The Distinctions of a Saudi or non-Saudi Husband

Thanks to Khalid for asking that a specific post be composed about the distinctions between having a Saudi or non-Saudi husband. Which is better? Marrying within your own “kind” or venturing out into a bi-cultural relationship where the differences in nationality may be the least of the distinctions? Of course a major factor to take into consideration are the individuals themselves, their ability to communicate, their respective values. These factors are core to any successful relationship.

But when one looks closely at a non-Saudi woman choosing to marry a Saudi there are so many variables on whether the relationship will be successful. There are vast differences in culture and customs and particularly so when the marriage is between someone from the West to a Saudi. Language and religion can be key factors as well. And additionally, family (on both sides) can have a major role and impact on the success (or failure) too.

I remember prior to when my Saudi husband and I married. There were a number of “nay-sayers” with comments like “what, are American men not good enough….why can’t you stick to your own kind….the majority of American to Saudi marriages fail…you know him now outside of KSA but when you get there you’ll find yourself married to a stranger.”

And in a post-911 world, US-Saudi marriages likely come under more scrutiny and not just by that embassy official looking at the passport when the Saudi husband wishes to accompany his wife on a visit back to the States, but by citizens on both sides. There are many (Americans and Saudis alike) who will raise the eyebrows and either with their words or expressions question why an American and a Saudi would wish to become involved in a post-911 world where additional scrutiny is taken on the relationship and there are so many from both sides who believe a US-Saudi marital relationship is not a wise move.

But on the main theme of this post, I don’t think there are specific distinctions whether the wife is American, British, German, Dutch, Japanese, Pakistani, Syrian, etc., and married to a Saudi. As long as the communication, love, respect, values and partnership is there, any relationship will have a good chance of success.

People will talk. In the same vein there will be questions or comments about the wife’s nationality or the husband being Saudi, even say when two Americans marry one another, people may find some issue to “bash” about if for whatever reason they do not respect or like the spouse. Yes; with diverse cultures and backgrounds there are the additional remarks made that can place pressure on a couple. My suggestion is to talk about this issue and determine how as a husband-wife team one would respond and present a cohesive front.

When Khalid asked me to post on this subject, he made a reference to a Saudi who was denied a visa when wishing to travel to the States with his American wife for a visit. Sure, one could easily imagine how such an action could change his perspective on the States and Americans, but instead, he chose to respect decisions made and not let that impact on his view of America and Americans. That is commendable.


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