CHAI NAT — Against a backdrop of white flowers, a police officer and his new bride were taking photos with guests. But then his wife, their kids, and his mom arrived at the wedding. Things got a little awkward from there.
In a spectacular Facebook Live that looked like a scene out of a Channel 7 soap opera, Nipapan Peuchpen, the wife of 16 years of a the police officer, held up her marriage license to the camera at the wedding that took place Thursday at Wat Ta Chai in Chai Nat province, and protested that the man had no rights to marry another.
“This is our marriage license,” Nipapan held the document up to the phone. “I don’t know how they can go through with this.”
The unnamed policeman replied, “Monks are here. Go home. You are not a guest.”
The confrontation escalated further when the police officer’s mom showed up and slapped him in the head, just as the monks were chanting blessings to the newlyweds.
“I always taught him to not mess around with adultery,” she later told Amarin TV. “I warned him so many times. Now he has to reap what he sowed. At first, I understood that being adulterous to some extent was normal for men. But I didn’t think he would go this far.”
“I want this to be a lesson to all women!” the mom went on. “If you know a man already has a family, don’t be a homewrecker. I don’t understand why the bride got married to him, knowing that he was already married.”
Nipapan said she and her legally married husband have two children, a 15-year-old and a five-year-old.
Samupongyot Polyano, abbot of the temple, was one of the monks who were chanting the Buddhist prayers when the slapfest unfolded right in front of him.
“I’ve been a monk for 16 years and conducted hundreds of weddings,” he said in an interview with Khaosod on Friday. “This is the first time something like this has happened.”
The monk recalled the awkward situation: “I concentrated as much as I could, closing my eyes and chanting, but then I heard louder and louder arguing. My duty as a monk was to finish the chant.”
Although Lord Buddha didn’t leave much advice about dating (as far as we know), the abbot saw the head smacks as righteous justice, since adultery is forbidden in the Five Precepts of Buddhism.
“The mom did the right thing, morally and ethically. If I was a woman, I would have done the same,” Phra Samupongyot said. “I have to praise her, she really has strong morals. Usually parents side with their kids even after they have done wrong.”
Nipapan and her lawyer, Anusorn Asurapong, also filed a legal complaint to the Chai Nai Juvenile and Family Court against the policeman’s girlfriend and demanded compensation for trying to enter a marriage with a man who was already legally married.
Although Thailand has a long-standing culture of infidelity and polygyny, individuals can only register for one marriage at any given time under the the laws.