The pros of Russian husbands

Note: From time to time, I get questions asking me for Russian-related advice, which I am perfectly qualified to give, for a number of reasons that I don’t feel like getting into. You should probably consult your lawyer and primary physician before reading.   I recently got a question from Amy, via Marinka, who is providing her own answer to the situation below on her blog, as well:

Hey listen I need Advice From Marinka. My daughter is moving to New Orleans where her boyfriend and his parents live. (And yes, there’s a s—-load of angsty posts in there for me. Fun.) Here’s where you come in – they are RUSSIAN. He lived in effing Siberia until he was in 1st grade then they came here. His mom is a ballerina – effing kid-you-not. His grandparents are still in Siberia and they own a vodka — um – farm? distillery? factory? (I love vodka.)- and also a potato farm. It’s like I’m being dragged into the fringes of a f—— Tolstoy novel.

What advice do you have for me?

Note: I censor swear words on this blog because there’s just so much f——– vocabulary words you can f——- use without swearwords, that there’s no point to this s—-.  Also, I think my mom reads this blog.  Because she calls me and tells me she reads the blog.


Hey Amy,
Before I answer, I have to know where your passionate hatred for Russians, aside from the fact that one is stealing your daughter, comes from.  So, please take the easy multiple choice quiz below:

A.  You don’t get the whole caviar thing.  It’s just fish eggs.  How can anyone like them? Delicious  salty fish eggs.  On buttered toast.  With your morning tea. Sounds awful.
B.  You were forced to read Dr. Zhivago in high school and did not understand why the hot doctor was in love with Mentally Decimated Lara
C.  You have something against using vodka as a reasonable medicinal cure for a number of minor and medium-size ailments
D.  You are terrified of Russian men.

If you answered D, I am here to assuage your fears.

As you are comforted by my knowledgeable call to answer your dilemma, you may find yourself asking, “Who the hell are you?”  Let me lay out my credentials for you.  I have been married to a Russian Man for nine months and have been Russian for my entire life (as far as I know.  Mom? Dad?)  Therefore, I am fully qualified to offer you professional lifestyle advice.

Like with any experience, including doing acid and purchasing a medium-size family sedan, being in a relationship with a Russian man has both its pros and cons.

1. Very Moldable: You know how American men are all like, “Oh, I need to be independent, don’t tell me what to do, let me just go to my therapist and figure it out?”  Russian husbands LOVE being told what to do.   That part in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the mom tells her, the man is the head and the woman is the neck (below)?  Well, Mr. B (that would be the Russian Husband)’s grandma (may she rest in peace) told me the same thing before we got married.  Also, she told me this when Mr. B was in the room.  And he kind of nodded.   I’m like the command central planner in our socialist marriage.  No existential, angsty, role-examining American men here!

2.  Career-Oriented and Responsible: Fact: All Russian men become programmers.  This is required by article four in the Russian constitution.  It’s true, that in their high school phase, they may waver and start pulling shady Eastern European gimmicks such as selling cell phones.  Or real estate.  In fact, one Russian acquaintance sells both cell phones AND real estate.  He was also the DJ at our wedding.  You can call up DJ Oleg if you need a house in the Philly area or are looking to have some great
BanDeROS tunes at your upcoming nuptials. Eventually, though, they straighten out. How does this benefit you?  None of this liberal artsy major bulls—.  Mr. B is a programmer, and he pulls in a solid five figures on an annual basis.  If he were an English major, like some American friends I know, he would be sitting in Caribou Coffee, sipping on his mocha skim light sugar bacon salt latte and pondering what he should Do With Himself In Life.  But because he’s not joining the Peace Corps, I’m rollin’ in our brand-new, tricked-out Honda Civic (which is another thing All Russian Men have.)

3.  Family-Oriented: One of the reasons to marry into a Russian family is because, in addition to your husband, you also get the mother-in-law.  The mother-in-law is awesome, in contrast to American mother-in-laws.  Because now, you have two sources of food:  your mom, and your mother-in-law. And you don’t have to cook ever again!  At least, I don’t have it in my planner until 2010.  Whereas American moms have given me candy and, if I was lucky, pigs in a blanket, my actual mother-in-law brings me watermelons, cakes, loaves of bread, and, on one occasion, a whole chicken.  Russian mothers-in-law, when you marry in, really do consider them your children, maybe even more so than their actual children.  In fact, I don’t know if my mom remembers that I’m her child, because she loves Mr. B so much.  “Are you getting fed over there, “ she asks Mr. B with unfettered concern, every time we go home.  “Yeah,” I tell her, “Mr. B’s mom just brought us another chicken last week.”

On another note, Russian men also love kids.  Mr. B frequently quotes the classic Russian movie, “The Godfatherovsky,” when he says, “No man can be a real man if he doesn’t spend time with his family.”  Mr. B is excited about having kids.  Then he uses his mathematical background to say that he will name his first child Euler.  Or Newton.  And, remembering that he is easily moldable, I say, “Over my dead body.”

Of course, just like with Ecstasy, there are a couple of downers to being with Russian guys.  But I’m not going to address any of them here, because Russian men are awesome and I love being married to mine.  It is possible that I could give you some of the downsides, but you would have to buy it, along with a Nokia i350.

So there you have it.  Don’t worry.  What could possibly go wrong?  If you’re still not comforted, think about the alternate scenario: your daughter living with a bayou boy that has three teeth.  Now that’s moldable.




37 thoughts on “The pros of Russian husbands

  1. Sweet post! As one who’s also married to a Russian man, I agree with your assessment, Vicki! Being Russian myself, I find that my husband and I understand each other much easily because of our shared background. For an American marrying into a Russian family (and vice versa, probably), it can be an eye-opening experience and an adjustment. But if you’re open-minded enough to at least taste the herring (here’s to Marinka’s post!), it’ll be a cakewalk!

  2. Bravo !!!
    Thank you very much.
    I came to South Africa with $300 and four years later I was the owner of a jewelery company. My daughter study films at University of Cape Town.
    Next months I will be a Millionaire.
    Thank you.

    PS: If you married to a Russian Man you will forget
    about all your problems. Because he will take care of it.

    1. I only hope my husband can have a success story like yours. Next month, we’re only going to be thousandaires.

  3. Hello Vicki! Thank you for your advice. I am much more reassured about her diet after you, as compared to Marinka, who was cruel enough to post photos.

    I have always loved Russian men, but from a considerable distance. My favorite authors are The Russians. Dostoevsky is my all time fave (The Brothers Karamazov is my favorite book), but I adore Tolstoy (oh- Anna Karenina!) and Pushkin (Eugene Onegin) and Solzhenitsyn (A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the Harvard Address). I LOVE the Russians. One of my dream vacations is to Russia. And I met my husband at an academic conference titled: The Rise and Fall of Totalitarianism.

    My favorite children’s book is The Nose, by Nikolai Gogol. When I read to my daughter’s second grade class that was the book I chose. It was a favorite of hers too.

    You see I am getting at FATE, right? Perhaps her finding Our Nicolevski is fate. Picked herring or not.

    Moldable (quite necessary for relationship with my daughter, actually), Career-oriented and Responsible (also necessary as she’s a bit of the liberal arts/froufy type), and Family-oriented = this works for me.

    I must also point out that they are not even engaged yet, so it’s not like I’m in good with the vodka producing branch of the family (yet).

    Thank you for your help in de-mystiying The Russian.

  4. Your advice on Russian men only applies to those who came here post 1990, in the great wave of programmers, real estate agents, and nail technicians that exiled from Russia to fill the “Russian” restaurants of American exurbs.

    See “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook”, “All The Sad Young Literary Men” for examples of men who:

    1. Study liberal arts at elite schools and work menial labor jobs
    2. Have no desire or interest in being molded
    3. Spend their time trying to escape their families.

    These little Alex Portnoys have been around, well, for quite some time now and its only fair to give a warning about them!

    1. Pretty much, the Russian Debutante’s Handbook is my Bible. Also, it’s not true to say that all Russians follow that model. There’s also Sergey Brin, who still won’t marry me, for some reason.

    2. Gherkin:

      “Your advice on Russian men only applies to those who came here post 1990..”. Does this preclude those who came here as a kid, say at age 6, and took to ueber-programming anyway? Such as Sergey Brin? Thanks.

      I only ask for my interest in Russia goes back many years. When I was a child growing up in India, it was much easier to find Russian things in India than American ones. I even recall reading for a time a large format magazine called “Baal Sputnik” (lit. Sputnik for Children) which was a straight translation from a Russian magazine for kids. It had improbable projects and interesting discussions on maths, potatoes (ok for Indians because we eat rather a lot of them) and snow (which a vast majority of Indians used to see, then, in Hindi cinema songs, and they usually didn’t notice the snow for the under-dressed actress in the song; didn’t I say it was always a song? In Switzerland?)Thanks.

  5. You don’t need to give the downside — Marinka took care of that. That pink fish fur salad — shudder — I’m still feeling a little queasy.

  6. Well Marinka has linked up to you a couple of times now and both times I’ve laughed out loud, so I thought I’d comment and introduce myself. I’m Christy; I’m married a Welsh man, though I briefly dated a Russian. I beat him in chess so he broke up with me! Thus, I’ve never had to deal with/been privy to a Russian MIL.

    Fabulous response to a fun letter!

  7. If only I weren’t a liberal arts student, maybe I could afford to go to Russia and meet my own Russian man! Ah well, I will have to hope that one comes through my backward town (where many of the American men really only have three teeth! Imagine that loving up on you.)
    I’d love to meet a good Russian man….well a good man period, but right now I’m feeling like Russian is winning that.
    Thanks for the article!

  8. I understand from your post and others I’ve read on the internet that Russian men are family oriented. Meaning they enjoy being fathers. Would Russian men consider a woman who is barren? I can’t have children but I am very attracted to Russian guys.
    What do you think?
    Note: I am 42? Am I too old?

    1. Can you email me? This is a pretty personal question I don’t know that you want to be discussing in a comment section.

    2. Consider that American men’s sperm is likely too weak, polluted and effeminate to impregnate you. I predict if you choose a Russian man you’ll be pregnant within a year.

      Sometimes the crack is found in the spoon, not the chalice.

  9. I want one!
    (All we have in this area are BET-stereotypes -I despise them, they despised me in school and now expect me to put out after graduation and years of resentment.)

  10. I am in love with a Russian man. He was a gentleman. He left to Moscow and he doesn’t want to hear from me. I want him back. Help…

  11. I agree with everything you said. I am an American woman about to marry the Russian man…. But his mother does not enjoy me in the slightest. Partially because I am American, and partially because I was married before. Advice is welcome, additional reading suggestions like your beloved “The Russian Debutante’s Handbook” is vital to my survival! Thank you!

  12. Im dating with a russian guy from Tomsk now. Is it different? Because I find him not intend to career-oriented. Im also afraid that he can dump me as several articles about lacking of Faithfulness in marriage of Russian man.

    Please keep me advice because I feel like i cannot live without him now but I dont want to make mistake :(

  13. The Russian man that I have been in love and I have not seen for 3 years, just allowed me to see his picture today. I was so happy, I did kiss his picture. What this man did to me I cannot explain. I have dated other nationalities and they have not done much for me. I love this man I would go to Moscow and marry him in a heart bit. Vicki, what should I do to win him back? Please help me.

  14. I am RUSSIAN and I HATE Russian men. They cheat, drink and are pathetic. On the other hand, American man are all ford driving, baby making hillbillies. Both suck and are a bad investment.

  15. So you figured since you are married to ONE Russian men and read couple books (the most common ones), you can blog about Russian people like a know it all? No honey, you can’t! Stick to burgers and fries.

  16. I couldn’t disagree with you more!
    1. My Russian husband is a control freak. You CAN NOT tell him what to do. In fact the more you tell him what to do, the less he actually does.

    2. He is NOT family oriented. He probably sees his family once or twice a year, celebrate no holidays with them and they only live 20 min away.

    3. My motherinlaw is the nastiest, meaniest, least giving psychopath I have ever met in my life. She rather kill her own children then give you a penny.

    This has been my experince with most nonjewish Russian or Ukrainian people I have met in New York. I highly recommend you NOT marrying one. Especially if they moved to this country when they were older like my husband (college years)

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