Looking back on one year of marriage… to an Italian man.

I added that last part of the title in there just be clear that we’re all on the same page.

June 12th was my one year wedding anniversary with my Italiano. Since we work for ourselves, we decided to substitute a Sunday for the Wednesday and take the day to go up to the mountains where we got married. It was sunny, breezy, clear and gorgeous… absolutely nothing like our wedding day one year ago when my wedding dress was pelted by sideways hail, not that I’m bitter.

opening the box of notes from friends and family one year agoThe reason I thought I should write a post reflecting on this past year married to an Italian man is because I have noticed a somewhat telling trend in the search terms that bring people to my site…

  • “how to marry an Italian man”
  • “are gender roles in Italy equal?”
  • should I marry an Italian man?”
  • “Italian men marriage and mamma
  • “do Italian men make good husbands?”
  • “do Italian men cheat

These are all actual search terms that lead people to my site on a frequent basis, and I think they pretty accurately reflect an unfortunate fear of many women regarding the notorious Latin Lover… (and maybe his mamma too).

In my vast one year of experience (but 6 years together, with 5 of them in Italy), I shall try to address and debunk some common myths about marrying an Italiano, with a concerted effort to artfully sidestep the stereotypes and generalizations that sometimes get me in trouble.

1. Will my Italian husband cheat on me?

Let’s be clear. ALL men are dogs…

Oops, I blew that sidestepping thing, didn’t I?

(Side note: “all men are dogs” was the first phrase I heard at age 13 when my parents decided to give me the sex talk. It has served me well. Thanks, Dad.)

What I mean to say is that a man who habitually cheats on his partner or spouse can be from any nationality, religion, or background… and usually is. Italian men have, indeed, worked up a little reputation for themselves over the years. But I would like to remind you that there are almost as many Italian women cheating on their husbands as there are men cheating on their wives (55% of men, and 45% of women, according to the Telegraph).

My point is this: if you have to Google “Will my Italian husband cheat on me?” before you marry him… well, it’s not a good sign is it?

Drawing from my own experience, I have been told several times by several Italian women that I am lucky in that my husband is clearly a loyal man. So, you see, they do exist… even in Italy. Although, it may or may not worry you that people feel the need to point that out to me… as though it is an anomaly.

Here’s an idea if you’re unsure: Take your hubby-to-be on a weekend trip to Milan during Fashion Week. Watch for head turns and pupil expansion. Here’s another genius tip: if he’s done it before, he’ll probably do it again.

Ok, let’s tackle the next stereotype:

2. Do Italian men prefer traditional gender roles?

Well… um… yes… in as much as they prefer to wipe their asses with toilet paper because that’s what we’ve used since the 6th century. It’s what’s comfortable and it’s what’s taught.

That’s not to say that if someone starts mass producing chinchilla fur wipes they won’t be thrilled to make the switch. You just have to make sure you get a partner who is willing to try it the new way without waxing poetic about the values of traditional toilet paper. Then you have to convert his friends and family, which is much more difficult.

When my husband (then boyfriend) and I started up our business, I was all too aware of the inequality in our situation. No matter what my qualifications were, no matter what level of input I made on a daily basis, and no matter how many times my husband used the subject ‘noi’ instead of ‘io’… most people here in our small, Italian town (not all, but most) referred to HIS business with which I was “helping” him.

Many of them couldn’t get past the fact that I was teaching English at the same time for extra money. For years after I gave my last lesson people would ask my husband about our business, and then turn to me and say “And how’s the teaching going?”.

F*ck you.

That was my initial response. Then around year 3, when I hit the lowest of my expat depression, it had a different effect.

F*ck it.

No one expected anything of me, so I stopped expecting anything of myself. This is a no good place to be. If this post has no other impact other than to deter one woman from entering that mindset, then I’ll be happy. Coming up next, I’ll be writing a post about the ups and downs of 5 years as an American expat in Italy. I’ll get into this subject in more detail there, so stay tuned.

To wrap up the gender role discussion… yes, there are very strong gender roles here in Italy. Yes, they are engrained in every Italian man’s upbringing at least on some level.

The plus side is that within the framework of these gender roles, the woman is an EXTREMELY important and powerful role… and one that is changing rapidly with a new generation of independent and headstrong, young Italian women.

Which brings me to the comic relief of the next subject…

3. Does he love his mamma more than me?

Probably.

But he’d never say that to your face, because he wants you to be the mamma to his kids… and so does she.

The plethora of mother-in-law stories exchanged between Italian women on a daily basis is shocking… shocking. In fact, I’m thinking of starting a series.

And the lesson of every single story is this: mamma is always right.

I am blessed with an incredibly sweet, not at all intrusive, and open-minded suocera… a fact which my Italian girlfriends bitterly point out every time I start to whine about living across the street from her. They then blast me with six stories each about the mother-in-laws who most of them are forced to live with in the same building… ranging from the one who walks in during shower sex (and doesn’t leave) and another who is actively blackmailing her daughter-in-law until she gets pregnant.

Conclusions:

I guess the lesson of my little story is that, yes, you should know what you’re getting into when marrying an Italian (hence the title of my website). As with any man, from any nationality, you’re not just marrying the man, you’re marrying the country, the culture, his family, and everything that goes along with them. Just as he’s marrying you, and everything that comes along with you.

If you’re like me, you’ll find that a successful relationship with an Italian man requires a bit of luck, a bit of hard work, and a whole lot of love… and, without sounding too cheesy, it can be incredibly rewarding to have an intercultural marriage and family. I look forward to raising bilingual bambini and allowing them to learn the best of both of our cultures.

No, I’m not pregnant, Mom. Stop asking!

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51 thoughts on “Looking back on one year of marriage… to an Italian man.

  1. I married an Italian man more than 40 years ago. He was loyal and his parents had died before I met him (he had an evil sister). We didn’t stay married, but he did give me a love of Italy and I now spend half my life there.

  2. I am pretty sure that marrying an italian woman is different from a man. The women seem more easy going than American ones.the men in question feel the need to be controling

    • Hmmm… are you speaking from experience there? I have heard the controlling thing a lot as a generalized complaint about Italian men. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard Italian women described as “easy going”, though – not that it would be difficult to attain that distinction compared to us Americans! 🙂

  3. I love how the mamma stereotype is so strong. I find it total BS. My husband is not into the mamma thing and so many of our Italian friends treat their mom like my American brothers treat my mom. I like how you explained that and glad that you got a nice suocera!

    Sometimes I meet woman and they say “my italian loves his mom, total momma’s boy.” I reply “I married a man who happens to be Italian and could care less about what his mom ate for lunch or when we get to eat with her next.”

    The Italian culture fascinates me, but many things we say are very italian are also very typical for a man, not just Italian men. Since I’m from Miami nothing really shocks me, the Latin men (and women) are worse. This is a massive generalization mind you.

    Sounds like the problem is the moms who were once young women, hence the problem may be some of the women. What do you think?

    p.s. never heard anyone say what Rubee wrote. I have a nice reply, but it’s not nice to write. xo

    • Tiana, thanks for your comment! I think Italy is in this strange and fascinating moment (or perhaps a bit longer than a moment… era?) in history when all the contradictions of a traditional culture and modern life are butting up against one another, resulting in vastly varying views on evolving gender roles. There are massive differences between the countryside and the city, massive differences between the generations, and massive differences between those who have returned to Italy after time abroad and those who have stayed.

      Where I am, I consider myself quite lucky, as most men in this small town tend to be a bit on the stereotypically traditional side (my female friends will back me up on that). On the other hand, I would agree that a lot of the mom-to-son dynamic is powered by the mamma, not the son. And I see that phenomenon butting heads frequently with the mindset of young, Italian women, who are not happy in the traditional role anymore.

      Very interesting conversation!
      -M

      • There were interviews about mammoni and the men seemed to loooove their mamma! I have friends who date and married Italian men who looove their mamma too, more than most creating this mammoniness 😉 I think it’s both, more on the side of the mamma, but not all men play this mamma game.

        I agree… every culture is morphing, I just get annoyed when city living expats act like their Italian man represents all and that they forget that they are also dating a man not a puppy or not just an Italian. Italian men can be generalized, but shouldn’t be in ever case.

        I am sure things are waaaay different where you live. I have friends with Italian fathers and whoa… it is a different generation. Luckily you and I seem safe, that’s all that matters to me, in the end.

  4. I love reading this hahaha.. I’m not so sure if I should even start with a relationship. Hmm I like the statement you said here: “You’re not just marrying the man, you’re marrying the country, the culture, his family, and everything that goes along with them.” …… BECAUSE it’s almost the same statement that my father gave to the future to be husband of my aunt (that was last 2006). We are filipino by the way and my aunt married American guy.

      • Hmmmm.. not yet. But I’m currently chatting to an Italian guy 🙂 We don’t want to jump any relationship right now but we are thinking about it. We decided to just enjoy the moments and see if things will blossom to a more beautiful relationship. If things will be good between us then maybe we can push it :). He is somewhat different from the description I read from other site. He is independent and live on his own. He also wash his own clothes, cook for himself and take care two cats :p hehehe. Though he visits his family as much as he can if his work near them. He is sweet but not the kind of sweetness described in other site where a guy talks a lot hahaha.. Thanks for the blog again 🙂

        • I’ve started to date an Italian Man 100% exactly equal like Eiz described! And I’ve met him via chat. Now, after 5 months of dating I’ve mooved in to live with him, but Already before, after 1 month of dating him he asked Me if I want to have babies with him, and now he’s constantly talking about babies! He is from Puglia and is a bit of controling, very jelous and has blocked all my male friends! Well, so far I don’t have problems with that so let’s see how our relationships will move on!
          Thank You for interesting blog! 😉

          • oh my! Yeah, the jealousy thing is cute for like 3 seconds, then it gets ridiculous.
            Good luck with the Baby Fever!

  5. Your blog is so entertaining. You leave nothing to the imagination….I love it! I am awaiting my passport right now. I plan to go to Palermo Sicily April 1 2014 to volunteer to work with Biagio Conte( a Mother Teresa of sorts in Palermo) check him out at PACEPACE.org. I want to stay for a long period but am having a hard time with the Visa aspect. I may have to resort to knowing somebody who knows somebody!…lol

  6. I want to get asylum the situation in Syria is very bad
    Or here in Dubai, the law difficult to get a job
    all the Arab countries does not have anything of democracy
    For this I am looking for stability
      I am 20 years old
    Without study
    Without marriage
    Unemployed
    Without money
    How to be a future for me
    Is Help
    Thank you
    I have a page on Facebook
    Nabil Aowad I
    I welcome all friends add-on page

  7. I’m a Filipina, Im in an online relationship with an Italian man, after few days of chatting he expressed that he likes me and want to marry me. Last Feb we get into relationship after 6 months of chatting, he was too different from other foreign man i met online. Now his looking forward how we could be together, he’s asking my passport copy coz he wants to bring me there in Italy…I doubt that his parents wouldn’t accept me as i am a single mom but he says its his choice to get me as his wife….
    Your blog catches my attention and interests to read it….n now worried about that mamma to son relationship!

    • Hi Jade, there’s usually a bit of a struggle with the mother-in-law. If you get friendly with her, you’re set! I was really lucky – mine is great.

      A word of advice – be extremely direct and talk out the things that may seem uncomfortable. You have to remind them that you’re not from here and you have to explain why certain things don’t make sense and your reaction is different from what they expect.

      If the guy is a good guy, then I’m sure his family is too!

      Stay in touch! -M

  8. I’m currently seeing an Italian man, he told me from the start that I wasn’t the only women he is seeing. He would call me and we go out. BUT when I want to see him, it’s always “not today, busy” For some odd reason, while he was seeing me he STARTED a relationship with another women. He told me this, and I was angry, so I had enough, I told him to take a hike. Hasn’t called me for 2 months, suddenly he text me for coffee??? I called him to ask what he wants (he was so gentle, and charming), he said just a friendly coffee!!!

    It’s hard for me to get him out of my mind. I have feelings for him, but I don’t know if he feels the same way, since he is in a relationship….so why call me right?

    Totally lost with these creatures!

    • it’s NEVER just a friendly coffee!!! My “friendly coffee” turned into marriage, so watch out… especially if he’s one to cheat on you. 😉

      (sorry for the delayed reply!)
      -M

  9. What region is your husband from? Mine is Calabrese! So basically the Western NY bi-racial woman marries the ‘Hilly Billy of Italy’ and hilarity and laughter ensues. Great blog!

    • We’re in Emilia, near Reggio Emilia but more rural. The Calabrese-NY match sounds fantastic!
      Thanks for reading! -M

  10. What a problem these italian mamas are for world wide girls……. , are you afraid or are you feeling a step down compared to them ? I think that critics just lead to nowhere, and show a weak ability in conquering an italian male, just Italians ? try changing your perspective, a difficulty is a chance to change yourself, it doesn’t seems, but it’s a good training for your self confidence and self esteem.
    If an Italian man is so closed to his mama, well……. it’s not because she is his mama but probably because she is able to give him what he need.

    Mhhhhh…………… , ok it seems a bit of an advert,……….. sorry, but it’s not.
    I’m just bored reading of these anthropological conflicts.
    But once you did all the best and he still should be insanely mama addicted, you won’t feel guilty for any decision you would take.

    There is an interesting tale by Esopo ? the fox and the grape, ( la volpe e l’uva)

    • Hi again Massimo… I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding your point. Se vuoi, puoi scrivere in italiano?

      Are you saying that the status of the mamma in the eyes of her son is the grape in this analogy? And that we’re all the foxes, reaching for the grape, because we don’t have the same status in the eyes of our italian men?

      I think the main concern of a lot of women who are married to Italian men is that – exactly as you said – he is close to his mamma because she gives him what he needs… whenever he wants it. She does his laundry, feeds him, and generally babies him his whole life. If he needs something, he runs to mamma. I think THAT is what women are generally complaining about – someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

      This is fortunately not totally the case in my own personal marriage – I’m just addressing a larger trend that I’ve noticed people complaining about a lot. I think it does, however, take a lot of extra work in a marriage with an Italian man to address this cultural reliance on the mother. I don’t think it’s very nice or fair of you to then tell these women that it’s because of their own lack of self-esteem or self-confidence. It takes a great deal of self-confidence to be married to someone who places you below another woman in his life.

      I didn’t understand the part you said about feeling guilty for any decision a woman would make.
      If you’re “bored” reading about anthropological conflicts, you’re probably reading the wrong blog… since that’s what I am highly interested in! 🙂
      -M

      • God .. the depth of your words .. You are wonderful woman, O full of letters of gold
        Admirable in every Comments

          • Yes
            Thank you have good memory
            I wish you to help me in the asylum
            I was looking for democratic country in order to live in freedom

          • Oh, Nabil, I’m afraid I know very little about how to do that. Perhaps one of my other readers has some advice… ? Good luck with your search, and thanks for reading and commenting here meanwhile!
            -M

      • Hi again Massimo… I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding your point. Se vuoi, puoi scrivere in italiano? Grazie.
        Are you saying that the status of the mamma in the eyes of her son is the grape in this analogy? And that we’re all the foxes, reaching for the grape, because we don’t have the same status in the eyes of our italian men?

        No, dire che il maschio è mammone l’ho vista come una critica di alcune donne con qualche difficoltà di relazione con l’uomo, ci sono persone che di fronte ad un problema criticano ed altre affrontano e risolvono il problema, la volpe e l’uva voleva per analogia mostrarlo. Non voglio negare l’esistenza del mammismo, esiste penso sia espressione della natura psicologica della femmina italiana ( una madre è anche una donna ) ma penso che un ostacolo si supera dimostrandosi migliori dell’ostacolo, lamentarsi invece mi fa pensare all’incapacità di superarlo. Sbaglio in questa mia visione della vita ? nella fiaba considero solo quello che vuole insegnare, cioè disprezzare ciò che non si è in grado di avere, per analogia, disprezzare il legame tra madre e figlio perché l’amore della moglie /fidanzata non riesce ad essere altrettanto forte. Sono d’accordo che una madre rispetti la vita affettiva dei figli, che non sia invadente con lo scopo di rovinare l’armonia di coppia dei propri figli, questo è egoismo.

        +++++++++++++++++++++

        I think the main concern of a lot of women who are married to Italian men is that – exactly as you said – he is close to his mamma because she gives him what he needs… whenever he wants it. She does his laundry, feeds him, and generally babies him his whole life. If he needs something, he runs to mamma. I think THAT is what women are generally complaining about – someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

        Se ami una persona dai tutto, se sei amato non pretendi niente, cosi entrambi trovano l’armonia del vivere in coppia.
        Ci sono animali, la cui unione dura fino alla morte, anzi dura oltre, visto che il compagno rimasto solo si lascia morire, come spieghi questo da un punto di vista psicologico ? dobbiamo imparare ancora ?
        +++++++++++++++++++++

        This is fortunately not totally the case in my own personal marriage – I’m just addressing a larger trend that I’ve noticed people complaining about a lot.

        Lo avevo capito, l’opinione non riguardava te. Leggendo alcune parti del blog però emerge una certa inquietudine, comprensibile per la mancanza del tuo ambiente che hai conosciuto nella tua infanzia e adolescenza, questa inquietudine o stress ha un effetto che hai descritto in questo blog, ti ammali ogni inverno, non posso essere indifferente, umanamente parlando.
        Lo stress abbassa le difese immunitarie, mi permetto di suggerire, cerca anche con tuo marito un equilibrio una armonia di vita, non portare lo stress a squilibrare in modo permanente il tuo corpo, saprai che la mente condiziona il corpo e le sue funzioni.
        Gli antichi romani dicevano “ Mens sana in corpore sano” tradotto, “mente sana in corpo sano”
        Interpretazione, lo spirito e il corpo hanno bisogno di essere in armonia tra loro altrimenti entrambi soffrono, anche nella medicina orientale ma di tutti i popoli antichi c’era questa idea. Dal passato abbiamo ereditato tecniche come la riflessologia, se una coppia capisse l’importanza di condividere questo reciproco scambio di trattamenti aumenterebbe la forza del loro legame e una coppia forte affronta meglio la vita, risolve in maniera più efficiente i problemi, i vantaggi saranno tanti, ci sono libri oppure dei corsi per conoscere le tecniche, anche internet, è interessante anche approfondire il valore dell’alimentazione e la sua influenza sul metabolismo e la psicologia.
        Anche l’ambiente di casa è importante, specie negli inverni umidi della pianura, vedo la vostra stufa acquistata, emette calore convettivo ( scalda solo l’aria ) mentre è preferibile una fonte di calore radiante ( scalda i corpi e le pareti, abbassa l’umidità dell’aria ) già con 100 kg di massa ( refrattari e/o pietra ollare ) si ha una stufa che garantisce un ottimo comfort ambientale, quanto scrivo viene dalla mia esperienza personale. Anche la temperatura influisce sull’equlibrio dell’organismo umano.

        ++++++++++++++++++
        I think it does, however, take a lot of extra work in a marriage with an Italian man to address this cultural reliance on the mother.

        Ci sono dati statistici che avevo letto, in molti altri paesi occidentali molte, troppe donne, devono difendersi da violenze di ogni tipo da parte di mariti o compagni, questo è l’effetto di famiglie senza amore, mentre in Italia ci sono ancora madri che invece danno troppo amore ai loro figli, bisogna trovare un punto di equilibrio lavorandoci sopra, se capisci le cause si possono affrontare e curare gli effetti.

        ++++++++++++++
        I don’t think it’s very nice or fair of you to then tell these women that it’s because of their own lack of self-esteem or self-confidence. It takes a great deal of self-confidence to be married to someone who places you below another woman in his life.

        Quello che volevo scrivere è esattamente il contrario, se una donna si sente frustrata nel dover competere con la suocera ( madre del marito) affrontare e vincere l’avversaria ( la suocera ) rafforza il senso di stima e fiducia in se stesse. Sbaglio ? non è possibile riuscirci ? vincere ostacoli gioca un ruolo importante nella capacità di una persona ad affrontare la vita.
        Questo è un augurio a tutte le donne che hanno una suocera come avversaria, magari lavorare in modo diplomatico e psicologico, il nemico si combatte anche facendoselo alleato.
        Non è mia intenzione offendere le donne, voi date la vita, quello che hai, usi ogni giorno è stato pensato e costruito dall’uomo, perché ? in modo diretto o indiretto profondo o evidente, giusto o sbagliato l’uomo fa tutto questo per la donna, all’origine di tutto questo c’è l’istinto della conservazione della specie.

        +++++++++++++++++
        I didn’t understand the part you said about feeling guilty for any decision a woman would make.

        Se una donna fallisce, nonostante abbia provato a fare tutto quello che era nelle sue possibilità per avere l’uomo tutto per se, penso che non dovrebbe provare alcun senso di colpa, questo volevo dire.
        Che colpa può avere una persona se da tutto ?, da un punto di vista psicologico penso giochi un ruolo importante l’impegno, vincere un ostacolo rafforza l’io.

        +++++++++++++
        you’re “bored” reading about anthropological conflicts, you’re probably reading the wrong blog… since that’s what I am highly interested in! 🙂
        -M

        Il tuo modo di scrivere e descrivere è apprezzabile, anche se non condivido ( tra quello che ho letto ) quando parli di famiglia mafiosa italiana, non conosci la diversità storica, culturale, di questo paese confondi e mischi le diversità, per comprendere una persona devi conoscere le sue origini e ciò che quella società a cui appartiene ha prodotto e produce, e in Italia in particolare più che in molti altri paesi è importante questo, infatti in una nazione convivono molte nazioni le profonde diversità se sei attenta puoi leggerle anche nella cronaca di tutti i giorni.
        Buona giornata

        • Massimo, your words are very true and insightful, e io sono d’accordo per quasi tutto che hai detto, davvero. In fatti, ma fa un po’ paura che mi hai capito così bene dei miei articoli sarcastici e non molto profondo!

          Ma credo che questa conversazione è troppo bello per il mio piccolo blog. Non era l’intenzione di essere così profondo! A me interessa molto questo discorso, ma devi capire che per me questo blog è un posto per scherzare … sfortunatamente, spesso ‘comic humor’ viene delle situazione non risolti. Quindi, spesso i miei articoli riflettono il viaggio, non la destinazione. Non so se mi spiego bene…

          Per me ‘humor’ è un modo per capire tutte queste cose che hai detto. Non scrivo della risolta … perché non ho bisogno di quello… molto ‘selfish’ forse! Ma io scrivo dei momenti frustranti, non perché io non capisco la cultura o la storia o la ragione che quello momento è frustrante. Ma solo perché, seconda me, devi scherzare prima di arrivare alla soluzione.

          In fatti, quando parlo deLA FAMIGLIA. Devi ricordare che i lettori inglesi non hanno la stessa consapevolezza della parola “mafiosa”. Se io devo spiegare la nostra famiglia qui a un’italiano, io userebbe parole molti diversi.

          Purtroppo (o no), io visto che la maggior parte dei lettori sono stranieri chi hanno bisogno di sentire che qualcun altro ha l’esperienze simili. Io SPERO che loro arrivano a un punto equilibrio…

          ma…

          un punto equilibrio non è molto divertente… non puoi ridere lì. Non hai bisogno di ridere lì! Sei contenta lì. Questo blog, per me, è un modo per arrivare lì. Spero che non rifletta un’ignoranza della cultura o dell’umanità.
          -M

          P.S. – you are clearly not “bored” with anthropological discussions, as you seem to have great insight on them! 🙂

  11. oh my god i love both blogs, yours and survivinginitaly.com.
    Every time i read about the suocera you make me think about my evil italian grandmother.
    My mom is Mexican and my dad is italian, they met when she was traveling around europe in Florence.
    They were together for 10 long years in a distance relationship until one day my dad proposed and she moved to Florence… Not for too long, my grandmother was Hell so my mom decided to take my dad to mexico very very far away from his mom !
    When i was 16 years old i decide to go on my own and live in florence, my whole italian family was very excited but not HER.
    i lived in Italy 10 years, and my grandmother still tells my my mom stole my dad away from her !
    hahahaha
    So, i decided that i didnt want to get involved with any italian man.
    I met a mexican guy in florence and we’ve been together for 8 years !
    much much better decision !

    • Wow! That’s an awesome story!
      I have yet to meet any Mexicans here in Italy… I have thus far only become unfortunately acquainted with some nasty “Mexican” cuisine where they tried to pass off mushed up peas as guacamole. MAN I miss Texas sometimes. 🙂 If you know good Mexican food locales in Italy, TELL MEEEEEEE!!!!

      • the’re many mexicans in florence, but if you go there please please never try “tijuana mexican Restaurant”… its an insult for mexican people living there and its always full of italians who obviously know nothing about mexican food and think its delicious..
        Anyways your blog is so cool cos eventhough im half italian born in mexico but then lived in italy for 10 years… i know what you and many other expat girls go through with italian partners.
        Just dont listen to people who dont understand cos they havent been in that situation.
        im sure that if they were in another country living as expat they would have so much to say about it !..

        • Noted. I will steer clear of Tijuana… as I do for the city as well (no offense if you’re from there, but that place is crazy!).
          Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂
          -M

  12. Thank you! Very interesting to read! I am in a relationship with an Italian guy…he is sweet,at times i think too sweet 😀 He doesn’t seem attached to his mama, but his parents live close to him 😉
    So far,so good…we are planning to spent Christmas together and see if we feel so cool together as we feel on line,on skype and over the phone. What i love about him, that he is extremely delicate and warm. I will keep you posted 😉

  13. Pointing straight to southern Italy means jealous men with very defined male/female roles…..culturally southern Italy is more or less 40 years behind northern Italy (I am referring to male/female roles)…the last delitti d’onore were perpetrated in southern Italy…also the mamma boy thing is a tad more amplified in the south…

  14. Hey, belated Happy Anniversary! July 12 is my birthday too and the day I started talking to him… or well it was actually the eve. ^_^

    I am so much in love with this Italian guy and it is all his fault! Lol. I tried my best to stop myself from falling for him and I failed. I live on the other side of the world and I met him online.

    This guy kept messaging me and even if I rarely reply he continued doing so. One day I was so sad, this was on the eve of my birthday, I decided to delete all photos from my previous relationship (we had broken up for months but I was attached) and move on as it is a new year for me and I was crying all day. I then decided to reply to him and vent out on a random stranger. He told me to give him my number and he’ll send me something on Whatsapp. He sent me a video of him with a guitar, greeting me and singing me a birthday song! He was singing so happily and he looked silly that it instantly turned my tears into laughter and smiles. I stopped crying. Since then he’s been calling me and skyping me everyday… before he sleeps, when he wakes up… during his work breaks and we text all day, tells me what he is doing, what his plans are… He even tells me when he couldn’t message me and why. He religiously does this, and I am surprised with his effort because I never really asked for it. He then tells me how he feels about me, that he loves me so much. He tries to learn my language and culture (although, that is really one of his interests) and calls me “Mahal” (love in my language). Now, I have had a few relationships before and this guy is 4x more attentive and sweet that I can’t help it, he makes me feel the same way… so intense.

    With all these you will think that he might be really into me, but there is one thing that is bothering me that I need your opinion about.

    Lately I discovered another girl, he met her before me and they may still be in contact. He calls her the same too, as she also lives here…it really upset me but I know I have no right to. I talked to him about it and he admitted. I am not his girlfriend anyway and she is also not his girlfriend. (Uhh.. sounds like an a** huh?) The thing is, before we met, he was talking to that girl but they had a fight and stopped talking. The girl is of a different religion, they barely talk.. like 2-3 a month, and they fight about her being so controlling and then he met me and fell in love with me. Now, I do feel he is sincere with how he feels about me although at the moment, he can’t chose and I understand that it is too early and he hasn’t met us yet to make a decision.

    Although, my female ego says, what the hell… I don’t wanna be an option… but again, we just met. I thought to give it a shot because I am enjoying every moment of it. I know this may end up badly because first of all… it is a long distance relationship plus the other girl factor… it challenges me and makes me excited and it also makes me feel jealous at times. I don’t know if I am doing the right thing so I am just going with the flow and letting things happen…. but by doing so, it makes me love him more and more. Also, my selfless side of me, even if I want him so bad for myself… so so so so bad, I feel like it’ll be very tough for him and I don’t want to make him suffer… so maybe one day I might just have to let go. 😦 I don’t know what to do. We still talk until now, nothing has changed.

  15. Every western women I know that has married an Italian man has ended up divorced. They all went the same way (you could write the script).

    Before they were married the guy would be really charming to everyone, including her family, then when they got married it would all change. The husband would stop going to his wife’s family functions, and when they did show up they would just spend all their time talking down to the rest of the family and generally giving the impression that they were better than her family. Or sitting in another room snoozing and not socializing at all.

    The proverbial snide comments about how western families don’t provide enough food and alcohol would also be thrown in. Despite the fact that western families have more of a ‘let’s all chip in’ kind of mentality, than a ‘my party will be better than everyone else’s’ kind of mentality.

    In every case the mother-in-law never truly accepted the daughter-in-law and they ended up ‘tolerating’ each other.

    In every case the man would end up insulting the woman in front of her family and friends, (usually with sexual innuendo), and making jokes about cheating on her.

    Eventually every guy has walked out on the woman and become generally very disdainful towards her and (even though fighting for custody of their child), have spent precious little time with the children when they have them…especially the girls, and rather pass them off to their mamma to do the entertaining…one may ask..what’s the point?

    One guy even started stripping the wallpaper off the wall of his baby’s nursery THE DAY AFTER he split with his wife!

    Another one announced he was leaving and stated that his wife and children were “holding him back”!

    My advice? Run for the hills and leave it for the Italian women who have clearly grown up with it, and expect no more from their ‘life-partner’.

    In my experience? These men are mollycoddled little boys who have been told from birth that they are the center of the universe and that women exist purely to please them.

    As for accepting cultural differences? The issue is a two way street, and Italians can be incredibly judgmental of non-Italian culture. In fact, Mediterraneans generally are very closed minded when it comes to culture outside of their own. It’s snobbery.

    Eh! Life’s too short.

  16. Interesting take a happily married American woman in Italy. That’s pretty rare. I retired to Rome in January 2014 and I’ve lost count of how many American women I’ve met who divorced Italian men. That’s not saying it’ll happen to you. I just think the cultural differences are greater than we think when we arrive with romance in our hearts.

    I’ve traveled all over the world and the battle of the sexes here is greater than anything I’ve ever seen. The women don’t trust the men; the men can’t stand women’s possessiveness, independence and jealousy. I delved into this subject in my own travel blog, Dog-Eared Passport: http://johnhendersontravel.com/2015/01/20/romes-war-of-the-sexes-makes-relationships-a-battlefield/comment-page-1/. Hope you like it. I don’t know if you’ve dated much here, but it is wildly different than the U.S.

    John Henderson
    Dog-Eared Passport: http://www.johnhendersontravel.com
    Johnhenrome@hotmail.com
    @JohnHendeRome

    • Oh don’t get me wrong. We have our moments. And I have to say – his behavior when we are away from Italy is FAR preferable to the Default Setting here!! 🙂 But, in general, I think I got pretty dern lucky… considering the stories I’ve heard!

  17. My husband was raised to put his mother first, so much so that her lack of respect for our marriage family unit has caused me to cut ties with her. I blame my husband for allowing her to behave in an unacceptable manner and he still puts her first. He will not question any of her wrong doings even the fact that she doesn’t even bother keeping in touch with our children her grandchildren. She is despicable and my husband has never faulted her. Although I care for my husband, so much disrespect and disloyalty has gone down in the marriage that our relationship has suffered and though I know that I do love him and would be devastated if we broke up, the close connection we had is no longer there. Had I known what evil inlaws I had and how my husband was never going to have my back, I definitely would never had married him.

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