On the surface, a mail order bride seems like a dream. She cooks. She cleans. She rarely speaks and if she does, it’s not in English. But you have to be careful because, sometimes they aren’t always what they seem. Especially if you’re not the world’s best speller and accidentally receive a MALE order bride from the Philippines, like one of the stories below.

1. A little too obedient

My uncle bought one when he was 65. His bride was 37. For a start it was weird and he tells how she’d cook meals and stand behind him so she couldn’t be seen but could attend to anything he wanted. She would insist he “finish” after a massage and then she would insist on tucking him into bed. She seemed under the impression that a man was to be kept like a king and she was there for food and sex. She would only eat for herself after he was asleep. He tells us he had to train the submissiveness out of her.

2. That’s one way to pay the bills

For an acquaintance of mine, the biggest surprise was finding out that when his “wife” was sending money “back home to her family,” it was to her husband (not "ex”) and kids in the Philippines.

3. Is this…legal?

I work in the oil field and a common theme is divorce. A co-worker was divorced by his wife of 20 years and she took half of everything. He later decided to get a mail order bride from Brazil (he was working offshore there at the time). She was smoking hot but 6 years later developed terminal cancer. Before she died, he ordered ANOTHER bride from Thailand and she took over the regular house chores AND took care of the Brazilian.

4. Treat it like a job

I used to teach ESOL and TEFL and taught many women who had married through agencies. They were all supporting people back home. The husbands were, by and large, nice enough guys who didn’t have the most amazing social skills. A few ladies were past 45 and looking for a new adventure in life. They spoke about sex the same way they spoke about housework or any task to be completed. They were also doing it to have kids in safer, healthier places. None of them were “in love” with the men but they all loved them. The men all adored them, just worshipped the very ground they walked on.

5. Check the merchandise before purchase

A guy I knew in the Navy was a little socially awkward, so he got a mail order bride from the Philippines. When she showed up, she was gorgeous. Great body. They got married as soon as he was able to route the paperwork. He showed up the next day somewhat distressed, and made the mistake of telling everyone in the division that she was a he.

6. Remember, it’s still a marriage

I worked with a guy that married a mail order bride from Thailand. He was one of the creepiest, most disgusting people I’ve met since he rarely took a shower or brushed his teeth. I saw his wife a couple of times. She was extremely attractive and I wondered how she managed to endure that guy. After several years of being married, she got the citizenship and divorced him. He had bought tons of houses and property in Thailand but were registered in her name since foreigners can’t legally own property in Thailand (as far as I know), she basically did a long-term scam and got the best of him in the end.

7. Not fully invested

In short, it surprises me how fake it all seems. There was no emotion in anything she would do. I could always tell she was uncomfortable. It seemed like she was just doing a job. I somewhat pitied her in a way. She would cook, clean, offer sex, whatever. But the passion, emotion, warmth, everything that makes a marriage actually work was lacking. Looking back I shouldn’t have expected as much. I was naive to think it would be any different. I thought it would fill a void but it didn’t. I regret that decision but I’ve moved on now.

8. False advertising

A guy I went to college with did it. He was a total neckbeard, but a nice guy. No social skills. She was from Ukraine or Belarus or something. Fairly hot. Anyway, she walked all over him. As soon as she could she brought over one family member after another so they were all living in his house on his dime and he was too much a pussy to say no. Cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents. Like a gypsy camp. Eventually she brought over her boyfriend and last I heard he was sleeping on a cot in his own garage.

9. A not so happy couple

She did not speak English and just sat in a chair staring at the wall looking very depressed. They had a ridiculous amount of humidifiers in the home so that it could be more like where she came from. He hung a huge picture of the two on the wedding day above his bed and while he was smiling she wasn’t even looking at the camera and just looked so depressed.

10. Well, it’s not all bad

My dad did a few years after my parents divorced. I like to make people uncomfortable by telling them he picked her from a catalog, which he pretty much did. He sat me down when I was about seven, put the book on my lap and asked me which one I liked. They were like Facebook pages. Anyways, she’s amazing. The first time she landed in the UK, my dad and I picked her up from the airport in London (he’d been out to the Philippines a bunch of times to visit her) and it was snowing. The first time she had ever seen snow! She started working in a local factory pretty soon after she arrived and the women she worked with taught her a bunch of swear words. A couple of weeks later at Christmas, my grandmother was horrified that my dad’s new wife casually swore like an old sailor. We had to tell her what the words meant and she was so embarrassed.