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Looking for advice from the Veteran VJ RUB Couples

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

FOR THE VETERAN VJ RUB COUPLES:

Okay, I am opening myself up to God knows what here... But I guess I will ask anyway...

I have scoured the 175 page "RUB Forum" (I still am) and reading through old threads and trying to follow the progress... Some of you are still active here after MANY years... So I am interested in what you have to say all these years later...

Here are my Questions:

You that went through the immigration, culture shock, acclimation process, and are still happily married; Do you have any good advice for someone beginning? Even ask your wives, if they don't post here... What would be their advice or thoughts in retrospect?

FYI --- Not sure I need typical "marital" advice as such, as I had already been married once before for 17 yrs and learned alot from it, including things about myself that needed to change... However, I am really interested in your experience and advice as it relates to not only the adjustment of your 2 lives together, but also the meshing of different cultures, families, and what I can do to help her "find her place" in the US... So tell me what you have learned over time that you think would help someone else...

I love this woman with everything in me and want her to be happy and successful here... But if I can learn some "would've, could've, should've done things different" from you VJ couples that would save us some grief and heartache; then I want to know and do my part.

The quick BIO about us... We should be together / married in about 3 months or so... By then, we've known each other 1.5 yrs. Been to Russia 2 times, and most of the time, stayed with her family. We are 12 yrs apart, 40 & 28, and I have a 9 yr old daughter that visits most summers, holidays, and every 2 months or so. She has written to and met most of my family on Skype. We talk often everyday, by phone or Skype... She speaks English certainly well enough for us to communicate, joke around about stuff, and discuss deep subjects. Sometimes I even forget we are from different countries. Most of her earlier views of the USA and our people were through the eyes of movies or pop culture, but I think she has been informed a little more about reality since meeting me...

Anyway, that's the very quick and dirty story... Please enlighten me now that you have been around the block and know a few things about this stuff...

Thanks for your time... It's much appreciated...


K1 VISA / I129F

Vermont Service Center

Received: 1/19/2012

NOA1: 1/23/2012

Touched: 2/9/2012

NOA2: 7/30/2012

NVC Received: 08/08/2012

NVC Fwd To Consulate: 08/10/2012

Notification From Embassy: 08/27/2012

Interview: 09/25/2012 (Approved)

POE: 10/22/2012

Wedding: 10/26/2012

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Belarus
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Go to this site. www.russianwomendiscussion.com. Excellent forums, many senior, married ( experienced and age as well if that matters)posters. I think your questions would be better answered there.

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Well, at least you are looking to find answers now, before they happen. There will probably be a lot of advice from a number of members here, but I'll start with my learning experiences.

1. Expect communication problems, no matter how good you think her English is. First off, she has probably learned UK English, not American and believe me, we do speak differently. You will find that you need to explain a lot of sayings that we take for granted. Be patient and try to provide an adequate explanation. You will find that you have to think about it before you can explain some things.

2. Be open minded about the cultural differences. If both of you are willing to accept the differences, it will make adjustment easier. Remember, she has just left her country, family, friends and all she was comfortable and familiar with to be with you. Make sure she knows you appreciate it. Also, she will get homesick. Try to find stores that carry Russian goods and possibly some Russian areas where she can talk her native language. Providing her with things that are familiar will help her to relax and adjust.

3. Give her body time to adjust to her new time zone. This can take months sometimes as her body clock has been twisted around to the other half of the world. She will need sleep early on, but probably will try very much to be on your time schedule. Let her adjust. This also means that meeting a lot of new people can be overwhelming. Let her breathe a little and it will work better.

4. Make sure she can communicate with her family and friends back home. If she is here without any children, she it totally dependent upon you, so make sure you give her the chance to relax with you and truly enjoy your time together.

5. If you can, get her enrolled in an ESL class at a local community college as soon as you can. It is more about giving her alternative opportunities to improve her English and also meet other people in similar situations. It is helpful knowing you are not alone.

6. Allow her to prepare her native meals for you while you try to teach her about our native meals. This is a big difference to her and represents part of what she feels as a woman.

7. Allow her to make changes to your home so that she feels it is part of hers also. Remember, she is suppose to be your life partner, so make sure she is a part of it.

8. Don't push to get married right away. You have 90 days from her arrival, use all of it you feel like. The requirement is to get married within 90 days. After that you need to file to adjust status and that will take time. Also, remember that after she arrives, she will not be able to leave until you have married and adjusted status. Applying for Advanced Parole (AP) takes almost as much time as AOS so be prepared for that and make sure she understands.

9. Be the man she fell in love with and keep talking to each other. Communication is the key in any relationship and it is doubly so with foreign spouses.

Well, that seems to cover all that I can think of now, but I'm sure others will have more to add. I would add one more thing and that is to be careful of making friendships with other Russians unless they are from happily married couples. I've seen things go bad because of outside influences and you will have a tough enough time on your own without someone else muddying the waters.

Good Luck. :thumbs:

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Every situation is different. I mean first off does she come from a small village, large town or city, does she drive, does she speak any English what's her plans when she gets here other than being married? Does she want kids, do you want more kids? Do you live in the sticks or deep south? Does she have any hobbies...likes or dislikes, etc...

All that factors into the equation.

Edited by Why_Me

sigbet.jpg

"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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My number one bit of advice is to treat her like your wife, not your Russian wife. Some good advice has been given about food, language classes, time changes, etc., but I would definitely make sure to focus on her and her individual needs, idiosyncrasies, habits, and preferences, which may or may not be typical Russian (whatever that means). You're marrying a woman, not a country.

+1

A few pics on here of the bride to be wouldn't hurt either. :devil:

j/k :)


sigbet.jpg

"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

FOR THE VETERAN VJ RUB COUPLES:

You that went through the immigration, culture shock, acclimation process, and are still happily married; Do you have any good advice for someone beginning? Even ask your wives, if they don't post here... What would be their advice or thoughts in retrospect?[/b]

Help them to understand the difficulty in finding work here or the hurdles they will have to overcome to work or become degreed or certfied. Be aware of the financial liability you will have because they can not work and the emotional stress on them and your relationship when they realize they can not help.

FYI --- Not sure I need typical "marital" advice as such, as I had already been married once before for 17 yrs and learned alot from it, including things about myself that needed to change... However, I am really interested in your experience and advice as it relates to not only the adjustment of your 2 lives together, but also the meshing of different cultures, families, and what I can do to help her "find her place" in the US... So tell me what you have learned over time that you think would help someone else...

I love this woman with everything in me and want her to be happy and successful here... But if I can learn some "would've, could've, should've done things different" from you VJ couples that would save us some grief and heartache; then I want to know and do my part.

Nothing here, we both did a good job of explaining all and vetting all this out so there were no surprises. She has kept herself very active and has made many other friends, both Russian and American, but still yearns to help out with the family finances.

Most of her earlier views of the USA and our people were through the eyes of movies or pop culture, but I think she has been informed a little more about reality since meeting me...

Cut to the chase.....explain everything of her life and what she can expect....especially when it comes to working and income and expenses......that latter will blow them away,,,,,especially all the taxes and fees we have to pay.

Edited by baron555

Phil (Lockport, near Chicago) and Alla (Lobnya, near Moscow)

As of Dec 7, 2009, now Zero miles apart (literally)!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

Go to this site. www.russianwomendiscussion.com. Excellent forums, many senior, married ( experienced and age as well if that matters)posters. I think your questions would be better answered there.

RWD......a resource to trust?.......you have to be kidding? Never mind.


Phil (Lockport, near Chicago) and Alla (Lobnya, near Moscow)

As of Dec 7, 2009, now Zero miles apart (literally)!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

Well, at least you are looking to find answers now, before they happen. There will probably be a lot of advice from a number of members here, but I'll start with my learning experiences.

1. Expect communication problems, no matter how good you think her English is. First off, she has probably learned UK English, not American and believe me, we do speak differently. You will find that you need to explain a lot of sayings that we take for granted. Be patient and try to provide an adequate explanation. You will find that you have to think about it before you can explain some things.

2. Be open minded about the cultural differences. If both of you are willing to accept the differences, it will make adjustment easier. Remember, she has just left her country, family, friends and all she was comfortable and familiar with to be with you. Make sure she knows you appreciate it. Also, she will get homesick. Try to find stores that carry Russian goods and possibly some Russian areas where she can talk her native language. Providing her with things that are familiar will help her to relax and adjust.

3. Give her body time to adjust to her new time zone. This can take months sometimes as her body clock has been twisted around to the other half of the world. She will need sleep early on, but probably will try very much to be on your time schedule. Let her adjust. This also means that meeting a lot of new people can be overwhelming. Let her breathe a little and it will work better.

4. Make sure she can communicate with her family and friends back home. If she is here without any children, she it totally dependent upon you, so make sure you give her the chance to relax with you and truly enjoy your time together.

5. If you can, get her enrolled in an ESL class at a local community college as soon as you can. It is more about giving her alternative opportunities to improve her English and also meet other people in similar situations. It is helpful knowing you are not alone.

6. Allow her to prepare her native meals for you while you try to teach her about our native meals. This is a big difference to her and represents part of what she feels as a woman.

7. Allow her to make changes to your home so that she feels it is part of hers also. Remember, she is suppose to be your life partner, so make sure she is a part of it.

8. Don't push to get married right away. You have 90 days from her arrival, use all of it you feel like. The requirement is to get married within 90 days. After that you need to file to adjust status and that will take time. Also, remember that after she arrives, she will not be able to leave until you have married and adjusted status. Applying for Advanced Parole (AP) takes almost as much time as AOS so be prepared for that and make sure she understands.

9. Be the man she fell in love with and keep talking to each other. Communication is the key in any relationship and it is doubly so with foreign spouses.

Well, that seems to cover all that I can think of now, but I'm sure others will have more to add. I would add one more thing and that is to be careful of making friendships with other Russians unless they are from happily married couples. I've seen things go bad because of outside influences and you will have a tough enough time on your own without someone else muddying the waters.

Good Luck. :thumbs:

Hey... Thank You for your well thought out answer... I appreciate you taking time to elaborate...


K1 VISA / I129F

Vermont Service Center

Received: 1/19/2012

NOA1: 1/23/2012

Touched: 2/9/2012

NOA2: 7/30/2012

NVC Received: 08/08/2012

NVC Fwd To Consulate: 08/10/2012

Notification From Embassy: 08/27/2012

Interview: 09/25/2012 (Approved)

POE: 10/22/2012

Wedding: 10/26/2012

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

My number one bit of advice is to treat her like your wife, not your Russian wife. Some good advice has been given about food, language classes, time changes, etc., but I would definitely make sure to focus on her and her individual needs, idiosyncrasies, habits, and preferences, which may or may not be typical Russian (whatever that means). You're marrying a woman, not a country.

Thank You for your very good advice... I must say that I agree with what you are saying here... As I have learned this already from my time with her; as in not to apply stereotypes because often they didn't match her at all. That's why I say that sometimes I forget that we are from 2 different countries, because what I see is "just her"... sometimes that has a Russian flavor to it, but often not. So yeah, its the woman and who she is that I love and want to marry... I have also learned from her and her family that at the core, we are very much the same as human beings... Just different experiences, expressions, etc... and I have ALOT of respect for them...


K1 VISA / I129F

Vermont Service Center

Received: 1/19/2012

NOA1: 1/23/2012

Touched: 2/9/2012

NOA2: 7/30/2012

NVC Received: 08/08/2012

NVC Fwd To Consulate: 08/10/2012

Notification From Embassy: 08/27/2012

Interview: 09/25/2012 (Approved)

POE: 10/22/2012

Wedding: 10/26/2012

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Filed: Country: Russia
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You've already been given excellent advice, I guess I can only add that you need to allow yourselves to, how do I say this, grow together.... since you have different backgrounds there are many experiences you've had as an American and she has had as a Russian that you can't compare, so you need to start relating to each other based on your present lives. I don't know if I was clear enough but I don't know how else to explain it. Also even if you have different backgrounds, human experiences are all quite similar; heartbreak, love, laughter, sex, goals, etc, we all have those, don't forget them.

Also depends where she's from. Big cities in Russia are real different from Russian smaller villages or countrysides, if she's from the former, she'll likely feel bored in small town America, the latter, overwhelmed by big cities and craving the peace and quiet of home.

You seem to have a real desire to make her happy so I think you're good. It'll have its hard moments like all relationships do but as long as you love each other and are willing to work through problems (always remember most problems are quite small... if it doesn't matter tomorrow or in a week just let it go) you'll be fine.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
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Teaching her to drive WILL be a test of the strength of your relationship!


Phil (Lockport, near Chicago) and Alla (Lobnya, near Moscow)

As of Dec 7, 2009, now Zero miles apart (literally)!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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You've already been given excellent advice, I guess I can only add that you need to allow yourselves to, how do I say this, grow together.... since you have different backgrounds there are many experiences you've had as an American and she has had as a Russian that you can't compare, so you need to start relating to each other based on your present lives. I don't know if I was clear enough but I don't know how else to explain it. Also even if you have different backgrounds, human experiences are all quite similar; heartbreak, love, laughter, sex, goals, etc, we all have those, don't forget them.

Also depends where she's from. Big cities in Russia are real different from Russian smaller villages or countrysides, if she's from the former, she'll likely feel bored in small town America, the latter, overwhelmed by big cities and craving the peace and quiet of home.

You seem to have a real desire to make her happy so I think you're good. It'll have its hard moments like all relationships do but as long as you love each other and are willing to work through problems (always remember most problems are quite small... if it doesn't matter tomorrow or in a week just let it go) you'll be fine.

Thanks Amy for your input... You explained it well. Our cities / suburbs are the same population-wise (~1 million), but very different in structure, as mine is spread out, with alot of people in the suburbs commuting into the city for work, and hers is more compact with flats, traffic, and public transportation. You absolutely must drive here, in which she will need to learn. I am waiting for her to get here, then choose and buy a house together by the end of the year. The first thing to be truly "ours"... Also, I want to see what areas she is comfortable in, busy vs. quiet, etc... I am trying to be as open as possible with life right now, so we can start new things together; and grow together as you say. And you are right, I want to make her happy and help her accomplish things that will make her feel like a complete person. You are sooooo right about most problems being small and not worth fighting over... took me a long time time to figure that out. Gotta pick your battles, and try not to have too many over stupid stuff...


K1 VISA / I129F

Vermont Service Center

Received: 1/19/2012

NOA1: 1/23/2012

Touched: 2/9/2012

NOA2: 7/30/2012

NVC Received: 08/08/2012

NVC Fwd To Consulate: 08/10/2012

Notification From Embassy: 08/27/2012

Interview: 09/25/2012 (Approved)

POE: 10/22/2012

Wedding: 10/26/2012

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

Teaching her to drive WILL be a test of the strength of your relationship!

I am kinda excited about this part of things... Probably gonna scare the ####### out of me... But really excited to see the look on her face when she is 100% free to go where she wants...

By the way, thanks for your earlier replies... I read them all. I think she is one that will want to contribute too, its her nature... Even with things related to us now, she always wants to "pay" something to be a part of our relationship instead of me doing everything. That is one area I have thought about alot... Really want her to see everything as hers too, including money things; to not feel like she is "asking" me for something that is not already hers. Of course we have to communicate about it, lest we go broke... :yes: We talk about that... I hope that feeling will come quickly... I tell her not to worry about it right now, she will get her chance to contribute in time...


K1 VISA / I129F

Vermont Service Center

Received: 1/19/2012

NOA1: 1/23/2012

Touched: 2/9/2012

NOA2: 7/30/2012

NVC Received: 08/08/2012

NVC Fwd To Consulate: 08/10/2012

Notification From Embassy: 08/27/2012

Interview: 09/25/2012 (Approved)

POE: 10/22/2012

Wedding: 10/26/2012

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Belarus
Timeline

Make sure your fiance understands the relationship you have, and intent to continue having with your daughter, emotional as well as financial. It is important to discuss how you both plan to deal with this other woman in your lives. Unfortunately, many (not all) RUB men sever ties with their children when they split with their ex-wives, and your new wife may have certain expectations that differ from yours. Some (not all) RUB women consider children from a previous marriage to be the ex-wife's problem, and may resent affection and money spent on your children, especially daughters.

Your new wife probably will be unprepared for how much everything costs in the US, especially the things that are more reasonable (or free) over there. It will be a shock how much of your salary goes towards housing, taxes, insurance, utilites, heathcare, transportation, education, etc.

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