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 Post subject: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 04 Feb 2011 15:52 
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Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures

I heard distressing news today about still another marriage going under, I'm tracking at least three others in trouble to varying degrees which have the potential to go under.

The causes were, largely, the same as most others (WM/FSUW, mostly American but not entirely) I have watched crash and burn over the last few years.

None of the ones I am referring to appear to be GCG or scam situations. Instead they appear to be well-intentioned individuals who think/thought they were in love and struggle to keep the lid on right up to the final explosion of words which destroy the relationship.

  1. Poor English skills - There is a real tendency of the gals who don't speak English well to insist that they will learn when they get here. Do not let them get away with thinking they can get here and magically learn English in some school. Look around, we don’t have language lessons for adults which are easily accessible. The facts seem to be that they don't really understand the magnitude of learning a language (on their own) and vastly overestimate their abilities; in truth it worsens other problems below.

  2. Lack of Driving - Another gross underestimation is the need for being able to transport oneself (and any kids) independently of the husband. The guys who work all day and then come home simply get worn down by constantly being hit with errands, taking the ladies shopping and running them around. The guys are stressed too and, even with the best of intentions, this begins to build resentment, sometimes flaring to anger despite the love. A sub-issue often encountered here is the financial situation involving a second vehicle.

  3. Russian Friends, Foods and TV - The more I hear this common factor, the more I wonder why no enterprising sociology major has investigated this as a thesis or dissertation topic in the context of marriage and divorce. Simply, rushing to get her connected with the Russian community is placing her on a crutch which dramatically worsens her chances of acquiring the language, learning to drive or adapting to the new culture where she supposedly wants to live the rest of her life and establish a family. Far better to find hobbies and social contacts in her new environment which she will connect with and use to build a new lifestyle.

  4. Isolation - Mama, Papa, sisters, brothers and friends are a long way off. When they are already suffering from issues relating to the first three factors above, they increasingly become more and more isolated and "divorced" from the reality of living in the world they have come to when they married you. You may love her dearly but when you walk through the door in the afternoon she comes to see you as the reason she was unable to get out or have friends who she can talk to about "girl things" or feelings about her home which you will never be able to understand. Skype is a poor substitute for a mother's hug or a son's wave as they go to work that morning.

  5. Lifestyle - There is a current discussion going on elsewhere concerning finding a woman who can live in the rural US. Many cannot believe the comfort levels we have and even when confronted with the well-equipped home in a small town or rural area, cannot shake the belief that their life would be "better" in terms of culture, economics, society and other factors if only they could move to a bigger city (and convince you that this is true). Note the effects that the above factors will bring to bear on this issue in a cumulative fashion if you make the common mistakes.

  6. Building a Relationship - Yes, it's a long way to Russia and Ukraine. Deciding you found "the one" and sweeping all the concerns and problems under the rug thinking, "Love will find a way to persevere." rarely seems to work. Many of the couples realize(d) too late that a few vacation trips, several hundred hours of phone calls and occasional passionate sex didn't really mean they "knew" the other person.

  7. Communication - Real communication, not "I love you, my sweet, darling husband!" murmured ad nauseum anytime there was a question about the actual details of being married. What sort of lifestyle will she live as your spouse? Will she need to work? Will she be able to work? When will she learn English? How will she learn to drive? Does she understand how we live over here or has she seen too many episodes of Beverly Hills 90210? Most of these stories seem to have in common that the guy thought/KNEW she understood she would have to work/drive a car/speak English/cook a hamburger/etc. but then they are shocked to find that all the things that were understood are now back up in the air as fresh topics to be determined and discussed.

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 04 Feb 2011 16:14 
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Over the years I have watched many people who seem to think that getting married is a goal they have to reach. These people will tend to relax once their goal is reached, and no longer be on their best behaviour.
The bove reasons are all valid as much before as after marriage, and if they were not inhibiting the relationship to form, they should not pose a problem later on, unless one of the partners changes the goals.

If a marriage breaks up, mostly both sides are to blame.
Realistic expectation, the ability to look at your life through a strangers eye, and the goal being to share your life instead of "having a wife" will contribute to surviving the bad times.

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 04 Feb 2011 18:32 
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Excellent posts and very accurate observations regarding her language abilities, expectations, adaptation, and as you said more importantly good communication between the partners, the cornerstone, in my view, of any good and successful relationship.

Europeans you say are different but I can assure you we have/had to face the same problems when it comes to learning the language and helping her to adjust in her new environment.

I have been lucky to the fact that I am retired and can devoid all my free time in helping her and I remember when I was still in the courting stage and wrote that learning the language and have good communication it is extremely important, I was laughed by many guys of whom some are now divorced!

Before coming to this country on a daily basis I made sure to speak to her for hours daily (I have Free connection) and in a year her English went from 3 to 9 out of ten. After her arrival I made sure that she went to an ESOL class.... and also followed a free course on line from Oxford University. Then after a year out of work she became agitated and I was lucky to find her a job close to home....... and for the past year and a half she has been working hard.

Meanwhile Russian TV is out of the window and the only Russian she speaks is with her mother, which now come to realise that stop her progressing to fluent level and without me saying anything... she told me that she is reducing the frequency of talking to her mother daily down to 2 times a week because she does realise that she goes backwards any time she talks in Russian and is not happy with that. Actually it's me who speaks to mama more often now....... LOL

The fact is that she is improving very fast and she is happy that she is able to take tests and exams about her job in English comfortably, even one of her tutors made an applauding comment about that in her last tests.

Now she is working on her driving test.......learning the theory, which also helps her vocabulary immensely!

Finally after 2 1/2 years of marriage and a lot of patience on my part, the choppy waters are calming down, and she is happy living here and no word of going back or anything of that matter, because according to her words... here is my life, my husband and home!

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 04 Feb 2011 19:29 
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I don't say the European folks don't have some of the same problems, just that culture and distance make the same problems a bit more severe. You have advantages with regard to sorter travel times, the "European feel" to some of your cities, better developed mass transit and somewhat larger communities in a smaller geographical area.

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: 04 Feb 2011 23:04 
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Excellent post Ed. [thumbs.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: 04 Feb 2011 23:04 
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Excellent post, it highlights many of the common issues that can cause a relationship to fail.

I have said many times that a relationship between two people is hard work.

I do mean hard work.
I have my private space, she has her private space, I guard my space and she guards her space.

Add to that the adaptation to a new culture and the difficulties that most people experience when adapting to a new culture and the "shipwreck" can only be averted by getting "all hands" on deck.

Adapting to a new culture does include the "non foreigner" adapting to the culture of the "foreign" partner and attempting to understand the other person.

I will add here a comment to all.
During the "Romance stage" put a single pea in a jar every time you fully accommodate your partner.
Once the romance stage changes into the "Acceptance stage" remove a single pea from the same jar every time you accommodate, if after treble the time of the Romance stage you have lots of peas left in the jar then it is time to start working on your relationship or it will fail.

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#7  PostPosted: 05 Feb 2011 09:11 
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Excellent mass transport ?

There is one bus in an hour to get outside our village, and if it is not 20 minutes late it is 5 minutes early.... [bat.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#8  PostPosted: 05 Feb 2011 13:39 
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Ecocks

Very good article and excellent observations, mostly addressing the American side of life and the American men’s attitude towards their Russian/Ukrainian women. It is very noticeable that these men did not spent a lot of time during the courting period getting to know each other well, ignored the obvious signs and inability of their partners to speak well a second language and relied in the hope that all will be alright when these women move to their country. The truth of the matter is that agencies and dating sites have sold a dream to everybody and most of these couples did not paid much attention to the language barrier, which you identified correctly as the main cause of the problems they have now and of course it appears that none of the partners gave much thought to the potential problems both will have to face in their married life, after the move.

I met and later married my Russian wife (living in Ukraine) over 7 years ago and her English ability was good enough to communicate directly. There were many tough patches due mainly to cultural differences and sometimes inability to communicate things correctly, but we made it through. She is 9 years younger than me but I think middle age guys looking for a woman in her 20s are asking for trouble. There are a lot of gold diggers out there, my wife knows a few personally and I also know few guys that have been scammed. You just need to be careful, take your time to know each other and do not rush any important decisions. Of course there are a lot of good women over there looking for a good partner, too.

For sure there are (mainly Ukrainian / Russian) companies selling some sort of a 'dream' and luckily for the women most of the western men who shouldn’t be considering such a life-style can't afford the air fare to visit for a date.

Russian women are at least well-educated (therefore not STUPID) but forced to look abroad for a partner due to lack of quality available men and the difficult living and working conditions there, which improve very slowly. Like everybody else want to improve their chances for a better life!

I guess I must be one of the small number of men who managed to have a 'successful marriage" to a Russian Woman and find your observations very disappointing. Countries like the USA/ Canada/ Australia and UK don't make it easy to bring a Russian bride to settle - simply getting married isn't enough. The western man's ability to 'support' his new bride is closely examined - as much to protect the Russian lady as the state - who won't offer financial help.

I married my Russian wife and couldn't be happier with my choice. While it is absolutely true that many marriages turn out to be disasters and some do indeed have fatal consequences, you never really know anyone until you live with them day in, day out - and you can be vastly mistaken no matter where or with whom you choose to live.

The thrust of your observations is supported only by opinion rather than large research, and you said that. Foreign marriages are sometimes predicated on TV Hollywood dreams of what Western countries are like. I would ALWAYS encourage a visit first, because moving to another country is a monumental decision that is not easily undone. The second other fallacy, that Western men are searching for an FSU woman who will defer submissively to her husband in all things, is nonsense.

Western men appreciate Russian women not only for their beauty (and it is spectacular), but for their common sense, their ability to run a home efficiently, their generally-excellent education that will allow them to secure decent employment and contribute to the household's economic goals after the children are grown and gone, and their general lack of materialism. Most of the Russian women I know seem just as happy to go for a walk in the park with the family as they would be to be taken out at great expense, and seem generally easy to please compared with Western women.

Marriages in which one or both partners have grossly misjudged the other and both underestimated the difficulties of moving to another country to live together with a person that hardly know, typically do not last long, but that's a fact no matter where you live.

For a marriage to be successful you both have to work at it and commit yourself, on a daily basis.

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#9  PostPosted: 05 Feb 2011 14:04 
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Shadow wrote:
Excellent mass transport ?

There is one bus in an hour to get outside our village, and if it is not 20 minutes late it is 5 minutes early.... [bat.gif]

Shadow, I do not get it could you please explain.

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 Post subject: Re: Observations on WM/FSUW Marriage Failures
Post Number:#10  PostPosted: 05 Feb 2011 14:27 
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Ecocks wrote:
I don't say the European folks don't have some of the same problems, just that culture and distance make the same problems a bit more severe. You have advantages with regard to sorter travel times, the "European feel" to some of your cities, better developed mass transit and somewhat larger communities in a smaller geographical area.

Enough explanation ?

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