan , I would just recommend you to wait some 10 years before having your own children .

            (3) I don't know , but in my marriage , my wife asked me some money (maybe around Rp2 million or USD150) and she changed it to brand new Rp50'000 notes which they put the notes side by side in a thin box covered with glass , to show to people at the marriage ceremony . I suppose as a symbol of prosperity (??) . And in the marriage book (the official marriage certificate) it had stated that I gave some Rp500k to my wife's parent (don't remember the exact value but it was very low) .

            (4) I would not accept . In my case , nobody asked me to do it although it was a legal Muslim marriage .
            Thanks marcus, I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. I would agree with you on the first 2 points. Point 3 is interesting, I guess that is the equivalent to the Mahar and the "bride price" for the parents. I was especially unsure of the "bride price" thing as I couldn't find anything about it online, and wondered if she was making this up. The reference in your marriage book to a payment to your wife's parents shows that while it may be a part of the proceedings, it doesn't need to be as generous as she claims! Those are both much more modest and reasonable amounts, and add to the idea that she may be somewhat driven by the thought of money. I checked the thread from work earlier but had no chance to reply, but I think you had originally said something about the cost of the full wedding. If that is correct then that furthers this belief, though I understand that the families have a big say in the wedding and that expectations are different for different families and different areas.

            Point 4 is also good to know. I have done a lot of further reading on this forum last night and see a lot of mixed opinions on this issue. It seems it isn't as open and shut as she makes out, but again I gather the rules on this seem to change depending on the family.

            Thanks also for the links. I had read the first 2 already but will read the third one with interest.

            Comment

            • marcus
              Member
              • Jul 2008
              • 9173

              #7
              Originally posted by ScottyBoy View Post
              ... Point 3 is interesting, ... The reference in your marriage book to a payment to your wife's parents shows that while it may be a part of the proceedings, it doesn't need to be as generous as she claims! .. but I think you had originally said something about the cost of the full wedding. If that is correct then that furthers this belief, though I understand that the families have a big say in the wedding and that expectations are different for different families and different areas ...

              I just checked the information in a partial copy of the marriage book (I divorced , so I don't have the book anymore) , and , sorry to correct now , that small value I mentioned was the dowry (I am not much interested in things like that , this is why I never tried to understand it) .

              You are probably right that things depend on each people/family and area where the family lives , this is why I revised some parts of the post in order to answer in a more general way .

              Comment

              • ScottyBoy
                Member
                • Jan 2017
                • 8

                #8
                Thanks marcus, good of you to check that and clarify it for me. I'm sorry to hear that things didn't work out for you. I hope that you are happy now though.


                I had a PM from a member who agreed that the whole thing was suspicious and gave me their insight into the situation. This confirmed my fears but cleared my mind. I realised I should end the relationship and while the thought saddened me I already felt a weight of worry and doubt lift off my mind.

                I ended the relationship this afternoon, but I am already worried I have made a mistake.

                To continue the story, here is how things went this afternoon... (Copied from a PM I sent to let the member know how things had gone.)

                ---

                Well I have just done the dirty deed and I feel pretty awful, and am afraid that I have made a mistake.

                It seems she got annoyed at me last night after the talk I mentioned because I didn't message her and she thought I didn't care about her. She had messaged me but I didn't get it straight away so she thought I was ignoring her. When I replied her phone was off. I woke up to a couple of messages this morning to the tune of "you do not care about me" which I thought was a bit unreasonable as I had explained I didn't get the message, and she knows my phone is a bit temperamental. I sent a quick response repeating my explanation and confusion to her annoyance.

                We didn't message all day and I got one from her as I got home from work, saying she misses me. Then as I didn't reply straight away she quickly accused me of forgetting her and having no time for her. It seems she thought I had the day off but I explained I was working today. Then I delved into the script I had been rehearsing in my head all day, pretty much:

                "Ok... This is not going to be an easy message.
                But I think you might know what is coming. And maybe you feel the same way.
                I'm sorry to say it but I don't think this is going to work between us. I'm sorry.
                I enjoyed our time together and I really wanted to believe that it could work for us.
                But I've done a lot of thinking and I think it would be better for us both if we finish it.
                It makes me sad saying this as I really hoped we could make it.
                But there are a lot of reasons why I think we would be better to end it now.
                This is not an easy decision and I don't want to make you upset or angry.
                I hope you can understand.
                I'm sorry."


                Her initial reaction was"Ok fine, enjoy your day, forget all about me" "You want finish fine what the problem I don't need." "If you love me, you more understand me, more want to know me, more care about me, more forgive me.... Forget everything, goodbye, thank you very much."

                I sent another voice message to try and make her not be upset or angry. I know I probably shouldn't care but there is still that part of me that thinks it's possible that maybe she was genuine, and if that is the case I don't want her to be hurting because of me.

                She sent a long one back that was actually pretty nice. There was more to it but here are the main bits: "I'm not angry. Maybe we are not good for each other. I think you have a good heart. My love forever. But when we fight like this, I think it's not good. Thank you very much, forgive me for everything, I hope you will be happy and find nice girl, more than me. I need you more than my life.. But you... never give. It's OK, I'm fine. Maybe God show me who you are. I'm not angry with you. God bless you. take care."

                Then she blocked me on Whatsapp so I couldn't reply. Her reply seems a satisfactory ending for this as I didn't want there to be lots of hurt and anger on both sides, so I'm happy it was quite amicable. But it makes me wonder if I have just made a big mistake!?

                -ScottyBoy

                Comment

                • ScottyBoy
                  Member
                  • Jan 2017
                  • 8

                  #9
                  Ok, after some time to reflect and hearing some opinions from others I am feeling more content that I have made the right decision. I have learned a lot from this experience and had some good times in the process so at least it wasn't a total waste! Time to move on and forget about her.

                  Comment

                  • marcus
                    Member
                    • Jul 2008
                    • 9173

                    #10
                    Originally posted by ScottyBoy View Post
                    (a) ... I'm sorry to hear that things didn't work out for you. I hope that you are happy now though...

                    (b) ... But it makes me wonder if I have just made a big mistake!? ...I am feeling more content that I have made the right decision ...

                    (a) Thank you , yes I am relatively happy now , but I was relatively happy when I was married too . It is difficult to know which life (married or divorced) is/was better as it is like comparing 2 different things .

                    (b) About my experience , as I never had any intention to have children , and although I ended up divorced , I don't think I made a mistake by marrying . I see this as just a life experience where , besides bad times , I also had good times . This is how life is , in general , regardless of if you are married or not .

                    Comment

                    • ScottyBoy
                      Member
                      • Jan 2017
                      • 8

                      #11
                      Yes, like comparing apples and oranges, as they say. I'm sure divorce is a difficult thing for anyone to go through so I am glad that you have found your way back to relative happiness.

                      I strongly agree with your second point. A philosophy I try to apply in my life is regret nothing but take lessons from everything. This situation definitely goes down as a life experience, and like you I had good times as well as the bad. I don't think the experience was a mistake, I was just concerned for a moment that I had made a mistake by ending it. Obviously things could have turned out better but I don't regret the experience. In fact I'd go as far as to say I'm glad I had the experience.

                      Comment

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