My Six Reasons for Marrying a Balkan Man

Article published on Jan. 27, 2010
community published
Article published on Jan. 27, 2010

Author: Ruth Platt-Stavrik

As midnight passed on New Year’s Eve and 2010 began, I looked at my husband sitting beside me, thought about our two children sleeping upstairs and realised that we’d been married for the best part of a decade, and that we’re still speaking to each other. As I am English and he is Macedonian I felt that this achievement was perhaps even greater than usual, having had cultural barriers to cross and linguistic misunderstandings to clear up, not to mention having only one grandparent, my father, in England where we live, to help with that elusive pot of gold, free childcare. I have often thought about the advantages and disadvantages of marrying a man from the Balkans as opposed to a man from the UK, and though perhaps my husband is not a typical Balkan man, if there is such a thing, there have certainly been aspects of our marriage that have been shaped by his Macedonian-ness. Here is a guide to the most positive of those influences:

1] You learn to dress warmly and discover the deadly influence of the draught. On my first trip to Skopje I was taken by my new husband to the underwear shop. For silk lingerie I wondered? No, for thermal vests. My husband, horrified by my skimpy jumpers that left an inch of bare skin exposed on my lower back, taught me to tuck my vest into knickers in a way I had abandoned since the age of 8. I haven’t quite got used to this practice, but have to concede in really cold climates it is probably a must.

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