When Russian Wives Get To America

When Russian wives get to America. You bring her home. When you pull into the driveway, you proudly open up the car door and invite her in to your house. You say to her, "Here you are, honey. Your new home.”
She cautiously walks in the house. She inhales shortly a couple of times. She wrinkles up her nose. The house has got a funny smell to her.
You don’t notice anything. But to her, it’s full of strange smells she can’t identify: It’s a combination of leftover fast food wrappers, old pizza boxes, dust, beer cans, and remnants from the chip and dip that you and your friends consumed while watching a football game.
You threw all those things away, but the odors are still there.
It doesn’t smell like her house at home. It doesn’t smell like a house with a woman living in it. It smells like testosterone. 

Your Furniture

She looks at the furniture. Maybe it’s new. If so, it’s probably something a guy would pick out, like heavy leather or dark colors. Certainly nothing she would pick out.
Maybe you were waiting for her to get here to buy new furniture. Maybe you are still using the furniture you picked up from your bachelor days, like the cement block and board bookshelf. Or the post divorce furniture from ‘Rent to Own.’
No matter what, she isn’t going to like the furniture. Because she didn’t pick it out.
My wife took one look at the seventy five year old house I bought for her and said, "It’s old.” 

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Old Versus New

The house was in excellent condition and had a lot of nice appointments like glass door handles, high pitched, coved ceilings, picture rails, and built in glass cabinets. In her mind ‘old’ was synonymous with ‘bad.’
She liked the modern non-descript apartments her other Russian friends lived in because they were ‘new’ rather than our house with lots of character because it was ‘old.’
I spent all my money buying the house and bringing her to America. Houses in California are expensive.
I had no time to think about the twenty-four windows in the house without curtains. I was waiting for her to come before I bought new furniture. 
She said, "I feel like a fish in a fishbowl without curtains. How can you live like this?” 
I was starting to think about the seven hundred square foot, one bedroom apartment she lived in back in Belarus. There were two bedrooms in this house, an office, a large living room and dining room, a fireplace, and plenty of land. 
In her mind, her apartment in Belarus was ‘better.’ 

Home Is Better

The house I bought was previously owned by a widow who had passed away. She had smoked about four packs of cigarettes a day in the house for fifty years.
When they prepared the house for resale, they painted the old walls without taking the nicotine stains off the old paint first with TSP. 
My wife took two sniffs when she walked in the house and turned her nose up.
I explained to my wife that I had purchased the house from a widow who had passed away, and that she smoked in the house for many years. My wife took another sniff and said she thought that they had left her in the house for a few months after she had died. 

Russian Superstitions

She said she thought the house was haunted. I knew Russians were superstitious, but I had no idea how superstitious .
For several nights, she ‘saw’ the old lady in her dreams. For months, she talked about the ‘ghosts’ in the house.
My advice is don’t give your Russian fiancé any ammunition to fuel her superstitions. Don’t mention anyone dying. Don’t tell her any war stories about the house, the car, the town, or the neighborhood. It’s like telling ghost stories to four year olds before they go to bed.
If I could change my story, I would tell her that "the house was previously owned by nuns who burned votive candles day and night while singing hymns and praying.” Of course, knowing her as I do, she would not believe me. She and her relatives can communicate with ‘the other side.’ She would ‘know’ the truth.
Finally, after a few years, the smells and the ghosts have gone away. There are new double pane windows and beautiful window treatments in the house. She has decorated the house to her liking. My wife finally likes ‘her’ house.
The following is a guest article from R.Zvagelsky: 
Dealing With Partners That Want To Change You
Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner said they liked you, but then said that you would have to make changes if you wished to continue to be in a relationship with them? 
The concept of a partner wanting to change you is very common. A lot of people get in relationships where it seems they spend the majority of their time trying to change their partners. 
This strategy is not very useful and generally leads to emotional pain in the end. Why? Because each person has their own values which they hold dear to themselves. This is true no matter what gender, race, or age they are. 
Everyone has something that they feel is very important to them, and there are also things that they don't find to be important at all. The things which a person feels are important could be listed in a hierarchal structure. At the top are the things that matter the most, and as you work your way down the list, the items become less important to them. 
This is an important concept to understand, because it defines how an individual views the world around them. They will see things a certain way, and they will react in a manner that they feel is appropriate. So, when you go on a date with a person, you must accept them the way they are. 
There are two basic methods for dealing with this situation. It requires an evaluation of the situation on your part. You must decide if both of your values, ethics, and goals are compatable enough for you to move in the same direction. In other words, if a long term relationship is viable or not.
If the differences between the two of you are not relationship breakers, then you have to negotiate the small differences in opinion between the two of you. This assumes that both you and your partner are open to the idea and are mature enough to negotiate for what you want in a fair and equitable manner. 
Trying to change your partner without their agreement will make things difficult for both of you. If their values are in direct conflict with your own, there are only two options left on the table. The first option is to reach what is called a compromise. Agree on what you are willing to give up for the mutual benefit of the relationship, and expect your partner to do the same. 
The next option is to simply go your separate ways. This will be better in the long run, because it won't do you much good to continue in a relationship that you will be unhappy in. Never assume that a person will like your values, and don't try to force them to like yours. 
Sometimes, you must accept the fact that some things are just not meant to be. A lack of compatibility is one of the leading causes of relationship failure today. You must be compitable with the person you are dating if you wish to find long term success. Therefore, don't allow anyone to change who you are, and don't try to change someone you are dating. It will only lead to conflict and pain. 
There is an old saying: women hope men will change, and they don't. And men hope that women won't change, and they do.