Save the Women!

Relationship with a Saudi man, the façade and the Family

Posted in relations with Saudi men,Saudi Arabia,Uncategorized,women by Save the Women! on January 9, 2010

2- The culture of façade:

In the middle  east nothing counts but how things look. If they look ok it is ok, no matter how bad the inside is.
This means that as long as the look is good anything rotten which goes on behind the walls is all right.

How does this affect a western woman meeting a saudi man?
It means that you really cannot ever rely on anything he tells you.

It means that you cannot rely on anything his friends or relatives tell you.

3- There is the Saudi family.

Make no mistake, the saudi Family is like a superclan. If you are not born into the clan you are never ever part of the clan. You will never be accepted as part of the clan. One of the reasons parents want their children to marry their cousins. They like to keep everything in the family. This is also the cause that many hereditary diseases are common and well established in Saudi Arabia: the inevitable result of many generations of in-breeding. A saudi woman who marries into another family will also not really be part of the clan; she belongs to another family, another clan. And when she is divorced it is expected that the other clan will take care of her. If the saudi woman’s clan is powerful they can protect her from to much ill-treatment. In the case of a foreign wife she is completely on  her own and without protection. If the wife is from another tribe she will be trusted less. If she is from an inferior tribe she will be despised. If she is foreign she will be deeply despised.
A family from the Hijaz might be more lenient towards a foreign wife, especially if the family is modern, has travelled, and has spend time abroad. But if the man has married the foreign wife without notifying his family, and without the blessing of the family, she stands a very poor chance of even the lowest level of acceptance.

Most foreign women do not realise how very important ”The Family” is in Saudi Arabia, and how much Saudi children are brought up to respect, honour and obey ”The Family”. A Saudi man will very rarely go against the wishes of ”The Family”. For a Saudi man the ”Family” will take precedence over his wife, who, unless she is a cousin, does not belong to ”the Family”, but to another ”Family” and is considered to give her allegiance to her own Family, not the husbands. She may therefore never be expected to belong to the husbands family. And again: in the case of a foreigner will never be trusted.

It is quite possible that a foreign wife will be treated very hospitable when coming to Saudi Arabia, bit as soon as the honours of hospitality have been paid, and the novelty wears off, she will mostly be neglected. She will certainly not been seen as a part of the ”Family” no matter how much she tries to conform. This mostly results in a very lonely existence for the foreign wife. In Saudi the wife is expected to have her own family to fall back on, and to protect her. In the case of a foreign woman, whose family is very far away and can do nothing for her, it means she stands alone.
If the wife isn’t fluent in Arabic the family will talk and gossip about her in her presence.
And if the Family doesn’t like her the foreign wife’s life will be hell. Really. Do not expect a Saudi man to stand up for his wife against his family, this is very rare indeed!

It matter very much if the Family is conservative or modern. In a conservative family a foreign wife stands very little chance of being accepted. The chances of a foreign wife being accepted are very small in any case. In a Saudi family the mother and sisters choose the wife for the son, Saudi families very often ”keep it in the family” and marry cousins. Maybe there was a cousin standing by already. So the son coming back having married a foreigner will encounter a lot of resentment. This resentment will be targeted towards the wife.
As men cannot do wrong in Saudi Arabia.
So  it’s the foreign wife who is to blame. For everything. Once in Saudi Arabia almost all Saudi men return to their default programming of Obeying The Family.
A very bad situation for the foreign wife.


54 Responses to 'Relationship with a Saudi man, the façade and the Family'

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  1. Hala Maksoud said,

    I know exactly who I will send this to. My young friend has married a Saudi man, and she had always said that she would never go to Saudia. Today, she said that it was unreasonable to expect that she would never do that.

    I worry for her.


    • aerinndis said,

      Hala, salaam, and welcome to my blog.
      I think, living in saudi has to be experienced to be believed. But the overal experience is of being imprisoned. That i s most women’s experience. And also the experience of saudi women who repatriate after having lived abroad. And they knew what they were coming back to.
      My saudi husband thinks no man should bring a woman into saudi arabia. He says that women should be taken out of arabia rather than brought in.
      If it were up to him he would transport at least half of the saudi women to other countries!!!

  2. Hala Maksoud said,

    American Bedu:

    I am sorry, I certainly do not mean to get personal here.

    How is it for you, hearing all this about Saudi Men? Are they all like this; slathering, unfaithful, animals by western standards? I really hope that your experience has been better and I would most certainly like to hear from other American wives who have good experiences.

    As a Muslim woman, I would be particularly dim to not be aware that my husband could have more wives. I just find the lying and bad treatment by the family to be particularly untasteful and barbaric.

    I was so happy to find that Women were going to be able to drive yesterday, and to read this today, just takes me from the heights to the sewer.


    • aerinndis said,

      Hala, every six months there is a newsflash that ”Women will be able to drive very soon!” This had been going on for years. Unless they actually give me my driving license I will never believe it.

      You have no iedea how close and private people are here. They ask you the most embarassingly personal questions, but they are very closed about their own life. As foreign wives often do not speak Arabic, and it is unlikely a family member will volunteer the information, it happens often enough.
      Don’t forget that men and women lead completely separate lives here. Some men really keep to a bachelor lifestyle, with the only difference that they have a wife and kids at home. And how is a wife to know he is not out with his male friends but with another wife? It is quite impossible to know.

      I am sorry these articles are so negative. And there are a few (very few) really wonderful saudi men about. But the society is so dysfunctional. the men are brought up so selfishly, that you will be hard put to find a truly honest account of a woman happily married to a saudi and living in saudi arabia.
      And I am writing these articles to make clear to foreign women that their chance of a happy life in saudi is very close to zero. Not completely zero, but the odds are stacked very high against.

      • Sandy said,

        Ha ha. I’ve been hearing about how “women are about to drive” for more than 20 years. I”ll believe it when it happens. Not when it’s “about” to happen, or “probably” will happen or it’s been “decided” it will happen.

  3. I would have to sadly agree with everything you said here – very true.

    • aerinndis said,

      Susie, it breaks my heart that you have to make such a comment here. I truly feel these saudi men manage to get the most noble and beautiful spirited women. And instead of rejoycing in their good luck, and cherishing them, they bring them to saudi where their souls slowly get killed.
      What is wrong with these men?

  4. Sandy said,

    I have to say, that while I am an exception to what is described here- it is certainly not inaccurate as to what CAN happen. But it doesn’t always. I have several friends that are also happy- but even in a good situation, your husband cannot mitigate every circumstance.

    That said, be very, very careful ever choosing to come here. A very good indicator of how your life will be is to ask a lot of questions about how his mother/sister live their lives. Do they work, have drivers, go out on their own, pursue their education etc.?

    Many men are completely incapable of going against the family- even if they think they will be able to. So if the family is one in where women live full lives compatible with the life you want to lead- your odds are better.

    My husbands family accepted me completely- and it makes ALL the difference as well. It is a completely different situation if they don’t accept you- and it’s unlikely your husband will stand up to them.

    And not to sound too mercenary- but will your husband earn enough for you to visit home occasionally? Does he value how important that will be? It makes a big difference when you maintain your own family ties as well.

    I do think the society and its catering to the whims of men and being so overly concerned about their “rights” has probably spoiled a lot of men, who otherwise would have been ok. But it IS “all about them”

    • aerinndis said,

      Sandy, greetings and welcome.
      I did say there are some succesful marriages, but the chances are very low. Too low to risk it I would say. When I read the comments of women contemplating marriage to, or being used and thrown away by a saudi man, I decided to err on the side of caution. They seem so deluded as to the reality of living in Saudi.

      Many women who have been married, are married, or have been abused by a Saudi man end their story with: ”It’s not worth it” and ”Get out now!”

      I think your advice of asking how his female family members live is very good! Really good! I’m going to include it in my ”points of advice list” if you don’t mind.

      Your point about money is also a very important one. In the case of living in saudi I don’t consider it mercenary, but nesseccary. Without being able to take a break and travel home regularly life can become very claustrofobic. Travelling equals recharging your batteries for me.

      Besides, his family might be very important, but you should make very clear that your family is just as important as his!!!!!!
      And you need to see them from time to time.

      Also as women are not allowed to drive I (and my husband) consider a driver to be a first nessecity.
      That means that your intended should earn enough to get you one. And if his means are a bit stretched he should be able to put aside some of his own privileges to enable you to keep a driver.

      Of course saudis are not better or worse than any other people on the planet. But I consider saudi society to be completely dysfunctional and preferring men to women at an unhealthy level. Unfortunately society being what it is in saudi does not bring children up to be healthy balanced individuals. Certainly not good men.
      The situation being what it is I am reassured by seeing that there are saudis who can rise above. Anyway, I will write all this in the post about saudi society.

      • Sandy said,

        I just wanted to add another thing to consider. Even if you marry a perfectly reasonable guy- perfectly reasonable folks get divorced all the time, even in the west. The consequences become ENORMOUS if there are children involved. He will always get custody- however, even if he wanted to share it- practically speaking, it is hard to share children from two different countries even if everyone means well.

        Also, before you marry a Saudi-(or anyone) Complete your education. Get whatever qualifications are important to you. It isn’t just about marrying a nice guy. What if you are widowed? You need to be able to depend on yourself if necessary.

  5. @ Sandy,
    ANother possibillity might be that your good husband dies. I will go into this further, but unless you hasband has made very elaborate safetynets you are in deep sh*t!!!

    I know of only two saudi men who have made sure their wives and children are protected in such a horrible event. Mine and my best friend’s.

    You don’t have to share any personal information here of course, but I would like to know if your husband has done so.

    Women will be driving very soon……
    But: babysteps!
    So maybe 2200…..

    • Sandy said,

      It is in progress I am not overly concerned-however most women absolutly should be. I have concrete reasons to believe there would be no iin-law issues and the ages of my kids also provide a buffer. But even so, we are maknig arrangements. Important to note- arrangesments need be updated as well. Situations change over the years.

      • aerinndis said,

        Sandy, yes if your saudi family is a good one that is better. And your children being old enough makes all the difference.

        I felt very insecure when my husband told me about all the pittfalls, but at the same time he had some buffers in place.

        You are so right, situations chance over the years and you should adapt your plans to that!

        It’s not nice having to think of these issues, naturally I would prefer my husband to live for ever, but the chance of him dying before me is unfortunately to be expected.

        However, one never knows. With a bit of luck I will be the first to go!

  6. Aafke said,

    Itis such a relief to read a blog which is in no way ”politically correct”!
    Keep it up!

    • The point of my blog is that I want to be anything BUT politically correc here!!!

  7. Hala Maksoud said,

    Alhumdilallah, that I do not live in Saudia. My young friend who married the Saudi guy who is studying in the US is now divorced. He just threw her out on the street.

    I have never heard of this before, but they had a “temporary marriage” and he could break it by just saying “I divorce you”?

    Well, I am glad that it is over. The guy like just totally messed her life up, and now she has to wait a year or two to get her Master’s Degree because she was waiting for him to decide where they would go. Like this is just so nasty!


    • Hala, there is a fatwa from one of the most respected scholars that saudi men can marry foreign women when studying abroad and then divorce them as they go home. As long as they don’t tell the women they mean it only as a temporary marriage it is ok.
      That way they can have halal sex and have a wife doing the housework for them and still in a halal way.

      Can you imagine the cynical way saudi men think about women?
      No thought of her feelings, of breaking her heart, of her future!
      Anyway what does it matter? western women are all whores. This is what they are taught, and according to my husband, this is what they think and speak when talking amongst arabs. They speak different when talkingto western people, but amongst themselves western women are all whores.

      Islamic marriage is a fake, it only paces duties and restrictions on the woman and the men can do as they please.

      I am sorry that your friend has been treated in such a dispicable manner, but it is still far better she has her own life than that she is buried and imprisoned in saudi.

      Would your friend tell her story on my blog? As I am writing a series warning western women of saudi men?

      • Hala, I just get so angry about your friends story!
        Yes the bastard did mean the marriage to be ”temporary” he just didn’t tell her!
        Yes he can divorce her in Islamic law by only saying ”I divorce you”

        That’s why westernwomen should insist on a ”real” marriage at the registrars as well, so they can claim alimony.

        Of course the bastard will go back to saudi and not pay any alimony so you should have a contract stating a substantial amount of money in case of divorce.

        I bet he didn’t pay her any mahr either? Because the best way of keeping your butt safe is demanding 50.000 dollars of be payed before sex.

  8. Hala Maksoud said,

    I am feeling quite crabby about her situation. He has proven himself to be a real plonker!

    On top of that, yesterday here I am helping her to move in with a young saudi woman, and we have the car all loaded, and driving up the street. Imagine, two women loaded the car themselves! Then he calls me on the phone and asks me to take him to a Doctor’s appointment. GAH ! EEK! Guess who did NOT get a ride! Please don’t ask me why I did not just tell him off! Even in the US, these Saudi guys can say bad things within the Muslim community and make it really bad for who ever they attack.

    Today, I kept her with me all day, to get her some furniture and help her set her apartment up. It was so sad. She would just sob and sob, and then be ok and then laugh at my trying to cheer her up and then go back to sobbing.

    I went through a divorce 5 years ago after 39 years of Marriage and I thought I would die. It was just this spring that I finally felt like I could survive. I say this only because I really do understand what she is going through.

    I am just sick over this. I would like to wring his neck!

    I would ask her to tell her story here but I don’t think she will be able to talk about it for a while.


  9. safa said,

    and you think that western women don’t act like whores??
    If they had any respect for themselves they wouldn’t be having sex with multiple partners.Temporary marriage is bad? what about just shaking up like the majority of americans? is that better?

    • aerinndis said,

      Safa, salaam, Yes. I for example, am a western woman and I never behaved like a whore.

      I find your comment especially untasteful as it is made in response to one of my guests sharing with us how dispicably her friend was treated by a saudi man. While she acted nobly and honourably. Thinking she was properly and honestly married. Trusting the filthy deciever with her love and trust. He indeed treated her like a whore, the filthy whore hopper.
      In all these cases it is the western woman is the one who acts with honor, and the saudi men who are the low pigs.

      And let nobody tell your friend any different Hala!!!

      Thank you for being another example to my other readers that the stereotype of the narrow minded prejudiced muslim.
      I am really pleased that the occasional bastard comments here too.
      You all prove that I am not too negative in my posts.
      You prove I am right to warn western women off saudi men.

      • Hala Maksoud said,

        You don’t understand. There is a cultural disparity here and I don not know how deeply it goes. In America when you marry some one, it is a “BIG DEAL”. Part of the sacred vows I recited in my Christian Wedding were “honor and obey, in sickness and in health, for better or worse.

        And in American Marriages, it is done legally, with the Government and there is just no walking away from a marriage with out much work in court over a period of months.

        I have now been Muslimah for a few years, and at my age, no man is marrying me short of a miracle from Allah SWT which rivals the splitting of the moon. 🙂 And if he does, it is with the government, and no I am not going to Saudia, no not even with a gun to my head.

        She was only months old in Islam, and she was told all these rules about her husband being the boss and all that and he told her that his word was his bond! How was she to know that he thought he was having a whore?

        The Majority of Americans do not just shack up!


  10. safa said,

    You’re kidding me!
    More than 40% of babies in the states are born out of wedlock!
    The rate of divorce reflects the sanctity of the marriage “vows”
    More than 40 % of americans admit to extra marital affairs

    • Hala Maksoud said,

      This is heart breaking. I checked your statistics and you are right. But why do young Saudi males have to take advantage of that.?

      I am not going to allow this to turn into a war of words. I will shut up.

      I am heart broken.


  11. aerinndis said,

    yeah right, and how many misyaar and mutah ”marriages” are there in islamic countries? (Misyaar and mutah are a form of legalised prostitution) And yes, there is undoubtebly less experimentation with sex, but don’t forget you get killed for doing so. And what’s wrong about having sex? Why shouldn’t people choose to have kids outside marriage?
    And what number of saudis go all around the world for sex tourism? At least that’s not normal custom in the west as it is in saudi. Having sex with whores is the worst thing you could do. What’s wrong with people having concentual sex?
    Anyway I will talk about this on a new post.

    Oh, and by the way, divorce rates in Uae and saudi are over 40%. And you know that the statistics in saudi are screwed anyway. And still they have the second highest divorce rate in the world. And 90% of those divorces are instigated by men. Imagine how much more higher those numbers would be if women were allowed to instigate divorce?
    Anyway, I will be writing a new post.

  12. safa said,

    yeah sure what’s wrong with a young poor uneducted american woman 3 rd generation on welfare raising 4 -5 kids by different fathers, yeah, what ‘s wrong with that???
    Look in your own backyard before judging other cultures.
    There’s good and bad in every culture,when I say culture it’s not religion.

  13. aerinndis said,

    @ safa
    a young poor uneducated american woman can at least crawl out of the dump.
    A sixteen year old widow of an 85 year old pedophile with four or five kids in saudi Arabia has none.
    The problem is that some cultures have a lot more bad than others.
    And what’s up with America. What do you know about America? Do you live there? or are you basing your opinions on the media reports?
    And what has America to do with my blog? I am Scandinavian with a Saudi husband. We do not have poor young uneducated women in Scandinavia, of whichever generation living on welfare raising 4 or five kids by different fathers. We just don’t have that happening. And even in a|merica it’s pretty rare and not the norm.

    And I read today that divorce in saudi is actually more like 60%

  14. Hala Maksoud said,

    Yes, as a matter of fact, I do live in America, and find the statisics hard to believe. And if America has nothing to do with what we have been talking about, please take me off your list, and I will not bother you again.


  15. Hala Maksoud said,

    I hope that was not aimed at me. I judge no one.

    I am like so out of here.


  16. aerinndis said,

    @ Hala,
    I am sorry, my comment was meant to safa, not you. I know you are in America. But how could you think it was meant for you?
    I forgot to put @ safa in front of the comment.
    I will edit the comment.

    I fid those statistics hard to believe, Why it would mean that when I am in America I half the young women I meet would be unmarried with children? And I know for a fact that they aren’t

    And as America is a big part of the west is has something to do with it naturally, however, I do always think that the west is more than America.

    And I was baiting safa a bit. I miss the weirdos on my blog. Most people here are decent and open for arguments.
    This is no good? I need a few crazies to prove my points.

    • Jaytoo said,

      Do you want me to put a link from my blog to yours? I get a lot of weirdos commenting over there. They would have a field day with some of your posts. 🙂
      I even had someone become so agitated with my existence that they posted a link to my blog on an extremist Islamic message board asking how to give dawah to a kafir like me.

  17. aerinndis said,

    Oh yes please….
    Not that I need more dawah. I consider myself as being a great dawah giver…..
    Actually I am already being discussed as ”the evil one” on the blog of ummadam, there is a weird group of shakespear witches backbiting there, With an extremely unplesant take on islam…

    I will add you to my blogroll. Your blog is so pretty!
    What do you think? should I go all rosy and flowery?

    • Jaytoo said,

      Thanks for adding me. I was actually thinking about changing my background to be less “cute”. I was never a girly-girl. When I was a kid, I preferred to wear blue jeans and climb trees with the boys. (although that might be haram…)

      • aerinndis said,

        I was also climbing trees!

        And falling out of them….

        but I feel optimistic about the future so what do you think of my airy girly theme?

  18. MoQ said,


    Rosy & Flowery? may be. I think you should go with a reddish theme, symbolic of the lower chamber of hell the umms think you will be at 😉

    • aerinndis said,

      I have gone pinky. Symbolic of barbie heaven where I think I’m heading to. 😉

  19. aerinndis said,

    @ MoQ,
    LOL @ ”the umms” there are a lot of umms…..

  20. KimKam said,

    This is a very interesting read. It reminded me of the horrible stories I witness of women involved with Saudi men.

    I feel very sorry for any woman who is married to a Saudi.

    • malak said,

      i,m non saudi married to saudi man have 2 kids leave in west at the moment when i meet his family in bahrain specialy his mom she was so bad to me when she was alone with me, but when she see my husband she was quiet and i told him but nothink change.the worst part i have 2 kids. and children need father but i know his family specialy his mom don,t like me becouse i,m foren woman and actioly i born muslim dark hair pepole often think i am arab.tnank u for what u write maybe late for me.becouse i love him and my kids need father but i know his family will never like me as there on family Allah help me to have sabir salam sister

      • I am so sorry for you. Maybe the mother will relent in time.

  21. Muhammad-alkaffir said,

    This website is nothing but huge generalization mixed with few lies, I’d say you’re a sexist.

    • Justpassing by said,

      As a Muslim Saudi girl. while I see this blog usually bash Islam when it should be bashing Saudi culture .. i have to admit that almost everything she said in this post is true. Most saudi men abuse women and are terrible cheating husband and those who aren’t don’t do anything to help other women. The author of this blog is a non-muslim so it’s not her mission to correct false interpretations of Islam. That’s our job as muslims.

      The author of this blog is not sexist. The men of Saudi Arabia and those who defend their sick behavior are the sexist ones.

  22. just passing by, welcome.
    i do not wish to bash saudi specially. I write this blog because some things make me so upset that I ahve to write about them somewhere. As you are saudi you will agree that had better be done in secret.
    There are many saudis who are good and kind, and many aspects I like about saudi. But this post is to warn what is the most normal in saudi. MAny women from abroad marrying saudi end up very unhappy. This should really be known.

    One woman I knew only slightly was very lucky with her good loving husband. And they were very happy. But the family never accepted her. And when he died the family took their house, their money, and let her live in a crappy poor partment. Not paying for educating her son, and forcing her not to work and to go fully veiled. As the husband had not made her safe and he died early they could do to her what they wished. She was now under the orders of his uncle, as he ´´inherited´´ the mahram-ownership of this woman. He could do anything he liked to her, including not letting her go home. Including letting her son grow up without education.

    I am non/muslim but I am right in the middle. My husband is saudi. So my voice counts. I know what I am talking about.
    and i think muslim women can use any help they can get as the cards are stacked against them big time.
    Don´t you think so?
    And western women need to be warned about what their future will be. Nobody else will tell them!

    Besides, normal humanity and honor forces me to speak up against injustice. Injustice, where it exists, touches us all. And we should never stand aside and let injustice happens because those to whom it is targetted belong to another ”group”.

    Thank you for commenting. I do appreciate the opinion.

  23. joseph said,

    well good luck to those who live in saudi as arabia is a wondrefull country to be at happiness is only an illusion

  24. ali said,

    Being a man, I can never understand how a woman would feel here. So, I will not pretend to understand. But, some facts I KNOW are: Saudi, Pakistani, Indian, Irani or Iraqi MEN are NOT the representatives of Islam and as previous nations , they too have modified Islam and MISINTERPRETED a lot to suit their culture, “FAMILY” and EGOS. The Prophet and his Sahaba DID not behave this way. In fact, I do not see any ISLAM anywhere. I don’t see it in Mosques, in People, In ramadan, in Religious gathering.. anywhere. Islam is SUBMISSION to ALLAH. Whose Principle Attribute is ” Compassionate and Merciful” .. Most of what you have written here and experienced from Muslims whould not have happened if these were indeed .. MUSLIMS.
    Women SHOULD be Driving
    Women should be able to do as men do anywhere
    Women have their Dignity and Individuality
    They can make their own judgement of right and wrong..
    Punishment is administered when there are EYEWITNESSES who have a PROVEN track record of NEVER lieing!.. now.. imagine how many cases can be dismissed based JUST on this?

    At first, when I read your blog.. I thought you are another critc of KSA.. but it seems you have FELT pain from this region and it’s people. I do feel that. All I can say is, LIARS WILL PAY. And they do.
    Good luck.

  25. Girl88 said,

    I am currently dating a Saudi man and I searched for blogs like this because my friend keeps telling me how worried she is about me from stories that she has heard. Me and my boyfriend talk about the problems in Saudi and well as what is wrong in American culture. Both cultures have faults, it’s what you have grown up with that can make it bad or good. I think a lot of these women who weren’t able to have a happy marriage also didn’t bother to learn about their husbands cultures before hand and ask them questions as well a really talk to them about the differences and how they are going to handle them. I’ve already talked about and researched saudi culture with my boyfriend, everything from how family values work to learning Arabic and reading the Koran, which he encourages. The truth of it is, I don’t think any one person is to blame. I think American women enjoy how a Saudi man can charm them, but they fail to ask questions until it is to late. And a man that is raised to believe that his wife or women in general are to obey him, probably isn’t going to stop and think….hey maybe I should ask her how she feels or tell her….whatever. It’s common in our culture not in theirs.

    • Dear Girl88, I am sorry but you are coming from a western standpoint. The Arab standpoint is very different. there is so much wrong in saudi arabia you cannot have an idea until you experience it here.
      Saudi Arabia is a completely disfuncitonal society.
      It like nothing you can imagine.
      You bet it is some peoples fault that marriages between saudi men and western women fail almost 80 %
      I will list them for you but before I want you to realise that if you are married and are divorced in saudi arabia your rights, even your rights in your marriage contract will be obsolete. No judge will give a woman rights unless she has huge bribe money or influential saudi family.
      and your hasband can divorce whenever he wants.
      no consequenses for him.
      for you it means you will be kicked out of the country.
      you will loose your children (property of the male)
      you will not get alimony
      you will not be able to see your children

      so why do saudi/western marriages fail?
      -as soon as your husband gets off the plane in saudi he is a completely different man. a man you never knew.
      -he will listen to his family, to his mother and not to you
      -mother comes first, family comes first, you are bottom of importance.
      -there is an 98% chance that his mother will not like you. she will scheme against your marriage and as she is more important thatn you she will win.
      -his family will urge him to take another wife. a real saudi wife. you will be behind her too in importance. your children will be second rate because from a western whore. 90% of Arabs really think all western women are whores. your children will be taught so at school and come home and call you a whore.
      -Your husband will most probably not stand up for you but defend his mother and his family
      -your husband will become much more fundamental in religion and maybe even insist you wear the niqaab. (insist means force: you have no choice to comply)
      -life in saudia is really bad for women. you have no rights, you cannot go anywhere, you cannot have medical treatment, you cannot go shopping, you have no say about your children, all these things are decided by your mahram.
      -life in saudi arabia is segregated. you will never see men, but because your husband will spend lots o time with his friends and famuily members you will not see him very often. you will be alone a lot
      -You will never be accepted by his family. you will always be the freigner, you will never be trusted.
      -you wil have NO PROTECTION under thelaw.
      -you cannot protect your children. they will get a very bad education and your daughters can be married off as children. this is not for you to protest you have no rights.
      -many women have tried to become more saudized as the saudis, and it doesn’t matter; they are not saudis and will never be accepted as such
      -no woman saudi or western, is not hurt and lost trust and love when husband takes a second (or third or fourth) wife.

      these are some of the reasons while most marriages fail
      The culture is certainly to blame. The saudi culture is racist in the extreme, xenophobic, misogynist, bigotted in the extreme.
      People are to blkame. many mothers and families have schemed, and schemed successfully to break up the marriage toi a western wife.
      saudi men are soft and weak against their family. they have no backbone. Saudi children are indoctrinated to always obey the wishes of the family.
      All the cards are stacked against the western wife.
      Now there are exceptions, but they are EXCEPTIONS! and RARE!

      And asd he is your boyfriend only I have to tell you that if you have been intimate he will not regard you as marriage material.
      he will just ahve used you to have what is forbidden at hoime.
      If he has introduced you to his amle friends and male family it has been only to brag about his western slut.
      I am sorry to be hard but that’s how it is.
      If he has any serious plans he will not want to be intimate until after marriage. He will be protective of you. He will not show you to his male family and friends and he will deefinitely introduce you to his mother and sisters only!

      You must also know that saudis tend to marry young. He may allready be married and lie about that fact. neither his friends or family will tell you the truth.

  26. star said,

    I am an american woman who loved and adored her saudi husband–i think the envy of others and all other nationalities of other countries pay a big part of me leaving my husband.From the grace of God i left my Saudi husband —–he was good during are first couple years of marriage after that i was mostly alone with my kids at the house and all of his time was spent with his friends.I started thinking( is he gay or did he secretly marry another because he had no boy)im now living in america with my kids and thank God everyday for bringing me back home. —My experience living there still haunts me today.

    • I am sorry you have had an unhappy time.
      But you are very lucky to have gotten out with your children!
      Very unusual!

  27. POPPY said,

    Do you live in Riyadh?
    I am a western woman divorced from a Saudi man.
    Have lived here for 23 years and been divorced for 13 years.
    I am still here for many complex reasons.
    I have had some really unbelievable and really dangerous experiences that would make any woman think twice before marrying a Saudi.
    I’m living with very difficult circumstances at this time.

    • I live in Jeddah.
      Waw! you managed to live on your own for 10 years? That is very impressive.
      I feel for you.
      Would you like to share your story on my blog?
      I would be happy to give you a platform.

      • POPPY said,

        This is Poppy again,

        My story is really difficult and at this time I am extremely wary of what I say and where I say it. I have in the past made dramatic protests (one public) about the situation of myself and my Saudi kids after my normal pleas were all ignored. My protests were very effective in at last getting noticed, but myself, my son and my driver were called to Min. of Int. for a mini interrogation, my house was then under surveillance for more than a month by a man who carried a gun who questioned all the drivers and workers in my road about who came to my house. We were followed each day when I took my daughter to school. My phone was tapped. My driver was questioned outside my house and what he said written down by three Saudi men who arrived in a car with a government logo. This sounds unbelievable and very far fetched but it is completely true. Unfortunately I have been here for so long and have no home elsewhere I just live each day as it comes and hope for something better to happen. Every day is difficult, but somehow I manage.

  28. gia said,

    what is it in your life here in saudi that makes it sound so dramatic…please do tell. giainjed

  29. Poppy, I know. You will get the short end of the stick whatever. being in trouble in saudi arabia is the worst place.

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