Please help! I am an American woman wanting to marry a Kuwaiti man

Hello,

I an an American woman.  I met a Kuwaiti man who is here in USA for school.  We have spent the last 2 years together.  He told me he wanted to marry me a long time ago but he was afraid of what his mother would say.  About a year ago she said no simply because I am American.  But that didnt stop him from continuing a relationship with me.  We are the definition of soul mates.  We are so good for each other.  I was a Christian but I learned so much from him and from the Qu'ran that I have converted to Islam. I am now an American Muslim.  Yesterday my boyfriend from Kuwait told me to be hopeful and think positively because he was going to get his older sister to understand that he loves me and for her to support him when he tells his parents that he will marry me.  We planned our future.  We would first get married in the USA because he has about a year of school left.  We will go on winter break to Kuwait to have our wedding with his family. Then we will move the Kuwait.  We were so happy talking about how great we are for each other and how our love and companionship will carry use through all troubles and of course with our faith in Allah.  The next day he tells me his sister didn't disagree with him, but she told him he needs to do what is right.  His mother told him no because she wants him to marry a Kuwaiti girl.  Now he is telling me that no matter how he looks at it he will be disobeying his parents.  I understand that a person should listen to their parents and respect their parents.  But they have raised him to be a fantastic man and I think it is time he should use all he has learned to make his own decision in his own marriage.  He has clearly told me that he loves me and there is nothing holding him back from our marriage except for his parents.

Am I wrong to ask him to marry me without his parents permission?  Does it really make him a bad son that doesn't listen to his parents if the ONLY thing he ever did against their wish was to marry someone of a different race? He loves me. I love him.  We would be raising our children in Kuwait.  Maybe even in his parents home if thats what they wanted.  I am so accommodating to his culture and lifestyle.  His parents would not be losing him.  They would just be gaining me. 

What should I do?  Is there any way I can help make his parents see that I am good for their son?  Is there any way I can help my boyfriend make his own decision without feeling complete shame and guilt?

PLEASE help

From what I gather in local culture The Mother is the boss, and what The Mother says son has to obey. I suspect that going against the will of The Mother you will be in for a world of pain.

In western culture we reach a point where we tell our parents to go to hell, and start living our own lives (for better or worse), which is rarely the case here.

Just my two cents.

I was born here and I am Muslim.. I have to tell you 3 things:

1- If your so called "boyfriend" is coming from a well reputed family that has deep roots in Kuwait, it's going to be even more difficult for him to marry you. Well reputed families would put a lot of pressure on their kids to only marry from, not only Kuwaiti girls, but Kuwaiti girls from certain qualifying families.

2- Arab men, no matter how long they spend in the west, are Arab. We're too jealous. We prefer to form a family and have kids from formal marriage. Family values are extremely important. Living with/around the extended family is not important only due to religious teachings, it's also a cultural thing. He will see his cousins, friends and co-workers all having close bounds with their families and won't stand having a bad relation with his family for a few days, even if it is for the love of his life.

3- Obeying parents is something Muslims will not give away for ANYTHING. We believe it simply can lead you to heaven or hell! Not only in the lifeafter, but also in this life. No matter how much he loves you, once he's ready to move to Kuwait, he'll have to make a decision, you or parents and family, and he will 99.9999% choose parents.

Finally, if you already had a sexual intercourse with your Kuwait "boyfriend", chances that you guys are getting married is too little. This will make a lot of pressure on him as he will see all his friends and cousins marry virgin girls who never been with anyone but the husband. Love here in Muslim world is a few phone calls and hangouts before official marriage, unlike it is in western culture.

All the best.

Dear MS,

Good Day to you,

As you are saying you are good to eachother and loving  but  if you convert in islam then may be it more good to you live with him and spend your dream life. I am stranger and living in Kuwait last 8 year I  found Kuwaiti are too good God fearing and helping people.

but before  you get in relation make much understand and future plan of living

All the Best

As an expat who fell for a Kuwaiti before, give him an ultimatum. Sometimes it's good sometimes it's bad. The fact of the matter is that family is everything to their culture, and if he loves you enough, he'll put a foot down and tell his mother I'm in love with her, and I know she's good enough for y'all to like her and that's that. Look I'm not saying it'll definitely work out, but I am saying you need to make an action soon since he got less than an academic year left. It's hard to change culture about a man who's not western, but you can try. I really hope this works out for you! It's hard and I know what you mean. I was lucky enough that my situation was just half kuwaiti and half american! But even with that it didn't work out. I wish you the best of luck!

I have met so many Arab families from all around the world in a class I attend to help teach English.  Out of all of the people I have met only one person said they would choose their daughter's husband. Every other parents states that we live in a different world today. And it is best to have their children pick who they marry so they can be happy and so for the ones where it ends in divorce the parents aren't to blame.  I understand that there are many different kinds of families.  Perhaps the ones who travel here are more open to western ideas and that is why I have this image in my head that it is now more up to the children than it is up to the parents. 

I feel that his mother needs to give me a chance.  I am a very good person.  I am good for her son.  He says I am great for him, better than great.  She just will not open her eyes and give me the chance to show her who I am.  And he says he is too scared to make his mother angry. 

Yes, obey thy parents. She wants him to be happy, to live in Kuwait so she can be close to him and his future children and to be raised in a Muslim surrounding.  I am going to be able to give all of these things to him.  I am going to give all these things and more that she wants for him.  So why can't he choose me?

Family values are very important to me.  I want my children to be raised in Kuwait, to be surrounded by Islam.  In America they are having sex in high school and even younger.  They are smoking and drinking and doing drugs.  The influences put on my children in America will be so hard.  I want them to be raised in his culture, religion and with his family.  Of course I will teach my children right from wrong no matter where they are.  But it just won't be the same if it's not in the correct setting.

Hi there :)

I've been there too. It is VERY true that they obey their parents more than anything else in this world. Their FAMILY comes first, they are fully attached to their mothers. And I think if they marry non Kuwaiti girls they will lose their benefits that the gov't offers. But don't lose hope because a friend of mine married a  Kuwaiti guy and she is a Filipina. Her husbands family loved her. Give him time, if he truly loves you he will make it happen. Goodluck sister :)

firstly international_man you need to be a bit more careful with your words and their insinuations, "so called boyfriend" and asking about their intimate life, not cool man.

secondly, congratulations on finding your soul mate. let me give you a run down of some things:

1) Kuwait is a TRIBAL country - i.e. it is made up of families, families know each other very, very well and as someone said previously, they have their own ranking system, ask to see your future-husbands passport, there'll be a number assigned to their Kuwaiti-dom. so, Kuwaiti mothers are very interested in maintaining mathematics.

2) In addition to the above, Kuwaitis marry Kuwaitis for a myriad of financial benefits including loans from the state, housing etc. altho this alone is not reason enough, for some it is more than enough.

3) You speak volumes of yourself in your embracing of Islam, peace be upon you sister for such a decision :) so in the end i believe it boils down to the mother not wanting her son to marry you because of purposed ideas regarding where you come from, i will elaborate more in a private message but you get the gist of what i am trying to say.

In Islam, it is obligatory to listen to your parents, to care for them in old age, to not say "uff" to them etc. you are allowed to disagree with them on one thing tho, and that is if they are trying to get you to do something against your religion. now, marriage in Islam is what is called "kimalet deen" or completing of religion, and in the end it is only up to your future husband to decide whom he wants to marry, it is HIS life, not his mothers.

now, believe me when i say i speak from experience, the nationalities may be different, but where there is a will, there is a way. fathers can sway mothers opinions (if the father is around).

you are not the first American to marry a Kuwaiti, nor will you be the last. Down the line it is possible for you to also acquire the Kuwaiti passport, couple of years in, i think its grade 9 or something.

all he needs to do is convince her of your character, and maybe you should try meeting her, take a vacation here etc.

In the end, it is not the end of the world, the most important thing is that he supports this. I know Kuwaitis living abroad (went ot school with them here) who have married abroad and do not even collect their unemployment benefits from the state as they feel they are not entitled to it, they wish to build themselves by themselves. ensure that your hubby-to-be is of the same mettle - unfortunately i also am aware of stories with Kuwaitis wanting to marry Kuwaitis who were refused because the parents did not accept, however the son in this case gave in to the parents wishes.

just make absolutely sure he is the one, and go for it.

Where do I start? First off, as an American who was married to a Kuwaiti and most of my American friends are/were married to Kuwaitis as well. As my friend learned the Kuwaiti guy currently acts like himself but once he reaches Kuwait his whole attitude changes. Once he is here he has the family pressure as well as what other people think of him pressure to deal with. Of course his mother wants him to marry a Kuwaitiya as he will get 6000KD for the marriage plus other benefits he won't get when marrying a foreigner.

Second, have you ever been outside of the USA? Do you think you can handle the pressures of living in a foreign country far away from your family. Yes, he will tell you everything will be rainbows and you will be able to visit your family, but things change once you have that ring on your finger. Once you get here you are pretty much his property and you can't make any decisions on your own. I would suggest visiting Kuwait before you up and leave.

Third, if you ever get divorced you will more than likely not be able to leave this place with your future kids. You can't even renew their American passports without his permission. If he is Shia you automatically lose your kids in divorce. If you have any detailed questions feel free to email me ***
There is a lot more that goes on than meets the eye here as a Western female married to a Kuwaiti and as for getting Kuwait nationality, don't count on it coming anytime soon after being married, it's in his hands if he wants to apply for it or not and it may take up to 10 years to get it if you are lucky.

Legacy,

Thank you so much for your post. It is very insightful.

1. My family has no rank.  She does not know my family.  She is judging me because of where I come from.  It is my goal to show her who I am.  And I am proud of who I am and where I am going in life and I believe if she knew me she would be too.

2. I know these financial and other benefits are great.  But they are not worth more than happiness. I am willing to work harder to have that happiness and I believe he is too.

3. Thank you, peace be upon you my friend

He absolutely is the one and I am definitely going for it! :) Thank you

Kuwait411,

It is nice to hear from from an American's point of view.  But I know what kind of person this man is.  I wouldn't be fighting so hard for him if I wasn't completely sure that this was what I wanted.  He wouldn't be the only one making changes because of pressure from his family, I would be making changes for them as well... because I want to.

I wouldn't be far away from my family because we would have our own family. And with technology now they are just a click away if I do need to talk or see anyone.  But I want to stress my point that HE will be my family.  I will be his wife, I will be his parents daughter, and I will be his children's mother and that is all I need or want.

I wouldn't have to worry about divorce or what would happen to our future kids because divorce is not in my vocabulary with him.  We will be married forever.  Our children will be our children forever.  And it would not matter how long it takes to get citizenship there because I have all the time in the world, since I will be there forever. :) Thanks

legacy :

firstly international_man you need to be a bit more careful with your words and their insinuations, "so called boyfriend" and asking about their intimate life, not cool man.

You sometimes need to be honest, especially when feelings of other people is involved.

"so called boyfriend" simply because it's not a term we ever use in our society. Let me ask you this question Sir:

Do you agree that if they get married (and I personally really hope the do), he will never ever tell anybody that his wife used to be his girlfriend? Do you agree that this is going to be his top secret? He will have to show everybody that he only had a close friendship or love relationship before they decided to get married. His family and friends should never ever know she was a girlfriend. This will badly impact her image in their minds which he will not stand.

Do you now understand where i'm coming from?

Wow! You are living in a fairy tale so it doesn't matter what anyone suggests, you will still look at your situation thru rose colored glasses.  Good luck is the only thing I can say.

Go ahead and ask him to marry you in Kuwait, it is easier and make sure you bring your clearance (you do not have any problem in police records) from your country stamped by Kuwaiti's embassy over there.
Bonne chance !

Okay, so I was googling something and somehow got to this topic. After readying the replies I had to make an account to answer as best as I can as a Kuwaiti.

First of all, im really happy for you and really hope this works out. One of the main and biggest problem with marrying non-Kuwaitis here is family. Parents wants their kids to marry people with similar family-names ranking or even bigger. Its a problem even when marrying another Kuwaiti. This is becoming less of a problem with time but it is still one. A friend of mine met an English lady while studying there and he was faced with the same problem. Go against my family or lose the love of my life. It took a lot of time (and a lot of fighting) but his family came through at the end and they got married. So what im trying to say is that it is possible but it wont be a smooth ride there. So keep trying.

Also to the guy saying Kuwaitis wont admit that they were bf/gf before marriage, why not? A lot if not most of my married friends were in an intimate relationship with their SO before marriage. They wont go into the details of their sexual life (Some do but thats not the point lol) but it is known that they had one.

If you have any other questions please let me know. Ohh also, another problem for families is marrying into another religion but you already converted so I didn't mention it above.

1000% agree with "kuwait411"... very well said..  visit Kuwait for once to know how Kuwait really is...

My dear friend
you need to think that once you are married with a Kuwaiti man , you will be married to his family too,the concept of a family here does not include privacy or following your will , also since you are a Muslim woman , you should remember that as a woman in Kuwait your rights are base on the sharia law , the  rights over your children in case of a divorce , are totally different in Kuwait than  in America , here the children belong to the father not to the Mother ,you are not allow to leave the country with them , also you are not entitle to any property or  money unless is the money you have worked for or your personal money .
Also if your husband want to take a second or third or fourth wife you can't  complain because those are the rights for a man under the sharia law , the influence of the women in particular sisters or mother are very important , mother will find the second or what ever number of wife's he can afford . To divorce is very simple , you can't divorce unless you have a real motive and a lawyer to defend your rights ,but men can divorce  just to tell you 3 times I divorce you.
If you really love him , maybe you can accept this differences , because if you are a real Muslim woman you should be submissive ,and humble and have to accepts the husbands decisions without questioning , all this rights for men , and duties for women are part of  the sharia Law and that is Gods law .
Good luck!

Hi so emotional your story. I would advise you both visit his parent and family in Kuwait for you to show them your love for their son and your accomodative nature and that could go a very long way to make them change their minds. Pray strongly too about it and all will be well. Good luck

hey, american woman, as an Arabic girl i want to tell you don't do it, Kuwaiti guys are not loyal and you will get divorced sooner or later dear. it's up 2 and this is my advice.

I you can an honest man honestly its good.But I don't think kuwait man can marry a
an American woman

Hey there. Are you still looking for help or did it sord out

I understand that this is somewhat an old post.
Any updates? (hopefully you guys have gotten married!)

He truly does love you! I'm so happy for you. The thing about us Kuwaitis like some one said the Kuwaiti mom is boss but all you need is patience! She will accept it at a later point, even if not.. you didn't do anything wrong at all.

Good luck!  :)

Hi there,
Im an Asian Christian and a Kuwaiti Muslim man wants to marry me as his second wife.
He says he is deeply in love with me and doesnt mind me being a Christian as he is allowed to marry people from the book.
He says that he is not in love with his first wife and they have problems and he will sort the issue to get the agreement on our marriage.
He is all that i want in a man.
But im afraid that it would not work out.
Please advice.

Hi there,
Im an Asian Christian and a Kuwaiti Muslim man wants to marry me as his second wife.
He says he is deeply in love with me and doesnt mind me being a Christian as he is allowed to marry people from the book.
He says that he is not in love with his first wife and they have problems and he will sort the issue to get the agreement on our marriage.
He is all that i want in a man.
But im afraid that it would not work out.
Please advice.

Kuwait411 is the best person to talk too in this situation. I think you should seriously consider hearing this persons' point of view based on experience. I wish you all the best and see you think of this as a love conquers all but please get the true facts before you move forward. If the family is against you it is possible that after marriage you will be nothing you thought you were going to be or want, example, wifey, dreamy love and the ultimate. That could change instantly once you arrive. Best Wishes!

I know what you are saying but they don't understand the culture of our home....

Saudis,Kuwaitis,qataris,emaratis,bahrains and Omanis arebmore to married their own women or either one from this list.

Saudigirl95 :

Saudis,Kuwaitis,qataris,emaratis,bahrains and Omanis arebmore to married their own women or either one from this list.

If he likes her he will be with her regardless of nationality, and if his family loves him they will accept her. I'm Emirati and my fiance is Mexican, we're from different countries but we love eachother and my family loves her.

It depends on the family some of the family like mine are very traditional and even some of us are not allow to married no one accept are family good for you but wouldn't be difficult for you to be with someone who's different then you? I learn that in the hard way I was in love with a kuwaiti guy and he also came from a really traditional family he ask for my hand and all that happen was that we both got separated our family's make us do that I'm just saying for her the way it sounds it's very difficult and I'm just being realistic to what's happening in her situation I'm not trying to be mean

Plane and simple, recipe for ANY successful relationship must be base on Respact, trust,  communication/ understanding and lastly love. However love it self can't bring happiness nor is enough to build on a marriage or relationship if it lack the other elements.  Nevertheless, cultural factors in particular in this part of the world, Middle East  been the A biggest factor for most unsuccessful intercultural marriage, Not to mention the issue of gender inequality quality.

FaiAlShamsi :

If he likes her he will be with her regardless of nationality, and if his family loves him they will accept her. I'm Emirati and my fiance is Mexican, we're from different countries but we love eachother and my family loves her.

Very true ❤ I'm Mexican and my husband is also Khaleeji. His family is very traditional but they accepted me after they realized he loves me

I would say it's completely on him, if he can dare to love you, then he should dare to marry you, else his intentions are questionable. Did he ask his mother before loving you? I suppose not. I would suggest you to rethink on the marriage prospect and think on wider prospective and think wrt long terms.

Best Wishes, may Allah be with you.

This  lady converted to his religion because of him , this man has to marry with her. In any conditions

I was in similar situation too.
But I moved to Kuwait, we were living 6 months together. He came home to me many times upset because of his family.
He tried to show them that there is allowed to marry a Christian if they are believers and if they changed their religion to Muslim. They were fighting because of me. I felt very bad about that. He wanted to introduce me to his mom but she wasn’t ready. Well I can say that she didn’t want to met me because I’m European, white and not Muslim.
A week before my flight to Slovenia he came to me almost crying, asking me if it’s possible to live without family etc. I cheer him up, to not say that and everything will be okay, that his family loves him. But I felt that they were fighting because he have to get married. So his mom wants to arrange a wedding for him and I’m not good enough even if she never met me.
He had big pressure because of the family and we had to end it.
I believe his mom is good women but I can’t understand why she doesn’t want for his son to marry the person he love. She knew that he love me. I also don’t understand why she don’t remember the situation when her husband decided to marry second wife and that she didn’t like that and she divorced him.
He was trying a lot but I can’t understand why he stopped being strong enough. We were together 1 year and half, it was the most beautiful time of my life and now all this break me.
Being judged by religion, skin colour, nationality is not nice, I’m just a human, I didn’t kill anyone, I didn’t steal from anyone etc., I’m just women who love Arab guy.
I don’t know what happened with you two.
In my situation I’m still hoping that he will call me and tell me that he fixed the situation with his family.
Life is not easy.

You are a good woman , if his family saw you they  maybe liked you, but unfortunately this is their culture  , they don't want that their son and girl get married with non Arab people. While This is not Islamic culture .

Islam encouraged  a race get married with other race. It is good for your generation. But some of Muslim don't obey Islamic orders.

I think your mistake was, what you inlove with him and believe.I guess you young, if not, mean so romantic.Because it's very rarely what Arab man will go against family and his Mom. She doesn't like for her poor mentality.Just doesn't assept.
Some our Ukrainian girls met Kuwaiti here, but they immediately honestly said, what will not marry because of family.
Your boy, I guess try to fight, but loos.Even he will suffer he will assept his mom decision.Already he assept.So just forget him, and stop suffer.Try not think, try use all methods to forget even if nessasary go to physicalogist.No contact him.No wait him.Just live.Time will fix it.You will meet other in future .Who will love you enough, and will not pay attention to other.

I know this is 4 years later and I just want to know what happened? Did you all get married? It's just you seem very nice and reading your story I just hope things will work out for you. But know one thing true Muslims keep their faith in Allah no matter what happens in their life. I hope that you chose Islam because you truly believe in Islam, may Allah guide you to the true path and happiness in life and thereafter

Hello,
It’s been a while since you posted this. I hope all went well.

I am a Kuwaiti that married an American girl after being together there while i was studying.

Families here always have the worst case scenario in mind, they think you’re gonna get bored and take the kids and leave 😂! Well that was the case with my fam.

But If he really loves you and is raised well he should be able to convince them.

Another thing, Islam doesn’t tell the person to follow his parents blindly. I mean he is trying to marry a girl that have converted and that understands his way of life. In other words it’s something pleasing to God.
On the contrary, meeting a girl and leaving her just because the parents are a bit stubborn! Let him ask his parents “what would god think of me if I just leave her for no good reason other than you guys are worried about a future that you can never predict!”
How many “Traditional” weddings fail here? It’s probably 7/10

In my case nothing really changed. He’s just saying that at the moment is not possible and he’s planning to see me. Only god knows what is gonna happen.

I agree about everything you wrote.

And about divorces in Kuwait...ya 'iilahi! Oh my god! What’s the point of arrange wedding and wedding without love or connection? To end up divorced? Or to cheat? How they are not shamed of this?

As European girl I felt so judged by Kuwaiti people, special females.

And congrats for your marriage, I wish you all the best and happiness.

Find someone else who will accept you and love you wholeheartedly.

Unlikely in the West, we too have dos and don't for marrying an outsiderrr... believe me as an Italian American and Proud... it ain't easy having to deal with an foreing err marriages and it's not so easy to convince ....our FAMILY ....acceptance of other religions!!!.. As we Christian believers.....one more thing you have watched too many Hollywood movies in retrospect to your repetitive"Boyfriend" scam  since this poor girl wants to marry this guy!?!.....Oh yeah not having lived the Life abroadliving  outside of ur country,  does not and will not give you the rights  to speculate on culture religion etc awareness!of others
And that's my piece of advice dude!

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