LearnRussianwith Us!Start Learning!
If you missed the beginning of the story, here it is .
The challenges faced by couples that get together on these mail-order bride sites are many. Too often, the woman does not speak English very well, or at all. It is hard enough to effectively communicate with one another if you speak the same language. Just imagine the difficulty faced by these couples. Russian women coming to America are usually giving up quite a bit. Unfortunately, this simple fact is frequently overlooked by their husbands-to-be. Often the woman has a job to quit or she drops out of college, she says goodbye to family and friends, perhaps for a very long time. She really is putting all of her eggs into one basket. She is diving into a completely different culture to which she has to adapt.
On the other hand, the American man is faced with the possibility that he is simply her “meal ticket” and that once she gets her US citizenship, she will leave him. Bringing her to America will cost him thousands of dollars in fees, tickets, time off work, and so on. He may be putting his reputation on the line with his friends and family – this could be a big deal to him. Likely, his friends and family may think he is going to make a big mistake by marrying in this fashion. Some couples won’t even admit to meeting their wives this way. At the end of the day, he still has his job, his home, his family and friends close by.
A member of my immediate family married a man she had met online. He soon came over to stay with her in Belarus for several months. They had a pretty decent time while he was visiting. The American dollar went a long way. They went out to dinners, visited museums, and did other things that were planned /offered by the Russian party. They seemed to be getting along fairly well, though as with any relationship, things weren’t always perfect. The gentleman was retired, so he was able to stay for quite a while. He came over twice spending an average of three to five months each time (due to the fact that the paperwork that would allow the lady to go to America was taking an unusually long time, even with a lawyer).
After finally coming to America, the things quickly deteriorated. It turned out that the husband-to-be wanted to watch TV 24/7 and had very little concern about how his new wife is adapting to her new life. When arguments began, they were often accompanied by the phrase, “I’ll have you deported so fast it’ll make your head spin,” or something like that. My family member was given a car by her spouse, which was a nice thing to do; however, when the relationship ran into problems, the air would be let out of the tires. The phone cords would all be taken out of the wall, the money would be taken away, etc. With no money, no real ability to speak the language, no phone, what could she do? Would anybody put up with this for long?
An American woman would likely divorce a man if the relationship became bad enough; a Russian woman – who is in a new country with few friends, connections, financial resources, and very limited knowledge about how things work in America – might be more likely to stay in an abusive or loveless marriage because of her fear of not being able to make it on her own.
When these women come to the US, they often are completely dependent upon their spouse in the same way an infant depends on her parents for everything. In many cases, the male spouses do not educate their wives about how the household finances work and what it means to live on credit (not cash, like most people still do in Russia). A typical American lifestyle is very very different from a typical Russian lifestyle; many things seem strange and require explanation. I have witnessed stories where the husband would give the wife a small amount of money believing that this was all they needed to know about finances. Lack of trust, as justified as it may be, is the seed from which a lot of other issues end up sprouting over time.
Now, in all fairness, I understand that ulterior motives is what concerns most men marrying these women. Sure, she may be using the man to get a green card. She may want to marry a man so he can buy things, bring her family to USA, and so on but if you start the relationship treating someone like they are on probation, you will probably not get very far. I believe, there are ways to protect your assets without making one feel like a second class citizen J .
In closing, if you have decided to take this course of action, know what you are getting yourself into: prepare to be a teacher and a student, realize that this “subject” takes a while to master, and under no circumstances take it lightly. If you do, you are just wasting everybody’s time. In a lot of cases the marriage deteriorates simply because one or both spouses do not fathom the depth of cultural differences and the need to learn and adapt to them . Multicultural marriages require a lot of work and if you want to make one last, you better be ready to roll up your sleeves and put in the time. Too many of the Russian-bride situations I know have ended badly or are ongoing and ought to end. As many of you already know, a successful marriage is something you have to work at – it doesn’t just happen. It is filled with more challenges than one can imagine. When both spouses are from the same country, speak the same language, and share the same culture, the divorce rate is close to one out of every two. With that in mind, you can easily imagine the struggles these couple face when they are from very different cultures, speak vastly different languages, and do not equally share in the risks associated with getting married. If after reading the material you are still planning to find someone special in Russia, here are some words that you might find helpful 🙂 .
У него очень красивая жена. (He has a very beautiful wife.)
Мой бывший муж очень много работал. (My ex-husband worked a lot.)
Давай поженимся!(Let’s get married!)
Выходи за меня замуж. (Marry me. – when a man proposes)
Катя, выходи за меня замуж! (Katya, marry me!)
Женись на мне. (Marry me. – when a woman offers herself as a wife)
Она его на себе женила. (She made him marry her).
Молодожены возвращаются завтра. (The newlyweds are coming back tomorrow.)