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The Stupid Wife
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — The Good Wife is one of my favourite shows nowadays. I find myself amused by the confusing mixture of strength and stupidity that the protagonist carries. She is obviously clever, yet she continues to back her husband who cheated on her several times over the course of their marriage. 

Filipino women have been ingrained with the thought that no matter what, you have to keep your family together. Everything we do must be for the good of the family. If the husband is cheating and you’ve become aware of it, suck it up and pretend everything is good. Eventually, it will go away. Besides, he is going home to you anyway, not to the mistress. 
I would love to vomit on anyone who tells me this. But as much as I would like to say that Filipino women are more modern now and are able to stand up for themselves, it simply isn’t true.
I have written about this several times before and I do hope someone out there heeds it. Filipino women looking for love overseas have to be very careful with their choice of men. Remember how someone would tell you “what if he’s an axe murderer?” when you meet someone online? Well, sometimes it is actually true. 
I recently helped a mainstream Australian women’s magazine track a Filipino woman down for an interview. Her name is Melissa Campbell, a former nightclub singer from Pampanga. She has two kids and lives in the middle of nowhere in New South Wales. To prove how “middle of nowhere” it was exactly, we had to take a plane for over an hour then drive for almost four hours to get to the town where she lives. It was straight out of a small town movie, complete with lifeless streets and kindly neighbours. 
Why is Melissa so hot to the Aussie press these days? Well, mainly because she is married to Des Campbell, an Aussie who was recently convicted of pushing his last wife off a cliff in 2005 to get her money. According to reports, around a month after he committed the crime, he went on the Pinay Heart website to find his next wife and met Melissa. They got married in January 2006 and now have two little kids. 
Apart from a scattering of small quotes in the media, Melissa has not been interviewed by anyone else. So no one knows exactly if she knew about her husband’s past when they got together. The magazine thought that maybe a fellow Pinay would be able to reach out to her, and she’d finally tell her story. They were right in a way. We were the only ones who got that close to her and was able to speak to her more before she turned us down. Based on our meetings, Melissa is quite timid and has a hard time communicating herself in English, and even in Tagalog. She said the media has harassed her so many times that she gets nervous around them. The only reason she even entertained us for as long as she did was because she was able to speak to a fellow Filipina. 
I was hopeful she’d accept the interview proposal, especially after the magazine offered financial help for the exclusive interview. But alas, we got shot down after her visit to her in-laws. 
 
The fact that she is still close with her husband’s family tells me she hasn’t given up on him yet, even when it’s looking like he’s going to be getting over 20 years jail time. Doting wife or stupid wife? Or maybe scared wife? I can only imagine what she is going through — on her own in the middle of nowhere with two kids, no job and bills to pay, no friends or family nearby. Was this what she expected when he took her to Australia? Was this the promise land she was hoping for? Is the grass here looking greener now than when she was still in the Philippines? 
Another Filipina I know who is married to an Australian guy is going through a different marital hell of her own. He’s openly cheating on her every weekend and she can’t do anything about it. She stays home to watch their daughter while he goes gallivanting somewhere. She says she will do anything to keep her family together — even suffer in silent desperation for the rest of her life. Very melodramatic. Very soap operatic. Very Tagalog movie. Again, she has no one to lean on. She doesn’t have many friends and all her family members are in the Philippines. This wasn’t the life she was hoping for, definitely not what she had in mind when he whisked her off to the land down under. 
So again, be careful what you wish for. Just because it looks greener on the other side of the fence, doesn’t mean it’s not filled with killer pesticides — or killer husbands.

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