Everything has to have a beginning and so would like to offer, a little information regarding me and how my love affair with Eastern Europe and Eastern European woman started.
I am now what is termed a “silver surfer”, older than most and younger than a few, and have enjoyed a life with many varied colourful chapters. I have been married 4 times, twice to English women and now with my second Ukrainian wife after divorcing wife three after 6 months of marriage.
My love affair started over 20 years ago in 1995 when I opened a business in Riga, Latvia. In those days Eastern Europe was like the old Wild West where fortunes could be made and lost on the turn of a card. It was exciting times and for the foreign man it was as if you had died and gone to heaven. There were Latvian women of every age, shape and size who were almost climbing over each other trying to get the attention of any foreign man no matter his looks. There was a mistaken belief that all foreigners were ultra-rich and to some degree I suppose you could say this was understandable based on Latvian salaries at that time. Latvia then, had the highest ratio of woman to men of nearly 2:1 (in the Guinness book of records). Many were divorced with children. Many men were alcoholics and divorce was rife. So the foreigner was an attractive option with a hope that the women could somehow escape their lives of hardship and misery. Sadly, during my period there two men’s elements emerged
I opened my business and during my 4 ½ year residency had two relationships. One a divorced woman from Latvia and it lasted 2 years before she found a cult religion and the second was a girl from Belarus who, after 3 years, had her visa cancelled. In those days it was just a minefield of corruption, ignorance and jealousy to try and legalise any arrangement. Despite these setbacks I began to realise that the Eastern European women were by and far different than with my experiences with the Western Women.
After this brief but great experience I returned to the UK where, despite what I have just said, found and married an English woman. Fortunately enough, there were no children, as we found ourselves in the divorce courts after 12 years of marriage. Drinking my sorrows and looking at the final divorce papers I started to think what to do with my life? Older man, retired, no strings or family and then my mind started to recall my time in Latvia. So a decision was made. Go and visit some of the Eastern European countries that I used to fly in and out of on a daily basis from Riga and explore and make a long tour without a specified end date. Go with the flow and see what happens.
So my journey began:
My first city of choice was Kyiv (in those days spelt Kiev) and I contacted some old business connections and we agreed to meet on my arrival in Ukraine for dinner. Arriving at the restaurant at the due time it was a pleasure to meet up with some old faces and we sat down for dinner. I found that my hosts had sat me next to a not unattractive woman of middle age and as the meal proceeded we began to talk. Her English was not so good but we managed get by and she explained that her name was Svetlana; she was an accountant working in a hotel, divorced for many years with a 14 year old daughter. As the evening drew to a close I found that she lived in Cherkasy, a small town some 200kms outside of Kyiv. She had lived there all her life and suggested that if I had time I should visit. The following day I searched the Internet and found and booked a hotel. Spoke to my friends who sad the only way to go would be by a Martshuka (Local small bus). Managed to find that such buses left for Cherkasy from the central bus station. Checked out of hotel, jumped a taxi to the bus station. Managed to find the destination bay and boarded the bus.
Arriving in Cherkasy mid-afternoon and headed to the hotel. Very surprised on arrival as to just how modern it was with very attractive low rates. Called Svetlana, who seemed pleasantly surprised, and we agreed to meet for dinner that evening.
We had dinner and yes I suppose you could say they we had an affair. My intention was to only stay for two weeks but there was something about Cherkasy that bit me and so found myself taking a lease on an apartment near the river. Our affair continued for 3 to 4 months but was never really going anywhere as she was very possessive over her daughter and it ended one warm evening when walking her back to her apartment she said she needed to call into the supermarket and so I just asked “whilst there would you please get me a pack of cigarettes as I would like to sit here and take the evening air” and pulled out the money to give her for them. She just erupted and threw the money back in my face and as far as I could understand it was something to do with not giving her enough money to buy ALL that she needed.
End of that relationship.
As my apartment was cheap and I was enjoying the cheaper lifestyle in Cherkasy, which seemed to be around 30% lower than Kyiv, decided to stay. After a couple of months of solitude decided to get back into the dating scene and joined a marriage agency. Searching through I eventually settled on a profile from a middle aged woman in Cherkasy who spoke limited English with one child. We made contact her name was Irina and agreed to meet for dinner. Dinner went well. She was a pleasant woman who was divorced and lived with her mother and son in a one bedroomed apartment. She was a seller in a market. So, decided to push for another date, and so the relationship began. Within two weeks she had moved in and all seemed well. At this time Ukraine started to tighten its procedures for visitors. The days of arrive and leave when you wanted were coming to an end despite there being an official 90 day in 180 days requirement. This was always open, flexible and many a bribe was paid to turn a blind eye. It then seemed a door was open for staying if you had a Ukrainian wife. So yes, can I say I truly loved this woman then NO. Did I have feelings then Yes. So when she suggested we got married and I could get the visa.
I accepted and we married in a very simple service at what I would describe as a government office with no frills. Just to two of us. We arrived at 11.00, shown into a very small austere office, sat down; The woman asked me if I was prepared to marry my wife. I said yes. She asked my wife if she wanted to marry me. She said yes. Bang with a stamp and a scribble of signatures and we were out on the streets 10 minutes later.
So after marriage things moved on a pace. She bribed someone and my visa was attached to my passport. Then an apartment became available one floor above mine 2 bedrooms, lounge, kitchen, bathroom, very modern and rental price a month $120 plus utilities. So we moved in and I offered to allow her 11 year old son to move in as he was 11 but had never had his own bedroom. So the son arrived and we settled down to what I thought would be an idyllic period.
To say where it went first started to go wrong is a little difficult was it possibly when I accepted a short term contract for one year representing an off shore Trust company or when her son arrived. My contract necessitated me having to travel backwards and forwards to Kyiv to meet, greet and socialise for 3 / 4days at a time 2 to 3 times a month. In a way, I thought ideal as she would have time to connect with her son while I was away. So in doing my job meant that I attended functions, business meetings and socialising at which, on many occasions at these events there were photographers taking pictures which were then posted on Facebook.
During my first month of travelling to Kyiv I arrived back home one evening from one trip and found her to be incredibly drunk. As I walked through the door she launched at me shouting that I was obviously seeing other woman. I said I had no idea what she was on about. Sober up, talk to me in the morning and explain just what she meant and went and slept on the sofa. The next morning she was all apologetic, sorry, sorry my darling, I was stupid Bla Bla Bla. And said she had got jealous when just flicking through Facebook she had come across pictures of an event and had found me at a function being photographed with four or five people two of whom were woman. I asked her were these pictures compromising or just normal everyday social event pictures. She agreed and once again apology, apology, apology.
So things once again settled down and then my second problem started, her son. Before his arrival we had discussed him living with us and I explained that I was not and would not try and act as neither a new father nor his friend. All of those emotions I would leave him to make the decision on to just how far he would like me to enter into his life but with the one proviso, he had to accept that I was married to his mother. I very quickly began to realise after he moved in that he was her god. She and her mother had raised him after her divorce, which happened when he was less than a year old. He could do no wrong. She waited on him hand and mouth. He seemed to have no real friends, just virtual reality friends and during school holiday time he would play in his bedroom, on his computer, every minute of the day and come to the table just for food. Eat and then get up leaving plates, cutlery on the table and go.
I took it for so long and as he was leaving the table one day I called him back and told him to clear his mess and put it in the sink and that make sure he did this every time he ate at our table. His look told me I had made a MAJOR enemy My relationship with her son went even lower when I eventually switched off the router at 22.00 in the evening in order to cut off the internet access as he would be on-line till early hours and then not want to go to school. This ended up becoming an even more ridiculous situation when I heard him creeping out of his room one night and he tried to reconnect. The next morning during breakfast I said that if he was not happy living with us then OK he could go back and live with his grandmother who I imagined also allowed him the free run to do whatever he wished. He said he wanted to stay and then when I spoke with my wife she would just say. He is young and he loves his computer
My wife’s drunken outburst blew up five or six times during our 6 month marriage and became more worrying when it started to occur in local restaurants to where we lived where with no warning she would start to shout and become aggressive with staff. For me it was becoming an embarrassment as these places were very close to my home, I would say I was a good client and had developed good relationships with the managers and staff and held business meetings there and did not need this provocation.
It started to dawn on me that my wife was an alcoholic who had hidden it very well during our relationship beginning. These periods and outburst always ended with the apology after apology and I will never do it again routine and after one time when I mentioned that if she/we did not try and get her counselling and it would continue then we could end up getting a divorce this particular suggestion was met with me getting an afternoon phone call from the son to say he had just got home and found his mother unresponsive lying on the bed. I told him to call an ambulance and made my way home to be greeted by two medics and my wife with her head in a bucket and they explained to me that they felt she had taken a few extra tablets but not enough to cause damage in order to portray a suicide attempt. All this was starting to wear me down.
The final straw was when I, my wife and a group of foreign friends were in a restaurant and I was, I thought, carefully monitoring my wife alcoholic intake and then just before midnight she really exploded. Started screaming abuse at everyone and throwing crockery around and then stormed out. That was it. I checked into a hotel and the next day and told her I was filing for divorce. This got the normal responses of tears, please come home, sorry, I will never do it again that I had heard a million times before. Then when I said NO this was the end then she quickly got into her aggressive mood with threats to destroy my passport and boarding cards for a flight I was taking in a few days to she would destroy my clothes etc. etc. etc. I told her to do what she wanted as I could replace all without problems. Later that day she called all apologetic and said I could collect when I wanted everything that I wished and that she now realised it was the end.
After finally getting her agreement that I could collect my things after I decided to relocate to Kyiv. I organised myself an apartment. Managed to get access and collected my things and felt a new chapter in my life was to begin. Then they started. Strange unknown sender emails alleging I was having affairs during my marriage. Then the SMS’s, sometimes 40/50/60 a day calling me everything you could think of from an untraceable sender. Then my friends, of which some were female, started to call me as they were also receiving these strange emails saying just how terrible they were by having sex with a married man. It got so bad that a couple of these female friends said they could no longer meet with me and terminated their friendship. I kept contacting her and asking if she behind this. She denied any knowledge and said she was also receiving hate mail. About three weeks later she sent me a message to say she had investigated and she felt it was all coming from an old jealous boyfriend. Despite me questioning as just how did an old boyfriend manage to get all my details she told me he was an IT genius and could hack into anything and that he lived in Germany.
I eventually gave my computer to an IT expert and the end result was that apparently during the marriage it appeared that she had accessed my computer and installed some virus or programme and she able to access everything on my computer. So she was virtually watching my life with access to my contacts, emails and business matters and this was how she found just what functions and events I would be attending during my visits to Kyiv.. They duly managed to block and install a firewall but the SMS’s continued. They only finished one day, when on receiving a really bad message, I exploded and responded with as much hate and vitriol as I could muster and was amazed when I received another abusive answer and surprise, surprise it came from my wife’s mobile. It seemed that my response was so bad and angered her so much that she forgot to send the reply through this proxy number she was using. I then informed her that I intended to take all the evidence to the police as I now knew 100% that she was behind everything.
So my new life started again in Kyiv and after a few months decided to get back into the social scene. I returned to a marriage agency and made arrangements to meet up with a new woman. We agreed to meet March 8th (International Woman’s day).
We met and yes she was on time at the restaurant where I had reserved a table. She seemed good company and all seemed to go well until around dessert when I apparently said something that angered her and with that she got up, picked up her coat and stormed out!!!!! My thoughts were “mmm strange way to end a date”. Paid the bill and let it go quiet for a couple of days. But there was something about this woman that I could not quite get out of mind. So being a man, who is sometimes a glutton for punishment, sent her a message to say I was sorry but really did not know what I had said that upset her so much. Surprise, Surprise she responded to say she was also sorry and yes, she had liked me and could we meet and try again.
I was very happy to agree. You could say the rest is history. We met again and again and again and within 4 months our relationship had started full time and I am so happy to say she is now my wife Vicky.
The reason for her leaving on our first date you may ask. We were at the time in the restaurant talking of our previous relationships. She had never been married but had been in a long term relationship with a guy to which she was one of his two girlfriends. He had promised her to end the other relationship and had taken her the previous Xmas and New Year to his home in Spain. Whilst there she found he had no intention of ending his other relationship and in fact Vicky was more the second girlfriend not the first. She terminated the relationship and left and I was her first date since that event and was still feeling a little vulnerable and it appeared the discussion apparently just opened a few raw emotions she still had.
You may be thinking. Hold on he is married again so how did he get divorced. OK, I decided when I came back to Kyiv that was it. No more marriage just divorce and become single. As I was busy during my first months in Kyiv divorce became something that I put in the back of my mind and then strangely after less than 3 months went by my wife called me. Had I started the divorce? No I responded. Well she said I have met a man and he wants to marry me now. Please hurry up. To be honest I wanted revenge. So I did nothing. Week after week she kept ringing. I still did nothing. Eventually she said that if I will not divorce her then she would divorce me. I said OK, go ahead. Then her next problem was that I had the marriage certificate and to get divorced easily you have to show the original not copies. It was Vicky who eventually made me realise that I was just being stupid and childish and said to me “you wanted a divorce; she is now going to pay for it so give her what she wants and let her do it”. So I realised what she said was the truth and gave my ex-wife what she wanted. It is a very simple process to get divorced in Ukraine as long as no children are involved. It takes around one month from start to end.
With my life being in the last chapters I wake every morning and count my blessings. She is a truly remarkable woman as well as being 100% my best friend. She is financially independent and makes no demands and we contribute 50/50 in most financial matters. She is a true gem. She is kind, funny, generous, loving, protective and in my eyes a beautiful remarkable woman.
So please do not take my history as to painting a black picture on marriage agencies. There are yes some failures but they have many successes. Just be careful, and like me you can learn and eventually succeed with your search.
That was my initiation, albeit a small part, of understanding some different parts of different Ukrainian woman’s mentality. Some good and some bad.