When a Saudi man and a foreign wife from the Western world marry and come to Saudi Arabia life is typically very different for the woman. She now finds herself in a strange land where she is expected to cover when she is out in public and has to rely on a male to get her where she needs to go. In addition she will likely be part of an extended family with new commitments and obligations. If there is a wedding, even that of a distant cousin whom she has never met, she’ll be expected to attend wearing a fine gown. If family comes by to visit she will be expected to prepare an appetizing meal for them.
If she is lucky, she’ll have a driver provided by her husband so she can come and go at will. If she is lucky she will be able to afford a new ball gown for each wedding she attends since that is the custom in the Kingdom. Hopefully she will have the services of a housemaid to assist her in preparing a meal for the unexpected guests.
Having money can make a huge difference between happiness and despair in Saudi Arabia and especially so for a foreign wife. Having the resources to engage her own personal driver will soften the blow of not having the freedom to drive herself when and where she wants to go.
Being able to afford a new gown for each and every wedding will give her a status as one who is loved and cherished by her husband. She will make her husband and his family proud by dressing in a suitable manner for functions.
With discretionary funds, she and her husband can attend society events, take a weekend trip to Bahrain or Dubai and perhaps feel that she has a degree of control over her new restricted life in the Kingdom.
With money she may not have to share a villa with extended family but instead have her own home which she can furnish to her heart’s desire. She also has the luxury of privacy and can entertain her own guests with ease.
Many may scoff and will say “money doesn’t matter.” That is true and they are right. Yet for many, it will make a difference between a successful marriage in Saudi Arabia or one that ends in divorce.
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