My Family Doesn’t Approve Of My Partner, Who I Shipped Back Overseas

Dear Faiza,

Well, my situation is a bit messy so I hope you can shed some light unto me. I’m 24 going on 25 and I met this guy who is totally my soulmate, there is no DOUBT about it. At the time we met he was going through some problems with his government due to his loss of scholarship. Mind you he was an international student from Saudi. It is also important to note that I am Palestinian and as I am sure you know, our parents kind of have a negative conception of individuals from the Gulf. In the months following our initial meeting, I did some rebel shit and would sneak out to see him and be with him. I really didn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing especially in the name of love. But my parents and sisters really started to resent me. They’re very conventional in their Arab values and claim its “religious” but naw that shit is definitely culturally conditioned and wrong. Now, to profess his love & dedication he met with my dad to set intention of marrying me eventually and showed his honesty in many ways. But I really wanted him to go back home to Saudi to his family because he was practically wasting his life away in the States having no school or place to stay since the Saudi government cut off his salary. So to prove his loyalty we got married in a civil court and I forced him to go back to Saudi so he can get money and fix his fucked up life, or ours I should say. It has only been a month since he left and all these insecurities are popping into my head and my family keeps provoking me and kind of insinuating that he left for good. I am SUPER scared because my family does not believe in love and I am like a hopeless romantic with trust and abandonment issues. He has not shown me anything wrong but the devil keeps messing with my head. How do I quiet my demons and remain patient. Also, my family wants me to marry someone wealthy and this dude comes from a nice humble family.


Dear Hopeless Romantic,

I’m so sorry for the situation you find yourself in. I’m just going to get straight into it. I think it’s beautiful and worth congratulating you on finding love. It’s something we all search for and when we find it, we do everything in our power to hold onto it, because it’s so incredibly hard to come by. So, I’m proud of you for fighting for your right to love who you want to love, regardless of your families racism or this twisted cultural belief that one group of Arabs is better than another. A twisted cultural belief I lived when I attended a Muslim school, where Palestinians and Jordanians didn’t get along, while Syrians and the Lebanese stood by one another, as if they were the “real classy Arabs.” Saudis didn’t associate with anyone, and I can go on and on. It’s plain stupidity, and absolutely not a religious practice. Islam has NO RACISM in it! If the man is Muslim, you can marry him. Your family is absolutely driven by a cultural racism within the Arab world, that is not uniquely just Arab, mind you.

Regardless of this, you stood by your right to love and you married him in a civil court. Now, although I believe each and every one of us, has the absolute right to be with the person we love, I think we also have to be very responsible with our approach. Here’s the Hard Truth, getting married in civil court, as an attempt to “show his loyalty,” was not the right approach considering that he was not in a financial position to marry you.

These types of decisions often lead to a spiral of bad ones, like “forcing him” to go back to Saudi Arabia because he faced the hardships after the Saudi government cut off his finances. What I’m not understanding is… was there no way for him to try and get on his feet here in the States after you married? I ask this, because rather than encouraging a husband you just married to leave the States to make a life for himself, as-well as you, abroad, why not try to encourage him to change his life here- with YOU?! You say you’re facing abandonment issues, but he didn’t abandon you, you “forced him” to go back home to get his life together for the both of you. He did it because he loves you and wants the best for your relationship, and the future you two can share together. I say all of the above, if only to help you feel a little more secure in this thought, if he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t be following your wants as much as he is.

Now it’s only natural that your family, who didn’t approve of this union to begin with, would start feeding you all these thoughts that are going to root insecurities within you, because you got married in civil court and then he’s gone. It says one thing to your family: “We told you so!’ I think it’s very important, to make it clear to your family, that YOU were the one who encouraged this decision; that as I said, I don’t believe was the right one to make. Everyone struggles, and although he was facing hard times, better that he’s getting on his feet here with you by his side, than in a completely different country.

I think you need to start focusing on what the plan is moving forward, be mature about your decision making, and really think things through. Ask him, what’s the plan? Is it that you move to Saudi Arabia with him? Or is he coming back to the States? and if so, when? This is very important to know, because it will dictate where your marriage to him is going, if anywhere. Do NOT mention your family’s obsession with you marrying a wealthy man, because this is not information he needs to hear, but rather a conversation YOU need to dismiss with your family, since you’re already married. You know your family doesn’t like him and probably will never approve of him. This is a fact! Despite this, you married him, so you need to grow tough skin  regarding this conversation they refuse to stop discussing. If your husband has shown you no signs, or reasons, to allow insecurities to come in, I would find ways to again, discuss the plan FIRST! Once you have a plan set in motion, these insecurities can be worked on. For example, if he says that he will be moving back to the States in six months, I would be working on keeping that connection and spark alive, as-well as anyone can, in a long-distance relationship. Skype, Facetime, Tango, Whatsapp, Snapchat, IG Live, I can go on and on listing the countless apps available to two people who want to make a relationship work, keep it alive.

The only way to silence demons that plant insecurities in this type of situation is: #1. Know what the plan is; and #2. Work every single day at keeping in touch with one another.

If he’s never given you a reason to believe that he will be unfaithful, untrustworthy, or uncommitted to what you two have, then I wouldn’t allow others, including yourself, to seep in to your mind and create problems that doesn’t exist. You fought for your right to love him, to marry him, now it’s time to fight for your right to have a happy, healthy, and well communicated future with him.




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2 thoughts on “My Family Doesn’t Approve Of My Partner, Who I Shipped Back Overseas

  1. Salam my dear,
    I salut your courage to follow your heart in such a big decision, and I wouldn’t say anything best than my dear Faiza have said, but I just need to remind you about something you didn’t come across, I am Saudi and this is one of our rules that a young guy can never marry non Saudi except if he got an approval from the government which is not easy at all. So if you want a legal marriage where you can visit Saudi and travel there as his wife, you should discuss that with him, because civil court marriages are not accepted in the country. The best option maybe that he leaves Saudi and stay with you, it’s a hard decision but it’s the best for your marriage. Life in Saudi for unemployed is very difficult nowadays, so sort your things with your husband, and before that sort it by your brain not your heart and weigh this relationship. I hope you find the best in your life.

  2. UGHHHHHHH I’m going through the same thing right now. Can I submit my question to you or book a vent session with you? Please it’s so important.

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