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As women socialized in less patriarchal cultures, such as the US, this sort of double- standard becomes absolutely unacceptable. Therein lies the conflict for a Hellenic woman of the diaspora– how much does she sacrifice staying true to the traditions of her culture by marrying someone out of her cultural pool and how much does she sacrifice of her own dignity by conforming to the stereotype of the assumed Greek macho man?

In other words, do you settle for a Greek s-o-b just to keep the balance and socially more acceptable harmony of a Greek home?

Yet I did not want to compromise my self respect or settle for a spoiled overbearing Greek which tended to be my lot with most of the Greek men I met.

And I got tired waiting such a long time for a balanced, egalitarian marriage partner who I also had chemistry for to come around.

And of course we all know the sexual exploits of the cunning Odysseus.

If he had a sexual encounter on each of the islands on the way to Ithaca it is no wonder the return leg of the journey took him over ten years.

As a wife, she is supposed to be the Penelope and remain virtuous, even when her husband is a two or 22 – timer.

Of course there are individual differences, but I feel that the “Greek man syndrome” a mix of pride, dominating stubbornness, unfaithfulness and disrespect towards females, has something to do with the way boys are socialized in Greek culture.

The discrepancies between the ways a Greek girl and a Greek boy are huge and their respective socially sanctioned behaviors create a conflict in relationships.

I know many Greek friends who have “settled” for less-than-satisfying Greek men who are full embodiments of Odysseus or Jason.

Risking the label of judgmental and unfair, I do not subscribe to their idea of happiness in marriage even though they say they are, because I can see from the outside how much of themselves they had to suppress or change all to be with a Greek husband.

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