Despite all the potential pitfalls and cultural differences, the vast majority of Russian – American marriages are successful.
Exact statistics are difficult to gather for a number of reasons. First, most census reports do not keep statistics using the categories of Russian women and American men.
Secondly, Russian – American marriages are a recent phenomenon for the most part. Most of them have only taken place since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The number of marriages was small in the beginning and has taken on momentum as time marched on.
Consequently, most Russian – American marriages are a relatively new phenomenon. It is difficult to predict how these marriages will last the test of time.
However, INS statistics have estimated that approximately eighty per cent of Russian – American marriages are intact after two years. This is based on the number of green card and naturalization applications that they receive.
Marriage agencies, that specialize in bringing American men and Russian women together, estimate that between eighty percent and ninety five percent of marriages are successful, depending on which agency is reporting.
I would venture to say that the twenty per cent of Russian-American marriages that fail are substantially the fault of the American men.
Either the American men were not very judicious in their choice of partner or the men were not very good marriage partners.
They married women who were thirty years younger than them. They never got beyond the beauty to find out what their mate was really like before marrying them. They used their money, status, assets or position as bait to attract their mate.
They could not keep up to the libido or other energy demands of their younger wife. They had roommates or other people living with them that upset the family living situation.
They continued their chauvinistic, alcoholic, womanizing, or violent behavior that ruined their previous marriages.
Maybe they did not do enough to help their fiancé through the rough period of culture shock when they first come to America. Maybe they did not have enough patience to help their fiancé learn about all the little details of American life we take for granted.
Maybe they thought they could exert 'control' over their foreign wife because she 'did not know any better.' Maybe they thought they had a sex toy, who would satisfy their demands without question.
The reason I say these things is that most Russian women find it extremely important to get and stay married. The status of married women in Russia is so much higher than being single,
Russian women will go the extra mile to make their marriage work.
They have a commitment to marriage that western women do not have. They will often stay in a marriage, even if they feel it is less than ideal, for the benefit of the marriage.
This requires an emotional and spiritual maturity that many people do not have.
Increasingly in western society over the past thirty years, marriage partners have put their own ego needs ahead of the needs of their family and children.
This is the fallout of the 'me' generation. Families, and especially children, were sacrificed at the altar of self-gratification. The ego demands of immature spouses put their own satisfaction ahead of the welfare of their family and children.
This is one reason the percentage of nuclear families in America has fallen from eighty per cent of the population to twenty percent over the past thirty years.
The missing ingredient is commitment. Russian women are looking for marriage to western men because many Russian men are no longer interested in commitment to family life. They are Peter Pans afraid to grow up.
American men are turning toward Russian women because they believe they embody the traditional values that are missing in American women. The number one traditional value that is missing is
Many American men have a problem with commitment as well. They think that because they marry a foreign woman they will not have to work hard at making their marriage work. They are mistaken.
Because of all the cultural differences, a marriage between an American man and a Russian woman requires even more work.
But if both spouses are committed to making the marriage work, then those things can be worked out.
I would venture to say that:
If American men chose Russian women of average looks, women over thirty-five years of age, or women with children; and …
If they modified their lifestyle choices away from drug and alcohol abuse, violence, womanizing, and pornography; and …
If they worked hard to ease culture shock, show patience in teaching their Russian wives about life in their new country, and became better husbands and fathers; that the success ratio of Russian-American marriages would be close to one hundred percent.