Browsing some old newspapers I found this article. It might be of interest to some forum members here:
Itís not about the money, itís about partnership, writes Tetiana Vorozhko. I am a Ukrainian woman in a happy marriage with a U.S. citizen. Our story is a part of a modern trend. Many of the girlfriends I used to hang around with in Kyiv, as well as my own sister, are now raising children in Warsaw, Munich, London, Toronto, Denver, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles; our friends in the Washington, D.C., area are mostly mixed couples of Ukrainian women married to American men.
Why is that?
The reasons are plenty. In many comments to Alina Rudyaís article [The People of Ukraine: Part 2 -- Women, Kyiv Post, March 12], both Ukrainian and Western men blame Slavic beauties for chasing the money. OK. Who doesnít? Everybody wants better lives for themselves and their offspring. Letís be honest. That includes the ability to buy better things and do more exciting stuff.
All women around the world prefer men who make more money, the same as our ancestors preferred Stone Age hunters who could kill more game to feed their families. Even if a girl in love marries a poor guy, she still sees some potential in him. Nobody goes into a lifelong union determined to stay poor forever.
Of course, there are gold diggers. Anna Nicole Smith, who married a Texas billionaire more than twice her age, probably has no Ukrainian blood. If you see an old rich guy marrying a beautiful woman 30 years younger, I would be cautious about believing that she is smitten by his personality, no matter her nationality.
All of the pairings between Ukrainian women and U.S. and European men that we know, including ourselves, developed their relationships typically: Sexual attraction, passion, love, doubts, periods of separation, deep friendship, etc. However, I also believe that there is something special that clicks in these relationships. It is vague and hard to measure. But it is definitely there.
First, I think that it is more acceptable for women to marry abroad than for men, the same way as our grandmothers married fellows and moved to other villages. When I studied at a U.S. university, I could see that girls from the former Soviet Union tended to pick up local trends much more easily than their male counterparts.
Second, modern Ukrainian society is a little weird when it comes to gender relations. There are traditional societies where women are less educated than men, do not make decisions regarding their own lives, seldom work outside the house, have many children and, as a result, are completely dependent on men. Somebody might insist that they are still treated with respect, but I say that they can be treated any way the men want. There are also Western societies where women are educated, have careers, make decisions regarding their own lives and tend to have fewer children. Women in those societies generally demand respect and equal treatment and normally get it.
The former Soviet Union countries fall somewhere in between. Our women do everything (and more) that Western women do, but often get the treatment like in traditional societies.
One good indicator of respect is how housework is shared. When I was in my mid-20s, I was living with a man in Kyiv for about a year. I was more advanced in my career, worked longer hours, made more money and financially contributed more to our household. At the same time, I was doing all the chores by myself. After we broke up, older women criticized me for letting this young man go. Because he didnít drink, didnít beat me and didnít screw around, that was supposed to be good enough for me.
None of the factors is biological. Theyíre all cultural. I know many Ukrainian immigrants who have equal relations in their marriage with shared responsibilities and respect, the same as I have in my marriage. There are many ďmodern familiesĒ between Ukrainians in Ukraine, but often these men in those families studied or lived abroad.
Third, there are simply not so many husband-quality men in Ukraine. There are more men in prisons or who are drug addicts and heavy drinkers. The economic problems in Ukraine make many men poor. It is more acceptable for men to marry down in terms of career and education.
As a result, well-educated and beautiful women who have their own careers are the most likely to end up single. Because those women spent time building their careers, they did not marry early, and by the age of 25, their chance of finding a decent match in Ukraine becomes slim. I have so many girlfriends of this description in their early 30s that it breaks my heart!
Fourth, as soon as men in Ukraine earn some decent money, having a lover becomes a status thing, next to having a flashy car, out-of-town house and vacations abroad. Of course, Western men also cheat, but it is not as widespread or as accepted.
At the end, it all comes down to children. When I was in my relationship in Kyiv, I wondered: If we have a child, how would it all work? Would I still have to do everything at home, earn money and take care of the child? How much help from him can I count on? What kind of an example would he would set for the child? Would he be able to provide for the family if I couldnít work?
Now I do have a beautiful baby boy. My husband and I are working, busy and somewhat exhausted. But we work as a team. If I happen to lose a job, he would be able to support the three of us, and vice versa. Marriage is a partnership and everybody wants a reliable partner. This is not about chasing money. This is pursuit of happiness.
Yes, interesting article. I have commens on all of it but mainly:
- If he is short of work and she is busy going out to work making money, then he stays as a homemaker and vice-versa; why not, both should contribute to the family the way they can.
- Eligible men with a bit of money in the Ukraine will, not only take a lover but also will not hesitate to replace his 'old' 29 year old wife with a new 19 year old model. There are plenty of girls prepared to do this. Then a 29 year old with or without children will not trust Ukrainian men any longer and many will look abroad instead.
- Althoug there are many good men in Ukraine, women who are looking for a man abroad do not want to recognise it: 'once bitten twice shy' and I am not going to try a convince a beautiful girl that there are good men in her country for her to find one.
- Yes, Ukrainian women are attracted to a better life in the West, the same way that Western women prefer men with a bit of money. This is universal.
Any older Western man who thinks he has found a beautiful Ukrainian girl who only wants him for his bald head and his pot belly is living in cloud cuckoo land. Knowing that 99% of Ukrainian girls will not mind moving to a better Western country is fine so long as the girls are prepared to love and treat the man well too.
- Foreign women moving 'en masse' to another country to meet their husbands is nothing new. It has always happened between many different countries.
Here is the big responsibility on our shoulders:
The ladies believe that the grass is greener with a Western man in his country.
It is our responsibility to ensure that it is true, at least where we (the husbands) are concerned!
That is what nearly every lady has said who I have contacted (even the fraudulent ones). Nobody wants to end up with a bum and poor.
My case is that I see many ladies with a good career and who enjoy the experiences in their country. That gives me second thoughts about trying to get closer to such a person. They say that they want to devote themselves to their own family which is more important than other things. But I always say to them that the physical aspects of your new life elsewhere is just as important as the person you are with. External and environmental aspects also play into the relationship. So depending on the man to become the "complete protector" may be an unrealistic expectation.
I know what you are saying but it is not that she should become entirely dependent on the Western man. I meant to say that the Western man has got control only over what he does for the lady. For instance, he cannot control it if she wants to get a job that reflects her education and she cannot do it. This happens often. I know a lady from Kazakhstan who has got an engineering degree from her country, She also worked from some sheik in an Arab country in a job with responsibility. She married a Briton and when she applied for a job as a waitress in Pizza Hut; she got turned down (although this may have been due to her Engish being poor).
As for the genuine ladies with good careers, and being relatively happy, in their own country, the reason they look West for a man is because of the image that they have developed of Ukrainian men as written above.
In any event, a better life in the West is not just about money. One girl was telling me that there was no respect for women in Ukraine, that the justice system was biased against them, that they were discriminated against for jobs, etc. Then they talk about crime, the war, etc. 'The grass is greener over here....'
I have come across several doctors in their native country. Since their English skills are not that good, obtaining a job here in that area would be quite difficult. I myself studied science when I was in college, so I guess I would understand about not getting a job in my major field of study. From my point of view, that appears to be a "waste" of your education time and also make one feel "useless". But I suppose that since they desire a family with a future more than making a career, they are willing to leave that aspect of their life.
I saw an article in the local paper with a photo of the first day of school in Ukraine this week. The photo showed little girls dressed in nice dresses and a bow tied across their heads. The little boys are dressed in military uniforms with hats. There was a very shapely lady holding the hand of one of the young girls. The head of the lady was cropped out, but you could easily tell that she must be quite an attractive woman with such an adorable girl. There is no way that I could see myself with a daughter like that (at least ethnically speaking).
I am not quite sure if you are saying that you are black or Asian or antoher non-white race. You need to accept that 99% of ladies in Ukraine are white and many are whiter than white. I consider myself to be white but some of these ladies (and their children) really look different. Besides if you look at profiles, in some dating sites like mine, most of them list all kinds of ethnicities as what they are ready accept. In fact, it seems to me that in general they are more open to a different ethnicity than age difference.
There are many adopted children that definitely do not look like their adopted parents.
About the careers, yes, wasting your edcuation hurts your self-esteem. I think that, despite the number of women who just want an easy life of leisure in the West, many of them do want to work and have a career in the West. In fact, some of them may think that they will do better career-wise in the West.
Where I live, I know 10 FSU women who married Britons. 8 of them work but some downgraded their job-qualification ratio.
Family and career are not mutually exclusive in the West.
I guess my comment was related to something that I read in the "Russian Bride Guide" book that says that Eastern European women are prejudiced. I asked several of my contacts about this and they all say that it is not true (at least as far as they were concerned).
I also got contacted by a lady in Kiev who I think is of Turkish origin (or partial) because she lists Turkish as one of her languages. I did hear that Arab and Turkish men have been seen in Ukraine.
I think that those that have poor prospects in their native country (menial work or unemployed) would be the type that would be more looking forward to leave their country. Someone who has a pretty good job income wise and one that provides a stable work environment may feel a bit let down when they emigrate to another place where they have to look for work where their job skills are longer in demand (for those that do not want to be exclusively tied to doing housework).
There have been a few who had bad experiences with local guys and see no future in a marriage if they remained there.
I just came across this profile which explains the "proper" relationship between a couple. If this is what every lady expects from her husband EVERY DAY, then I better quit while I am ahead. Talk about being "glued" to another person and being "accountable" for nearly every hour of the day. This reminds me a little of those who are control freaks.
"A husband and wife must learn how to make each other happy, and how to stop making each other unhappy. Everything is simple and difficult from the other side. Every single action is very important. Hug and kiss your beloved and tell him you love him every morning while you're still in bed. Rub her back for a few minutes before you get up. Tell him that you love him while you are having breakfast together. Kiss her and tell her you love her before you leave for work. Call him during the day to ask how he is doing and that you love him. After work, call her before you leave to tell her when you will be home, and tell her you love her. Buy her flowers on the way home at least once a week, with a card that tells her you love her. When you arrive home from work, give him a big hug and kiss and spend a few minutes talking to him about how his day went. Don't do anything else before you have given him your undivided attention. Tell him that you love him as you are having dinner together. Help her clear off the table and wash and dry the dishes with her, giving her a hug and kiss at least once, and tell her that you love her. Hug and kiss him and tell him you love him in bed before you both go to sleep."
Let me tell you that the description of what a couple should do is very reasonable. My ex and I did not do those things and that is the reason the marriage ended up on the rocks. I have been reading/learning about (marriage) relationships since then and they all say that you should do the same kind of thing to keep the flame going.
Of course it does not have to be flowers every day but if you are not prepared to do this kind of thing, then marriage is not for you. I do not know if you have been married but if you do not behave like that (to some degree at least) with your partner, then you have a flatmate instead.
Even though many profiles of ladies in dating sites are hated by cynics because they say things like "I want my husband and I to love each other forever and I want romance, etc" I tend to prefer them to the ones that say "I want to travel the world". In my conversations with the ladies I can find out how much of what they wrote on their profiles they actually meant.
I think that the main 'prejudice' that many Ukrainian women have relates to the way they see some races, nationalities and religions treat women. They do not like men from these groups which they consider are the ones that see women as sex objects, expendable, with no mind of her own, useful for rearing babies only, etc.
Whether they are right to generalise or not, many write on their profiles what I have said before: No Turks, Muslims or Arabs.
I have seldom, if ever seen profiles that say No Orientals/blacks/Indians but I have seen some that say "White/European only"
For the American markets they often write: Whites and Hispanics welcome.
As for professional women who have a decent job and decent money, it is not about not needing more money in the West (for many). Many of them live in a household with up to 4 generations of her family: her, her child, her mother and her grandma and no men to be seen. The lady herself may be divorced or left by her boyfriend already. They think: "This is my future, like my mother and grandma! I had better find myself a reliable Western man who will not dump me when he finds himself a 19 year old bimbo!"
Notice how often the word 'reliable' appears in what FSU women say they want in their men on their profiles.
I have seen many profiles that say that they want to travel and see the world. I think it is meant to show that the lady does not want to stay in her native land forever. However, it may also imply that the lady expects to live a jet set lifestyle where she can visit resorts, parks, big cities, etc. And get to move around a lot in a new country.
I do not have much of a dating experiences, so I guess I may not be "marriage material". But I do understand that her feelings also have to be considered in a relationship. I have read a lot of profiles of ladies who live with siblings and their elders. The economic situation may play a factor to this kind of living arrangement. Some have good careers in their native land. I guess it depends on how badly they are willing to give that up for a life that might end up with raising children.
I read an interview with a local millenial with a guy in his mid-20s. He rarely stays in one job and has rarely stayed in one position for over a year. He has jumped around a lot of places soon after graduation. The people of his generation do not have any faith in a secure future and things associated with stability. Their focus is to keep investing in themselves as they add to their job portfolio. They move around a lot and do not stay in one place for any long period of time. I do not think that foreign women would be interested in people of a similar aged group who live this kind of lifestyle.