Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Married

This is a part of our Cambodia forums to chat about anything, whether it relates to Cambodia or not. This discussion forum is at the top of our site because it's usually the busiest part of the expat community chatter with random topics on just about everything, including expat life, Khmer politics, Cambodian blogs we have or have come across, or whatever else our members want to discuss. Whether you're an expatriate, tourist, Cambodian or random traveler just passing through South East Asia, you are welcome to talk about anything or start new topics yourselves.
User avatar
FreeSocrates!
Expatriate
Posts: 506
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:14 am
Karma: 0
Location: Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh
Canada

Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Married

Postby FreeSocrates! » Tue May 27, 2014 2:07 pm

I have friends that call their Khmer GF's wives (non of them former Bar Girls, mostly I'd say light grey girls).

The Khmer GF's go so far as to adopt the Expats last name on Facebook.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with friends that do this (and for the record I don't really care). Though it does seem disingenuous, as there is no ring, no wedding and no legal marriage certificate.

But what is the reason they do it? Are they forced into it by their 'Wife'? Does it give the 'Wife' more status? Is it to save face, because they are shacking up before they are actually married?

If you call your Khmer GF your wife, I could care less, I'm not here to judge you.

I am more interested in how this situation comes about?

Never seen anyone do this in a Westerner/Westerner Relationship.
The cedar roasted asparagus has good chew. I don't know how to enjoy it, so I'll Instagram it instead.
User avatar
Sohi
Expatriate
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 9:25 pm
Karma: 2

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby Sohi » Tue May 27, 2014 2:16 pm

In English I would never call my gf my wife, but in Khmer she is always referred to as my wife I think it has more to do with the seriousness of the relationship then the paper work. Once your in an exclusive relationship all the Khmers start referring to her as your wife and correcting them makes no difference
User avatar
Alex
Expatriate
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 2:09 am
Karma: 0
Location: Bangkok
United States of America

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby Alex » Tue May 27, 2014 2:24 pm

I know it's very common in Thailand that when a man and a woman shack up they're automatically considered a married couple in the opinion of regular folks. Many such "marriages" are never formally registered with the authorities.

From what I've heard, this might be quite similar in Cambodia. This would explain why the woman would refer to her boyfriend as husband, and even if he's a barang, he might just follow suit for consistency. He might also like the concept that they can get away with being considered married without actually having to marry.
User avatar
Rama
Expatriate
Posts: 494
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 1:31 pm
Karma: 24

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby Rama » Tue May 27, 2014 2:50 pm

Sohi wrote:In English I would never call my gf my wife, but in Khmer she is always referred to as my wife I think it has more to do with the seriousness of the relationship then the paper work. Once your in an exclusive relationship all the Khmers start referring to her as your wife and correcting them makes no difference
Same. I call my wife "my wife" in Khmer but also in English..but we're not officially married...We've had a village ceremony but it was unregistered. (Actually, having said that it may have been registered at the village level ? but it certainly wasn't registered at the national level.)
We may one day get married 'officially' but that would only be paperwork and bribework. No ceremony. And only a Cambodian wedding.
Could call her "my partner" but that sounds worse somehow than calling her "my wife". Also seems easier to call her my wife now that we have a son. Although I've been calling her my wife for the last 6 or 7 years. (We've been together now for 12 years)
Think it is mainly due to Cambodia being quite conservative and cause we've been living together for so long.
User avatar
phuketrichard
Expatriate
Posts: 5840
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 5:17 pm
Karma: 285
Location: the far side of the moon
Aruba

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby phuketrichard » Tue May 27, 2014 3:21 pm

MY Cambodian gf ( of 5 years) is and will always remain my gf, she is happy with that as are her parents and as i am over 50 not much i can do about it :-)
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
User avatar
kiwiincambodia
Expatriate
Posts: 3436
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:06 pm
Karma: 111
Korea North

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby kiwiincambodia » Tue May 27, 2014 3:23 pm

the trouble begins when you start to call your wife your Girlfriend.

:dragonchase:
Check out my website for all things Kiwi in Cambodia at https://tiny.cc/j410iy
User avatar
StroppyChops
The Missionary Man
Posts: 8746
Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 11:24 am
Karma: 188
Australia

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby StroppyChops » Tue May 27, 2014 6:10 pm

Sure it happens between westerners, de facto couples often share a surname and refer to each other as husband and wife - this is even acknowledged as a common law relationship. At least in Australia, a couple is deemed to be 'married' for legal purposes on a three-part test; if they share the same building, share expenses, and share a bed. There's a minimum time threshold, it may be three months but it's been too long since I've cared about legal policy to remember.
Bodge: This ain't Kansas, and the neighbours ate Toto!
User avatar
GMJS-CEO
Expatriate
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 10:34 pm
Karma: 1
United States of America

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby GMJS-CEO » Tue May 27, 2014 8:36 pm

I call her my fiance in english and wife in khmer.

The word seems to get applied much easier in this country and my guess it is for saving face. Not a barang/khmer thing as I have seen this with khmer/khmer couples also.
User avatar
dagenham
Expatriate
Posts: 448
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 6:11 pm
Karma: 0
Great Britain

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby dagenham » Wed May 28, 2014 12:51 am

Dang...I'd call anyone my wife - if only they would let me...
Winston Churchill said, "Have a cigar, a glass of brandy, pet your dog and get a blow job daily for a productive and fulfilling life"
User avatar
FreeSocrates!
Expatriate
Posts: 506
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:14 am
Karma: 0
Location: Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh
Canada

Re: Expats who Call Their GF's 'Wife', When They Aren't Marr

Postby FreeSocrates! » Wed May 28, 2014 1:25 am

StroppyChops wrote:Sure it happens between westerners, de facto couples often share a surname and refer to each other as husband and wife - this is even acknowledged as a common law relationship. At least in Australia, a couple is deemed to be 'married' for legal purposes on a three-part test; if they share the same building, share expenses, and share a bed. There's a minimum time threshold, it may be three months but it's been too long since I've cared about legal policy to remember.
I forgot about this, in Canada I believe it's one year, but people don't usually say "My Wife". Anyone know if there is a law here? Or is it just what some posters are saying, an "unwritten law".

A more interesting question might be do Khmers call Khmers Wife and Husband if they are not married? Or does it just apply to Barang/Khmer?
The cedar roasted asparagus has good chew. I don't know how to enjoy it, so I'll Instagram it instead.


  • Advertisement
Booking.com

  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Chatter”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fourkinnel, taabarang and 175 guests