This is my advice column. You can submit your questions about relationship, sex, marriage, society or any other topic you want and I will answer from my (Iranian, male, 40's, too few hairs on the head, few too many pounds on the body) most candid but often unique perspective.
“Anonymous” writes: I want to know what you say as an Irani man before I make a decision. I have been married 12 years and have two beautiful kids. My husband is a workaholic and his job is priority. His friends tell him too. He travels for work and sometimes is gone for 3-4 days, sometimes every week for months. I am tired and he will not listen. We have no family in USA and I want to take my kids with me back to Iran. Maybe if he continues when he is traveling. I think I have no choice because what is life here like machine and only work. Should I do it?
Wow! Dear (and I am being very nice) “Anonymous”; if you are thinking of doing what I think you are saying you are, then I have news for you: it’s called kidnapping and it’s illegal! It has nothing to do with what your husband may or may not have done. You don’t live in a tribal 15th century society and unless a court has granted you custodial rights that would allow such a drastic step, you are kidnapping your own children. Finally, and in the event that in your own sick mind it is for their own best benefit or not, that is also irrelevant.
Why am I being so harsh on you? Because by asking me for my opinion, you’ve allowed me to be and now all I can say is how selfish I think you are. Have you considered how this may affect your children? Does your husband have any say, regardless of his work and traveling schedule or possibly other issues he may be burying by drowning himself in work? You say “he will not listen.” But last I checked, listening was an activity most enjoyed when shared. Do you do your own share of listening to him at all or is it his responsibility alone?
I have no reason to defend him as the only introduction of him is based on what you have included in your question. But if after 12 years together the only negative you can say about him is working too much, there must be some redeeming qualities too. Have you forgotten those? Have you forgotten why you married him to begin with? I have a little suggestion; make a list of your husband’s best qualities and put it up on the wall besides your workstation or at home where you see it often.
Maybe then include them on a nice card and have it ready for him when he returns from his next trip. That will be a good time to tell him how concerned you are about his schedule and the way it is affecting your family. One of two things will happen, he will open up and pour out his heart as to why he has been this way or he will crawl back into his secure cave again, too afraid to face the reality. Both cases are a good starting point to initiate the discussion as to why you both need to have a professional guide your conversations and the necessity to see a counselor.
But let me be frank here, with or without a counselor, you need to start accepting some responsibility too. Relationships are hardly ever far from 50-50, regardless of how often those involved see their issues as being 95-5!
As for going to Iran, IF you both try everything in your power to remedy and revive your relationship but it still fails and you both end it with a healthy conclusion, and IF you are granted proper custodial rights to be able to make such decision by the local legal authorities, and IF you are convinced (hopefully be consulting some experts too) that the move, including apparent separation from their father will not cause your children excessive harm, and IF you know you can provide them a better life and future in Iran than what is available to them here, THEN the decision is yours to make. But you are FAR from where you can make such decision.
ps – my advice above would have similarly applied to a male writer had it been submitted by such!
If you wish to contact me with your own questions or comments, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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