Russian Brides and Roommates
Russian brides and roommates don't mix. When she gets to America, she is going to take over the house. That’s the way Russian women are raised. Your roommate is public enemy number one in her eyes.
One of the biggest sources of problems between Russian women and American men that I have heard about are roommates.
You know the guy you share the house with -- your renter, your brother, your twenty five year old cousin who can’t seem to support himself.
Well, your roommate is a smoking gun.
When your Russian fiancé gets to America, she is going to take over the house. It’s her house now. That’s the way Russian women are raised.
That couch potato, laying on the sofa in front of the ever present football game, surrounded by dirty socks and empty pizza boxes is public enemy number one in the mind of your fiancé.
Even if his personal habits are not that reprehensible, he will still be in the way. She is trying to organize the house in her fashion and his idiosyncrasies don’t fit into her plan.
From his standpoint, she’s just a big pain in the rear. He didn’t ask her to come. He’s comfortable in his lifestyle. His life may be in a rut, but he has moved in and furnished it to his satisfaction.
You have learned to tolerate him over time. The two of you have developed a peaceful co-existence that allows you to live together.
But now there’s a new sheriff in town.
Your fiancé has just gotten out the can of pesticide and is fumigating the place for parasites. And the biggest pest is the one with his butt cheeks pressed against the seat cushions of the sofa right in the middle of the house. He’s hard to ignore.
Your roommate will probably fight back. He will say things to undermine your fiancé. Your fiancé will eventually tell you ‘either he goes or I go’ and she will mean it. You are in the middle and you feel like the victim.
You’re not. It’s all your fault. Get rid of your roommate before she arrives.
I know all the arguments. He helps with the rent. He’s depending on you. He’s like a (brother, son, fill in the blank) to you. You’ll have to work overtime to make up the difference in rent money. You may even have to get another job.
I don’t care. Get rid of the roommate. Which do you want more a wife or a roommate?
If you said roommate, then why did you bring your fiancé to America in the first place?
Get this through your head. It’s not your house any more. It’s her house. She’s the one who is going to turn your house into a home. That includes fumigating all the pests out of the house.
Your roommate is not innocent either. He has the same attitude as a rat living in an abandoned house. The rat thinks he has as much right to live in your house as you do.
Do you think the rat thinks it’s fair that you chase him out of the house? Of course not. Neither will your roommate. If you and he are smart, he will be gone before your fiancé gets there.
If not, he will be gone shortly after she gets there, or she will be gone.
It's Her House
I didn’t have a roommate. I had just moved into my house several months before I went to bring my fiancé to America. There were unopened boxes filling up the spare bedroom.
When my fiancé came to my house, she wanted all the boxes emptied and the items in them put away. In my way of thinking, this was a project that I would get around to periodically over the next three years.
I told her the best way for me to tackle the project was to keep the boxes under my nose so I would be aware of them, and gradually, get around to taking care of ‘processing them.’
My fiancé was having none of it. She wanted the boxes out NOW.
We had a huge, knock down drag out fight about the boxes. Finally, I moved them out into the garage where they sit five years later, for the most part, unopened.
Truce. An armistice was signed.
My now wife keeps the house in immaculate condition. She likes to do the same with my office. I told her my office is ‘my territory’ – that the rest of the house is ‘hers’ to do with as she wishes. My wife insists on cleaning my office when I’m not around.
Electrical plugs to the computer and other office equipment are frequently accidentally pulled out and in disarray. Files are piled up rather than in the perfect place where I ‘knew exactly where they were.’ But there is no dust in my office. No dirt. No pests.
Today we have found a middle point where we meet. But the real truth is that the house is her territory and I am only a welcome visitor in it.
As my wife likes to say to me when she greets me at the door with a kiss, "You are welcome at home, my darling.”
Caught between his Wife and His Mother
Bob is caught between the two women he loves, his wife and his mother. His wife Elena is quite upset and hurt because she does not feel accepted by her mother-in-law. She also feels Bob does not protect her from her mother-in-law' s criticism and intrusions into their daily lives.
Bob does not draw the line for his mother, and limit how much say she can have in their lives. He does not put her in her place when she gets out of line.
Of course, Bob's mother has the same complaint about Bob not forcing his wife to be more respectful toward her. Is he in charge or isn't he? She thinks he should be more of the man of the house and not let his wife control him.
Bob's wife feels he should grow up and not let his mother dictate his behavior.
Elena wants to be accepted into his family. She is happy to serve and help his mother, but not keep the house, raise the children or live her life according to his mother's ideas. She feels insecure in her place in the family. She feels she is being constantly undermined, that no one has faith in her ability to raise her children, cook, or maintain a household.
Bob's mother, on the other hand, believes she is just trying to help. She has had many years of experience raising four children who turned out fine. Why wouldn't Elena want her advice? She loves her son Bob and wants the best for him, and that is why she tries to help Elena become a better wife.
Bob is afraid of both of them. He does not want any conflicts in his life. He cannot communicate effectively with either of them. He wishes they would just solve their problem between themselves and not involve him.
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He can find no solution because whenever he speaks to his wife, she sounds right. But when he goes to speak to his mother, she also has her points too. Thus, Bob avoids them both as much as possible.
Both women alternate between the roles of victim and perpetrator and Bob becomes silent to the point of aloofness as much as he can. There are times, however, when he cannot stand it any longer and shouts at both of them, but they seldom take him seriously because they know he is afraid of conflict.
What do they all need to learn from this situation?
Does she need to learn some of the following lessons:
To love and accept her mother-in-law as she is and forgive her for her weaknesses and negativity?
To express her needs and feelings more clearly, more lovingly and more assertively?
To free herself from feeling guilty when she is unable to satisfy her mother-in-law' s needs or demands?
To be able to say "no" without feeling guilty or believing there will necessarily be a conflict, or that the other will stop loving her?
To believe that her mother-in-law can hear the truth and discuss any situation maturely like an adult?
To free herself from childhood experiences in which she was programmed to believe others would not respect her needs, or would criticize her or be unable to communicate peacefully?
To cultivate more positive feelings toward her mother-in-law?
To look for her mother-in-law's positive qualities and see her as a teacher?
To be able to work out some type of practical agreements in which all feel that some of their needs are being fulfilled?
Does he need to learn some of the following lessons:
To overcome his fear of conflict?
To learn to express his opinions and needs clearly without fearing there will be conflict?
To let his wife and mother work out their problems for themselves?
To see if there is a part of himself that is being expressed by his wife toward his mother and by his mother toward his wife?
To learn to love and accept them as they are?
To not be bothered by their conflicts?
To be more assertive.
That Elena needs to learn by herself and not constantly through her advise?
To let go of her son?
To have more confidence in her daughter-in-law and give advice only when asked?
To occupy herself with other interests so she does not dwell so much on her son's family?
Let us hope they find the maturity necessary to analyze themselves, identify their lessons and decide to change themselves so they can once again find harmony and love.
Ultimately, Bob needs to step up and become the head of the household. Once that happens, his wife and his mother-in-law will fall more in line.