Missing in Asia

The men were never suave, they were usually the opposite. Ordinary, middle aged and run of the mill. The majority of them were married, some of them lived with their wives, others were working away from home. They all had something in common perched up at the bar in Jakarta. They were M.I.A.

Missing in Asia.

Women who were often more than half their age and size would stand by their side, giggling while they fawned over them. “You very handsome”.

My girlfriend had her doubts, she’d started to suspect. He told her no, that there was no way. He told her he loved her. He admitted that with the travel that was required, there had been the temptation – but he assured her she had nothing to worry about.

She knew though, she just couldn’t say it out loud.

There were more trips, and then it didn’t matter if he traveled or not, the distance was there.

And then finally, a year later when they were out for dinner she made a statement that was really a question “you’re not messing around are you?”

“Yeah, I am”.

And that was it.

Twenty years, five countries, two beautiful children and it was over.

She sent me an email at Christmas “I begged him to stay, I wanted to try and work things out, I feel so badly for the children. He doesn’t want us, we’re going back to England.”

His thirty year old girlfriend moved in the day after she moved out. She can barely speak English. I’m not sure how they communicate but she supposedly makes him very happy. I really want to believe that it’s true love, because the alternative is so hideous.

And so we return to the cliche. Β On their first posting, before the children came, she worked and their expat experience was much the same for both of them. When the children came along, the juggle was too hard. It was always about his career, he traveled a lot, she would have like to have returned to work but the logistics got in the way and they never knew how long they were around for.

He still has a career, she still has children, except her logistics have just got harder.

She’ll be fine, there were tears last night when we caught up, but she’s strong and she’ll get stronger. He on the other hand, I’m not so sure.

If you’re missing in Asia, you may just be considered lost.

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  1. Oh lord! Expletives galore coming to mind. So glad that you are there for your friend.
    Michelle x

  2. How awful for your friend. I hope she meets someone worthy of her soon.

  3. I have a very complicated and literally fatal story to tell on this subject matter, which I cannot share. Next time I see you, remind me to tell you of the business mans travel tale.


    I am so sorry for your friend.


  4. Heartbreaking πŸ™

  5. Awful. But sadly I know this story far too well. Hugs for your friend Kirsty Vix xx

  6. Awful. But sadly I know this story far too well. Hugs for your friend Kirsty Vix xx

  7. Awful. But sadly I know this story far too well. Hugs for your friend Kirsty Vix xx

  8. Awful. But sadly I know this story far too well. Hugs for your friend Kirsty Vix xx

  9. Awful. But sadly I know this story far too well. Hugs for your friend Kirsty Vix xx

  10. Awful. But sadly I know this story far too well. Hugs for your friend Kirsty Vix xx

  11. Anonymous says

    I knew a man once who was very happily married. Or according to him he was.

    Each year he had to go to Korea or somewhere for work, I forget where. He had to stay for a month or so, so he lived in a rented house, rather than a hotel room.

    The house came with a housekeeper. Who did e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. for him.

    He didn’t think it was cheating. He was away, he took advantage of all the perks on offer. Much like you or me who steal the free shampoo. At least that was how he saw it.

    We’re not friends anymore.

  12. Anonymous – oh yuck! But I know it happens all the time.

    So sad, your friend is lucky to be rid of him.

  13. BASTARD !

  14. I’ve met plenty of these men in my time in Asia. You spot them, the ones who enter a bar, look around, and subtly remove their wedding ring before popping it in their pocket and looking around to see what’s on offer.


  15. we try so hard to choose the right one don’t we, to make sure that the man we make the babies with has the courage and commitment and moral compass pointing the right way to carry on with a family forever! Your friend has to make a new life and I hope that somewhere along the line she will find happiness again, either solo or with someone else. That silly man has lost out on a wife and a family. his relationship with his children will not ever be the same again and that may be something he regrets for the rest of his life. Time for all of us happily marrieds out there to celebrate how lucky we are with our faithful partners.

  16. You are a wonderful writer. As to the topic of your post, well, I’ve seen it many, many times in my wandering expat life. It’s very hard on a marriage. My heart goes out to all the spouses who ended up on the wayside of their marital journey.

  17. God. Depressing. Appalling. What a coward. I despise misogyny. To have a relationship where you are waited on hand & foot is essentially having sex with the cleaner/cook. How shallow. The new lady will no doubt be helping to support her family with money; probably the only winner in this scenario.

  18. Oh….

    Doesn’t have to be Asia, either. A couple of European bust ups have occurred here, too. Combination of frustration, isolation and exhaustion….

  19. Anonymous says

    I have seen the devastation these men cause thier families. The one in question! well I give it 3-4 years. The novelty of the young pretty predator long gone. He is alone at 50, no family few friends, maybe the ones he thinks are friends will live their lives as he has done. His children now grown and distant will hate their dad. What has he got? apart from a million regrets- and no way back. The woman he deserted, she’ll have gone through a living hell, but she will be the survivor, she has her family.

  20. Very sad…my heart goes out to your friend…something similar happened to a friend of mine from our last posting when she moved to Africa. She has 4 kids and her husband seems so quiet and unassuming. As they say ‘still waters run deep’…

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