After marrying Feyma, I remained interested in the Philippines, but really only as a visitor. I never even considered moving to and living in, the Philippines. It all changed, though, just a few years later.
That was about the time when I started getting interested in online things. The Internet really was not popular yet, this was in the very early 1990s. But, there were things like America Online, CompuServe, etc. I found some kindred spirits on those forums, other men who had married Filipinas. We would meet online, talk about our experiences, share stories, etc. my interest just kept growing, and learning more of the experiences of others, it also helped my marriage.
A couple of years later, when the Internet started getting popular, I decided to give it a try. I started meeting even more and more Western man who married in the Philippines. Additionally, I started meeting Filipinos online. Both people in the Philippines, and Filipinos who and moved abroad. This really brought in my perspective. The more I learned, I started thinking that I might want to live in the Philippines.
After a while, I brought up the topic with Feyma. I was really unsure what she would think about it. Well, maybe not so much unsure, I really thought that she would not like the idea. Feyma had become very accustomed to living in the United States, and moving back to the Philippines was probably not in her plans, I thought. Well, my thought was correct. When I brought up the topic, Feyma was totally against it. This planted the seed though, she knew that I thought it might be a neat idea. When I saw that she was against it though, I dropped the topic a while. But, from time to time I would still bring it up, and present arguments to her of why I thought it would be a good idea.
Feyma came from a relatively poor family. Many Filipinos do. The more we talked about it, I realized that Feyma thought that living in the Philippines meant being poor I explained to her, though, that we had money, and I felt we could make money living in the Philippines. This started to open her eyes, and within a couple of years, she came around to my idea. We decided to make the move, and give it a try.
Feyma continued to have her reservations but was willing to give it a shot, because she knew that is what I wanted. I believe she could also see some advantages, such as being near to her family. Feyma was a real sport and was willing to give me a chance to show her that it was possible to lead a good life here.
When we agreed to make the move, we made another agreement as well. I told Feyma that it would not be cheap to move to the Philippines, and also that there was a good chance we would not like living, at least at first. It takes time to adjust anytime you move. So, I told her that we must agree that we will stay in the Philippines for five years before we make any rash decision to leave. She agreed that that was a good idea, so we made the commitment to each other to stay for five years minimum. During that first five years, there were many times we wanted to leave and return to the United States. But, by the end of five years, we were very settled and very happy in the Philippines.
Well, at the time of my writing this, we have now lived in the Philippines for nearly 18 years. We both love living here, and I don’t see us returning to live in the United States, or going anywhere else for that matter.
Making such a move takes commitment and flexibility. Remember, if you marry somebody from the Philippines, and she will move to your country to live with you, she is making that move, and making sacrifices to be with you. If you later decide to move back and live in the Philippines, like we did, you will both go through this again. I have actually found that moving back to the Philippines is harder on the wife than a first-time moved to the Philippines like what I did. So, when your wife comes to live with you in your country, give her time to adjust. Help her through the adjustment as much as you can. This is very important in order to have a successful and good marriage.
Flexibility is the key. If you are a happy person, and willing to accept changes, you can be happy no matter where you live if you are an unhappy person, no matter where you move, it is very likely that you will continue to be unhappy.
It has been a good experience for us, maybe it’s something you will consider? Who knows. Whatever you do, good luck to you.