Italian Family Traditions – Mothers, Children and Marriage in Italy

Mamma mia!: Saint or sinner?

The Italian mother embodies all the paradoxes of Italian life. A beacon of self-sacrifice, she always gets her way. Seemingly a martyr to his family’s needs, he leads the same family without hesitation. She is capable of making life both easy and incredibly difficult.

No wonder “Mamma mia” is the most used phrase in the Italian language!

Italian mothers: the best housewife.

Much more so than in the United States or the United Kingdom, 21st century Italian mothers tend to be stay-at-home moms while their husbands go out to work. A recent survey showed that it is quite acceptable in Italian family traditions for the average young son in Italy to spend around fifteen minutes a day with her father but several hours with her mother.

It’s no surprise, then, that he learns to follow her every cue: how to dress, where to go, what to eat, who to see. And such is the attachment formed in childhood that it continues into adulthood: one in three married adult sons sees his mother every day, and seven in ten single men are still living with their mother at the age of thirty. and five years.

The Italian ‘children of mothers’: the growth of the ‘Mammoni’.

In other countries that would make them the subject of ridicule and ridicule. Not so in Italy. Here, there’s nothing strange about men wanting to stay with their mothers for as long as they can, even after they’ve married, and it’s applauded as the right thing to do. The average age for an Italian man to marry is thirty, one of the highest recorded in United Nations statistics.

And that has led to a growth of what is known as ‘mammoni‘ – men who are still tied to the strings of their mother’s apron.

A recent story in a Roman ezine told of an Italian lawyer in his thirties, a prominent and powerful figure in an intensely masculine and competitive world. Newly married with an unborn baby, he still takes his laundry to be done by his mother, who also irons his shirts, buys his underwear, and gives him food to take home in case his new wife can’t. cook …

Is this the archetypal stereotype of the Italian mother? Maybe. But it is having a very real effect on Italian marriages.

Italian mothers and marriage.

For an astonishing three in ten Italian marriages are now failing specifically because of the unusually close bond of men with their mothers.

Psychologists conclude that children in Italy being pampered by their Italian mothers well into adulthood makes them too emotionally immature to deal with the demands of a relationship with another adult woman in the form of a wife:

“The husband is used to being adored and when he doesn’t get that unconditional love from his wife, he runs back to his mother.”

Italian marriage: does it have a future?

Perhaps that is why recent United Nations statistics have shown that the marriage rate in Italy is now at its lowest level: Italy ranks twenty-third out of twenty-seven countries (the United States is at the top of the table) in terms of how many people per capita get married per year.

Will this trend continue? As with many things Italian, there are regional differences: the south of the county is still a more patriarchal society than the north, the cities are more accepting of women and men having the same rights and responsibilities as the rural districts.

So, does the Italian marriage have a future? That will largely depend on the new generation of men in Italy and the ability of the younger generation of women to change a mindset that has been around for generations.

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