Santa Monica Observer September 25, 2003


As seen in The Santa Monica Observer Weekly



Have you ever been hungry, but not dieting? Have you ever felt totally hopeless; more despairing than from mis-stepping your 12 step program? Have you heard hungry children; crying for food? Then you may not understand the desperation of some mail order brides.

In New York , a client reported that his Russian cleaning woman was as beautiful as a movie star, more gorgeous than any Victoria 's Secret model. When he asked her why she was cleaning house she said, “I want to eat and I don't want to be a prostitute or to marry for money which is also prostitution.” He was shocked and warned, but the next year he dated a desperate Bulgarian who threatened to kill him if he did not marry her. Now he understands about “male order brides”.

In California , an attorney explained to me that he was traveling to Asia to date a woman he had met online and with whom he had discussed marriage. When I questioned the logic of this strategy he responded that she was shy and a virgin and that his chances of finding someone like that in America were minimal. I suggested to this lawyer that her emails may have been created to dupe him and that he may have been responding with loneliness and false hope. I was extremely assertive in my warnings as we had been introduced by a friend who urged me to alert him to the dangers of such a match. Fortunately, after he considered my statements during his trip he observed too many “red flags” and returned home alone.

CLIENT: “ I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your free coaching session. Your tips were very helpful to me. I wish that I had learned about you before I filed for a divorce. Any way, your kindness touched my heart and your words defined you as a woman who is always there to help those (like me) who do not know what to do.” YH

Dear Divorce Coach,

I've come to America and after a year I feel very sad because my husband treats me mean; like a sex partner; not a wife. I want to go home to my family but now I have child coming and I am frightened. What can I do?

Sincerely yours,

Taken from Tokyo

Dear Taken,

You may not have been aware of your husband's purpose in marrying you or his misconceptions about you before marriage. Often in matches between different cultures; a match is a mismatch. Is he being passionate, not understanding that his behaviors are seen to objectify you? Are you feeling shy or is he really unkind? Fortunately, in the United States , a new mother is usually able to receive child support so please consult a family attorney or mediator to learn your rights immediately. However, if you still love your husband and wish to learn how to communicate with him more successfully, please contact me for a free phone consultation.

Sincerely yours,

Ask The Divorce Coach, Susan Allan

Dear Divorce Coach,

My husband doesn't love me any more and wants a divorce. Can he file one when I have no fault? Can I stay in the house? I moved here from Russia to marry him last year.

Sincerely yours,

Russian Undressing

Dear Russian,

In the United States the option to divorce exists for everyone; that is one of the areas in which we celebrate personal freedom. You will need to consult a local divorce mediator or family attorney to learn your financial options. However, brief marriages such as yours rarely include much spousal support or financial benefits.

Sincerely yours,

Ask The Divorce Coach, Susan Allan  

 Often I receive emails from women seeking extensive financial remuneration after brief marriages or complaining about domestic violence in situations where mistrust and hidden agendas predominate. Some husbands report shock upon requests from brides to bring “brothers”, “cousins” or “business associates” to stay in the home. Sadly, police reports in Los Angeles and New York are full of evidence that these marriage schemes are just that. Just as couples sharing the same background are warned to allow familiarity to grow before marriage, couples from divergent cultures have more challenges in merging and creating a life together, even with genuine affection for one another.

For 101 Divorce Survival Secrets, and free E-zine, visit , with Collaborative Divorce information. For one hour of free, private telephone coaching, contact



Susan Allan COO of The Divorce Forum™