Our Discussions

Marriage Problems
1 ( a madar)

I'm in my late 30's and still married, we are both Iranian and I lived in US 22 years. We are living in canada because my husband is Iranian CAnadian.

I'm thinking about a divorce but for sake of our children, my daughter 2yrs. and i'm pregnant 5 months. I'm afraid. I don't have a job and still waiting for residency (job permit) in canada. I don't want to be selfish and move to US with kids because I want my kids to be able to see their father, he is wonderful dad , my daughter really adores her father.

I married him because he loved me so much and i thought he'll make me love him like old traditional iranian marriage, "boy I was wrong". And the more we got to know each other the less I found of him. The main thing is bother me the most about him is that he is a very good man, hard working, no alcohol, no drug, loves children and generous. The problem is that he mentally abuses me with ridicules cuss? words and we are not friends, we can not make a conversation without arguments, nothing we have in common. The ideal man I expected is not him. He came to Canada after revolution and still has iranian old fashion mentality however he thinks that he's very westernized and open minded. I'm not putting down Iranian men, I love and respect them . My husband is not literate, and never read anything even a simple bill. He left HS when he was in iran however he managed to learn designing with computer in field of engineering. After marriage I realized he never done his taxes he doesn't have any saving and don't know how to spend money wisely, The longer we are together the less he listens to me. When I was single I was very independent had my own apt, did my taxes myself had my saving and had every thing i wanted. I really didn't need a man to get me anything, but I feel I'm stuck in this marriage jobless, having children (new experience ) and worthless, because with all previous experiences I had during my single hood he doesn't want to have opinion from me and it's hurt to see when he makes mistake after all.

The sad part is that I was married before for 6 years with an educated iranian man very calm and relaxed we shared many common ground. But he was not family oriented. He was enjoyed going to bars (with me) smoke pot. Never talks about create a child and home(buying house and etc.) He teaches university and still living in an apt and doing similar activities. Our marriage based on mutual love in college(very Young and in-love) in US. We both came to US before revolution. Every time I mentioned baby he would say next year, I had 1 abortion during our marriage. Well that's past but now!

I feel 2 marriages and I'm failing maybe the problem is me, so I asked my husband to see a marriage councilor but he tells me to go to hell why don't you just leave. I'm not an ugly bride and certainly not stupid. After all he married me 3 years ago because i looked like `I was in my 20's [he's 6 yr.. younger than me] and he was talking about having his business and wanted me to take control of his business and finances since he's not good at. Promises, promises like most of the men in general just to get married. Previously I've been divorce for 7 yr. and `I think that i waited too long to remarry and `I forgotten what was a bad relationship is all about and because our relationship was too short(2 months) and long distance (i was in US and he in Canada)[didn't date him long enough] before `I say `I do. `I failed again.

Now I need to know if anyone goes through similar situation? How do or did handle this? How come some Iranian men go to Iran and get marry in less than a month and have a perfect marriage. I'm not like women who say go ahead and abuse me and say anything you want to say and I keep on cooking and wash dishes so he can go to work and bring money just to have a hubby. All I need is a respect and I'll may clean his toilet.

Please write

thank you

2 ( a mother)

To the madar that wrote about marriage problems:

It sounds like you really want to make the marriage work if he is willing to put in the effort to resolve your differences.

Do you have family close by in Canada or the US that you could stay with temporarily until you can get on your feet, or at least give you some time to think about things? Maybe you need some time away to think. It is hard having 2 year old and be 5 months pregnant...both emotionally and physically demanding. Your hormones are going haywire...and then you have to entertain and care for a 2 year old, too.

Having another baby may be an additional strain on your marriage. Could he be worried about providing financially for the baby?

Best wishes to you

3 ( a madar)


Form the very brief description you wrote, I am getting the impression that you think the grass is greener on the other side. If you did not have children I would say to you, do what you feel is right for you, however with children, unless the guy is a total nightmare, beats you up, abuses the children, you have to work it out. You no longer come first, your children do. Divorce is just about the worst thing that can happen to a child.

4 ( a madar)

I do feel for you, I have been in a similar situation. These are the factors that helped me and hope to shed some light on your path.

-I realized that my children have top priority in my life. I may be jobless for a while, but it is only for a short period of time, like a few years until my younger one starts school. I forced my ambitions to take a break.

-I also learned that I cannot expect respect from many people including my husband, but I have to *gain* it. It was not easy and took years, little by little. I don't know what it is about Iranians that the closer the relationship, the less respect! but you can get over it by serious efforts and good plans.

I am glad to see that you see the problem is in your relationship, not in you or your husband. I think you can work it out if you want, and even if you have to work on it alone.

Some Iranian men are, fortunately, so family oriented that they, unfortunately, take the family for granted!

5 ( a madar)

All these are good advice but emotional abuse is worst than any physical abuse. A good family friend went through exact same thing for 44 years. He was a wonderful man to everyone but his wife and later on to his children. If someone is in the pattern of abuse toward their spouse they will carried over to their children too.

Our friends kids told her why didn't you leave dad years ago but she was from a generation that leaving was not an option.

Our friends kids trying their best not to act like their dad but they all have some problem that they have to work on it because of their dad behavior.

Your responsibility is toward your children, they did not ask to be born and I am sure you want to provide them with a safe and happy home but that is not necessary means a two parents household. But please take time and go to counseling by yourself to get a clear picture before making a final decision.

6 ( Madar#1)

Thank you for the ladies who respond to my message, I do really like to work out the marriage for sake of our children yes they come first, On the other hand personally based my previous experience , I would prefer to be alone I had much better life and could make decision for myself and indeed grass was much greener; we don't live in stone age any longer and don't need a man to take care of us.

Now that I made the biggest mistake of my life I like to solve it some how so our kids raise by both parents, just like I did when I grew up.

I just need to know how can I get him to go to marriage councilor, he does not listen to any one, he has communication problems with me and can not keep a friend or a job long enough (not more than six months) because he has this behavior. He's "kale shagh" and loose control verbally.

Thank you

7 ( Soheila)

Doustan, I need to explain that this Madar sent her original msg under the subject "Divorce and Single Parenting". From the subject, I guessed that she wants to divorce but needs to be warned about all the problems associated with single parenting before making a final decision. After I read the text of her msg I got the impression that she wants to fix her marriage problems. So, I changed the subject line to "Marriage Problems".

Now I see that (I) I have a conservative Iranian woman inside me that wants her to fix her marriage paroblems and stay with her family, and (II)I have probably influenced you with your responses to her. Please write and share your wisdom and experiences and we leave the final decision to her.

BTW, the issues of "Divorce" and "Single Parenting" have come up a few times but nobody has directly talked about it. I hope we communicate about it and show the color of the grass on the other side before she makes a decision and crosess over to the other side.

6 ( a madar)

It would be great to encourage single parents to join our discussion groups. It is difficult to share our own "personal" experiences in the area of divorce, abuse and single parenting due to cultural stigma - but these views and sharing need to be done for everyone's benefit. Don't forget that through Soheila, responses and questions can be posted anonymously. This may allow us to be even a bit more honest about our experiences and opinions. A madar.

7 ( a mother)

Here's my own experience regarding divorce/single parenting: (sorry that it's long). As an american I was raised within a religious framework to believe that divorce was wrong (not that it was against God's will, but just wrong). Having been married for more than 15 years now, my own marriage to an Iranian man has had its ups and downs. Several years ago it had a big down and I seriously decided that it was time for me to seek a divorce even though we have a beautiful son and my husband is a loving and wonderful father. I did not however want to anymore be the victim of his emotional outbursts, much verbal abuse and constant criticism. Although I never questioned his love for me, I weighed the negative and postiive aspects of our marriage and came up with my own decision that the bad outweighed the good. This took about 2 weeks of deep thought and silently working through different ideas about the whole thing including the well being of our son. In that respect, I decided that our son would be better with a happy mom and happy dad (although I didn't feel that a divorce would make my husband "happy", it might make him think and change behavior, but not happy), our son would be better. (Kind of like the deciding which of 2 bad decisions is least bad.) When I came to this realization on my own (uninfluenced by others, family, friends, etc.), it felt like an incredible burden had been lifted off of me. I felt so much more confident, loving and respectful of my marriage - I was making a decision out of true love - not out of spite or anger. I think that was the key for me, to not be angry, emotional or resentful towards my husband.

By the way, I have often heard that men who are abusive (physically and/or verbally) never change - it's nearly impossible.

From my decision I made a list of qualities that I would want in a husband if I were getting married. I included aspects that were important to me about raising a family. But mostly it was a list of qualities that I WANTED. Things like - loves me unconditionally, respects me, NEVER calls me names, NEVER calls his children names or speaks disrepectfully, etc. I have to say that the unconditional love thing was a biggie on my list. After years of having been constantly never good enough ("I always felt jealous of iranian women, who my husband would always say I should learn from, etc.), - I hear this of many many women married that their husbands constantly criticize them. We end up feeling that "yeah, I am a slob, I am ugly, I am stupid, I shouldn't have said that, done that, bought that and so on and so on."

At some point (sorry that I'm getting rather lengthy on this), an Iranian couple who had known us for many years and knew of our troubles (and knew that my husband who was a great man in many ways, but very abusive to me) intervened and talked with my husband. I was able to share with him my vision of what our marriage should be - of what I wanted my husband to be. And basically, that I was unwilling to change but that this was all about him (sounds selfish I know, but after years of feeling guilty about everything and not being adequate enough - I needed to plant my feet firm.) He needed to accept me as I am with my perfections and with my imperfections. Plain and simple. The discussion was unemotional and very helpful. He would try to say that I was the cause for his bad behavior and that if I changed, he'd of course not be mean. I also called him an abusive man and was very adament that he understood that his actions were extremely abusive. I told him that if he had problems with certain things in our household, that he needed to fix them since it was a problem for him and not for me. We have two different views and standards of things but this does NOT mean that his is always right and I'm wrong.

OK - now this is getting really long, sorry for your eyes to keep reading... From that day our relationship changed completely. He has been a different person for 3 years now. I am no longer verbally abused. I have to say that if it came back up - I would be willing to leave without second thought. Life is to wonderful to live without feeling constantly under someone's negative influence. He has stopped all verbal abuse and treats our son and myself in a much more respectful way - emotions don't run high anymore. If there is a time when he is tempted to fling out of control, he'll leave the house for a time and deal with it. But this hardly happens anymore. I've also learned how to accept CONSTRUCTIVE criticism without feeling totally victimized - along with how to "argue" about things without fighting. All worked out well for us and we are refreshingly very happy. I love him again and I didn't think that would be possible. I have to also say that I am a working professional and able to make my own living - which I think gave me quite a bit of freedom to make choices. I know that for many women, lack of a career or job is a major point why they would stay in a harmful situation.

8 ( a madar)

I have been reading all the responses and I have been trying to stay away from commenting but you are right we should tell our stories so others can learn from them the way I am learning about you all

Here is my story

I am an educated Iranian woman who had been married to an Iranian guy for 11 years and boy I can relate to what you were saying about mental abuse, disrespect, etc... so I got divorced last year and now I am a single mother. I can tell you that true that I got myself out of a bad marriage but the problem is when you have a child it makes the situation very difficult to deal with because this guy will always be part of your life because of your child no matter what.

I am now witnessing my daughter going through what I was going through for 11 years with her father, how do you stop that? The mental abuse, the disappointments, the rejections. she is not his wife yet but poor baby is going through it and I just don't know how to deal with it.

It is very true that people with bad tempers and abusive behavior never change and they carry on this behavior with whoever is around them. I witnessed my ex doing it with his mom, with me and now with my daughter.

Should I disconnect her from her dad for ever (yes I am capable of doing it legally) or should I keep her still in contact with her dad and see her suffer?

He is not a sensitive man to these types of issues and all the years of trying to communicate did not work. We did tried counselors, different methods of behavior adjustments but no good results.

from a madar

9 ( a madar)

I didn't think I would get involve in this discussion, but this is incredible! Are we advising this mother to stay with her verbally abusive husband because he's not beating her up or because she has children (one on the way)? Her husband is abusive not because "her" hormones are going haywire. It is NOT her fault if he is abusive. It is NOT because she hasn't gained her respect. He HAS BEEN abusive because this is the way he is, and no one ever fought with that. He might be a wonderful father, but how can one be sure that when the daughter is older, say 10, he won't be just as insulting and abusive to his daughter? Or, worse yet, what if the kids grow up and treat the mother just the same way as the father does?! Believe me these things happen. I've seen it happened to others. We all owe it to our children a healthy family environment. If this means to get divorce and raise the kids single handed, then so be it. It is very unfortunate to see so many marriages ending with divorce specially when there are kids involved, but raising kids in an abusive household is hundred times more damaging to the kids than going through the divorce. Culturally and traditionally, we Iranians learned that divorce is a "bad" thing. In some religious family, divorce is against God's will!!! That is not true. She and her children deserve a happy life, and divorce might be the only way. Sure she wants to make her marriage work, but it takes two to do that. Her husband already made it clear that he does not want to hear about marriage counseling or anything like that! She's in her late 30's! How long does she have to wait for her husband to finally respect her? By then she probably lost her dignity, self confidence and everything else (if she hasn't lost them already.) She can get a job and raise her children single handed while she still has some self respect and dignity left in her. No one says it's easy, it is very difficult, but she'll see that it'll be worth the effort. Luckily, she is in Canada or maybe U.S. where there are plenty of supporting groups for single parents. Another thing, I think she should discuss her problem with an attorney to make sure that she could get the full custody of her children if she decides to divorce. Maybe through madar-pedar she can find a low cost attorney!?

Sorry for the lengthy note!

Good luck!

10 ( a pedar)

Well, dear Madars va Pedars, I didn't want to touch this subject either. However, after reading some of the responses I have to say:

Anyone that goes to the Judge ALONE, will always come out a winner.

So often we tend to listen to just one side of the story and believe it as the FACTS. It is OK to listen to the "venting" of a person and be supportive. It is a completely different matter to listen to someone's story and JUDGE the other side based on their say so.

Please don't get me wrong. I am certain that our dear madar is sincere about her story. What I don't know is what has made her husband emotionally abusive. I would not charge ahead and say that yes he must be abusive since she says so. According to several attorneys in our area, there are two common charges they file against EVERY Iranian man that is involved in a divorce. And it doesn't matter what the TRUTH is. They are: He's physically and verbally abusive, and he will kidnap the children and take them to Iran. So the stigma of abusiveness is already on the Iranian male. I've also seen plenty of "unhappy" women that just because they want to get out of a relationship, they charge ahead with "He's abusive".

I think our friend and her husband need some guidance in working out their marital issues. Going to a marriage counselor is not the only way. There are other ways.

You know there is no way we should expect others to change their ways for us if we are not willing to change ourselves first. Having said that, I think if our friend is sincere in staying married, then exercising a little more patience may be in order. I know that's not easy when there's a two year old running around and she's pregnant (with those hormones going crazy every once in a while). However, I'm not sure if her husband is not going crazy also because there's now one more kid to feed, pressure of providing more for the family and dealing with two little kids and a wife that willingly married him but now says she doesn't love him..... Let's keep in mind that he's human also and not a rock. (He may be really crazy and waco, but I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. We haven't heard his side at all).

I don't think that I can suggest that our dear madar should get divorced right now, because he is abusive, or she should stay put, because of the children. I think both those decisions are plain WRONG. She may want to consider talking to her husband and ask him why has he changed? Why is he so upset? I mean really, caringly and lovingly, talk. Since he apparently is not educated, he may need a little help to see the light as to what is happening. He obviously is smart though, if he has taught himself to work with computers. So he may be willing to open up and say what's bugging him.

What I read between the lines though, (and I could be wrong) is that our madar believes she got married "hoping" she will love him. He already loved her. She now feels that she doesn't love him and she will be happier alone. She says: "After all in this day and age who needs a man". All of that would be fine if they didn't have children. Now that they have kids, they better work really hard to stay together and raise those kids. In general, no child is better off with one parent alone. A healthy child needs both a mother and a father.

It seems to me that our dear madar may want to reevaluate her priorities and may be learn to love her husband. He apparently loves and wants his family. If he has changed and is now angry, may have to do with all the changes that he has to deal with also. A wife who doesn't love him, a two year old and now one more to come; all pointing to a point telling him that his family is on the verge of collapse. That's not an easy pill to swallow! And that's when so many couples turn against each other, specially when they have no friend or family support to help them get up on their feet.

The best thing for our couple to do is to understand that life also gets difficult at times :-) and we owe it to ourselves and our children to NOT seek the easy way out. However, since I got divorced, long time ago, myself, I can tell you that sometimes things don't work out and people get divorced. But that must be the absolute final solution. Even at that, believe me, divorce with children is not what may seem to be. In the words of a very wise woman and one of the best counselors around here:

"Always remember that when you are married with small children, you have some good times and a lot of bad times. When you get divorced the only thing that goes away is the good times". :-)

Khoda Negahdaar,

11 ( Madar#9)

Pedar#10, You're absolutely right about always being 2 sides to every story specifically the marriage problems. I'm all for that! However, sometimes we're not given the choice to listen to all sides so you express your opinion based on what you got. We can't always sit back and be a listener until we got all the facts about a story or a problem... What if the facts are really what you heard from only one side? Also, this is not a court, and we are not judges in here!

Another thing, I do not think that there is any justification for being abusive. Sure, there might be some kind of a history behind that behavior, mental sickness, a change in life style, or whatever. Either way the person undoubtedly needs a help (professional or none professional). A wife might or might not be able to help her problem husband, that depends on the individual's capacity as to how to handle such problems. But, one thing for sure, that husband has NO right to abuse (physically or verbally) anybody especially his family, no matter what kind of people his family are! I'm sure there are a lot of things in his mind that worry him. Being a traditional man, I'm sure supporting his growing family is one of the biggest problems in his mind, and probably anytime he sees his pregnant wife and the 2 year old around, he gets very frustrated, but that doesn't mean that he should be allowed to vent out his frustration by bad mouthing his wife! After all, she is the one who's pregnant and needs a special care and probably has just the same amount of worries in her mind as his... oh yes, not to mention the hormone changes!!! He has to control his frustration! The least thing he can do is to take a deep breath and THINK before opening his mouth to say anything insulting.

12 ( Pedar#10)

Ba Salaam:

Madar#11 jaan. NO ONE has the right to abuse anyone. Please excuse my use of the proverb about the court. That's an old Persian proverb and as we know, "Dar masal monaaghesheh nist". No we are not in court and we are not judges, however, I believe any time someone comes to me for advice, I best give them my best advice after I know most of the facts. Supporting someone's venting is different from telling them to take specific action.

When someone is unhappy with their boss at work, they will always paint the picture as if the Boss is an "a..h...". It is one thing to comfort the person and be sympathetic to their feelings, it is another to tell the person to quit his or her job.

If you allow me to use another proverb, I think "What's good for the Goose is good for the Gander".

You wrote:

<< After all, she is the one who's pregnant and needs a special care and probably has just the same amount of worries in her mind as his... oh yes, not to mention the hormone changes!!! He has to control his frustration! The least thing he can do is to take a deep breath and THINK before opening hi s mouth to say anything insulting. >>

I think if we change the "He" to "They", our couples problems will be solved. I think our anonymous mother's response about her own experience is an excellent example of how things can work. The changes must come from both of them. But then again that's just my opinion.

13 ( a pedar)

To those who are having problems in their relationship and those who have great relationship but want to make it even greater.

The Imago Relationship Therapy has helped many couples. http://www.imagotherapy.com/

For those who are too busy to visit their office, intense weekend session is the way to go.

Good luck

14 ( a madar)

I also was not going to say anything regarding this issue because I have never been in such a difficult position and didn't think I could help, but here's some personal experience for the dear mother that might be useful.

As I mentioned, my husband is not at all abusive. He is a mild mannered man, liberal and with very high morals. Still it is inevitable in a marriage for issues and problems not to come up. There have been times, especially when our children were very small, that I seriously considered divorce. I felt he didn't support me emotionally at all and could have helped more physically. I truelly did not know if he loved me at times. Money wasn't the issue because I knew I could make ends meet, but what kept me going was the fact that I loved him and I was determined not to destroy my kids' nest.

My husband was not as opposed to counseling as your husband, but was not fond of it either. He'd say that we don't need someone else to talk to each other and would say hurtful things such as "I can't wait for the kids to grow up and go so I can leave!"

Any way, I found two methods that helped me get thru to him. One was by writing letters to him and putting them in his briefcase, so that he would have the time to read and think about what I said rather than giving me a knee jerk reaction. I would take my time writing the letter, sometimes days. I would reread my letters the next day to make sure that it wasn't too sharp and that it conveyed the message that I wanted it to. Come to think of it my letters reached him every time.

Another method that I used was simple talking, but at the RIGHT TIME. I would make sure that he is in the right frame of mind to hear what I have to say and would make my point as mildly as I possibly could. If I felt like I was going to loose my temper and it was going to become a shoutng match, I would back up and take it up another time. I also sometimes would call him at work. He had the privacy to talk at work and I found that he was less likely to loose his temper at the job site. Again, I had a lot of luck with that method of communication.

In case it is useful, here's a sample of what I said to him: "I really don't want to break up our children's nest and I know that you don't either. We are going thru a rough period and we have two choices. We can divorce or stay together. If we truely want to stay together for the children's sake, we have to put up with each other for the next 18 to 20 years. It's going to be a long 20 years if we keep up what we are doing and at the end of it we'll have no love and nothing to say to each other and it certainly will not be a healthy environment for our children to grow up in. We both deserve better than that. Or we can come to some sort of compromise. We are having problem communicating and it results in shouting and eventually more misunderstanding and hard feelings. We both say some things we don't mean. The only thing I can think of is getting someone to help us communicate, but if you don't feel comfortable with that, do you have any suggetions what we can do?"

My husband's suggestion was that we each write down a list of what bothers us and what we'd like changed. I agreed and then said: "If we do this and still have problems, can we then try seeing a family therapist to help us thru this? Because if we don't, I am not sure we are going to make it and I think we owe it to our children to at least try."

Believe it or not, we didn't need to see a therapist. That conversation alone opened up our lines of communication in a positive manner and we were able to talk about some of the key issues that bothered us and other issues just evaporated.

I will tell you another secret of mine. In our family I used to be the one who lost her temper more. I just had a short fuse and no matter how hard I tried sometimes small things would completely set me off. I couldn't always just let go of things and would keep dwelling on things which drove my husband nuts. A year ago I discovered this wonder medicine called "Paxil". It is a very mild anti-depressant. Since then I am a different person. It takes a lot to make me angry and I am completely in control of my actions and in short I am HAPPY. Amazing what drugs do! I see the glass half full instead of half empty and I savor every moment. I have so much fun with my children and husband and so much more patient.

From what you said about your husband, I doubt he'll consider it, but it is something to have in the back of your mind for the future, for you or your husband. If you are in a happy and relaxed mood and take things really easy, it's hard for him to get mad too.

My heart goes to you and I wish you the best. Meanwhile if you could surround yourself with some supportive friends (not those who keep bad mouthing him) it'll do wonders.


- A wife

15 ( a pedar)

Actually I like to get involved in these type of Taboo breaking subject, since it's very seldom that any thing gets discussed here, I think I'd mention this before, and I hope our dear Soheila does not edit anything based on her preference.

First of all I would like to really acknowledge this lady for her courage and the fact that by doing just that shows she's brave enough to do something about it. Also for sharing thoughts, feelings that I'm sure is very hard to talk about with others. I like to say that there's nothing in life's partnership(don't like the term husband and wife!)more important than love, respect and friendship. To me if any is missing no matter what else is there, nothing could replace, even children. I remember "Simin Daneshvar" in an interview said that "it's sad that Children are more often pillars of most marriages" and I could not agree more.

I don't have any "Advise" or "solution" neither need to know "all the facts" or hear the other side, but I could share some points which I had to experienced during my 16 yrs. partnership with my lovely partner. There were times during past 16 yrs. that both of us reached to our so called last station, which we thought we had to get off the train, but since we truly loved each other, tried really hard to make our relationship works. Now, this is not an easy task, but it's doable if you believe your relationship WORTH saving!, then I believe all is possible. Well, that's how we felt and both tried to make a healthy relationship, full of love with respect.

I think Relationship also like parenting, has is no school or training of its own before hand.You just have to use "trial and error" strategy, certainly I see today my relationship much more stronger than ever since we'd to go through ups and downs of our path, and probably, for the rest of our lives but that's the whole point!, it's a journey, it isn't a fairy tale story and nothing is granted, to the very end you got to work on it. No wonder lots of people get in and out of relationship so easy, they don't want do hard work, or be a true partner!

That's what is really all about, I got to know myself better, got in touch more with my feelings, realized and acknowledged my fears, dreams, likes and dislikes. Someone said the most difficult task in life, is get along with another human being, isn't true?

But verbal abuse will definitely scars the relationship and could possibly lead to other stuff, I think no one should tolerate such behavior. Children shouldn't be used as marriage band aid. Personal freedom, career, interests, should remain based on individual preference not only on one partner choice. Sexual aspect of relationship should be open for discussion. In fact all and everything should and could be discussed. Nothing comes first but relationship!, otherwise we all would be dead people, pretending to be alive, barging about stock portfolio or our material life style!! and look as if all great and rosy!

I didn't want it to be this long but I got to bring it to the end, hoping anyone in similar situation does whatever their heart and mind telling them to do and have no second thought about it, Good Luck.

A Partner, A Father

16 ( a madar)

To have a healthy and loving relationship you have to work at it. Everyone goes through ups and downs.

I would like to add Trust to "love, respect and friendship" Trust it's the base of all relationships.

We have to always consider our partners needs and feelings It is not always all about "me"

Any kind of abuse is not to be tolerated

Good luck

17 ( a madar)

While attending parenting classess, I was handed a pamphlet titled - Good Father, Good Mother. The brochure went on to describe various traits of a good parent finishing off by the following.

"The best gift a father can give his child is to respect and love his/her mother. If he cannot do that he's better off fathering alone." [The same could be said for a mother]

Divorce segregates two very unhappy people and dismantles a dysfunctional family unit. I cannot think of too many children who benefit from witnessing parent's adulterous behaviour, mental/physical abuse, addiction or irresponsibility. Do you?

To the Madar in the dilemma: Please be aware, divorce is a very drastic step, not to be taken lightly. While, with marriage one can hope for the best, with divorce you have to expect the absolute worst; anything positive should be considered a bonus. Best to have a darn good reason before you take back the 'I do'!

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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