*Appologies to those of you who are receiving this a third time. I’m not trying to spam you, I swear. Apparently if your laptop mouse wanders over to the ‘publish’ button and you hit it by accident, it still publishes. This time, the post is complete!*
If I had a nickel for every time I found a new Western woman who was interested in marrying a Saudi, well, I might be a few dollars richer. When I first became involved with The Mr. social networking sites were a thing unknown and the best I could find was a few Yahoo messaging groups that I could get information from, so I had no idea of the popularity of “I met him at school and we fell in love and he wants to marry me, etc etc etc”. I didn’t know that my story was not so unique.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve come across a few questions in the groups I belong to from Western women wanting to know what steps to take with their Saudi. I call these women Virgins. They really have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. Not to imply that marriage to a Saudi is a bad thing, but it can be a very complicated thing, and they have NO CLUE. So I’m going to shed some light on the sutiation here for hopeful wives of Saudis.
1. If your Saudi is “dating” you, his family likely has NO IDEA that you exist. Find out if he is as serious as you are about marriage, and if he is, he should tell his family about you ASAP. You and your future children do not deserve to be hidden.
2. If you and your Saudi intend to get married, he needs to apply for the Saudi government permission to marry you. Even if he swears that he wishes to settle with you in your home country. You will not be allowed to enter the country as his wife without it, and in the event of his death, you will not inherit from him.
3. Have a serious, candid discussion about future plans after marriage. Where will you settle? Where does your Saudi want his children to be raised? What does he expect of you as his wife, because it will surely be different that what he expected of you as his girlfriend. What do you expect of him as your husband and the father to your children?
4. Learn about Islam. If you haven’t already, it’s a must. Islam will likely be a huge part of your Saudi’s life if and when you return with him to the Kingdom, even if it hasn’t been thus far. You will be one step ahead of the game if you learn what drives him and why he does what he does.
5. Get to know your future Saudi inlaws. In particular, his mother and sisters. It is said that when you marry someone, you also marry their family, and this could not be more accurate when marrying a Saudi. All Muslim men are required to put their parents above all else, and this includes you as his wife sometimes. This is not to say that you should expect to be disrespected, but just know that respect for his parents and his mother in particular comes first. The better you get to know your inlaws, the easier your acceptance into the family and the easier time your husband will have trying to balance his parents and you.
6. Become familiar with the laws surrounding Saudi marriage permission. Know that it will not likely be an easy or quick process, but if you love each other, are on the same page with your futures and are committed to having a future together then know that it is not impossible.
7. Get to know other women in your position, or who have been where you are before. There still exists Yahoo groups that are extremely helpful, Facebook groups and websites full of information and advice.
Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below, or if you have a private question you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you in any way that I can. Best of luck to those of you who are considering, starting, or who are stuck in the process of marrying a Saudi!