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It's sad, it's complicated but true - avoid marrying Egyptians!

Reader comment on item: Advice to Non-Muslim Women against Marrying Muslim Men
in response to reader comment: Don't date Egyptian man

Submitted by Nicole (Australia), Jan 10, 2015 at 02:09

Yes comments do have to be careful not to label "all" into one category - however given my own experiences of living over there and being married to an Egyptian, I can safely say that (sadly) it is the majority who lie, cheat and are abusive. The men can be extremely jealous and really do change character after marriage. My husband was the most relaxed, easy-going, liberal and damn nice guy when i met him in Dubai. Never, ever once a wandering eye! We often went out drinking and had so much FUN together in general. I really couldn't fault him. Adventurous, attentive, romantic, smart, confident and supportive.

We moved to Egypt after more than a year of knowing each other. Marriage had been brought up many times by himself from after about 3 months into our relationship. (very early).

His family at first were against our marriage, but once they met me, changed their minds and were very accepting. I am fortunate that he has such a lovely family.

The changes started in Egypt. He would disappear with friends for hours and hours. Egyptian men can behave very much like teenagers. They ring each other every day, spending hours on the phone. Driving around in cars for hours - laughing drinking and or smoking pot with loud music blaring. This behaviour was with 30 year old men. Boredom is a major factor I noticed. No one has hobbies or does anything. Sports exist but the general population doesn't participate. Everything costs money.

I generally dressed covered up, but there were a few comments here and there "you're not wearing THAT are you?". He became severely jealous after seeing a hello and congrats on my marriage text from an ex boyfriend. All hell broke loose. The rules on relationships very much change once you are married along with what you can do, and who you can spend time with. In western countries a relationship develops into a marriage. In Egypt they don't get the chance to - they mostly have arranged marriages and it's very quick. How a man behaves with a girlfriend who is inevitably a westerner - as Egyptian girls are generally not allowed to have boyfriends - changes drastically to when he is married. There are so many rules, and everything changes. You are no longer the girlfriend but the "wife" - your importance is 10 fold, but so are the expectations on behaviour. The relationship cannot ever be the same - you are no longer girlfriend/boyfriend... you are married. I myself didn't understand the distinction. To Egyptian men it's very, very clear. Their expectations completely change. The fact that you were intimate with them before marriage is already a cause of distrust and disgust. (Even though you are the same couple - and they no doubt instigated the sex!!).

It took me a very long time to try and get my head around this.

Friends of the female are treated with much distrust - particularly if they are westerners and/or unmarried. Westerners are considered very loose and un-trustable. Egyptian men will spend hours upon hours discussing this with pure disgust... when in fact that is exactly what they are doing themselves in their own lives!! But they can't understand the irony of this. Even when explained directly to my husbands face, he didn't get that me texting friend was harmless and him going out and sleeping around was cheating!!! (because i got text 5 years ago from an ex - it was my fault he felt unloved and therefore slept around!!)

In Egypt men get away with a lot, most "incidents" are brushed under the carpet and forgiven. For a woman to do anything remotely similar is it almost punishable by death! It is highly unforgiveable. In the beginning of our marriage my husband often told me he had to right to kill me if I ever cheated on him. As i knew i never had any intention to - I just ignored those comments.

One time my husbands brother came over with his wife and her family for a discussion about whether they should divorce. Photos were handed around of the bruises my brother in law had inflicted on his wife. It was awful. I was expected to be on his side (blood sticks together). I just cried and left the room. I could never condone such behaviour.

My husband once hit me - punched me in the face. This was because one of the male teachers at the school where I was teaching sent a "Happy Valentines" message which said only that - to all of the staff.

My husband was aggressive and threatening on a number of occasions in Egypt - however it was infrequent. He wasn't game to do this once we moved to Australia.

Also once - I was locked in the family flat and not allowed to go out with my friends for dinner for my birthday. There was no reason for this. My husband just decided he didn't want me to go. His parents were home at the time, and allowed this to happen.

My friends were allowed upstairs for a while to try and talk sense of the situation. But he wouldn't budge.

There are always two sides to every story as many have commented but unless you have been in a relationship that is so toxic such as the ones described it's difficult to understand. Most of the time the females are doing nothing wrong. They are being just themselves. the problem is that the men change SO much in character - in particular once being married that it is like you are with a completely different person. They then expect you to become a completely different person - under their terms of course! They expect you to change your behaviour, your ideals and beliefs. Clashes occur because the cultural differences become so great and the jealously is so intense it suffocates. They check your phone, your email, you may be followed. As a female you are essentially stalked by your own husband who doesn't trust you. Any male in your life is a possible "affair" that you are having.

I was a slut, a bitch, a cheat, a whore - the devil. I was called every name under the sun when he was in a rage.

My husbands parents thought it was great that the was jealous - "it just means that he loves you!" they would say. It's crazy. It's draining. It's wrong.

I'm tired from writing this. The whole relationship was exhausting. But obviously there was love. It lasted 6 years - things broke down slowly along the way but them my husband said that I must become a muslim or it's over. It's over. In the last year of the relationship i discovered just how much he'd been cheating on me. I don't think he did the first couple of years. For the whole 6 years I was made to feel guilty about cheating on him. I never did once. However it still remained all my fault that he cheated. It's nice now to be free. I can now see my friends and relax in my life, and just be me. I can be liberal. Love and spend time with my gay friends, hang out with male friends, stay over at a girlfriend's place and be freely compassionate about causes other than "Palestine" !!

Mohamed was my best friend - but he also had an awful, unforgivable side. We remain friends. I will never understand his behaviour or logic.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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