Device privacy, trust, intrusion and the jealousy of vietnamese girls

Hello all,

1st time poster, I'm Seamus and I've been in Vietnam about a year firstly motorbiking solo the length and breadth of the country now blissfully settled into ex-pat life in Saigon down near Phu My Hung.

In the past few months I have started dating and while I understand and accept the differences culturally etc the one thing that I am very not comfortable at all with is girls going through my iphone, computer etc being nosey and trying to find something that sparks an incident of ridiculous jealousy, apologies, distrust etc.

My business is technology and data security is paramount now more than ever, for someone that I am close to / dating to use an excuse/reason to get my passwords / pins then go fishing is a gross abuse of trust and a pointless exercise as I have nothing to hide and/or I catch their clumsy efforts or they go crazy over a picture of me taken with another random girl 8 months ago and then have to backtrack and apologise and the whole bloody thing is getting tedious.

Is this common?

How do others deal with this?

Why is this happening and how do i best put a firm halt to it without seeming suspicious or anal retentive?

It's starting to put me off dating local girls who in all other respects seem absolutely lovely.

If this is how it goes when you are not even the bf then...

Hate to start here with a rant and a moan as I absolutely love the place in so many regards but this particular quirk seems to have hit a nerd raw nerve.

Any advice or solace from wiser more experienced heads than my own?

Cheers

S

Vietnamese people in general (not all) have boundary issues and have no respect for your personal space. How many times have you been in line for something and had people just push up next to you or force there way past you. I think a lot of this is because many are raised in crowded multiple generational households where there is very little privacy or personal space.
I've never had a problem to extent you are but my wife does occasionally look through my messages on my phone. I let her and its not an issue for me.

VungTauDon :

Vietnamese people in general (not all) have boundary issues and have no respect for your personal space. How many times have you been in line for something and had people just push up next to you or force there way past you. I think a lot of this is because many are raised in crowded multiple generational households where there is very little privacy or personal space.
I've never had a problem to extent you are but my wife does occasionally look through my messages on my phone. I let her and its not an issue for me.

Especially in banks where my money is being counted out and some local just butts right in and starts taking over. The mind boggler is that the teller actually stops serving me and assists the person.

Welcome SaigonSeamus

Hate to tell you but you've only just begun to wonder about your new relationship!

Has happened more than once, hence the wee rant!

Funnily the personal space / barging / touching doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Neither does the frankness of conversation, very personal questions etc

However this has my digital knickers in a twist, being devious to dig for invented drama is beyond me and I cannot see that changing.

Big Red Flag!

hummm guess she has not known you are blogging here, or she could have subscribed it..
that might be a good thing if she reads it ! XD

Jilulu :

hummm guess she has not known you are blogging here, or she could have subscribed it..
that might be a good thing if she reads it ! XD

The jungle drums are beating!!

I was a very content lurker picking up tips and views till this happened a second time.

The intersection of deviousness, jealousy, sudden mood swings and somebody elses online identity and reputation in the palm of your hand is a powerful and potentially toxic mixture.

And it's such a shame when a girl you like proves to you that she is not very clever at all. It's not like anyone here has ever asked me what i do for a living. Jesus wept!

Have you tried using a pin-code to lock your phone?

I'm English and confessing to occasionally being the psycho paranoid girl who checked messages, but in my defence my boyfriend cheated and it gave me doubts about whether he was being honest. Allowing me to check his messages etc gave me the security/ability to start trusting him again, and now I don't feel the need to.

I don't understand why she would check your messages/files etc unless you've lied/cheated and been caught before..

What are her feelings towards you accessing her facebook/texts?

Obviously, yes, however it's only a matter of when you tell your friend what it is so they can play a game or whatever. Does not imply carte-blanche for a good rummage around your messages etc.

Not she, they, has happened twice now!

No reason whatsoever unless you class having had a sex life before you met them as reasonable grounds for a good nosey around.

No idea what their views would be on me looking at their correspondence as it would never cross my mind to do so on principle so I wouldn't bring it up!

It's the look on their faces when rumbled, grudgingly saying sorry like a 5 year old who doesn't really mean it I find amusing and perplexing.

Are concepts of the privacy of your correspondence here and now that different culturally or is this a statistical blip in a small sample?

SaigonSeamus :

No idea what their views would be on me looking at their correspondence as it would never cross my mind to do so on principle so I wouldn't bring it up!

That sounds like a good idea if you speak Vietnamese. If not, it might be fun just to ask.

As an expat your motives are always going to be suspect. All the girls know that as a foreigner you can leave at any time.
Women in Vietnam are not only beautiful but once committed to a relationship tend to give 100% of themselves to the relationship. I think if I was a girl in that position I would certainly do my best to ascertain your motives before committing myself. Although I can't condone her snooping, i do understand it.

My fiance is the same. She seems to get very jealous or suspicious of me having someone else. She's very blunt about it. She questions every picture and facebook messages I get from girls. She won't let me out of the house unless I'm accompanied by her. Vietnamese guys are a lot worse when they get jealous too.

My solution. I give her open access to everything I have. I tell her you can check my wallet, and phone anytime you like. I give her all my passwords to every site I have. We do a joint bank account and I let her hold all the money.

Yes it may seem extreme to others raised in a country where privacy is paramount but the way I see it I get a loyal, caring wife that takes care of the house and kids and have food on the table every day. I live a clean life so my conscious is clean.

My wife knows my wallet, my phone and my mails are off limit. But if she wanted to know/see something, she'll ask and I'd show her. Easier to set it straight after the first time it happened, unless u are guilty of something. LOL

I am lucky in many ways.  First, I do not like talking on phones and I refuse to learn how to text. Email is my main form of not in person conversation. I always delete my messages after reading because I do not like old messages cluttering my mailbox.  In regards to old photos, it has been my habit to only save those that would be ok to be seen by everyone. Woman regardless of their culture tend to be jealous.  Thats a good thing here.  They are very protective of their property.  Yep I said property, get use to it.  You are now her property until you break up. Old photos could hurt the feelings of your gf, just delete them.  Saving them is only for bragging or yearning for the past.

My VN gf of 6 months is also jealous but trust takes time. I did delete pics of girls that I have met while in VN but I refused to delete those pics taken years ago.

a little tale for you friend, one day a turtle was by the lake, a scorpion approached and asked, can you give me a lift ? the turtle replied, dont be silly! when we are on the water you will sting me and we will both die, thats crazy said the scorpion, I promise I wont do it ! ok said the turtle and off they went, shortly the turtle felt a sharp sting in his neck, what did you do that for, the scorpion replied " I couldnt help my self! be careful man best wishes! it may be that foriegners have a deserved reputation also

As others have said, if you've not cheated on her, and have nothing to hide, go ahead and show her any messages, e-mails, photos, etc. she wants to see. Explain to her who the people (girls) are in the photo. I have photos of my 24 year-old daughter, who in the mind of an Asian girl, could possibly be a former "girlfriend". I am also Facebook friends with many young VN ladies who work in offices of places where I do business, as well as a few of the girls who work in the bars I frequent. I see many of them almost every day, and they just want to know more about me and my extended American family. My wife understands all this, and has even met most of the girls in question, so she knows what's going on. The more you tell a girl to stay out of your business, the more suspicious she will be.

I think if it bothers you so much you should tell her you don't like it. Unless you are scared of losing her? Didn't you did say you're not even her boyfriend yet? Right? If she is this way now then have mercy on your soul when she is your girlfriend! I don't have my husband's pin to his blackberry, personal email account, or feel the need to check his wallet. Doing those things will not guarantee that he is faithful to me or prove that he is not. She doesn't know you very well like I know my husband so "maybe" that's why she doesn't trust you. Lastly, or maybe she is sooooooo nosey!  :lol::lol::lol:

Dear Seamus,

The question is: If you dont have anything to hide..why dont let me see ? I think all the people want to check something from the partner alway think like that.

And just let you know, it not only troubles from the Vietnam girls want to check her lover...but also  troubles to the girl when the Vietnam boy friend want to check. So it is a culture? I dont know..but a lot Vietnamese want to check...If they dont check....mean they can control..but they still want to see what inside the mail, the inbox... And maybe only 10% people here they dont care about checking private from partner.

So i wonder your gf want to check bcz she so jealous or have something wrong from you..? I know a lot of man..even have girl friend but still want to flirting another girl..can call her: Honey or babi.. Or are you ever take a picture look like nice couple with another girl?... When women want to check, they have to style : 1- They want to possess ...2 - They love you a lotttt.

If you are really love her, you need to let her know how much you love her, let she trusts you 100%...when the people trust together..i think she doesnt need and doesnt want to check. And if she knows very well how much you love her..but still want to check and know very well you dont like that. So i think better stop. Need to find a people suitable for us about character.

And if you dont love her enough, still want to send sms with another girls, post pics with them... So this case..aks your self what should you do...

All of that, i think a wise girls can keep a man love her by another ways..no need check.

Yuli

Hi all,

Appreciate all the views and experiences put forward. (Particularly you Yuli)

However, 

Neither of these girls were/are my GF as we have agreed between us for the time being at least, so I don't feel surveillance is warranted.

At least not yet. :)

It's natural that if you start to like someone that you would worry if they were an Sh1t and a cad and a general wrong 'un. I'd have to say I wasn't aware that expats here have such a shocking record of bad behaviour, most of the relationship worries I've read about on these forums seem to come for the view of "She'll rob ya blind while shagging other fellas"

Bear in mind I run my IT business from this kit as well as play angry birds so i'm twitchy if someone goes on an untutored walkabout in it's nether regions containing the record of my last 10 years on the planet both personally and professionally.

I've never felt that digging into someone's sexual history makes you feel better about what you find. Ignorance of the gory details of a partners past can indeed be bliss.

I having been spending a huge amount of time of late reading about and trying to understand exactly the current state of reality around sex and relationships and values as they present in the different age groups here in HCMC.

I grew up in catholic ireland in the 70's and 80's where we imprisoned young women for life in convents for having sex outside marriage.

I was also in a mixed race relationship in South Africa post apartheid which makes vietnam now a walk in the park by comparison.

Imagine being called a N*gg*r loving foreigner at the lotte mart to your face just for being seen together as a couple and it shows you social pressure you can be under for loving someone.

I have put back the launch of my business by a couple of months in part to understand this, I felt I knew everything about the economy, politics, history and geography of the country but was failing to grasps basic cultural currents.

I knew the price of everything but the value of nothing!

We called the old dark days of sexual repression in ireland as the "Virgin / Whore Complex"

You were one or the other, black or white,  good or bad.

Jealousy was the wrong word, trust and understanding and communication on both sides is lacking it seems.

So in desperation, I poured my frustrations out on a load of strangers on the internet which I have to say has been hugely informative.

So for the record, I'm not in a relationship, I'm not cheating and I'm not a Virgin.

If you date me, I am an open book.

Ask, I'll tell you and explain.

xoxoxoxo

If she does it once, it might be cultural differences about personal boundaries. Explain your boundary and your culture to her. If it repeats, then she has a trust issue and you can consider that a problem then :)

Good luck finding a Vietnamese woman that doesn't snoop. If you do find one then you merely found one that can snoop without getting caught.

Parmyd :

Good luck finding a Vietnamese woman that doesn't snoop. If you do find one then you merely found one that can snoop without getting caught.

PERFECT!!!

Solo1 :
Parmyd :

Good luck finding a Vietnamese woman that doesn't snoop. If you do find one then you merely found one that can snoop without getting caught.

PERFECT!!!

I prefer one that doesn't get caught....

We can just say 'jealous', 'doubt'!
Actually, she don't want to lose you.It's a fact that most of 'them' believes that foreigners are 'rare species' and snatch by someone :D Only she know what effort she put through to get you!

Looking at it from the Chinese cultural aspect, which had largely influenced the local culture : 2 types of females, firstly we call one type : small family types, prone to lower levels of norms, like gossiping, quarreling, easy to feel jealous and generally unable to hold oneself to elegance or decorum. Then, there are the : big family elegant types, raised in a more proper way, better educated, more open parental guidance and so on. These types steal the show all over and hold their own in whatever situations. These realise that without trust and understanding, no relationships can survive. I tend to believe these in majority, hail from the North, more than the South, which could be filled with the 'village types' as well. Most critical to ascertain her background and roots before getting serious at all.

:lol:  SORRY ! Early last year I dropped some documents off at the Australian Consulate, in HCMC. They needed the usually official translating, signing, stamping, etc. The following evening a young VN woman from the consulate knocked on my apartment door, with one of our security guards, to deliver the documents. The three of us went back to the security gate together, I put her in a taxi and just as I closed the taxi door, my wife came around the corner on her Honda, about 150 meters away. I didn't notice her arriving, it was about 7:30pm, went across the road to the local supermarket to buy a few things. So far so good. Got back up to our apartment, everything seemed normal, smiles, hugs, kisses, then a moment later she EXPLODED ! Said she saw me putting another VN woman into a taxi, grabbed my cell phone and accused me of making a date with another woman - she hurled my cell phone onto the floor, never seen a cell phone smashed into so many pieces. Grabbed my HP notebook and the same treatment. :( TRIED to tell her what happened, even said we could go down and she could ask the security guard for herself - NOT INTERESTED ! Was going to show her the papers but thought she's just grab them and rip them to pieces. All this time she kept on at me that I was the same as a VN husband, cheating on his wife, then she locked herself in the spare bedroom for the night.
The next morning, got up, showered, shaved and went into the dining room, breakfast all cooked and on the table waiting, she's there all dressed up for work, (looking absolutely beautiful) all smiles and happy, gives me a kiss, says she'll see me after work that day.
Rule number 1 - your VN wife is NEVER wrong.
Rule number 2 - NEVER, EVER, bring up anything that has gone somewhat wrong between you in the past, misunderstandings, whatever - she will but you are NEVER allowed to !
Rule number 3 - if you think you are right and she is wrong - refer to Rule number 1 !
She came back from work that evening with a brand new cell phone for me and the notebook was replaced, without a word, by the end of the week. :D
When this happened, we'd been together for more than 4 - going onto 5 years.
Get used to it and accept it is about the only thing you can do.

GOOD LUCK !  :lol:

Oh boy my fiance is sort of the same way to. Gets jealous easily if she saw me even eye balling another female.

I just hope it doesn't get to that point. But yeah you're right just smile and bite your tongue. No point in proving your point. The females are always right.

Sploke77 :

Looking at it from the Chinese cultural aspect, which had largely influenced the local culture : 2 types of females, firstly we call one type : small family types, prone to lower levels of norms, like gossiping, quarreling, easy to feel jealous and generally unable to hold oneself to elegance or decorum. Then, there are the : big family elegant types, raised in a more proper way, better educated, more open parental guidance and so on. These types steal the show all over and hold their own in whatever situations. These realise that without trust and understanding, no relationships can survive. I tend to believe these in majority, hail from the North, more than the South, which could be filled with the 'village types' as well. Most critical to ascertain her background and roots before getting serious at all.

lol, you sound like a sociologist.:lol:

Flip465 :

:lol:  SORRY ! Early last year I dropped some documents off at the Australian Consulate, in HCMC. They needed the usually official translating, signing, stamping, etc. The following evening a young VN woman from the consulate knocked on my apartment door, with one of our security guards, to deliver the documents. The three of us went back to the security gate together, I put her in a taxi and just as I closed the taxi door, my wife came around the corner on her Honda, about 150 meters away. I didn't notice her arriving, it was about 7:30pm, went across the road to the local supermarket to buy a few things. So far so good. Got back up to our apartment, everything seemed normal, smiles, hugs, kisses, then a moment later she EXPLODED ! Said she saw me putting another VN woman into a taxi, grabbed my cell phone and accused me of making a date with another woman - she hurled my cell phone onto the floor, never seen a cell phone smashed into so many pieces. Grabbed my HP notebook and the same treatment. :( TRIED to tell her what happened, even said we could go down and she could ask the security guard for herself - NOT INTERESTED ! Was going to show her the papers but thought she's just grab them and rip them to pieces. All this time she kept on at me that I was the same as a VN husband, cheating on his wife, then she locked herself in the spare bedroom for the night.
The next morning, got up, showered, shaved and went into the dining room, breakfast all cooked and on the table waiting, she's there all dressed up for work, (looking absolutely beautiful) all smiles and happy, gives me a kiss, says she'll see me after work that day.
Rule number 1 - your VN wife is NEVER wrong.
Rule number 2 - NEVER, EVER, bring up anything that has gone somewhat wrong between you in the past, misunderstandings, whatever - she will but you are NEVER allowed to !
Rule number 3 - if you think you are right and she is wrong - refer to Rule number 1 !
She came back from work that evening with a brand new cell phone for me and the notebook was replaced, without a word, by the end of the week. :D
When this happened, we'd been together for more than 4 - going onto 5 years.
Get used to it and accept it is about the only thing you can do.

GOOD LUCK !  :lol:

You are a very smart man!!!:lol: One thing you will never hear is "I love you" or "I am sorry" from a Vietnamese. Even if they know they are in the wrong, you will never hear those words. Instead, they will show you with their emotions, gestures, and actions. At least she acknowledges that you were innocent of any wrong doing and replaced your phone. You deserve a combat tab for surviving the wrath of a Vietnamese woman! :lol::lol::lol:

Oh dear, oh dear, did I marry a Vietnamese or not? No idle boast but I hear these 2'phrases very often, coming from my beloved spouse! Perhaps she is a flip at the end of the curve , as she worked couple of years in Singapore, thus not your typical type?

khanh44 :

Oh boy my fiance is sort of the same way to. Gets jealous easily if she saw me even eye balling another female.

I just hope it doesn't get to that point. But yeah you're right just smile and bite your tongue. No point in proving your point. The females are always right.

That was the advice I was given in Perth, Western Australia, before coming to Viet Nam by lot of VN men (and some VN women) in Perth's VN community.
Decided to start going to their shops and meeting places, usually the pagoda, to get an idea of how to behave and what to expect in the way of Vietnamese culture BEFORE I arrived.

One of the first things that came up was the danger of 'snatch thieves'.  Warnings of never put your wallet in a hip pocket, always in a front pocket of your jeans or trousers, if using a smart phone, make sure, if possible, you are inside a doorway, or somewhere that it's almost impossible for a motorbike to get to you and keep your smart phone as hidden as much as possible when using it.  NEVER wear an expensive looking watch or any neck jewellery in public.

As for the wives and the way the men don't argue or talk back to them in polite company - that became VERY obvious right from the start.  :D

There's NO WAY that I would ever want to have any sort of argument with my WONDERFUL VN wife anyway ! ( see the thumbprint on the top of my head ??? :P )

jealousy and selfish, too long iam lazy to read :))))

Hey Seamus,
A great post and, great timing for me…
Over the past year I, have been slowly building up a relationship, with my VN cleaning lady.  A 42yo divorcee, with 2 daughters (12 and 16yo)… A truly lovely lady, and great kids. Recently, after many months of gentle introduction to the children, we have been going to some nice restaurants, all together and having a great time…. I could really see a future developing with this VN family… (Romance is difficult, as she sells bottled petrol, from 9pm to 1am, on the roadside 7 nights a week!!) This is where we first met.

Every Monday she arrives to clean the house at 8am, while I disappear to the coffee shop and market. I always return with some fruit, 2 small bottles of red colour ‘Sting’(for the kids) and occasionally, some fish or chicken…. Everyone was happy!!

This Monday, just gone… At 8am I left for the coffee shop and market trip, as usual… And returned at 10:30(so I don’t mess up the floor, while she’s cleaning)..
And this lady was ANGRY!!
She had found some long hair, while cleaning!!!! And I was instantly guilty of having another girlfriend!!! In shock and surprise, I could not explain how 3 or 4 long black hairs, could turn up on my floor(It was very windy in Quang Nam last week)…
WTF!!!  I’m too old for this shit… And asked her to leave…. I was f-cking mad.

After reading your post, and replies.. I’m starting to think, I’ve over reacted to a cultural/previous husband, type problem… OK, from now, do I sweep and vacuum the house before, she arrives to clean?? I don’t want to live in fear of some foreign hair, appearing in the house again!!!
But, I fear more, a lady ‘Marking’ her territory.

Thanks Seamus, a very interesting subject, for Expats.
Take care mate…

Hahaha.

I'm a Vietnamese girl and I have similar stories with my ex-boyfriends, who are Westerners.

So I guess it is not exactly something that only Vietnamese girls do, like most men here complaining about. Western men can also act ridiculously when they are jealous!

Oh, and probably solution for your situation: pay more attention to her than to your device then explain to her that you don't like it when she checks out your stuff without your permission, which can ruin the relationship. But the most important thing is, you have to make your woman feel safe and find something to keep her busy.

Thanks Ms Ngan,for your insight, as a VN lady...
Since that last post, all seems to be repaired and we are back on track...
It is simply a cultural difference, and we both have to slowly learn to accept each others different cultures and previous relationships.
To make her feel safe... We will have to take it to the next step... This lady lives in a single room/with bathroom accommodation, with 2 daughters....
To go to the next step.... We both will, have to have, a total commitment and understanding, to become a family....
I am not scared, of us all coming together, to live as a family.
I am scared of 'distrust'.... And this, I/We have to work on..

Time can fix this!!!
Thanx Ms Ngan
Greg...

When two persons carrying different cultural backgrounds come together, eventually one culture will 'dominate'. Sure, some will say you must find a compromise and strive for harmony. But believe you me, that is really easier said than done. Many quarrels will have that issue as its origin. Any comments from anyone welcomed. Cheers

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