If she gave up her career ambition, what did she do all day. I think in today’s world cleaning and cooking does not really take up the whole day. That’s why a lot of housewives just sit around watching soap operas and getting fat.
SE Asians are remarkably incurious. They are happy to do a small detail without understanding it’s place in the larger whole. I have her do gopher and small assembly work, as well as the usual laundry, cleaning, cooking and shopping. The hours are not equivalent to a full time job. That’s the whole point of the arrangement. I work more than her and earn all the money, therefore I can dictate to her what to do in her hours of work. She can’t complain that I boss her around or ask me to help with her chores because it’s clear that I work harder than she does and have earned my position of power in the house. It’s an equitable arrangement, even though we don’t divide up the labour 50/50.
I can see how this domestic arrangement has stood the test of time. She serves my needs, and her needs are served by me. I get a devoted love slave who does my bidding, and she gets a protector, provider, and lover. The man working longer hours and earning the money, while the girl works less hours but is under the command of the man to serve his domestic needs is a stable set-up that serves everyone’s emotional needs.
Oh, and let’s add that the woman also has a need for long term security and financial power, so since many of us expats don’t marry to provide that, we’ll give a small monthly allowance on top of paying all her expenses and buying her clothes. Some give as much as $1200 per month, but it’s more common to give about $200, more or less. Secretaries here can earn as little as $100 per month. The money is a trivial expense – it’s about balance.
I didn’t always pay a stipend in SE Asia, even while most of my peers did, however now that I can afford to, there is no reason not to.
Girls have a need to compare themselves to their peers and feel that they are well positioned. It gets sick sometimes, how they compare how much of their boyfriends money they spent on their new handbag, perfume, or shoes, with some girls claiming Paris Hilton level expenses. My impressionable girl always gets a little strange after one of those gab-fests, and a little obsessed about money, so I have to emotionally slap her down and insult her friend to her, tell her that I don’t like her friend and to get a new one, and so on. That calms her down. Five hundred dollars on perfume. Get real.
And I also plan to keep sending her a small stipend after I leave here, until she’s set-up with a new guy.
The old domestic deal was that a guy wasn’t free to move between girls. In this new deal, men have to still provide what they did in the old one. Women are hard wired to demand severance pay, so this new deal must actually be a very ancient domestic arrangement. Before the institution of lifetime marriage men must have slipped out the noose regularly. If the man wants to move on, all the women will act as one and nag at the man and all the men who will listen that he must pay severance. I used to be more of a feminist, and would say fuck that – you wanted equality, here it is. But over here the women don’t want equality. They want an arrangement. So I can work with that.
Westerners of my generation have lost touch with this old domestic arrangement, to the degree that most now feel that if the woman is not bringing in money then she’s not properly contributing to the household. And they feel that giving a stipend is like paying a whore.
It’s a shame really. I hope men can get back in touch with our more primal roots. The old fashioned domestic arrangement stood the test of time for a reason.
Update:I just remembered that Muslims have it encoded into their religion this older than marriage domestic arrangement. They have the rental wife clause. You can make temporary marriage agreements in their faith with the understanding that you pay an agreed upon monthly or yearly allowance.