Western women expats working in Ukraine, Russia and Eastern Europe can’t easily find husbands there locally. Some lucky few are able to find their perfect match but the road to marital success for a significant number of Western women is a tumultous journey through a barbwire fence of cultural conflicts. The primary struggle between Eastern European men and Western women has been the concept of “defined male -female roles” and from this construct we will understand the chasm that is expanding on the love-front in Eastern Europe.
The expat woman can range in age from 26 up to mid fifties, and decidedly after age 35 the biological urge to find a life partner in a host country so far away from home [ now a country you consider home and your final address] can be a massive emotional challenge and even cultural struggle.
You are a highly educated woman from the EU or North America and you live and work long-term in Eastern Europe , or Ukraine or even Russia and equally exotic–Kazakhstan. BUT what is Eastern Europe AND WHAT THE HELL brought you here?
You graduated with a Bachelors degree in Russian Language or, you were clever enough to double major in:
- Law and foreign language–Juris Doctorate + [ Russian /Serbian/ Ukrainian/ German/ Polish language degree ect. ]
- MBA + Foreign language degree or certificate of proficiency
- or simply you graduated with a Bachelors diploma in a Slavic language
You arrived to Eastern Europe in the early 1990’s
or you arrived around 2010.
You would think that a relatively beautiful and well educated Western female expat would have no trouble in finding a husband in say.. Ukraine, Poland, Russia or Serbia just to name a few countries from the Eastern Block. But the reality is far uncomfortable than you could imagine. Despite the often language gaps which could be overcome within 18 months of serious study in any country, there are often cultural chasms which for the most part can not be negotiated to a mutual compromise from both sides of the relationship between a Western woman and primarliy Slavic man. For example.
- Domestic Home Skills: many Western women can not cook for “all occassions”, they are often limited to the ability to make an awesome omlet or heallthy salads. A full course dinner “from scratch”—soup-salad-main course of some sort of tastey meat followed by desert—is for the most part a rarity. Whereas the Slavic woman she has been preparing such meals since she was a teenager. Eastern European men often complain that their expat girlfirends are useless in the kitchen and that they are spending needlessly more money on “take-out” and “dinning-out” than they should be or which their monthly budget allows.
- Even the mothers of the men complain that the expat girlfriend will not be able to feed any potential children properly if their sons were to marry such an unprepared woman. But what does this mean “unprepared”..unprepared for what you might ask?….she is unprepared for an obvious “Eastern” cultural expectation…motherhood. There is an old Ukrainian village idiom and it goes something like this, “don’t let your man leave home hungry and horny, less a different woman cook him borsch and lay him to bed”.
- Lower Level of Feminimity : There is a common observation by Slavic women made upon their expat female friends, and yes—women can be the harshest critics of themselves [other women]. In this case, their analysis about the overall feminimity of their Western counterparts falls into 2 categories : a) Western expat women who are “misguided feminists-who falsely believe that looking gorgeous every day and for every occasion is supporting the male patriarchal concept that women are objects and only valued by their exterior beauty and youthfulness thus wearing makeup and feminim clothes is subjugating to this ideal. . and B) Western women who are not “fashion conscious”—simply, they don’t know how to apply cosmetics well nor dress well.
- The Expectation of “Democracy” In a Relationship: It can be argued from a sociolgical perspective that the further East on the European continent one travels or the closer to the Equator at any point on the globe you travel—the more dominant and patriarchal the men are in relation to their chosen woman. Thus the most critical chasm in serious relations between Western expat women and Eastern European men is the clash of “sexual and family relations”. Whereas as Eastern European men expect a “submissive” wife that follows his lead, decisions, and goals for their future—the Western women expects to be an equal “partner” [ even this word “partner” is a troublesome word to conceptualize for Slavic men] who will have perhaps the ideal “veto” power on decisions that sometimes not always benefit her “vision” of the potential marriage and family. This brings about another issue—in the West, couples can have dual careers and they make compromises for each others work schedule and job promotions and advancement. In Ukraine, Russia and anywhere elese in the Eastern Block, the woman is expected to sacrifice her job or advancement for the benefit of her husbands success and ultimately the families success—even if she is making more money than her husband…well you knew I would get this part..MONEY!
- Huge Income Gap: More often than you would think, the Western female expact who is living and working in the Eastern Block is receiving a “western salary”—slighlty less than the equvialent salary back home but minimum 4 to 5 times more than her Eastern boyfriend.This unfortunately, can make an Eastern man..well, feel less of a “man” and leader in the family. ..his authority –psychologically is challenged. As a result, exerting his expectations in other areas of the relationship become of hightened importance because these are areas he can control.
But why does he date and even contemplate marrying this troublesome but beautiful and broken Russian speaking woman. To get a passport ? NO! He is a man, and he wants to try something exotic and . ..different. But this Becky, this Jennifer or Mellisa ..this strange fruit..has seeds…[ idom of irony]
TO BE CONTINUED. . .