Today, I have the pleasure of conducting an exclusive interview with Keith to whom I talked in March of last year (s. his first interview HERE). In the first interview, he told me about his search for a wife in Ukraine and experiences he had before he found his wife-to-be. Since the time we made our first interview Keith’s Ukrainian spouse moved to the USA and they got married in the beginning of 2013. Today, we talk about his new family life and the challenges of international relationships and marriages.
Krystyna: Hi, Keith. Thank you once again for the agreement to give an interview to my Ukrainian dating blog. Before we start, please tell us briefly how you found your wife. As far as I know, you met her in the Mordinson marriage agency (http://www.mordinson.com). How was the service you got in this agency different from what you experienced before you found Mordinson?
Keith: Hi Krystyna! Yes, I was very pleased with the personal attention I received at Mordinson. I went in to this whole thing very cautious because of some of the stories that I read about on the internet. When I started to look around I felt uneasy with the first couple of places so I gave Mordinson a try. I was never pressured and everything that was expected was delivered. They have a really nice business there!
Krystyna: My first question many men are interested in is about the fiancée visa (in your case, the K1 visa). How did you overcome this complicated bureaucratic process? How much time and money did you need? What were the requirements and immigration regulations for the K1 visa?
Keith: To tell you the truth this part of the process has bored me out of my mind!:) Mordinson handled my wife’s paper work for me and then Michael Mordinson referred me to a forum that I used for support when I filed my documents. It was not fun but because of the support forum I was able to at least know which documents to fill out.
The worst part was the wait after we filed. It took 9 months for approval and in the mean time I was reading that if you did something wrong in the forms you would be rejected and have to start over. I’m not sure if that is true but it made the wait more stressful than it had to be. I don’t remember how much money the whole thing cost but I know that the costs are listed on the USCIS website.
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Krystyna: Tell us please what is the difference between the relationship with a Western and Ukrainian woman from your point of view? Is that difference really major? What are the challenges a man should be prepare himself to should he decide to pursue a relationship with a woman from Ukraine?
Keith: I still feel that my wife met my expectation of having a more traditional view of marriage and family than what I was used to with some women here. I was also pleased to find that she also has a conservative personality as do I. She is family oriented and somewhat obsessed with being thrifty and not over paying for clothes and food. My wife is very practical in this regard which makes me happy.
As far as challenges go I would guess that there are a few. Mostly things like expecting to help them through a big adjustment when they come to your country. Also I believe that from their upbringing they look to the man in the relationship for money and to provide for the household.
My advice to guys from Western countries that are looking in Ukraine is this: don’t necessarily confuse the role that the women there will want you to play as a provider and leader of the household with being used for money. I personally believe that roles are an important part in any marriage but that they are more important when you are married to a woman from Ukraine. That being said, not every Ukrainian woman or agency is on the up and up so I was cautious.
Krystyna: From my experience, I can say that a Ukrainian woman can experience certain problems in the course of her adjustment period in a new country, she can feel homesick and that feeling can be amplified by not being able to speak a local language fluently and not having a circle of friends. What were the difficulties your wife encountered after she moved to the United States? Cultural shock, language problems, feeling homesick or integration into a new life?
Keith: I have to hand it to my wife because she met this challenge head on. She almost immediately got on the internet to look for Ukrainian and Russian friends in our area to help her through the process.
Some had been here for 10 or more years and all offered helpful advice to her. She is still in Ukraine mode and watches Russian TV, internet etc constantly but she has grown much more comfortable with the US since she arrived 7 months ago. Another invaluable tool is Skype. She chats with friends and family back home face to face every day. And its free!
Krystyna: And finally, for those men who are still looking for a Ukrainian woman for dating and marriage, what tips or advice would you give?
Keith: Probably the best advice I had read was to go with a small agency that has been in business for many years. As fun as it was looking at the huge agencies (with hundreds of beautiful women) I wasn’t getting the feeling that it was going to be a low risk proposition if I had gone with them.
Be yourself and don’t be afraid to discuss the things in your life that you are passionate about. Also consider their goals and be prepared to travel there. This can’t all be done by email, you need to go there or it won’t work.