Maria Schnabel

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Russian bride finds sorrow, then happiness online

Anna Ermakova thought she’d have a better chance of meeting a suitable husband over the Internet than in her own hometown of Kursk, Russia, where the ratio of men to women is one to five—a lingering consequence of the devastating WWII casualties in that area.

The area around Kursk was site of a turning point in the Russian-German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history.

“To recover from that huge loss, it’s going to take Russia hundreds of years,” predicts Anna, a college graduate with law and business degrees from Russian universities, hoping for better odds online.  So, she turned to the Internet.

She found what she thought was “Mr. Right“ –a name she uses tongue in cheek for the American man she married in Atlanta in July 2008 who, as she discovered only two months later, was a controlling and abusive husband.

Just as she found “Mr. Right” online, she found her escape from him online also.

With her command of English still poor, she turned to Russian websites to educate herself on spousal abuse and prepare herself mentally and physically for a way out.

Finally, on April 9, 2009, she found a way escape of her abusive marriage.  She moved into a women’s shelter (she will not disclose its location), where she began to rebuild her life: getting her documentation together, learning English, learning to drive, doing odd jobs to survive.

Time has passed. Anna, now 29, is an MBA candidate at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business while she builds her consulting business, EQ For Success.

Anna Stevens, JD, BBA

She is an eloquent public speaker, trainer, and avid blogger.

Ironically, it was on the Internet that she found a new husband—although this time without trying.

It happened while she was a live-in nanny in 2010.  She was working on her computer, when she received a Facebook friend invite from someone she did not know.  Back then her Facebook account had tight privacy settings.  Whenever she received an invite, she would ask the person, “Do I personally know you?”

Anna with new husband Dr. Philip Day

She did not know this person; but he was a friend of a friend, U.S. Congressman Tom Price.  She checked his profile on Facebook. It said he was the president of the Georgia Chiropractic Association and had 3,111 friends. “I thought, this is definitely not my ex-husband,” Anna told herself.

“Dr. Philip Day is my husband today,” says Anna. “We got married Sept. 23, 2011. We met on Facebook.  Nobody can believe it, but, yes, I found my happiness on Facebook.”

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