The only trustworthy and reputable websites that seem to provide truly suitable mail-order brides for their Western suitors are, when all is said and done, very much like traditional dating sites. In fact, the term "mail-order bride" is an old-fashioned reference to what is now essentially considered an international marriage. It was not always that way, of course, as this type of marriage originally came about much differently, which we will talk about later.
But modern day or not, this process of dating and marrying is often still a stereotypical concept, and an ugly one at that. Many people envision a man picking out his bride from some type of online line-up, then "shipping" her to him, and saying "I do" the first time they ever formally meet. But even back in the first-ever days of mail-order brides, this was not the case. Even then, the future spouses would write letters to one another first (though some did literally pick a wife from a catalog, and married her without getting to know her). This is how the term "mail-order" bride came about, from the correspondence that could only be done through the mail. It is actually kind of romantic, in its own way.
How a couple meets is only one of the stereotypes surrounding mail-order brides, though. There are many more (you're picturing a desperate but hot girl who will do anything- including marrying a fat old white dude- to leave Siberia, aren't you?). And there are many other aspects of the mail-order bride industry that defy its stigma, as well. The aforementioned stereotypes are precisely why they are surprising, as we will soon see. Following are 13 shocking and little-known facts about a type of marriage even stranger to us in this day and age than being in an arranged marriage or "sold" for a dowry, both common practices in several countries worldwide even now.
13 The Biggest Consumer Complaint
12 The Bride's Reasons Are Not Always What You Think
Most people, myself included until I did this research, thought of mail-order brides as self-loathsome women who also loathe their country and want nothing more than to leave it, at any cost. The stereotype is that they are young, gorgeous, and will take any man that will have them. Wrong! While these scenarios do exist, there are many more reasons behind a woman choosing this path to marriage. For example, I read of one woman called Ekaterina from Russia, who was in a good place in life and generally happy, but sought love, travel, and adventure. Others feel a desperate need to provide for themselves and their children (yes, mothers can be mail-order brides, too).
11 The Shocking Divorce Rate of These Marriages in the U.S.
10 It Is Dangerous For The Women... And The Men
Ladies first, of course. Obviously moving across the world to marry and live with a man you hardly know is a risk. There are several stories of mail-order brides who wound up in abusive marriages, and even some who were murdered at the hands of the men who sought them out. One case I read about even involved a husband forcing his new wife to bury the body of his first wife he had killed! More often though, brides can be mistreated, cut off from their loved ones who cannot seem to contact them, and controlled.
9 It is Outlawed in the Philippines, But They Have a Huge Market Anyway
It is surprising that the Philippines is one of the biggest players in this game of international love, because there, it is actually prohibited by law to organize or facilitate marriage between native women and foreign men. In 1990, the Philippine Congress enacted Republic Act 6955, also known as the Anti-Mail-Order Bride Law, as a result of local news stories about mail-order brides being abused by their foreign husbands.
8 Groupon Will Not Work With Mail-Order Bride Companies
7 How Much Does It Cost?
All I can say is, start saving now. Of course, some people say you actually save money with a mail-order bride when compared to a traditional relationship filled with years of dates, an engagement ring that is supposed to cost 3 months' salary, and the hugely expensive wedding I like to call "modern-traditional" (church, flowers, drunken limo ride around town to take pictures before the over-the-top reception with every detail like seat covers and place-cards meticulously planned out- and paid up the wazoo for).
6 They Almost Always Meet First
5 The Origins of the Mail-Order Bride
4 There Is Such a Thing as a Mail-Order Groom
3 Romance Tours
It is best to meet a prospective wife in her home country, and thus the "romance tours" are a popular approach, as it bundles travel prices to save money. Also, the men are able to meet women they have both already contacted online, and those they have not. The leader in the romance tour industry is none other than loveme.com, which makes dozens of trips every year to various countries with available brides. The cost will still vary depending on the length of your trip and of course the destination, but generally it is still cheaper than doing it all individually (and probably a lot less stressful).
2 The Numbers
1 Where Do They Come From?
Well, from what I gather, Russia has far more mail-order brides (called "Natashas") by a long shot than any other country in the world (remember those 100,000 women per year who are "available?" 25,000 of them are Russian, and many are also Ukrainian). Countries in southeast Asia, especially Thailand and the Philippines, come in second for the number of brides available. In third place is Latin America, often Colombia and Brazil.
But what about the men? This should come as no surprise, but the prospective husbands come from primarily the Unites States or Western Europe, although there is also a market for the brides in Japan and South Korea. This is not shocking, as these two countries are arguably the two most Westernized and developed countries in Asia.
Sources: mailorderbrideprices, russianbridesforsale
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