Monday, 9 February 2015

10 reasons you need to marry an Italian man and 7 reasons you don't

Right. Before we begin I'd like to state for the record that you might not actually need an Italian husband. I am obviously HEAVILY BIASED. Switch on your sense of humour, please! Also if you find my reasons convincing, I would strongly urge you to continue reading just to be safe....

The top 10 perks of having an Italian husband.

They scrub up pretty nicely.

1. If you marry an Italian you will be tied to Italy forever, whether you live abroad or in Italy. If you love Italy,  Italian food, Italian culture and Italian style then that is probably a very good thing.

2. You're Italian will be amazing... Well alright, pretty decent. Much better than it will be if you don't.

3. If you have kids they could be biligual which sounds fun, although I'm not sure that actually works out as a benefit, or even it's a very good reason for marrying an Italian, since pretty much anyone who speaks another language would do. However this seems to be the number one reason everyone will think you should have kids.

4. You think Italian men are very good looking. Let's face it, it doesn't hurt to marry someone who's pleasing to your eye.

5. Italian husbands are frequently terrible mammoni who never grow up but just as often incurable romantics. In my experience they (I haven't had plural husbands - I'm just thinking about the ones I know) are largely capable of remembering anniversaries, noticing hair cuts and showering you with gifts and compliments unaided. No, really.

6. He will most likely have a strong appreciation for food. If you follow my advice from day one you can make this work for you. The first time you invite him over pull all sorts of random ingredients together, like popcorn with pickle and some peas. He will be amused by your hopeless foreign ways and insist on taking you out to dinner often or cooking himself for your education (and if he marries you after this, he marries you with open eyes as to your unsuitability of being a mummy replacement!).

If you love cooking then even better, you have just married someone who will unceasingly appreciate your favourite past time.

7. If you want honest opinions about your appearance you will get them. It is quite useful having a human mirror who can confirm if your mix of patterns is stylish or just OTT. Plus he married you, didn't he? He's whole-heartedly convinced you are bellissima and he's going to expect you take compliments with the poise of Monica Bellucci.

8. If your in-laws approve, like mine, his family will be very generous. You can expect to eat many delicious meals and tasty presents and they will happily let you stay in their holiday homes, pass on old clothes, etc... In return you can provide them with an endless source of entertainment by doing crazy things like reading a book on the beach, not understanding jokes, drinking tea all the time, or dressing really 'English'. You've always wanted to be funny. Embrace it.

9. Your in-laws will have all sorts of advice for you, because poverina you can't help not being Italian, but also because they genuinely want to help. Set some boundaries, if such a thing is possible, but you can use this to your advantage if you are living in Italy. Your husband will likely not know how to do many things, like change doctors or where to go to buy random things like dice and whistles. MIL will be only too happy to help.

When they have advice for you that you don't intend to follow, just nod and then later do what you want. They will be powerless in the face of polite affirmatives.

10. Last but not at all least, Italian men, despite their reputation, are not very macho. They are not ashamed of holding your handbag while you try on shoes, taking you out for ice cream, PDA or generally appearing a devoted family man or husband. You won't have any trouble in persuading them to spend time with you on the weekends.

One woman I know went on a first date with an Italian man and freaked out because he took her window shopping for shirts.

And here are some provvisos...

Rice stings a lot more than confetti.

1. Do you like Italy? Do you really like Italy? Some people think they like Italy and then live here and decide actually they don't like Italy at all. Even if you aren't living in Italy you'll find you have to spend your holidays here anyway. I hope you didn't have too many other places you wanted to see.

2. You remember the bit about the mammone? Yeah, well, it's a stereotype but it has it's basis on truth. Spending his adolescence living with only his father, A has had to learn to shift for himself, so I got lucky but the phenomenon exists. If your boyfriend seems to need his mother's permission for things don't imagine this will stop if you get married. If you can persuade a mammone to marry you that is.

3. If you want kids they might be cute and bilingual, but you will have to raise them in one country or the other and one of the parents will find the other's educational/health care system sadly lacking. A for example, found navigating the NHS extremely frustrating while I currently rage at the obsession with rote learning and testing in Italian schools FROM THE AGE OF 6!

Did you want to raise your kids Catholic? Take them out around town til past midnight? Dress them like they are going on an arctic expedition when it's less than 25°c? The sources of potential conflict will be many and varied and utterly unpredictable. What do you mean our child is not allowed to drink cold water?! (All taken from real life).

4. Have you ever been woken up to someone telling you you have got a massive spot on your chin? No? This is the downside of the 'only trying to help' honesty you can expect. If you can't muster the dignity of Sofia Loren on these occasions it will be a source of many an argument.

5. If you did as I said earlier then there is no food related down side. Unless you don't really like eating and talking about eating. If you don't like eating then you will find all social arrangements, and your husband's expectation that weekends revolve around mealtimes, stressful. Maybe better not move to Italy.

6. The wedding. Unless you really wanted an enormous, formal and expensive wedding with a Catholic ceremony and a 14 course lunch you will not have fun planning an Italian wedding. Plan the kind of wedding you actually want and it could be a political minefield.

7. Now we come to the in-laws. They're at number seven because it's a lucky number. You could be really lucky like me or really really unlucky (or somewhere in between). If you are really unlucky and they don't take to your foreigness, it could topple your mariage. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE IN-LAWS. Of the horror stories I have heard and witnessed the divorcee has always celebrated getting rid of the in-laws more than the husband. Italians spend a lot of time with family and if you live in the same small town you could be seeing them MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK.

Don't try and be less foreign. It'll never be enough. The real test here is your potential husband. If he sticks up for you you're good to go. If he leaves you to cope on your own, he is not a keeper and you must not marry him unless you live several time zones away from his family.

Also, how good are you at taking criticism? Italians have a standard of house proud I've found in few other places. They might find it concerning that you don't iron your underwear or trim the dead leaves off your plants or use table mats or stock the right medecines or ....

Once I got a bottle of vagina cleaning soap as a present. I didn't really know what to make of that. I've since decided that it was just considered a small useful gift.

In a cross-cultural marriage the relationships with in-laws are always going to that little bit more interesting.

Whatever you decide do don't do what this muppet does and marry a Tony from Milano.


Anneka Lott said...

Such a funny post :-) and I can relate to literally all of it - especially lucky number 7!

Laruchka said...

Glad you enjoyed it Anneke!

Giuseppe Macario said...

I am Italian. Due to my job and interests, I have several connections overseas, and had a few American girlfriends. I have never been engaged though, let alone married. Anyway, your post is not humorous: it is actually realistic. Personally, I don't see myself in point #5 (and its equivalent #2 in the cons) and I find the second paragraph of con #3 pretty absurd, but the rest is definitely credible. Obviously, each of us is different, so it is impossible to generalize, because some people will emphasize some traits, and others will emphasize other traits. In any case, some of your readers may be interested in this post too: How to meet and date Italian single men: find a boyfriend or a husband.

Patrick Bonacoscia said...

The bottom problem of Italy and the reason why so many men leave their parents so late has to do with the social structure of Italy : Italy is a gerontocracy (rule by the elders... or being less politically correct rule by the old controlling crap).

In Italy you are still considered a child until you are 40. Before that you will be only be paid a misery no matter how good you are at your job and / or how many degrees you have (and ofc not able to leave your parents home). You will start to get good jobs only after 40... And then it will often not because you worked well or got good degrees but only because you had the relations that could get you a good job. This is the dictatorship of mediocrity that has been plaguing Italy for a long time.

Now because of that thousands of young talented people leave Italy and go in other countries where they can get good jobs even when they are 25. This mean that jobs will not be created in Italy but elsewhere.

Italian academia has similar problem, were to often If your father or mother was a university teacher no matter if you are totally incompetent you will get the job.

In Italy the elderly ruling Elite destroy the vital force of its own youth and bring Italy down.

Italy has only 3 options :

1) get lots of educated young immigrants that will help give youth in Italy some political power
2) Limit the voting right and / or political career of people as soon as they reach retirement age
3) Do nothing and collapse.

Interesting read :

Laruchka said...

Dear Giuseppe, thank you for your comment. I agree that point number 3 is pretty absurd, but reading other people's blogs I saw that those were all things foreign spouses had disagreed with their Italian spouses over! Probably until one has kids, one takes a lot of cultural things for granted. Not that I would know. I don't have any!

Laruchka said...

Dear Patrick, everything you wrote is very true. It's also probably a big reason for the low birth rate. How anyone supposed to start a family or buy a house while only ever getting short-term contracts is a mystery to me.

Velester82 said...

The Young Americans for example, are facing the same problems of young Italians with the economic crisis can not find work and stay at home of mom and dad, or return to her parents' home after studies
The only difference is that Italy has this situation, structural and cultural which is now part of its culture, while in the USA is a new cultural phenomenon.
This is because the Italians are all owners of their homes and second homes that they rent, this creates the economic situation that rents are very high in Italy, so young people are waiting to get married and then buy the house and to live there.
This creates the situation that young people do not cut ties with family and remains in the parental home even after 30, so the Italian mothers are continuing to treat the children as teenagers even if they have more than 30 years, but this is normal in this situation.
In this way, young people become adults when they are 40 years old.
This is a distinctive feature of Italian society and economy.

MIx Jon said...

If your man is pushing you away and acting distant

Or if the guy you’re after isn’t giving you the time of day...

Then it’s time to pull out all the stops.

Because 99% of the time, there is only 1 thing you can say to a standoffish guy that will grab him by the heartstrings-

And get his blood pumping at just the thought of you.

Insert subject line here and link it to: <=========> Your ex won’t be able to resist?

Once you say this to him, or even send this simple phrase in a text message...

It will flip his world upside down and you will suddenly find him chasing you-

And even begging to be with you.

Here’s what I’m talking about: <=========> Is your man hiding something? He may need your help?

Thanks again.


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