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I have already read several of the posts and I know how most of you feel about western women and Indonesian men, but here's another one anyway.

I am a U.S. Citizen, I live and work in the us. I met an indonesian man in the restaurant I work in and we have fallen in love. He is here on a work visa and he said he can stay as longas he wants to. There is a fairly large age difference between us, I am 24 and he is 36, but it doesn't bother either of us. When I started thinking about the future and what might be possible for us, it led to some conversations that were not so easy. He told me that he is technically legally married in indonesia, and has 3 children with his wife. However, 2 years ago, she told him and his mom that she was leaving him. He said as far as he, she, his family, and his religion are concerned, as soon as she asks for divorce and he agrees, they are officially divorced, but not legally until he returns home to finalize it. But... If he goes home to do that, he will lose everything. Their home was in her name and will belong to her, and he will lose all his belongings inside. He said there is still a possibility he will not even be allowed to see his children. Since he is over 30, he won't be able to get a job.

It all sounds pretty terrible and you're probably thinking I should just turn and run before it's too late, huh? But the thing is, he isn't pressuring me for anything. He isn't pressuring me for marriage, to go there with him, nothing. He just wants to be with me.

But I am terrified. I don't like the idea of falling in love with someone who will eventually have to leave the country with a minimum of two years before he can come back but probably longer. I hate the idea that when he does go back, he will have nothing. There HAS to be something that can be done to get around this. He hasn't asked me, but I'd be willing to travel there and live with him there while he got everything sorted out. Please. Can someone, indonesian, American, ANYONE, tell me what might be able to be done?

(note: like I said, there seems to be no imminent problems or hurry, but I'm just afraid to get in too deep with such uncertainty in the future)

Additional note: (because I know someone will bring it up) yes, he is Muslim. However, he said he isn't very strict with it, and his actions show that. He has lots of tattoos, drinks, smokes, etc. So I don't see that being an issue.



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If “their home” is in her name, it indicates to me where the house or the money to buy it, originally came from: From the wife or her family, but very likely not from your boyfriend. So, it makes sense that after a divorce – if they were married with a prenuptial agreement – the house will remain in her name.

Didn’t you have any urge to ask your boyfriend why his wife suddenly announced she wanted to divorce him?

Even with a legal divorce in Indonesia, fathers will be granted visiting and meeting rights to their children. Stating that “he will not be allowed to see his children” is just exaggerating.

If your boyfriend has a proper and formal education combined with working experience, there are plenty of jobs available in Indonesia that he can apply for. Being 36 years old is nowhere close to being considered “too old” for most jobs.



http://www.bayucottages.com in Amed - East Bali

Anorak
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Besides from the human aspects you face, you might want to take into consideration you will expose yourself to a different culture. Indonesia is a third world country. And there is a strong WE culture. I.e. you will be confronted with group thinking. Something you need to be aware of. It would be an idea to have a holiday first, visit parents and family. Try to get the picture where you are about to engage in. A visit to the family and meet them will give you that. Indonesia is not a country for emigration. What you think is normal in many cases is not available or temporarily not available, power, water by example.

Like AEB said, he is not to old to get a job in Indonesia. However, local salary's are by no means comperable to average salary's in the US. You might want to ask him pictures to have an idea in which circumstances his family is living. It gives you a first clue, look at housing and so on. There could be a big difference in standards of living. Since you seem to be communicating? In any realtionship there is form of equal. Do you consider your boyfriend to be at the same level as you? Thinking, behaviour? Education is part of it also. There are well educated people in Indonesia. Although most of them don't have the tattoo's as you describe. Atleast not from my experience.




Where there is a will there will be relatives.

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On 11-03-2013 07:11 Amed East Bali wrote:
If “their home” is in her name, it indicates to me where the house or the money to buy it, originally came from: From the wife or her family, but very likely not from your boyfriend. So, it makes sense that after a divorce – if they were married with a prenuptial agreement – the house will remain in her name.

Didn’t you have any urge to ask your boyfriend why his wife suddenly announced she wanted to divorce him?

Even with a legal divorce in Indonesia, fathers will be granted visiting and meeting rights to their children. Stating that “he will not be allowed to see his children” is just exaggerating.

If your boyfriend has a proper and formal education combined with working experience, there are plenty of jobs available in Indonesia that he can apply for. Being 36 years old is nowhere close to being considered “too old” for most jobs.


Thank you for your reply. I think you may be correct about part of that. I feel a little weird probing him for technicals on the issue, but I do know that his income he earned while working here helped her pay off the mortgage on the house. It was after that she told him she was leaving him. He said they have always fought, as long as he could remember. I personally think she was sticking it out while he was here until he paid the mortgage that was in her name and then she was done. Really shady but hey, I know American women who have done worse so whatever. Anyway... He also admitted that he came here to work to get away from her... He said he knows it's a bad reason but he thought things might improve that way but they didn't. He does not have a college education so I think that should explain why he is concerned about finding work. I'm not sure if any of that helps or makes things worse.



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On 11-03-2013 07:43 Anorak wrote:
Besides from the human aspects you face, you might want to take into consideration you will expose yourself to a different culture. Indonesia is a third world country. And there is a strong WE culture. I.e. you will be confronted with group thinking. Something you need to be aware of. It would be an idea to have a holiday first, visit parents and family. Try to get the picture where you are about to engage in. A visit to the family and meet them will give you that. Indonesia is not a country for emigration. What you think is normal in many cases is not available or temporarily not available, power, water by example.

Like AEB said, he is not to old to get a job in Indonesia. However, local salary's are by no means comperable to average salary's in the US. You might want to ask him pictures to have an idea in which circumstances his family is living. It gives you a first clue, look at housing and so on. There could be a big difference in standards of living. Since you seem to be communicating? In any realtionship there is form of equal. Do you consider your boyfriend to be at the same level as you? Thinking, behaviour? Education is part of it also. There are well educated people in Indonesia. Although most of them don't have the tattoo's as you describe. Atleast not from my experience.



Thank you. I really would love to do that, and he has told me that someday he will take me. But the problem is with his work visa, if he leaves he will not be allowed to come back on a new work visa for a minimum of 2 years. He doesn't really want to do that, he doesn't really want to be away from me for that long (thank goodness, because I don't want to either!) so that's not exactly an option right now. I know he is from bali, which from what I can tell is more of a big city tourist location than like the third world type location the rest of the country may be (and maybe I'm wrong too?) but I do think I will ask him to see some pictures of his home...



Anorak
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Seems weird to me that Americans hold other foreigners randsom by a workpermit for 2 years and cannot return because it would be single entry??????????????

Now is America one of the country's I did not have a workpermit. But I do not believe a workpermit as single entry. Everybody after a year is allowed to holiday. Go home, comeback and start work. Are you sure the statement of non return is accurate? Do you know this for a fact? Or did he tell you this? I for one would get the correct information. Just to make sure the information the both of you have is correct.




Where there is a will there will be relatives.

pPamela
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Hi,

Doesn't one need a Green Card to work in America and isn't it very difficult to secure such a thing or am I wrong in thinking this.

I think you will find that no Indonesian can just go to America and work and if he has, then it could be through some illegal scheme, so then if he left he probably would not be allowed back into the country.
Sounds to me like he ended up in America because he had a relationship with an American woman who was able to get him a visa like a 'spouse' visa to enter America and he has been allowed to stay on even though the relationship may have ended.

And what part of Indonesia does he come from? If it is West Sumatra then the wife does own all the property because that is one of the last matrilineal lines in the world.
And generally the men from West Sumatra have to leave to make their own lives if they do not marry a local.
Pamela



Yogya-Bali
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You're right pPamela. It all sounds to much like the topic which was recently discussed (in Dutch): Cowboys in Paradise Bali. Inloveandconfused , take a look at this documentaire. Probably you will find it on YouTube. I don't want to say your boyfriend is one of them, but it all "smells" that direction.

If he has an official stay- and work permit, he's allowed to go out of the country anytime. I know some Indonesians in the Netherlands who are illegal workers, mostly working in restaurants. Of course they cannot go out of the country because they don't have a stay permit. Mostly they are also attached to jobs such as in a restaurant.

Another thing are those tattoos. May be I'm prejudiced, but someone who is educated will never have tattoos because you wont get any decent job anymore with tattoos. Someone with tattoos mostly belongs to the uneducated people because in a country with a WE culture the social control is very strong and the family will not allow somebody wearings tattoos because that makes them malu (= ashamed), the most worse thing that can happen to an Indonesian.
Drinking also? I think he has told you a very nice story but there will be much more behind it. Indonesians (and for sure the cowboys) are the masters of shadow play ( wayang ) and in making one believing that one would like to believe (ASB = Asal Bapak/Bu Senang ). Be careful and try to get to know more about him before you make steps you will regret later. Success.






pPamela
User
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Hi inloveandconfused,

Please email me at pamela_fugeRemoved to prevent your adress from being spammed. Click this to go to the user profile.yahoo.com.au as I may be able to help you to get some clarification and understanding of Indonesian culutre, not possible to do here on a public forum.
Pamela.





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