I have had so many people find me by searching for something to do with marrying an Egyptian... So, I thought I would humor these searchers with my take on being married to an Egyptian. Not to be mistaken for my earlier post on You know your husband is Egyptian when...
Basically, I think Egyptians make a good match for American women. Assuming that they are from a city... Because I could see where there might be more friction/cultural mis-understandings if a big city American married a village Egyptian. Overall, as long as you both give each other some time to understand the differences... Insha'Allah, you will be fine.
The things that might come up... Keep in mind that I am generalising here... But after a decade of Egyptians I have noticed some trends.
I have seen standards of modesty as a problem in some marriages. It seems to me that Egyptians (no matter what religion) are very modest people. So they really don't want to see their wife in a mini-skirt and a tube top walking out the door... EVER. I never had this issue personally, because I wear hijab, but DH has seen it happen with his friends.
Family, and visiting family... Egyptians are loyal to their families no matter what. I have seen Egyptian couples separate over one insulting the other's mother, sister, brother, whatever. This fierce loyalty is all good if your spouses family is normal, but can be a real hassle if they are not. Personally, this comes up for me all the time. I can have a lengthy conversation with my DH and feel he sees that his sister can be awful and downright destructive only to have him go visit her the next day. Alhamdulilah, I am over it because at least he lets me say how I feel and doesn't expect me to visit. But I have seen this be a source of tension in marriages where the husband not only visits the crazy relative but insists that his wife does too.
Disciplining children. DH jokes that some people in Egypt beat their children for breakfast. I think that may be going a little far.... But I do think the manor of discipline is different between Americans and Egyptians. Americans talk to their children and try to shame them out of bad behavior. Many Egyptians skip the shame in favor of a smack on the hand. This can be hard because consistency is so important with children. So, rather than a disciplinary tug of war, I think couples should have a policy for their home. And it should be specific.
What constitutes a meal. I have heard American wives bemoan the amount of food they have to serve in order for their husband to call it a meal countless times. It seems that Egyptians just have bigger meals, so don't be shocked when you serve what you think is a meal and your spouse asks "Where's the rest?"
He might think that you are Superwoman. It seems that men from all over the world have the impression that American woman can do everything and work tirelessly. Ummm, no we can't.
I'm sure I could go on with the trivial things, but those are the major ones that I can think of. Now for the great things about being married to an Egyptian.
They LOVE their families. Yes, along with the bad parts there are good parts to the loyalty to family. Your DH will put your children first and will love them fiercely.
They have kind hearts. Most Egyptians are kind, generous, and welcoming. You will never feel uncomfortable in your spouses friends homes. And, I think it rubs off. You will find that he brings out the sweetness in you too.
They will never be too busy to sit and have a cup of tea and some sweets with you... Providing that you bring the tea and the sweets;)
Hmmmm, I hope that I haven't offended. As I said, these are my observations. I would urge caution to anyone marrying someone from a different culture as I have mentioned in previous posts... But I think that Egyptians are a good match for us American girls most of the time;)
Two Comics that go together…from 2008
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