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Expat wives losing hubbies to Asian women a big worry

They packed their bags and followed their spouses to Singapore. But after they arrived, they lost their husbands to younger Asian women. -TNP
Eunice Toh and Aida Johan

Wed, Sep 12, 2012
The New Paper

They packed their bags and followed their spouses to Singapore.

But after they arrived, they lost their husbands to younger Asian women.

Now these expat wives are left wondering: Where do they go from here?

The New Paper on Sunday headed to Holland Village on Friday afternoon to find out.

“I know of people whose husbands have left them for other Asian girls,” said Mrs Sue Mason, 37,who is unemployed.

“If you’ve got a strong relationship, then it’s going to hold together. But it’s hard to say.”

A heavily debated topic among her group of expat friends is the issue of prioritising husbands and children.

Said Mrs Mason, whose husband is a trader: “I’ve been told that the spouse should be No1 in my life, and kids, No 2.

“So we’ve discussed if that’s true because a lot of us put our kids first.”

She reckoned that could be a reason why expat men would cheat.

“There’s been a lot of talk on how to keep the husband happy,” she said.

“If you manage to do that, he won’t go looking for other ladies.”

She added that the appeal of Asian women would also be hard to resist.

Said Mrs Mason: “Singapore is very ‘social’, so the men spend more time at business dinners than they do at home.

“(They meet) a nice, young Asian girl, carefree and with no ties. Have a fling,and off you go.”

So why do Asian women go for expats?


Mrs Mason explained: “I think it’s a general perception that expats are wealthy, earn good money and live in nice houses.”

Another expat, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Anna-Maria, 39, felt that expat men do not even need to try hard as locals would just flock to them.

Says the Romanian, whose husband is from India: “Every Caucasian, even a loser who can never find a girlfriend in his own country, comes here and always gets one.

“Just because he’s white.”

Having lived in Japan before moving here, she noted that the situation is not unique to just Singapore.

She said: “The locals here, or any girl in Asia, think: ‘Wow, it’s a great thing to be married to a Caucasian.’

“They think that it’s very upscale when, in fact, it’s actually not true.”

Mrs Sam Blakey, 50, who moved here from the British city of Winchester with her husband and five children, is another expat familiar with the worrying trend.

“I’ve been here for 18 months and I know what SPGs are,” she said.

She also knows what they can do.

Said the personal trainer: “I’ve had acquaintances go through separation because their husbands found an Asian girl.

“It’s hard for the wives, because they’ve uprooted andleft everything in their country to move here with their husbands.”

Mrs Blakey was a journalist for a London newspaper before moving here.

She asked: “The toughest question is: How do they continue their stay here?”

The Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) has a free legal clinic for such women.

Said its executive director,Ms Corinna Lim: “It’s not only for Singaporeans, we’ve also seen expat women asking for advice.”

And as the number of expats who enter Singapore rises, more women might also be heading to Aware for help.

Ms Lim added: “Those I spoke to are devastated. Not just about the affair, but the whole situation. “They’ve left the comfortable structure that they’re used to.

From being financially independent, they are suddenly housewives and find it hard to get jobs.

“And then, something like this happens. It just crushes them.”

Mr S.M. Jegan of Kokusai Security has been a private detective for 30 years, and handles about seven adultery cases a month.

Hehas even had overseas calls from expat wives back in their own countries.

“They want to check if their husband is fooling around here,” he said.

It doesn’t help that expat divorces are a messy affair.

Lawyer Gloria James of Gloria James-Civetta&Co handles about eight to 10 expat divorces in a month. About half of them are due to adultery.

She said: “It can get pretty nasty, as there can be two ongoing suits happening in two different countries.

“There’s also been a rise in expat couples doing prenuptial agreements.”

Ms James added that some men would try to save their marriage by going for counselling.

She urged husbands who cannot explain their behaviour to sign a Deed of Reconciliation to ensure that their wives have security.

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