e-Book on Russian Women (Part 10)
Russian Women and her Children
Russian women are considered to be the best mothers. They are worthy of the title. Is there a country where mothers help their children morally and financially throughput their life? Is there a country which saw such self-sacrificed mothers? And, after all, is there a country where mothers watch over and control their children so meticulously?
This is a true fact that most Russian parents support their children throughout the whole life. Even after the children have celebrated their 30th, 40th or 50th birthday, the mother will bring them food and supply with money, often at the expense of her scarce old-age pension. The Russian woman will not let her child see her weakness. For all she is worth she will strive to show him, no matter little or grown-up, ‘Look, how strong I am! I always know how one should act in any situation, I will find the way out of any deadlock. And you are frail and can’t survive without my help.’ Let us consider some peculiarities of a Russian woman’s relations with her son and daughter.
Russian woman and her son. Russian parents rejoice more at the birth of a son than of a daughter. Such is the impact of the dramatic past of Russia, when men were slaughtered in numerous wars. The number of men in Russia is always less than that of women, which accounts for their privileged social position and a kind of adoration of them. The slogan ‘Let us protect men’ is not a mere irony to a Russian woman. A very strong emotional link between a mother and her son is characteristic of Russia, it cannot be broken even by the latter’s marriage. A man subconsciously looks for a woman resembling, in appearance or character, his mother. Sometimes a wife is forced to fight for her husband literally snatching him out of hands of his mother, who tries to control his every step. Sometimes a very obedient son may never marry and prefers to live with his mother or, quite on the contrary, a man may oppose his mother’s excessive control and manifest through his desire to keep her as far as possible from his own family. It was found that a strong mother has a weak son, as a rule, and a weak mother – a strong son. The typical behavior pattern is like this: a woman who fails to make herself think of her son as a grown-up man and to separate from him, will always consider him her little boy. Consequently she will tend him and guard him and control him.
Russian woman and her daughter. Mother’s love can be both the greatest benefit and the greatest evil for the daughter as well, as for the son. Sometimes a bright blooming mother has a very timid and inconspicuous daughter by her side. The other extremity is when a mother sacrifices her life to her daughter’s. In this case the mother indulges all her daughter’s whims, while the latter becomes very capricious and willful. The golden middle lies between the two extremes. In most cases mother tries to teach her little daughter to feel like a little hostess of the house and forms her first skills of running it. It is mother who gives her daughter the first lessons of knitting and sewing. A mother and a daughter often keep their family cookery book, in which they collect the recipes of their favorite dishes. Mother always expects help about the house from her daughter and her capability of being independent. A wise mother would never insist on her own life principles, but tactfully help her daughter, admitting the right to make decisions by herself. “Do it as you wish,” as she may say to the daughter. Still there are mothers who actively interfere in the private lives of their daughters. They may be persistent in their requirements concerning their future son-in-law; they may even dictate their daughters whether to marry this or that young man or not, or how to build the relations with him.
So, we may say that the child is the highest value of the Russian woman. She doesn’t have to learn to love her child. But sometimes she has to learn to be wise in this love. A Russian woman will surely love your child too, as if he were her own one, because the beloved man and his offspring are inseparable for her.
Russian Women and her extended Family
The group of relatives with whom a Russian woman usually tries to keep connection, is determined not only by the blood ties, but by her family and national traditions, her sociability and the place where she lives. As a rule, before the marriage a Russian girl has close relations with her parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, grandfathers and grandmothers, uncles and aunts (most often, her parents’ brothers and sisters). After the wedding she gets new relatives on her husband’s side.
There is a strong tendency in modern Russia: while on the whole family relationships become loose, the Russian woman is still close to her mother and sister. The relations with the husband’s relatives are more complicated. But it is necessary to know that for the sake of her beloved man, a Russian woman would strive to be on friendly terms with his relatives, she would do anything for them to like her, and if they don’t, she would simply keep good relations with them to please her husband.
The Russian woman is more likely to keep her blood ties. She is usually close to her mother and sister; do not try to make this connection loose, as it is something really sacred for her. She will be cruelly offended if you are not able to understand her feelings towards the relatives. And so are your own relatives for her, as they are an integral part of you; and she will try to make friends with them as soon as possible.
Russian Women to avoid
Let us see what typical family problems a woman has to deal with in modern Russia.
Adultery. There is a strong opinion in Russia, that it is not the adulterer to blame for his doings, but the one who stimulates him. According to the centuries-old tradition, people usually accuse the woman. The husband is unfaithful, but the woman is guilty; she is taken as bad hostess, wife and mother. If she herself is unfaithful, then she is twice as guilty! What will be the reaction of a modern Russian woman in case she gets to know about her husband? There is an incredible number of possible patterns of behavior. I remember a 30-years-old woman who confessed to her female friends that after seeing a dream about her husband’s adultery, she couldn’t talk to him calmly. Another one told such a story: “As I saw him with that woman, I ran away in tears. I was silent for two days and was waiting for him to confess and to tell me he was sorry, and I, like a loving wife, would certainly forgive, and everything will be finished. But he was as usual; he was even tender with me and was constantly saying ‘dear’ and ‘honey’. And I decided to tell him everything I had seen that evening. He exploded.
He started shouting at me and told me to get away from his house. We still live together but we are strangers now. What shall I do? Forgive? But what about the soul? What shall I do with the wounded love? Kill it?”
Sometimes adultery leads to divorce. But in many cases women forgive their husbands for being unfaithful. There are several reasons why the Russian woman forgives:
firstly, feeling pity towards her husband, when she is sure that ‘he will die without me’;
secondly, the desire to save the family by all means: legally and for the social status;
thirdly, the fear of staying alone;
fourthly, being financially dependent upon the husband (usually in rich families).
It often happens in modern Russia, when a tyrant husband totally suppresses his wife; finally, the moment comes when she tries to set herself free through the act of adultery. Sometimes it may be also a way for a Russian woman to get her husband’s love back. A wife can easily see, that if she seems rather attractive to men around, her husband becomes more attentive to her. It occasionally happens when, tired after being endlessly reproached and after her husband being constantly jealous, the woman finds a way to be unfaithful. She thinks that it is much easier to stand his jealousy by horning him.
There are cases when a Russian woman becomes unfaithful for her career, and even for the career of her husband. This situation is described in one of the films by a well-known Russian director Pyotr Todorovski: the wife of a captain becomes a lover of commander of the regiment to promote her husband. Lately, the wives of the so-called ‘new Russians’ (people who have become rich in a short period of time), being excluded from the social life, find lovers (often young hustlers) to overcome their depression.
The cases described above are by no means a national trouble of Russians. I daresay that, following the Christian and social morals, most Russian women are truly faithful to their husbands. Being faithful is the most important quality of the Russian woman in the relationship to her husband.
Jealousy. Adultery gives rise to another family problem, jealousy. No doubt, that is a notion peculiar of the people all over the world. It appears in a great number of cases: when the one who is in love becomes unsure that he or she is equally loved in return; when a person in love takes the other one as his property; or when he himself is far too innocent. A Russian woman may borrow this sense of jealous from her parents’ family. Suppose, she frequently used to see her father being unfaithful; that may give her reason to believe that all men are born traitors, and from the first days of her marriage she suspects her husband, unable to trust him.
Love is often accompanied by jealousy. The aggressive behavior of a husband is justified by many Russian women by the proverb ‘If he is jealous, he is in love.’ But it must be taken into account, that jealousy deeply offends the Russian woman, whether it might be light or, even worse, strong. She feels humiliated and insulted. It is worth only surprising at the Russian woman’s capability to forgive her jealous and unfaithful men. But don’t try to abuse a woman’s patience and to ‘awake a beast’ in her. According to the statistics, the husband’s jealousy and adultery are the chief reasons of divorces in Russia.
Divorce. As the Russian proverb goes, ‘Smart people stay together, but fools divorce.’ It is quite common for people in Russia to stay enemies after the divorce. Relatives, children, friends, and even colleagues, are involved into the long-term antagonism of the former spouses. And what are the reasons of the divorces in Russian families? Let us enumerate some of them:
being greatly dependent on the parents who don’t like their sons- or daughters-in-law and interfere into the life of their grown-up children;
inability to solve regular family problems and hopes for a next happier marriage in future;
long family crisis;
suppression of one of the spouses’ personality;
physical violence (mostly from men);
one of the spouses’ alcoholism or drug-addiction;
one of the spouses inability to have children;
the peculiarities of the profession.
According to the statistics, every third married couple is divorced in Russia nowadays. But as psychologists say, 50 per cent of the divorced regret their separation later on. Some of them go on living together being officially divorced. It is worth mentioning that in spite of all the troubles, the Russian woman tries to save her family by all means, and divorces only when her marriage becomes really unbearable.
The Russian woman is able to solve any family problems. The main reason of this is her burning desire to save the family, especially if there are common children in it.