The concept of a ‘mail order bride’ is something that’s perplexed me from the moment I first heard about it. Some guy thumbing through a binder of women and choosing the face that he’ll spend the rest of his life with from a catalog that came in the mail from Russia (or wherever). I wouldn’t say that this is something I’ve ever been fascinated by, until now. The responses below are from men who have ordered mail order brides, or people who have had close experience with someone involved in a mail order bride situation, and it’s oddly fascinating to see this phenomenon humanized in a way that I’d never considered before (via AskReddit):
I married a mail order bride.
Or at least what people today call mail order brides.
I went online, found a site very much like Eharmony, and started chatting with maybe 100 Filipinas live on yahoo chat. I liked one in particular after a few months- I had a real, almost paranoid fear of scammers, so I picked one that seemed like the opposite of a scammer- she was not in makeup, was not wearing sexy or no clothes, was not living in pampanga (Sex tourist destination) did not ask for money, etc.
Cancelled the eharmony thing and Video Chatted with her for 6 months 4 hours a day to make sure it would work out.
Went there 5 times over 6 more months, it worked out well, brought her to the US and married her. We have a little girl. We get along pretty good. I know that she married me to get a better life. I married her to get a better life, so that’s OK with me.
I think an old high school buddy of mine did this. Went off to college on the west coast, came back with a Thai wife who barely spoke any English. He spoke a bit of Thai, but not much. They were together for about 3 years, then she just up and disappeared one morning. Leaving their son behind. Not sure what happened to her. He claimed she went back to see her family. We joke that he killed her.
This weird, creepy friend-of-a-friend married one. He was a Desert Storm vet with PTSD and maybe mild autism. We used to go shooting with him sometimes because we were extremely bad at making life decisions. Once, he showed up at my friends house and no one was home, so he let himself in and sat quietly in the living room with the lights off for several hours until we got back, gave us a hell of a scare. Anyhow, he met this stunning Ukrainian woman on one of those mail-order bride sites and sort of dropped off the map. A couple years later I ran into him at a thrift store and he told me about how they’re both bounty hunters now.
I used to work retail with a Philippino woman who was a mail order bride. She was a tiny little thing, around 35 years old, and her husband was a very large, stocky white man around 50-55. I thought it was very weird when she first told me, but when I met him and saw them together, it actually seemed like a nice fit. He was always coming into the store to bring her lunch or to buy her things, and pick her up from work on his motor scooter. It was pretty cute watching them ride it together. It seemed like he really enjoyed spoiling her, and when she talked about him, she seemed very much in love with him. It didn’t appear that he was particularly wealthy or anything, but he treated her very well and they seemed very happy. Just before I left that job, she had just became pregnant with their first child 🙂
My dad had one a few years back. He met her online and flew out to get her after a while. She was a shut in and was legitimately afraid of me because she thought I was smoking pot. Funny thing was that I had never smoked weed at the time (I was 17). It was a weird dynamic. If I was home she stayed in her room, unless I had been in my room for an extended period and she deemed it safe to get food from the kitchen. My room was in the basement just for clarification. The few times we crossed paths she would see me, gasp and then run to her room. My dad never saw this as a problem. He basically catered to her every want and need. Also I should mention he was 56 and she was 29.
A year later I moved out. Since then she has attacked him on two occasions and had him arrested… Eventually he sent her back, or maybe she left I dont know. I no longer speak to my father so that’s the extent of my knowledge.
I dated a girl whose dad had a mail order bride. It took them two months to figure out why she wasn’t learning anything from her English classes. Turns out the school had messed up and put her in German. You can’t make this shit up.
My father found my mother (Filipina also) this way, however it was before this was ever done online. He found her in some sort of “mail order bride” magazine, and they sent hundreds of letters to each other over the course of a year before meeting. My mother chose my dad because she was afraid of scammers, and he wasn’t playing himself off as a rich doctor or anything.. Just a poor farmer looking for a sweet Filipino wife.
Anyway, flash forward 23 years and they’re still happily married, retired and travelling the world together. They have two daughters, myself and my sister. They both were in it for a better life, and they got one.
I’m happy to hear this is still happening. Your daughter is lucky, as I was, to have a Filipino mom and a North American dad… Best of both worlds. 🙂
I knew a guy who owned his own business that got one. He got crushed by a skid steer and she now owns the business and has a new husband closer to her age.
My dad has a mail-order bride. It feels so fucking weird typing that out, only a handful of people know about it. He met her on a website, flew over to visit, was married by the time he got back, and now I have a half sister.
Although my parents were always too ashamed to admit this to anyone but myself and my sister, my mom was a “mail order bride” about 23-24 years ago. This was before all the online companies that do this, so my father had to find my mother in a sort of magazine catalogue of Filipino women. He sent her letters, and she replied, over the course of a year. They finally met and my mom moved to my dad’s tiny hometown, got married, and they had two daughters together (one being myself).
They were both looking for a better life, and someone who would treat them better than past partners had. And they both got that, plus it turns out they both have the travel bug. So now they’re retired, living a nomadic life travelling the globe, and they got more than they ever hoped for.
Sure, I’ve always known there were some serious cultural differences between my parents that they’ve never been able to fully reconcile. My mom, being from a very traditional village in Northern Philippines has a hard time understanding a lot of North American norms and beliefs, and they butt heads over a lot of small things. These cultural clashes have taught me so much though, and their collective love of travel and culture has inspired me to study Anthropology and travel around the globe. I can’t imagine having lived in a home where we didn’t eat bacon and rice, pancit and steak, or purple (ube) birthday cakes on a regular basis.
tldr; My mom was a mail order bride, resulting in a long-term happy marriage between my parents and purple birthday cake for me. 😀
One of my mom’s friend’s married a mail order bride from the Philippines about ten years ago. I spent New Years at their house two years ago and let me tell you it’s even creepier in person than you ever dreamed it could be. He’s approaching 80 by now and she’s mid-thirties. He just hangs off of her, insisting on PDA at every opportunity. I think she’s remarkably well-adjusted given the circumstance. Over the years she’s saved enough money to bring over several family members, which I’m sure is some welcome solace.
I had a friend of a friend who did it. He was a unappealing neck-beard with a terrible personality.
He got a truly gorgeous Vietnamese girl (through some bride-to-order agency) who was really sweet and seriously, a catch.
The girl left him as soon as she legally could (having gained citizenship).
Honestly I think the deal worked out really well for both them. I also think if the guy was worthy of her, or even just you know, a sweet guy, she would have stayed.
I know (of) 3 people who got mail-order brides.
One guy was a 40s-50s succesful college professor and fairly known author in his field of study. He got a mail-order bride from China or something. Never saw or met her, but the professor always talked about her and was candid about their arrangement. It was like any other middle-aged professor talking (affectionately) about his wife during lectures. It was cute.
Another guy lived in the same building as me. I always thought he was super weird. 40-50 bald, chubby man, always wore knee-high socks with short shorts. Mean guy too, always looked upset… like Kevin Arnold’s dad in Wonder Years. One day he had a woman with him. Pretty… I guess… no make up, dressed in bland shirt and bland sweat pants all the time. She never spoke to anyone, always looked kind of frightened. I worked the lobby of the building and sorted people’s mail and discovered she was a mail-order bride from Thailand or something. I suspected he bullied/intimidated her into not talking to anyone, or maybe she was just shy and didn’t want to.
Last guy was a co-worker, around my age too (at the time, early 20s). I was surprised because the guy was reasonably handsome and genuinely likeable. He had a mail-order bride from Korea and was very open about it. She’d stop by the office to drop off lunch for him a few times, and they had a baby son. They were a perfectly normal, happy young couple.
My brother up and went to Russia a few years back to visit a girl he had met online. Only stayed about four days which made it an expensive and short visit, but probably a good idea if you’re not sure what’s going to happen when you actually meet.
Several months later she came to visit us and surprise, they’re engaged! My mom was not expecting this, I was. You don’t bring over a girl from another country and introduce her to your family because you’re “just friends.”
They spent the next couple months getting the paperwork organized and then she moves to the US and then two months later they got married. Had their buddy officiate at a pretty little ceremony at the lake, just immediate family.
She and my brother are around the same age and have similar interests and they seem really happy together. Sis-in-law is going to school and I now have a niece.
I started talking to a Thai woman online a few years ago when I was 22. I didn’t really have too much going on in my life at the time and because at that time I had the means to do so, I decided to go over and see her just about a month after being in a pretty constant flow of communication over the internet. As the time for me to leave the United States grew closer, I started to notice that she seemed a little different (almost nervous) even through emails. Keep in mind I have never skyped this woman or anything like that. So I fly over to finally meet who i’ve been talking to this whole time, and I can’t find her anywhere. However, who I did manage to find was a man one year younger than me. This man was the woman I had been talking to for a month. I’m pretty shocked, as i’m sure you all can imagine, but I end up taking him to go get some food with me almost out of sheer curiosity. I start talking with him (he speaks english surprisingly well) and he tells me all about his situation. I won’t go into any details about it here, but it’s pretty gut wrenching. At this point the totally 100% heterosexual Thai man, had just asked for my hand in marriage. I was surprised in myself that I didn’t say no right away, because this is hands down the most insane thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. I guess it makes a little bit of sense though, because after spending the day with this guy and hearing his story I had grown a little attached to him. “alright, lets do it.” This is hands down the most significant sentence i’ve ever said. a little while later (after jumping through numerous hoops similar to those already mentioned in other posts) I took another plane to pick up my new husband. So we basically just kind of became bros and divorced as soon as we thought it wasn’t suspicious. As crazy as it sounds, he and I have been best friends ever since. My parents thought it was incredibly strange at first, but soon just accepted their new “son in law” into the family.
TLDR: I Chuck & Larry’d an immigrant into the United States and now we’re best friends.
Some guy in my small hometown married a Filipino “mail order” bride. Guy was kind of a creep and it didn’t last. She left him and got a minimum wage job at a fisheries shop (grueling work for no money). She cried when she got her first paycheck, she couldn’t believe how much money it was.
Really put my quality of life into perspective. I’m pretty rich for a poor person and I occasionally remember this tidbit when I lose my way
So there are many more of these stories over in the AskReddit thread (click here to read them all), but I’m choosing to end on that last one because it’s a good example of how much perspective plays into each one of these stories. More often than not BOTH parties are just looking for a better life, and that seems to happen quite frequently.