The Arab/American Marriage

Many people have asked me what it’s like being an American woman married to an Arab man. Some even ‘warned’ me before making the decision to get married. This post is my little attempt at clearing up some of the misconceptions regarding the Arab/American marriages.

Perhaps I should clarify a bit; my husband is not only an Arab, but he’s a bedoin (desert) Arab. He can comfortably spend his Winter in a desert tent, cooking fresh meat over fahem, and brushing his teeth with a miswak. Yet he does own (and use) a Sonicare toothbrush. While I’m watching the Arab Ramadan shows, he’s fully invested in an episode of Daily Show or Colbert. There’s very little about him that fits into the stereotypical ‘bedoin’ mold. He’s actually more Westernized than many ‘city’ Arabs I know. His English is perfect, he’s been to America and fully understands our mentality, culture, and politics. But he also embraces the more positive things about the bedoin culture, such as how women should be treated.

Unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about how bedoin men treat their wives, and until you’re married to one, I suggest you don’t assume. My husband has never asked me to cover my head, my face, hands, or feet. He’s never treated me as anything less than his equal other than when it involves finances. In his culture men have an obligation to truly take care of their wives. He’s responsible for all the bills and monthly obligations while providing me anything I want without hesitation — even if it means he goes without. Having a husband like this has taught me to want very little as it’s far more important to me that he lives a stress free life and never goes without anything. We make all life decisions together… even the small ones. My opinion matters and he always asks what I think or how I feel. I don’t have to ask his ‘permission’ to do anything, nor does he ask mine. But out of respect for one another we ensure the other is always comfortable. If he knew something bothered me or caused me pain, he wouldn’t do it, that simple. In the bedoin culture men are often viewed as superior to women (by outsiders), but it’s not that way. Men are actually responsible for a woman — very different than being superior. Not only are they responsible for us financially, but also our emotional well-being. For a woman to shed a tear and a man be the cause is shameful. Fortunately my husband does fit comfortably into this part of the culture he appears to have left so far behind.

Then there’s me. The typical Southern Belle raised as an only child in America. I was spoiled, wanted for nothing, and had everything. Rarely did my parents say “no”. Mistake. My immediate family consists of 5 people. Large family gatherings happened once a year during family reunion time and even that came to an abrupt halt when my grandparents died. I never had to share anything with anyone — even my space.

Then I married a man whose immediate family consists of 24+ people. People who are very, very close. Family gatherings take place as often as daily since the entire family lives in very close proximity to one another.

Before meeting my husband he was feeling the Arabian pressure of ‘marriage’. Family members were actively seeking out prospective wives to include cousins. Yes, the bedoins often marry cousins. They have very close family ties and rarely marry outside of their tribe. My husband made clear he wasn’t interested in an arranged marriage, but instead wanted to marry someone he chose. Someone he loved. Someone he was compatible with. And someone he could see himself investing a lifetime in. That someone just happened to be me. Certainly I’m not someone his mother would have chosen for him, but she’s never made me feel that way. The entire family embraced me without hesitation. Perhaps they were just relieved he was finally getting married? ๐Ÿ™‚ Either way, this spoiled, only child now has a huge family who I love and cherish. They accept I need a fork to eat my meals and they’ve always accommodated me without making me feel awkward. I’m never left out of family events and they even go out of their way to embrace things from my culture. I experience things in Kuwait I doubt many other Americans do… but I wish they did.

I wish I could say my life resembles every Westerner married to an Arab but I know that’s not the case. Every situation is unique and some are better than others. I’ve heard horror stories of cheating, abuse, and outright disrespect. But this takes place in marriages all over the world — it’s not exclusive to the Arab man. I’m just so thankful, every day, that I married a man who is the perfect combination of East and West. Someone who embraces the best of both cultures. And someone who fully understands both worlds.

What I do find very interesting and even a bit odd at times are those who stare. We live in a very tribal area where Americans are almost never seen. When we venture into the city or the malls no one even takes a second look. But we go to the local co-op and people literally stop what they’re doing to stare. Some have even been so bold to ask questions… I respect that more than the stares, and I think my husband appreciates it more as well. My husband is very out-going and friendly to everyone. He treats everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of their nationality or employment ‘status’. He doesn’t judge others and he understands why some people might ‘wonder’ about us. We’ve become quite popular at the local Starbucks… shocker.

Would I recommend every Western woman run out there and marry an Arab man? Well, of course not. I simply encourage people to stand up for what you believe in. Don’t allow others decide who you should be with or how you should live your life. After-all, it’s you who has to walk in those shoes. I can say, with confidence, if you’re in a relationship which is questionable or causes you pain, run… and run fast. Regardless of nationality, ethnicity, backgrounds, or culture.

441 thoughts on “The Arab/American Marriage

  1. May you and yours be blessed with happiness. You are very fortunate to have each other and I wish you success. A true “man” is a rare gem and you are very blessed to have that quality in your husband.

    I wish I had a man as strong as yours. Unfortunately mine fell into the “family cycle” and allowed them to control his life, hence ruining ours.

    Please do not harp on ill wishes or negativity. Continue with your strong and open communication and do what makes you happy.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words.

      I’m so sorry to hear of your experience. It is rare to find a man in this culture who respects his family as much as my husband does while maintaining the ability to stand up for what he really wants in life. At least you understand your issues weren’t caused by anything you did, but instead something that he didn’t. Though I’m sure your experience was/is painful, I hope you’re healing and moving forward. We all deserve someone who respects us and treats us well.

      • Wallahi well said. You got a perfect man. Unfortunately, my story is alot like yours but very opposite on the wife side. Im simply a copy paste of your husband and i got engaged last year with arab american. She was educated, lawyer by profession. practise islam atleast in a first glance. So after engagement we started to talk through email and carbon copied to her parents every conversation. We couldnt get along because i said i will take care of her in all matters and i would love her to work as well. I also said we will share all the duties and responsibilities. She wanted everything to be splitted half half. She wanted me to move in her city while im still in my final year of university. I told her its something that can be sorted. She was so imaginary like it should be a hollywood marriage life. I was shocked! When i realized that whenver i send her an email, it would take weeks to reply while she was so active in her hijabi blogs and twitter ( thanks to google) It couldnt work out. I dont mean i was stalking or anything, i had a right to see whats out there that kept her busy. By the way she didnt want to tell me her hijabi blog so i can see whats in her mind. she then argued its for ladies only and impermissable. i was very happy to hear that. guess what! her instagram is public and anyone can have access to her blog . she explicitly show it there. She has some men following her. It didnt make sense to me. I knew everything about the blog before hand, i was just trying to measure her honesty, imaan, and trust. Nonethess, i kept beleiving i can change her.Its in my heart that whenever im loyal to someone, he/she need to respect that and last thing you can do is showing me less appreciation, or rather very far less loyalty towards me. She was commenting on her friends and worse thing , a man! May ALLAH make it easy for her and guider her to the right direction. Im still looking for one, inshallah will find the right girl.
        My email:

        • First let me start by saying you can’t change her. And the fact you want to try is an indication she’s really not the woman you’re in love with. Trying to change someone or imposing rules and regulations on them isn’t a sign of love, it’s evidence of a very insecure person who doesn’t love themselves. First and foremost you need to focus on who you are and what you’re really seeking in a wife. It sounds to me like you prefer a wife who has limited, or no social media/blog interaction at all. And that’s perfectly fine. But you have to find a woman who is that way because she chooses to be, not because you want her to be.

          You also say she wanted a ‘Hollywood marriage’ which is an indication she’s maybe a bit immature and not quite ready for marriage. Give her time. She didn’t reply to your emails in a timely manner, or give you the attention you felt you needed as her fiance. All of that is a sign that perhaps she just wasn’t as interested as you had hoped. Again, be patient. But remember, you can’t change her.

          Wishing you all the best in your search for the perfect woman for you. I’m sure she’s out there.

          • Asalam alaikum. You did not understand what i said. To start with, i would have not comment in your blog if i dont like a muslima to use it. In fact that idea it self contradicts with what i beleive in muslima. I am fascinated with intelligent and open minded girls. Those are the ones i am looking forward to be my future wife inshallah. I would have liked her to tell me i cant read and see her hijabi blog while its really not public and no men has access to it. However, she said because of religious reasons, she cant show me her blog. Its haram i would see her and other girls. But that was a lie! her hijabi blog was public and can be accessed from her instagram which was also public ( anyone can see her even if they are not following her). you get the point here? does it mean i like my wife to have limited staff? No, No !! i need my future wife to master her career but with Purpose to satisfy Allah and i need them to have more imaan and taqwa inside their heart. I dont want her to say or write this while she really not doing that in reality, thats hypocricy! Since i was expecting her to be my wife , I tried to have patience. Thats what i tried! Marriage in islam doesnt require me to be in love in order to marry her. Before that we have seen each other in front of her parents and our eyes contact were amazing. I cant explain that beautiful part. We talked and i liked her. We then exchanged email in order to discuss and know each other more. The email part is the one that screwed up everything and alhamdulillah lesson learned!

          • It’s a sad outcome Yusuf for you both. It sounds like she was a forward thinking woman. I wonder that maybe she truly didn’t realize all her social media actions were fully public. I’m sure you asked her about it so she could explain herself. It would be a tragedy to assume the worst about her. I know I have assumed the worst against people and found out I was totally wrong. I was embarrassed and of course apologized. Ultimately, it’s you who has to feel confident that she was being honest with you; however, it seems you didn’t feel she was honest and you made the decision to end it. I hope you will find that perfect match for you. Best wishes!

      • Hi American Girl,

        I currently live in America and met my boyfriend in college. He currently lives in Abu Dhabi and has gotten more religious since he’s been back home. Now we have been together for 3 years and we have been discussing marriage and/or taking the next step. His concern is that I would have to move there and he knows I would solely rely on him for the time being until I get accommodated and make friends of my own and what not. He’s scared I may regret it if I decide to move, change my lifestyle and leave my family & friends behind. I’ve thoroughly thought about it and in my heart I know I am ready to make this commitment. I know it’s a big change but I know it’s for the better and I’m ready to embrace and adapt to it. I’ve already busted Abu Dhabi and I love it and their culture and already know some of his friends. His other concern is his mother who is Jordanian and ideally would prefer a Muslim girl for him. He did mention although his mother would prefer that, at the end of the day it’s what makes him happy and that’s me. How do I convince him or make him understand I’m ready?

        Please advise

        • Hi Shi,

          Glad to hear you’ve already visited Abu Dhabi and like it. I lived there for a few years and also enjoyed it immensely. It’s a gorgeous place.

          Unfortunately, I would recommend you might reconsider this decision. His mother has made it clear she wants him to marry a woman from his culture/religion, and ultimately, she will make this decision. If he does go against her wishes and marries you, it’s possible she’ll make both of your lives miserable for as long as she can… or until you have children.

          Also, you mention his mother is Jordanian. Is he? Or is he an Emirati? If he’s Jordanian living in the UAE (working) then you have to understand his home country is truly Jordan and not the UAE. The lifestyle between the two are like night and day. Another thing you’re going to want to keep in mind. The UAE is a very wealthy country where life is incredibly easy. Jordan, though a gorgeous country filled with wonderful people, isn’t part of the GCC and therefore has its share of poverty and a more ‘common’ lifestyle.

          Finally, if he is Jordanian working in the UAE does his job and salary even allow for him to sponsor a wife there?

          As much as it seems as though you love him there are a lot of details you’re going to want to know prior to marriage. Perhaps it’s just you’ve left them out of your email to me. But these are important questions you’re going to need answers to.

          Please let me know how it works out. Wishing you all the best.

      • Here’s something that really nags at me: why are there plenty of cases with Western women marrying Arabian men, but not the other way around (George Clooney and his wife are the only exception I’m aware of)?

        • There’s also Jermaine Jackson and his wife (not sure how I know that). However, I think it might have something to do with the ability Arab men have to travel as compared to their female counterparts. It’s not uncommon for men to travel for studying, work, or even just vacation. However, in some Arab communities, they’re still not comfortable sending their daughters off to do the same.

          • American Girl…I am very concerned for my daughter. She has met a Jordanian man who saw her at the gym and said to her immediately that God told him that she is his future wife. She is being swept off her feet. He has already declared his love and intentions for her to my son and myself. He has only been in America for 50 days and is a body builder and personal trainer, as well as a bouncer at a bar. He declares he was raised by blonde haired blue eyed Christian parents. We are Christian, but I do not understand that comment. My daughter has been in several failed relationships and has 3 beautiful children. I believe most people understand how hard life is in the USA for a single mom and to have a man declaring undying love and care for you and your children seems like a dream. She just got out of a dangerous situation with an older Muslim man from Egypt who was abusive to her and she had to obtain a protective order to keep him away. I am not a prejudice person, but I have many worries for my daughter right now. Any advice is appreciated!

          • Hi Teresa,

            I do understand your concerns, especially considering this man has only been here a short time and obviously only known your daughter for a short time. I would encourage her to do some research as to why/how he is in America. What visa is he on? Why are his intentions to marry her? Is there a benefit of a green card or does he already have one? These are things she needs to know.

            As you already know, trying to prevent her from dating him is only going to push her further away from you and closer to him. You may want to suggest she just date him, get to know him, understand more about his real intentions, and take her time before considering any marriage proposals.

            Wishing her all the best.

    • Honesty and sincerity the basis of any relationship and sometimes stronger than love and passion and build a family need to honesty and sincerity is always

    • I just want to say that the last few years I have dated a middle eastern man. Unfortunately I do not believe the relationship will go any further than it has for the simple fact he is married. Granted his wife is not here in the states but none the less he is married. And he does plan on bringing her here. Where will that leave me ๐Ÿ™ I am deeply in love with him. I only wish that I could be with him for all ways but where will I be when she arrives to the US.

      I just want to say that I have found peace with this man. Will I go back to dating other nationalities, that I can not tell you. I love the culture and the care I receive from my love. Have I received it before yes but not like this. I am spoiled to a point. so I would like to say this your heart will love who it will. You have no control over whom your heart picks.

      I would like to say congrats on your marriage and I can only hope that Sir will be with me always as he states

      • I think it’s admirable he was honest about being married and even more admirable that he admitted he would be bringing her to live with him. At this point he’s been fair enough to give you all the information you need to make a decision based on truth. Should you get hurt in the future you only have yourself to blame.

        You will meet someone to treat you just as wonderfully as he has. Perhaps it doesn’t feel like it right now, but in time you will.

        Thank you for your kind words. Wishing you all the best.

    • I have also suffered the same fate. I love Ahmed still but he would not “disrespect” his parents by being with me, a Native American woman. I miss his love dearly…

    • I like this article. I’m an American single mom and I’m currently seeing a man from Jordan. He is very sweet and treats me very well. He makes me feel beautiful and alive, he never judges me and he accepts me for who I am. He isn’t bothered by the fact that I have a child from another man and is actually very good with my son. I’ve had only less than a handful of relationships but none of those people have ever made me feel special like this. He is the only Arab man I have ever dated but he is by far the most amazing and understanding man I have ever met. He opens up feelings inside me that I never knew exists. We’ve been together for only a very short time, but I’m already falling in love with him and I hope that one day we can take that step together and get married. Maybe I will be as lucky as the woman who wrote this article. I could never ask for anything more if I could be that truly blessed.

      • Hi Jackie,

        Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience with the readers and me. It’s always nice to hear other’s stories, good and bad. I like to think that information sharing results in helping at least one person.

        Sounds like you’ve met a really special man and I hope this relationship continues to make you as happy as you are today. Wishing you and your new love all the best.

        • Thank you so much. I’m relieved to know that I’m not the only one experiencing this situation. I wish everyone could be open-minded like we are. People really don’t know what they’re missing. You never know who might be your soul-mate. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to find where your heart belongs. I think if more people realized this, there would be more peace and happiness in this world. I met Mike seemingly by sheer fate, shopping at his corner store. I never thought I’d find love just down the street from my home, but one day I walked into his store to buy something and he told me I “have really pretty eyes.” and it just snowballed from there. He once said that he wanted my heart, and he won it. I don’t want it back. He can keep it. I could never give it to another man after I met such a wonderful person.

          • Hi Jackei,

            It’s really nice reading your lovely story. Our lives become richer when we keep an open mind. Wish you all the best.


    • Thank you for sharing you story ! I’m an American women living in California and I’m engaged to a Jordanian man. He’s very Americanized as well but has a lot of his one culture with him as well, which I appreciate, he always tells me he loves me and I’m convinced he dose but I face a lot of judgment from other people because of streotypes here in America. I’ve read things on line that say our love is doomed to failure because of so many different reasons but I just don’t see it happening. It’s true I’ve never met his Mother but she lives in Jordan and I know she knows about me. The only relative he has here is his brother and he seems to be very accepting of me. He’s also the one that’s been pushing for marriage I was the one who asked for more time. I’m also in the process of converting to Islam which he is very happy about but never forced upon me. I believe I have found a very good man and that we will have a good life together.
      Again I want to thank you for sharing your story it’s been very encouraging for me!

    • This post made me tear up and from happiness of course! I’m dating a Muslim man and I love him with my entire heart. I couldn’t bear imagining life without him and reading the horrible posts which stereotyped Muslim men disgusted me, but yours filled my heart up with joy. Thank you and I feel even more excited about my future with my significant other.

  2. Mashalla u seem very happy in ur marriage, may it always stay that way:)

    There are so many misconceptions about arabs to this day you’d think at this day and age those ideologies would change, but they don’t sadly. No one will really know what true arabs/kuwaities are like until they have lived among them. Even if they hear 1st degree stories its just not the same. Personally I know teachers who stayed in Kuwait one year and couldn’t wait to leave LOL, and I know some who like you have married kuwaities and are completely in love with the culture and with their lives.

    In the end it comes down to who your partner is, like you said, it doesn’t matter their nationality, race or what country you live in. And I don’t think you should explain to anyone if or why you’re happy, I think it just shows on a person, don’t you?:)

    • Thank you! Insha’Allah we do remain strong and happy in our marriage.

      Perhaps one of the reasons the ideas about Arabs and the culture doesn’t change is the lack of desire to understand… especially Americans. We’re terribly guilty of thinking our way is the best/only way and anything different is just wrong. I’m thankful my parents didn’t raise me to see life in one direction, with one mindset, or one religion. My parents always taught me people are exactly the same all over the world; sharing the same feelings, thoughts,and insecurities and I was taught never to judge, but instead make an effort to understand.

      I also know people who come to Kuwait and can’t wait to leave. It is so different from the world we come from and it does take a period of adapting. And as much as I love Kuwait, even I struggle here at times. Lately I’m almost exhausted and ready for a break from it all. But it will always be home.

      You’re so right that our happiness shows and no explanations are required. Just as those who are miserable outwardly display that through negativity and judgement of others.

      Thank you for your comment and I love your blog! I see you’ve only recently started but please don’t stop. You are very insightful.

      • Hi American Girl-

        I have been with my boyfriend for almost 7 months and still haven’t met his family. When I ask him about it he doesn’t really say much. Do you think am just someone he wants for now? Oh I have invited him to numerous family events and some how there is always an exuse. I was told that I could not attend a wedding from one of his relatives because I was not arab and his extended family was going to talk. He appears to care but after this was said I haven’t spoken to him. He tried contacting me about 1 week ago saying that he missed me but I never responded. With this being said you can image how confused I am. Please be honest and tell me what you think. I have had the opportunity to meet his brother, cousin and some friends but I feel that it’s most important to meet his parents. Am I just being used? Please help!


        • Hi there and thank you for sharing your story.

          Unfortunately I can’t answer the question of whether or not you’re being used — only your boyfriend knows that. However, how do you feel? Do you feel like you’re being used? If the answer is yes… then the answer is yes.

          I will say meeting brothers, cousins, and friends doesn’t amount to much. Men in this culture know all the dirty little secrets and would never dare tell parents, sisters, wives, etc. However, regardless of what he feels for you, he’s not going to introduce you to the women of the family — especially his mother. Unless he introduces you as a friend or a work associate. He could never dare say he’s ‘dating’ you as it would put you in a negative light, shame his family, and make him look bad in his mother’s eyes. I’m sure there are exceptions, I just can’t say I’ve ever heard of any.

          As for the weddings, they’re segregated as you probably know. Men have a male wedding, women have a female wedding… they don’t intertwine. Therefore, for you to attend a female wedding you would have to at least know a woman in the family who invited you.

          If you really want to know how important you are and how serious he is… send him a message explaining that you can’t see or talk to him anymore until he arranges to introduce you to the family and be prepared to get married.

          I’m so sorry for your confusion, I really wish I could offer something a bit more solid in the way of advice.

          • I am also confused! However my boyfriend is from Saudi Arabia and is 23. I’ve met all his cousins (males) and guy friends who study here in America. I’m not sure if he is taking me seriously though. One time he was textin with his sister and I told him “tell her I say hi” and he said “No I can’t, if not she tells father and then father will want me to marry” When he said this in my mind I thought “oh an arranged marriage” But then he said “maybe i marry you”. I took this as a joke but then some days later when he thought I was drunk (which i wasn’t) he asked me “would you come with me to my country? but it will be forever and you will have to cover up” The next day he asked me if I remembered anything. Since then he asks me things like “i want your dad’s number”. I also asked him “what will your parents do if they find out about me” And he said “I will marry you”. He talks about things like this but in a playful way just to see how I react I guess. We have 2 months of relationship by the way. So him talking about marriage surprises me. I guess I’m confused since he has started talking about this so early in our relationship! I would like your honest opinion please! :/

          • Hi Natt, I really appreciate you feeling comfortable enough to share your story with me. Sadly, I only come to one conclusion based on the information you’ve provided and it’s not good. Of course I could be wrong and he could be completely different, but it just doesn’t appear that way. If he’s serious about marrying you then he needs to make that clear to you AND his family. And until he does you would be wise to protect your feelings.

            Wishing you all the best.

        • Yeah, I think he is using you. Did you share your “cookies” with him? Don’t put out until you have met his parents and a ring is on your finger. If you have already put out, then you have most likely ruined any chances of having a solid future with this man.

          If he is keeping you secret from his folks and not making his commitment to you a known and public thing (with the approval of his parents), then why should you bother with him?

          Hope you do what is right by you.

      • It varies with the Egyptians, and especially Christians because most Christians family and family something very important and assets of Christianity in Egypt is the oldest origins historic so find Egyptian Christian family life always sound because does not have a divorce because the book says that a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and be one body

      • Hi my name is Tayser I am an Arab American first generation born and raised in the USA. I can answer almost any questions for someone that has questions or confused dating an Arab Male. I have been with an American girl for about 8 years now and she has not really met my family threw me once yet. She had met my mom before because she was real good friend with my cousins in high school growing up, she would take her to dinners and little baby showers and stuff with her. She is the only girl that I have ever been with. She found out everything like my parents wouldn’t except her because she is not from the same Country, Religion, and culture just about the same time i did. I was young (15 years old, as was she when we met) we found out she would never be accepted in my family when I was about 19. By then we were attached pretty bad to each other. Tell this day not much has really changed still in Love with her more than ever. It really hurts to know that but for some reason she can not let go, I can not let go either

        • Tayser, what becomes of you if you go against your families deep rooted culture & you tell them about your love for this girl? Why is this so unacceptable? Thank you, Marcie

        • Tayser, I fell in love with a Syrian man. Everything moved so quickly. I thought we were in love. I am still in love with him. He has said repeatedly that he loves me, but he wants to break up–that he can’t be with me. That he doesn’t want our relationship. He doesn’t want me. He does not see me in his future or as a respectable wife, though he once did before. This is because he says I am messy and have a very young daughter from a previous marriage and it’s too much for him. He is in a position where he can have any woman. I have a past growing up in LA but I have worked so hard and overcome so many of my personal struggles. I can function on my own and fix my own problems. I am very independent. But I am somehow not good enough, not perfect enough. He thinks I don’t care about my reputation and that I have a bad one. Again, he doesn’t want me he has said it recently over and over and for me to get it and have some respect for myself. He doesn’t want anything to do with me or to ever see me again. Every time I start to move on, he ends up back in my life. But all the blame is on me. I forced him and pushed him to see me. Ever since our first break up it’s been so rocky. He’s so hot cold. I just believe love has no limits or bounds and that if you love someone you don’t give up on them ever, you go to the moon and back for them. He is definitely the one. I’ve never met a better man, but yes after he decides to end it and then we somehow spend time together and then a few days later he reaffirms how he can’t be with me because im basically low class and disgusting, it puts me through so much. I cry all the time. I’m so hurt. Words cannot explain my pain. I feel absolutely crazy, like I imagined it all, our love, our chemistry, our connection. He says love is not enough. Is there anything I can do? Do you think he will ever realize what a mistake he is making? He is so wonderful with my daughter and they are so great together. How did something so wonderful turn to something so negative? it’s like im some bad news to him when all I have ever done was treated him like gold and a king. yes i have made some mistakes so has he, so have us all. His views on me seem to change the most after his trip to Dubai when he first tried to end it with me.

        • Tayser, thank you for sharing your story. I am in pretty much in the same situation just here in Europe. My ex was Egyption but born in Europe. I am 30, 4 years older and he is. We were together 4,5 years. He introduced me to his family and told them that he wants to engage me. They dont accept me because I am not Muslim, not Egyptian, “too old”, and dont speak arabic. He was trying to convince them for about a year but didnt change. They made him choose me or them. I left my country to be with him, left behind my friends and family and I was waiting patiently until he “grew up”. He finished uni, army and started to work as a doctor. We moved together because next to his demanding job we barley saw eachother. He left me 3 weeks ago. I was already impatient when will he finally commit…for him the pressure was too much. He lived a double life and he reached the point where he has to choose one. He doesnt know how will be he happy…he has doubts that he can be happy with me loosing his parents. I was very lonely this last year, i was almost always alone, he had shifts in the weekend and when he want once a week visit his family I was not allowed to come. So we broke up, and my heart broke also. I miss him so much, even when I know I have to let him go and move on I still have the hope that he will come back to me. Everybody tells me that thats the best for us, there were too many obstacles, and the time will heal the wounds. Right now I cannot immagine that I will be able to trust and love so much once again ๐Ÿ™

      • Please email me on this if you can. I just married a Saudi guy and he’s wanting me to come visit his family back home with him. He’s given me no reason to be worried about the travel but i am worried because i am a white American. What should i do?

        • There are a number of blogs written by American women who are married to Saudi men and living in Saudi Arabia. There’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Check out some of their blogs (listed on the right side of my blog) and read about their fascinating, unique adventures. Enjoy your trip!

          • Hey American Girl, was wondering if you can help me out with your honest opinion. Okay, so I’m a Kuwaiti dude who’s lived in the U.S. pretty much my entire adult life. I’m an Arab American (a bit more on the American side! Tattoos and all) and I’m looking to get married. Now, I’m freaking out because I think no American chick would want to live in a culture such as Kuwait’s, at the same time, no Kuwaiti chick would probably want to live in the U.S. and raise a family! I’m really torn! I do want to live in Kuwait for, god knows, how many years, but ultimately I want a partner who can help me raise a family based on Islam and American values and way of life (and yes, these two things are not contradicting! Don’t even get me started. )

            You’re thoughts are greatly appreciated.

            The Dude

          • Hi, Dude!

            Sounds like you’re really embracing the best of both cultures, that’s fabulous. When it comes to marriage it seems you might be better off marrying an American Muslim. Kuwait is really an easy country to adapt to, and if she’s Muslim then it won’t be such a shock for her to live there. She might even welcome the more Islamic lifestyle. If you marry a Kuwaiti, chances are she would be expected to stay in Kuwait to be near her family. And she would probably prefer that too. But if you plan to live in Kuwait then it wouldn’t be a problem.

            Ultimately I think you’ll marry whomever your heart desires. As it should be.

            Hope it all works out. Would love to know what you eventually decide.

        • Kuwaitis suck. I lived there one year. It was awful. You do know all other GCC countries hate you. You are so stuck up and act like you are superior. Workers in your country arenpractically slaves. It’s awful. Do you actually support this regime?

    • Kuwaitis suck. I lived there one year. It was awful. You do know all other GCC countries hate you. You are so stuck up and act like you are superior. Workers in your country arenpractically slaves. It’s awful. Do you actually support this regime?

  3. oh we still get stares at the mall etc … but that might be due to the fact that I’m ghastly white and 6 ft tall while my wife is nothing short of caramel in color and just at 5ft tall ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s because you’ve got the most beautiful wife and precious little girls, masha’Allah! But, I think it’s much more rare to see a Western man married to a local woman. I’m sure you both have some very interesting stories to tell and I would love to hear them all. I hope you continue to have such a happy, secure marriage together.

  4. Hello American Girl – thank you so much for putting yourself out there and sharing. I “met” an Arab man on the internet and am experiecning the prejudice from friends and family. I’ve not even had a chance to meet him face to face yet, but am so excited to. He’s caring and gentle and puts me first, he worries about my family that he’s never met, calls me just to say “hello, I miss you” – things i’ve never experienced here in the “West”. Without even meeting him i can say that i am prepared to relocate to live under his love and love and spoil in as many ways as he does for me. It will be a big adjustment, on both parts, but i am willing to make certain changes to bask in the rewards that I do believe will be oh so worth it. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • Hi there, and thank you for your comment!

      I’m so happy for you and your new found love. Though many relationships should be ‘test driven’ so to speak, online relationships even a bit more. I’m not saying give up on him, but definitely spend some time in person before making plans to relocate. Do some research on his country, the culture, and find out how invested he is. I’m hoping it all works out for the best ๐Ÿ™‚ And no matter what, don’t allow anyone to make you question your decision. Life comes without of questions without others make it feel more difficult.

  5. I am america indian irish germen & french. im a relationship with an arabic man , words can’t even tell you how amazing he makes me feel. he has never once tryed to convert me to islamic or asked me to cover up. im so in love with this man .I love it .he still has his culture, as i do mine.we have that respect and understanding.

  6. Walla nice story
    I’d do anything to have the same ๐Ÿ™‚
    I tried so hard 2 find an american girl who would accept a “syrian” in her life and … still searching

    • Hi Ali, I think it’s important to be with someone you love more than someone from a particular nationality. Hoping you find true happiness.


    • dont give up on american girls. we are awesome and love the sweet arab men who treat their women as they should like their queen.

  7. Hello greeting of Islam ..I honest man Amin nice affectionate cream like the good of all I wish to marry a girl dishonest good heart upscale does not matter where you live, I willing to stay wherever you want, no matter her age., But matter of mind and heart.. I am a man Arab Muslimpossessed compassion, safety and a broad mind and great
    I holiest married life and respect Alemraep and Raรบaha
    I’m from a prominent Muslim family kept him for the book of God, a convert to Islam
    This is my information peace of God be upon you
    skype: my_nenga

      • Hi Lamiae, I am not a matchmaker (though I’m starting to think I should be). However, I’ve posted your comment in case anyone reads it and is interested in contacting you. I wish you all the best in your search for marriage.

  8. Hi American girl,

    I came across your blog & I really enjoy reading your articles..
    I wish you all the best in your marriage & would like to ask you some questions – If its okay with you :
    1) I admire your knowledge about the Islamic/Arabic culture & was wondering if your Muslim or not (I just want to know).

    2) I was raised in the US & was wondering if you can introduce me to any American women like yourself, who knows the background of our culture (I know you don’t know anything about me but believe me I am a good & well-educated Arabian person & ready for any questions from your side if required).

    Wish you well & thanks for taking the time to read my message ๐Ÿ™‚
    Tarig T.

    • Hi Tarig,

      Thank you for your kind comment.

      To answer your questions, yes, I am Muslim and was long before I met my husband. As for introducing you to someone, there are a lot of wonderful American women living in Kuwait who would love to meet a nice man. I think it’s a matter of putting yourself out there and trying to meet them in a respectful manner. Of course it’s always a good thing to be introduced through mutual friends, but considering I don’t know you at all, it would be difficult for me to introduce you. I’m sure you’re a wonderful man and I certainly hope you find exactly what you’re looking for in life.

      Wishing you all the best.

  9. Hi American Girl,

    I think you reach the Haven ^_^

    There is a good guys every where but i think Arab men is the best
    loyal and fear gods so they treat there women as a jewelery.

    wish you all the best,

    • Hi Khaled, thank you for your comment. I believe every man has the potential to be a good husband, but marrying an Arab has definitely made me a very happy woman.


          • shurkan American Girl, but we see it as a gift from Allah, as he has dominion over all and hopefully, we will have a blessing from our union we pray for this, so very much may Allah continue blessing your union, life and worship jazakAllah Khair barakthu

        • Hi halal gal,
          I was wondering if he is virgin? I have friend I love very much whom lives in Egypt. He asked me to marry him and I said yes. He asked his father and he said no. I was married before and have one child. His father said he had to marry virgin. Is there custom. I am older as well. We have communicated for almost 2 years. He is my soulmate. Wish we could marry. He wants to live in Egypt. I wondered also American girl, how much trouble would he get in if married me anyway? He is man of honor, which I love about him. We talked about me being his second wife but apparently costs a lot of money from what he says. He doesn’t have to ask my parents for permission or pay money.

          • unfortunately you will walk a hard road if he chooses to marry you without his fathers consent even though in Islam he is old enough, I was involved with an Egyptian man his father refused for him to marry me because he preferred an Egyptian girl which I suspect he was engaged with her before me, he pleaded with me to marry him so he could come to America of course I didn’t. I cant tell you not to marry him only be careful you said you will become his second wife, in Islam a man can have up to 4 wives if he can sustain them and treat them all with fairness each having her own home and car or servant and equal time spent with all, in my marriage contract we have already decided that I will not accept any other wives also in America its not allowed nor will he travel to any other part of the world to find if he does we are through because im not made to handle sharing in this capacity. are you a Muslim?
            p.s. no he is not a virgin he should have been but I don’t judge him he is now celibate since meeting me Alhamdulillah

          • he must only marry a virgin if she is Jewish or Christian, if you are divorced or your ex died it is ok many twist sharia laws to fit with culture sadly, but that’s not what Allah intended hardship marriage is half the deen also you if you are not reverted that is also a condition to marrying a girl non Muslim she must at some point revert because of children are given they will be confused and we need children to be brought up in truth to strengthen the ummah

  10. hi american girl
    i have been in a relationship for almost 6 months with an arab and i am christian. His sister is getting married and tho he invited me to the wedding, i will be sitting with his friends instead of with him and i do not like that. i know that his religion is very strict but i cant help but feel out of place and because of this reason i feel like it is not working out. family is #1 for me and for my family to know about him but his not to know about me it bothers me. i have met his brothers and boy cousins tho. other than this issue, everything is perfect. he treats me well and always puts me first. please help.

    • Hi Monica,

      I really wish there was some advice I could give that would solve all your problems and eliminate your fears. Unfortunately, that’s just not life ๐Ÿ™

      The fact that you’re going to the same wedding as your boyfriend and not being segregated by gender isn’t something I’m familiar with in the Arab culture. So it’s difficult for me to say why he might have you sitting with friends as opposed to family. Male friends? Female friends? Is he taking you as his ‘date’?

      I would assume because his family (parents) doesn’t know about you then it might be disrespectful to seat you in the family area? Perhaps his family would ask why a ‘girlfriend’ is sitting there even if they did know about you. Though some Arab cultures are accepting of people dating, most are not. And it would almost be shameful to tell his family (especially his mother and sisters) that he has a girlfriend. Have you asked him directly? Maybe you should tell him you just don’t understand and allow him to explain. His answer might really put your mind at ease.

      Wishing you all the best.

      • well i asked him today
        i am not his ‘date’ and they are male friends. he explained to me that it would be disrespectful, especially in his sisters wedding, to take me as a date. but i mean, if i did the same to him he would feel awful right? he told me how each family is going to sit in a table and then there are other tables for other guests. he also told me that if i wanted i could take a friend with me. what would you do? did you have to go thru this with your husband when you were just dating? when did you meet his parents?were you fine with that or did it bother you?

        i really appreciate your responses btw!

        • Hi Monica,

          You say that if you did the same to him how would he feel? Well, you wouldn’t do the same to him. Not because you’re a better person or he loves you less than you love him. But because there’s a difference in the cultures. And this is just the beginning. This is a time for you to decide are these obstacles too big for you to deal with?

          As for me, my husband’s culture has segregated weddings. Men and women do not share wedding halls at the same time. So when I attended weddings, it was never with my husband. And if he attended one for a friend and I didn’t know the women, I stayed home since I wouldn’t be attending the women’s wedding. Quite different from my culture but nothing that offended me. Also, my husband and I didn’t ‘date’ per se. We met, we spent time together in the daytime, in public, and I met his family the same week. After that we continued to spend time together in public places or at the family home where he was often in the dewaniya with the men and I would spend time with his mother and sisters — he would pop in every hour or so to make sure all was going well. We were married a few weeks later.

    • I am a Christian Egyptian, unfortunately, marriage Christian girl of young Muslims have for some purposes and not for marriage, as well as a Muslim marry up to four wives allowed him to do so and there are other things, so be careful because sometimes marry the girl and then let the girl for jihad marriage any be every day for a man you can search the net for (Jihad marriage) (marriage of marriage) in Islam


  11. I love this post! You have no idea. I’m currently in a relationship with an Arabic, Muslim. I’m so sick of seeing girls post “Arabic men want to be with an Arabic women, all you white Americans are trashy.” I believe that if you are in love with someone, then you fight for that, no mater what the problems are. It shouldn’t matter the race, everyone is equal and if an Arabic man wants to marry out of his race to be with the women he really loves, then it shouldn’t mater. I love who I’m with and I’ll sacrifice anything when it comes to marriage.

    • I agree it’s important for people to be with someone they choose and someone they love. But some cultures believe marriage is for procreation and not necessarily love. You don’t mention where your boyfriend is from, if you live in America (and he does too)… would love to know.

      Ignore those who have negative things to say. No matter what you do, who you’re with, or any decision you make… someone is always going to hate. Leave that nonsense and drama behind you.

    • I am a Christian Egyptian, unfortunately, marriage Christian girl of young Muslims have for some purposes and not for marriage, as well as a Muslim marry up to four wives allowed him to do so and there are other things, so be careful because sometimes marry the girl and then let the girl for jihad marriage any be every day for a man you can search the net for (Jihad marriage) (marriage of marriage) in Islam

  12. I was reading the post above me, about his family not knowing you guys date. I have the same problem. I sucks at times because I would love to know his family. It has been two years and it has been great. His parents have kinda made gestures and said ” do you have a girl friend” of course he lies, because we know when the time is right, then we will tell them. Like I said, if you love that person so much, you will fight for them through thick and thin. No mater the culture or religion, that shouldn’t mater. It’s all about love in the end.

    • Sounds to me like you’re really in love with this guy and I certainly wish you both all the best. However, the fact you’ve never met his family after 2 years is alarming. I’m not implying he’s never going to marry you or doesn’t really love you. But I can honestly say I do not know one single woman who has been in that situation and it ended on good terms.

      Where is he from? How did you meet him? Where are you spending time with him?

      Important factors.

  13. Hey there American Girl,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us ๐Ÿ™‚ Im also American/Christian (Oregonian) and my habibi is Emirati, we have been together for two years and if feels good to know that I’m not the only one who has felt this passionate for an Arab man. My Emirati and I have never actually met in person (It’s a bummer even though we video chat via Skype about 8 to 12 hours a day. . . . . dont tell my boss :$ ) but we are getting close to the point in our relationship to actually meet face to face(he wants me to go to Abu Dhabi, and I agreed because I have never been anywhere close to leaving the US before and I want to see other parts of the world before I die ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I have to admit I’m a little nervious but he is as caring and thoughtful as your husband and thats what made him stand out from all of my other Arab guy friends (we were, and still are, best friends before starting and all thoughout our relationship). I’ve never felt so happy and free in all my life, I can really be myself with him and him with me (he’s a little bit of a dork, but he’s my dork ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I have never met a man who laughs as freely as he does.
    I really hope that we get a chance to meet in person and that we are as happy together as you and your husband obviously are, Insha’Allah.
    May God keep you and your family
    Cassandra Sanchez

    • Hi Cassandra,

      I really hope things work out for you once you and your boyfriend do meet. I also hope you have been doing some research about the culture, the lifestyle, and the people before you arrive. It’s important you have as much information as possible before entering any relationship, but especially one on the other side of the world involving a different culture. Ask how his mother feels about you/the relationship. Ask to speak to his mother. Or at least ensure you’re going to meet her once you visit. Meeting male relatives doesn’t count. Ask to speak to his sisters, and to meet them as well. Depending on how he reacts to those requests can dictate a lot about where this is going.

      Wishing you all the best and please keep me updated as to how things progress.

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I am a Christian Egyptian, unfortunately, marriage Christian girl of young Muslims have for some purposes and not for marriage, as well as a Muslim marry up to four wives allowed him to do so and there are other things, so be careful because sometimes marry the girl and then let the girl for jihad marriage any be every day for a man you can search the net for (Jihad marriage) (marriage of marriage) in Islam

  14. Dear American girl,

    Thank you for writing your blog, your view is refreshing and your information is helpful.

    I am a 27 year old European girl and 8 months ago I met a 35 year old Lebanese man. It was love at first sight and we have since spent our time skyping and visiting each other. I have met his cousins, and friends (male and female) and I know for a fact that his mother and sisters know about me.

    As he lives in Abu Dhabi and because of work cannot move, we decided I would relocate to see if there is a further match. However it has been difficult for me to find a job and thus take that chance. He is a free spirited liberal non practicing muslim. I do not follow any specific religion and am of a very liberal background. Though he follows his own path, he does feel pressure to get married and have children, as a 35 year old single is rare in his culture. He recently indicated that we should go our separate ways, as he feels the cultural difference is larger then he thought.

    I know he always has my best interest at heart. Being the thinker that he is, he worries about the future: will I be able to find a job in his country, would I mind moving from Abu Dhabi to Beirut, would I be able to learn Arabic, will these changes not bee too much for me, is he not affecting my life too much etc. My response would be that I am smart and independent and together we can take on any challenge. We both experience a very special connection, but I feel that he takes the rational approach and does not follow his heart.

    He now wants us to not talk for a month or two, and go separate ways. It is killing me and I wonder; should love be enough for us to match, or should two people match and then love can follow?

    From where I can from love is the basis and most important. I wonder what your view is on this.

    Wishing you love and happiness,

    • Hi Louise, and thank you for your comment.

      I’m a little confused about whether or not you actually did relocate to Abu Dhabi or if you’re still living apart. That certainly plays a role in his decision making. I’m also unsure of your education/work experience, but finding work in Abu Dhabi should be very easy for you. Again, I’m not sure if you’re currently in the UAE or chose not to relocate.

      As for learning Arabic in the UAE or should you ever move to Beirut, there’s really no need. Unless he has family members who don’t speak English, then maybe out of respect you would want to learn a little Arabic. But otherwise there’s really no reason. Even for work purposes.

      I will say if you’re still living apart and continuing your relationship online… give him a break if that’s what he needs. I understand it’s painful and can be very difficult, but if you don’t allow him some space to look at things from a realistic perspective, you’re setting yourself up for even more hurt.

      Be patient, remind him you really care, continue to look for work in Abu Dhabi,and focus on yourself for a bit. If it’s meant to be then it will be.

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I am a Christian Egyptian, unfortunately, marriage Christian girl of young Muslims have for some purposes and not for marriage, as well as a Muslim marry up to four wives allowed him to do so and there are other things, so be careful because sometimes marry the girl and then let the girl for jihad marriage any be every day for a man you can search the net for (Jihad marriage) (marriage of marriage) in Islam

  15. Good Morning,

    I just came across your post. I am having a bit of insomnia and as I have done from time to time I try to search for information about Arab/American relationships my search has mostly been in vain. I’ve seen the myriads of interracial youtube videos but didn’t find one featuring an Arabian and an American. I, like you, have received the blank stares before the warning monologues when I tell people my love is Arabian. It’s always bad news stories of control and neglect and outright abuse. Then they look at me with pity in their eyes like I’m going to regret my decision. You see my story is kind of a double whammy maybe even a triple whammy. He is Arab, Palestinian specifically, and Muslim, never married. I am American, non religious but my father is Jewish, divorced with one child. He is eight years my junior & we have “been in a relationship” for almost five years now and the relationship has been entirely long distance. We still haven’t met face to face outside of Skype yet. His father is beside himself with disappointment at his sons lasting interest in me. The father has gone as far as trying to ridicule him by saying that the only woman he can get is an old used woman when he refused to accept the arrangement his father tried to make for him with his cousin. His father worked hard to send him to private school and to a university. Considering what other Palestinians are facing right now, this is quite a feat. He is a practicing lawyer with his own business, he is his parents only child, and the sole provider for his parents and two of his cousins. If he leaves them to be with me it would be devastating for them. I am also approaching an age where it might not be safe to have more children. I “broke up” with him last October because I love him so much, and despite how crazy I am about him, I believed it was the right thing to do. I know this all sounds crazy from beginning to end but it is what it is. We ended up getting back together in December after I called him crying out of my heart. I had not expected that we were going to get back into this with that call but… unbeknownst to me he was at a party with another girl he had been dating since shortly after I called it off. He took my call right in front of her. As soon as he heard my voice and that I had been crying he dropped everything to give me his full attention. He told me he couldn’t imagine not answering If I called, ever. He was so good to me even after I broke his heart into thousands of pieces. He didn’t get off the phone with me until I felt like I was going to be better and told me that he was my guy. If I ever needed anything ever that I should never feel like I am alone or I have no one to turn to. I hung up and within 30 minutes I had lost my mind. If I could have run to him I would have run as hard and fast as I could. I tried so hard not to call him back but failed miserably. My heart was beating so hard and I was shaking and calling and calling and texting like crazy. I told him I wanted to be with him if he would have me. I texted for thirty minutes or so just pouring my heart out but he didn’t answer, he had turned the internet off on his phone. I started to calm down and put my head back together. I told him again that I was just going crazy and to disregard my messages, that I was glad he didn’t answer and that I would be fine. I decided I needed to get out, I have friends that live a 4 hour drive from me and I needed the drive to clear my head. In the early hours of the next morning he started to call me but my internet was off on my phone so I didn’t get them right away. Long story short we talked for a bit and then I made the 4 hour drive back to my city so we could talk privately. I couldn’t live another day without him in my life. We talked, we argued, we talked, we cried, we talked some more. At one point we fell asleep with Skype open. The next day I questioned what I was doing. I freaked out. We were getting back together and none of the circumstances that we had before had changed. All I know is that every time I see his face I feel that bolt of joy, I feel relaxed and at peace when we talk, add in all of the other bonuses like the fact that he is extremely intelligent, and his forgiveness and patience toward me seem to be unending, that we can talk for 12 hours at a time and never feel bored or that 12 hours have passed at all. Going on 5 years of never even having a hand shake and we still don’t get enough. When we broke up I didn’t know where to go. I dated, I tried so hard to move on as quickly as possible to make getting back together impossible, because I felt like I was stealing his life. He was ready to give up everything with no assurance of security. Leave his family, leave his business, leave everything he had ever known to come to an unknown place with no job and a degree that he can’t use here. If I love him how can I allow him to do that?? I compared all of my dates to him, I was bored, I was lonelier than ever. I don’t want anyone but him, he stole my heart too. We had made plans to meet in March (yes, he has a visa) but he had to take a job opportunity since he is also taking responsibility for his family. Our next plan is to meet in September of this year. We have so many polarizing dynamics here that it almost seems impossible to make it work. I never felt so loved, so cared about, so romanced and so at peace. We haven’t even met in person, or sat next to each other, or eaten at the same table or anything in almost 5 years and yet here we still are waiting and dreaming and holding onto hope, that has to count for something. He told me he would rather work at a gas station and be with me than be a lawyer and live without me. He told me that if he is with me or without me he is leaving his country, that it doesn’t hold his future, and so he will be leaving his family and his job anyway, so I shouldn’t feel responsible. He even said he is happy to adopt children if I get too old to have anymore. He accepts my past, forgives all of my blunders, and is still absolutely besotted. Maybe someday I will have a Jewish father and an Arab Muslim husband! I just hate that no one is happy for us and constantly trying to warn both of us that Arab men and American women just don’t work. I keep looking for success stories to balance the horror stories. Sorry I wrote a short novel. I just feel so blessed to love this man and be loved by him but I’m a little stressed about how this is all going to work out. Any encouragement or positive stories are needed and welcomed.

    • Hi Nessa, thank you so much for sharing your story. I find your situation to be so interesting and I’ll do my best to share my experience and offer my opinion.

      As many obstacles as your relationship seems to have, I would say the biggest one would be the Jewish father and your love for a Muslim man. Especially Palestinian. I’m sure you’re fully aware of the conflicts taking place in that region and the distaste they have for one another. However, you’re obviously at an age where you can make your own decisions and so is he. I would suggest, if you haven’t already, to start learning as much as you can about Islam on your own.

      I can say, from personal experience, marrying an Arab man doesn’t result in a lifetime of abuse or neglect. My husband is the same man today he was when I met him a few years ago… maybe even better. Like you, my husband and I met on the internet accidentally through a mutual friend (I lived in Abu Dhabi, he in Kuwait where I had lived for years before). We talked on the phone for hours the first day but also agreed we would meet within 10 days or not even bother. Being a 45 minute flight away it made our situation much easier. Before meeting he did tell his family about me and expressed if all worked out between us, I was the one he wanted to marry. Though it wasn’t their idea of how their son’s life should play out, they were open to the idea. We met 8 days later, I met his family the following week, we were married 3 months later with blessings from both his family and mine. So even when it appears as though the situation might not be ideal to everyone around, they eventually accept it.

      Because of the geographical distance in your relationship, obviously hopping on a flight isn’t the most feasible thing to do. But it’s definitely something you need to do, and soon. Whether it be you going to him, or him going to you, it should happen. If he has a visit visa to the US, encourage him to come visit. He can’t legally move here on a visit visa, nor can he legally work, but at least you can meet and make a more realistic decision about what direction you want to go. Should he decide to move here the process can take YEARS while he continues to wait in Palestine and you in America.

      It sounds like you two really do love one another and want to be together. Unfortunately you’re going to have people telling you it’s a bad decision. Fortunately they really have no clue. As you know, abusive controlling men can come from any background and any religion. But the stereotype regarding the Arab male is terribly misconstrued. Yes, Arab men are far more protective than Western men. This comes from their cultural background. Women in most Arab cultures remain a virgin until marriage. They spend their life going to school (generally segregated), making female friends, spending weekends with family or sometimes female friends, and following in their mother’s footsteps… almost as if they’re being groomed to be a good wife. If they go out with friends their brother or father will often drive them (even if she knows how to drive and owns a car). Not because they don’t trust the girl, but because they don’t trust the men around them. For instance, in Kuwait, a girl driving a car alone will often be followed and sometimes even almost run off the road by a car full of young men. So where most people see it as controlling, it’s really just the ultimate level of caring. Furthermore, these women are not forced into this lifestyle unwillingly. This is their culture, their comfort, and a very admirable way to live. I admit, I’ve gotten quite spoiled knowing I really don’t have to worry myself about ANYTHING. Car needs gas? Tell hubby. Oil change? Tell hubby. Need groceries? Tell hubby. Want to go shopping? Tell hubby. So next time your friends express fear of you being locked in the house by some controlling nutjob, just explain you WANT to be spoiled. (disclaimer: every family is different and not all Arab homes raise their children the same)

      Right now I think it’s important you really focus on physically meeting. Even the strongest of relationships can’t sustain long distance forever. Also, should you make the decision to be together, you’re going to have a ton of paperwork and government agencies to get through before that can even happen. So it’s best to start now. As much as you both feel you’re in love, you have to bring a sense of reality to the situation otherwise it’s always going to be a fantasy living in your mind. Research immigration, have that conversation with him, know that ‘working at a gas station just to be with you’ is probably not a realistic statement, and there’s always a chance both of you could lose your family members because of your decisions. Not likely though.

      I hope I’ve been able to provide some insight and positive words of encouragement. Wishing you all the best and hope you keep me posted on your situation. Please feel free to email me anytime at

    • I am a Christian Egyptian, unfortunately, marriage Christian girl of young Muslims have for some purposes and not for marriage, as well as a Muslim marry up to four wives allowed him to do so and there are other things, so be careful because sometimes marry the girl and then let the girl for jihad marriage any be every day for a man you can search the net for (Jihad marriage) (marriage of marriage) in Islam

  16. Dear American Girl,

    Thanks for your prompt reply, I have been meaning to write with more information by email but I’ve been stuck with the vagaries of life and will get to it soon.


  17. I would really like to meet and marry an Arab man – I am looking to be a part of a large family who interacts often and everyone is involved in each others lives. But unfortunately it is hard to meet Arabs and it is even harder to meet them the right way that is acceptable for marriage. I feel Arabs never marry girls they date in a Western sense of a relationship.

    • Hi Lilo, I’m curious as to your reasons for wanting to marry an Arab man. I know a lot of Western women are attracted to them after meeting and getting to know them, but you don’t indicate to be involved with one.

      Sadly, the cultural differences generally appear in the first meeting… if the Arab man is still living within his culture. The American way of ‘dating’ is completely different than most Arab cultures. American males and females attend school together, work closely together and intertwine on every level of life. Dating is very casual and often intimate. Dating numerous people before marriage or even living together is often encouraged in America. Obviously many Arab cultures are of a completely different mindset. However, the culture within the Arab community changes from country to country… and even city to city in some cases. But intimacy and living together are rarely an acceptable practice among Arabs. Without at least a basic understanding of this, then when the two cultures come together there’s often a lot of confusion. A Western woman will wonder why an Arab man doesn’t want to marry her after she’s spent weeks, months, or even years being great ‘wifey’ material. And an Arab man is going to wonder how this woman who shared a bed with him BEFORE marriage would ever think she was wifey material at all.

      I’m not sure where you live or how you’ve sought out Arab men in the past (if you have). I wish had answers… or could clone my husband. I believe every woman deserves someone as wonderful as him. I could probably tell you where or how to MEET an Arab man. But only true love and a DEEP understanding of each other’s cultures could result in marriage.

      • Hi Kotaiba,

        Thank you for your comment and I certainly wish you all the best. I know the situation in Syria isn’t very good right now. But please understand American women all that I know anyway) marry people they fall in love with after meeting and spending a great deal of time with. Also, marrying an American woman really won’t change the situation you deal with in Syria. Hoping everything works out for you.

  18. Dear American Girl,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog, I’m currently dating an Arab guy and he is such a gentlemen. So reading your blog made me excited about dating an Arab just because I hear all these stereotypes and reading your blog clarified a lot of things. This is also my first real relationship. I hope to hear from you soon or keep on contact with you because I would love to tell you how we met and about him some more

    • Hi Susie,

      I’m so glad you were able to get some insight from my blog. Every situation is different but sometimes it’s just nice to know what others are experiencing. I would love to know more about your relationship should you choose to share. Where is he from? Are you living in his country? If so, what took you there. How long have you been together?

      Thank you for your comment.

      • Hi there! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for replying to my comment. He is from Kuwait and he is studying Mechanical Engineering and Technology at my university. His dad is from Saudi Arabia and his mom is from Kuwait. He grew up and was born in Kuwait. We’ve only been together for 1.5 months. Right now his parents are visiting, so I haven’t really got to spend time with him. At first he wanted to tell his parents about us but then he told me we should wait, which I understand considering that we’ve only been together for almost 2 months. I had admired him since September 2012, when I first started University and I always too scared to talk to him. In March, I anonymously wrote how I had a crush on him on a facebook confession page for my university and after it was published, I kept commenting on it and his friend told him it was pretty obvious that I was the one that wrote it. In April, I left a note on his car telling him how I thought he was attractive, and how I always wanted to talk to him but I was too scared to. Then I left my number on it and told him how we should hang out. That same day I heard back from him and took me on a date the following day.

  19. Hello everyone (Assalamu alaikum)
    I am Arabic man , I live in the US , I was looking for marriage American girl online and I got here to this nice website. Thank you all for the nice words you said about us (Arabs) and I ask Allah to make your life happy and faithful.

    • Thank you very much for your kind words. I’m glad you stumbled onto my blog but sorry it wasn’t what you’re looking for. I do wish you all the best in your search.

  20. That was a lovely read..Thank you for that. One hears so many horrible and negative gets tiresome. I too married an Arab man-one of the best most joyful wonderful things that I have ever done. We celebrate our 20th anniversary in Oct. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you so much and congratulations on your upcoming wedding anniversary! I too get tired of the negative stories and sadly they’re told by people who aren’t even in a marriage (or relationship) with an Arab.

      My husband keeps saying he’s going to ‘co-write’ certain topics with me, but neither of us have had much time to invest lately. Hopefully soon… I think it will be a lot of fun.

  21. hay there…
    I am arabian man and i want tell you something important..
    Not all arabian men are the same..
    Most of the times men from gulf country like saudi . qatar.yemen oman.Uae and bahrane are not having good education
    Most of them just came from desert but not all of them. so those who stay in the desert treat women in bad ways .. but i read what american girl said about her husband.. this man is not like the badoo.. he is good man coz he does not do like badoo..
    If one of you travel to there tents you will crt when you meet a women there and ask her: did you see your men or knew about him anything before getting married ? she will say NO!!!. you ask her why??!! she will say if iopen my mouth to say no my family will kill me mybe…… THESE SAY THAT THEY ARE MUSLIMS… BUT THE TRUTH IS THEY ARE NOT MUSLIMS COZ ISLAM DOSE NOT ALLOW THEM TO DO THIS WITH WOMEN..
    Islam say the girl must see the man if she say OK then ok if she say NO then its her choise.. The other arab men like Palestine..egypt..syria..jordon..And libya allmost do as muslims and treat woman good…
    i wish lovly life for all peaple.

    • Thank you for your input, Abdallah. I agree my husband, though bedu (badoo) is very different than most others. However, no two people are ever alike.

  22. I want you guys to be careful when you start looking for wife in America , I got this email below, which is fake, from someone in a social networking app , they know that we are not looking for sex out of marriage so they build up a large fake networks only to steal money and hurt us. American girl is like any woman in this world , she is not an object. She wants true love to love and to be loved the same way.
    I will tell you abit about me…my name is shkura ibrahim ,i am the
    only daughter of my parents…i moved to the states when i was 4 years
    of dad is from usa and my mom is from dad and mom
    got to meet each other in Liberia and i was born there as well..but i
    moved to the states with my moms aunt when i was 4 years of
    dad and mom had some disagreement..very early of there relationship to
    they both had to brake my mom had to go back to Spain and she
    took me along to Spain too..but i only spent 4 months with mom
    there..she wasn’t able to cope with me she had to throw me
    down to her aunts place in New York city ..thats were i grew up..and
    schooled and went toll college there too..and since i have been with
    my moms aunt..i never did heard from dad or mom again..i was just
    abandoned there and i grew up to really do love my aunt cause she was
    such a lovely aunt to me..but she left me so early..she died when i
    was 17 years of since then.. i have just had a life on my
    own..doing what i know how to do best in honesty and living my life to
    the fullest..and i grew up to understand the principles of life and
    the truth that follows it and i have made a vow to my self and God
    that i will forever remain honest and truthful to the things i say and
    do..cause truth and honesty is the only key to success..but its every
    hard to go about..but i still try not to brake my vow..and i do seek
    all i want with all my heart and the truth of it..

    Right now i am on a programme in Africa..But Nigeria precisely..this
    is my first time traveling to blacks country and i don’t really know
    much about this environment but i am so adaptive so i get used to
    allot of things so easily and i get to understand how things are been
    done in the environment too as well.i am into Fashion designer..Africa
    clothing and textile design..thats wat i am into..i have just started
    my career on it and its really my dream and i seek a man who will
    support my dream…i just got to Africa like 4 weeks ago and on
    planing to get back to the states complete my dream and has really been a dream come true for me to become a real
    fashion designer and i have committed all my time and all i have into
    this career and i hope it leads to a very great future of mine.

    Well,i am a very sincere and honest person,am
    i believe in the truth and honest of love..i am really a very sincere
    person when it comes to sharing feelings and emotions with that
    special person and i really am down to heart honest about the things i
    say and do cause i don’t like hurting peoples feelings,cause everyone
    has a chance to laugh,so why do i make them sad..i am really very easy
    to get along with,fun to be with and am very adaptive and
    communicative when it comes to conversant conversation.and my life is
    based on the truth and honest of self personality…i would really
    like to get to know allot about you and learn somethings with you
    cause u seems to be kind of ready in getting to know my kind of person
    and hopeful we can meet in person soon..with time we will get to know
    each others feelings,motives and intensions towards each other and it
    will help us grow knowing each other and trusting each other..Well i
    will await your next reply and i will try and email you back asap.

    i will tell you more about me and my personality..
    hope to read from you soon as i expected

    • Hi there. Please know that the email you’ve posted did NOT come from an American woman. It was sent to you by a professional con artist living in Nigeria. This is a very common scam and a way to get money from trusting strangers. Do NOT reply to this person and certainly don’t send them any money.

      • Hello sister , yes I realized this. I hope they are not dangerous because they could hurt people by doing this business. I am not gonna reply to them Inshaallah.

        • Hi there, just be careful of those emails. They are dangerous and stay clear of them. I suggest you go read up on romance scams. Never give anyone any money. And yes sadly they exist in muslim sites as well.

  23. The face that etched the walls of my love, colours the lines of the Arab world with his lineage. Yes, I loved, very much an Arab man, who was also Berber too. My beautiful Arab stood up for my honour and loved my stretch marks. I loved not only his strong sculpted veins, but the strength of his beauty that held his soul. It was his soul that touched mine as fatherhood lines the length of his fingers. I loved and loved him so, but, he was not to be mine as I moved on my journey and became an author. I love him still. The claws of my decision weighs within my heart.

    • Sounds like you were really in love. I hope you were able to express this to him at that time, as well as you’ve expressed it here. Wishing you all the best.

  24. My name is Bassem of Egypt, I want to marry an American girl I am 20 years old and this is my email (

    • Well, Bassem, this certainly isn’t a dating site, but I’ve gladly published your comment in case anyone is interested in contacting you. Wishing you all the best. But what would make you want to marry an American woman? I would like to think meeting someone and falling in love would be the reason for most marriages.


    • I’m really sorry to hear your marriage didn’t work. Maybe you and your family will move back to the USA one day and you will have the opportunity to meet someone you have more in common with.

      Wishing you all the best.

  26. I just read your post and had a few questions. I know you said they accept that you eat with a fork during meals and don’t make you cover your head/face. Was this your first time dating someone from the middle east? Cultural differences, was his family upset at all that he married outside of his culture? Could you tell me more about when you met his family and the first time being exposed to that culture verses the western culture.. I’m just curious because I am dating an arabic man and he asks me to come to Saudi Arabia with him all the time, but I am extremely nervous to meet his family/ and try their style of living.

    • Hi Kristen, thank you for your comment and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

      Dating: I have lived in the Middle East for a number of years before meeting my husband. However, ‘dating’ is frowned upon, especially for a woman. So I would suggest, under no circumstances, do you discuss your previous boyfriends with your current boyfriend. And if you ever do meet his family, let them believe he’s the only man you’ve ever known in your entire life. Not that you have to lie, but not something you want to strike up a casual conversation about either.

      Covering: Though I am Muslim I don’t wear hijab. All the women in my husband’s family do, and sometimes they even wear niqab (facial covering). My husband was aware when we first met that I had made the decision not to wear hijab and therefore he never requested it. I met his family (brothers included) without being covered and have never felt the need to cover my head in their presence. The other sister’s in law do cover their heads when the brothers are present. So you can see how this would make me stand out as the odd one, yet no one has ever shown any sign of discomfort at my choices. They’ve been wonderfully accepting.

      Marriage: From the time my husband was a teenager I think his family almost expected him to marry a Westerner. It seems he relates more to my culture than he does to his own. But, by the time he surpassed the average marrying age, his family did start pushing the issue more. Not in a demanding way, but an encouraging way. Not too long after that he walked in the door with me. They had prepared a huge lunch and I ate in the room with the women (obviously) while my husband went into the room for lunch with the men. Though I was very familiar with the culture I was still nervous. However, they made me feel as though I was one of the family from the first time we met.

      I wish I could give you good sound advice, but it’s just really not possible. Every situation is different. Every family is different. And to be honest, I don’t know even ONE other family who would have been as accepting as my husband’s. I know I am truly blessed to be part of the great love they all share for one another and I’m thankful for them every day. I certainly hope things turn out as wonderfully for you as well.

      Before you do make a decision to go visit him in KSA, please do some research. Know about travel restrictions for a woman, visa types, requirements for covering, or being in public with a man who isn’t your blood relative. Try to speak to his family before you make the trip. It’s possible they know nothing about you and he has no intentions of making an introduction. KSA is very different and the laws are rarely in favor of the woman. So just take a number of precautions before making a decision.

  27. You have a beautiful story…. I too recently traveled to Amman Jordan and married my Palestinian husband. We have been together two years. And you are correct…marrying into an Arab family there are a lot of misconceptions. And it is not for everyone. My question is….could you email me I would like to find out how tostart the process of geyting my husband here to the United States.

    Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi April and congratulations on your recent marriage! Surely you must be so excited and ready to start your lives together in America.

      I’ve removed your email address from the comment to prevent unwanted emails, but I do have it, so I’ll drop you a line later today. Or, you can email me at I’ll do my best to reply as quickly as possible.

      I can tell you that the process you’ll face and the route my husband and I took will probably differ greatly, but I’ll still do my best to help. First you’ll need to start looking into doing an application for an immigrant visa for a spouse. Don’t hire an Attorney, the paperwork is very simple and doesn’t require legal knowledge to fill it out. Also, you’ll need to start gathering all important documents (marriage certificate; translated and attested, birth certificates, proof of your income, proof of his income, and original passports). Make sure you have ever single document required otherwise your package will be incomplete and not processed. Also, you’ll need to accept that this process could literally take years. Or not. Be patient and I’ll do my best to help.

  28. Hi American girl, its really refreshing to come across your blog site. You are indeed lucky to have such a wonderful marriage ๐Ÿ™‚ Masha Allah. No two peas in a pod are the same so to speak. I myself is getting to know an American Arab who is currently working in Saudi. Living and working in the gulf states for the past 6 years, I never thought I will finally meet an Arab with such a good mixed of eastern and western values who respects me as a woman and is such an Amazing guy. I am working in Qatar he in another…. We met on a muslim site. Two culture meeting. It was a culture & religious shock for me to come here to work lol having come from very efficient city like Singapore. I thought hey muslim country should be easy to find a good muslim guy… But no it was not. I admit I was not least bit impressed by the Arabs men or men here in general! Must be they breathe in too much sand. Then he found me… And there is no turning back. It’s so refreshing… It’s like Allah is telling me, look here there is nice guys still out there…

    Once again thanks for sharing your story… I am looking forward to getting to know my amazing guy with Allah blessings… Pray for us. God bless.

    • Hi there and thank you for your kind words. Hope you’re adapting well and wishing you all the best in your relationship!

  29. Hello American Girl,

    I am looking for some advice. First off, I should let you know some of my background information: I am an American girl myself, currently living on the west coast where I have an amazing career. I was raised Christian, but am not religious/not practicing.

    A couple of months ago, I went on a trip for work to Europe. On this trip, I randomly met a charming Arabic (Iraqi, to be exact) man. He has been living there in Europe for almost a decade. Many of his brothers and cousins live nearby and he is very close with them. I met a handful of them when we all had dinner together one evening. However, there are still many of his relatives, including his mother, who live back in Iraq.

    We spent quite a bit of time together when I was in Europe, and I cannot lie, a certain level of intimacy was involved. Of course, I had to return to the US, but he and I have been in touch every day since that time.

    A few weeks in, he mentioned to me that on the weekly call he has with his mother that he told her about me. Being a westerner, I was of course surprised, but do know there are some very obvious cultural differences. I asked him what she said. He told me that she supported whatever decision he makes, and that if it is right with me, that she will stand behind him. I was amazed by this response…maybe he was just saying that to me to be nice haha!

    I will be back in Europe in a couple of weeks, and he is actually making arrangements to fly into the same city and spend time with me while I am there.

    Things continue to go well, but this past week we hit a little bump in the road (at least from my perspective). When we were talking he told me that he wanted to be honest and tell me something that had happened earlier in the day. Essentially what had happened is that his mother had found a woman in the city where he lives for him to marry. He told me that it is usual for them, but told me that although the woman was attractive all he could think about was me, and how he immediately declined the idea of marriage with this woman. Worth noting is that there is likely a lot of pressure on him to marry, as he is 31 (and so am I, but less pressure comes from my family, to be sure).

    My question is – is it normal for his family to continue to try to find him a wife, even though he has indicated his interest in someone else? Should I assume that his family has no idea he is flying to meet me for a week in another country, maybe? I’m feeling a little naive, so I think I am just looking for some opinions. This relationship is only two months in the making, so I guess I am just trying to figure out if this whole scenario seems impossible. I really care for him deeply, despite knowing him such a short amount of time.

    Interested in hearing your thoughts, and thanks for taking the time to read this.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. Very interesting indeed.

      The fact that he’s lived in the UK for so long is probably an indication he’s left a bit of his culture behind. This doesn’t mean his mom won’t continue to look for him a wife. Especially if he mentions someone he’s interested in. She might feel this is an indication he’s ready to be married and feels it’s her place to find the right woman. Not that he will follow her suggestion and it’s possible he’s already had this conversation with her… repeatedly. Ask him, I suspect he’ll tell you.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. I took your suggestion today and I did ask him. He said that his family does know that he is coming to visit with me. He was honest and said that some did not think it was a good thing, but others were happy that he has found someone that he has such a great connection with. He actually told me that the reason some of his family don’t feel that it is necessarily a good thing isn’t because of me, and it’s not my fault, but rather they are upset with him because he has become more and more liberal, and has moved away from being devoutly religious due to how long he has lived in Europe, amongst other reasons. I asked him if he thought he was ever going to want to move back to his homeland in Iraq, and he has said that he doesn’t see himself ever moving back permanently, and if anything he will simply go back for occasional family visits as he does now. We are going to talk more about things on our trip, but my mind is at ease for the time being. Our hearts and our heads are in the right place, so we will just have to see what happens. Thanks so much for the kind ear and advice.

        • You’re most welcome. I’m really curious as to how this is going to end up! I always love a good romantic love story ๐Ÿ™‚

          As for him probably not moving back to his homeland… most don’t. I’ve found through a lot of my Arab American friends that going back isn’t something they’re interested in doing. Some want to visit, but not live forever. The Western culture has a way of growing on people and they develop a great love for our lifestyle.

          It’s normal for the family to become upset when they stray from the culture. But depending on how strong willed he is, he won’t pay attention to them, though he’ll always respect them. If they have a great deal of influence over him then it’s possible he will marry a woman of his mother’s choice. Doubt it though.

          • I will let you know how things turn out after my trip. I can’t lie, the whole wife situation makes me feel really insecure, but I understand it’s part of the culture. I simply asked that he be honest with me about the situation. I don’t want him just telling me what I want to hear. We will see what happens!

    • I wish you all the best sister , I hope you will get used to his culture because it is very different . Anyway if you love each other then you will have your private heaven at home. I like it when people become very honest and open when it comes to relationships. God blessings

      • Thank you. I’ve lived in the region for quite some time and we’ve been married a couple of years now. So I’m pretty comfortable with the culture, though there’s always something new to learn. I embrace the differences just as he does… fortunately.

  30. well you got lucky.. not every girl who marries an arab gets treated like you do. You are perfect for each other ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. Hello! I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog and can identify in various ways. I’ve dated Arab men, mostly in America, so there was always an understanding on their part of my culture. However, after moving and living in Kuwait for two years, just before I moved (have been gone one month) I met a Kuwaiti man and we began spending time together. It was very nice and we had many conversations about Kuwaiti culture, etc. He seemed like a real straight-shooter and not at all the cliche casanova stuff that I’ve dealt with many times from all cultures. Since I left Kuwait we decided to try to continue the relationship, though I realize I’m encountering issues that I’m thinking may be in large part due to his lack of travel to USA. He has been it seems everywhere except America! The biggest obstacle right now is his frustration over my Facebook account. I’ve never had a man question me so much on the men on my friends list and he simply doesn’t understand the American way of having male/female non sexual relationships. I try to explain many times and he seems to be ok for a few days but inevitably it comes up again: “Why do you need any other men if you have me?” hmmmmmm So I ask you, how have you dealt with this? Is your husband familiar with American ways or might he help shed some light on this issue and how, if possible, I can approach this. Another issue is that my boyfriend although quite wealthy says that when we begin traveling to see each other, he expects that I pay for my own flights and that he will get hotels, food etc. He says that nowadays it is normal for Kuwaiti women to share expenses if they are not married (secret relationships I guess). He says that it shows I care if I am willing to pay my own flights. Again, this is somebody who apparently has disposable income. He spends hours with me on chat and hasn’t seen me for 5 weeks now so I hate to think that he’d just be “using me for what he wants” as I see implied often when discussing Arab men with western women. When I was in Kuwait, he would pick me up daily and take me walking openly in public and sometimes even hold my hand. I don’t know, I think I just need some perspective and something tells me you and your husband might offer me some insight. He seems in many ways like a truly genuine person interested in marriage, but I just don’t want to get “snowed” a as they say. Thank you!

    • Hi GT! Thank you for your comment and I’ll certainly do my best to help in any way I can.

      From what I gather you and he have been together about a month? But I also assume you’ve been intimate? Not judging, just trying to get a better understanding of what might be triggering some of his actions.

      As for going in public, holding hands, etc. that’s not too rare as long as you’re not in an area where he might see his mom ๐Ÿ™‚ Since you’re not his wife, and I’ll assume you didn’t meet his family in that short time, then the public displays of affection could be more a ‘trophy’ thing. Or, he could just be a really hands on guy. I wouldn’t read too much into that either way. I would consider the fact you’ve not met his mom… or other family members (another assumption on my part).

      Male friends; a very difficult concept for some to grasp. I do have male friends, mostly through business or growing up with them since elementary school. My husband is fully aware and has met those I consider ‘good friends’ and he’s perfectly fine with it. However, I would NEVER consider going out alone with any of those male friends and I don’t even call them on the phone without casually mentioning it to my husband first. Not that he requested any of that, but I respect him and I’m smart enough to know what lines not to cross. Arab men often feel it’s their duty to care for the women in their family (mother, wife, sisters, etc). They don’t always feel this same obligation to a girlfriend (though I’m sure some do), but they certainly don’t want any other men in her life who could take their place. Emotionally or physically.

      He wants you to pay for the airline tickets? Not really sure what that means, but it would make me feel as though he didn’t really want to see me THAT badly, otherwise he would arrange for you to be there… especially since you say he has disposable income. But be cautious of that as well. Some are very good at appearing wealthy or at least financially comfortable when they’re really burdened with numerous loans. Why not suggest he visit you in America? Or even a place in Europe and you can both pay for your own airline tickets. I just feel offering to pay for your meals when you arrive to Kuwait is a pretty cheap way out.

      My husband is a bit more blunt than me and doesn’t sugar coat things. He said, “There’s rarely such thing as a girlfriend they plan to marry. It’s just a woman they’ll have sex with until they meet another one, she leaves him, or it’s time to get married to the ‘right’ one. If he’s really interested in something serious with her he’ll pursue that now by talking to his family about it and arranging for her to meet them at his expense. He won’t be trying to get her into a bed as hard as he’s trying to get her to meet his mother.”

      Hope we helped out a little ๐Ÿ™‚ Please keep us posted as we would love to hear what happens. Also, feel free to email should you want to discuss it privately.

    • Oh, one more thing; hide your Facebook friends list from him and tell him you deleted all the male friends. When he says he can’t see your friends anymore, play stupid, act confused, and just say, “Oh, maybe when I deleted them it changed my settings. I don’t understand what happened.” Also block him from being able to see your friend’s comments on your page. I don’t necessarily condone being dishonest and sneaky, but until he proves he’s more serious about the relationship don’t bother with deleting friends and cutting people out of your life. No one, even if he is serious, is worth all that drama. You may also want to mention that ‘other’ mobile phone he has that you might not be aware of… just to see his reaction.

    • Hi Jassim, my name isn’t Holly and I did get your email. I understand you’re looking for an American woman and I can respect your desire to do so. However, sending numerous emails to random women you don’t know and badgering them to contact you might not be the way to go about it.

      I wish you all the best in meeting someone who shares mutual interests with you.

      • no u got me wrong i know ur not holly i got message in my email from holly she saw my message on here on this website when i saw her message late so i sent her message bk but she didnt reply thats why i asked u to help me contact with her i sent u her email

  32. Hi American Girl, I enjoyed reading this and the comments. I actually came online and did a search on “the arab mother and the american girlfriend” just to see if maybe that is why I haven’t met my boyfriends parents yet. I met my boyfriend through my employer and we were friends for about 6 months and then started dating and we are on 10 months now of dating so we’ve known each other for weel over a year. He’s met my mom’s side of the family at a wedding we went to. His entire family knows about me and that I am his girlfriend however I have not met them yet. I was getting a little concerned that maybe he didn’t want me to meet them because he wasn’t sure about me or something. Of course it never even crossed my mind because we are so good together until one of my friends brought it up. Then I started worrying about it but I’m glad to hear that maybe this is more of a cultural thing and I can put it out of my mind.


    • Hi Kristin, it really could just be a cultural thing. But, in any relationship… if something doesn’t feel right then it’s not right. If you’re not comfortable with not meeting his family, then express that to him and reevaluate your situation. Though you believe they know about you there’s really no evidence of that. And who knows what he’s telling his family?

  33. Hi American girl. I am an american girl as well, I’m from USA, Alabama. I will be turning 17 in a few days. And I met this man on facebook who means absolutely everything to me. He’s 21 and lives in Marrakech, Morocco. We became friends instantly and talked for hours! Then we talked everyday. Then later we became best friends. All the way later, he told me he had feelings for me. I was so stupid to not see it. I liked him a lot too, but I never expected such an amazing guy like him would like me at all. We have both agreed that we want to be together forever. It sounds so crazy and quick but I want to be his and only his. He already wants a baby girl so badly:)I trust him with all of my heart like I always did in the beginning. I’m finishing high school this year. And that’s like the first step toward me and him meeting. Do you have any tips or anything? I really want to know what you think about our relationship. Thank you so much if you reply to this I will be so grateful.

    • Hi Tia! Thanks so much for sharing your story.

      You seem like such a bright young woman so surely I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know… but be super cautious when it comes to people you meet from the internet. I’m sure you have complete trust in this man and it all feels very exciting right now, but it’s also important to keep in mind you’ve never met him in person. You’ve never spent any real time with him. And you really only knows what he tells you.

      Most importantly I think you should confide in your mother (or another trusted adult) about this relationship and get some feedback from them as well. You should also Google ‘Katherine Lester’ and/or read these articles written about her story back in 2006 ( She was about your age, met a man online who lived in Palestine, flew there to be with him (without her family’s knowledge), and soon found herself in a very unfortunate, unexpected situation.

      When the time comes for you and this man to meet, please arrange to do so in America. And preferably in a place where you’re safe, maybe with a group of friends or better yet, family. It wouldn’t be wise for you to leave America to go visit him in his country. The laws vary all over the world and are not always in your favor. It’s very important for you to protect yourself at all times. And if he loves you as much as it seems he does, he will certainly understand.

      Finally, being in love is a wonderful feeling and it’s fabulous you’re experiencing something that brings you such happiness. Love is supposed to be a positive and bring out the best in each other. It shouldn’t be a secret or ever make you uncomfortable. Explain to your boyfriend how important it is that you (and him) tell people about this relationship, ask him to Skype with your mom or dad and ask if you can do the same, and tell him how he should probably be the one to visit you in America when the time comes. For now, focus on your education and your future. If he’s meant to be a part of that then he will be.

      Wishing you all the best. Please keep me posted about this developing relationship and feel free to email me at should you need anything at all.

  34. I was SO happy to read this post. I am engaged to a Kuwaiti Bedouin and we have agreed to live in Kuwait. I can’t even begin to tell you the stupid, racially insensitive questions people ask me. Or the hateful messages I get in my inbox telling me how to raise my kids and how my husband should, by American standards, treat me. If only they knew how good he really treats me ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Mabrook! That’s fabulous news and so great that you’re happy. I notice that you’re currently in America which leaves me quite curious about your relationship. Are you home on vacation? Do you live in Kuwait? Not that it’s important, just curious.

      While in Kuwait my husband and I would get the random stare or odd question but primarily because we lived in a very tribal area. While in the city rarely did anyone even notice us. Oddly enough, the rude comments and hateful questions seem to come from our distance family members more than strangers. His extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) have never met me, yet have decided they’re not fond of me. Clearly they feel he should have married within the tribe. My extended family (who I truly haven’t even seen or talked to in 20 years) ask my other family members if my husband is abusive, treats me like property, and what have I done to ‘legally protect’ myself from him. We’ve mastered the art of ignoring the ignorant.

      Wishing you all the best!!

  35. iam an moroccan citizen man,i would like to get married with an american woman cause iam interested and i want to make family and we live in happiness and love and peace.

  36. MashaAllah! I loved this article. Finally something positive. I’m an American-born Hispanic. My best friends are Middle-Eastern and they are the most amazing group of people I’ve ever met. Currently, I’m seeing a Persian guy. He is very respectful, sweet, genuine and caring. He cares about me so much and always motivates me and brings happiness into my life when I feel sad or lose myself. I see him as a potential future husband. He’s perfect in every sense and even if it doesn’t work out with him, I would prefer to marry a Middle-Eastern man rather than American. This relationship has been the best I’ve ever been with and in the past I’ve dated only Americans. I don’t see why there’s so much judgment and hatred toward the Middle-Eastern culture. Oh wait, it’s because of media and news. People are too quick to judge someone who is different than they are and has different views. People need to learn to be more open-minded and accepting. Only then will the world start becoming a better place.

    • So glad you found the post to be positive — it was certainly written with positive feelings ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad it didn’t offend anyway. And, because this seems to be a topic of great interest to people, I think I’ll do a follow up ‘1 year later’ post. Can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I wrote this one.

      I agree with you regarding the relationship with a Middle Eastern man. I hope things work out for you and you continue to live your life with such happiness.

  37. American girl I enjoyed your story. Thanks for sharing. I’m in love with an Algerian man but it doesn’t seem possible for us to see each other anytime soon. I feel so sad and helpless with this situation. Looking for support from someone who understands.

    • Hi Angelina, why isn’t it possible for you to see one another? What options have you tried? Would love to hear more about your situation.

    • Dear American girl
      thanks for sharing your story’s with us . dear Angelina i m single man and looking for american girl for Serious relationship and Marriage.please contact me on my personal E-mail .
      i hop one day i will find my girl in america .

  38. Hi there! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m the one who left you a comment about dating the guy from Kuwait. Well we’re not together anymore because he cheated on me and got back with his ex girlfriend. I am dating this other guy from Saudi Arabia though. We met at my university.

    • Hi Susie, so sorry to hear about your former boyfriend’s actions. But, keep in mind, ‘dating’ is frowned upon and in the mind of some men is an indication a woman doesn’t respect herself. So, again, in his mind, why should he respect you?

      Fortunately, you seem to have recovered well and moved on… as you should. So happy for you and wishing you all the best!

  39. ุงู„ุณู„ุงู… ุนู„ูŠูƒู…. ูƒูŠู ุญุงู„ูƒ ุงู„ูŠูˆู…ุŸ ู…ุง ุดุงุก ุงู„ู„ู‡! ู‡ูˆ ูƒู„ ู…ุง ูŠู…ูƒู†ู†ูŠ ู‚ูˆู„ู‡ ุจุนุฏ ู‚ุฑุงุกุฉ ู…ู„ููƒ ุงู„ุดุฎุตูŠ ุนู† ู†ูุณูƒ. ุฃู†ุง ุชุจุญุซ ุนู† ุฒูˆุฌ ู…ุณู„ู… ู…ู„ุชุฒู… ู„ุงุจู†ุชูŠ. ุงุจู†ุชูŠุŒ ู„ูŠุณ ูู‚ุท ุชู…ุชู„ูƒ ุตูุงุช ู…ุณู„ู…ุฉ ู…ู…ุงุฑุณุฉุŒ ูˆู„ูƒู† ุญุชู‰ ุฃูƒุซุฑ ู…ู† ุฐู„ูƒ. ุงู„ุญู…ุฏ ู„ู„ู‡. ุฃุณุฑุชู†ุง ูŠุฃุชูŠ ู…ู† ุฎู„ููŠุฉ ุฏูŠู†ูŠุฉ ุตุงุฑู…ุฉ ู„ู„ุบุงูŠุฉุŒ ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ูŠู†ุชู…ูˆู† ุฅู„ู‰ ุณูŠุฏ ุงู„ุทุงุฆูุฉ / ู‚ุจูŠู„ุฉ ู…ู† ุงู„ุฅุณู„ุงู…ุŒ ูƒู…ุง ูƒู†ุช ู‚ุฏ ุชูƒูˆู† ุนู„ู‰ ุนู„ู… ุงู†ู‡ุง ุงู„ู…ูุถู„ ุฃูˆ ุงู„ู…ุดุชุฑูƒุฉ ุฃู† ูŠุชุฒูˆุฌูˆุง ู…ู† ุฏุงุฎู„ ู†ูุณ ุงู„ู‚ุจูŠู„ุฉ ูˆู„ูƒู† ู„ูŠุณ ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ู‚ุงู†ูˆู† ูŠุญุธุฑ ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ุฒูˆุงุฌ ุฎุงุฑุฌ ุงู„ู‚ุจูŠู„ุฉ. ู†ุญู† ู„ุง ุชู…ุงู†ุน ุงู„ุฒูˆุงุฌ ู…ู† ุงุจู†ุชู†ุง ููŠ ุนุงุฆู„ุฉ ุงู„ุชูŠ ู„ูŠุณุช ู…ู† ุงู„ุณุนูˆุฏูŠุฉ ุฃูˆ ุฏูˆู„ ู…ุฌู„ุณ ุงู„ุชุนุงูˆู† ุงู„ุฎู„ูŠุฌูŠุŒ ูˆู„ูƒู† ุงู„ุณุนูˆุฏูŠุฉ ู‡ูŠ ุชูุถูŠู„ู†ุง ุงู„ุฃูˆู„ุŒ ูˆุงู„ุซุงู†ูŠ ูŠุฌุฑูŠ ุฃูŠ ุฏูˆู„ุฉ ู…ู† ุฏูˆู„ ุงู„ุฎู„ูŠุฌ. ููŠ ุญุงู„ุฉ ุงุจู†ุชูŠ ู„ุณูˆุก ุงู„ุญุธุŒ ู„ูŠุณ ู„ุฏูŠู†ุง ุฃูŠ ุฃุตุฏู‚ุงุก ุงู„ุนุงุฆู„ุฉ ุฃูˆ ุงู„ุฃู‚ุงุฑุจ ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ู‡ู… ููŠ ุณู† ู…ู…ุงุซู„ุฉ ุฃูˆ ุบูŠุฑ ู…ุชุฒูˆุฌ ูˆูˆู„ู… ู†ุชุณู„ู… ุฃูŠ ู…ู‚ุชุฑุญุงุช ุงุนุชุจุงุฑุง ู…ู† ุจุนุฏ ู…ู† ู…ู…ุงุฑุณุฉ ุงู„ุฃุณุฑ ู…ุณู„ู…ุŒ ูˆุจุงู„ุชุงู„ูŠ ูุฅู†ู†ุง ุชุถุทุฑ ุฅู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ุฌูˆุก ุฅู„ู‰ ูˆุณุงุฆู„ ุฃุฎุฑู‰ ู„ุฅูŠุฌุงุฏ ู…ู†ุงุณุจุฉ ุฒูˆุฌ ุงุจู†ุชู†ุง ุงู„ุญุจูŠุจุฉ. ู†ุญู† ุงู„ู…ู‚ูŠู…ูŠู† ุญุงู„ูŠุง ููŠ ุงู„ู…ุฏูŠู†ุฉ ุงู„ู…ู†ูˆุฑุฉ ุงู„ู…ุฏูŠู†ุฉ ุงู„ู…ุจุงุฑูƒุฉ ู…ู† ุงู„ู†ุจูŠ (ุนู„ูŠู‡ ุงู„ุตู„ุงุฉ ูˆุงู„ุณู„ุงู…)ุŒ ูˆุณูˆู ูŠูƒูˆู† ู‡ู†ุงูƒ ุญุชู‰ 2013/07/08ุŒ ูˆุจุนุฏ ุฐู„ูƒ ุณูˆู ู†ุฐู‡ุจ ู„ุฃุฏุงุก ุงู„ุนู…ุฑุฉ ุฅู† ุดุงุก ุงู„ู„ู‡. ุฑุจู…ุง ู†ุญู† ูŠู…ูƒู† ุฃู† ูŠุฌุชู…ุน ู…ุน ุชู„ูƒ ุงู„ุฃุณุฑ ุงู„ุฐูŠู† ูŠุนุชุฒู…ูˆู† ุงู„ุฒูˆุงุฌ ุฃุจู†ุงุฆู‡ู… ููŠ (ุนู„ูŠู‡ ุงู„ุณู„ุงู…) ุงู„ู…ุณุฌุฏ ุงู„ู†ุจูˆูŠุŒ ุฅู† ุดุงุก ุงู„ู„ู‡. ู„ู‚ุฏ ุงุณุชู…ุชุนุช ุจู‚ุฑุงุกุฉ ู…ู„ููƒ ุงู„ุดุฎุตูŠ ูˆุณุฃูƒูˆู† ู…ู…ุชู†ุง ุฌูˆุงู„ ุงู„ู…ุณุชู‚ุจู„ ุงู„ู…ุฑุงุณู„ุงุช ู…ู†ูƒุŒ ูˆุงู„ู…ุณุงุนุฏุฉ ุงู„ุฎุงุตุฉ ุจูƒ ู…ุน ู‡ุฐู‡ ุงู„ู…ุณุฃู„ุฉ ุฃุนู„ุงู‡. ูˆุฅู†ู†ูŠ ุฃุชุทู„ุน ุฅู„ู‰ ุชู„ู‚ูŠ ุฑุฏูƒู… ูˆุงู„ุฅุฌุงุจุฉ ุนู„ู‰ ุงู„ุฃุณุฆู„ุฉ ุงู„ุฎุงุตุฉ ุจูƒ. ุดูƒุฑุง ุฌุฒูŠู„ุง. ุฑุนุงูŠุฉ. ุฃู…ุงู‡ ุงู„ุณู„ุงู….

    • ูˆุนู„ูŠูƒู… ุงู„ุณู„ุงู… ูˆุฑุญู…ุฉ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ูˆุจุฑูƒุงุชุฉ

      ุงู†ุง ุงุณู…ูŠ ูŠุงุณุฑ ุดุงุจ ุนู…ุฑูŠ 26 ุณู†ุฉ ุงุนู…ู„ ููŠ ุดุฑูƒุฉ ู…ุฏูŠุฑ ุนู„ุงู‚ุงุช ุชุฌุงุฑูŠุฉ ุงู†ุง ุฌุงุฏ ููŠ ุงู„ุจุญุซ ุนู† ุฒูˆุฌุฉ ุฐุงุช ุฏูŠู† ูˆุงู„ุชุฒุงู… ูˆุฎู„ู‚ ูˆ ุงุฑุฌูˆ ุงู„ุชูˆุงุตู„ ู…ุนูŠ ุนู„ูŠ ุงูŠู…ูŠู„ูŠ ูˆุดูƒุฑุง

  40. Assalamualaikum. How are you today? Mashallah! Is all I can say after reading your profile about yourself .I am searching for a practicing Muslim husband for my daughter. My daughter , not only possess the qualities of a practicing muslimah, but even more. Alhamdulillah .Our family comes from a very strict religious background,belonging to the Syed Caste/tribe of Islam,as you may already be aware it’s preferred or common to marry within the same tribe but there is no law prohibiting to marry outside the tribe. We don’t mind marrying our daughter into a family which is not from Saudia Arabia or GCC Countries,but Saudia Arabia is our first Preference,and second being any GCC Country. In my daughter’s case unfortunately,we do not have any family friends or relatives who are of similar age or not married and nor have we received any proposals as of yet from Practicing Muslim families,therefore we have to resort to other means to find a suitable husband for our beloved daughter. We are currently residing in Al-Madinah the blessed city of the Prophet (PBUH) and will be there until the 07/08/2013,after which we will go to perform Umrah Inshallah. Perhaps we can meet with those families who intend to marry their sons at the Prophet’s (PBUH) Mosque,Inshallah .I have enjoyed reading your profile and I would appreciate recieving correspondence from you and your assistance with the above matter. I look forward to receiving your response and answering your questions. Many Thanks. Take care. Ma-Salam.

    • Thank you for your comment and the extensive information. Though I have introduced friends in the past which have resulted in successful relationships, I really wouldn’t feel even remotely qualified to seek out anyone for your daughter. However, I would suggest you try networking among local friends at weddings and other gatherings. Or contact a Khataaba who could be of far more assistance than I ever could.

      I do wish you all the best as I’m familiar with the importance of marriage for a daughter. Inshallah she ends up with a great husband and a life filled with happiness.

      • JazakAllahkhair and Thank you very much.I have tried all your suggestions,but unfortunately,no luck as of yet.More Suggestions Please.I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your response and am an avid fan of your blog. Please do Keep up the Good work.Is it possible for us to converse in private,Please.I would appreciate receiving correspondence from you and your assistance PLEASE, with the above matter or from anyone who reads this.I look forward to receiving your response and answering your questions.Wishing you the best of Health,Happiness and prosperity in life. Many Thanks. Take care. Ma-Salam.

  41. Hi there,
    I love reading your story and proving all of the stereo types wrong that not all Arab men are the same.
    I actually met an Arab man online about a year ago, we hit it off and talk as much as we can considering the time difference. Right before we started talking he was attending a college here in the US and had just flown home to Sadi Arabia for summer. He has been there now for a year. He says that the school will not allow him a new scholarship because he already received his masters. I must say though we haven’t met in person and our Skype calls and texts keep us together I am in love with him. It is hard and all I want is him here to see how things would be in person but regardless I can’t complain. He tends to be a little closed off when it comes to his family and time to have deep conversations. Although when it comes to religion or friends and life he tells me all he is thinking. I enjoy listening to the cultural differences. He also works in the desert around no one ever. He tells me he can’t wait to return to America and he wants to soon. He isn’t happy there and I try to help. I’m just unsure the best way I can.

  42. I think the Arabs are looking for a marriage of American citizenship only to get Hitch American
    I do not know but this is what I’m seeing..

    • Hi Ayham, because my life in the Middle East has consisted only of living in the GCC, I write my blog based on those experiences. And I can honestly say I don’t know of any man from the GCC who has married an American for citizenship.

      • I totally agree with you.It’s not only the men but the women also. I also donโ€™t know of any man or even woman from the GCC who has married an American for citizenship.

        • I must also add not only Americans,but also those who hold citizenship of any other country.The Reason being such an Idea conflicts with the purpose of Marriage in Islam. I can say this based on my personal experience.Thanks.

  43. Dear Ayham

    I am Arabian , I am not from GCC , I have been looking for my woman in the US for more than three years , it is not hard to find someone to marry for citizenship but trust my I would not do that , also I want to say that American girls are very smart and nobody can play with them. My relatives got married to American women and they are very happy in their live , some of them are here in the US.


    • Thank you Arabian for you’r advice but that not what i meant

      If i want to marry a woman from America, I will be married now, I have friends from America loved them and respect them , so thank you for the tip.

  44. I am an American woman married to an Iraqi man, and I can honestly say he is the most loyal, kind, romantic man I have ever met. We recently moved to Norway to work he moved before me. I moved about 3 weeks later and he had bought clothes all in my size the color bedspread I wanted and I didn’t ask for anything he found a way to ask questions and made mental notes over some time and just generally listened me that’s how he knew what to get. Once you find the right person it’s their goal to make you happy!

    • I’m so happy you’ve found someone loving, attentive, and pays attention to details. That’s so important and I’m sure you do the same for him.

      Finding that one person who really takes time to understand you, yet still loves you and your flaws, is a once in a lifetime event. I cherish it.

  45. Hi Camc, that is absolutely wonderful. I was happy to read your story. Both of you are truly blessed to have each other and share the love you have!! Take care:-)

  46. As salamu alaikum as an american muslim convert I was very shocked to see you as a muslimah giving advice to people who are clearly involved in practices outside islam subhannallah may Allah correct my affairs and yours ameen. I ask that you remember our standing before Allah and the reminder benefits the believer.

    • Hi Krettressa, and thank you for your comment. But I have to say, it surprises me that you, as a Muslim, are judging the behavior of others.

      We, as people, have a choice — we can either respect the differences among us, or we can point fingers and judge it. By offering insight and advice to those who live a life you don’t agree only simply means I’ve chosen the path of respect. None of us are the perfect practicing Muslim (even you) and it’s not our place to judge others and the choices they make in life. If anything, regardless of religion, we have a duty to share experiences and hope we can learn from one another. That’s what being a good human is all about.

      Shame on you.

  47. Hey AG ๐Ÿ™‚ Gosh, the comments on this post are very interesting. I am lol @ all the guys looking for an American wife. I wish them luck if they are sincere. Hehe!

    Enjoy your weekend.

  48. I really love your blog! It’s so encouraging. I met a wonderful man from Algeria in Feb 2013 through facebook. It was quite by accident. I primarily had the account for my business. I had accepted his friend request because we had a mutual friend and I thanked him for sending me the request. The next day I had a message from him. I answered it. Then again a few days later I saw another message and answered it. Then all of a sudden I got the instant message from him! I was really surprised. We then had a 6 hour chat session! I had never in my life talked to anyone that long in one sitting. I kept thinking I was making an international business connection. We had been chatting online for a couple of weeks. He wanted me to get a web-cam so we could skype. I kept saying no because I could see things were getting personal. Plus, my brother and my mother had been wanting me to get one as they live in another state. I caved in & went and got the web-cam, connected it and I saw him for the first time. Then he smiled (oh man that smile) and my brain instantly said “you are really in trouble now!” My stomach flipped and I was really speechless. No man has ever affected me like that! After 4 months he started talking about marriage and would say he loved me. I was so skeptical that I kept trying to break things off with him. I was concerned about the differences in our religion and cultures, the distance…everything. He kept pursuing me and wouldn’t give up. The bottom line is I knew I loved him. He was everything I was looking for in a husband. The fact is I was divorced with two boys. I even tried to use that to get rid of him. It didn’t work. LOL! I didn’t date. I didn’t go to clubs, didn’t celebrate all the so-called christian holidays even though I’m a christian, didn’t talk to men alone. He thought I was a muslima ๐Ÿ™‚ so sweet. I wasn’t sure if he was serious about marriage. I had started to do alot of research about Islam and how the marriage works. I asked him about meeting his family. Soon he brought his sisters to meet me. I thought that’s great and I was so happy to meet them (maybe he is serious) but I knew if I didn’t meet mama then it’s not going to happen. I asked him if his mother knew about me. He said yes and that he showed her my pictures and pictures of my kitchen that I had sent him. A few days later I met her and he translated for me. She was so wonderful and FUNNY! He said that since I met his mother that we were officially engaged. I told him that he didn’t actually ask me. I had to give him a little more of a hard time. But he did ask ๐Ÿ™‚ He is so loving and sweet. He melted my hard heart. He flew me to Algeria this past December 2012 and we got married. I had to come back to America as I still have my children here. We are progressing to getting a visa for him so he can come live with us. My boys love him and talk with him frequently. It is very hard to be separated like this but inshallah things will go smoothly. I’m so happy I got that web-cam and gave in to my heart. He is patient, kind and so loving. I love him with all my heart. I look forward to living our lives together under one roof. Oh and to find out our religions are so similar that it really isn’t a problem at all. The main thing is that we follow the laws of God. May your family have many blessings too AmericanGirl! Thank you for your blog. It’s so good!

    • Hi Cici, thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I get a lot of comments and emails on this topic but sadly not all have a happy ending. You seem to be living that happy ending and I wish you and your new husband the best in the future.

      • Hi American Girl, thank you for your reply and kind words. So far so good with the marriage. I must admit it hasn’t always been easy for either of us during this time apart. I think that if we both work on the marriage and do our best with communication things can work out wonderfully. I think in any relationship the trust must be there on both sides even if the couple is together or not.

    • Hi Cici, I enjoyed reading your story. It sounds very happy and I’m happy for you. My story has a very sad, heart breaking ending that I can’t get passed but I pray in time I can. I wish you more happiness and best wishes ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Pingback: The Arab/American Marriage — Al-Juz’a Al-Thaani | American Girl

  50. Asalaam alaykum,
    This is really helpful – jazakh Allahu khairun. I have a question – there’s an Arab (Palestinian) guy whom I met through an exchange program to the US. He and I are very clearly attracted to one another but his only response to my “we shouldn’t talk so much, (extramarital) relationships – even just emotional ones – aren’t good” message was “I didn’t mean the word sahabti to mean girlfriend.” (I may have insulted him accidentally, but I think what he actually meant was not “I don’t like you that way,” as I initially thought, but that he was trying to be respectful toward me by saying “I didn’t think of you as a girlfriend.”)
    Anyway – we talk on facebook a lot, he’s had his (female) cousin add me, and I know his male cousin from last year’s program…and I’ve spoken with his little brother on the phone and now he wants me to meet his mother and sisters via skype (!). Is there any way that an Arab guy would do this just for a faraway American female *friend*? It’s not like marriage is exactly possible at the moment – he’s in Gaza – but I find it kind of fascinating that he tells me often how much his mom likes me (alhamdulillah) and wants me to meet them, especially considering that I’m older than him. There was a family gathering and he actually sat and talked with me on facebook chat practically the whole time – I said I was worried he’d get in trouble and he said “no, they really like you here, don’t worry.” And he keeps talking about wanting to see me again inshaAllah (and no I wouldn’t do anything stupid like marry him to get him a visa or anything, God forbid!).
    Anyway. Thoughts? I’d really appreciate an email response but on here is okay too inshaAllah. Thanks!

    • Sounds like your situation is quite complicated. Clearly you like one another, but how much?

      It’s not uncommon for people from other countries to want an American friend. Not really sure why, we’re not that interesting by any means. But maybe to learn more English? Or, for more sinister reasons?

      I believe it’s important to follow your heart but to do so with open eyes. Do some research on Palestine, the current situation there, and then ask yourself what his true intentions might be based on what you know of him as a person.

      Wishing you all the best. I wish I had better advice. Please keep me posted.

  51. Why hello there,
    I am pleased to read such lovely comments about Arab men from all the women in here. I didn’t really expect American women to have such positive views about us.
    I lived in LA for 5 years studying Film, and through dating I didn’t actually feel that American women are interested in Arab men, I felt as if being an Arab was a downside to them!but to be honest I didn’t date an All American girl, I usually assumed that me, being an Arab, is a problem to them, let alone from Kuwait.
    I wish you happiness, to you and your husband. You both seem like awesome people. I truly hope to have such a story, where I’ll be sitting with an american wife somewhere at a beach house somewhere in the west coast enjoying a glass of wine and watching the sunset. Better than living in a showy, artificial somewhat of mansion here in Kuwait.
    Have a pleasant day ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Abdullah, thank you for your kind comment.

      I think most American women find Arab men to be very attractive. America is no longer comprised of white faces and blonde hair… we’ve become very multi-cultural and it’s intriguing to many of us. We love learning about the rest of the world and get the opportunity to do so right here in our own country.

      However, Arab men, as wonderful as you all are, come across as ‘awkward’ when initially talking to women. A University aged American woman has extensive life experience (not necessarily sexual, drugs, or alcohol) but she’s experienced more than many Arab men from Kuwait. She’s spent her entire life going to school with boys, hanging out with boys, and interacting with them on every level. So when she sees that cute Arab guy at Uni and he seems standoffish (due to lack of experience talking to girls) she takes it as a lack of interest. Resulting in… nothing.

      I also hope you find that one woman who brings you as much happiness and joy as my husband and I have together.

  52. Hi American girl, I enjoy reading your and everyone else’s comments. I admire your relationship and marriage. Both of you are blessed to have each other. I wish my relationship could have a happy ending. Take care and look forward to more comments ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Angelina. Thank you. I really wish I had the ‘secret’ to the type of marriage my husband and I share, but I really have to give him the credit. He’s such a genuine, understanding man. We really are blessed.

  53. Dear Friends,

    This story is totally made up. Cause this guy dont wanna share name. Why they keep “American girl” as her hame? Dear friends, dont be fool with this stupid’s barking… This is a man i hope and they wanna convert all westerners to islam, this is the idea. Fucking bastards!!

    Any how i can tell my name, i not coward. My name is Dr. Anil, working in Kerala, in India.

    So please come back to Jesus and come back to save the world!

    • Hi Dr. Anil. Thanks for your comment as silly as it might be.

      My ‘name’ isn’t ‘American Girl’, that just happens to be the name of my blog which has been in existence since 2004/2005. I have also met numerous people in person through my blog who can confirm the chances of me having male genitalia is quite slim. My husband would be a pretty good source for accuracy. I don’t share my real name in the blog because, well, it’s a blog. It’s not my personal diary. Though rest assured, friends and family don’t refer to me as ‘American Girl’. Whew!

      As for wanting to ‘convert all Westerners to Islam’, ummm no. Not sure where you get that idea or what I typed to give you that impression. As a matter of fact, I have the utmost respect for ALL religions and would never attempt to change anyone’s beliefs. It’s not our place to judge, regardless of what religion you practice. Unless it’s your religion — clearly judging is perfectly acceptable in your world. Oh, and obscene name calling, your religion condones that as well. Wait, what religion do you practice?

      Finally, no offense to you or the lovely people of Kerla, but I would venture to say ‘Dr. Anil’ is a fairly common name in your part of the world. I need a little more evidence you’re not a Slovakian woman trying to get people to convert to Christianity.

      • Dear American Girl
        Thank you for your reply to Anil , I feel pity for him/her , i can see the hate and the racism in his/her speech. dear American , yes you do not have to tell us your real name and I do not know your religion even though I have not missed any part of your blog. I think those people who judge the person because of his religion are crazy and they just hurt themselves. This place is for respect and love , please Indian racist buddy go and search for another website to find people like you who like to fight.
        Please American girl try to delete those messages , because we do not want such bad guy to mess up the beauty of this blog.


        • Thank you for your kind comment. I don’t often discuss religion on the blog because that’s not what it’s about. Though religion plays an important role in my life it’s not the topic of every conversation.

          As for Anil, he’s bitter and angry. He needs a place to vent and I don’t mind being the outlet. If it makes him feel better what’s the harm? Just silly words.

          • Thank you, Angelina. That’s so kind of you. I do try to respond to all comments… even the negative ones. I feel that if people can take the time to read my blog and comment, the very least I can do is respect them enough to acknowledge that.

  54. Hi My name is zainab. And im in love with this guy who is from riyadh, saudi arabia. i met him at school. he loves me too and we have been together for almost a yr. He told me that no matter how much he loves me he cant marry me because, well im american.He refuses to even bring up the idea of marrying an american girl to his family. Even though i am american, i am still Muslim. So i cant see what the problem is. I love him so much, his family is starting to pressure him into marriage, and the thought of him being with another woman kills me. What advice can you give me

    • Hi Zainab. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m certain so many others can relate to your situation.

      Fortunately you have a boyfriend who is being honest with you. That’s certainly not the case with many of them and it leaves a lot of women confused and heart broken when the relationship ends. Therefore, my advice to you would be to end this relationship sooner rather than later. As he said, though he might love you, he can’t marry you. You deserve to be with someone who can and will marry you. Staying in this relationship is basically telling this man you don’t have enough self esteem to believe you’re better than being ‘the girl for fun’.

      I agree being Muslim should be enough. And Muslim men are permitted to marry a woman of any religion, so really being Muslim should be more than enough. But, when you’re dealing with cultures that have seen very little change over the centuries, asking them to accept anything different is uncomfortable. Young women in that culture are raised being prepared for marriage one day. Learning to cook, clean, how to deal with the maid properly, helping raise her brothers and sisters, etc. And though you might make a wonderful wife you’re not the vision his mother has in her head.

      Note: Not all Saudi families are the same of course. I know many Saudis who have married outside of their culture and everyone is perfectly happy.

      • Than you so much for your response. It did help put things into perspective for me. I wish things could have been different. My gut tells me, him and i could spend our lives happy together. But sometimes you are meant to love someone but not spend your life with them, which is unfortunate. I believe Allah will definetley send the right guy into my life.
        Thank you!

  55. Dear Madam.

    I am man from and my age is 26 years old, I am working with company (Business Relations Manager),Please I am looking seriously to find my life partner and my other half for me on these world anywhere in world wide I am getting nice family and this is my sole hope, please if you have any interested please feel free to contacts me any time you want, and please tell me more about you and about your life.

    Please I will be waiting for your soon reply to me with your comments to me.

    Please feel free to contacts me on this my email address : :

    Best Regards.
    Yasser Alagi.

    • I love that those commenting are able to help the others with their words. It’s my inspiration to start ‘Dear American Girl’.

      • I took the ‘Dear Expat Girl’ tab down on the blog months ago because it’s difficult to answer all of the emails and comments the blog already receives. Maybe it’s selfish but I didn’t want to encourage more. Some readers think the living in Kuwait post is an employment agency post. They ask a lot about salaries, salons and dating Arab men. I just don’t have the time for it even with the one lady helping me.

        You can tell with your comments that you have the time and patience. Your kind words are very helpful to those in need. We are going to forward everything from now on to you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • I have noticed that about the ‘Living in Kuwait’ post. You’ve been mistaken as an employment agency and I’ve been mistaken as a dating website lol.

          I really wish I had far more time to invest in the blog anymore. However, I only require 4.5 – 5 hours of sleep a night and it feels as though almost every minute of the day is spent either working or attending an event, festival, or performing arts with hubby and/or friends. When I finally have SO MUCH I could blog about, I just don’t have the time. And when I do find a few minutes I realize what I wanted to blog about isn’t important at all. I believe we’ve become more grounded and are coming into a true sense of ‘happiness’ since moving to the US — blogging about shopping and dining out (which I have done in the past) now feels so shallow and senseless. Yet as limited as my time has become, I try to maintain the initial purpose of the blog — personal therapy and if I help anyone else along the way then it’s done better than I could hope for.

    • Thank you for your comment! I did get your email and am hoping to find time to reply within the next day or so. I’m a bit behind on blog emails, so please accept my apology.

  56. Felt in love with your blog may ALLAH bless your union…here’s my story.

    I have been dating an amazing Arab man for the past 4 month. I am of African origins, born in an Arab country . He is the first Arab man I date, I’ve always dated non-arab due to the fact that unfortunately black women are most of the times looked down at and are subjected to all kinds of bias & stereotypes by some ignorant racist close minded people. Apart the ethnic visible differences, we both share different religion, I am Christian (Catholic) and he is Muslim (sunni). Yes, lots of difference in here right! Honestly, I don’t care about our ethnic/religious difference, LOVE has no color nor religion.
    I describe myself as a cultivated, independent, cosmopolitan, open-minded young lady…same applies to my boyfriend plus he is caring & a gentleman. Since we started dating, I’m extremely spoilt. Though, I dislike being spoilt because Im a feminista, but, an Arab man when he loves, he treats his “partner” like a diamond. He makes her feel special. My boyfriend asked to date me three years ago, at the time I categorically refused, I was focused on my studies and was coming out of a break up so I didn’t want to commit myself into any relationship. Coincidence & time played it’s role, our path came accross again few month ago.

    I’ve intoduced him to my family and friends, he didn’t, I’ve only seen his cousin, and I wasn’t introduced as his girlfriend till date I haven’t seen his mother. I know very well Arab culture so I don’t expect seeing his mum any sooner. He haven’t told her about me yet. I always ask him what would her reaction be? He says, his parents will never interfere in his private life they surely will advise him but not interfere. I have met few of his friends whom deep down might wonder why he’s dating a black girl.

    When we’re out in public, we get the famous stares, it really bothers me, the last time I checked it wasn’t written allien on my forehead:p. He holds my hands, kisses me in public (depends on the area we’re at). We love each other, I know he loves me , he had proved it to me but the thing is we fight/argue quite a lot, due to many factors, jealousy, machism and my crazy personality lol.

    We’re both mature, we did share intimate moments together, we are so into each other. But I’m not naive and he has always been honest with me. We argued once and he said, he won’t marry me, at the time, he brought up our difference of religion excuse and that he might marry a “virgin”…the culture excuse. I was hurt and that was exactly the kind of scenario I was avoiding and thats why I’ve always avoided dating an Arab. I considered his words pure plain hypocrisy!

    I have shed a lot of tears, he keeps calling/texting/seeing me, I am confused. I asked to break up to take sometime to assess our relationship. When I did so, he said, why am I giving up on him. When we meet all the love-emerges again so do his jealousy, he thinks Im cheating on him. Like, he imagines stuff. I have deactivated my facebook account, I’ve cut ties with most of my female-friends. Whenever I’m somewhere he asks if there’s men around me. He checks my Whatsapp messages. Bottom of line, he doesn’t trust me though I am faithful to him. Sorry for the long dissertation:).

    I don’t know what to do, I’m torn. My brain tells me to end up things but my heart says the opposite.

    Would appreciate any advice.

    Thank you

    • Sounds to me like you really care about this man, but sadly, it sounds like he may just be enjoying you for the time being. I know that’s harsh and I’m truly sorry if it comes across has hurtful. I certainly have no desire to hurt your feelings but from what you’re telling me, things just don’t seem very serious on his end.

      If you wish to continue this relationship it might be best if you remove as much emotion as you can and treat it exactly the way he does. Or, give him the marriage ultimatum. He can either do the right thing or be scared enough to actually walk away. But if he does walk away it’s going to hurt you. Just accept that it’s best to be hurt by the truth than a lingering lie.

      Wishing you all the best. I wish I had more positive input. Perhaps I’m not seeing something and maybe another reader can offer some insight as well.

    • Hello, I don’t know if this will be of any help but I thought I would tell you a saying that I don’t know that you have heard before. If you love someone let them go IF they come back to you then they were yours IF they don’t come back then you know they were not yours. I hope that makes sense. I’m a believer of the saying. I wish you all the best with your Arab boyfriend. God Bless!

  57. Sweet Sara, I really feel sad that you are going through this. It sounds like you really love him and you gave up a lot for him. I have to agree with American Girl on this. It doesn’t sound like he is as serious about you as you are about him. The thing about him being an Arab man has nothing to do with anything, I truly believe it’s a male thing. If I had one thing to say to all women out there it would be this, if you really love your man and you can see yourself married to him do not do anything sexual with him until you are married. I know I sound old fashioned or whatever but somehow something changes in their mind about the woman when she gives in to him. Your value has decreased in his mind. Ladies, I swear don’t put yourself on sale for anyone. You deserve to be respected and it’s you who will teach them how by standing your ground on the intimacy rule. If you stay strong they will gain the best respect for you and they more than likely will not marry the one who gives in. Before marriage you must be stronger than them for that. Then meet his family and friends as the relationship grows. Sara, it sounds like you have a decision to make in regards to him. I pray for your peace, for you to be happy and really loved by the one who deserves you. If the man truly and deeply loves you he will prove it over and over and over again and would be proud to introduce you to anyone and everyone. All the best.

    • Thank you, Cece for giving her such great advice. You really put into words what I was thinking.

      I really agree that waiting until marriage is the appropriate decision to make when involved with an Arab man. Our views in the west are much different and therefore the situation could be different as well. But in the Arab culture, a woman’s self respect is directly tied to her virginity.

      • Thank you American Girl! I am so happy that you have provided a positive outlet for people here on your blog. I continue to enjoy it so much. I wish all ladies in the west would have the view of waiting until marriage too. They would save themselves a lot of heartache with men! I really appreciate Arab culture for that. I know there are still good girls out here too and I hope the Arab men won’t give up or have the view that all western girls have loose morals.

        • Thank you, Cece. But the real support comes from you readers who offer such great advice and insight to one another. I really appreciate all of you so much and I’m so glad I can be part of the virtual support system you all provide one another.

  58. American girl, Angelina and Cece thank you Ladies for your genuine advice, it goes straight in my heart (and my brain).

    Couple of hours ago we had a conversation, following our convo, I decided to break up. I did ask him again about the marriage
    issue, he said, we can remain together but “not as a wife”= I can’t be his wife. Why would I be in a relationship that won’t lead to marriage?

    I’d rather suffer emotionally now then later on though it is really hard. He said, he will be there for me etc. I just want to delete him out of my system…

    I must agree, being a virgin is important in the Arab culture (and in others as well) but most women in here have intemacy the only difference is that they don’t talk much about it because it is taboo. And most men want to have intimacy, for instance, I once asked my boyfriend if he would have stayed with me if we didnt have intimate moments he’s reply was “no”. Like, isnt it contradictory!

    I know I shouldn’t had given him the cookie though I did so out of love. I made a big mistake. Our value decreases when we give in, it is true.

    Right now, I need to admit the fact that it’s over, I don’t know what the future holds, deep down Im hoping for a miracle.

    What’s meant to be is meant to be what’s not meant to be isn’t meant to be… Guess I wasn’t meant for him:(.

    • Hi Sara, I’m truly sorry!! I pray for you to be strong. Remember God knows what’s best for us. There is something better that is going to be meant to be. I know the feeling of praying, wishing, and crying for a miracle. I made it through Sara and I know you can too. I know it doesn’t seem possible now but you will be happy again. You deserve to be. I’m here anytime you need a friendly ear. I also understand. My email is You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know how you’re doing. (((((Hugs)))))))

  59. Hi Sara,
    I can only imagine how hard this time is for you because it sounds like you really love him. It will take time for the pain to lessen. But you are so right when you said why stay in a relationship if you already know it isn’t going to go into marriage. I feel proud of you for standing up for yourself. It’s true that Arab men prefer chaste women and if you happen to meet another Arab man or any other man for that matter, you already know that you are a diamond and you are never on sale. If he leaves you because you didn’t give it up then, he just couldn’t afford the price of the diamond (you & marriage). That kind of man can just keep on walking! There are lots of good guys still out there. Continue to build yourself up and be content inside yourself and that perfect match for you will just show up. All in God’s time, usually when you least expect it. It happened to me and I simply adore my Arab husband. I could have never imagined what a perfect gift God could give. So you hang in there sweet Sara. I’m proud of you ๐Ÿ™‚ Think of me as your big sister ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know I must sound like an old fashioned grandma but I am old fashioned. xoxo

  60. Hi American girl, thank u so much for this wonderful blog;-) you’re advice to women dating arab guys and men in General is beautiful .. I’m american /mexican catholic girl ,mother of 3 beautiful girls ๐Ÿ™‚ I was dating arab muslim guy very religious respectful guy..things didn’t go to well unfortunately;( like I said on the previous post this break up has hurt me very much I really loved him:( learned many things I had never in my life with any other man .. We had many beautiful moments together but,also had sad and hurtful ones:( unfortunately, I did the mistake of doing that temporary marriage and killed all chances of ever being his wife the right way;( I would stay over at his place or he would stay at my place .. We were already doing things like married ! We started having problems with him going with his family and not inviting me anywhere with friends or family never met anyone but his roommate .. I later asked him 6 months or so if we were ever going to meet his parents and he responded he would kill them if they found out !he was to scared to tell them about us:( That’s when I realized I had to run and never look back! I’m so sad I feel used by him it’s terrible feeling ..
    It’s been month 1/2 he has txt me during this time like ones a week told me he missed me to pray for him and told him he was hypocrite ๐Ÿ˜‰ it took him a month to actually call me before he was only txt didn’t answer his call was very upset he didn’t look for me or called only getting txt messages !! He left a message saying he wanted to wish me a happy thanks giving and wanted to stop by to see me ! It’s been a week 1/2 and he hasn’t called or looked for me ๐Ÿ™ guessing it wasn’t for GD cause ! I herd by a mutual friend he wanted to introduce me to his aunt ? Supposedly she is visiting and he had called me so we could meet but I never answer his call ! I wonder if that’s really his aunt and not his wife it’s weird he never came looking for me during this time ๐Ÿ™ it’s confusing there way of doing things is very different and hard to understand hope u can give some advice ! Thank you , eve;)

    • Hi Eve, I wish I had some advice to give you to make your situation better. Sadly, I just don’t.

      In today’s culture rarely does ‘temporary marriage’ have the same meaning and value that it once did so long ago. Now it basically translates to ‘let’s have sex’. I honestly wouldn’t recommend it for any woman who is seriously hoping to one day marry the man she’s involved with.

      Also, much of the Arab culture teaches that sex is ‘dirty’ and horribly sinful when unmarried people participate in it. Young men often overcome their guilt by completely eliminating the ‘sinful, dirty’ partner from their life, and/or even blaming her for it happening. He will use Islam as his means to be forgiven and justify his behavior as a ‘test’ from Allah. You, on the other hand, will just be ‘dirty’ in his mind. Even though HE pursued you, HE suggested temporary marriage, and HE willingly participated. This often leaves women sitting alone, confused, and feeling very used by a man they thought really loved them.

      The ONLY time a man from that culture doesn’t see sex as dirty and sinful is with his wife. Of course there are exceptions, but it’s best to never believe you’ve met one, otherwise you’ll end up hurt.

      As for his randoms texts here and there, that’s his guilty conscious… or even a desire to have sex again. Not to say he doesn’t miss you, but he’s made very clear where you stand in his life. Please don’t allow him to manipulate you further.

      Finally, if a man wants to be with you he will be. He’s not going to send random texts, he’s going to show up at your door.

  61. Hi American Girl!

    I would first like to say that your blog is genuinely refreshing. I can almost hear your sweet voice as you kindly answer many of the question and comments that come your way. As a fellow American I am proud to see how wise and open minded you are. You have made a great impression on many of your readers, including me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would like to know of your thoughts of my encounters with my habibi. I was born and raised in California, but I am of hispanic descent. I have been dating my boyfriend for 4.5 years and we are both soon to receive our business degrees in the next six months.

    My boyfriend is Emirati from the city of Abu Dhabi. He come from a traditional background, but with a very open mind. He has lived in Germany, Australia and for the past 5 years in Cali. For the past 3 years of our relationship he has declared his love for me, over and over and told me that he would like to get married as soon as he finds a job( after graduation). He has been welcomed into my family and he is greatly loved by everyone. He sat down with my mother and spoke of his feeling to her and promised her that he would marry me aswell. I love him dearly, and there is no other kinder or warm hearted person than him. He understands me and is so patient with me, even when I don’t deserve it. We truly believe that we are made for one another and feel that only God himself could come between us.

    I was raised Christian, but I am not a practicing Christian as of now. I have embraced the arabic/emirati culture and I have tried to research and learn as much as possible because I want to know what I will look forward to. I have been to UAE twice, and cant wait to go back! I have truly fallen in love with his country.

    Yet… after all of the discussions, memories and time together… I have not met his mother. Actually, his mother knows about me but has no idea that I am his girlfriend. I have met two of his sisters, while they visited Cali and we hit it off. We love each other so much, and get along so well….yet they too think I am only a friend.

    I try to respect my boyfriend’s judgement, and try not to interfere with family relationships because only he knows his family best. He tells me that he wants me to be a surprise to his family. His mother has tried to pair him up with a cousin or two on several occasions but he insists to his mother that he will choose his own wife and to please not bring up the subject anymore. He would like to marry me in the states first, and then head out to UAE. He then wants us to sign marriage documents once we are in Abu Dhabi and once it is legalized, THEN he will present me as his wife.

    okay. I really have mixed feelings about the way he wants to go about it. I feel such a betrayal from my part to his sisters and mother… but I try to trust his judgement. Because he comes from a very traditional background, I understand that he wants to be cautious on how he will inform his family. He will be the first to marry outside of their culture, and has already warned me that half of his family will be happy for him, and the other will reject the idea. There are so many negative blogs and comments on line, that only brings doubt into my mind. I have been told that I am naive to think that he will marry me; that he would only be allowed to marry an emirati.

    He comes from a wealthy family, and I believe that he has waited this long because he really wants to make his own money and have financial freedom so that he CAN marry the person he choses too.

    It is difficult not to feel like he is hiding me, because anyone reading this would definitely state that he is. I believe that if he truly was using me or playing with me, he wouldn’t of gone out of his way to speak to my mom, or stuck around this long to do so. He is so handsome and tall, he could have any girl if he wanted.. but he has chosen to stay with me. I plan to fight to keep it that way, but sometimes my own insecurities can be my worst enemy.

    I would really like to know what you would think or do if you were in my situation. Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking to you in the near future. Have a nice day!

    • Hi Sara,

      Thank you for your kind words and sharing your story. I hope I can provide a little insight. Or perhaps some of the other readers have been in your situation and will share their stories. Also, thank you for pointing out that he’s Emirati. I try to offer advice based on personal experiences or knowledge through friends. I lived in Abu Dhabi for a couple of years and still have a number of very good friends there.

      In your situation I’m not so sure he’s ‘keeping you a secret’. He has introduced you to his sisters, even if only as a friend. It could be his way to test the waters so to speak. And rest assured, his sisters aren’t totally blind. They have a pretty good idea that you’re probably dating. They would never say that to him and he’s not going to say it to them, but they probably know. And there’s a strong possibility they’ve even told mom. Sisters are often a good ‘buffer’ between a brother’s mishaps and their mother’s disappointment.

      Of course no one can say whether or not this man will really marry you. I would say the same if he were an American guy from your city. Until you’re saying “I do” there are no guarantees. But, the fact that he’s met your mom and family is a good sign. Still not a guarantee. In his mind he knows he’s moving back to the UAE soon and to leave a few lies behind wouldn’t be such a horrible thing.

      The one thing that does stand out about your story is the length of time you’ve been together. You don’t mention a number of break-ups, cheating, lying, or a ‘roller coaster’ relationship. That’s a good sign. And a sign that he could be very serious about his intentions. You might want to check out Texan in UAE‘s blog. She’s a woman who met her Emirati husband in the US, married him, and later moved to Abu Dhabi with him. Sadly their marriage didn’t work and she’s back home in Texas with her beautiful children. You may be able to read through her older posts and find something that really relates to you and can help you during this time of confusion.

      As for wanting you to be a ‘surprise’… you wouldn’t be the first woman in that situation. It’s far more common than you would think. At first the mother’s aren’t happy at all with their son’s decision but will be as accepting as they can. Once there’s a baby involved all is forgiven.

      If you really have fears that he’s not going to marry you, then you should be very clear about that with him. Also, don’t behave as his wife until he’s made you one. Always respect yourself or he’s never going to respect you.

      Wishing you all the best. Please keep me posted on how things go.

  62. Dear American Girl,

    Your blog truly touches my heart bringing a rush of memories and emotion.

    I befriended a group of Saudis when I was in college and became very close to one man in particular. I must admit I did know know very much about Saudi culture prior to our friendship. I remembering feeling awkward about some of the pressing questions I had. I got to know him better and as our friendship matured I began to feel comfortable asking him his views on politics, western society, religion, and women’s right. With time, I became very attracted to him, his conviction to do the honorable thing, and his kindness. I think I may have fallen in love with him. It nearly brought tears to my eyes when I read this post. When you spoke about your husband’s love for you and his obligation to take care of you. It reminds me so much of him.

    He was amazing, however, I still felt I was not ready to date him. I think a part of me feared that his family would never accept me but more than anything else it simply was not the right time in my life. In the end my gut, intuition, or whatever I was calling it to justify my decision to end things won . I could write out all the fears/suspicions I had (cheating and “womanizing”) but those fears really don’t matter anymore.

    I appreciate the memories we shared together but I also accept my reasons for walking away. But a part of me can’t help but mourn and wonder about a great love that could have been.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.


    • Thank you for sharing your story with us. Sadly there are a lot of Arab/American relationships that end for one reason or another. Some on good terms, some on bad. Sounds like you took the mature route.

      I am truly thankful for my husband but not because he’s such a fabulous provider, but because of his kindness, compassion, and genuine love. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not impressed with his kindness towards animals and random strangers. I truly wish everyone could have a man as wonderful as him as I believe every woman deserves it.

      Wishing you all the best.

    • hi meriahalexandra how r u im jassim a man from oman im looking for american girl for good relationship that leads to marriage im educated im single im goodhearted kind person treat my woman so nicely waiting for ur reply

  63. Can I get some advice on a good,final way to tell an Arab boy to get lost and leave my daughter alone? They met in college. He wants to come see us. I don’t want to threaten him with the tribal police or a cadre of male cousins, but it’s better that my daughter marries within our tribe due to cultural and blood quantum requirements in our native community. He says he wants to marry her and has told his family, from what I understand, not that I care. It’s better for him,too. He’ll have a hard time being accepted here on our reservation if he stays here and he’d have to. She has said she loves him, but is confused about their future..and says she would never leave her people for him and wants the kids raised here as traditionals. Tribe comes first. This land is sacred to her. Also, any children they would have would fall under federal law Indian Child Welfare Act and he could get in big trouble if he tried to remove them from their mother or the native community. He needs to go back to where he came from. We don’t care about his money. Culture is more important than that. He’s a nice guy, but Arabs aren’t the only folks who are tribal and traditional. There are plenty of native boys she can marry. She is too young right now to make that decision anyway.

    • Hi Kanu Mom and thank you for your comment.

      Sorry, there’s no special recipe to make them just disappear ๐Ÿ™‚ However, I suppose it would be best to start with your daughter and telling her how strongly you feel about the situation. If she’s still young and holds her culture dear, then she’ll make a decision she believes is best for her. However, like with any parent/child, if you forbid her she’s probably going to run right into his arms. It’s possible this is just an experience your daughter will have to live through and you can only hope for the best as her parent.

      As for the Arab boy who wants to marry her, perhaps you should meet him. Like it or not it’s possible he’s going to be the father of your future grandchildren. And, if he visits at your home he might decide on his own that your traditions and culture are something he’s not comfortable with. Allowing him to visit would also give you the opportunity to speak with him directly regarding your feelings, culture, traditions, and lack of desire for his money. Which is admirable by the way. Some parents don’t agree with their child’s choice in a partner but if he has money (even minimal because it’s still more than they have) they somehow overlook their initial reasons for not agreeing to the marriage.

      Wishing you and your family all the best.

  64. I’m glad this site is up and info is being given out. My two cents…..any man of any ethnicity who will want to sleep with you and then wants a virgin to marry is not worth your time,IMO, but, hey, your time is your own to waste. We are all free to be stupid. (To say an Arab man cannot intellectually or morally figure out this illogical situation is,IMO, putting down Arab men.)My advice: if you come across a man like that, he is fully aware of what he is doing…so don’t give up any of YOUR values or freedoms for him. Stay away from him, use him for sex like he is using you,or do whatever ….but stay in charge of your heart and the relationship. He’s probably not good husband material for you.DO call him out on his BS if he tries any (especially if he tries to displace his personal responsibility onto his “culture”)..and especially if he’s a foreign Arab (or anybody else…let’s be fair)here in the US with you on your turf. I’m not a redneck flag waver, being neither white nor particularly patriotic, but having had relatives go into Gulf War I, (small …but people did get hurt and killed),if the dude was Kuwaiti or any other Gulf Stater I wouldn’t hesitate to tell him to cut the crap on principle alone. But let’s not put all of it on the guy…if you women let yourself get sucked in, you bear plenty of the responsibility ,too. What is that old saying about not complaining about being bitten by a rattler when you knew what it was when you picked it up? (Public service announcement to the Middle Eastern high school and college exchange spite of what you might have heard about western girls,wearing shorts and tank tops does not indicate lack of virginity or loose morals,a great many parents take their states’ statutory rape and sexual harassment laws seriously and some,unfortunately, might not like you for who you are. You don’t want to get on the wrong side of that…so you might want to keep YOUR pants on as well.)
    American Girl, having read through some of your stuff(stumbled across it while looking for something else)…were YOU a virgin when you were married to this gentleman who supposedly kept his own pad in which you don’t wish to know what he did woman-wise? Seems like you two were more mature than that. That said,I don’t know how old you are or if you have any kids,but the Arab teenagers and young adults…..both here and in the “old countries” ,according to my kids who go to school with them, are having boyfriends, girlfriends, sex, etc. True, the parents don’t know and it’s not nearly up to the level of the West (yet) due to some medieval forms of punishment in some countries for fornication ( soon, I expect, to be modified when the younger people are finally in charge),but there are Arab couples who marry after having plenty of sex with each other, having grown a decent set of critical thinking skills and rejected the obvious hypocrisy. I know of one couple and they know of plenty of others. I suspect this trend will continue,especially in America and the West. So if you have an Arab guy using culture as an excuse to leave you after he’s done the happy dance with you,he’s just your average jerk. Even the imams are being more honest about the pre-marital sex among ,especially, Arab-Americans.
    Maybe it’s due to MLK day coming up that prompted me to write this screed,but remembering my own experience with an Arab friend even 30 years ago during college….I can say he bore no resemblance to anything you describe. He had zero double standards, believed in equality of all races and of men and women, wasn’t a virgin himself and expected to marry someone he loved regardless of her sexual history. He in fact did marry a woman of Jewish descent that he had lived with during college. He was Palestinian. And, due to his insistence of going back to help out with trying to make peace between the two factions, he is no longer with us. I haven’t had a close friendship with an Arab male since then, but I have a hard time putting the Arab men you describe into the same category as this brave, intelligent, and noble fighter for peace ,equality,and justice.

    • Thanks for your comment and I DO agree with much of what you’ve stated.

      However, there’s a HUGE difference among Arab cultures from one country to the next. Heck, even inside one country. What I write about is MY experience and the culture MY husband is from. I can’t write about the Palestinian culture because I’m not related to any. Nor can I say an Egyptian man would be similar to my husband… never been married to one.

      I can easily say that the majority of schools in Kuwait are segregated after a certain age (some even from Kindergarten). Sure, dating and pre-marital sex are taking place but it’s NOT openly discussed among family members and people go well out of their way to ensure it’s hidden. I don’t know ONE Kuwaiti girl who can bring a ‘boyfriend’ home to meet the family, hang out, and maybe even spend the night. Not to say it doesn’t happen, but definitely not something I’ve ever witnessed. And I would venture to say it’s pretty much the same for a young Kuwaiti man. It would be considered highly disrespectful to his mother to bring a girl he’s ‘dating’ around to flaunt a physical relationship. Again, I’m sure it happens but it’s not the norm by any means.

      I agree that if a man uses his culture (or ANY reason) to have sex with a girl and dump her he’s not marriage material anyway. But, without a good understanding of the culture, I do NOT suggest a woman hop in bed with a man hoping to end up his wife. Perhaps it’s perfectly normal for some Arab cultures to date, become intimate, and then marry… but KNOW that before you slide out of your panties. Unless there’s no expectation of a relationship from either side.

      As for your personal questions about me… really? I have enough self respect and respect for my husband to keep private matters private ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. I am an American girl who dated and was engaged to be married to a middle eastern american born christian man. We had a great relationship for the most part in the beginning until wedding planning. We did have issues with the families. His family is more educated, mine is not.
    I felt that I would not be good enough for his mother. My fiance is very successful as a MD and I have my bachelors. His mother professed that Dr’s need to marry Dr’s. However, after we got married and had kids his family wanted me to stay home which I was fine with. His mother cared a lot about status and would say things indirectly about how I am not a Dr. and how other people would care. If my fiance loved me he would not care about not having letters next to my name. He wouldn’t care what other people think, but he cares too much what his mother thinks, whose never really worked outside the house much in her life. How can I marry into a family who cares too much about status? We are all human, letters don’t mean anything in the end.
    I feel like my fiance was not being transparent with me. He told me when we first met that the wedding is paid for by the groom in the ME as it is cheaper but in the states, both families pay as it’s more expensive. He wanted me to help pay even though he makes 10x more than me and I live paycheck to paycheck and he is a MD. This wedding was going to be 100% ME wedding btw. I later overheard him tell his mother that he is so happy that weddings in the states are Less Expensive than in the ME. I read an article on the internet how the ME man is supposed to pay for the wedding and how the woman marries into the man’s family and leaves her own. Is this still true? I feel like he was only willing to incorporate the traditions that benefited him. I was so good to him and loved him so much. My heart still cries. I was converting from catholic to orthodoxy for him and tried to fit in with his family who had a hard time excepting me as I never did anything right by them. I’m an easy going person..makes me so sad. We were going to get married in a few months.

    • Hi there, Hurt.

      I’m really sorry to hear you’re going through such a situation. But sadly there’s not a lot you can do but be thankful it happened sooner rather than later. You’re much better off knowing what you’re dealing with before marriage and children.

      As for paying for the wedding, that differs among cultures… and even families. In my case our weddings (Kuwait and US) were paid for by my husband’s family and my husband. However, I know of some women who have paid for their own weddings. It really depends on the person I suppose. As for cost, both Middle Eastern and US weddings are comparable. I don’t believe one of ours cost a significant amount more or less than the other. Again, depends on the people and what type of wedding they want. We went with very elegant and classy while keeping it small and intimate (family and closest friends). I find very large weddings to be more of a ‘show’ and they lose their true meaning. But that’s just how I feel. Obviously others have very different ideas about what a wedding should be.

      You mention you were converting for him which is a big mistake. Religion is something a lot of people take very seriously and hold dear to their heart. To give up that part of yourself for a man is a red flag. If he can’t love you for who you are then he doesn’t deserve to have you. And if his family can’t accept you, then you’re better off finding someone who can.

  66. Thank you for your reply american girl. It is nice to get someone else’s input who can somewhat relate, especially to ME culture. I never really thought there was such a difference in cultures until researching it after we broke up. I thought that since he grew up in the states that he was more Americanized and wouldn’t be so swayed by his family’s opinion over mine. When I first met him, he told me his mother wanted him to find someone from his religion and culture, but there aren’t many to choose from where we are. Maybe that was a red flag. He wants whatever his mom wants. I was open minded about his religion and culture, but I can only be so open minded to the point where I feel I cannot lose my sense of identity. I wish there was more of a mix of culture, taking good parts of both ME and American culture and joining them, especially bc we live in the states, but I felt as though I was doing all the compromising. I felt that my feelings were not being heard. I’m not ME, and will never be. I do love some aspects of his culture and it makes me miss him that much more, thinking of what could have been..

  67. Hi
    I m naturalized american . I came to america when I was 23 . I recently moved in to Kuwait to work with a gov contractor here in IT . I ‘m so fascinated by the Kuwait women and I think they are one of the sweetest and prettiest women in the middle east.They are educated , sincere , and have a good personality.
    I do speak arabic since I was raised in arabic country however I find it challenging to date a kuwaiti woman or find one to talk to .
    Can you write a post about that ?
    Since you are immersed in the culture would it be possible to ask the kuwaiti woman you know about their opinion on dating americans with arab background?

    Thanks I enjoyed reading your posts.

    • Hi there and thank you for your comment. I think your idea for a post is brilliant but it certainly wouldn’t be clear cut.

      Meeting Kuwaiti women really depends on you. Obviously you’re not going to head out into the desert communities and seek out a bedouin woman… unless you have a death wish. However, in the city Kuwaiti women are often out and about with friends. They spend a lot of time in malls, coffee shops, and restaurants. You can always start by making eye contact to see if she responds. Please don’t stare her down like a thirsty criminal — it’s rude and unwanted behavior. If you find she makes eye contact (and holds it for a period of time) somehow slip her your phone number. Then wait. It could be days — or weeks — before she calls. If she does. And sadly, if you look Arab that could hurt your chances as she could mistake you for a local guy looking for ‘fun’.

      You could also make local friends and kinda follow their lead. But do not ever ask them about sisters, cousins, etc. I can’t stress that enough. Female family members are totally off limits.

      Perhaps one day I’ll invest the time in a full post. Thanks for the idea.

  68. Hello!
    I just was googling and ran across your blog…I have a question for you and maybe you could give me some insight…I am in the US and have met a Moroccan man who lives nearby in another state…he has lived here most of his life and so has most of his family…he said he is looking for a serious relationship and marriage from the start. I too am looking for a similar relationship. We have been speaking for nearly 5 months…he has spoke to my mother as well telling her he would like to marry me…he is close to my age 40…I do not know of a previous wife and he says no kids..I do know we lives with another male family member for a fact…is this normal to bring up marriage so quickly? I also have a 15 year old son…I dont think he is after a greencard…he has a business. .sorry I had dated a Nepali guy and he made me very suspicious of that…I just looking to see if that is normal for them to act this way…he also does not want me around other guys…no male friends etc…thank you for your time! Great blog!

    • Hi Heather,

      It’s difficult for me to say what’s normal for the Moroccan culture as I really have no experience with them at all. However, I would say him not wanting you to have male friends is pretty common. Before you agree to marriage I think you should ask to meet his family — specifically his parents. You mention that he’s talked to your mother, have you ever talked to his? Just like any relationship, it’s only fair that you go into this with all available information and no secrets.

      Wishing you all the best.

  69. Thank you for your reply…I know nothing about Arab culture at all lol…I do know from research on the net Moroccan men have a bad rap…usually wanting a American wife for citizenship….many marry outside the culture…I have never spoke to his parents at all..he said they go back n forth between NY and Morocco. He spoke to my Mom that time and she is not thrilled with him..she was stunned by him asking for her to convince me to marry him…I am a very straightforward lady…. I told him upfront what I want in a relationship. .I dont play around…he says he likes that about me…he has told me several times he seeks the same thing as I do…I have not caught him in a lie..I have always used my head instead of my heart to rule me…but sometimes I think I sabotage myself…I guess we will meet n see…also my son and I are taking a bus trip to NYC on his spring break one weekend..I mentioned we were going once…never said anything about dates etc…yesterday he said he would be there on those exact dates…he never mentioned it before…not even going to NYC…I asked him when he was going…he said when u are lol….he waited till I told him my dates….lol…I guess we will wait n see….thank you again.

    • You’re most welcome, Heather. I think the most important thing to focus on is meeting one another and seeing how things go from there. I believe it’s much easier to get a feel for who a person really is while spending time with them in person. If he doesn’t show up in NYC then I guess it will be an indication of how serious he really is about the relationship. Wishing you all the best.

  70. I agree I think the meeting is the main part…I wont continue if he is not willing to meet…I will be seeing him in the next 2 weeks weather permitting. .I have friends in NC and my son will be going to NYC with me..I would feel more comfortable meeting him down there as opposed to NY. .and it being very awkward and all for everyone. That way if it does not go well I can jump in the car n head for my friends house lol….thanks again…I will let you all know…

    • I can understand it might be a bit awkward. Is it possible to set aside a specific time to meet him? Maybe somewhere public where you can spend some time just talking and getting to know one another a little better.

      Please keep us posted. Wishing you all the best.

  71. Yeah we will meet out somewhere. .he says he cant wait to meet me…he also tells me almost daily he loves me…I am much more cautious lol…I feel he came on strong…but he says my straight to the point and knowing what I want is why he knows I am the one for him….I hope we get along well….he seems to be upfront like me in personality….we have had arguments….I agree a lot of it is because of me and my uncertainty. ..I am leery of being used…I guess time will tell and I do hope he is the guy he appears to be..I will let you know if all goes well…:) thanks for all your time AG…

  72. Well I thought I would update this…we never met…he would go quiet around anytime I planned on meeting him..I did not feel secure..he always accused me of playing games and cheating. .but he seemed very controlling as well..I speak to him a little. .he made me quite angry with his games…and yes he played them. I have been told my other Muslim that it is weird some of what he does.mage has a temper too…threatened to slap way I would meet this man…they is something off about him…wants to call and question my friends! No way would I tolerate this…I am sure many Muslim are fine men…not so sure about Jamal.

    • Hi Heather and thank you for the update. Sounds like you made the right decision by putting a stop to his games.

      Look at it this way; remove Islam, culture, etc. from the scenario. Would you allow some random man you ONLY know through the internet to delve into the personal details of your life and suggest interrogating your friends? Of course not. Heck, you might even think his behavior warrants a call to the authorities! His behavior has nothing to do with Islam or culture — he’s a creep and sounds dangerous.

  73. Dear American Girl,

    I am so relieved to have just stumbled across your story.

    I am an Armenian Iranian, born and raised in London, living in the UAE. Although I am technically Christian, I do not practice Christianity (apart from christmas) in any way.

    My mother, being of Middle Eastern decent, even though Christian, has brought me up with an extremely strict upbringing, therefore growing up I related more to the Middle Eastern/Muslim children due to their equally strict upbringing.

    I have recently begun ‘dating’ and Emirate man from Abu Dhabi, much to the despair of my mother. She has a very one sided view of Islam due to Iran. My man-friend, lets call him ‘John’ is absolutely wonderful. He treats me like a queen, and although we have only been together for 3 short months, I feel from the bottom of my heart that this is the man for me. (I can sway my mother to love him! Inshallah!)

    I know many people who know I am dating a local have told me how ‘stupid’ I am, and i have had numerous comments of ‘he will never marry you’. I have always defended myself and ‘John’ as i believe many of these people are naiive and brainwashed. Until today, when a local girl told me the same thing.

    Although the relationship is fresh, we both have unbelievably strong feelings towards one another. Although I should really be speaking to him regarding this matter, I do not want to bring up the notion of marriage as of yet as even though I feel he is my future hubs, I don’t want him to feel pressured!

    I have not met his family, neither him with mine. My parents know about him, I am still a secret with his family.

    I am becoming a bit anxious that even though we are both head over heels for eachother, his parents, nor him will accept me. I was so certain at first that every family is different and every man regardless of his religion will stand up for the woman his loves nomatter what. But today, when ultimatley belittled by a local girl about dating a local boy, I have suddenly become anxious that i am in a sense, wasting my time?

    I feel as though my mind is being pulled in two different directions! I’m not entirely sure if i am explaining this properly as like i said, my mind is completely all over the place!

    I’m hoping, given your knowledge in this area that you may be able to ease my mind a little ๐Ÿ™‚

    Looking forward to your kind words.

    Roxy x

    • Hi Roxy,

      Such an interesting life you’ve lived with the cross cultural/religion upbringing.

      I wish I had definitive answers and guarantees regarding your relationship but sadly, as you know, that’s just not possible. However, I can say you should follow your heart and be cautious at the same time. Keep in mind ‘John’s’ life is dictated by far more than just his religion. He comes from a culture with very deep rooted history and expectations. He comes from a place where family is first, even above his own desires.

      Of course, as you said, no two men are the same. No situations are the same. My husband comes from a very cultural family, but also a very intelligent, educated, open-minded family. So in their case, though culture is important, they also accept so is individual happiness. It’s quite possible your John comes from a similar family.

      Like I advise everyone though… meet the family. No need to push about marriage but you do need to push about no longer being a secret. The longer he keeps you a secret (especially if you’re physically intimate) the less he respects you. Instead of mentioning marriage to him, you might want to mention your need to respect yourself by no longer being a secret girlfriend. Give him the choice to keep you as a friend ONLY or to introduce you to his family.

      My husband was arranging a meeting between his mom, sisters and I within the first week we met. It was me who asked if we could postpone the meeting for a couple of weeks because I was nervous. I knew meeting the family would pretty much seal the deal and a wedding date would come soon after. And it did.

      Telling ‘John’ that you have to think about what’s best for you and your reputation doesn’t mean you’re pushing for marriage. Just that you’re demanding to be respected. If he really loves you the way he says he does, then he’ll respect your need to be respected.

      Wishing you all the best. Please keep us posted.

  74. Thank you for the sound advice…yeah he acted like a jerk…and even seemed racist towards others…blacks and hispanics especially. I think it was all a game…he has a Facebook full of other women…almost all out of the country too…I have been getting blocked calls etc on my phone…I threatened with the police n it immediately stopped…Mom was getting them too…I am not blaming all Muslim men….just this one…I would not be surprised if he had a wife or kids somewhere either…he posted pics of his nieces and nephews supposedly a lot….thanks for your support…I honestly think he is spiteful but not going to drive 6 hours to mess with me lol…

    • Definitely sounds like you’re better off without him. Before you know it you’re going to find someone who loves you the way you deserve and your relationship will be built on honesty and loyalty… not lies.

      Wishing you all the best.

  75. Dear American Girl,

    Thankyou so much for your kind words. They have definitely eased my mind on how I can approach this.

    I will take on board your suggestions and speak with him about meeting his family and no longer be a secret, for my own peace of mind and respect for myself, and ultimately our relationship.

    I would also like to say that after reading your story, I am touched. I wish nothing but the best for your future with your wonderful husband.

    I will keep you posted with what happens.

    Thankyou again.

    Roxy x

    • So glad I could help even if just a little, Roxy. I really wish you all the best and hopefully he’ll understand your reasons and respect your feelings. Please do keep me posted.

      Thank you for your kind words.

    • Thank you! So glad you stopped by. We’ve been living in the US for a little over a year now but take numerous trips back to Kuwait throughout the year to visit family. We’ve both adapted rather well to life here and even acquired a few more pets ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course we miss life in Kuwait but we maintain a home there and surely we’ll move back one day.

  76. I love your story. I have been video chatting for hours each night with an amazing man who (just my luck) lives in Tikrit. It breaks my heart each day that he cannot be here with me in the US. Any advice on the easiest and safest way for the two of us to meet?

    • Hi Natalie, have you considered the possibility of meeting in Kuwait? Surely he can apply for a visit visa as an Iraqi and you would get a visa on arrival. Or, has he thought of applying for a visit visa to the US and visiting you here?

      • He is going to apply for visitor visa but believes he may have a problem due to his age (he is 22). If this doesn’t work we are going to figure out something. I have two young children that I would have problems finding care for in order to leave the country to go to him. It may take awhile but we have to figure it out. I have never felt such so drawn to someone in my life and I hate the worry that I have for his safety everyday. I have learned enough arabic to have a very small conversation with his mother and she seems to appreciate that so I hope I’m doing well ๐Ÿ™‚

        • His age could create a problem when applying for the visa but there’s no harm in giving it a shot. I can see why you wouldn’t want to leave your small children and I can’t blame you. However, depending upon how often you’re physically away from them now (work, nights out, etc) maybe you need a short break and could ask a family member to help out? Of course if you decided to meet him abroad I would absolutely recommend you do so in a SAFE and PUBLIC place — hotel coffee shop, etc. I wouldn’t suggest you attempt to visit Iraq so it really would require him getting a visa.

          As for being concerned for his safety in Iraq, especially Tikrit, I don’t think you have too much to worry about. Yeah, they have suicide bombings from time to time, but certainly nothing as compared to their life a decade ago. Now his life is probably somewhat normal — malls, shopping, movie theaters, coffee shops, etc.

          Be patient and smart… if it’s meant to be it will be.

  77. Hi I am a 39 year old American woman who met a 26 years old Algerian man 2 years ago online. We stumbled into this relationship because we were playing a game together online with out iPads. Wasn’t even sure where Algeria was when I first met him. Haha…… We spoke almost a year online before we met but since I’ve been to Algeria twice to see him. I knew from the start he was different than other men I had met, yet still in my mind I kept my distance at first. As time has passed though I’ve fallen deeply in love with him. I’ve never been treated so wonderful and kind by anyone before. When I went to visit him the first time I realized then he was all he said he was. His life was as he told me online. I had met his sisters and family before online, but when I finally came to Algeria and met them in person they were even more lovely and kind. Everyone treated me with such hospitality. They always served me and did all they could to make me comfortable. When I was there this past spring break we did an Islam marriage ceremony. We did not do it legally yet because we are in the process of a fiancรฉ visa and would of messed up the process and had to of started over. So when he comes to me in America we will have 90 days to marry and apply for his green card. I worry sometimes of the difficulties. I know it will be a huge change from what he’s use too, but I feel confident we will be fine. I trust his love for me. He may be Algerian and in many ways he thinks like one, but in many ways he thinks very differently. Thank you for sharing all the stories above. I wish everyone the very best.

  78. I wish you all the best with your boyfriends and husbands….I dont feel like a Arab man is for me..I maybe too independent etc…I have tried to have a relationship with 2 and neither was fact the one I spoke about on here returned to his country to marry right after we broke up…the other was very different then the man I had been speaking with online…very bossy and demanding. .even made fun of my southern accent…I am sure they are some good men…but it seems like a lot are players and users too….you all have a blessed holiday…and thank you all for sharing.

    • Hi Heather. Not sure if it’s that Arab men are the problem with your relationships. I just think it’s the men… period. And perhaps even a bit of you as well. When I encounter a similar situation over and over I try to always look at a common theme… is it me?

      I totally agree about the ‘players and users’ but rest assured that’s typical worldwide. I think the ‘player’ confusion with an Arab man comes from his culture. I call it ‘confusion’ because often he doesn’t realize he’s being a player and the victim doesn’t realize she’s being played — it all seems so real until it falls apart because of whatever reason but primarily his cultural obligations.

      Additionally, I think it’s VERY important that you meet in person before really treating it as a true relationship. Watching someone’s behavior while sitting next to them is part of getting to know them. Also, there’s a sense of chemistry that can only be felt when face to face.

      Wishing you all the best. And be safe.

  79. I agree with a lot of what you say…the last I had known since last year and I had met him in person before….but just recently been spending a lot of time with and he started acting very different after he thought we were a couple…I was very wary of him….but he had been nothing but sweet and a good friend to me….so I was shocked with his attitude…yeah I know the culture is different but I believe they do know they are playing you…I think they do target women they think they will be able to control more easily…
    Both were Moroccan and my friend showed me some stuff on the net and it was over 50 articles…probably closer to 100 + and they were very ummmm…bad….speaking of guys from Morocco…I am sure they are good men from there too….I just won’t date
    another….maybe I am too trusting…but only these guys have acted this way…not any other guy….I mean he was Jekyll and Hyde all the sudden…thank you for your advice…I am glad you have such a fine husband…I just dont trust any man right now lol.

  80. Ugh. Don’t know where else to go to vent at this point. I received a message from him nearly 24 hours ago that they had to leave the city due to the danger. At that point there was nothing on the news about Tikrit so I was not sure what was going on, of course now there is. I am sick with worry. I know all he needs to focus on right now is getting to a safe place, but the selfish part of me just wants him to call. I need to know that he is ok. Has anyone had any remotely similar experiences? If so do you have any ideas to keep myself sane??

    • I’m really sorry to hear about his current situation but unfortunately the only thing you can do is be patient. I do hope you’ve heard from him by now and that he’s fine. Also, keep in mind, what you’re shown on television is much worse than what’s really taking place. And as far as him having to leave, it could very well be for precaution, and not because he was in imminent danger. Wishing you all the best. Please keep me posted.

  81. Thank you for your support! I did finally hear from him when he was near Baghdad, he has now reached his uncles home in southern Iraq. I tried to hold myself together the best I could when I finally heard his voice, but didn’t do the best job, which caused him to worry about me and that’s the last thing I wanted. I spoke with him on Skype today and being able to see his face was the greatest relief I have ever felt! Thank you again for your response. Most of my friends and family understood that I was upset, but I don’t know that they actually “get” it.

  82. hi american girl, im so happy to hear your romantic and beautiful story with your husband. and i am glad that you are not like those who comment bad about arab boys. well i am an arab indonesian girl living in indonesia and i am 16 years old, my dad is an aran and my mom is an indonesian, as an arab many people also say bad things and annoyinh things to me, though i live in the islamic country but that doesnt make them stop saying bad things about me, they say i am a terrorist because one time there’s a bomv tragedy in one of the hotels in jakarta where i live and they check out all arabs and muslims who wear hijab and so on, so they call me terrorist and many times they say stupid things like “where is your camel, oh why dont you ride camel” these things are annoying, or sometimes i get stared from up to down, its always an awkward situation walking alone by myself which i have never done except going to school, i dont know why arabs have bad reputation in people’s eyes, is this because we are special or what? i wanna know if your husband gets the same things i get like being stared from up to down while he’s being in the U.S and also how’s life in kuwait, i’d love to know. i really know about arabic culture because i am raised in arabic culture and i can speak arabic a little bit. btw this is my email , thanks for your kind words about us arab people ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Nisa,

      Sounds like you’ve had a very interesting life. Ignore those who say negative things; they’re simply hateful. Bullies are never happy people so take comfort in knowing they’re miserable and you’re not.

      My husband has never experienced any prejudice in America and I never experienced it while living in Kuwait (as a Caucasian female).

      Wishing you all the best.

  83. I’ve been married to a wonderful Kuwaiti for almost 12 years. Have traveled to meet his family quite a few times and they’ve (for the most part) been nothing but kind. His parents, brother and sisters spent time with us in the States, as well. We now have 3 children together and plan on relocating to Kuwait in December/January to allow our kids to absorb more the language and culture – and get to know more of their family. Any suggestions on how to go about meeting other American women who are married to locals? I’ve looked over a good number of the expat websites and I’m not sure that’s where I should be headed. One of my first priorities will be language immersion, but in the interim, it would be nice to find someone to meet for coffee…..

    • Hi there!

      So excited for you and your family. You’re going to love Kuwait.

      There are numerous ways to meet American women who are married to locals and those who aren’t. Definitely check out Desert Girl’s blog as she’s a wealth of information. She’s incredibly welcoming and knows a lot of Westerners married to locals who I’m sure she would love to introduce you to. You can also check out Life in Kuwait’s blog. She’s an American married to a local living in Kuwait with her children. She also has great information on activities for children as well as local language classes, local cultural events, and just overall things to do in Kuwait.

      Being there with your husband and his family should make the transition fairly easy for you. You’ll have his female family members to spend time with, talking, laughing, and just having a great time.

      Have you looked into schools for your children? There are a number of great private American schools (costly) but I’m not sure how much Arabic they’re really going to learn there. I suspect just being around the family will help with their Arabic language skills though.

      You’re going to have a fabulous time. And if you ever find yourself feeling down, homesick, bored, or lonely… go shopping ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s plenty of THAT in Kuwait.

      • Thanks for the positive reply. I’m excited for the big change, and glad my kids will have the opportunity to get to know this whole other side of their family and be exposed to more culture and language while they are still young. We’ve looked into schools and gotten reocommendations. You’re right – the tuition is brutal. But, here they’re in a private school so they can learn islamic studies and arabic – and we are already paying tuition. In Kuwait, like here, they’ll have Arabic as a second language, but I’m hoping playing with all the cousins will speed them along, too. They really are like sponges when they’re this little.

        My husband’s family has been wonderful from the first time I was introduced to them, and I’m anxious to learn the language so I can have some stronger relationships there. But, thanks so much for the advice on reaching out. I’ll take it.

        Big change is always a bit scary, but I’m seeing lots of benefits for us as a family, So, hoping to get through the inevitable culture shock, make new friends and just enjoy a new chapter in my life.

        Its been interesting watching some of the recent events over there. I hope the momentum for change pushes on. It really is a place with great potential. The amout of ideas and projects on the political/fiscal back burner right now is astounding. Would be great to see some of that come to fruition.

        Thanks again for you suggestions.

  84. Thanks American Girl, thatโ€™s awesome!
    Meeting and maybe eventually marrying an American Muslim would be pretty ideal and fantastic for me! However though, itโ€™s kinda hard to meet such a woman when you live in small college town USA (three more years to finish my doctorate.) Plus, itโ€™s not like Iโ€™m gonna run into her at happy hour!

    Every time I visit Kuwait I am shocked with the mentality of (most) Kuwaiti women (and men), and the culture as a whole. I truly applaud you for saying that Kuwaitโ€™s culture is very easy to adapt to–That is certainly not the case with me. One time I was sitting down with a group of Kuwaitis discussing families and kids. I mentioned that one day I would encourage my daughter when she reaches college age to move out of the house and pursue her own journey of knowledge and self-discovery. I almost got stoned to death!! (Iโ€™m pretty sure you can imagine why!)

    The majority of Kuwaiti women (careful not to generalize), with all due respect, lack the real and true definition of partnership in life (Kuwaiti men are guilty of that too.) Iโ€™m sure there are some really fine women out there, but then again, can you ever trust a chick who doesnโ€™t know baseball?!?

    Thanks again, American Girl. Your forum is awesome. Thanks for letting some random dude vent.

    Peace, and more power to you.

    The Dude, a.k.a. Khalid.

    • In the last decade Kuwait has really become quite progressive. There’s something about this generation that’s really inspiring. Most, young men and women, are wanting to see positive change in their country and are actively working to make a difference. Women, though still very protected by men, are pursuing prominent careers and higher education. My sisters in law all completed their university studies and have lucrative careers/businesses. However, though my husband’s family is from a bedu tribe, they’re very open minded, intelligent, and cultured.

      In your case, because you’re not sure if you want to stay in the US or move to Kuwait and perhaps you’ll be like us and do a little of both several times a year, marrying an American would probably be more ideal for you. So, finding one? Well, we know several Arab American couples who met using dating sites and are now happily married with a dozen children ๐Ÿ™‚ Or, you could attend some events that your local Islamic Center is offering — after Ramadan.

      Thank you for your kind words. You’re going to find that woman who’s just right for you. I’m sure of it.

      • Thank you very much, American Girl. Your blog actually gave me hope that maybe an American woman CAN stand a life and a future in Kuwait. That’s really fantastic!

        I know that I get along much better with American women, but I didn’t want to be selfish by being in a relationship with an American woman knowing (or thinking) that it would be very difficult for her to live there if we have to move our family there one day. Maybe I was being too careful since it’s been very difficult for me to live there–and I’m from there!! Oh well, I guess no one really knows what the future holds.

        Thanks for the tip about the Muslim dating sites. I’ve tried once but for some reason, somehow, I’ve only seemed attractive to dudes from Nigeria and Russia pretending to be chicks and then asking for money! Yeah, I know, the shit was funny as hell ๐Ÿ™‚

        Thanks again.

  85. Hi my name is Denise. I realize this is not a dating site but if anyone would be interested in emailing me. Leave a message on here and we can contact by email. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog American girl. Thank you.

  86. Hi American Girl,
    I see that you very generously respond to the questions of many of the commentors, so I have a question for you. Without too much detail, I am in a relationship with an Arab (N. Africa) man (living in the US) and have been for 18 months, though we were close friends for 5 years before that. We mutually agreed that marriage was off the table from the beginning. However, he really treats me like family. He speaks of me as his sister to The Guys from his country. He tells me I am family. He treats me like family. If I need help with my car or going to the hospital, he is right there. He tells me everything, even things I know his family doesn’t know. I have always noticed that he seemed to tell different people different stories (White lies?). This includes his mother. I didn’t care because they didn’t affect me, but now I am discovering that he lies to me too. Sometimes it seems he is trying to protect me from information I would find upsetting. Other times it seems he is protecting himself. My question is this: In your experience, is it common or even kind (protective?) for Arab men to shield women in “the family” from upsetting information? Is it common for (what we would call) lying to be the mechanism for doing so? How, if, when could/should a lie be confronted? How does one distinguish benevolent lies from malicious lies under this system? (If you don’t know the answer, that is fine by the way.)
    FYI: I am of the belief that his cultural ways of doing things should be treated with just as much respect as mine should, so I would very much like to know his perspective on this issue before I charge full speed ahead and hurt his feelings/pride… especially when he might just be protecting me.
    Thank you for any insight you can offer. Your blog in INVALUABLE!

    • Hi Jeanne,

      Thank you for your comment and I’ll do my best to share my experiences in hopes of providing some clarity. Though I am curious as to why you mutually agreed marriage was off the table? Is he someone you just don’t think you would want to marry or are there other obstacles in the way? Either way, very mature of you both to accept that right up front.

      As for him referring to you as his ‘sister’ to friends from his country, that’s quite common. Especially if he’s Muslim. It’s almost as if he’s saying, “she’s my sister in Islam and nothing inappropriate is happening here”. It’s one of those little lies they tell in hopes of keeping their personal life a secret.

      Ahhh the lying! Let me start by saying I am against lying in any form or fashion; little lies, white lies, big lies, ‘protective’ lies, withholding information lies… I won’t tolerate them. Fortunately my husband is about the worst liar I’ve ever met in my life — his entire face changes if he tries to withhold information or slightly alter information. But yes, it’s very common for men from that culture to keep information from the women in their family a a way to ‘protect’ their feelings. They figure what’s done is done, why bother the woman with the painful truth. It’s not like either of them can change the past. And I have found a lot of women in that culture are perfectly happy with that mentality.

      We have a male friend (Kuwaiti) who has been dating this American woman off and on for a while. She is under the impression their relationship is serious and leading to marriage as he’s promised her a number of times to marry her but then always comes up with a last minute excuse as to why it can’t happen. He’s gone as far as to totally cut off all communication with her for months just weeks before their ‘wedding’. Several months ago she lost her job in Kuwait and had to return to America which he saw as a relief because then he didn’t have to hide so much of his life from her, yet he led her to believe they would be getting married soon (he promised her he would travel to America for the wedding) and that she would be moving back to Kuwait with him. Neither of which have happened. To me, this is the worst type of lie because he’s carried it on for years while toying with her emotions.

      That being said, there are different levels of lies and different reasons for it. But, regardless of how it’s culturally accepted in some places doesn’t mean it has to be accepted in your relationship. If my husband could keep every bit of bad news away from me and never allow me to feel upset for any reason, he would. But over time he’s learned that to me… that’s lying and lies hurt me. He would rather allow the bad news to upset me than to know he’s done something to hurt me.

      I definitely think you should confront your boyfriend and explain to him that it leaves you very uncomfortable when he tells different stories or outright lies to you. Regardless of the reason.

      And thank you for your kind words. I really hope some of the information on the blog has been helpful to you.

    • Hi Jeanne,

      From an Arab guy’s perspective, who’s half Northern African, telling lies to protect the women in the family is total b.s.! If someone is lying then they have something to hide, plain and simple. If a person is lying to his own mother then that person is capable of lying to anyone else. It is considered very disrespectful. Totally agree with American Girl, you should confront him.

      I hate it when I see or hear of Arab men lying to American women (or any women for that matter), this gives a bad rap for the rest of us. It is definitely not the culture!

  87. I was married for 8years with out any child,because of this my husband start acting very strange at home,coming home late and not spending time with me any more.So i became very sad and lost in life because my doctor told me there is no way for me to get pregnant this really make life so hard for me and my sister in law told me about Prophet Osaze from the Internet,how he has helped people with this similar problem that i am going through so i contacted him and explain to him.he cast a spell and it was a miracle three days later my husband can back to apologize for all he has done and told me he is fully ready to support me in any thing i want,few month later i got pregnant and gave birth to twins (girls) we are happy with ourselves. Thanks to Prophet Osaze for saving my relationship and for also saving others too. continue your good work, If you are interested to contact him and testify this blessings like me, the great spell caster email address:”spirituallove@hotmail. com”

  88. Hi,,,my name is ahmad,an arabic jordanian man knowing an arabic american lady girl.
    I meet here many times one month ago,,,at the begining she was afraid from arabic thinking then we decided to take a step (engagement) to know each other more.
    When i told my family about that they told me to wait and not take any step now b4 knowing here more..
    When i told here that ,she was shocked coz “as she thought” i have to be firm with my family and to do what i want..
    Ok i know she is true,,,but at the same time i want them all to be happy( my family and my girl)
    Noww,,,she doesnt talk to me”just alittle),,,and now she is is in usa
    I tried to tell her that is only “3adat” and we need only a time but

  89. Can you write a oost about how black women are viewed? I am a black woman dating an arab man ool keep saying I won’t be accepted

    • Hi. Unfortunately I really can’t offer much on this topic. Some Arab cultures prefer very light women and women of those cultures sometimes go to extremes to be as light as possible. Yet in other Arab cultures darker women are seen as exotic and beautiful. Personally I believe what’s in a person’s heart is far more important than their shin color, but that’s not your question.

      I think the most import thing to do is evaluate how he treats you. Does he take you out in public? Has he introduced you to his family? Friends? Has he ever made derogatory remarks about your race?

      Let his actions answer your questions.

      • He has never said anything negative about me but I have noticed he finds dark skin unattractive.

        I don’t know if I should be offended maybe it is just his preference I am black but I have light skin we are almost the same color actually.

        • In my experience (knowledge through hearing Arab male friends talk) they don’t want a woman who is darker than them. Not sure if it’s a personal preference or a concern their children will be darker. However, I just asked my husband, “Hey honey? How come Arab men don’t like darker women?” and he said that’s not true at all. He actually has a number of friends who find darker women attractive. Yet he’s now explaining that lighter skin in that region has often been associated with being from a higher class family.

          Hope that helps a bit.

    • To Confused One,

      I’m an AA dating an Arabic man. I’ve met his mother, sister, brother, friends and any other associates. And I didn’t need to ask. He is also about to become a citizen in a month or so….so I know he’s not with me for citizenship. To be honest, I love him dearly but I’m not trying to decide or rack my brain about if he will marry me or his family will accept me. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

  90. Hello!
    I love your blog it’s so interesting. I am also married to an Arab man from Kuwait. I am a Latina and have a great relationship with him. This is my first marriage. We got married in April 2014. Met him June of 2013. I love him dearly. My family loves him too but there is a problem. His family does not know we are married with the exception of his older brother. This does bother me and we have talked about it and he says that he cannot tell his mother yet because she is very traditional. He said that if she finds out and does not approve he would need to divorce me. I don’t know how to deal with this I try not to think about it but still bothers me. We do not plan on living in Kuwait. We plan to stay in the US and make a life here. Now, is there another reason why he does not tell his mother he got married? Is this common with Arab men? I would appreciate if you could give me some advice. Thank you!

    • Hi there and thank you. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you.

      Your situation, though rather sticky, isn’t unique. But, because his family (other than 1 brother) doesn’t know about you, it’s possible he could just disappear one day and you would never really understand why. Of course divorce is possible even if you do know his family, but it’s much more difficult then — especially with family ties.

      Lately it seems a lot more Kuwaitis are moving to other countries to live, but they ALWAYS go home to visit… often. We visit my husband’s family every few months. During one of your husband’s visits back to Kuwait it seems his mother would start discussing marriage and finding him a wife. Perhaps you should tell him you’re willing to take that risk and demand that he tell his mother about you?

  91. Hello, this blog is amazing as I’ve googled and researched so much for answers. I really need you’d advice, I’m latina aswell my family doesn’t speak much english, they live in US and I hold US passport so in arab world I’m considered American. I met a kuwaiti man whom constantly is having problems with his wife. It will be almost a year now, he’s opening me up a business and moved me to kuwait to be closer to him. Obviously i want to take the relation to the next level but he tells me that he news time and will secretly marry me, but cannot yet tell his father and that these things happen with time. I know i have driven this man crazy to the point he doesn’t eat or sleep because he loves me and hates being in this situation. Im very scared because of the horrible stories I hear and i don’t know what to do. His 1st wife is Moroccan and has a baby with her, but he says if we secretly marry he has to wait before telling his father because its supposedly a big deal since he is the 1st son.. what should I do??? I’m very scared of getting hurt! and I love him too much!!! and he promises he will never leave me and even cries when he tells me…. Thoughts???

  92. Yo…What’s happening American Girl! It’s nice to see you’re still on the blog–that’s fantastic! The world needs someone to make sense of all this madness–more power to you, AG.

    • Hi there, Dude! I took a much needed break and don’t expect I’ll be blogging full time yet. But things like blogger fraud, fake lives/fiances/husbands, and Americans being murdered in mall bathrooms is enough to get my attention — even if for only a minute.

  93. Hi American Girl,

    I have been researching the Muslim culture since my daughter has told be she has fallen in love with a doctor from Syria. She is a nurse and works at the same hospital as him.

    I initially didn’t have an issue with it until she brought up that fact that he is already married and he wants her as his second wife. Talk about a shock!

    Well here in America it is illegal so I don’t know what quite to make of it. Do you have any advice to give me regarding this situation? I don’t want my daughter to do anything she will later regret and to tell you the truth I am actually scared for her.

    • Hi Confused Mom,

      I can certainly understand your shock and concern. However, marrying more than one woman is very common in their culture. Generally, the first wife is chosen by his mother and sometimes she’s even a first cousin. Their marriage is seen by some as his ‘duty’ or ‘family obligation’. Of course this doesn’t mean all first wives are chosen in this manner, but it’s not uncommon.

      Men from that culture who are married in this tradition sometimes do find themselves seeking something a bit more personal with a woman they choose to be with. This doesn’t result in a divorce from the first wife or even mean there’s contention in the marriage with the first wife. He will always love and respect her. As a matter of fact, the first wife and the new wife often become close friends and get along rather well.

      Becoming a second wife can be a big decision. But, it’s not uncommon at all. Ask your daughter how much contact he still has with the first wife. If they even live in the same country. Do they have children together. There are a lot of things she’s going to need to know before taking this step.

      Please keep us updated as we would love to know what happens.

      Thank you for sharing your story.

  94. I heard about what happened in the UAE. So weird! The last place you’d think something like that could happen. My heart goes out to her family and loved ones. So sad.

    Fake wives, husbands! Wow, AG–Your life is a lot more interesting than mine!

  95. Hello American Girl,

    Mabrook on your blog; Very insightful indeed.

    I came across it while googling interfaith/intercultural marriages. I have very recently got married to a Muslim Egyptian man, whom I consider to be not only the greatest love of my life, but also my partner in life forever and beyond.

    Myself I am a Christian South European and we met while both of us were working for the same company in the GCC region. We both were married before, myself to a Christian American, and him to an Egyptian with whom he has two children that live with her.

    I decided to comment on your blog to give some insight to your female readers. To my understanding there are very limited chances a Muslim man will ever get physical with a lady he intends to marry. I have to stress here that my husband never touched me whatsoever during the 7 months of our relationship before we got married.

    The other thing I need to comment on as there is a lot of misunderstanding there, is the issue of control. What most Westerners perceive as control of a husband over his wife it’s actually c a r e. Women in Islam are perceived as diamonds that need to be always kept safe. My husband is the most respectful and caring man I have met in my life, and when he needs to know where I am, it’s not because he is controlling it’s because he is caring.

    Having said that, of course we both had to adjust some behaviors in order to make this work. We both love each other for what we are and none of us ever wanted to change the other. Some small adjustments, yes, we gladly have made them, like for example I had to adjust a bit the way I dress and he accepted that I need to swim like all people in the sea in a bathing suit. But I have to stress that all these changes were done with joy by both parts as they signify our desire to be happily together.

    Lastly, I would like to say something I have learnt in my previous marriage and apply it presently. When two people come from different countries it is best to settle down in a third one, as I believe this keeps the balance and equality in their relationship.

    Apologies for the long post, American girl, and once more congrats on your blog. Best wishes :))

    • Thank you for your fabulous comment and insights. Sounds like you’ve truly found happiness in your marriage as well as a nice balance. I love your suggestion of living in a land that’s foreign to both. I’m genuinely fortunate that my husband loves life here in the U.S. and probably never wants to live anywhere else. However, that’s not always the case with couples from different cultures.

      Again, thanks for the comment and wishing you and your husband all the best life has to offer!

  96. You are most welcome, American Girl.

    Thank you very much for your warm wishes, and please keep up the good work with your blog; it stands as a bright exception in the online sea of misinformation and bigotry.

    My sincere wishes to you and your husband; may you have the life you dreamt of. Best wishes from DubaI :))

  97. Really amazing stories. I’m really suprised after finding this blog. I’ve been actually looking for advice for a while now and a lot of what I read on here has helped me think about things a little better.
    I’m also still looking for a little more advice because I’m still so confused on what I should do. I ended up finding the most amazing man I have ever met by far. He is Egyptian and somehow by some chance he ends up finding me. I felt like the luckiest girl ever. I can honestly we weren’t looking for anything romantic we just thought hey your actually really nice to talk to we should be friends. He was my best friend for a while and was always there for me when I needed him even when things got really bad for me. Then somewhere along this time he tells me he loves me. I have to admit I was really caught off guard I never expected for that to happen. But I’m sure he knew I loved him to before he ever said anything. He’s been the best thing to ever happen to me. He helped me to study and got me to finish my college. He always makes sure I’m safe and calles if he thinks I’m upset about anything. He will literally drop everything that he’s doing just to see if I’m ok or need anything. His friends always joke about that with him if they hear us talking on the phone or if they have the chance to see me. His family is amazing to. His mom and his sisters are always asking about how I’m doing and if I’m eating enough or if I’m actually getting enough sleep because of the job I work at night. He’s talked to his family about marrying me. He told me his mom smiled and said do what makes u happy she’s a good girl. Then his dad just laughed at him and said do it. So I guess his whole family likes me. But since we have had a lot of problems we haven’t been able to get married when we planned a while ago. So now he asks what I wanna do. We have decided that we wanna get married next month and now here is where we have a little problem he askes where we should be. Stay there in egypt, go to america where I’m from, or find someplace else to live for a little just to work. Either way we go back to egypt when we r ready. with wherever we go though he want to have his best friend there to i dont mind that at all. They’re like really close brothers and I like that a lot, his friend even treats me like I’m his little sister. but I don’t know what to do with having his best friend come to. I worry that both of them won’t like america cuz they are so far away from family and his friend doesn’t speak much english either. Im also not sure where else we could go that would be easier on all of us. They wanna work so they can go back with enough money in their pockets to open up a nice shop back in egypt. So i feel ok with his friend coming with us to.
    I feel like im in a crazy situation right now. They want me to choose what country to go to work at. I don’t know where to go that would be good for my fiancee, his friend, and me. I know they wouldn’t like being to far from egypt. Sounds crazy but I need help figuring out what I should do. They bother really trust my decision and I don’t wanna make a bad choice. Sorry if this post is a little scatter brained that’s really how I feel and don’t know how to make it less so haha.

  98. Hi EveryOne,

    I am an arab man. I am looking for a sweet american girl. I prefer her to be a muslim even non muslim is Ok with me. I have the place. We can have a date until we get to know each other. I prefer her from Florida.



  99. Hello there!
    First of all i have to say that i feel really happy reading this topic.. i m excited that despite any difficulties you managed to find real happiness and theman you would ever dream..mabrook!

    For me i have to share my story and want ofc your opinion.. i am now already in a relationship witha man from Saudi Arabia for 14months.. we work im same company but we rarely meet there because our programme is far more diferrent.. as you probabpy know in ksa things are a bit stricter than other gulf countries..
    Before he was not staying alone but we tried to meet as often as possible.. which is also the case now that he moved to an apartment. Sometimes even though we are ok he turns to be busy or changing his mood to depression and doesnt want to do anything (there are a few times that when in this mood we met though and some of them he turned to feel better) so he is even isolating himself ..
    One of these times was previous month..
    Just to add here that as he said he mentioned to his father about being in a relationship with a non arab girl – and after i asked him what was the reaction he said he just replied to be careful with religious police.
    So..previous month i was told after insisting on revealing what is his problem that his family wants him to marry his cousin….

    You can imagine how broken i felt..after long talk he told me that the one he loves is me but in this place people marry people even though the dont love them and that he wants me in his life but he does not know what to do..
    Previous days that i was in his place i got him chatting on his phone with a girl (unfortunately i cannot know what was the talk as far as i m not a language speaker to translate..). After being really mad he told me this is his cousin and that he doesnt want to marry her and tell her he sees her as a sister but she is texting him to cinvince him.. i dunno why -maybe because i love him- but i believe him even though i started feeling not trusting him that much no matter how many times he said that if there was something else going on he would tell me.. but i think when you know what you want you just make it clear and stop the talk.. as far as he says he doesnt want to marry her why is he still talking with her about that? And does he stay with me because he knows i m honest with him and i treat him very well and always be there for him and not ask him for anything taking advantage of him (i dont ever make him spend even a single $ for me) but he has other plans in mind that will suddenly come up?
    I m really confused.. i never thought i will be in this situation (and i even got my decisions to not care about diferrences in cultures etc in case i feel that this is what i want..but what if i am the only one thinking ghis way??)

    What do you suggest i can do to find out what is going on and how am i supposed to react? ๐Ÿ™
    Thank you so much and for once more..
    Congratulations for your marriage and wishing you to be always this much happy till eternity.

    • Hi Elli,

      Thank you for your kind words and well wishes. I do, to this day, consider myself the most fortunate woman on earth to have such an incredible husband. He only seems to get better with time.

      As for your situation, I think it’s important that you’re very cautious. First of all, being in KSA and dating can result in some terrible consequences for you as it’s a crime. And also because it’s such a different culture.

      If your husband’s family has found a cousin for him to marry then you should probably prepare yourself to accept that. It’s true he may not love her (he doesn’t even know her) but rest assured he will learn to love her on some level. As soon as they get married they will have children and she will no longer be the ‘wife’ or the ‘woman his mother chose’ but she will be the mother of his children. He will view her differently and with more compassion. Also, depending upon how conservative their families are, chances of him texting her before marriage are kinda slim. Not that it’s unheard of; I know lots of married cousins who did text and talk on the phone before marriage, but I know just as many who didn’t. Generally the woman’s choice. And, if it is her he’s texting, he’s NOT telling her that he doesn’t want to marry her. That would be disrespectful to his mother, her family, and outright shameful. If he really doesn’t want to marry her and stands firm on that, he’ll tell his parents and they’ll tell her parents.

      It concerns me that you say you treat him so well because you do anything for him and he doesn’t have to spend any money on you. In his culture that doesn’t translate to a ‘good woman’ it translates to an easy one. I apologize if that sounds harsh, but it’s true. The less effort he has to invest in being with you the less he’s going to respect you. Especially if you’re sleeping with him. I’m not saying he needs to spend a great deal of money or that you should be with him for money, but it’s important you don’t put yourself in the position of being used. He wouldn’t see it as using you, especially if you so willingly offered. The same with sex.

      As for finding out what’s going on… don’t try. Follow your instincts. You feel like something isn’t right then it probably isn’t. Protect yourself and your heart. Step back and see what decisions he makes.

      Wishing you all the best.

  100. First of all thank you for the prompt reply! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have to say that really I agree with you for stepping back to protect myself.. but i was thinking if talking with him asking him about his decisions would be a better idea..
    He has no mother as she died when he was very young child..he has a young step mother that joined the family after himself and his siblings urged their father to not stop his life and marry another woman after so many years.. His family is not -as i get at least- of the most conservatives as far as they even accepted his older brother not be willing to get married at all.. both boys studied in usa joining parties and having a lifestyle more free than their culture somehow impose..
    For the textings he just said that the girl is the one texting him telling him to marry her cz she loves him and he is trying to make her think in the opossite way by telling her he cannot think her as his wife, as far as they know each other since they were kids and he feels her as a sister (at least this js what he told me)
    About the other things about being easy.. i thought about it so many times.. because i talk with arab girls and i see how they act (eveb though they sleep with the guys when in relationship).. he is always telling me how special i am for him and that i m the person that knows him so well the person he trusted everything and be same in understanding and that it is not easy to find one like me and that he really wants me in his life.. but i really dont know and because of the feelings i have for him i really feel so hurt because of all these things.. i really dont know what to believe..
    Does he want to marry her but he also has feelings for me and he talks with her preparing to marry? Does he want to stand up like your man (what a man really! Mashallah..) and he is honest with all these said?
    When he told me about what is going on he said he is confused because his father pushes him to get married and was crying juat because his brother made it clear that he does not want to get married at all so he is his only chance to see grandkids having his last name before he dies (he is not that old btw nor sick or something like that but he said cz all people in the family have already ..) so he told me he finds himself between two fires .. doing what the others do and doing what he wants to do..when i asked him what is his choice this was the reply adding that he is confused and that he will not contact his family for a while just for them to forget the issue.. but as i said this is not a solution cz it is something temporary..and much more now that the girl started texting him i guess this is another big issue.. tonight i m travelling to NY.. he is also not in ksa but coming back tomorrow .. we are in a fight and we didnt talk to each other since yesterday that was the fight.. we will have just one day same in ksa.. do you think i have to contact him to have a talk and see what are the decisions made ir shall i wait for him to contact me (that btw is a person with huge estime of ego..)

    • If you feel more comfortable talking to him then of course you should do that. Of course this means you’re going to have to believe what he tells you and not question whether or not it’s true.

      As for the Arab girls studying in America who are sleeping around, I would venture to say they’re not Saudi. While one culture is not better than another, in the Arab world they are VERY different… especially when you throw KSA into the mix. The Arab guys who are partying, drinking, etc. Perfectly normal behavior for young guys studying in America. It’s almost ‘acceptable’ behavior. However, while they’re partying, their family is seeking out their future wife. The party lifestyle comes to a complete stop once they return home and many even suffer with a great deal of guilt for this behavior resulting in them grasping their culture even tighter than before.

      Now, this texting cousin story… very difficult to believe. As I said, the texting part alone is a little questionable. But HER telling him she loves him and trying to convince him to marry her? Even more unbelievable. Keep in mind, the culture in the KSA is completely different than anything we know here in America. For an unmarried woman to communicate with a man who isn’t her father, brother, or husband is shameful and could result in punishment (legally or with her family). Even if that man is someone she’s supposed to marry. Furthermore, a woman in that culture isn’t often very forward. It’s not likely she’s going to be trying to convince a man to marry her as it would seem overbearing, masculine, and perhaps even a bit whorish (in the eyes of a man).

      If you really must know who he’s texting and about what then your only option (since you can’t read Arabic) would be to ask him… and trust his answer. Will he be honest? Only he knows. But whether or not you believe him is totally up to you.

      I’m certain that he must have feelings for you, but what feelings are they? Is he in love with you? Does he feel you’re convenient for the time being? Are you someone he wants to spend his life with? The only way to get the real answers to these questions is to wait and see. And, as harsh as it might seem, you might want to consider an ultimatum; he either marry you now, or you will need to leave the relationship. See how serious he really is.

      Wishing you all the best.

  101. I m greetng you from usa!
    I think that my heart will bleed ..
    Before my trip to usa i got a call .. just because this call was weird with people talking jn arabic and call him with my bf’s name laughing and hang up, i called him to see if it was friend of his and just called me from his number as far as being abroad.. this call turned to be a hacker call..but anyways.. after i told him i need us to talk when we be back he insisted that we talk..what followed broke my heart in pieces .. i could say from his voice and his way of talking and from the things he was saying that he was feeling sad too… at first i asked him about the texting..he said for sure it is her and he just replies cz it will give him trouble with the family in case he ignoresher and start talking about him badly to all relatives. He said he is definitely not marrying her .. later on the conversatiin came to us..he said..that it is true though that one day sooner or later he will get married with another woman.. when i asked him why not me he started telkling me thati have to convert otherwise it is not allowed-which is sth i know is not true and i told him so (i had a proposal by another guy before and he said it is halal..just the kids i will ask you to follow my religion..) and jn my working environment plus people i know there are cases where the people married having no such issues as it is allowed ..i was tellinh him that then i cannot do anything cz i cannot consume my feelings just for one day be left there alone and him getting married..he started telling me how much he loves me and that he doesnt want to lose me ..but he said i m sorry i cannot marry you.. i have my family and they are the ones that back me up when i need them i cannot go against suddenly frim the days that he was telling me that his family is different and open minded and i coild see him being strong in every move of his he became weak and cannot follow his heart?
    I had marriage proposal by my best friend and i rejected him three times and for last bcz of him..and now he is telling me that his feelings are same and he loves me and that he didnt leave me when i told hin about the proposal but now i am leaving him..
    But i told him he is the one quiting on me..
    So i suppose that when i return to ksa this relationship will come to an end as far as he cannot move mountains to keep me beside him..and i will be suffering and feeljng my heart pulled out of my chest having no more life.. i cannot stop crying i feel so miserable..

  102. AssalaamuAlaykum sister,
    JazakiAllaahuKhayr for your forum. I too am a black American married to an Arab man from a large family. It’s nice to see others have a successful marriage, mashaAllaah. May Allaah bless you always. A’ameen. I would like to speak with you if possible. FeeimanAllaah.

  103. I am an american woman dating a lebanese man. He was born in egypt and raised in the US. We met 15 years ago and we have never made any commitments and its a mystery why. I have met his brother, sister in law, niece and his father. Never the mother or Sister or have been invited to attend any family events. He has never spent a holiday or birthday with me and I can count on one hand the number of gifts he has given to me or tokens of affection. He is the oldest and in charge of the family and carries a tone of self importance towards everyone and even worse towards myself. He has never made any attempts towards a commitment nor has he discussed it with me. I truly believe he is the spokes person for narcissism . We have a strong connection towards each other and no matter how many times I stand my ground and insist that we become a couple and move forward with ANYTHING at this point, it gets turned around as if I am still not good enough or that he is embarrassed. We fight all the time because I refuse to allow him to belittle me and then of course I am the one that is wrong. I am confused and for years been searching for a reason why he is so secretive. Any insight for me?

    • Thank you for sharing your story. However, instead of seeking insight into why he is the way he is, and why he treats you the way he does… perhaps this is a good time to ask yourself why you accept it.

      If this has been going on for 15 years it’s only because you’ve allowed it to. Asking him to take this relationship to another level only to be denied over and over is really all the insight you need. He simply doesn’t want to. Who cares why? Get out of this and get out now. When you give your emotions to someone who doesn’t reciprocate you’re opening yourself up for abuse and extensive damage to your self esteem. Don’t allow him another moment in your life.

  104. I married a Egyptian man 3 yrs ago, when we met beloved in Sharjah UAE, we went through the American visa issues and delays our relationship held strong, he came home to the USA may 2015, he came home and explained to me that he had heart issues so no sexual relations and he’s been unaffectionate since he came. But he does worry about me commenting on the nightly nightmares I’ve been having and what do
    I think is causing them( stress worrying about doing something wrong and using my 3 strikes and he leaves and no making him happy, etc) he love my children but he unhappy because he can’t work just get because he needs his green card and SSN… He tore between his children in UAE and me and my children.. He left his children in UAE until he prepares things here and then will return in 3 months to retrieve them. Every setback we have he gets angry.. But what makes me sad is he shows me no affection. He doesn’t expect me to convert but expects be to be the traditional wife, help I’m at a loss what to do and why won’t he show me affection, I wish when I have the nightmares he hold me but alas he won’t

    • Hi Candi,

      I’m so sorry to hear of what you’re going through with your husband. Regardless of his nationality, green cards, social security numbers, etc. a marriage is a union between two people who should, at the minimum, respect one another. It sounds to me like he’s expecting a lot from you yet offering very little in return. If this doesn’t change soon it’s only going to get worse. Eventually you’ll be expected to accept this behavior, and perhaps even worse, and you’ll be resentful. Don’t allow your marriage to get to that point. And since you can’t change him, you have no other option than to change yourself and decide what you’re willing to accept.

      Also, you say he loves your children, but please know he loves his more. Maybe this move to America was just too much for him. Maybe you should suggest he leave?

  105. He sits on his computer all day, complaining he’s depressed, still pays very little to no attention, no compliments, I have to kiss and hug him, very unaffectionate. I suggested but he said he’s here alas what would he do there his life is here, still I’m holding strong, I afraid what will take place once his children arrive, he pretty much acts like I don’t exist, but expects the house to be emaculate and dinner made which he complained about my cooking, btw he’s used to a maid and I can’t measure up the that, I love him but I feel alone in my own house, my email is XXX

    • Hi Candi,

      I’ve removed your email address for obvious reasons and opted to post your reply here in hopes your situation might be able to help other women.

      You say you feel alone in your own house, but in reality, you’re being abused in your own house. You’re not a maid… you shouldn’t be treated like one. You’re a human with feelings… he should reciprocate or provide a reason as to why he can’t. You deserve someone to respect you and be kind to you, not someone who ignores you and sits on a computer all day.

      You mention that he says he’s depressed; have you looked into a form of therapy? Or asked what he thinks might help him to feel better? It’s possible he’s dealing with a number of things such as culture shock, missing his children, and longing for a life he once had but no longer does.

      Another thing, you say you worry about what will happen when his children get here. When is that supposed to happen and how old are they? Are you expected to take care of his children as well? And have you considered that perhaps he married you in hopes of getting his green card and eventually bringing his children here for a better life and education?

      It sounds like you have a lot to evaluate. But you know this. I think you know the answers but you’re afraid of them. Wishing you all the best.

  106. Salam American girl

    I am just happy for you that you are achieving what you are looking in a marriage. I wish you and your husband all the best in your life. Keep us updated

    • Thank you, Yasser. I do try to update from time to time but to be honest I’m a bit surprised that I’m still blogging. About a year ago I thought it was going to be the end of my blogging days, but slowly returned. Slooooowly. I’m still not back in the full swing of it, but I’ll get there ๐Ÿ™‚

  107. hello American girl

    i don’t really know what brought me here i just found my self reading the blog till the end , i do really feel happy when i see such a positive blogs that encourages people not to judge others based on their origins and religions ,

    the world is changing even if we can’t notice it ,people are mixing people started to realize that we are all the same thanks to internet , airplanes ,and everything that helped people to stop seeing everyone who lives outside their borders as an enemy

    now the young generation in middle east and in other places around the world are following something different than their grandfathers traditions and rules . they are so affected by the the american style of living , but only few of them succeed in taking the positive side of your culture with keeping his own traditions that doesnt go against yours like your man he is a balanced man who knows how to be a human and understand the meaning of being different doesnt change the fact that you are an amazing person ,

    i wish that one day i can meet a girl who knows the meaning of love i dont really care from where she is , and i really hope one day i can visit the usa and see your culture for real ,

    enjoy your life and be happy always and keep inspiring others

    • Hi Mohammed,

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog and hope to meet a woman with such an open mind one day. I have no doubt that you will.

      I totally agree that cultures are beginning to intertwine more recently. Especially with the global reach of the internet.

  108. Cultures are not the problem
    The twentieth century immigration to Europe and America and love to live there and accept everything
    Talked about people not all human beings, whether There is good and evil everywhere in America As well
    Beware you control over more than a billion and a half Arabic
    I love America too
    I like criticism of Justice

    • It seems as though you used Google translate to write your message. And while I appreciate you trying to put it in English, it only makes it more difficult for me to understand. However, I did reverse translate and then have my husband read it to me. (Google translate really isn’t a perfect service)

      While I respect what you’re saying, I have to disagree. America certainly has some power in foreign countries, but in no way do we ‘control’ things on the level you seem to think.

  109. American Girl,
    I love reading you blog and it gives me hope in thinking about a future with my Saudi Boyfriend. We have been dating for 2 years and are about to graduate college. He is a bedoin like your husband and I really appreciate that aspect of him. He always makes sure I am happy and financially stable. Anytime I am upset he immediately tries to fix it. I love how he takes care of me. He has grown to understand American culture and we both work really hard to put ourselves in the otherโ€™s shoes. Recently we started living together, but he has yet to tell his family about me. He has met my family multiple times and both sides seem to have a good relationship with him. I really want his family to know about me. Especially since graduation is approaching in December. We have talked about a future and he says he wants to stay in the U.S. and that he does see himself marrying me (if I convert). I have not fully committed to be being Muslim since it is a difficult decision and one that I want to make on my own not for anyone else.

    I guess what I am asking is, is it unreasonable that I ask him to tell his family about me? I really wish to meet them in the near future. I trust my boyfriend but I have heard too many stories of men that come here to study and have a relationship and when they go back home they never communicate again. I am longing for a more of a commitment from him that once he graduates he is not going to leave me.

    Also, with living together he has made it apparent that the women is supposed to cook and clean. I am happy to do this but recently it has come to a point where he doesnโ€™t appreciate it. I am not sure if this is just because he is a man or if it is a cultural thing. I know he has always grown up with maid and cooks.

    We donโ€™t have many issues. Most issues evolve because of cultural issues. Occasionally I assume I am too independent for his liking. It also bothers him that all my friends are Arab guys, whom have been my friends even before meeting him, and I continue to hang out with them. I have since stopped hanging out as much. He is always with me if I do. Again is this a cultural thing or men in general? I know most Arab guys are not use to having friends who are girls though for me, I am a โ€œtomboyโ€ and am always around guys.

    Thank you for all your advice even in previous comments that I had read on your blog. I really appreciate it. You give me hope.

    • First and foremost you have to demand that he tell his family about you… now. He’s going to come up with a number of excuses why he can’t, ie. his mom would start looking for him a wife, it would hurt his sisters, it wouldn’t be accepted, or it’s best to tell them after you’re married so they can’t do anything about it at that point. Well, rest assured, married or not, HE isn’t going to change his views about telling his family. So it’s very possible he will marry you and even have children with you but when it’s time for him to go, he may very well just go. As for a legal divorce, child support, etc. Forget about it. As for a child holding him close to you… nope. He will emotionally detach himself from you and that child and use the ‘it would break my mother’s heart’ excuse.

      Yes, in his culture women are the primary caretakers of the home with the assistance of a maid and cook. Men don’t often (if ever) participate in cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. in that culture — unless you find a truly unique one. So, if you’re not comfortable with this being the expectation for the rest of your life then you might want to take a good look at things right now and make some hard hitting decisions. Are you will to study full time then spend your free time cleaning, cooking, etc? Or to work full time and do the same? Perhaps have 3 kids, work full time, and then have all the house chores to manage on your own? Doesn’t sound very desirable to me, but it could be something you truly enjoy.

      If the two of you do get married you can expect a lot more to change. He will either become even more possessive than he is now or he’ll start to learn more about your culture and upbringing and attempt to negotiate. Let’s hope for the latter.

      Please keep me updated. Wishing you all the best.

    • Hi there, Dude. All is well! So nice to hear from you again. Hope you had a wonderful Ramadan as well.

  110. Here a update… Things got better than worse again, he still shows very little affection towards me and my children, doesn’t like my cooking, always compares mine to his sisters…. My daughter and I are starting to think he’s embarrassed of us, during a recent outing with some friends from the mosque none of them knew I wAs wife, he never told them about me or my children, I asked for him to help but groceries the other day and he said “no, I’m not helping you with that” he goes around and us unpleasant and very picky and nothing is ever good enough, constant complains, expects me to take him to work and drive him to where ever he wants to go, he will ride the bus home… He expects a maid not a wife… I try my hardest not to start an argument I been letting him eat at the mosque so he doesn’t tell me how he dislikes the dinner I made or how it’s not “perfect”
    I love him but I’m just hoping it gets better, his children come next month and I’ve never met them once or had a conversation, all the information I get is thru him… I’m not sure what to do or how to turn I’m a confused Muslim wife.. Do they all act like this

    • Hi Candi, so sorry to hear things aren’t getting any better. And I’m sorry to say it’s probably only going to get worse once his kids get there. It’s clear he doesn’t view you or your children as his ‘equal’ and his actions have made that more than evident. Imagine when his children get there — he’s going to be even more critical/abusive towards you and yours.

      I understand you love him and you want to do what’s best for your marriage, but he has a duty to put forth the same effort. One person can’t make the marriage work. Nor should ANYONE tolerate abuse.

      Also, since he seems to hate your cooking so much… stop cooking. When he asks where his meal is tell him to cook it himself or go out and eat since you don’t live up to his standards. I’ll bet he starts liking your food real quick then.

      Like I said before, you have some tough decisions to make and you need to make them sooner rather than later. I’m also curious as to the age of your children? His children? How do your kids feel about him? Make the right decision for them if you’re not able to do it for yourself.

  111. Admittedly, some of those Middle- Eastern men are really good- looking. But I feel compelled to warn women here.

    My sister was friends with a Pakistani- American guy. Med school student. They were just friends. My sister would never date him because he’s been around, if you know what I mean. He was raised in the Muslim faith, he was a practicing Muslim. In every except the one, anyway.

    One time my sister and this guy was just hanging out and my sister confronted him about his alley cat ways. He liked the clubs, and he liked to hook up with the girls in the clubs. She asked him, “So, lemme get this straight- you’re not a virgin, right? But you won’t marry a girl unless she’s a Muslim virgin?”
    “Yeah.” He admitted. “That’s right.”
    My sister shook her head and said, “Dude, that’s messed up. That’s straight up man- whore hypocrisy. If you want a Muslim virgin, then you should, at least, have the decency to go celibate until you marry the Muslim virgin of your dreams.”

    Now, my sister and I are American women. We’re both liberal and we’re both feminists. Neither of us are religious. In fact, my sister is an atheist. But I think the above proves her grasp of things, and, conversely, of horn dogs.

    Be careful of what kind of man you are dating. There are men you date. Then there are men you marry. This is not just true here in the States, but throughout the world.

    If you are a serious type of person, then be honest with yourself and with the person you are thinking of going all out for. There are signs, hints, clues that this person is ready and worthy, and, conversely, if you’d be better off moving on.

    Know what you’re willing to compromise on and use common sense. The heart may know no other reasoning except for its reasons, but that’s why you have a brain. Use it. Read the fine print.

    Men are not the most subtle of creatures. A man will always let you know- one or another, right off the bat, if he is taking you seriously or not.

    My grandmother, I think, gave me some really sound advice regarding men. “Men love it when you let your hair down just for them. Just don’t let it down too soon.”

    I’m not just saying this about Middle- Eastern men, but ALL men, by the way. But because of the fixated importance of a woman’s chastity, I’d definitely be careful. I’ve known a Middle- Eastern man who honestly didn’t care one way or another, but he was born and raised here in America and not very religious, I might add.
    I will also add that it’s been my experience that a lot of them are into physical preening. I know one guy who smells like he takes a bath in cologne and wears more gold than most women I see on a day- to- day basis. You can tell this guy likes the single life here in America.
    And, if one proposes to you, don’t be too floored. I’ve had one propose to me over the intercom at a Dunkin’ Donuts. He promised to take me on a cruise, around the world, blah, blah, blah.
    I just burst out laughing. Because what else was I gonna do- say yes?
    I don’ zink zo, Lucy… * wags finger *
    Some of them can be VERY charming. Some of them are redunkulously good- looking. I’ve noticed that a lot of them are blessed with a great head of hair, and I will share with you here and now I am NOT a fan of the baldy fashion here in America.

    To AmericanGirl: Great Story! Thirty years ago, you could get away with claiming ignorance. But now we have the internet and we have social media. There is NO excuse for ignorance. Not in this day and age, and not any more.
    I say good for you and your husband. And, you’re both lucky. You lucked out with having an accepting mother- in- law. Even here in America that is rare. Most people I know can’t stand their spouse’s mother. Heck, most people I know can’t stand their own mother.
    Note: You should read a book called White Moguls. It’s a true love story about the author’s great- great- grandfather (or something like that) falling in love with, converting to Islam for, and marrying a Muslim princess back during the 1700’s.
    A lot of people who read that book highly recommends it. It’s a little chunk of history that no one really knows about- White European men (Brits mostly) converting to Islam for and marrying Muslim women during their service for the British army or the East India Company.
    As the Christian bible says: Nothing is new under the sun.
    History can often reflect back to us a little of what we’re experiencing now, don’t you think?
    It’s a shame that the majority of us has yet to learn anything from it.

    My apologies for the lengthy post.

    • Should someone explain to her Pakistan is not really the Middle-East! I mean, really, I can totally see the “cheese-ball” and the “i’m so sexy and can’t help it with the cologne” thing (classic!). But lady please, get your geography right! Lord!

      • LOL the cologne comment — so true. I believe a lot of Westerners think all Muslim countries are part of the middle east. And while places such as Pakistan and Afghanistan are presented like Arab countries in our media (war, terrorism, Islam, covered women, etc)… the cultures are really so very different. However, much of what she describes could be considered ‘typical Arab man behavior’ if we’re stereotyping ๐Ÿ™‚

  112. Hi American Girl, congratulations on a successful marriage ๐Ÿ™‚ My Arab fiancรฉ has yet to tell his parents about me. My family knows everything. We are not sexually active with each other. We want to wait until after marriage but I’m very confused why he is keeping me a secret. I’ve tried talking to him and he’s says he will tell them right before the marriage and I will be accepted. I’m not buying this because deep inside I feel this is not the truth from him. Will you please be so kind to give me your opinion and advice please ? Thank you. I don’t want to make a huge mistake. Love is beautuful but it consists of so much other than I love you and we’ll get married.

    • Hi there. I can certainly see why you’re so confused.

      As difficult as it is, he really should tell his family about you. He says he will wait until ‘right before’ you’re married to tell them; does he mean the same day? A week before? A year before? And let’s say it’s your wedding day, you’re excited, prepared, planned, and getting ready to make one of the biggest commitments of your life then he tells his family who forbids it. Does this mean you’re left standing there broken-hearted?

      On the same note, it’s not uncommon for him not to tell his family. Even after you’re married. Then, once there are children involved he’ll spring you upon the family with the caveat of ‘but here’s your grandchildren’ and then all is lovely. Or at least everyone will pretend it is.

      But let’s forget that he’s Arab for a moment and pretend he’s just a guy down the road. Would you accept this behavior then? Cultural differences are challenges couples can overcome together but not when they result in disrespect and pain for one of the parties involved. When my husband and I encounter cultural differences now (which we still do from time to time) I explain what I am accustomed to in my life and what I consider to be acceptable. He explains to me how the same thing was handled all of his life and the reasons behind it. We often agree to meet in the middle or we decide whose reasoning makes the most sense (even if we don’t necessarily agree with it 100%) and we go in that direction. But at no time would we ever force something onto the other one knowing it was causing pain or out of disrespect. You wouldn’t accept that behavior from a complete stranger, so why accept it from a man who is supposed to love and protect you?

      Ultimatum time. He tells his family now or you end the relationship.

  113. Hi American Girl, I talked to him about telling his parents. I never answered me. He is always asking me about American friends on my Facebook which many have been my friend since childhood. He hides his friends list. I asked him to make it visible and he got mad and turned everything around to make me into a bad person . He said I was a bad woman. I didn’t see anything wrong with anything I talked to him about and I didn’t try to make him feel like I thought he was a bad person when I talked to him because I never thought of him that way. He ended our engagement and relationship. He didn’t end any contact but I’m very hurt and I’m going to save myself from a lot heart ache because I feel deep inside my soul this is the best decision. I blocked contact with him. I’m hurt but I will be get better in time . I have to move on. I can’t accept being a secret and being questioned about my Facebook when I don’t hide anything and he refuses to let me see his friends list. Thank you for your advice. I wanted to let you know how things worked out but I’m glad I found out now instead of later.

    • I’m really sorry to hear that you’re hurting but it’s perfectly understandable. The end of any relationship is painful. Especially one that you had hoped to be in for the rest of your life. But I can assure you, his behavior indicates this is the best decision.

      Questioning your facebook friends is just the beginning. In time you would be required to delete them. If you attempted to just hide your friends list like he does you would be relentlessly accused and possibly called derogatory names. On the other hand, when you question him about his friends list he gets angry and says you’re a bad woman. What he really means is ‘why are you behaving like a man?’. Because in his mind men are the only ones allowed to question, interrogate, or make unrealistic demands. Women are supposed to sit back and tolerate it without question. This is NOT the kind of man you want in your life… regardless of what culture he’s from. Sadly, this mindset isn’t uncommon in his culture but it’s also not necessarily the standard.

      Now is a time for you to be strong and remind yourself a number of times a day as to why this has ended and how he was willing to walk away instead of behave respectfully towards you. Because rest assured… he will be trying to come back. And when he does he’s going to be sweet, kind, loving, and say exactly what it is you need to hear. And you’re going to be very tempted to fall right back into the relationship, while hoping and believing he’s changed. But he isn’t going to change. His behavior is indicative of his culture and it’s all he knows.

      Be strong and remember that you deserve better.

  114. Pingback: The Arab/American Marriage (4 years later) | American Girl's World

  115. I am egyptian, black american, native , hispanic . I say I’m black . I’m engaged to a beautful strong egyptian man . He don’t try to change me, and we are of different religon , and I love him with all my heart . He proves his love for me even though I’m of mixed . My grand father is egyptian , and my grandmother is hispanic /native. On the other side , black and caucasion . My fiance say the differences doesn’t matter . I can’t date american men , not because they are full american , it’s because they act like they are better than everyone . My man treats me as an equal . We have the last say equally , even though he is my head in my family .He is a blessing to me from God. I love him

  116. my arab/american ex boyfriend of 15 years is the eldest in his immediate family. he has become increasingly secretive and more involved in family as he gets older. his interactions with me have become strange and things he says are out of character and in contrast to how our relationship has been throughout the years; despite how it has evolved. he is traveling abroad more often and at times he mentions traveling with women ‘friends’ he claims to know for years; i knew nothing of these women. my question is this: how do I know if he has already been secretly engaged for years or is allowing an arrangement now?

    • Hi Sasha, you say he’s an ex boyfriend? I can understand you might still be curious about what he’s doing or what’s going on in his life, but if he’s an ex should you really care?

      You also mention that he’s the oldest and you dated for 15 years. Why didn’t you get married in that time? Did he ever ask? What did his family think of you? Did you ever meet them?

      It’s possible he’s been married to someone back in his country for a number of years, has children, and is making a lot more trips now to prepare to move her to America, or because his kids are getting older. Or, he might have never been married. Does he live in the US? Is he a citizen of the US? Where is the rest of his family? Where he is going abroad to?

      Not enough information to even make a guess about what’s taking place. However, again, if this is your ex, don’t stress about him. Let him live his life and you live yours.

      • we have a strange relationship. he has asked me over the years and yet, i wasn’t convinced. his controlling behavior does not sit well with me, i have a lot of my own drive and also command respect. this was also an evolving issue through the years. he was born in egypt but lived in the united states his entire life. i have met his brother, father, niece and sister in law only, he has a sister and obviously a mother that i have never met or spoke to. who knows if they know i even exist. he has been traveling to europe (france was of recently) and south america often. i realize that i shouldn’t care what happens in his life now that we are separated however, we are separated because of this strange behavior and withholding of information. i broke it off and i simply want to know if he was a facade and living a separate life KNOWING he was manipulating my heart.

        these aren’t unreasonable questions to ask before, during or after. i appreciate the advice.

        • Makes a little more sense now.

          I guess what I can say with confidence is that you made the right decision to end things. I can’t even speculate as to why he’s traveling to Europe and South America (doesn’t seem likely there would be a wife there), but who knows? I do know that regardless of his background, ethnicity, culture, etc. this isn’t behavior you should accept from anyone. 15 years and never met his mom? Did you ask to? Did he say why you couldn’t? Or, was it really just never a topic of conversation?

          The fact that he’s lived his entire life in America tells me that his Egyptian roots are probably not playing a role in his behavior. Sounds to me like he’s just being a sneaky jerk — Egyptian or not.

          It’s hard to say that the entire 15 years was a manipulation. It would really take a monster to invest that kind of time with the intent to just hurt you. I highly doubt that was the intent. I suspect he must have loved you dearly and probably even misses you on some level. But, the controlling behavior and sneakiness is just part of who he is and apparently that’s not the type of person you want in your life. Certainly can’t blame you. Will he change? Highly doubt it… especially after knowing this is how he’s been for 15 years.

          Cut your losses. He wasn’t out to hurt you or manipulate you. It just is what it is.

  117. Thank you, for both your time and your Candor. ๐Ÿ™‚

    sometimes you just need to ask these things out loud for it to solidify.

    take care.

  118. Hi American Girl. Congrats on a successful marriage. Your story gives hope to many who feel they don’t have any. Some have good reason to not have hope though. I see very similar patterns in some of the websites I read. I read on them sometimes in my spare time. I broke up with my Arab boyfriend over 2 years ago and he’s been back into my life recently. Things are not the same with us. He’s now like all the horror stories that’s found on the Internet. I’m 26 years old and I’m sitting here crying like a big baby. I can actually feel my heart split down the middle. I know have to let go forever now. I’m so unhappy and miserable with him but I love him still if that makes sense. I don’t love how he treats me now. When we first met he treated me like a queen. He does some very bad things I know about and I can’t live with it. I don’t feel I will ever be the same person anymore. I’m trying not to base an entire race of men on a few I’ve known about. It’s hard because I read someone who made a comment that she feels they are given a handbook because all these stories sound similar in many ways. I’m happy to know you have a happy story and it was great reading it. Thanks for sharing. I hope there are some more couples out there who are just as happy . I wish I could have been one of them because I love my ex more than he could ever imagine. I don’t like how he changed into a person I don’t know anymore. Blessings!!

    • Thank you for your kind words and I’m so sorry to hear about your situation.

      One thing you might want to consider is that it’s not that you love your boyfriend so much but that you have a very strong desire to make him who he was before. You’re in love with who he once was… but he’s no longer that person. So, ask yourself, if you didn’t know him a few years ago and only met him yesterday is this a person you would want to be with? Is this behavior acceptable? Nah. I think you know better.

      You may want to have a serious talk with him, point out a few things you feel have changed, and then explain if he continues to be the way he is now you’re going to have to leave forever. If you do continue to stay, especially after the ‘ultimatum’, then you’re only leaving the door open for more abuse. Be strong and put yourself first.

  119. You’re very lucky American Girl. My husband is Israeli Christian Arab and his family is very insular; lots of intermarriage between first/second/third cousins. My husband did not tell me the truth of how his family felt about him marrying an American. I blindly believed what he told me. He told them that he only married me for my green card, so they expected a divorce. He could not stand up to his family for me.

    I was so excited to meet his mom when she came to visit, but I had no idea she couldn’t stand me and talked about me in Arabic right in front of me. Same with his brother and his family in the US; excited to meet them, but was feeling unspoken tension and very confused. His brother back in Israel called me one day and was extremely condescending to me. I was devastated when I found out the truth of the matter.

    I have never asked him to choose, but his family did. I have never held him back from visiting his family. He visited his country 7 years after we married and his mom had arranged for him to meet women she wanted him to marry. He said no.

    We are still married 14 years later and live far from any of his family. NOW they’re wondering why I never talk to them or visit. Now?! They wanted nothing to do with me. I frankly refuse to have anything to do with his family. They can take a long walk off a short pier. Too little, too damn late.

    My husband is lucky, because my family welcomed him with open arms and love him very much. My parents adore him.

    I came into this marriage with an open heart to his family and now I am closed off. He wants me to visit Israel to meet his entire family and frankly I am scared. I don’t know how I can do this knowing they cannot stand me and hate how I wrecked their dream of him marrying into their culture. It’s going to take lots of Valium if I find the courage to do so. I frankly think they can all take an express train to hell.

    I’m sorry for the harsh words. My marriage and his family has caused me a ton of heartache. I’m very happy you found a new family who loves you and welcomes you with open arms. Thanks for listening. Many blessings to you.

    • I don’t blame you for being bitter with his family. However, if they’re willing to accept the marriage and open their hearts (even at this late time), maybe it would be in your best interest to give them a chance? I understand you feel betrayed by his family, and rightly so. But, everyone needs some connection to family on some level. And though you’re not the reason for the rift, it would be nice if you were the reason for the healing to begin. This doesn’t mean you have to open your heart, trust them completely, and welcome them into your life with open arms. But, a little effort to build a relationship wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.

      Wishing you all the best.

  120. I think you said this incredibly we’ll come I have been with a Arabic guy 10 years and his the most respected person I have ever meet and so thoughtful and always willing to help out just like you said ever if he has to go out of his way but I always keep it reasonable bc like you said I’ll rather keep him stress free so he can enjoy life also and I had a job when we first got together and he told me that he would rather me be a house wife and have luxury and to relax all day to let him do all the hard work and I never had tht before so it was something to get use to and I have a family of six with a large family and I was the baby of the family I was a little spoiled but he has spoiled me more then anyone and that took some getting use to also ๐Ÿ˜Š But when me and him got together his family has had bad experience with America white people and they tired everything to keep us from dating witch didn’t work bc him his self did not have that experience and he didn’t want the rearranged marriage he wanted to fine the love of his life that was strong and was willing to learn some of his culture and that lucky lady was me bc I’m always up to learning something new and having a man to what else could anymore ask for but being an Arabs wife is a lot of white is not all easy until u get accepted by the family then it starts getting easy bc u can always count on them for taking up for u and not letting one not even his own family disrespect u and always support you not matter what and they would want you to better yourself before bettering there self because the put women first in there life like they are royalty ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • I’m glad that you’ve had such a positive experience and are happy in your relationship. However, it’s not always they will stand up to their family and do what they choose to do instead of following the wishes of their family. A lot of women suffer greatly due to men who have chosen the path their family wants rather than following his heart.

  121. Wow this is great. I know I’m commenting very late, but do you mind sharing how long you knew him before getting married ? I’m in a predicament and the main thing that scares me is how fast we are going

  122. Wow this was great. Do you mind sharing how long you guys knew each other before getting married ? I’m in a predicament where the main thing that scares me is how fast my SO and I are going. Was yours fast also ?

  123. An update… Sorry I haven’t sent an update in a while, he came home from UAE in September with his children in toe and low and behold he took them to Boston to live with his cousin, because his daughter had objections and following him returning he was home a day and took a job about 45 min away but only comes home once a week on a Sunday for about 12 to 15 hrs…. He leaves 730 am Monday morning and I’m assured that he’s at work everyday and at the apartment his employer supplied nightly. He’s quickly found his way around the area the so called employer apartment is and does not and will not help me financially every penny he earns goes to his children in Boston and I pay his insurance and cell phone bill monthly and struggle to make ends meet, there’s no intimacy. He refuses to come for the holidays… He worked on thanksgiving and Christmas it’s Friday prayer and he won’t drive down for the day… He bought my daughter and I a gift 2 pairs of yoga pants that he got at the dollar store and he didn’t wrap he had someone wrap I’m really wondering who actually did it…things are not going well, not sure what to believe or do, I feel like I’m actually married once a week and that he leave with things to do figure out this and that… The final straw was not coming home for Christmas and saying the mosque told me we don’t celebrate the American holidays and prayer on Friday I’ve been told by numerous Muslims the mosques close. I’m getting to the point I want answers and I will prob go spy on see what’s actually happening. We communicate daily by what’s app and now he telling me he wants his cell phone upgraded.. Maybe this is the way they act overseas or maybe this is the way they treat their wives. He’s not from UAE he Eqyptian by birth…

    • Hi Candi, thank you for taking the time to update and share your story.

      I hate to be so blunt, but why is it you haven’t filed for divorce on grounds of fraud and have him deported? I understand you want to believe he loves you and he’s going to change and life is going to be great with him (it’s what we all hope for all the time)… but I think he’s shown you his true colors for long enough. And you’ve certainly sacrificed your happiness for long enough. This isn’t a marriage… it’s a fraud on his half. He is using you and it’s time you put a stop to it. If anything, you owe it to your daughter to show her what a strong woman you are and how much respect you have for yourself so she can learn to be the same. Otherwise you’re only teaching her that it’s acceptable to tolerate this type of treatment from a man. Is this what you want for her? Surely she doesn’t want this for you either.

      Please, sooner rather than later, take serious action and put a stop to this before you get hurt any further.

  124. Hi there! Thank you so much for sharing your story. It really struck a cord with me because I am currently very interested in a Lebanese man. He’s been living in the states with his brothers for five years now, though the rest of his family in Lebanon. Basically, he’s become one of my best friends. I see him everyday, I’ve met his friends and brothers. I’ve only known him for four months but it feels like I’ve known him a lifetime. He tells me all about his family and life in Lebanon and being around him has opened my eyes to so many things. He is a Druze, and I asked him if his parent were strict about who he could marry. He said his mom can be but his dad (who he described as very Americanized) doesn’t care, and that his family is not religious. (I myself am an American Christian – for reference). The thing is, my feelings for him have gotten very strong to the point where I feel I may have to tell him. I have no idea if he thinks of me as more than a friend or if he would consider a serious relationship with an American woman (though I know he’s dated). But is it even worth it to put my feelings on the line, or is it doomed before it even starts given our cultural differences? If you are still reading these comments, I would greatly appreciate your advice. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Liz, and thank you for sharing your story. I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

      I don’t think you’re going to experience a great deal of cultural challenges with a Lebanese man (I could be wrong). But, the Lebanese, for the most part, don’t necessarily identify as Middle Easterners but lean more towards their Euro’ish culture.

      As for him being Druze, I wish I could offer any guidance. I have met several Druze people before, but I’ve often felt as though their religious beliefs were a secret… or even bordering on being a cult. That’s not meant to be offensive and I apologize if it seems that way. However, when I would ask about their beliefs, etc. I was always totally blown off and or given some random, unrelated answer. One Druze woman I know was required to marry a man who was also Druze. Not sure if that’s the case for all of them or just the women or just her family.

      Wishing you all the best and I apologize for my lack of insight and/or advice.

      Oh, but I do think you should tell him how you feel. What do you have to lose?

      • Thanks so much for responding. He’s been very open with me about his culture and I did tell him how I feel, and we are now dating. Things are going well but I’m proceeding with caution.

  125. I’m so happy to have stumbled onto your blog. It feels good to know I’m not alone in the struggles that sometimes come with intercultural relationships. Thanks!

  126. Hi there, I would like to thank you for your story. It really did inspire me. Allow me to share a little bit about my story. I am a Vietnamese 24 year old girl and that in relationship with a Kuwaiti 18 year old man. I understand deeply your happiness when you tell story about your husband. I can see the smile in your eyes also because I share the same feeling. Currently, my young man and I are in the same English program for University. 4 years of college is waiting for us. Sadly, I will have to move to CA and do my student career there while he stays here due to his scholarship. My family wants me to be an official American so they made me get married to a Vietnamese guy that chose. I told myself this is the challenge for us. I just confuse if he would wait for me because I am willing to do so. I have my own plan and I made myself a commitment to be by my Kuwaiti young man. Even though he really loves me, trust me I do too, I just can’t help having negative thinking that we may lose each other. My friends, I wish to have your advice. I will be strongly appreciate. Many thanks.

    • Your situation is quite complicated and not one you seem to have a lot of control over. In your case, not only does your boyfriend have family obligations but so do you. The cards are definitely stacked against you. However, it might just be best to live your lives, do what you have to do, and see where that takes you. Perhaps one day you’ll end up together. Maybe not. Wishing you all the best.

    • Hi Jamie. For the most part I don’t think you can. Some will argue that. People from that region, just like people from America, have a variety of features which are both similar and different from one another. Most have very dark hair, big brown eyes, and long eyelashes. Some have wavy hair, some curly, and some more straight. Most, regardless of texture, have thick hair. Their skin colors will also vary from very fair shades of lighter tones to darker colors. However, people from the GCC are Arab which is different than those who are Persian. But, the same can be said for Americans as compared to Europeans.

      • Hey AG, what’s happenin’? How have you been? Hope all is well.

        Have you visited Kuwait lately? I was there over Christmas and it was fantastic (weather-wise)!

        How’s everything with you and your family? Personally. I am trying to get married these days! I figured, maybe at 44 I should start looking for a partner in crime! Flying solo gets old after a while! Ha!!

        What do you think about this, AG. I’ve been here in the US since I was 19 and pretty much everything I am in life started here. I am also half-Egyptian. A close relative in Egypt is playing matchmaker and offering to introduce me to someone for potential friendship that could possibly end in marriage. Now, I haven’t been to Egypt in 25 years, and this person never set a foot in the US! I am worried this might be impossible because of the cultural gap I feel could be there. I’m saying this because I don’t really see myself as a traditional Middle Eastern Dude! She is Muslim, and from what I hear well-educated too, but I don’t have time to fly to Egypt and spend a lot of time there to see where this could lead. They’re saying I should fly over to Egypt for introductions and then keep contact via phone, etc. I don’t know – it’s weird!

        Your thoughts are greatly appreciated, AG


        • Hey there, dude! (I always want to call you Doodles because everyone gets a nickname from me)

          We actually haven’t been back to Kuwait in a while though we’re probably going April/May time frame. We have a few planned business trips to NY, NJ, and CT in the next couple of months and then I suppose we’ll head over to Kuwait for a few weeks. I do miss the winter there — so glad you got to experience a little of it over the holidays!

          So, trying to get married huh? I’m surprised you haven’t met anyone here in America over the years.

          As for meeting someone in Egypt and getting to know them, etc. I don’t think it’s a horrible idea. However, as you said, you’ve been here since you were 19. Everything you’ve become meshes with the culture here in the US. That doesn’t mean you’ve abandoned your Arab culture, but it does mean you’ve managed to comfortably combine the two. Marrying a woman from Egypt who has never even visited the US could lead to a lot of culture shock and result in a strained marriage. Imagine if someone told you that you’re getting married and suddenly have to leave your family in the US, your friends, and everything you know to go to a place you’ve never been before. Especially for a woman who is probably very close with her family, mother, and sisters. You also have to take into consideration the possibility she’s been heavily reliant on the men in her life (father and brothers) even though she is highly educated. Maybe she’s more comfortable going to the mall with an escort, or always having a male with her for shopping, dining out, etc. That could feel burdensome to you… someone who is probably more accustomed to women just jumping in the car and doing their thing.

          On the other hand, if your ‘ideal’ woman is someone from your culture who is Muslim, then it might be the best idea. But I would suggest arranging for her to visit you here in the US (a few times) before you pursue anything serious. And you should make the effort to go there to meet her family, get an idea of the family expectations, etc. You never know, you might meet one, fall in love, and find out her family isn’t about to let her leave the country.

          Would love to know how it works out. Please keep me posted! And as always, wishing you the absolute best.

          • Thank you so much, AG. Your comments are spot-on!

            I haven’t even thought of how she might perceive life here in the US. Honestly, I never think that a woman these days could ever think or feel she needs a male escort to do anything! Growing up back home my own family was never like that, so it’s really weird to think this could exist, in 2016! But, you are absolutely right. It could be very difficult for a person who lived their entire life back in the region to make such a big move away from family. Come to think of it, asking someone to leave their comfort zone and take-off somewhere completely foreign is not fair – especially since there’s no “strong relationship” already with that person. Asking her to visit me here in the US is pretty much out of the question. AG, you know the culture better than I do. She will never be able to visit me here even if she wanted to!

            Oh and by the way, I was actually married for five years. My ex was from here. After a while we kinda grew apart. Culture had nothing to do with it though – we were young and crazy! It’s kind of difficult to meet an American woman these days the traditional way, meaning I don’t want to date and have a girlfriend (if you know what I mean.) In the past, I have always believed that I want to date someone for a long time and perhaps move-in together before I make any long-term serious decision. That’s not the case anymore for spiritual reasons. It’s hard to meet someone and have a serious non-physical relationship. Plus, what if I have to move to Kuwait to take care of my family? Chances are it’s very difficult to adjust to life in Kuwait for an American woman, especially when you think of having children and the future. Heck, it’s hard enough for me to think of life long term in Kuwait. I can’t expect an American woman to be okay with a future in Kuwait – if we have to!

            Thanks again for your wonderful insight AG. You have opened my eyes to things I wasn’t even thinking about! That’s awesome, I really appreciate it. I will definitely keep you posted.

            So, east coast business trips? That’s fantastic! One day I will ask you what you and your husband do. I know you both love dogs and obviously traveling too! I hope you have fun in Kuwait if you get the chance to go. I’m planning to be there for Ramadan in June, Inshallah.

            Thanks again, AG. Now I want to help you with something, anything, since you’ve helped me with your comments (It’s an Arab thing! I’m sure you know:)

            By the way, Doodles sounds awesome! You can call me Doodles or anything you want to AG, just don’t call me Nancy – haha! (I like to joke a lot in case you haven’t noticed.)

            Let me know what you’re up to, and if I can answer anything about anything.


            Khalid (a.k.a.The Dude)

          • So glad I was able to help. Sometimes it just takes an outside perspective to see things we’re unable to see for ourselves. Either way, I’m sure you’re going to make the best decision for you and, at the same time, do what’s right and fair for your future wife. Looking forward to hearing what happens in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚

            As for us; my husband is a UI/UX Engineer who creates software and apps which are then sold to companies who utilize the service. The business trip is to check in on a few companies as they launch the software. We also operate a nonprofit that provides support to Saluki rescues in the MENA region.

            Of course you’re certainly not obliged to do anything at all for me, however, being kind to animals would truly make me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

            Thanks, as always, for your kind words, Doodles!

  127. Thanks AG. Best of luck on your business trip. I’ll keep you posted. Oh and by the way, I love animals! We have five cats back in Kuwait who are part of the family. It makes me really angry to see how most animals are treated in Kuwait. More power to you and your husband for all the wonderful work I’m sure you do with the non-profit.

    Thanks again.

  128. Hi American girl, it is very refreshing to read your post and it puts my mind at ease. About 4 months ago I met an (Iraqi) man (he’s 28, I’m 25) his mother is from Morocco and Father from Iraq but he grew up in Jordan & has lived in Dubai. (we both reside in the US, he has a refugee visa) at work and instantly became friends. He was charming and those big brown eyes had me instantly feeling butterflies & told everyone at work I was thee most beautiful American girl he has ever seen. (I am of spanish ( “white spainard”) and french descent) we talked as work friends which has turned more serious, he has told me all about him and I have told him all about me. I have a son from a pervious relationship which after doing research, I thought I’d better leave us just as friends because I am considered “tainted”. He has assured me that he does not care, and his family may be uneasy at first, but they are very accepting and welcoming. He has told me that he is Muslim, but doesn’t practice it as strongly as some muslims do. We both have very strong feelings for each other and we have talked about feelings of love, all though neither of us have actually said it yet. He told me “when I say I love you, I mean I love you forever and that means we are forever” which melted my heart. He has met my son and they are just the best of friends when they are together. ( my son looks middle eastern) so he always jokes around that he looks like him. I am refreshed because many of my close friends have told me to be careful and not get serious because “i dont need to be controlled” it brings a burning fire in me. My significant other has never showed any signs of control, the only thing he has ever made me feel was protected and safe. Something no American man has ever done for me. I wasn’t feeling well one night & he stayed up all night while I slept to make sure I was ok. He said you sleep like an angel. (Lol, if that doesn’t melt your heart, i dont know what will) I was raised in a very southern, classic family. The man does the hard work and the woman tends to the children and housework and such & i think thats where we bonded because he has explained to me that all of the American Girls he has met have had multiple sex partners and don’t care about husbands or what he views as normal. (My son was from my first and only relationship that was sexual) I am in nursing school and he has said how it would be a good part time job if we ever get married because it is his duty to take care of me. ( I mean we only had been serious talking for a week when he surprised me with my favorite coffee, exactly how I order it and I have never told him!) He has told me he is here to stay in America forever, but wants me to see his family with him one day when ge goes. He said his mother would love me & sisters would adore me. He has cooked me many delicious Arabic meals and didn’t laugh that I used a fork and he didn’t. He is so thoughtful and I really think I love him. I have never imagined myself with someone, but with him I am. He is teaching me Arabic and I am helphelping him better his English. He also doesn’t dislike the fact that I was raised Christian (I do not practice religious things) He said, that is me, and he likes me for me. He has said if we ever have children they will be raised muslim & if he said he will teach my son the Muslim culture, but will not make him practice it because he wants him to chose that as he gets older. Am I crazy, or could this really work out? The other day he was showing me Traditional Arabic weddings and asked if I liked the dresses and music & what color I would want my wedding to be. I am really scared to let my heart out only to get broken.

  129. Dear American Girl,

    I don’t know if I’m asking the right person but I needed some help. I’m Asian American and I really love this Muslim girl from Kuwait. How could a marriage work between both us if that’s even possible :(?

    My religion belief is Shamanism but it doesn’t restrict me from marrying whoever I want. What do you think my options are if I really love this girl and want to marry her? What can I do?

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • I think these are very good questions to ask her. She has a much better understanding of what’s acceptable within her family, religion, and culture. Many families are different — globally. While one might totally forbid it, another might be fine with the idea. However, I do think it’s important to have this conversation with her before going any further.

      Wishing you both all the best.

  130. I’m really happy for both of you it’s so wonderful to have a loving spouse that treats you like his equal only better! You both are a good fit for the other!

  131. Hi I was reading your story and I am so excited to marry my fiancรฉ he is Jordanian Bedouin , I would like to keep in touch if possible and I have some questions to ask before the big day hope you will be ok with this

    Thank you


  132. Hi American Girl,

    Your story is quite incredible that to me, it borders on being fiction. I also enjoyed the praise you gave for my home city, the emirate of Abu Dhabi. You and your husband really seem like a power couple. My question is what do you attribute to your successful marriage. Would you say its destiny? Would you attribute it to your conversion? Did you get what you bargained for?

    • Hi JJ,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      My husband and I are a power couple in some ways — we respect one another, we encourage one another, we run businesses together, and we always want what is best for one another. I don’t know that what we have is destiny. I think it’s more two respectable people who met one another, knew what they wanted, didn’t play games, and pursued a goal together. As far as getting what I bargained for — more than you can imagine. Not only did I get an incredible husband but I also got his family. My husband wouldn’t be the amazing man he is without the amazing family who raised such wonderful people. I love them as though they’re my own and they have never made me feel like an outsider.

      Finally, my husband has absolutely never cheated on me (nor have I cheated on him). We made a decision as adults to completely dedicate our lives to one another and focus on being better people together. We’re always honest with one another and are each other’s best friend. I genuinely wish the kind of love I live with every day for everyone on earth.

  133. I’m in my late twenties and I have been living in Dubai for awhile. Some background I’m a American and a virgin, I have always dressed modest and I’m a Christian. For awhile a wealthy Emirati guy I work with has been trying to get me to date him. He seems nice and always nice to me, is he serious or just looking to get laid?? As a American would a Emirati ever want a real relationship with me or marriage?? I don’t want to waste my time on a toad. I have noticed most wealthy men here don’t seem to care about there wives and would rather be out doing there own thing and with male friends. Do you know a lot about Emirati men and how they really treat women??

    • Emirati men are the same as other GCC men — especially if they’re more bedoin and tribal.

      Explain to him that you’re not sure what his intentions are but that you’re not interested in casual dating or casual sex. If he wants something more serious explain you would love to meet his mother. See what happens from there. Otherwise, don’t let his dark brown eyes and long eye lashes hypnotize you ๐Ÿ™‚

  134. I met a guy from Kuwait. I hope he is the same loving caring guy as your man. The only problem is his fatherdoesnt accept me and only his mother does.

    • Be patient. His father may come around, especially if his mother has no problem with it. Wishing you all the best.

  135. Hi American Girl, I love your story. I admire your marriage. I’ve come to you for advice. I’m 26 years old and I’ve been talking to a 25 year old Algerian man for over 2 years. He was in the military last year for a year and we really couldn’t make plans to meet. We were suppose to be planning on meeting in August or September at the latest. He’s taking a job which does not allow much communication. He acts differently toward me. He doesn’t sound as excited to meet me. We said we would not use profile pics of ourselves on Facebook because we’re both very jealous. Yesterday he changed his to a pic of him not wearing a shirt. He tells me we’ll have our time to meet but he never says when. His father has hired 3 builders to finish construction on stairs to their house that’s to be for each son and their wife. His parents do not know about me. He uses the excuse it’s because we have had some problems in the past. It was due to distance being difficult. My family knows about him. We were going to meet a few times and if everything went fine we were going to apply for the K1 visa. I live in the US. I was already making a file of proof of our relationship so I would have a lot of information to send in with the application after we had met a few times. He’s changed toward me. I have a bad instinct feeling. I feel he’s looking for another interest if he has not already found one. He hangs up on me for ridiculous reasons. He blames me for everything that goes wrong. I’m not perfect but I don’t feel i have to take mental abuse from him. He calls me disrespectful and he calls me names. He has blocked me as of today in every contact possible. Saturday he says he’s leaving for his new job. I’m devastated and my heart is broken because I felt I had found the right guy. I was going to meet him a few times to be sure. I don’t understand why I’m a secret. I don’t have any way to contact him at all. I feel he is getting married behind my back and this is why his father is having his stair completed. He’s taking a job without hardly any contact with me. I’m also a secret. I can’t talk to him about anything and now I for sure can’t because he blocked me. How can someone tell you that you are their life and love of their life , then treat you like this ? I feel I love him and I would have never hurt him in such a way. I’m losing sleep, it’s affecting my job. My life feels a mess. Could you please offer advice and your opinion of what could possibly be going on with him. I have tried so hard with him because I love him I feel. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you soon. I actually felt my heart break today.

    • I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this level of pain. But, please keep in mind this is a man you’ve never met before. I’m not trying to minimize your feelings, but there is a huge difference between feeling for someone over a telephone and having those same feelings in person. Been there, done that.

      Is it possible he’s marrying someone else? Of course. It’s possible he’s been married the entire time you two have been talking. As you said, you don’t deserve this emotional abuse and at least you recognize it as such. If he’s going to treat you this way over the phone, imagine how horrible he could be in person. Are you really losing someone so special?

      Right now what you’re suffering with is the void that he once filled with phone calls, emails, and text messages. Your time is empty and it causes you to miss him. Remove yourself from this situation and eventually you’ll realize how valuable you are and how quickly someone will see that. You’ll also realize his intentions with you were never the same as yours with him. He’s probably not been very honest with you from the beginning and you’re definitely better off just letting him go. Don’t spend another moment allowing this to negatively affect your REAL life.

  136. Hi American Girl and thanks for replying back. I know you’re right in everything you said. I’m in a lot of emotional pain. I can’t believe how deceitful he was to me. It shocked me. Maybe I’m naive because of my age, I didn’t know much about his culture or religion. What I did learn was from the Internet, it’s sad but true. I have to accept the ways everything is and be grateful he showed me his true colors before I was possibly married to him. Thanks again for your advice. Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  137. Dear american girl,

    I know its a bit late but I’m trying to figure all of this out right now. I recently met a guy who is studying in the us from Kuwait. He seems very sweet and kind and we can talk. However im just not sure of what type of relationship he’s looking for. Because as for me. I date to get serious. I just dont know what to feel or think. He lives 50 miles away. However he’s making a trip to come down to see me tomorrow. I guess im just nervous about trying to figure out what to wear say or act and if he just wants one thing from me. I opened up a little about my past and while I didnt tell him everything I told him something that I think would normally scare a guy from anywhere. I was an addict and currently im on probation. I’ve been clean almost 2 years now but im still very open about it because im still dealing with it. He said he still wants to see me but that makes me wonder. Am I just paranoid that a guy that nice and swear really just wants to get in my pants since he still wants to meet me. Or am I just freaking out and overthinking it for no reason and he actually doesn’t mind because its in the past. Of course I would have the same suspicions about any man but I know he doesnt drink or smoke. Please help.

    Really confused

    • Hi. I’m really sorry this is so late but I haven’t been getting comment notifications in my email.

      I assume at this point you’ve already met him and I would love to know how things went — and if you live in North Carolina. I always wonder if one could be writing me about one of my brothers in law ๐Ÿ™‚

      You should be proud that you have the ability to be honest about your past. It helped you to become who you are today. More importantly, being clean for 2 years is incredible. Keep up the good work!

    • I was seeking someone to do corporate branding and web development for a company website and I was referred to him. We met for coffee to discuss the business deal and married 2 weeks later.

  138. I loved reading this story. It is so refreshing to read something other than horror stories of western women marrying eastern men. Thank you

  139. Pingback: The Arab/American Marriage; many years later – American Girl's World

  140. I also Married an Arabic man… I feel like thier very different from American men. Yes he pays all the bills also… They can be very sweet but strong willed….. I’m good with that but I married a much younger man… I do look good for my age..,. He tells me I’m beautiful……Sometimes I can’t help thinking some younger woman my try to steal him away from me.. .. I’m in love with a younger plus different everything.

    • No one can steal your husband unless he makes himself available to be ‘stolen’. If you’re happy together then surely you have no reason to be concerned.

  141. Kuwait sucks. I lived there one year and the way they treat people is atrocious. You do know that maids commit suicide every week because of the conditions they live under (slavery). Your husband may be an exception, but the culture there is awful. Don’t marry Arabs. I bet your husband is having sex with other women, maybe even men. I was approached by so many Kywaiti men when I was there. Keep thinking your husband is great, I bet he isn’t.

    • Living in Kuwait for a year hardly makes you an expert. Reading the newspaper in Kuwait doesn’t either. However, you seem terribly bitter, angry, and xenophobic. I can say with confidence, my husband is a genuinely wonderful person and I’m so thankful he’s nothing like you.

      • I apologize for my over the top comments. I am actually a very open-minded person, not xenophobic in the least. However, I felt that Kuwaitis are very Xenophobic. The way they treat workers is abysmal (no, certainly not all, but enough that it made an impact on me). I was shocked at the almost slavelike way laborers are treated. You’re right, one year there doesn’t make me an expert, but it certainly does give me perspective. I’m a happy person, but there is something about Kuwait that does bring out some anger in me, namely that a majority of people there can treat people the way they do. Again, not all. I was back there recently for a weekend and the airport workers were berating this laborer in line because he didn’t understand their direction. I immediately spoke up and said, “stop, we’re all human”. Do you know what? An Arab woman thanked me for sticking up for him so I know there are good people there. I’ve never seen that anywhere else, and certainly not in Bahrain. Bahrainis don’t like Kuwaitis at all. They find them, arrogant and s of-serving. Anyway, I apologize to you. My anger was totally misplaced and I truly am happy that you have a good marriage. No country is perfect. I’m certainly the first to say the good old US of A has some major troubles that need to be addressed, but at least human rights are equally applied, while in Kuwait they are not. But that is feedback for other forums.

        • Hi George.

          I appreciate your comment and agree with you wholeheartedly. I have seen people treated in the most horrific manner in Kuwait (don’t get me started on how animals are treated). But it truly isn’t all of them. I am an incredibly open-minded person who believes in unity and acceptance. I could have never married anyone who didn’t feel the same as me in that regard. Human rights are very important to me and part of the reason I wanted to move back home to the US. I admire you standing up to the airport workers who were behaving horribly; that couldn’t have been easy. I too would often speak up but it was much easier being a woman. While we’re not always the most respected, you’ll not often find a strange man willing to shout at us in public even if we’ve just done so to him.

          I’m glad you’re enjoying Bahrain. You will find none of the other GCC countries view Kuwait in the highest regard. Most refer to Kuwaitis as ‘the armpit of the GCC’ — it’s sad. Because of my love for the culture, I would also love to see the reputation of Kuwait and Kuwaitis be improved. On a positive note, we’re embracing life in the US and enjoying tolerance, acceptance, and equality.

          Thank you again for your comment and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  142. Kuwait is awful. You were such a fool to marry him. I guess you have no problem with modern day slavery. Yes, that happens in Kuwait. Check the Kuwait Times, every week there are horrid stories of maids committing suicide because of the horrible conditions. But I guess if your husband loves you a few hundred innocent deaths is nothing. Seriously, all GCC countries hate Kuwait. Educate yourself instead of living in this false bubble. KuwIt has so many human rights violations it’s insane. Talk to your hubby about that you fool.

    • I can assure you my husband and I have zero blood on our hands. We’ve never had a housekeeper commit suicide, run away, or be victimized in any way. Relax with all your hatred.

      I completely support your lifestyle, though I would suggest you be cautious while in Bahrain. While I’m sure you’re not open about yourself there, it’s possible other teachers at the school can tell. I would hate to see you get into trouble in an Islamic country. Be safe, Greg.

  143. Hi again…He took her straight to his family who love her. He came directly to us, her family saying that his only desire is to love and care for my daughter for the rest of his life. They are marrying next week. She and he seem very happy and excited. She is 27 and will not be swayed. She has been in a few relationships with American men including 1 six year marriage and the others were engagements up to a year long that did not end in marriage even though she had given her whole heart. She has nothing holding her back and is determined that she has found someone to spend her life with. I pray it is so. It’s all I can do. I like him. Praying his love is sincere and lasting. Thanks for your advice! Blessings and peace. Teresa.

      • His family is very nice. I went to the reception. They all seem to genuinely welcome her into their family, as well as myself.

        I need to stop reading things on the internet though I think. Lol. Stories of women marrying, having children and then going to visit the family and friends in Palestine and being held captive there and treated very poorly…even the children being mistreated and bullied. Then barely escaping with their lives if they were lucky.

        I know not every Arab person is up to such things. He says he is Christian, as his family here says also.

        He says he wants me to live with them. I do not want to live in fear of things that would never happen…but I want things to be as good as they seem and good and honest for all involved.

        Any comments or thoughts on all of this are greatly appreciated.

  144. Arab Guy looking for an all American Lady
    Hello all,

    I am not so sure if this is the right place to put my add, but I seriously would like to meet a nice American girl to get to know me and possibly get married down the road. I am 34, employed and have a great life, except for a nice partner to enjoy life together for EVER. Does someone like this even exist? Am I being reasonable in my search?

  145. Its all an act they are all the same… and Im sure of this Ive dated saudis 7 years lol even speak the language can read and write it. They just want the vagina… they have no care for the heart, its bologna when they act like there marrying u for real…and then divorce u for a young hot virgin lol

    • If you’ve been dating different men for 7 years with the hopes of getting married and have yet to find a husband, perhaps the issue isn’t with them. If you feel they’re only wanting sex, why are you giving that to them? Are you? I know many American women who are happily married to Saudis.

  146. Hi, I came across your post and was happy to read it. I have been going out with a Lebanese man for four years now, and we will be getting married next year. I am Canadian, very white (ghost white, lol), blonde, blue eyed… and was never expecting to end up with an Arab. I am almost 50 and he is almost 60. He has been in Canada for over 35 years, and his first wife was British. It did not work between them… they were a lot younger, he was a bit arrogant and controlling at the time and fresh off the boat so to speak, and she was more of a free spirit, and they pushed each other’s buttons. They met originally in Abu Dhabi where he was working as a chef and she was teaching English as a second language. I have gotten to know her, because they had two children together, with whom I am involved (now 28 and 30, but often like teenagers, lol). So I can see that they are two good people who were not good together, and that can happen regardless of culture, religion, etc.

    Almost seven years ago, I walked into a Lebanese restaurant where I live, as I often did most weeks (my healthier fast food), and there was a new guy behind the counter… I had never believed in love at first sight, thinking it was some myth in movies and literature (I found out later he also did not believe in it, and it freaked him out), but we both had that moment… grinning like idiots, feeling that we both knew each other… I was married, he was divorced… so nothing happened for two years, because he was not the type of guy to go after a married woman, and I was not the type to cheat, even if I was basically just really good roommates with my husband (we are still good friends and business partners). So we spent two years grinning at each other and making small talk. But every time we saw each other, we had the same reaction. In the end, after two years, we gave into it, and a month later I was separated. He had completely given up on love… nice-looking man, but with lots of debt, two adult children who still relied on him (one has borderline personality disorder), working 70-hour weeks for little pay, and a mother who lives with him six months of the year from Beirut… so not exactly dateable material, lol. For quite a while he could only afford to take me for a coffee, but, as a chef, he would cook for me at home. From the time I said yes to being with him, he saw me as his wife. He felt bad that my marriage broke up, but also understood that it had not been ideal for over ten years (I had been married for 19)… he introduced me to his daughter about six months into the relationship, and his son shortly after, and they both accepted me right away. From what I understood, I was the first woman he had brought home since his divorce. I found out later, when an Arab does that (introduce you to the family, bring you home, etc.), it means it is serious. His mother I met almost a year into the relationship when she came for her six months in Canada, although she knew of me before that. His mother is very traditional Moslem and wears the hijab, and had not liked his first wife at all, and I thought, oh, no, she was white and Christian like me… but it turned out she loved me right away, and it had nothing to do with my being white and Christian… he and his first wife had fought all the time, and she saw that her son was not happy… she told me (through a friend who speaks Arabic) that she had not seen her son so happy since before his father died when he was 14, and that even when we disagreed, she could see the love, affection, and we would always end up laughing. So his mom’s disdain for the first wife had nothing to do with her colour or religion. She just wanted her son to be happy (like most mothers). Interestingly enough, my future mother-in-law does not speak English or French, but we have managed to communicate quite well. I have picked up some Arabic since (or rather Lebanese, since she only speaks the dialect), and she has picked up a few English words, but we have become close regardless, and she had never made me feel that I am not good enough for her son… quite the opposite… she has sided with me at times in disagreements. We are a curiosity when we go shopping together… her in her hijab, and me wearing my cross… especially among the other Arabs, since she does not read, and I am reading out the prices to her in Arabic.

    What you said about the finances is so true… I run my own company, and do well, but he does want to take the lead and pay for everything, so I have learnt to not ask for much if I know he is paying, and I recognize that he has a lot of pride and needs to feel like the “man”. I am a strong independent woman, but I have to say that I really do like being pampered and taken care of… he does not let me carry anything heavy, always rushes to get the door for me, etc. He has told me “Yes, I know you can do it yourself, but please let me do it.” I know some would see that as sexist, but honestly it is just lovely and his intention is not to make me feel lower than him… he seems me as his partner, and often treats me like a queen (and I do treat him like a king). He is protective of me and very affectionate. He and my ex surprisingly get along despite the situation… he invited him for Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving in October) along with his kids and his mom. My ex is Canadian of German descent.

    His life has improved… he rarely takes a penny from me, but I have helped him budget and save, and he can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with his debt situation. He gained enough confidence to leave his 70-hour-a-week job where he was working like a dog, for one that is 44 hours a week for about the same pay.

    Anyway, although we have been calling each other husband and wife for a few years now, with his family’s blessing, we are officially tying the knot next year. We are planning a simple, spiritual ceremony with my Unitarian minister, but outside a church or mosque (renting a small hall), and then a reception for friends and family with lots of great Lebanese food. My own parents initially were worried, because he is Moslem, but they really liked him when they met him (they live in another province), and regularly talk on the phone with him. We are all spending Christmas together this year.

    Anyway, my experience has only been good. I too have also hear the horror stories. We have had our ups and downs, but that had little to do with culture, and more adjusting to each other’s life… at our ages, it is normal to have some baggage, lol.

    Again, thanks for writing to clear up some of the misconceptions. Cheers, Traci.

    • Hi Traci. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I do hope others will read it and realize how different cultures often do intertwine and live happily ever after so to speak ๐Ÿ™‚

  147. Saying that I love this post is an understatement. I’ve somewhat recently fallen for someone that sounds exactly like your husband – kind, caring, a provider, respectful. I just needed to read that it’s not hopeless for cultures to cross, and that despite what everyone may say and “warn” about, it may not even be that difficult after all.

    Thank you.

    • Hi L. Wishing you all the best with your relationship. Nothing is impossible. My husband and I have been married almost 6 years and we’re still just as happy as the day we met. Yeah, we have our ups and downs like anyone else, but we rarely truly argue. He’s mature, considerate, and truly understanding. If anything, he’s taught me so much about genuine love and trust.

  148. I must say that was an amusing article to read, especially given the fact that he is bedoin.

    I am an Arab myself and I’ve never imagined there are such arab around with that kind of fresh and open minded mentality. In fact if anything, it really restored my hope in this nation again.

    The reason I’m saying that, is because I’m one of those Arabs with a very westernized mind set. Very intellectual, open minded and well-read. In day time I’m a senior project manager for one of the most respected market research companies in the world. At day time I’m an avid writer/philosopher and critic to the closed minded Arab mentality. In fact I have my own page to publish my writings its called “Daily Brainiac”. And for that I’m always attacked by society almost on a daily basis for my westernized and open minded approach. Therefore, every day is a struggle or a conflict in this country for me. From the moment I open my eyes to the very moment I close them, someone must always clash with me. The problem is, I’m very intellectual, well-read, outgoing and social and friendly, accepting….yet im in an environment that is the complete opposite of all those traits. Not only that, but while I have a very accepting nature “live a you please” and “agree to disagree” approach, the problem is the Arab society I’m living in does not adopt this approach. Which can be really frustrating. The best way I can describe it, it’s like taking a fish out of the water (its natural habitat) and putting it on land. It can never survive.

    I was born and raised by intellectual parents themselves who taught me that I have to read for at least 30 mins before bed time since I was a kid. While I hated that forceful approach when I was a kid, I can now truly thank them for their approach. It simply brought out the best in me. Not only did it staggeringly open my mind, but it also greatly enhanced my English language to communicate with foreigners. I was brought up in a private school whereby all my classmate were of diverse nationalities and especially American.

    My first relationship was with an American girl at the age of 16. We stayed together for about 3 years, till her dad finally decided . I loved her so much it was unbelievable. Unfortunately at that age, there is really nothing much you can do. You still have your whole academic life ahead of you (university and work). And till this day I cannot seem to get over it and accept the local girls here at all.

    Growing up at the age of 20-25 I lost all my foreign environment and many of my american friends left back to their home countries. And suddenly the nightmare began again where I had to remake friends of my own society. It’s a disaster till this day.

    Now at the age of 29 I’m still reminiscing on all the great times I had with my foreign friends since I was a kid. And I’m desperately looking forward to making some again. In a country that is very scarce with foreigners, I realized the obvious : this environment is not for me at all.

    And now remembering all the great times I had with all my American friends and of course especially my Ex GF who was as I mentioned earlier an American herself.

    Now after establishing a solid career at the age of 29, I’m desperately looking to connect with an american girl to get to know to her and perhaps take the next big step and spend a life time of happiness together. I’ve grew up around Americans and I just love their whole passionate and friendly and open minded approach in life in general and I just cannot see myself with any other kind of person other than an american girl. We totally sync with each other.

    Unfortunately, I live half away across the world in the middle east now, and therefore it is really hard to meet such a girl. I’ve tried all sorts of legal approaches to relocate and go live in America to meet that kind of girl from employment sponsorship and even legally applying for immigration which me and my family have done 8 years ago and still with no response yet from the immigration office.

    Life really sucks when you’re in the wrong environment and it isnt fair that I cannot go there to meet the girl of my dreams and date normally and fall in love and perhaps get married and spend a life time of happiness and love and support.

  149. Your story is inspiring and amazing but let me tell you something you are beyond lucky to get what you got because it’s extremely rare almost doesn’t exist to come across an Arab man like your husband . I’m Egyptian by birth and I was raised up there and didn’t come to USA until I was 27 years old . Hope other American women read my comments because though as I mentioned above that your story is amazing but it’s like a Cinderella ferry tail which is hard to be copied or repeated . Sorry but it’s total reality . Unfortunately the typical Arab man is nothing but an immature man , has a false fixed believe that getting a wife is just replacing his mom with another woman with one and only one difference which is his Halal to have sex with her . They selfish, self focused unable to have a meaning full relationship but with their blood family member . Greedy and will never spend on you except feeding you . Sime of them will put their hand in all what you make or have . No mentiining their angry temper and awful attitude toward women indecency and opinions . Good luck if your opinion is not a carbon copy of his then be prepared to be described as stupid , don’t think and getting in his nerves .

    • I’m so sorry to hear of your negative experiences. I do agree that my marriage and husband aren’t the ‘norm’ but that could be said even if he weren’t an Arab. I often wish I could clone him and share his wonderfulness with all women. However, rest assured he’s not the only good Arab man there is. All of my husband’s brothers and many of his friends are just like he is. I think what it really comes down to is his family life and how incredible his parents are. His father is the most hard working, respectable, kind, generous man and has raised all of his sons to be the same. At very young ages he would take his sons everywhere with him — even to work when he could. My mother in law is kind, compassionate, and a very strong willed woman who won’t be disrespected. She’s intelligent and when she speaks, people listen. I believe for anyone to have values, morals, and self-respect, they must come from a family which instills that in them. Regardless of nationality or religion.

  150. My boyfriend of 5 years wants to go to Yemen to his brother’s wedding he says he must attended the wedding or it’ll be shameful for his family. We have a son of 2 years old I’ve met his mother fathers sisters his whole family they all live here in America close by to where I live. He does still have some family in Yemen. I’m scared if he goes to Yemen for his “brother’s wedding” that his mothers and father would tell him to also get married they never really liked me they just expect me for they can be able to see my son. You see I am not Muslim or Arabic. He telling me he will only go for 2 weeks I never heard of anyone going for 2 weeks plus I think they might make him get married too.

    • I can understand your concerns. But perhaps because you and he have a son together but aren’t married they struggle with taking your relationship seriously. Even though a child is involved. In their culture they may view the child as ‘haram’ and don’t feel for him the way they would a child who was born from a marriage. I know, sounds odd, but their culture is very different than ours. I can’t say whether or not they would have a wife arranged for him in Yemen, but it’s not out of the question. But I do agree it would be expected for him to attend his brother’s wedding. And 2 weeks isn’t a very long visit at all considering the travel time. It would be considered shameful if he didn’t go. Have you two discussed marriage? I know here in America it’s very common for people to remain unmarried, have children, and be perfectly happy. But if you truly love one another and want to be together, a marriage might make his family view you differently and that seems important to you.

  151. Hi.. I am honestly not sure where to start. I feel in love with a man from Kuwait in January 2017. (I am a southern American girl just like you are as well!)We met through his cousin, who at the time he was dating one of my best friends, and he introduced us one weekend. I am 19, he is 20. We fell fast for each other. Before we actually met in person, we talked on the phone, face-timed, and texted for a few weeks.. I went to college a few hours away from home, that’s why it took us so long to meet. But, when we met, it was magical. It’s a weird thing to say, but I knew I loved him the moment we first met.. and he felt the same exact way. But, because I just got out of a very nasty relationship months prior, I was scared to tell him. Him, never having a girlfriend, was scared to tell me because he didn’t want to tell me so soon after we met. Everyone tries to tell us that we’re too young to be this in love, but I don’t think that we are. After we met in person, we moved fast. We started dating within two weeks. I drove home every weekend just to be with him.. It was hard to be apart from him. But in April, something happened. His book bag got stolen while he was on campus, which had his passport, visa, and other paperwork for him to be here in it, so he had to take all of his exams early so he could go back to Kuwait and get a new passport and visa. I didn’t get to see him before he left, because he left on a Wednesday (keep in mind I moved three hours away for school). As of now, it’s been 120 days since I’ve seen him. I’ve been so lost without him here, he’s honestly my other half.. I can’t live without him, and I don’t want to. Being so far apart, he told me he loved me for the first time over FaceTime, since we couldn’t say it face-to-face, and I said it back. Being scared that he would not be able to come back to the US because it was taking too long to get his student visa, we promised each other that we would meet somewhere else if he was denied.. And I held onto that, because I was/still am in love with him. My family didn’t approve all. In fact, in the beginning they even disowned me because they’re christians (he still doesn’t know they disowned me, it would’ve killed him). But yeah, eventually they came back around. They still dont approve (they tell me how much they disapprove almost every time I see them, actually), but they know that I love him and I wanted to marry him regardless of how different we are. But, things were fine between us while he was back in Kuwait. I met 4 of his nephews, 3 uncles, 5 out of his 9 brothers, and 4 out of his 7 sisters.. and they all knew I was his girlfriend.. They approved.

    I’ve always known how most arabs get married, but I never wanted to acknowledge it.. I always was scared that would happen to us. My worst fear was that when Abdullah went home to wait on another visa, is that his parents would force him into an arranged marriage, and I was right.. It started out by him ignoring me for a week.. I knew something was wrong, I just knew it, because he would never ignore me like that.. he’s not that type of person. I had the thought that in the back of my mind that this had happened, but I kind of just ignored it. Then, a week later, every fear I had, had came true.. He finally texted me and told me what was happening. His exact words: “Sweetheart, I am so sorry, but I can’t get my sh*t together.. I’ve been so busy, I am sorry I just texted you until now. You know how arabs get married, right? Baby, it breaks my heart to have to do this to you.. You’ve always been special to me, and you always will, and I promise to God himself I will never forget you or forget the love we shared, but we have to break up, I am engaged to my cousin. My family wanted that.. I don’t think they will even give me the visa anymore baby. Even if they give me the visa, I will get married for family reasons. I wish you all the best in your future, I love you.”

    This came as a total surprise to me, in all honestly. Him and I had talked about marriage after college, we talked about how I was going to move to Kuwait after I graduated (which was my choice), we even talked about me converting just so his parents would POSSIBLY accept me (which again, was my idea. He didn’t want me to change who I was for him, but I was willing to do it because I love him). I thought that because of all this, and meeting 95% of his family (except his mom and dad) and them approving of us, it would work.. I guess I was wrong. He told me I would find someone better, that there are plenty of kuwaitis out there, that he’s not good enough for me. This broke my heart. The thought of him marrying someone else, kissing someone else, having kids with someone else, growing old with someone else, and loving someone else, makes me sick to my stomach.. It breaks my heart. I haven’t stopped crying since this happened, I can barely pull myself together to get out of bed and its been three weeks since this happened. I even asked him to break off the engagement, and he told me “you know I can’t say no”.

    I transferred schools to be near him, I moved just to be near him, I left all of my friends there, just to be with him, and now, I’m lost. Three days ago, he texted me, and he told me that he loves me, he misses me, and that he’s coming back (his visa came in). I asked him “Are you still engaged?” and he told me he is, and I told him I don’t get the point of him talking to me is then. But then he told me that he wouldn’t be getting married for 2-3 years, and that we wants to see me when he came back because he wants to talk to me, and I agreed.

    Im so lost, scared, heartbroken, and everything in between.. he’ll be back here in 4 days now, and I dont even know if I can face him anymore. I know he couldn’t help it, but he broke my heart.. shattered it. He was my one. The one true love we all get in life, and I know that 100%. I dont know that else to even say, honestly. Can you give me some advice what should I do? What do I tell him? What should I say to him? I’m at a loss for words. I want to be with him, but he won’t even stand up to his family.

    • Hi there. I’m so sorry it took me so long to reply. I do hope you get this response after such a long time.

      First, I suspect before he went back home he might have known there was an engagement in the works. Or, at the very least, knew his family had been planning his marriage with the cousin for a while. Though cousin marriages are often arranged by the parents, they rarely leave their children out of the loop. This doesn’t mean he’s in love with her. Nor does it mean he doesn’t love you. It simply means he comes from a culture that’s very different from ours, and sadly, culture will often dictate his future. Especially if he’s the oldest son. If he’s not, he may have a chance to explain to his family it’s just not something he wants to do and they may let him out of it. If he’s the oldest then I suspect he’ll marry her, have children, and always respect her as the woman his mother chose for him. Perhaps one day he’ll deeply love her, maybe not.

      As for you, I’m so sorry you changed anything about your life for a man. Especially being so young. I understand how exciting and passionate we can be about being in love, but try to put yourself and your best interest first.

      I’m also really sorry that your family feels the way they do. But, perhaps that’s just another obstacle that could have created issues in your relationship. Some things are meant to be, others simply aren’t. When he comes back and you’re together in person, be very cautious about how you move forward. It might just be time to move on and focus on your education for a while. But, the most important thing is that you protect your emotions and try not to get sucked back in. He’s been honest, he’s told you he’s engaged, you may just have to accept that.

      • Hi again, and it’s no problem, just thank you for responding. He finally came back and for a while we didn’t talk about it, but, about two days ago we finally did.. It didn’t go well. All we have done since he got back is argue about little things. He wants to act like we’re still dating, like everything is fine.. But I cannot do that, and I told him that. This is very hard for me and anytime I try to express any feelings about it, especially when I cry, he just tells me that crying won’t solve anything, and that this is life, and these type of things happen.. I don’t think he understands what he has put me through these last 130 days while he was away from me, he literally acts like he has no emotions towards it all.. and that kills me. He doesn’t understand that I love him. Honestly, the thought of having to fall out of love with him is terrifying to me, and I’m not sure I can do it. After the last fight we had two days ago, we haven’t talked since. He won’t text me back, call me, or anything else. Also, he is not the eldest son I believe, he is somewhere in the middle.. And it’s hard not to get sucked back in, I’ve tried not to talk to him honestly, but it doesn’t work. And he tells me he didn’t know about the engagement at all, but I honestly suspect that’s a lie. Also, some of his friends think that he’s not even really engaged! I talked to his best friend, well two of them, and they told me that they didn’t even know that he’s engaged, and that if he was, he would’ve told them.. So, what now? I don’t know what to believe honestly. I don’t want to believe that he’d lie to me because he never has before (not that I’ve suspected anyways), but after this last fight, I feel like I really don’t know him. While we were fighting, I asked him about how long he knew he was engaged before me told me, and why did he ever get in a relationship with me in the beginning knowing that this would eventually happen? Especially if he knew he wouldn’t be able to tell his parents no. I just feel like we need to finish talking about this so I can put my mind and my heart at ease, but I don’t know what else to say to him. What do I do from here? I am completely lost.

        • It’s quite possible when he first met you he didn’t know his parents had planned to find him a wife — at least not so soon. It was probably the furthest thing from his mind. He was here, studying, making friends, and enjoying life. However, the moment his parents (mother especially) gets the idea he might be dating or meeting too many girls, she will immediately start arranging the marriage back home. So it’s possible she was suspicious and figured he was dating someone.

          As for him not telling his best friends… if those are guys from college here in America, they’re not his ‘best friends’. They’re just some guys he hangs out with and goes to school with. His true best friends are more than likely his cousins back home. Also, it’s possible even his cousins don’t know he’s engaged. Once a woman is supposed to be your wife or becomes your wife, you don’t discuss her. Especially with other men. It’s considered highly disrespectful. More than likely, none of his friends back home will ever even meet his wife once they’re married. I know a handful of my husband’s friends from Kuwait but haven’t met 99% of them. On the other hand, I know every single one of his friends here in the US and have met all of them. The cultures dictate very different behavior.

          Considering the way he’s behaving and how much it’s hurting you, perhaps it’s time you just focus on yourself for a bit. Do things you love to do and do things you’ve never done with him before. Try to get your mind out of this relationship and the times you spent together. Find new friends, new hang out places, and new hobbies. Before you know it, you’ll realize this was all for the best.

          • Now that you say that, it’s really starting to make sense. There was an incident back in March before, where I left a hickey on his neck, and long story short, his mother saw it by accident, and did not talk to him until he got back to Kuwait in May. Could that of been what prompted this? Also, when I say best friends, I mean a person that he was best friends with in Kuwait, someone he grew up knowing, and also his cousin that is also in the USA studying that he is really close to, someone he tells everything to.. this is all just crazy honestly, it’s hard to believe, but he is from a very different culture that I know knowing about, so. Also, why did he introduce me to some of his family members? I know a lot of them did not know I was his girlfriends (because it’s haram) but I know for sure that his younger brother, one nephew, and one uncle knew about us.

          • It’s possible that prompted his mother into finding a wife for him. Knowing their son is interested in dating/intimacy is a sign (to them) he’s ready for marriage. As for introducing you to family members, if they were all men, that doesn’t necessarily count. It’s acceptable for men to date (in their minds), have girlfriends, have sex, etc. But they wouldn’t dare let a female family member know what they’re doing. It would be disrespectful to the women and they would never want to think their sisters could be dating, etc. Of course, things differ between each family. Some are far more ‘modern’ for lack of a better word, and they see dating as perfectly normal. Not the majority, but definitely some.

  152. Also, this is gonna sound so weird, but I just went and looked on your social media and you have the same last name as him!! That’s crazy, lol.

  153. Hello!

    I have truly loved reading your blog and it is heartwarming and inspiring to hear how you and your husband have created a life together that combines your two cultures and personalities to have a happy, healthy marriage.

    For the last two months have been dating a wonderful man who came here 3 years ago as a refugee. Things are going really well so far, we are loving spending time and getting to know each other, and he is truly a kind, intelligent, romantic, funny, forward-thinking man. There is definitely potential for a serious relationship and/or marriage as we are both in our 30’s.

    Here’s my question: I am curious about the potential of meeting his family for the first time. He lives with his whole family who do not speak English. They have been through a LOT and are still acclimating to the culture. Even though my boyfriend is pretty “Americanized, ” what I’ve gathered about his mother is that she would definitely not be thrilled to meet a Western non-muslim woman who is not engaged to her son. I completely understand this and I accept that. I would however like to be respectful and understanding of their culture, while also conveying that I am a person who is serious about their son. Is there anything in particular I can do to make the first meeting more comfortable for his family? He says I can just be myself– and I absolutely will–but I would love to score some bonus points with his mom because, well, who doesn’t want a good relationship with their (possible) future mother-in-law? Any help on the fusing of families would be so appreciated! Thanks and best of luck to you!

    • Hi Hailey,

      Thank you so much. We’re truly happy together and I can’t imagine life without him.

      It sounds like you’ve met a wonderful man as well. I have such respect for the refugees who have come here. I can’t imagine leaving behind the only life I had ever known just to go to a country where nothing felt familiar. I’m sure the adjustment is difficult at best. I also admire that you want to go out of your way to make a good impression on his family. That’s a wonderful sentiment and evidence you really do care about him.

      First, I would say, keep in mind he’s from a more conservative culture so keep that in mind when choosing your outfit for the meeting. If you can avoid showing shoulders, arms, legs, etc. it will come across as not only respectful to them, but to yourself. Depending upon where he’s from and the exact culture of that region, you may want to avoid direct eye contact with the men in the family and, before you go, ask your boyfriend a lot of questions. For instance; should you take your shoes off before entering the home? Does his family sit on the floor to eat their meals? Do they eat with their hands? What can you expect the meal will consist of? Some cultures serve an entire sheep (head, eyeballs, etc) while we may appear shocked by that. Just be prepared. Explain to your boyfriend that you intend to be yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to be outright disrespectful or appear as though you didn’t even take a moment to ask questions. You might also want to ask him how religious his family is. Do the women all wear hijab? Will you be at their home during prayer time? And if so, what are you expected to do? Leave the room? Stay there? You’ll also want to know the appropriate greeting in their home. Are you hugging and kissing the women family members on the cheek? Have him teach you proper greetings in Arabic so you can at least say hello.

      Before my husband introduced me to his family, I’m sure they had hopes of him marrying within the culture. I know I wouldn’t have been the first choice my mother in law would have made, but I also know she loves me just as much as I love her. From the first meeting, she was kind, respectful, and welcoming. I went out of my way to show her how much I appreciated her kindness.

      I genuinely hope it all works out for you. The fact that you’re willing to learn about his culture and put forth effort really screams volumes about how much you care about your relationship with him. Please do keep me posted.

  154. I need some advice on how to deal with this guy. Disclaimer: we’ve never had sex. He’s from Jordan, and on a 5 year visa. We’ve taken a road trip together and gone on several dates. He gets me whatever I want, has paid off credit cards, and has given me money to go visit friends from out of town, get my car fixed – whatever

    He seems to have a history of going against his family. He claims he’s not a Muslim but rather an atheist though his family doesn’t know. And previously married a girl outside his culture whom his parents hated at first but eventually grew to love. And he has tattoos which he was immmensely criticiZed for. I Know the whole meeting parents thing is a huge deal and haven’t met his parents but did speak with them over video chat on WhatsApp.

    Anyway he’s saying he wants us to be together. He claims his respect level for me went up when I didn’t have sex with him on vacation. Said he’d buy me a house blah blah blah and I won’t have to worry about anything.

    So it’s starting to get a bit more serious. He asked me one day whether he should stay where we are or move to Houston. I told him Houston so he went. Said he’d set up a business and he’d send for me when he’s ready. This was in January. Well it’s October now and he said he’s back and ready.

    This is where it gets strange. See I’m actually still legally married but going through a divorce. He showed up at my job (I work in a strip club as a waitress), made eye contact briefly, I didn’t think anything of it though. 30 minutes later, he came up to me and asked for a dance to which I replied…”I’m not a dancer but she is”( pointing to the girl next to me) So he goes away with her…came back 10 minutes later and was like I like that you’re not a dancer let’s talk back in VIP lol. Went back there, he asked me questions about my family etc. asked to make an appointment (date, lol) with me, then gave me 200$ for a 45 minute convo.

    Here’s where it gets even stranger. Funny thing is, he met his first wife the exact same way in Jordan in the equivalent of a strip club she worked in. She and I both looked different from everyone else so he gravitated toward us.

    • Hi, Leslie.

      I understand there’s an appeal to a man who will buy you things and take you on vacations, but at the end of the day is he loyal, honest, and faithful? If you genuinely believe the things he says and have no reason to doubt him, then perhaps this is the right situation for you.

      Based on what you say, it doesn’t sound like he’s too invested in his culture. But, do keep in mind, if he’s only been away for a few years he might just be exploring a Western lifestyle but will eventually return to his cultural roots. Or, perhaps his family was always very liberal anyway.

      Just like any relationship, take it slow, learn to trust him, and make your decision based on factual information.

      • I agree with American Girl that the money and treats are nice, but his true character is what counts. In eight days, I am marrying a Lebanese Moslem… different case in that he did not have money, and had been in my country (Canada) for over 35 years… his first wife was also white and Christian. His family fortunately was already pretty liberal, and his mother really just wants him to be happy. We have been together nearly five years. Since he did not have money and could not treat me to trips, fancy dinners, etc., I was able to see his character more clearly… he could not take me out for the longest time, but he would cook for me (he is a chef)… taking it slow was key… we had to integrate into each other’s lives, see how each other reacted during difficult times, when he or I were sick, etc. These are the times you really see how the person is. It is easy to splash money around, and claim it is because of love.. not saying that he does not love you, but honestly anything that is worth it is worth waiting for, and the process of getting to know each other really can be wonderful, or can show you warning signs that you can choose or not choose to deal with. No one is perfect, of course, but time will show you truly the person he is, how is family is, etc. I wish you the best of luck.

      • Thank you for responding. Well heโ€™s always done what he said heโ€™s going to do. He seems very loyal, honest and faithful. He proposed to me on my birthday. I was completely surprised cause he drove down 4 hours to my job and I didnโ€™t know he was coming. Iโ€™ll explore how exactly how loyal he is during the engagement stage but heโ€™s never given me a reason to think otherwise. Heโ€™s been great.

  155. I just want to say thank you for writing this, I have been in an on off relationship with an Egyptian man and it has been rough with our cultural differences and our families views on us but reading your article has given me faith!!! That we can make it work and worry about what other people think.

    • Hi, Sarah. I’m not sure of your age or the roles your family members play in your life. But, I can say, if you are genuinely in love and believe he’s someone you can spend the rest of your life with, then family members will eventually come around. My husband and I were very fortunate that we had our families supporting us from the beginning, but even if we didn’t, I think we would have found a way to make it work while still respecting everyone else.

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