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Matthew's Pravda
Matthew's Pravda

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Warning Signs

I received:


From: SW
Subject: mailorder nightmare

Hi, I have just read your mailorder nightmare and extend my sympathies for the miserable experience your went through.

Probably, you have by now received more than enough pop-psychology analyses of your experience. I don't have much to add. But, I hope you can help me with a couple of points.

After reading your narrative, I was left with three questions ...

  1. Do you think your ex-wife was originally sincere, or insincere, when you first met her and stayed with her for four months ? (Your account implies that she seemed sincere in Russia, and even that things went fairly smoothly, at first, in the US. So, the first question amounts to asking whether you think she deliberately set out to hood-wink you or not.)
  2. Assuming that she was at first sincere, when/where/why do you think things went wrong ? (From your account, it doesn't seem that money was her sole motive -- if it was, why would she take up with another working Joe, or Jose, instead of going for a genuine sugar-Daddie ?)
  3. Precisely _how_ did things first go astray -- what clues did you have, what was the behavior, etc ? (Was she stand-off-ish? uncommunicative? moody or complaining or whining ? Did she acknowledge that there was a problem ? Did she refuse to discuss the reasons for the cold shoulder ?)

As you can perceive from the above, it's the cultural differences, and frustrated expectations of both parties, that inspire these questions.

Hope
you can help.

Congratulations on Vlad. Hope everyone is healthy and thriving.

Spacibo.
SW

I wrote back:


Hello,

You wrote:

Probably, you have by now received more than enough pop-psychology analyses of your experience.

Well, one address seller said I would have been more successful if I had put more effort into the project, (what I call the fallacy of infinite resources). A husband of a mailorder bride claimed if only I had heeded the warning signs I would be okay. I think, believing one will see the warning signs is arogance. To some extant I was became a boiled frog. If you raise the temperature of a frogs water one degree an hour, the frog falls asleep and boils. Warning signs come slow, are easy to misinterperate and especially in this situation, the husband has a strong incentive to ignore the signs. The arogant person who thinks he is so smart he will see the signs is also the arogant person who isn't going to admit defeat.

[1] Do you think your ex-wife was originally sincere, or insincere, when you first met her and stayed with her for four months ? (Your account implies that she seemed sincere in Russia, and even that things went fairly smoothly, at first, in the US. So, the first question amounts to asking whether you think she deliberately set out to hood-wink you or not.)

No, there was no conspiracy. The forces of the situation were the controlling factor. If the circumstances are right, someone will do something dishonest or vaugely unethical even if then never intended to.

If you happen to be on a subway, happen to have a gun in your pocket, and happen to have some teenagers armed with screw drivers threatening to rob you, you probably will shoot them. Berard Geutz, probably was't overtly racist and probably never thought about becoming a New York City vigillante and cleaning the city of black criminals. (Of course if your one of those people who can't think by analogy, disregard this one- I know we are talking about mail order brides and not vigillantes.)

[2] Assuming that she was at first sincere, when/where/why do you think things went wrong ? (From your account, it doesn't seem that money was her sole motive -- if it was, why would she take up with another working Joe, or Jose, instead of going for a genuine sugar-Daddie ?)

Things Gone Wrong

Things went wrong because there was no motivation on her side to continue the marriage past the first three months.

Money

In Russia, her source of support, her mom, was barely employeed and very worried about money. At the time we were married, I was unemployeed and very worried about money. Her new boyfriend has a steady good paying job with the State of Ohio as a bureaucrat. Despite being a Jose, he's from Spain, not Mexico and has a middle class background. (He's not a poor Mexican farmer.) Add to this the trivial fact that there are no American women eager to meet Russian men and move to Russia- (I was there, never once saw a catalog for mail order American women), I suspect money is a factor. No one is going to admit that economic factors control their lives. Its much more romatic to say that love, fear, hate, and personal preference drives our choices. Even I would like to deny that I have monetary motivations for what I do.

[3] Precisely _how_ did things first go astray -- what clues did you have, what was the behavior, etc ? (Was she stand-off-ish? uncommunicative? moody or complaining or whining ? Did she acknowledge that there was a problem ? Did she refuse to discuss the reasons for the cold shoulder ?)

In Russia and the US she frequently said mean and thoughtless things, but I didn't take them as signs, I thought they were criticisms that I could solve by changing the way I behaved. (Arrogance again!)

In the US, she began spending all her time talking to my 'roommate' (I live in a shared house, which rents to mostly University students and still do. My current wife doesn't even talk to the tenants, so that isn't the core problem.) She began to only talk about her boyfriend to be. She began to worry about how efficient the contraceptive were.

If a girl you have just met is even slightly unhappy with any aspect about you, I think that is a good sign that they have ulterior motives. I strongly suspect that no one grows to love a person.

Another sign is that she is a mail order bride. That is a good sign that her circumstances will make it so that the only rational choice she has is to leave as soon as possible. We are slaves to our circumstances. Now I don't mean to say mail order brides ALWAYS leave. My grandfather married a mailorder bride from Florida. She sometimes chased him around the house with a meat carving knife, but both survived to be very old and married their entire lives. A mail order bride is a lotto ticket. Don't over estimate the odds of winning.

I don't know if you are an address seller, buyer, or disinterested party, but my advice is to meet a nice girl in person, without brokers, catalogs and you are more likely to have a marriage that last the entire US average of 7 years.

Congratulations on Vlad. Hope everyone is healthy and thriving.

Doing great, thanks!

Sorry this letter is a tad late and long, I hope it is interesting from a psychological standpoint, if not useful.

Matthew Martin

He wrote me back:


To: mmartin

Thanks for your thoughtful and fulsome answer to three questions!

If/when you post the questions/answers to the newsgroup, you may want to add a comment about what your present wife thinks of the whole mess -- has she any opinion on the behavior of your ex, etc.

Your thoughts seemed very insightful. Thanks again.

SW


Like most people, my wife has only a curiousity about my past lovers(haters!), and probably would be happy to never hear about the subject again. She has met ex and heard the accusation of rape(see article) and doesn't believe it is plausible.


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Matthew Martin
Any resemblance to semi-defunct communist newspapers is pure coincidental.