How to marry a Russian bride
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Excerpt 1:
Compulsory reading for anyone thinking of marrying a Russian bride

(Taken from 'How To Marry A Russian Bride' by Christopher Coin, pages 424-426.
© Christopher Coin 2009. ISBN 978-0-9564534-0-2)
Click here to read more excerpts from the book

When a Russian woman first comes to Britain her English will not be very good. She will not know anyone. She will be utterly alone, probably without the linguistic skills to cope on her own.

But after a couple of years the situation will have changed out of all recognition. By now - after a couple of years of living in Britain - your new Russian wife will have developed reasonable working English. Moreover, she’ll know where all the shops are and how to get to them, and even how to drive to them if you’ve taught her that as well. She’ll know how to make a doctor’s appointment, how to buy a railway ticket, and how to do a hundred-and-one other things we all routinely do without even thinking about them. In short she will have developed the confidence to live in Britain on her own, without any help from anyone.

And also by now - and much more importantly - she will have satisfied the two-year residency requirement. She will have given you good sex, cooked you great meals and been a dutiful wife - so far.

But after two years the balance of power - the dynamic as it were - is changing. She is no longer staying with you because she needs to. In fact she is no longer required to live with you at all in order to stay in the country. She can leave you and live independently if she wants.

And now comes the moment of truth. If she leaves you soon after the qualifying period is up you know it wasn’t really a marriage at all: it was more like a temporary arrangement in which in return for great sex you showed her the local customs and facilities and gave her somewhere to live. And then having showed her all these things - and having taught her English as well - she’d moved on.

In practice your Russian woman is less likely to leave you if you’re living in a magnificent house rather than in a tiny rented flat. After all, a great house is much tougher to walk away from than a cramped little apartment.

But it also depends on you. Ultimately the more different you are in terms of age, outlook or education, the more likely your marriage is to fail. Of these differences age is probably the most important one. Anything more than about fifteen years is usually fatal in the long term - unless you are a seventy-five year old living in a giant house with a weak heart - in which case age will be no barrier at all.

Of course if your Russian wife runs away from you after two years, you’ll still be married to her. You won’t be able to get a divorce for at least a year after that, assuming you can find her and get her to co-operate over the legal details. If you can’t find her, or if she won’t co-operate, you’ll have to wait a lot longer for your divorce, as you’ll effectively be married to a missing person. And of course you can hardly go back to Russia looking for another wife, because the Home Office will take a lot of convincing things will be different the second time around.

So the golden rule is 'caveat emptor' which is Latin, meaning ‘think carefully about what you are going to do’. Ask yourself what you really have in common with this Russian woman who seems so demure, so warm, so loving and so interested in you. Is she much more attractive than you are? Is she twenty years younger than you are?

And then ask yourself the big question, the only one that really matters: what’s she going to do after she’s lived with you for a couple of years? Will you have driven each other mad with your irritating habits? Will she be itching to get out of your tiny little flat and into some new boyfriend’s much bigger place? And ask yourself - why can’t you find an English woman who wants to live with you?

Of course all this makes Russian women sound like mercenaries, which is wrong. In general Russian women are no different to women anywhere else. They are a cross-section, and in Russia that includes many women who would never dream of doing the things the ones who marry English men do.

But the Russian women who marry English men tend to be a self-selecting group. They are by their very nature independently minded and prepared to take risks - for example the risk and uncertainty of moving to another country.

And the big risk was coming to another country: the difficult transition from living in Russia to living in Britain. And compared to that risk, leaving you - the Englishman who brought her here - for some other Englishman who is perhaps younger, better looking or who has more money, is no risk at all.

('How To Marry A Russian Bride' is now available at , price £8.99)