Marriage the Iranian way, what do you think?


by Kamangir

In Iran, there're families and people that do not follow the majority's way of getting married. They do believe in love, in freedom to choose the person you want live with, based on the feelings and compatibilties between the two. I've met many families like that. However, the overall procedure of getting married has become so complex in Iran that books can be written about it. The weight of the family regarding this issue cannot be denied, their interferences go on after the marriage and this often leads to huge family confrontations where the 'just married' have no saying. Now, we may agree or disagree with the 'khastegari' procedure, we may like or dislike the presence and importance of the families involved, making decisions on behalf of their sons and daughters. However, there's another crucial issue that in the past and very specially during the last 3 decades has been part of our society both in Iran and abroad. This is simply the economic situation and the social status and titles of the male (although sometimes vice versa) This is perhaps one of the issues that is not directly caused or linked by the regime in Iran as it has everything to do with a very classist culture like ours. Let's simplify all this, let's say you fall in love with someone, regardless of what goes on between you and that person before getting married, there will be a time that both of you decide to get married. You know damn well, you'll have meet certain criteria, you already know that you will have to get the approval from that person's family. For the approval you need to show them that you're at least at the same socio-economical status as they are, if not better (specially if you're the male) You're degree really matters, your job definitely counts and above all your earnings and ecomomic stability. You also know that if you don't meet the above criteria, no matter how good you're as a person, no matter how much you love that person, you'll have to meet the criteria your partner's family has set for you. If you don't, they'll have others in mind. Now, the importance of your economic status has become so important in Iran, that most of the time the things that really matter between a man and a woman, do not count at all. It has become normal getting married because of money, cars, houses etc... although the existance of a foreign citizenship or residency can help if you're short of other 'prequisites'. It seems that your cultural level, your personality and other human attributes do not really matter. I have noticed that this whole state of affairs, is 'very much' present within Iranians living abroad, specially in countries with large Persian community. In most cases, living decades in the West, among Westerners has not changed this aspect of our culture, which can be described as extremely and viciously 'classist' or materialistic. I have seen self proclaimed 'upper class' rich Iranian families in the west ending up in courts of law, fights, jail and etc... because of some of the issues above. I would like to know what other Iranians honestly think about this issue. what aspects do you consider most serious, that need attention. There's this film called 'Dokhtar Irooni' casting Hedieh Tehrani and Amin Hayayi that describes this subject in a very beautiful and intelligent way. I've always been against families' intereferences, I'm against khastergari, against economic marriages, I'm single and there've been times that have been held back because I did not want to get involved in that whole storm, refusing to deal with anyone but the person I was interested in, and I know it's not practical with most Iranians. Please let us know what you think about this issue, what has gonne wrong? what needs to be changed and what do you think needs to remain unchanged. Why does the younger generation, even abroad, seem complicit in it? Why can't we just be like most most open-minded westerners, who get married because they want to be with that person. Where has all the simplicity gonne?



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The “western” marriages

by BMS (not verified) on

The “western” marriages have the highest divorce rate in the world, promptly followed by the European Nations. According to the (//, US leads the race with a whopping 4.95 per 1,000 people. Iran is not even listed. These type of results, which are backed up by many other search results and websites, allows me to cope and understand the purity of the khasteghari and family oriented selection on a different level. It’s not for everyone; I think having a high comfort level with oneself and ones abilities to govern a family is the most important part of any marriage. I myself am a 25 year old American - Iranian living in the US. Recently engaged to an Iranian girl from Iran raised in Iran. Point given, my case is different from many I have encountered. I chose my fiancé (nomzad) myself before the khasteghari took place. We never spent enough time with each other to fully understand each personality. However, I feel like she completes me in every way, and I hope I have the same effect on her. Now to be very frank, I have dated many girls from middle school through my college years. I encountered many personalities, virtues, characteristics, priorities, cultural values, and different family back grounds. Never had a problem meeting and dating, and found myself very comfortable with the opposite sex, thus giving me an insight look at my own likes and dislikes. I knew who I was and knew what I was looking for. I have this belief system (that works for me!) which works like this: (1) Khasteghari is designed for realistic people. It allows the two newly weds to become more familiarized with each other and their exopersonalities. The true reasoning for this is to see if both sides are indeed compatible to a certain level. Families being number 1, there is a good possibility that the girl/man will turn out to be very much like his/her inner family. Both genetics and Behaviorism play major rolls in a child’s then adult’s life. Other feelings have a tendency of just falling into place with time. (2) People that are against this type are not out of place, especially in Iran, as the article noted, women in Iran are having more trouble finding mates. Most of whom have never lived outside of the country, thus only imagining what western “love” is like. We humans have this disease that defiles all of us, which has poisoned me at one point or another. This malady is described as, wanting or experiencing what we don’t have. We constantly want something else, wanting to lead someone else’s life, mainly seen on the big screen. No matter how much you read about these type of situations you’re almost going to get a different outlook. EVERYONE has different experiences. So for number (2); get to know YOURSELF, and then you can decide on it for yourself. Ones failure does not mean the same for the other. Marriage is not easy, at all, but in the western world, and now poisoned the mother land, divorce is easy indeed. Working at it takes idealism, and courage. Not every one can do it. However the ones do live a long time telling about it.


I have nothing against this

by gordman on

I have nothing against this life philosophy, but what happens to those immature enough who think marriage is a joke and they still make that step? What happens to them when they have marriage problems? They simply get divorced and surrender at the first fight with no intentions for saving their marriages.


well said!

by NOT a-mail-order-brides (not verified) on

Marriage sucks no matter what. Times are different now. People are too indepedent and informed to abide by marrital sanctity created 5000 years ago. Stay single, have a life-long partner, or girl-friends. Enjoy life.


Re: r u trying to find a wife from Iran?

by Kamangir on

Dear friend

I'm not trying to find a wife from Iran. I do agree with everything you have said. That's the real sad reality. However, Iranian families living outside Iran 'usually' do raise their daughters the same way they would be raised in Iran. Therefore the 'dual' or very contradictory attitides and sexual obsessions you have referred to, are also present in many Iranian women and girls that grew up in the west. I'm better off being single, much better off.


r u trying to find a wife from Iran?

by NOT a-mail-order-brides (not verified) on

Marriage the Iranian way is about deception and lies. Sorry for my brutal honesty. If you are planning to marry someone from Iran, know this, she's desperate to get out of Iran--but with a twist. She wants to have it all, the husband abroad, the family and ex-boy friends in Iran, and green cards for everyone else she desires. So that's the catch. There's really no love involved, not that there's anything wrong with that. Are you trying to find someone from Iran? cause if so, then you are deceiving yourself to think that the girls in Iran are better than those here, but I know you are brain washed to believe that. It's self validation card stuck to our mothers (and other female relatives' heads). By saying Iranian girls are better in Iran is as if they are the ones wearing the virginhood crown themselves. No, they are not better, but may be worst. They suffer tremedous amount of sexual repression from the time of birth-that's forced them into some sort of a manufactured bipolar behavior (the closest thing that I can think of--I have no other words for it). They have grown some weird sexual obsessions--which under the circumstances, being born in a religious society, is of no shock to me.


Thanks very much!

by Kamangir on

I very much appreciate all your comments and opinions on this subject. Some of you have pointed out that's it's normal for a family to desire a good and stable future for their loved one, their daughter, which is very understandable. You have also referred to the fact that sometimes, no matter what, the in-laws will find faults and 'week points' in that person... and I really appreciate the comment made by 'mirror' who has shared with us a very good example of a descent, good man, who loves his wife above all, but not even this lets him completely off the hook. I'm certain that the reason I'm concerned with this issue, is because I'm a very average person 'financially' speaking and live in Vancouver, a city where a lot of visible rich Iranians live. I'm really glad we the new generation see all this with much more flexibility. What matters is the real appreciation and respect towards the person you want to be with, that what you feel towards that person is 'real' and mutual, in which case nobody, no force no storm can ever destroy it.

Thanks very much for all your comments.


I struggle with this

by tahcheen (not verified) on

I struggle with this situation too. My family is overbearing, and honestly believes they are "too good" for anyone. So the way I look at it is that it doesnt matter if the guy is the direct decendent of Cyrus the great, they will still find some kind of fault in him. I just live my life, love my family, and just hope that they will come to accept my decisions in life.

This is an especially difficult issue for 2nd generation iranians who have this American and Iranian cultural conflict.


In this case I'd leave Islam

by Mirror (not verified) on

In this case I'd leave Islam out of the picture.
I know of many people, Jewish, Christian ,Bahai's, atheists.... who think along the same lines as you mention and have this same criteria!
My sister married a man who was not financially "all that" when they married and my family, except for my brother and myself, were the only two fo us who were not against it.( My brother in law is a mini saint, he is a very nice guy)
Whan 5 years later my sister got seriously sick and bedridden, he looked after her as if she were his baby!
He did it for 3 years and never a word of complaint at all!
I know it was damn hard for him, but he did it because he loved(loves her)and out of the goodness of his heart. I always admire him...
He is a very kind, decent human being but does not have a whole bunch of money ( he makes enough as a programmer). Now the famiy loves him but sometimes they still say: " well if he was really well off he wouldn't have had to to do all that he did for her by himself, he could have gotten a 24 hour nurse and sitter and a driver to take her back and forth to the doctors!!!
I've argued and gotten mad at them enough times, but I've kind of given up on it now. -they're too old to understand the concept.
My sister is now well, thank God, and she's back to work and they are a happy couple who do not let the family interfere with their lives!
Real human beings are hard to find these days!


No matter where, there will

by Anonymous3434344 (not verified) on

No matter where, there will always be criterias. It is impossile to have a person and only deal directly with them. Their family is part of their life. What they say matters.The family has criterias they have to meet to please you too. Do you want her to have ghachaghchi parents who will get you involved with the law? Or really terrible family that doesn't love each other and wants to constantly cause problems? etc? You are saying in your own declaration that you 've been held back sometimes because of the families getting (or potentially getting) involved in the whole business. That's a criteria you've set! So for you, a person with a family meddling in everything is unacceptable! Other families have other criterias. They want financial stability for thei daughters. They want a secure home. They want a husband witha stable job and educational history. Sure some people go over board but most people want their children to have a good future. Marriage and love does not exist in a vaccum. This isn't Utopia land. You have to understand to be flexible and accept to meet criterias set by the family. Obviously if the criterias are ridiculous (e.g 30 000 wedding ring, over the top arusi, outrageious income, etc....) you say, "thanks but no thanks, you don't meet MY criteria".


I think love is good, but

by Anonymousfdafadff (not verified) on

I think love is good, but money is the number one factor of controversy in a marriage. As such, you should try to fall in love with someone of a similar socio-economic background.


Kamingir.. I agree. Contrary

by Pesar Irooni (not verified) on

Kamingir.. I agree.
Contrary to what the person before me just left as a comment, I don't think Islam has anything to do with it. The class structure was brought upon us by the English (hamechi sare een englisas!) and i'm not very proud of it either Kamingir jaan. Only time will heal it.. small steps. Meanwhile, all we can do is start from within and educate our own family members. Instead of cursing religion like the person before me just did, we should take that negative energy and turn it into positive energy for our kids.

I think this feature of our culture is somewhat of a negative feature, but try and think of the positive features.


In relationship, ownership must be eliminated

by Mehrazar (not verified) on

The ownership in relationship sucks and has to be thrown away and replaced by valuing dignity of each person.

The Islam is an obstacle here. Either, we must crush Islam or Islam must really go under heavy duty reform. I doubt that Moslems are capable of this reform task because of lack of competence have shown in last 1400 years. So, I go with former solution.