Mother vs Wife; whos #1 for Persian men

by Faramarz_Fateh

Last night I was having a conversation with a good friend who is on the verge of divorce from his wife after 3 years; I think there is something to be said for the 3 year itch.   Fortunately they don't have any children.

My friend was 41 when he married his wife, a 29 year old very beautiful Persian woman from Austrailia.  My friend, a plastic surgeon had gone to the Gold coast and saw her in a party and was in love instantly.  She, in love with the USA and the chance of being the wife of a pretty nice and normal man with huge future income potential, agreed to marry him after 2.5 weeks of "dating".

Her major complain is that for him, his mother is #1 and it should be her.  I can't say I disagree with her.  Once a man gets married to a woman, she needs to, actually must become the #1 priority of the man.

But, lets face it; you are talking about an Iranian man who is first born and a Doktor!!  Automatically he is God in that family.  Plus, he has been #1 for his mother for 41 years.  There is no way he can switch his feelings from the mom to the wife.  Thats just human nature and reality.

Granted, if he had gotten married at 21 instead of 41, yes; it would have been MUCH easier.

But you women need to use common sense.  If you get married to a Persian man over the age of 35, beware.  The mother is going to be your havoo for a while.  Deal with it.  Normally after the first child things change. 



more from Faramarz_Fateh

Most Iranians are not diplomatic enough...

by Anonymous2323 (not verified) on

Most Iranians are not diplomatic enough when it comes in separating the two family sides so they won't get into each others business, and of course, soon enough the sister in law is deciding about his brother's B-day instead of his wife, the father in law is putting the husband on pressure for this and that...

That's why we are such a mess. We still have a mentality of hunting and gathering society where we have to meet so many times a year that these things start growing.

If we were to only meet each others family for couple of traditional holidays, B-day, and some little extra times and instead spend most of our times with our wife,children,and bettering ourself, we'd be in a different class of society. That's why they call us 3rd-world-citizens.

Of course your friends wife is right, he is now engaged and is in middle of a relationship, he can not have his mom make decisions or interferer in their private life.It is just that simple.



I agree. The whole lot of

by American on

I agree. The whole lot of them is sickening. Worshipping their sons until no one can stand them except their mother. 


Did you read that in your

by American on

Did you read that in your holy book? Lol. That's a load of nonsense.



by javaneh29 on

I wonder what your man says about it all?? Does he agree with what his mother and sister say to you? Does he defend you in these situations? How are they with your children? Are there any other family members you can talk to about these two? Gather as much info as you can before you make a committment to marriage, Where is this family from?

Some advice from a western woman married into an iranian family..... make sure you stand your ground with them or they will think they can dictate to you the rest of life while you are with him and your man may not interfer in these things.  If you bow down to them, they will loose respect for you. NEVER back down on issues that are important to you, they have to learn to accept that you are not iranian and there are some things you can not comply with,.

And above all DO NOT go and live in Iran unless you are 100% confident that your man will put your interests first,

Sorry if it sounds a little scary but Im thinking of you and your children,.



dating/marriage Iranians

by faith (not verified) on

I have been dating an Iranian man for three years. I am a divorced 34 year old mother of three. He is also divorced and is 41. Initially his mom and I got along just fine, but now she is around much much more and I guess fears losing him as we are talking seriously about marriage. She is rude to me often and there has been a confrontation between his siter mom and me. I felt like I was thrown under the bus. His sister said, "When we are in town we are number one. When we are not here he can see you and talk to you! She said I was calling him too much and acted like she was in charge of our relationship. The sister is 30 years old never married and always lived with mom. Suddenly, his mom has decided she wants me to call her Ms. and her first name. I feel this is degrading to me as we are both adults. I have agreed to do it for his sake. I just wonder where the changing of myself stops for her. She always wants to be his number 1. I am wondering where my place would be if we were to get married. I love him dearly and he is great with my kids, but I worry about what a marriage would be like. His mom would probably live with or very near to us. I just don't know.


manipulative old women

by womanofthewest (not verified) on

after reading you comment, I feel as if you knew my situation when it comes to my iranian mother in law.
the only exception is that I can tell how manipulative she can be and I too make my moves to overcame her viciousness

American Wife

old saying here...

by American Wife on

"A son is a son until he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life".

It appears to be just the opposite in the American culture.  Oh, I know the old horror stories about mothers-in-law are sometimes true but for the most part, I'd say alot of men could say the same thing about their wives and their fathers.  When a man marries, the wife becomes his priority... NO questions asked.  In a perfect world, the wife gets along with "Mom", if not, she keeps her distance..:-). 

If my husband spent weekend time with his mom to the extent Marge's friend's husband does, it would be a problem.  I'm all for being close to family but weekend time IS all about  Take Mom to dinner once a week.

anonymous12345... you are sooooo right.  I plan on making friends with my daughter-in-law FIRST THING.  I want to be part of their lives, but from a  healthy distance.  I wouldn't WANT my son prefering me over his wife.  Good grief... l did the best I could do raising him to be a good man and hopefully to be a good husband and to respect his wife.

And I also think that the husband controls the outcome.  He needs make his priorities perfectly clear to everyone from the start.  And more importantly, he needs to stick to his commitments.


Who's #1

by gorgahoo on

Chris Rock, the comedian summarized it beautifully. He said once a woman marries a man, she effectively says to him, "Fuck your past, fuck your present, and fuck any dreams you may have had for future. From now on, concentrate only on me because its going to be only about me."


Iranian men have it so rough!

by Monda on

Some mothers are so self absorbed and codependant that they would never let their sons mature and individuate. And this happens probably in most cultures but I'm most familiar with it the Iranian style which can be quite dramatic, entertaining and/or abusive to those directly involved.  

I know this Iranian lady who presents, with unique talent mind you, her heartbreak each time her son feels close to reaching a wife. You should see the games and the drama she creates to distract her 40 somethin son from Godforbid dating a woman (it's ok for him to date those she chooses for him!). One Christmas she pulled son out of an office Xmas party, to take her (his mother) to the emergency unit for her irregular hearbeats. That was when she'd overheard her son was interested in this eligible American woman at work! Oh the guilt and blame and ghahr va aashti...poor man!  



What goes around comes around

by d (not verified) on

To all the wives who ignore or disrespect their mother-in-law, your son will learn from his father, and if he sees his father accept such behavior, he will be the same toward you in the future.

I think the problem here is not the MIL or the wife, but rather the man. He needs to bring about the balance and show love toward both. In the instances where the balance does not exist, I think it is because he does not have genuine love for either party and the mother serves his emotional needs and the wife his sexual and he is merely using both.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on


Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on


bajenaghe naghi

flying solo jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

i think what you write here is correct. what you say make sense when you talk about it soberly over a cup of coffee and bisquits while being away from the always tongue lashing mother in law.  these kinds of tactics are also taught in places like sandhurst. under different headings such as how to approach the enemy and how to win a war or other topics a soldier studies in tactics class. but in the battle field nearly all of the soldiers forget what they have learned in class and start improvising. out of one hundred only one remembers and follows the leaned tactics to the letter and these are the soldiers who go up in ranks and win stars on their shoulders and become generals. 

now if you excuse me i am going to go and find myself a dumb one eyed and one eared woman.  

Flying Solo

Marking Terriotry

by Flying Solo on

Females by nature are territorial. If the man gives up his mother, then the wife will probably start complaining about his friends. He then gives up the friends and she will start on the Saturday golf and then this and then that.  She will want more territory and the more he gives the more she wants.

In the early stages of marriage of course the man still has closer ties with the mother simply because there is more history there than with the wife. Over time he will wisen up as to which side of his bread is buttered and will act accordingly.

Some mother-in-laws are worse than others but generally they tend to hold on as long as they can - iranian or other. I think the reason the European and American MIL's don't hold on so tightly is because by and large they have a life outside of their children and they have cut the chord way earlier - at 18 or so - realizing that an adult cannot and should not be controlled.

The best thing to do is befriend a MIL and kill them with kindness.  In the heart of the matter we all simply want to be loved and accepted. To reject them and expect the man to show his love for you by cutting the person who gave them birth is counterproductive. 

Someone said that madar-zan's are much better. I think they are both one and the same when it comes to getting involved with their adult children's lives.  They will both ruin marriages given half a chance.

I think to stay happily married you need to give up one eye, one ear and cut the tonuge out completely. 

So, meebeeni - valee be zaboon nayar.  Mishnavi valee begoo - bebakhsheen nafahmidam! Koocheyeh Ali Chap all the way- works all the time. ;)


Watch Mama's Boy, A reality

by castingcall (not verified) on

Watch Mama's Boy, A reality TV Show, aired on NBC in January.

Do you worship and adore your mother?
*Would you put your mother before your partner/spouse?
*Are you feeling 2nd best to his mother in your relationship?


We are looking for mama's boys, their partners and mamas to share their stories. Extremely interested in the dynamics of your relationships. If this fits you please reply with a brief description of your story, daytime contact information and a recent photo if possible.



by the EX- (not verified) on

This is not just a "Middle Eastern" problem. Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, Bangladashis and Afghanis have it worse. Much worse. What about the far east such as the Vietnamese? I have a few colleagues who really have it bad with their monster-in-laws.

Least annoying mother-in-laws are the Europeans and Americans of European ancestory who know to keep a certain respectful distance. The rest of the pack, are insecure, emotionally needy women, who act like stinking glues.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Also there is a new show coming out on nbc "Momma's Boys"

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

It's a universal problem, but it's definitely prominent in Middle Eastern culture. Face it. We have son worship.


Everybody Loves Raymond

by mrlayl on

To me it appears that this is not just an Iranian phenomenon. Ever watched the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond?

Iranian Reader

Javaneh khanom: what bitter and hurt?!

by Iranian Reader on

I have shookhi with my kid. You probably don't have shookhi with anybody -- in which case it's a good thing I'm not your madar shohar. The only kind of aroos I would ever torment is a boring one.



You are so damn wrong. A

by Anonymous1234567 (not verified) on

You are so damn wrong. A wife is a partner for life, moms die out sooner. If you have this mentality that you can always get another wife but you only get one mom, you are going to die a lonely man. Your wife is not only your wife, but also your own flesh united to you in holy matrimony and possibly the mother of your children. Don't get me wrong, I am a mother myself and I would hate to see my child forsake me for their future spouse but I think a balance is a good thing. I would hate myself interfering in my child's married life, boundaries are a good thing. As long as the mom learns to respect her son's choices in life even if she doesn't agree with them but be there for her son and as long as the mother respects her son's privacy with his wife, everything would be fine. I want to be so nice to my future daughter-in-law, God Willing, that I want her to consider me as one of her friends because I know I can never have a real relationship with my future grandchildren unless I first learn to respect and love their mother who gave birth to them and raise them. I think my mentality is so advanced for the Iranian culture that I know I sound a little weird to some people here but if you ask any real above average American, that's their mentality.


Mothers always come first!

by Anonyman (not verified) on

Mothers always come first! A man can always get another wife, but he can never get another mother. That's life.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Let's not just blame the mothers please.....

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Um these grown men. Don't they have the will(ingness) to speak in defense of their marriages? They must protect their marriages and in some instances, that means cutting the Chord. Javaneh, I'm glad you understood my point. Mothers are the people who make the world go around, but we have to keep the cycle going. In iranian culture, it's like Mother VERSUS MOTHER-in-Law(s). I hate it. 

I hate female fighting and I hate divorce. Men share the blame too. FF should mention this. Women don't just need to "understand" that the men are middle aged diaper wearers. The men have to undergo some understanding of their own.


most Iranian mother-in-laws are emotionally needy

by the EX- (not verified) on

I had no problems with my husband seeing his mother as much as he wanted, but I only wanted to see her, may be once a month( as anjAm-e-vazifeh) , but she wanted more. She was a khaleh-zanak, and khooneh-dar, and I could not enjoy conversing with her. To me, just because I was close to her son, did not necessarily mean I had to get close to her that much. She was emotionally needy. I got divorced, and freed myself from a prick of a mother-in-law.


بچه ننه

محبوب ِ زنها (not verified)

I think this marriage had other serious problems and the situation with the mother is the excuse to get out. The age difference, the long distance courtship and the "lust at the first sight" usually means a disaster. However, you have to acknowledge that women demand attention, especially the pretty ones. And they are not willing to share. You either chase them, or they chase you. There is never an equilibrium.


OK Apologies Marge.....

by javaneh29 on

Ok Marge I see what you're driving at now. And sorry if I made assumptions.

I think telling 'mom' everything about his relationship with his wife is odd. And I kind of know what you mean about the Iranian mother thing, although this is maybe more common with Iranians, its universal. Some mothers are jelous of the 'upstart' wife ...not good enough for my son.. below him.... too common etc. And these moms go all out to create havoc in their sons' marriages. It goes for moms of daughters too, but less frequently.

I have a friend whose husbands mom told him out right lies about her, eg that she receives male visitors when he's at work. And dear hubbie, ( sorry guys ...being typically irani) thought the worse and mistrust of her has been a constant issue throughout their marriage of more than 12 years and two children. Under IRI law, she could have faced severe punishment if he had taken it further. ....very worrying. This mom has done many terrible things against my friend, who had to have mom living with them and looked after her every need! Of course my friend did everything wrong, is a bad cook and dosent look after the children properly!

Hakim .. real and deep trust comes over years it should not be assumed as a given after such a short time.

And Iranian reader .. you sound very bitter and hurt. Im sorry that you have such a poor view of your son.

I have already said on IC somewhere that my husband wants to go home and I have heard some stories about my mother in law, Im dreading the day. I just hope they aren't as bad as they sound,


Iranian Reader

I wish!

by Iranian Reader on

I was always told that little boys go through a phase where they say they will marry their mothers when they grow up. I was so looking forward to that... But mine, having a young and beautiful step sister, decided that he would marry his sister when he grew up. That's rejection number one.

Number two was when a couple of years later I said that I couldn't wait for him to have babies so I would take care of them. "They would have their own mother to take care of them, you know," he said.

I stopped counting the rejections right there and then. The little American bastard. Pesar ham pesar-e irooni!


Not in my case

by Hakim (not verified) on

When I got married, I was 36 years old. Had very close relationship with my mom. She was always supporting me in everything to the last day of my college and beyond. Then I met this nice and beautiful young Iranian lady in L.A. and 2 months later we were married. She came to my life with an agenda. To control my life. To set limits for me in relationship with my friends, family and specially my mom. Not to forget mentioning all my bank accounts. Raised in a very open and honest environment, I could not believe it. Talking to her was like talking to a stone wall. Nothing would come out of it. I believe that building a life together in time should provide enough trust that a man and a women share everything together, set their priorities and draw their relationships outside of family. But such a trust does not come in a short period of time. Not for me at least.


oh well

by Anonymous00009 (not verified) on

i guess now that the said mother-in-law has destroyed their life she can have her son back all for himself.
this is a recurring problem in the iranian community world wide, unless they have had a luxury of not living anywhere near their in laws. they need to learn to mind their own business and keep a distance. a certain amount of compromise from every side doesn't hurt the marriage but since men can't get their act together and keep the peace between their mothers and wives, It is up to those women to do it for them. and those mothers need to find a hobby and butt out . or an easier solution for undiplomatic men, only get married when your maman joon is dead.

bajenaghe naghi

faramarz fateh jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

i have the utmost respect, love, and affection for women. i love all the women in my life more than life itself. and i have always told my children to love and respect their mother more than their father. i have also told them that if they ever disrespect their father they are minced beef. kilide dare behesht zire paye madaran ast. one must love all the women in one's life. but the secret is that there should be a balance there and diplomacy by the man to make sure that the tender feelings of the women in his life are not hurt or bruised in any way. through this balancing and diplomacy acts he shows these women his love and respect for them. 


Iranian men are the worst

by Persian Queen (not verified) on

Iranian men make the worst husbands, no matter what age. Let them stay with the moms until they both die