Preparing to live happily with your Russian wife needs to be added to your list of things to do. You have already worked your way through the wedding preparations, the travel and visa requirements and the final vows. Now it is time to make another list.
When it comes to communication, it is the areas that need refinement that can be most difficult. Your local language school, university or community college may have classes in Russian. If so, they may have someone who can advise you about these subtly questions far more successfully than a computer generated translation program. When what is said may not be exactly what is meant, a human being may very well be the answer.
Cultural differences can come up long after the vows are spoken. You are marrying her whole family even if they are many miles away. Your wife will have the voices of her mother, grandmother and quite likely her great grandmother all chatting away in her head. Points of view may differ greatly from what you would expect from an American or English wife. Be prepared to be flexible.
Everyone gets homesick now and then and when you are far from home it can be intense. It is helpful to know if there is a Russian community near where you live. Are they supportive of your situation? Do they have resources that can help smooth the transition for your new bride?
While religion may not be an issue for you. However, local Russian speaking churches can be a source of information when other options are not available. Check for Russian orthodox, Old Believers and Christian churches that provide Russian language Services. You may be surprised at how many exist in even the small and rural areas.
Food can form the basis of a great marriage. Exploring not only Russian or American cuisine can be a grand adventure. Certainly if you find a local store that carries some Russian brands, it will make it easier for her to fix some of her favorite foods. It would make you look very thoughtful as well if you find such a resource for her. Also be sure that you each understand any important dietary needs. No need to create your own emergency at the dining table. If borscht is not your cup of tea, maybe Thai is the answer. Or, perhaps making reservations is a way to try some new food ideas.
When it comes to getting along, nothing can beat kindness. People from other cultures will often make mistakes without realizing it. When you are tempted to laugh or make fun of such an instance, kindness can save you from an angry or hurt wife. Putting kindness into practice puts almost anything into perspective. And who wouldn’t prefer a smile to a raised voice?
And last but not least patience is one of those thing we all need; married or not. Your Russian wife will need all your patience as she deals with her new situation as well as a new country and new life. Of course, she will need patience too. Maybe the whole list should go both ways. Best wishes.