Babak's Story

"I want to help her leave her husband, so that the two of us can be together"


Babak's Story
by Nazy Kaviani

From the "Kissing All The Frogs" Series*

Maryam loved Babak and Azita. They were her best friends in the world. Babak had been her first friend in the US, when she had first arrived from Iran. She and Babak had gone through college together, had helped each other through some rough time, and had celebrated each other’s weddings. They had also helped each other through their divorces. They could talk about anything and everything, politics and arts and gossip, and they never grew tired of each other’s company. Luckily for both of them, the men and women who had entered each of their lives seldom felt threatened by their deep friendship. Maryam was so happy to see Babak’s life brighten up when Azita entered it. Mature adults and professionals, lovely and compatible together, they were a joy to watch and to have around. Maryam was so happy Babak had finally found the true love of his life, a woman who could keep up with him and present excitement for him. Over the past five years, Maryam had seen them meet, fall in love, date, and finally move in together three years ago. Babak had quit his job two years ago to start a new business with his partner, Homayoon. By all accounts and evidence, it seemed like their business was thriving and doing well.

Maryam hadn’t seen Babak in three months. Yes, she had seen him, but not really. She hadn’t been able to talk to Babak. He worked long hours quite a distance from where she lived, and seemed to keep really long hours at work. The few times she had seen her friend had been at busy and noisy events, never having a chance to chat. Their smaller gatherings were all missed by a working Babak, and were only attended by sweet Azita who always told Maryam how much she missed doing things with Babak, and how much she hoped for the business to reach a point where Babak could have a replacement some of the time, so that they could go back to their lives, taking trips and sleeping in on the weekends again.

That night when Maryam finally saw Babak at a gathering with other friends, she couldn’t resist telling him off for having ignored her for three months!

“Bah Bah, Bi Marefat! Where have you been?!! I miss you so much!” Babak looked so tired, so haggard. He was sporting a short beard which made him look gaunt and older all of a sudden. And what was that look in his eyes? Maryam knew instinctively that her friend wasn’t happy. What was it? The business? The economy? She tried to cajole him into a discussion: “The whole world has changed since the last time I saw you! I have missed talking to you about it! You never return my phone calls, either! What’s up with ya?” Babak reached for Maryam’s arm and said: “Hey, how about a cigarette?” Maryam obliged and grabbing her purse, the two of them stepped into their friends’ balcony and shut the sliding glass doors behind them.

Babak wasn’t saying anything, so Maryam went on complaining about his having ignored her for weeks. She was about to continue teasing him mercilessly when she took note of her friend’s facial expression again and knew this time with certainty that something was really wrong. So, she said: “Babak, are you O.K.?” Babak said: “No, I’m not O.K.” Maryam said: “What’s wrong? What is it? You know you can tell me anything.” Babak said: “I’m not so sure of that! There are things I have been wanting to tell you, but I couldn’t. I didn’t think you would take them very well.” Maryam said: “Since when?! You know we have always been able to talk. Just tell me what it is. Maybe I can help you.” Babak said: “No one can help me. I’m in a mess.” Maryam said: “Is it your business? Your loans? Your health? What is it, you’re killing me!” Babak said: “No. It’s none of those.” And before the silence that fell was further extended, he said: “I love someone else.”

Maryam was speechless. Through the glass door she could see their friends gathering around the dining table, talking and laughing. She could see sweet Azita, with her gorgeous hair and exquisite face surrounded by others. She said: “How long has this been going on?” Babak said “Six months.” Maryam said: “Does Azita know?” Babak said: “No. She doesn’t know. But I want to tell her. Soon.” Maryam’s heart was racing. She said: “No, don’t rush it! Wait! Who is this other woman? I mean it doesn’t matter who she is. What I mean is does this other woman know that you love her? I mean are you guys having an affair, or is it just an interest, an infatuation, something in your head?” Babak said: “It’s past all those stages.” Maryam said: “Are you sleeping with her?” And Babak shook his head, yes. Maryam said: “So, that’s it? You want to leave Azita for this other woman? You love her, Man! And she loves you! You guys have been through so much together for five years! You guys are so perfect together! In all the time I have known you, you never seemed happier than the years you have been with Azita. Why would you want to ruin all that?” Babak wasn’t saying anything. Just standing there, taking deep drags on his second cigarette, and looking miserable. Maryam said: “So, have you already discussed this with the other woman? I mean have you guys planned it so you would leave Azita and the two of you would get together? I guess I’m trying to find out whether this is ‘final?’” Babak said: “We can’t do anything yet.” Maryam said: “Oh really?!! It sounds like you have already accomplished a lot! What do you mean “we can’t do anything yet?” As Maryam was saying this, she was hoping that the situation wasn’t really concrete, that this was just a passing affair, and that Babak wasn’t going to take any further steps to ruin his life with Azita. Babak said: “She can’t join me yet. She is married.”

Maryam’s face was burning. Her palms were sweaty, and her heart was beating too fast. She said: “Babak, what’s wrong with you, Man? You are in a long-term relationship with one of the nicest people I have ever known, and you have to ruin it by having an affair with a married woman!? Jeez, talk about complicating your life! Obviously, the two of you must have been unhappy in your relationships or why would you even contemplate having affairs which would hurt so many people in the process? But couldn’t you each seek some couples counseling and try to sort things out with your partners? It just seems like such a lot of heartache my friend.”

Babak said: “Are you going to preach or are you going to help me? I love Azita. I don’t want to hurt her. I just don’t love her as my lover anymore. I love another woman. I want to help her leave her husband, so that the two of us can be together. But things are really messy, really complicated. I am risking so much for this. I need help.” Maryam said: “Risk? What risk? Do you mean hurting Azita’s feelings? I think you’re past that even if she doesn’t know it yet.” Babak said: “Well, no, I was talking about losing my business.” Maryam said: “Losing your business? How? You think Azita will come after your money? Why would you even be thinking that right now? She doesn’t know anything and her whole world will be coming to an end soon. And you’re thinking about your business?” Babak said: “I don’t think Azita will harm me that way.” Maryam said: “But you said you’re worried for your business.” Babak took a deep sigh and said: “The woman I love, the one I want to marry, is my partner's wife.”

The sliding doors opened to deliver two other smokers into the cool evening on the balcony. The silence was deafening.

* Names, places, and other identifying attributes of this series' characters are made-up and a work of fiction. The relationship and the dilemma at the heart of each story is true and that's all that is true.

Part [1], Part [2], Part [3], Part [4], Part [5], Part [6], Part [7], Part [8], Part [9], Part [10]



Recently by Nazy KavianiCommentsDate
Nov 22, 2012
Dark & Cold
Sep 14, 2012
Talking Walls
Sep 07, 2012
more from Nazy Kaviani

The Mrs,

by KouroshS (not verified) on

Your Reply, The Mrs.

Testing each other by living together.. Okay. but Until when? What is the purpose of this testing if there is no love involved, or if rhis union does not turn into one with love? Would that not be like a more formal type of "friendship with benefits"?
I am not denying the legitimacy of such a union, of course it is, based on a pure defintion of a union, But if they are not really in love, then that means they don't have a real bond between each other, and as a result no reason whatseover to stay faithful to one another. Anyone is free to walk out that door anytime and for any reason. Who cares.

You keep basing your assertions on historical facts and traditions. I don't buy that for one second. Historical facts do not play a significant role, in fact they do not play any role, in making decisions pertaining marriage nowadays. Most people care about love, regardless of whether it has been a part in the long history of marriages and unions, up to that point or not.

And The fact that cheating is not so uncommon, only speaks tothe weakness and lack of confidence on the part of an individual who engages in it, It does not make marriage the culprit. People do it because they are stupid as hell, and if this is blamed on prevalence of marriage in their society, that is just absolute whitewash.

Men can do a lot of things based on Islamic laws, But do they? do they do anything and everything that the law allows them to do, without utilizing their own judgement?
Every modern and liberal and educated man that i know is vehemently against such an idea.

It is undeniable that our society, both in iran and usa, are in need of so many fixes, but let us not
put marriage and love in the hot seat.


Adultry seems to be a popular topic

by t (not verified) on

Is it my imagination to think adultery is a popular topic amongst Iranians. I think there is more of it going on in this traditional culture than the American culture. Why? Could it because we marry for money and the last name when we're young to please our families and our Iranian society and then fall in love at a later age?


Nazy, don't worry you’re doing great

by Anonymous Mnonymous (not verified) on

Don’t worry about a thing. I agree with everything you said about trying to keep your friends’ identities secret, I had a misunderstanding about that issue myself a few stories ago, and you very eloquently explained it already, never the less it is great that you talked about it here again.

On the subject of Online Dating, I’m writing something about that issue myself as we speak. Maybe I’ll get a chance to post some of it here whenever you publish the story.


To mr Kourosh

by TheMrs on

I wasn't referring to anything in my personal life. It was a general comment. Not that anything general isn't can't be personal. I was merely responding to what was said. And that was, a couple who live together can test each other just as well by living together. And that if a couple doesn't get married, then they're not really in love or don't have some sort of basic foundation to build a legitimate union. And to that, I cannot agree. I stated why already.

Secondly, this is a historical fact. Love has not, traditionally, been part of marriage. Whereas various institutions of mistressdom has flourished in any society that is insistent upon marriage. Therefore, this business of cheating is not such an uncommon thing. It's every where. There was a time, it was legitimized through concubines, harems and so on.

4- A man's right? In Islam, dudes can marry 4 times. Need I say more? Society is usually more forgiving to men who cheat than to women in the same position. It doesn't make either one a saint or a sinner. Again, I was just pointing out a reality.  


Nazy Kaviani

Dear Souri and Mnonymous

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your vote of confidence! Past the initial pain of sharing the heartbreaks of my friends and the effort I have had to make to conceal my friends' identities, it has been a lot of fun to write these series! All through the time I have been writing for and other places, I have always had the good fortune of generating discussions on many pieces I have written, but these series and their comments have been really special to me. I know you know that from the very first thing I wrote in the series, I never said I was a sociologist or a psychologist or even a knowing woman; au contraire, my own sense of confusion and lost-ness has been a guiding force in writing them. Before starting to write the series, I chatted some with Jahanshah about some of the topics, showing him some of the writing long before it was published. I don't agree that this has felt like a hamoom-zanooneh, except if we develop the definition of a hamoom-zanooneh to go coed and let the men who read the stories and comment on them to enter, too!

I know my writing could be better and I am grateful to my fellow blogger for having pointed that out. I know that when I take time to write something, leave it, come back and read it again and tweak it (several times), and show it to my close friends, my writing reads better and it gets better reaction. I am grateful to Another Blogger for cautioning me and I will heed that call.

As of this time I have three other stories which are in different stages of development. One is about imported brides, one is about internet dating, and the last one is about matchmaking. In all the stories I have tried to put forward the way Iranians in diaspora are approaching the modern day relationships. In fact my humble writings were just feeble step in getting the subjects on the table. What other people have contributed with their stories is what has enriched the dialogue, to be sure. All of us are talking about bringing our cultural values and traditions and taboos into a different time and location in the world, trying to make sense of our choices and decisions, our failures and our triumphs.

And of course how can you discuss relationships if you don't talk about sex? Should I write stories about relationships where people go to each other's khastegari and get married and live happily ever after? Writing about sex was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my writing (even harder than writing something very funny, which I tried a while back!)! I continue to plough ahead with the Iranian angle.

As I have mentioned before, some of these pieces are my own. The ones which aren't my stories have been run by their owners through development stages prior to publication. I would be friendless if I ran and recklessly told my friends' secrets to the world, now, wouldn't I?

Thank you again for your support and for staying in the conversation. You guys rock!


Nazy, don’t you dare change a thing

by Anonymous Mnonymous (not verified) on

Well, if you want to try harder to do better that’s fine, there is nothing wrong with that, and just by saying what you said it indicates that you have high integrity, but never mind what 'another blogger' is saying about “there’s no character development. The storyline is cliché. The ending so predictable and so weak. All your women resemble each other. Everything turns around sex. Everything so superficial.” I don’t agree with a single one of these sentences.

In your stories NOT everything turns around sex alone, although the best story in my opinion was “Goli’s Story”, which I thought was very sensual. I believe, for short stories, your characters ARE well developed given the limited space. I particularly don't care about reading long and winding books, but on the contrary I greatly enjoy short stories as yours, and honestly, many readers visit this website for quick readings, and the type of stories you write suits them fine.

“The storyline is cliché”?! So in 'another blogger’s' opinion, for example a triangle love affair is cliché, so why don’t we all stop writing about the subject of Love altogether, no more articles, books, poems, or comments about love from here on because it’s been done before and it’s cliché! This is just unbelievable! Who did ever write a short story about three, four or five, Iranians in Diaspora entangled in a messy love affair like this before? I know, I know, ‘zan’e rooz’ some 30-35 years ago wrote stories like that, so now it is cliché; give me a break please!

“The ending so predictable and so Weak”, so 'another blogger' is saying you shouldn’t be trying so hard to be true to the real people behind these stories and just make up “stronger” and “unpredictable” ending. For what?! To keep “critics” like another blogger happy?! Well, don’t you dare change what you’re doing because I like them the way they are, and the reason I like them is because they feel real to me. I’ve related to a few of your stories already, and I felt as a piece of me, a piece of my life was in them.

You don’t need to be “a specialist in mental health field, or in sociology” to connect to people’s heart. Was the singer ‘Aghasi’ a sociologist? Ordinary people loved him because he spoke their language. I bet I’ll never in my lifetime see a psychologist, sociologist, or any person with a PhD as popular as he was. Now that 'another blogger' saud it, I don’t want to know what you do for a living, I don't care to read your Bio, do a Google search to find out what your profession is, because it does not matter to me; you are a great story teller, and for that you don’t need a degree to validate you. You are a natural.


Dear another blogger

by Souri on

Unlike you, I like this "frog kissing' series. As you are fully aware now, IC has different type of readers. Actually I am one of those, not too intellectual and like this kind of discussion, because in my daily life, I'm also confronted with those relationship-type problems. This is life, the real life. Nazy has a great talent to paint the ordinary people's problems, with the bold and amazing color of her writing style.

Yes, there are lots of "gheybat" if you want to call it so, but for the ordinray people like myself, this is interesting and I really enjoy reading those stories of the real people's life. Analyzing and understanding human behaviour looks a lot like " khaleh zanak bazi" .

I dare to say so as I have a friend who is therapist  and the other one who is doctor specialized in the treatment of "drug addiction" .Both are very much involved with their patients and talk a lot with them about their private and intimate life style.

Sometimes when we get together, they also talk about their patient's personal problems, without mentioning thier names of course :O)

So, I resume to say, we are not in the hamaam zanaaneh doing gheybat, but just we like to see and analyse the human behaviour trough their sentimental affaires. 

People are different, tastes are different too. I'm really interested to the kinda "marriage/divorce/affaire" type of relationship between men and women. Hope Nazy jan would not stop this series just for the sake of writing a novel :O)

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Another

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your kind input and suggestion my friend. Chashm. I'll try harder to do better.


Dear Ms. Kaviany

by another blogger (not verified) on

Dear Ms. Kaviany,

I'm not going to discuss the subject of your story. I've been reading your cool blogs for a long time and I've got to say that I'm so disappointed in this Kissing the wrong frogs stories.

I think you're capable of a higher quality writing and you should reconsider (and fully rewrite) each of the stories in this series. You're not a specialist in mental health field, or in sociology, so reading the stories and the comments that follow feels more like 'hamaam zanooneh'! (Baba in hamash mesle gheibat posht-e doostaaye khodet mimooneh.)
There's no character development. The storyline is cliche. The ending so predictable and so weak. All your women resemble each other. Everything turns around sex. Everything so superficial. I simply cannot see the good - yes the good - at the end.

Please Ms. Nazy. You're a good writer. I'd say the best. You're not a shallow person. Don't bring down your own level of expectations! Please don't feel offended. I mean well.


Another blogger on

Zan Amrikai

One more thing

by Zan Amrikai on

Nazy, having lived through this, and done the very intense work needed for healing and creating a new life, I have to say that my opinion regarding marriages hit by infidelity is 180 degrees opposite from what it used to be.  Before it ever happened, I thought Lorena Bobbit would have nothing on me. When it did happen, I spent agonizing months wondering what I did to cause it, condemning myself for being so imperfect.  But, in addition to the guilt and humiliation and grief, the rage was FAR stronger than I had ever imagined it would be! But so was the pain. I was a walking dead person.  Being betrayed by a spouse is a surefire way to lose a lot of weight fast; I only recommend it for my worst enemies. So back then I used to think, "Reconcile, keep your vows, you have children, save the marriage!"  Now I think that is almost always impossible, and not even desireable, to be honest.  Once a person cheats, and particularly if they lie when caught, and it goes on and becomes more than just a "fling," they aren't worth your time or energy anymore.  Oh, you'll have to put a lot of time and energy into dealing with the aftermath, and you'd be wise to spend a good amount of time with a capable therapist, but as for the cheating spouse?  Good riddance.  As my brother said, "He is having to lie in the bed of his own making.  Be glad he isn't in your bed anymore!"  Amen!

Zan Amrikai

Forget the tea, Nazyjoon; you and I are having wine!

by Zan Amrikai on

Dorosteh, azizam, dorosteh, on two points: 1) sometimes spouses become entirely out of touch with how they are forgetting to keep romance alive (the women get fat, the men ask what's for dinner) and 2) some men (more often than women) are serial cheaters.  Maybe it's like the big cats (lions, tigers, cougars): once they have killed/eaten humans, they have to be put down because they'll do it AGAIN.  LOL!

You asked me for my honest opinion about this.  I don't think it's only Iranians who hope dearly for the couple to reconcile (especially if there are children). I am not sure why anyone would think that any nationality or ethnicity would have "more" of a desire for an intact union than another.  However, I would agree with anyone who points out that American culture is quite degenerate in many ways, and indeed, infidelity is seen as desireable.  For GOD's sake--check out the latest advertisements on they are married women looking for a man to cheat with!  God help us all.

I think the subject is too complicated, again, to address every affair equally.  The website link I posted has a lot of insight about affairs, and why they happen. There are lots of reasons, lot of kinds of affairs.  They are almost all very destructive. I do not make the assumption that every victim/every betrayed spouse is an angel.   Quite the contrary. I make the assumption that we are all a**holes and fallible!  (Laugh here!) However, that neither condones nor justifies any infidelity, because infidelity always means trust has been destroyed.  Fidel means faithful, infidel means unfaithful.  What happens when faith is lost? Trust is lost and then, good luck getting it back.

I do believe strongly that the only way relationships rent asunder by adultery can even hope to heal (and mark my words, they will never be the same) is only if the adulterer is willing to be entirely accountable to someone. And I mean entirely willing. Otherwise, it's only a game and it's prolonged agony for the betrayed person.  In my own situation, "Trust me" was supposed to be good enough.  Yeah, sure, baby, about as far as I can throw you, that's how far I trust you out of my sight.  And with damn good reason, I might add. (And with good riddance at this point, too!)

Sometimes adultery is a wake up call to a spouse who really has been out of touch with the other's needs, but both spouses truly love and respect one another and have had a generally happy union. This scenario presents the biggest possibility for healing, I think. Twas not my situation.

Still, I got over it, and am thankful it happened, because with my own commitment to my vows, I would have stayed married to a man who treated me like, well, let's just not say.

Nazy, get over to MY neck of the woods soon--I have wine, tea, coffee, champagne, a fireplace, snow...and all that's missing is good friends to enjoy it all together long into the night talking and laughing and being glad to be alive!


Honor your contracts

by Anonymous Opinion (not verified) on

Marriage is a legal contract between two people of opposite gender (almost universally in most part of the world). Since these people apparently live in the USA, it is safe to assume that their legal contract is for a monogamous relationship. As in any legal contract, when one part of a contract is violated the entire contract is null. Homayoon’s wife (I wish she had a name) is in violation of her contractual agreement with her husband. She should immediately bring this to the attention of her contractual partner, and allow him to decide what he wants to do with their contract, since adultery is a deal breaker.

Azita and Babak do not have a legal contract, but a private one. What they have agreed upon in their own privacy is not a legal matter in most cases (disregarding the fact that in some States cohabitation is legally bonding). Babak needs to decide for himself what he wants to do with his private contract with Azita, as long as she is not aware of what’s been happening. Azita is not yet aware of any violations in her private contract with Babak, so at this point she is a non-issue.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Zan Amrikai

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you so much for coming and for leaving your valuable insight with us, twice! I owe you a lot more than a cup of tea!

You and I have discussed this one before when you visited my personal blogs. I appreciate that it's one thing to read and know about it when others have been involved in similar situations, and it is an entirely different thing when your life has been affected by it. Like you, I happen to also know a thing or two about the subject.

You are astute to point out Babak's level of responsibility in this. The real people whose lives were very briefly discussed here are all mature. In the interest of discussion, I did leave some other pieces of information out, because I decided they would only complicate the discussion and polarize it further. For example, there were several children involved in those relationships and those individuals' past relationships. It would be hard to see the individuals in the story clearly if we had to be distracted by the pain and suffering of the children, too. Not having mentioned them, though, doesn't eliminate them from the equation and what those children may have to hear and know, above and beyond the changes and adjustments they would have to endure in their lives.

I agree with you to a great degree that it wasn't Azita's or Homayoun's "fault" that the other two decided to do something less than perfect. I do, however, want to make a painful note. We have known of serial cheater men. This story is not about people who routinely engage in extramarital affairs. That is a different topic. We are talking about one affair, and a very unexpected one at that.

I think people who take their marriages/relationships for granted, assuming that for whatever reason, love, longevity, children, or shared assets, their relationships are somehow forever, fall the hardest when the digressions are discovered. I think people have to be more alert, more savvy, and more agile in their committed relationships. I have seen too many men and women who have let their figures and looks go, feeling secure in their relationship with their partner. I have also seen men and women who have been completely unaware of the changes and growths which had been happening in their partners. Those were the relationships which were somehow more prone to affairs, I think. (Heeh, did you read that joke that "Anonymous-Joke" left below?! Batman's husband, the one fetching a beer after seeing her dressed up like that, is the one who might be going through this next!)

And a question I have for you--what do you think are the chances of a reconcilliation/forgiveness for couples after someone cheats on another? As I mentioned before somewhere, Iranians have an almost silly obsession with "aashti" or reuniting of a sparring couple. Many step in to fix the couple and to send them back into their relationship. What do you think are the chances of that one working?

Thanks again for coming into the discussion. (Chaee, shirini, martini, whatever you want when you are in my neighborhood!)

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Solo

by Nazy Kaviani on

Heeh! You're so right! My Prince Charming will have to find out about me, find my house, and then come knock at my door, because I'm spending my Saturday at home, typing away on a white page!

I wouldn't stone a cheater. I wouldn't need to, dear Solo. You may or may not have known people whose lives took a turn like this. I have. Much as the storyteller, in fact I don't judge the people in an affair and their subsequent actions, at least not too harshly, because they are and will be suffering enough, whether they know it now or not. When my friends have told me about affairs, I have cautioned them about the complications their lives will have to go through, that's the extent of my judgement.

The point I raised was with your earlier comment in which you had said: "...Ms. Azita will be able to spot immediately where she went wrong, Mr. Homayoon's wife will be glad where she went right..." I disagree that Mr. Homayoon's wife did ANYTHING right.

You are right. I don't know you at all. In fact I should know better than to try to guess your approaches to life behind the limited writing pieces I have seen of you. That goes with all anonymous writers and commentators on the site, though through time I have developed some valuable friendships and more personal insight into some of my readers. I write under my real name and talk candidly and freely about many aspects of my life and my experiences, whether they are elaborate or simple, wise or naive. If it appears that I have made any assumptions about you, please forgive me.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on


Zan Amrikai

Nazy, you owe me a cup of tea!

by Zan Amrikai on

Perhaps it's for the better that everything I just wrote and was about to post was inadvertently deleted.  (I hit enter or something and the next thing I know the page is reloading and deleting what I wrote!)

I could write a book about this topic.  No, seriously, I mean it. 

So many issues are raised in these comments that were I to respond to them all (the way my natural bent would lead me to do), Nazy would ask me to please never read her stuff again because my posts would be too long in reply!

But I do want to ask this.  A show of hands, please:

1) you have been unfaithful to your spouse/significant other

2) you have been the betrayed spouse/significant other

3) you have been the other person


My experience has taught me that what we believed about any of this changes once we experience the reality of the situation. Whereas most of us, I would dare say, consider infidelity wrong, nowadays many justify it or downplay its devastation.  In my experience, those who justify or downplay it are usually those who have been unfaithful or they have never been betrayed.  Adultery is extremely difficult to live through for the betrayed person(s).  Yes, as someone said here, people make mistakes.  That is not the issue. Adultery is far more than just "making a mistake."  It is a conscious choice, not just a mistake.

One thing I will say and then I will not say more--even though I know I am opening a can of worms here--and that is this: Adultery is not about the person betrayed.  EVER. It is about the one who betrays.  It is NEVER anyone else's "fault" that someone cheats.  It is always and only the "fault" of the one(s) who cheat. That doesn't mean that the victim is perfect.   For heaven's sake, no one is perfect. But there are a lot of misconceptions about adultery. IMHO, Babak is an immature, self-indulgent man. Didn't you say, Nazy, that he and Maryam had helped each other go through divorces? So, he'd been married once before, and then, to fool himself that he'd be "more committed without the paper" he lives with Azita, and then, when real life comes in and integrity is called for, Babak has an affair.  What a loser, and how common are the Babaks of the world. God Almighty, I pity his trusting partner! I agree with the people who said it's important to be happy (since my divorce I agree with that statement far more than I ever have)--but not at the expense of someone who should truly matter. You think you "love" someone new?  Whatever.  So then, get a divorce for God's sake, or move out of the house/relationship and tell the truth with dignity and respect for the person you once loved so much that you would never imagine being unfaithful, and THEN start the relationship with the Other Person. But obviously I am speaking to people who would have integrity and would not want to sacrifice that integrity.  Those without it would only want what they want when they want it.  Part of the attraction of infidelity is the secrecy.  We are such fools.

This issue is very personal for me and it is inherently an extremely complicated issue.  One thing that I would caution others about hee, and I mean this quite sincerely, is that the most important thing you can do is see that this is Babak's choice and it is not because of anything Azita did or did not say or do.   This is paramount in understanding infidelity.

//  In case you want other opinions--from all three sides.

Zan Amrikai


by Zan Amrikai on

I haven't read it yet, just the first few paragraphs, but I had to post. I got to the line that said he was working a lot and I said, "AFFAIR." 

Not that I was GLAD to find out I was right...just that I have quite a sixth sense (paranoia?) about these things after my own experiences. 

 OK now back to finish reading...

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Solo

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your comment, though some of your convictions have acidic properties for my miserably romantic (and yes, naive!) heart!

When I get berrated for my hopeless belief in love which could bring two people together and keep them in a relationship which grows only more loving everyday, I temporarily retreat and get filled with doubt, for I can intellectually process what people are telling me but somehow emotionally I can't! I can't believe that for every person who is out there looking, there isn't one waiting to be found! And yes, while people are looking, they kiss all these wrong frogs, but somehow the optimism doesn't leave me that the one looking will eventually find.

I love reading your take on things, but I don't know if I'm brave enough to try any of your ideas at home!

One last thing, and this again is from having had some married female friends who did cheat on their marriages: Homayoun's wife didn't do ANYTHING right. Her relationship with her husband and the new man in her life will FOREVER be tainted and haunted by that mistake. Yes, she might take Homayoun's money and Azita's lover home with her, but she will also be taking herself with her! She will live to say one day: "I wished I had finished what was on my plate first!" Married people who find themselves seriously attracted to others should consider a divorce as soon as their hormones settle down, that's what I think.


Contentment vs. happiness

by Princess on

I think understanding the difference between love and infatuation, on the one hand, and happiness and contentment, on the other, are core issues in this story. In my opinion, while infatuation and happiness are outward- looking and short-term, love and contentment are fundamentally inward- looking and long-term.


Unfortunately, achieving contentment and love is very seldom because it takes much patience, maturity, self-knowledge as well as acceptance of the self and the other, to attain it. Once we accept this, the moral problem with Babak in this story is not that he has fallen out of love with Azita – although I find the phrase “falling out of love” an oxymoron – but it’s his dishonestly towards people who seem to have put so much trust in him that I find despicable.


As grown ups, I think we can agree that everybody makes mistakes at some point. I think depending on the circumstances slipping once could be forgiven, but a long-term premeditative misuse of trust is unforgivable. As humans we are all fallible, but to use an analogy few would dispute the difference between manslaughter and murder.



Nazyy khanoom.

by Kouroshs (not verified) on

Thank you , once again
for giving us this chance to be actively involved and exchanging ideas so passionately.
I could not have said it any better myself. It matters so much, how two people develope and expand their relationship, based on the loyalty they display toward one another.

Nazzy jan, i can not really give it any names, but i think it is absolute insanity for a man do such a thing, granted that up to this point, azita has maintained a clean record. You know what i am saying?:)

I hate that. I seriously despise adultery.
It takes a huge amount of self-control, and self-respect for someonen not to engage in such an activity, regardless of how unhappy he or she is in their current relationship. Sadly, It is justified, according to a few of the comment writer's logic and it is considered as a way to "grab life by the horn" and living in the moment.

Look forward to more commenst and more discussions:)


Going home is a good idea.

by KouroshS (not verified) on

The Mrs.

1 -Living together is a very big step in gauging their level of compatibility. How can two people claim that they are committed to each other, yet do not have any intention whatsoever of moving and living with each other before their big leap? How can they expand their relationship and really understand things about each other, based on which they can know whether and up to what level they would want to stay committed. fromm what i understand azita has lived with him for three years. she has done at least part of her homework. Good job azi!

2- OH please! Let's us be fair and hold that against, those who cheat and are unfaithful to their marital vows, which incidentally happen to be a very small percentage. To say that marriage does not mean/include Love is such contradiction in terms.
You married based on LOVE, Did you not? DO you believe that these ancient and outdated historical facts apply to your own marriage?

3- Still, many committed couples , want marriage to be the official seal of their committment to each other. It feels so much more legitimate to them, becaus it has been a tradition.
4- Refrain from generalizing this. That is an exception and not a norm. It is created out of weakness and lack of a strong will. To say that cheating has almost been a man's right, is a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think? It has existed as an option only for those who out of sheer ignorance and immaturity choose to go that way.

5- While i am checking on the divorce rates, it would be a good idea that you take a look at how many divorced or separated couple decide to re-new their vows and resume their married lives together.
The reason why this happens is Because of those same firm principles and right reasons:)

Pardon me for making this observation But, If i may say so, While i see so much resentment in you towards the idea of marriage and how unrealistic it can be, I am baffled at the same time as to how you have you been able to survive your own marriage!!

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Kourosh S.:

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for coming back and thank you for your passionate argument in favor of marriage. Many people argue that marriage is passe. Though I do see some Iranians venture into the non-traditional commitment, I think Iranians by and large still believe this to be the way to go, to seal and legitimize the union. At the end of the day, a marriage is just a piece of signed paper that sits in a safe somewhere. It is the union of the two people which matters the most. How meaningful and practical that union is, is of importance here.

I think as our story shows, two people cheated and renaged on their unions, one officially married and one only verbally (and emotionally?) committed to another. What Homayoun's wife did is considered adultery* in traditional cultural terms. What do you think is the name of what Babak did vis a vis Azita?

* I had a most interesting email discussion with author Majid Naficy about the term "adultery" recently, when he wrote about the story of Vis and Ramin. He called it one of the many "non-customary sexual relationships!" What do you think?

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Rajab:

by Nazy Kaviani on

Good to have you back, my contrary friend! Heeh! I think I write these things to get you to come out and say what only you can say! Kidding aside, it's good to have you back in the discussion.

Let's look at what you said. How do affairs start? Always by a woman who shows interest and eventually seduces the poor man who was sitting there, having his maast?!! As in any other human interaction, it takes two to tango here! I hold that people who are happy in their relationships don't "look" around. People who "look" will "find," sooner or later. Certainly a president couldn't readily go out and look and find (like he did when he was a governor!), so he was looking inside his office! He looked and he found a willing partner. That's how that one got started, I believe.

Rajab, should a woman demand to be married before she moves in with a man? Isn't the very act of moving in together a higher notch on the commitment ruler? If Azita had played hard-to-get, asking for a ring and a marriage certificate before moving in, would she have been a more legitimate partner? And just because she did not ask for a ring, but did all the things a committed, monogomous partner would do, was she fair game for betrayal?

You need to help me understand something here. You are only mad at middle-aged Iranian women who can't get adjusted to the realities of the here and now world. Some people seem to be mad at all Iranian women, no matter what they do!

I think what Azita and Babak had was as close to a modern day permanent commitment as any. In the US, I have seen American couples who lived together for ten years before they officially married. Why those guys insisted on a marriage is beyond my comprehension, except to change their tax category, which incidentally does improve people's earning status drastically.



by Anonymous Mnonymous (not verified) on

I used to leave my television on all day for companionship, then one day this creature of my opposite gender asked me to move in with…to cohabit…to live in together, so we became each others companions for several years (that means more than three years). Then this person of my opposite gender asked to get married, so we did and we started a different kind of cohabitation...we started a different kind of life together that was exactly the same as before except with more headaches. I now have iraniandotcom for companionship, not my television or that person, but iraniandotcom, and I’ll be darn if I ever again have any creature of my opposite gender live with me for companionship, because I unconditionally LOVE iraniandotcom for the rest of my life. I hope that explains what the difference between not being sure of and being totally committed is.

Now that I got that out of the way, I need to say that maybe some people are under some kind of wrong impression here. I was extremely careful not to mention any gender when I wrote my opinion of the difference between being married and live in together, because there was a direct question thrown at me. When I presented obstacle course analogy, I never mentioned anyone’s gender, that is to say I did not write the HUSBAND wanted to cross the river and told his WIFE to stay behind. I never said the MAN wanted to clime the wall so he told his WOMAN I’d do it by myself. Any assumption that the story is about MEN being whatever and WOMEN are some king of something or another is not from me.

Now the triangle love affair, I’m being specific here, because the names are gender specific. Homayoon’s wife has a husband and a lover so either way she’ll be fine, meaning she won’t break into pieces when all hell breaks loose, if she stays with her husband she’ll be fine, if she goes through a divorce she’ll be fine because she’ll have Babak’s support, even it turns out to be for a while. Babak will be fine either with Homayoon’s wife or Azita. The only person, based on the information provided in the story (unless she has someone else on the side too that we don’t know about because it is not told in the story) is Azita, because she is the only one who’d be holding the shitty end of the stick when all hell breaks loose. Of course in the story we don’t know nothing about Homayoon, so I don’t know what to say about him, maybe he also screwed, or is screwing around with someone else that we don’t know nothing about.

Now that I think about it, I think as soon as hell breaks loose Azita and Homayoon should get together right away and have revenge sex all day and night. Yeah, they should call each other as soon as the news break and pretend to be wanting to discuss the matter, then go at it. Yeah, that’s what I think they should do.

Disclosure: I am not a historian.


There are different

by TheMrs on

There are different subjects flying around here.

One - A comparison was made between living together versus marriage, insinuating that a couple living together can test each other just as well in marriage. And in NOT doing so, they’re essentially not REALLY committed to each other. So Azita has no one to blame but herself. This is unrealistic, I already mentioned why.

Second – The idea that marriage means/includes love just doesn’t hold water. Historically, love hasn’t been a factor in marriage until recent times and only in modern societies. This isn’t my opinion, but a historical fact. And as such, marriage is not an obstacle to cheating. Historically, mistresses have been around only when marriage has been around. Not the other way around.

Third –I’m not ruining the true value of marriage. But people’s view of their commitment to each other has evolved beyond marriage. There’s no way to legitimize one union over another by using marriage as a carrot stick. Those days are long gone.

Five - I didn’t accuse married men. I DID say that sparks fly and we follow and that women new found independence complicates matters. For every love triangle there’s at least one female involved! But I can’t erase the past and cheating as an institution has always existed for men. In fact, until recently, cheating was almost a man’s right by marriage.

Six – The idea that marriage is a union “formed for the right reasons” and based on “firm principles” is unrealistic. Use the divorce rate for an explanation of why so much love is so perishable.   Seven – If I don’t go home now, my agha might divorce me. Over worked and under paid! 


Nazy Kaviani

On marriage...

by Nazy Kaviani on

Heeh! Guess what?!! This could have been the ONE topic I knew something about quite well! This could have been something I would have talked about for hours and days only a few years ago! Alas, we are here and now and the changes which have been taking place inside my head over the past three years leave me a little lost for words on the subject right now!

Going from seeing marriage as the only meaningful union of two loving people to believing that marriage is the killer of love (!), and back to "well, whatever works for the couple," I continue to dwindle on the subject, having lost my balance on the subject through experiencing the really (really) bad side of married life.

To be sure, I don't think people who live outside Iran should worry too much about that piece of paper in order to get a relationship started. How about if marriage is "reward for good behavior" in a committed and loving relationship for a few years? Seeing marriage as a reward and not a prison would certainly change some people's thinking about it!

I will address some other comments after work today. Thank you everybody for being so very kind and engaging in your thoughtful comments. Thank you Azarin, Flying Solo, Ajab Rajab, The Mrs., and Kourosh S. for joining the dialogue. You guys rock!


Your views on Marriage

by KouroshS (not verified) on

The MRS.

The traditional definition of marriage IS the real defintion of it and the Realistic one at that and Living together can be a great way to measure whether such a union will work or not, REgardless of it is nonsensical and insignificant social consequences and the history behind it.

IT really does not matter what sort of Legalized Unions, as you would put it are taking place out there, for, all they are doing is ruinning the original value and principle behind marriage. and How can One not include The Love factor in a real and true marriage.? Marriage is about Love first and foremost and All those other issues will come into consideration as the next step to take.

I think you are making a terrible judgemnet in Trivializing marriage By placing so much focus on What forms Of acceptable cheating are in the world, and worst yet you are using that as a means to accuse of married men to be the only ones who play the field? Instead you should consider giving more legitimacy to the unions that have formed for the right reasons and have existed on firm principles.

Marriage can NEVER be a Catalyst for cheating, For the fact the in the event of cheatin either one of the parties will be in a deeper trouble when it comes to divorce. FOr those who have the conscious to do the right thing, marriage never has to be a factor in deciding whether they should cheat or not. Those who do consider cheating and all of a sudden remember that they are married, have no buisness being married in the first place.


casual relationship or married :)

by Anonymous - joke (not verified) on

Three women friends, one in a casual relationship, one engaged to be married and one a long-time wife, met for drinks after work.

The conversation eventually drifted towards how best to spice up their sex lives. After much discussion, they decided to surprise their men by engaging in some S&M role playing.

The following week they met up again to compare notes: Sipping her drink, the single girl leered and said, 'Last Friday at the end of the work day I went to my boyfriend's office wearing a leather coat. When all the other people had left, I slipped out of it and all I had on was a leather bodice, black stockings and stiletto heels. He was so aroused that we made mad passionate love on his desk right then and there!'

The engaged woman giggled and said, 'That's pretty much my story! When my fiancée got home last Friday, he found me waiting for him in a black mask, leather bodice, black hose and stiletto pumps. He was so turned on that we not only made love all night, he wants to move up our wedding date!

The married woman put her glass down and said, 'I did a lot of planning. I made arrangements for the kids to stay over at Grandma's. I took a long scented-oil bath and then put on my best perfume. I slipped into a tight leather bodice, a black garter belt, black stockings and six-inch stilettos. I finished it off with a black mask.

When my husband got home from work, he grabbed a beer and the remote, sat down and yelled, 'Hey, Batman, what's for dinner?'

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Anonymous And Then Some

by Nazy Kaviani on

Though what you say is a somewhat romantic approach to the issue, the complications of taking that leap in most cases consume people's lives and hurt many in the process.

In my close vicinity, several years ago a married man had started an affair with a beautiful young woman. His wife hired a private detective to find out where he went on his numerous business trips. Well, she found out. So she confronted her husband who admitted to the affair, left her, married the other woman, and has been living with her and their child ever since.

Like you say, I believe he decided at that particular moment that life is too short to be unhappy and went for it. Though the whole sad story caused much outrage in my vicinity, I have always protested when hearing others saying that he was a "zan-baaz" (a womanizer) the way Iranians like to label cheating men. I remind them that sadly, he did cheat on his wife of many years and mother of his children, but that he doesn't seem to have been a "zan-baaz" to me, because he left one long-standing marriage for another. Anyhow, that guy suffered many losses in favor of uniting with a woman he loved. When relationships get so complicated, losses are inevitable and their extent could be very unpredictable..


Agree and disagree

by KouroshS (not verified) on

Ananymous Mnonymous.

First, can you please pick an easier name to type? much appreciated:)

I agree with you that friendship between a man and a woman is hard to happen especially when the man has a woman as a best friend, but guess what it does happen and it leads to marriage more often than we think.
Second. I think she did the absolute wisest thing of moving in with him and living with him for three years even after the initial two years of dating him. That is How you REAlly can get to know someone, and know their ups and downs, in an emotional sense and how they change their behavior through various conditions of hardship in life.
Going on a trip, especially when you first meet someone, Can give you a false image of the person you are with since it is common knowledge that it is so easy to fool someone during the first stages of a relationship. besides, how much can you really learn about someone's charactristic and personality in just one month? I know many iranians think they can learn a lot, but in reality that is not true.