Why Relationships Fail in the Philippines: Part One: The Guy’s Role

I get a good amount of communications – usually in the form of private messages – from fellow expats whose relationships here are either A) failing or B) totally and irrevocably  in the proverbial shitter.  The emotions conveyed through these missives are usually a heady mix of anger, resentment and – oftentimes – utter bewilderment.  Usually along the way, a house has been lost, their kids have been “taken” or “their” Philippines business has been usurped.

So, in this article we are going to be examining some of the reasons that relationships fail in the Philippines.  And being a socio-progressive libtard, I am going to be breaking down the blame on both sides of the gender aisle.

And speaking of socio-progressive libtards and gender….

DISCLAIMER:  I will be using “he” when it comes to the foreign partner and “she” in regards to the Filipina partner.  The male foreigner/ Filipina partner matchup is still the most prevalent relationship in the Philippines, but feel free to switch around gender identifiers however they may apply:  Male Filipino/female foreigner, male Filipino/male foreigner, Filipina ladyboy/male foreigner, etc. etc..  In this day and age, the possibilities are (nearly) endless!

It’s the Guy’s Fault
We’re first going to look at the foreign guy’s role in failed local relationships. (We’ll save the lady’s role in it for the next installment.)   Before going on, I just have to point something out:  Nearly all of the messages I receive on this topic are from guys who initially stated that the fault was all on her side and had nothing to do with him.  Only after further inquiries (I don’t even bother anymore) did the (expected) rest of the story slowly emerge – the cheating, the drinking, the neglect…

But enough all-too-common refusal to take responsibility for one’s own actions.  Let’s get to the good stuff.

I A Very Bad Place to be an Alcoholic

The number one problem in relationships when it comes to foreigners is their propensity to drink.  A lot.  As in starting at noon and not letting off the gas until it’s time to collapse into bed (or a convenient sidewalk). No one wants to be in a relationship with a drunk or addict, and we’re not even going to bother going through all the reasons: They are – or should be – fairly self-evident.  Along with the drinking comes neglect (at the least) and/or eventual abuse in either of its physical, verbal or emotional permutations.  Things get bad, steadily progress to worse and finally the Filpina has no choice but to show their dysfunctional foreign partner to the door.

It’s even worse with drugs.  Shabu (methamphetamine) is the drug of choice in the Philippines and makes a drinking problem pale by comparison.  And yes, there are foreigners who pick up that nasty habit Philippines and soon reap the sorry rewards.

The final vice that can quickly derail a relationship in the Philippines is a rampant sex addiction.  As with being an alcoholic or drug addict, being a sex addict is very dangerous in the Philippines.  Which brings us to the next reason why relationships fail….

II The Man-Child in the Candy Store

The Philippines is chock full of beautiful young women willing to give even a wrinkly bald has-been of a foreigner another look.  Attention like that from pretty women isn’t something that many guys are used to and – to be quite honest – it’s pretty damn distracting.  Therefore, the second most common reason that relationships fail in the Philippines is because foreign men become overly beguiled by the ego-boost of all that attention and steadily (or abruptly) forget that they are already in a committed relationship. It’s all fun for a while, I’m sure – right up to the point that your wife or girlfriend pops open the door, armed only with a machete and a murderous look.


III Disrespecting Women

Foreign guys have an unfortunate tendency to camouflage this relational fail under the guise of “traditional values.”  Here, they expect their women to cater to their every desire, jingling their glasses for ice, hollering out cooking orders and letting them know in no uncertain terms when it is time to fall to their knees.  And if they have the unfortunate tendency to shirk these duties, there is usually hell to pay.  It’s so prevalent hereabouts, that guys aren’t even ashamed to publically vent their ire on their Filipina partner – actions that in America would be met with anger and disdain (if not a punch in the face) from lookers on.  This is one of the reasons why I do an involuntary eye roll/ face palm whenever I hear a foreigner say that they want to come to the Philippines to find a submissive and meek Filipina that aligns with their rational, conservative world-view.  This is usually followed with that whole “Western women are too independent and demanding” thing (read: They won’t put up with me drinking or playing around with other women).  At this point in the “conversation,”, I usually don’t even try to continue the topic– I simply shrug my shoulders and give them a non-committal “Uh-huh.”

And since we’ve brought up commitment……

IV  Don’t Invest in the Relationship

Many guys coming to the Philippines for those aforementioned “meek and subservient traditional” Filipinas have already been through a rocky divorce.  A good number of that crowd can boast of having more than one.  Some even go so far as to declare themselves members of MGTOW (‘mig-taw’ Men Going Their Own Way) who have sworn off marriage, having kids or even long-term committed relationships and have sworn to fight tooth and nail against the global commitment agenda of those accursed Femi-Nazis.  As such and considering their background, these guys are going to have some quantifiable aversion to relational commitment.

Why give yourself to just one – they reason – when there are so many to choose from. And in the Philippines, they are right.  The only problem with this line of reasoning is that finding a pretty Filipina is easy. What is far more difficult is finding a Filipina that you can have an in-depth conversation with and that appreciates the finer aspects of subtly, irony and sarcasm – qualities that are uncommon here due to the language and cultural differences. (It’s not that they’re stupid, it’s just that English is not their first language and most Filipino comedy is based on slapstick).

OK, so those – in my humble opinion – are the four main reasons why relationships tend to fail in the Philippines due to some failing or another on the foreign male’s part:  His addiction issues, disrespectful nature, commitment-issues or simple inability to keep his dick in his pants.  In the next part of the article, we’ll be looking at some of the reasons relationships fail here to issues with their Filipina partner.  It takes two to tango, after all, and what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.


So, the next time a despondent foreigner sidles up next you at the barangay bar and starts to regale you with how “his” Filipina ripped him off, give your best empathetic nod and then subtly ask him about his role in the whole disaster. 



  1. You’re right. I drink too much. For me it’s about 4 pm and I’m allowed a Mickey of Tanduay.
    My wife is right on my ass if I abuse this at all.
    I love her for it and we get on fine.
    As for the rest, I can’t see past Rocel so they really don’t apply.

    1. I never had a hangover until I tried Tanduay and now I get hangovers when I have more than two San Miguel Light.
      Either I’m getting old and my tolerance for alcohol has dropped or there is something wrong with Filipino grog.

  2. I loved the article it makes me stop and think what are my relationship goals when I move to the Philippines how do I want to conduct myself and I agree it takes two to tango

  3. spot on; and on a positive note if your core values centre around kindness compassion and family then the Philippines is the right place to find a partner who shares those values; I know I did 🙂

  4. Ofc anyone that’s gonna lay their problems on Ned and expect him to deliver understanding and wisdom upon them probably isn’t a take charge kind of guy. So they probably gotta find blame in her, again.

  5. I read your article on why relationships fail in the Philippines. For me, personally, there wasn’t much there that wasn’t already immediately evident, and I await your second half of the article. I’ve been following your Philippine Dream story somewhat; as in watched most of your videos and read a few of your posts. I even wrote to you a couple of times, and you answered once, but the second question went unanswered. You seem like a very private person which I can understand in a world where you are trying to make a living being mainstream. I’m married to a Filipina and it has been the worst experience of my existence, and it’s on it’s way out the door four years later with a two year old son. I don’t drink nor am I an addict and I’m very respectful, overly respectful, but not to the point where I’m a doormat. Considering all the Filipinas I met while there, I can’t believe I picked the worst possible person for me to marry. Maybe that says a lot about my character, or stupidity. In either case we live here in the US and it’s been living Hell from the get go. I think she may be bipolar and refuses to get help. Anyway, long story short, you are sort of living the bohemian lifestyle that I dream of and long for. I would ask for you to try to cover more of the 101 ways to get killed in the Philippines, because that’s one of the main things that would ever stop me from coming back, but it may make your articles to political, I don’t know.

    1. Sorry to hear about al lof that, David, but thanks for sharing it. I can only say that I hope things work out for you both. If mental illness has a part in it, there’s not a whole lot that you can do. And yes, although I have a YouTube channel, I do tend to be a fairly private person. (Or at least try to.)

  6. Having lost 2 filipina wives in part it looks like the 7-8 year itch, the first I needed to get rid of, a gold digger, the second, she left broke my heart, but for the most part it takes 2 to tango, and anyone who thinks a pina is a submissive, is still pretty green at it. Shit does happen in life even without intentional assistance.

    But when thing are good, there is not many women in the world I would rather have as my (partner) I use that words vs wife, because the term wife often leads to a role that could kill a marriage.

    Great article, not often I get to read what an expat says and has it bang on, but you do there bud, its bang on correct.

  7. Everything you said was dead-on. I would add this; if you are looking for “the girlfriend experience” then plunk down 2-3k pesos for that. You will get a young, pretty girl who will hold your hand, giggle, etc, etc. Having a “girlfriend” is not an “experience”, it is work. It is sharing and sacrifice. Know what you want and choose accordingly. Either choice can lead to happiness if you are honest with yourself.

    1. I agree. And if someone is looking for a quality relationship, they’re not going to be able to “butterfly” it – you simply won’t get good quality unless you are in a dedicated relationship here. (Just my opinion, of course).

  8. I quit smoking years ago and drinking a few years ago except for an occasional beer. My wife has never had any vices. I know men who drink all afernoon. I see why the women hate it.

  9. Your article is spot on, Ned. My Filipina wife and I e-mailed each other for 9 months before we met, so we had covered a lot of our hopes and fears ahead of time. We’ve been happily married now for four and a half years. I just retired, so we will be living in Bohol during the winter months and Alaska during the summer months. My wife won’t let me come to the Philippines without her by my side; she knows how other Filipinas would act if I were there on my own.

  10. Yeah Ned, I have got to have something to say about this too. When will that bloody Ozzie shut up?
    When I retire in the Philippines, I will be looking for a Filipina partner, as do many Expats.
    I will be looking for someone to love, have a family with and to be able to talk to, and not necessarily in that order of importance.
    I think you need to be able to talk to each other about things that are more than just the current gossip to be even friends and be able to have open and and honest conversations to go beyond being friends.
    From what I have read anecdotally on the web; open and honest conversations with Filipinas can be a minefield of Tampo and Onion Skin.
    How do you cope with this?
    Do you have a list of taboo subjects that may change without notice because the situation in the Philippines changes or changes with her family or friends or the community?
    Love or Lust – Can you tell the difference in what you are feeling and can you tell the difference in what a Filipina is feeling; Love for you or Lust for Money, Status or a Visa to your country of origin?
    Family – Sure you marry a Filipina you marry her family with all the responsibilities that entails but where do you draw the line.
    I’m 59 and want to be a Dad at least once in my life, looking for a single Filipina, aged 30 to 35, must be honest and intelligent (though if she wants me that is questionable).
    Do you think I have a chance or am I just having a late life crisis?

    1. Life most everything else in life its a pay to play game. money softens the age gap. sometimes a real connection happens but odds don’t favor that in most circumstances.

  11. For the past couple of years, I have been enjoying your videos and when the opportunity arises the occasional blog. I can honestly say that I can agree with every single word of this post. 2 years living in PH and I could not agree more. Bravo! Looking forward to Part 2.

  12. Im sorry i got to laughing so hard reading your article. I just cant believe it has to be explained why people break up. Me im guilty of not giving my wife the attention she deserves so im far from perfect. Anyway we recently built a house their and i will be attempting an early retirement should be their in December as long as all our bills are gone by then. And i will strive to keep my dick in my pants and not get drunk, (ive been sober for 23 years now), ill be living near subi bay who knows maybe we will even meet one day.
    Happily or some times unhappily married 28 years !

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