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How do Saudis get married?

“You could do better”

That was what my sister kept repeating to me before I say “I do” to who is now my husband. 

I never listened to her. I thought she was jealous of me.

“You are going to regret your decision a big time!” She continues her warning session,

“You are illegible to give any advice about marriage. You are an unhappy wife and a miserable mom. How could you teach anyone to be happy when you’re stuck in a sad pathetic relationship” I fired back after I lost control over my nerves. 

She did not reply. She only looked at me with tearful eyes and broken smile, then whispered to herself:” that’s why I’m good in marriage counseling. I have experienced it all.”

My sister married a man she did not choose for herself. It was family arranged as in the case of most Saudi marriages.

Her whole marriage life is a nightmare.

Her husband belittles her. He disrespects her in public. He makes fun of her dreams to be a school mistresses and he actually forced her to leave her job. She eventually became dependent on him. Both emotionally and financially. He controlled her whole being, and she chooses to stay with him for the sake of the kids. 

I hated her life. I hated traditional marriage. So I decided to get married in my own way. I decided to fall in love. But how can that happen inside a conservative society like Saudi?

“Social media.” My friend answered, “it’s your only option. Even though It’s kinda distant relationship which sucks, but hey! That’s better than blind arranged marriages. Right!”

With the help of my friend, I set up an Instagram account and started to follow so many people. Some of whom were engineers, doctors, lawyers, and journalists. 

I was amazed to see how far can some girls go to get the attention of a guy there. Some guys were easier than others. While some others seemed more respectful and serious. I thought that was my type.

He was serious and hard to get. And I fell for that very part. He was followed by more than 80,000 followers. At first glance, It seemed hard to compete with the crowd of girls over there, but I knew how to win him over. While those girls talk about food, make up and beauty, I talked about sport, science and martial arts. I got his attention at hello!

Our relationship deepened. We started to talk about our personal lives. A lot. Things went very well and I was head over heels for him. Two months after that, he officially proposed. Despite all the odds and questions in my family about how he and I knew each other, I succeeded to convince them all that he is my ideal husband.

During our two-month-engagement, I discovered more about the man whom he actually is. The man who ridicules girls who wear red lipstick. Who makes fun of girls who eat cupcakes and other garnished things. The one who hates fashionistas with passion and hates anyone who follows them. He even hates girls who uses hearts emojis online for one another. He thinks all those are shallow interests a real woman should not be busy with.

To be his one and only, I became the opposite of all that which he criticized. In other words, I became a male version of myself. He liked what he saw, and so within two months we were married.

Our honeymoon was spent mostly between social media apps and female fans who would stop him everywhere we go to take photos. He seemed happy to be famous. I did not mind but I was unhappy with the attention he was given. To be more accurate, with how that attention made him feel.

The more spot light he had on him, the more superior he felt. This turned him more into a control freak. To avoid dead-end arguments, I would let it go. Every single time. 

What is the point of arguing with him anyway? He would always find an excuse for his rudeness. Almost every fight ends in me apologizing. He never does. 

As time passes, I became that submissive weak woman who has no will. No word. No opinion of her own. I became my sister.

It is too late to think about divorce now. We are expecting our first baby girl within 4 months. A girl who I hope will have my old spirit before marriage. A girl who I hope will be able to “do better” than her mom.



My name is Nor and I write from Saudi.

I like to dance, eat bagels and talk to complete strangers.

Stories published including this one are always someone else’s story. Each story represents real characters come from Saudi.

If you like this story, tell me. Hit “like” and leave a comment.

Have a look at my other posts as well. They are as interesting! 


Noor πŸ’š


36 thoughts on “How do Saudis get married?

    1. Thank you so much Almuraykhi for your comment. I love to collect people’s stories and write about them with the pronoun “I”. This will help disguising the real ID of the story hero. Thanks again! I wish to see your comments in my other posts as well!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I couldn’t agree more. having a baby will likely push them to one end of the spectrum; be it success and happiness, or just a total disaster in which divorce is likely best for both. I say that because hard times and having shared responsibility might rekindle their love once more. they just have to try to make things work out.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Having children does Not ever turn things around. The nature of this man would have to turn around and he isn’t capable of seeing his own faults. When”boy meets girl” they put on faces. When they are confident they have won who they are seeking then their true nature comes out. This is what she has found. Falling in love with a picture of a person, not knowing his -or her-true nature will most likely end in extreme disappointment. Baby or not, this will get worse, not better. Baby or not, unless she wants to resign to a life with a man who will only want to squash her like a bug, she needs to leave, before the baby is born our shell feel she can’t. This will never be a happy loving family. He will continue to need the aspiration of other people. She will never be enough for him. And she will never be able to grow into the woman she could be. He will never her. I am so sorry Noor. I hope you develop the strength to stand up for yourself. And stop apologizing to him! I know I came on strong here – but it’s the truth. You married him for the wrong reasons.


  1. Even though I have lived and worked in the Middle East, the cultural behaviour of Saudis in particular and Arabs in general is very difficult for me to understand.
    I sincerely hope your friend finds happiness, and even if that is not with her husband, I’m sure her baby will be a source of love and comfort for many years to come. Another excellent post

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I apologize. Y because I was that man, and there are so many of us. I can make excuses for my behavior but there are none. I never approached changing who I was our had become until critical velocity. I was forced to win my wife’s heart back and I resented it because I had changed hasn’t I. I had also killed pieces of her that she needed to be whole. I have had someone I loved ignore me while I tried desperately to gain their approval and became a version of myself that was not so I was. I had reciprocated the love of my wife with the behavior of a tyrant. An ungrateful mean and nasty unappreciative fool. When I feel irritated or there are flashes of anger I remind myself I created that hostility and I need to patiently continue to work to earn back that which I do not deserve. So I apologize to all women on planet earth who must deal with those of us who do not deserve you but need you desperately.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Part of the first step towards solving any problem, is to confess its existence. You are! Now, you may not win your woman back, you will not also heal the wounds you created in her, but you will sure win yourself back. You will win your own respect and be able to trust yourself again. It’s never easy, but it’s so much worth it!


  3. We are still together and thriving but the scars remain as vicious reminder of what a real life prince charming looks like. It is no fairy tale that aman who truly love his spouse must live himself first. If he loves himself he will respect his most valuable treasure as he should and not a replaceable commodity

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry for the woman in the story.

    Marrying someone is not reshaping oneself so that the other person will pay attention. The partner needs to pay attention on equal ground already with a full, open heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In some cases, children and marriage can change a man. Can make him a “dad” at heart. I hope this man wakes up before it’s too late.
      thanks alot for your comments. I really appreciate them.


  5. You are brave for writing… your a good writer…I wonder if he’s a narcissist? There are good videos about this… they claim a NARC can’t change because they are blind to themselves. Its hard when you are dependent upon a man and have a baby. If I may be so bold to advise….from experience of a similar marriage story…Your lovely and smart ….many men would value you …so go inward and feel your truth. God waits for us to clarify what we want..because he gave us free agency…we must ask…your desires are your life force, so clarify what you want and need to be do you need to be treated to feel loved? You are a daughter of God….hold your pretty head high, knowing God is with you and he answers diligent prayer. Prayer can also effect your husbands mindset

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The guy is an absolute narcissist who believes the whole world is supposed to feel grateful for his mere presence. Playing hard to get before marriage for men can indicate so many things, this was one of them. Thanks alot for your comments and your nice words. I appreciate them.


  6. You seen to have learned a lot through this. That is what we must do. We learn wisdom through the mistakes we make. We learn what cause and effect means – hopefully. Without mistakes, without making negative causes, we can’t learn how to do things a better way. In reading your replies, you understand, there is nothing that you can do to change his nature. Only he can do that. He has to recognize that for himself. If you tell him, he will resent you more because he will think, “How dare YOU tell me what I need to do”, because he already doesn’t think highly of you. Another thought, as your child grows, he will learn how to treat people based on what he sees in your relationship with his/her father. What do you want your child to learn? He will belittle you in front of the child. I agree, he is a narcisst. He loves himself too much to want to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sonniq, you’re one awesome reader! I love your comments and I think you have given sound advice to the hero of the story.
      This story is for someone I know. I will make sure to get her read those too.
      You’re absolutely right. Marriage is a mutual work. It can never work if only one partner is having all the work. Valuable feedback. Thanks a lot for stopping by! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think you might have more success to write your stories in third person rather than first person. It’ll help avoid confusion.
    Whether marrying by way of a matchmaker or through love, we always discover a lot more about the nature of a union after we get married. And then it’s work. We have to give up a little of our freedom and individuality in order to become part of the partnership. But this can give rise to true friendship, and that is a great source of happiness.
    Pleased to meet you Noor, and wishing you good look, good health, and much happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Shimonz, I write in the 1st person pronoun cuz I believe that it’s the closest to the reader. They feel connected in some how.
      I agree to your theory in marriage. Marriage has to be of mutual work and each partner should want to make the other as happy as they can.
      I’m glad you stopped by. Thanks for your words of encouragement.


  8. Loved reading this one specially from the collection of your blogs. Seriously, every girl needs to learn that SHE DOES NOT NEED TO CHANGE HERSELF FOR ANYONE. If someone is actually down for her, he’d accept her the way she is. It’s good that you share such stories that can be an eye opener for a lot of girls around. Keep going !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Each person on this earth deserves to be loved for who they really are. I mean people “develop” with time of course which is a kind of change, but that shouldn’t touch their core beliefs about themselves. Thanks for stopping by Afshan!


  9. You have such an amazing voice in your blog posts. It was very hard to read this one because, even though you said this is someone else’s story, it seems to still be reality for someone who is now trapped in a loveless marriage. I don’t know how these women survive – with their personalities destroyed and every aspect of their lives domineered and controlled by someone else. Isn’t it amazing how much attention has been given to the inequalities and human rights issues in other Middle Eastern countries but not as much about Saudi Arabia? Your insight and your courage in writing this blog is sure to touch many hearts and minds across the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so grateful for your words dear.
      Yes, so many women out there think they have to change “who they are” in order to marry happily. Ironically they are never happy. Neither are their husbands.
      When two people decide to belong with each other, they do so because they love who the other person is. Not other wise.
      I think I should write more about the subjects of relationships and marriage in Saudi. People seem to like that πŸ™‚
      Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello dear,
      The story is for another individual.
      Some women have that kind of hope that it’s too late to leave after investing so much on a relationship. They would secretly hope that he would change instead. That’s why they stick to that relationship.
      Thanks for passing by πŸ™‚ plz come more often 🌷


    1. Wow!
      I’m so proud of you and so glad you gathered your strength and courage to walk away from that unhappy life and create your own happiness dear!
      You’re strong and I am looking forward to reading more about your inspiring life story! πŸ™‚


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