By Tatiana - a
Russian woman married to an American man
As a Russian woman married to an American man for 5 years, I have personal experience in bringing this marriage about and living in it, and I can
testify all that you say about cultural differences (or lack thereof) is
I loved to see a marriage agency site where Russian women are not sold as
cattle, but explained as persons and human beings.
You're very right in saying that what "financially secure" means for a
Russian woman is very far from being a "gold digger" or prostitute or both
which is a regular image of a Russian woman on American TV.
I, for one, worked all my life, am very well educated (equivalent of 2
Masters degrees, one in the English language), provided for a big family on
my own for more than a decade - and I did not consider myself at the age of
35 either beautiful, or successful (respected I was, but only to a certain
degree, "not as a man", you know the difference), or financially secure,
although I worked very hard and did not have a vacation in 11 years.
I was indifferent to my future husband's owning property - or cars, for
that matter. His house did not look gorgeous by the standards of beautiful
Moscow, it did not look rich either. All it was - was a HOME. A home where
my fiance lived, worked, did his household chores and raised his son (he was
a high school student at the moment). And everything I saw on my first visit
showed an honest man, a caring and kind man, a man who cared about his
who did not considered himself a hero to earn a good living - and to take
the garbage out (as well as to shop for groceries, do the laundry, fix his
own cars etc.).
My husband comes from a very poor family and is a living proof of the fact
that in the US hard work gets rewards. THAT was why I respected him even
more, not the amount of his wealth, I saw very well that he does not stop
working, and as a worker myself, I saw the price in terms of time and effort
that he paid for his financial stability.
Respect for each other - and the fact we were attracted to each other's
looks, and conversation - are those things that made our marriage work, it's
now in its 6th year.
I wanted to mention 2 things that I do not agree with from what you were
saying on your site.
1. I understand that your agency is a business, and therefore you need to
advise your clients based on "big figures" - statistics. I still would think
that it is unfair to call ALL women from Moscow and St Petersburg spoiled
and unable to adapt to small town living in the US.
I'm from Moscow, I LOVE living in upstate NY, our town counts not more
than 2500 people, so basically many people know each other, and even if
do not, it's very usual that you're greeted with a smile by a total stranger
in the street - and I'm happy about it. I love Moscow, and Moscovites are
not unfriendly - but, as you said in one of your materials, to smile without
a reason is considered a sign of debilism. I LOVE American school system. If
it lacks academically - I add at home, no problem, Russian textbooks are
inexpensive. What it does not lack, though, is RESPECT to the child and
nurturing the child's dignity.
I am as sophisticated as sophisticated gets, probably, in terms of education and upbringing - but you can eat only so much of cream cakes
before you get fed up with it, and you look for good everyday basic food -
you start finding happiness in simple pleasures like normal family life, a
lot of beautiful scenery, friendly people and pure air. Many people who
emigrated from Moscow and St. Petersburg live in upstate New York around us,
and they love it here the same way I do. Please, do not discourage your
clients from meeting women from Moscow and St Petersburg because they are
"too spoilt", they are not, you yourself stated it - they just do not know
what living in a "village" in US is like, living in a village in Russia, for
comparison, is beyond misery, therefore their fear.
2. About children. I just wanted to offer a little encouragement to men
having doubt about marrying women from Russia (Ukraine) with children - they
fear how the children will adapt to the language/schools etc.
I wanted to mention that academically (I do not mean morally) the Russian
education is by far more advanced than the American school education. What
you would be fearing is that the American school should not downgrade your
Russian spouse's child based on his/her poor knowledge of the language.
Please, remember that the knowledge of the language might be poor only
compared to the native level of the same language, but how many American
kids in 4th-5th grade fluently speak a foreign language? Please, appreciate
the effort the kid is doing. His KNOWLEDGE of the subjects (math etc.) can
be SUPERIOR to that of the American children, he only does not have enough
MEANS to SHOW it. So, just make sure that the school provides an English as
a second language teacher/tutor for your child instead of downgrading him -
and you'll see results immediately!
I never stopped teaching my kids the full curriculum of the Russian school
at home while they were going to American school, too. I impressed on my
children that while their American father has enough money to put them
through any college, it's their job to make that task as much easier as
possible - I mean scholarships.
And my older girl, even before graduating, won a 60 000 dollar scholarship
to a leading American Engineering school, and a big part in it is that she
was using Russian textbooks to hone her skills. She came to the US when she
was 11, and she has 100 in her Advanced Placement English (as a native
language) class now, a lot better than the majority of American-born native
speaking children. My husband is IMMENSELY proud of her accomplishments, all
the more so that she did not have to do it, the money for her college was
there all the time anyway. She did it out of self-respect and respect for
her American father. Does it look like gold-digging to you? And for my
daughter it's another proof showing that hard work pays off both in self-esteem - and financially, too! She would NEVER have had such a
recognition back in Russia.
I always hear only praise from the school teachers for both of my
Moscow-born girls - they praise academic performance as well as how nice
respectful my girls are in communicating with other people. By the way,
kids do NOT miss Moscow and do NOT want to go back even for a summer holiday - because a summer in here is so much more fun -
tennis lessons, a lot of wildlife around etc. etc...
I'm married already and what I am writing here is not for my own
personal gain. I feel for other women like me out there in Russia (Moscow and St.
Pete included) who are educated, pretty, but overworked,
underpaid and definitely under-respected by the male-chauvinistic
They are not just pretty dolls all covered with make-up waiting to grab an
American husband and be a spoiled brat ever after. The majority of Russian
women are workers. They will either work in the workforce outside
in the US (just give them time to adjust and learn the language), or they
will work at home (and I do not only mean sweeping floors). They will work
to advance the lives of their children - and their husbands, too, by
educating the children and making home the most comfortable place for their
husband to be - not in terms of furniture, but in terms of who and what
you're coming home back to every day.
So, please, let your doubts not be about "gold-digger fiancees" and "if
the children will ever adjust to life and language", let it be the regular
doubts in any marriage - is this lady right for me, will this child accept
me as a father (and do I like him to be my son/daughter - if there is a feud
from the beginning, you should have second thoughts, although it might be
transitory). Will the children taught in a school superior academically
adapt to the school with lower academic standards - there is no question
about it. They will. And they will thrive from what is better in American
school, too - and that is attention to kids and respect for them. Whatever
American schools are lacking, your Russian wife can add at home using proper
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