Are Ukrainian men so bad?

Websites, agencies, and many of the Russian-speaking women themselves tell stories about the unsatisfactory behavior of Russian (also Ukrainian, etc.) men as husbands. The leading complaints are alcoholism and infidelity. I will add to this list, abandonment after baby arrives: I personally have heard this from several women; it happens so often, that there is even an expression for this that translates to "crisis of the firstborn."

These stories are important, because they are one answer to the question, "why is she willing to consider married life to a foreign man, in a foreign land?" And those answers are important, because we wonder whether the main motivation could be economic/lifestyle (which could leave us as discarded stepping-stones on the way to her life in some land of milk and honey).

In this forum, the men sometimes debate whether such stories about Russian men are accurate, with us foreign men taking positions on both sides: some say the story is true, others that it is a myth, or greatly exaggerated.

There's a related story about Russian men, that those who make the best husbands marry young and stay married, and that because of this women who are single or divorced past their mid to late 20s have dim and fading prospects for finding a GOOD husband.

When we discuss such topics, I usually say, it doesn't much matter what the objective truth is -- what matters is WHAT WOMEN BELIEVE. Because even if these beliefs are mistaken, they will guide women's thinking and choices.

I just found an article, about the casual attitude of Russian men toward adultery (THEIR adultery of course, not necessarily their wives'):

http://www.slate.com/id/2276071

As usual, remove any spaces that may show in the web address. If you take time to read the comments from Russians and foreigners who live or have lived in Russia, you will see that they range from general agreement to strong criticism. Making generalizations about millions of people is a sloppy business!

The author, Julia Ioffe, is a Russian-born author and blogger who lives in Moscow. Some have accused her of being anti-Russian (whatever that means).

But an interesting picture I got from the article, and one this is confirmed by at least some of the commenters: those Russian husbands who have mistresses, rather than being ashamed or secretive about it, are quite open, and not at all bothered that their wives know their infidelity. More than that: philandering not only lacks stigma, it is actually a badge of male status! According to this picture, a man with ONLY a wife but no mistress is less than successful. One commenter tells of a man she knows who is faithful to his wife, and worries that men look down upon him for it.

Mark