Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Challenges

Who would have thought that getting along with each other's friends would be such a challenge?

His friends alternately bore, irritate or downright terrify me.

Then I started to notice that he and M - one of my two closest lifelong girlfriends and little LouLou's Mom - have been clashing a lot. They both try to be subtle about it - for my sake I guess - but there is tension. They clearly get on each other's nerves.

And now the icing on the cake, he's decided he doesn't want my male friends casually dropping in uninvited. He thinks I should meet them outside - unless we're having a party or something and we invite them.

It's not like I have single guys dropping by to see me all the time. Arab guys know not to do that with a married woman. But occasionally a group of friends which may include guys will drop by because they're in the area or something. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Kick all the guys out? Tell them they can't come to my house without an engraved invitation?

I'm trying to be reasonable here but really, what is his problem? I mean, I hate his friends but I don't notice myself banning them from the house. Is the concept of reciprocation utterly foreign to him or what?

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9 Comments:

Blogger doshar said...

ma3lesh, the M friend thing will sort itself out ISA lewa7daha.

as for your male friends... I do not think that is such an unreasonable thing. it is considered 3eib for alot of people that if a guy visits the house, the man of the house should be there. he wants them to feel that now that you are married it is different shewaya. i know it can be awkaward the way you tell it, but if they come in mixed groups, why don't you let the girls in on your husband's wish, so when they think of dropping by, the girls will be the ones who tell the guys :lets check if K mawgood el awwel. so they can break it to them that they can't just drop by. and I am sure most of the guys will totally understand, and none would be offended ISA.

Good luck

5/01/2007 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Hathor said...

Ha!!!
Middle eastern Macho minds..!

I'm sure that, if you try to convey to your husband that you don't mind that his female friends can drop by uninvited, won't bother you....Then, you might get the same treatment from his side... But from what I read in your previous post entitled "Red Bikini"..I'd rather think that you're the one who is more "possessive"....I think that everything would be fine in your relationship if both parties envolved accept each one's opposite "sex friends", if there is mutual "TRUST".

Anyway, LouLou, you have here a great blog ...& keep us updated about your life.
I wish all the Best in your life

5/01/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Perkunas said...

It would be nice if everybody had enough love and trust to eliminate all jealousy in all relationships.
There is plenty of love in the world -- people shouldn't have to worry about losing any.

5/02/2007 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger Alluring said...

You are so contradicting.

If it was the other way round, you would've been freaking out, fighting with him and leaving the house.

You want him to be OK with your male friends dropping by uninvited, even though i'm sure you wouldn't even consider thinking of allowing his female friends to drop by uninvited, that is if you're ok with him having female friends to start with.

It seems you want to be granted rights that you wont even consider granting, it's very obvious how jealous you are towards him.

It looks to me that you're trying very hard to be the man in the realtionship, but hey, this will doom your marriage on the long run.

Just my two cents.

5/02/2007 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Alluring,

He does have female friends. At least two of them have stayed at our place - at my invitation. And his male friends do feel free to drop in uninvited with their dates or their girlfriends.

I don't have a problem with his female friends. There aren't that many of them but the ones I met are nice girls. I DO have a problem with the kind of girls his male friends tend to date. But I never objected to their coming to our house because objecting is not really an option. In this culture, everyone drops in uninvited. If you tell people you want them to visit by invitation, you're perceived as stingy and inhospitable and no one will want to visit you anyway.

Jealousy - or lack thereof - is irrelevant here. If someone is in your house, they're your guest. You have to smile and cook for them and do everything you can to make them feel welcome. Doesn't matter if you hate them or you're jealous of them or they're your worst enemy. You never appear unwilling to receive anyone in your house. Never. If you actually catch them in bed with your spouse, you're authorized to shoot them dead but still not to kick them out of your house.:)

Personal feelings have nothing to do with social obligations. That's the way I was raised.

Now he may only been here for 2 or 3 years whereas I grew up here. There's a whole social network of family friends, neighbors and old schoolfriends, friends of siblings, in-laws etc... who view my house now as an extension of our house when I was living with my parents. They were all free to drop in when I was living at home so they expect to be free to drop in now.

Obviously, no Arab guy is going to come knocking on my door on his own. He wouldn't have done that when I was living at home either. But if he's with his mother or his sister or his girfriend or 2 or 3 female friends, he won't think about it twice. He WILL feel free to drop in.

That's not a situation I created because 'I want to be the man'. That's the culture and the social system I was born into. And if I do what he says it will cause serious offence and will be seriously embarrassing - for me and for my family.

If he prefers to be around when there are men in the house, then I can call him if he's not home and he will just have to make the effort to be there when we have guests. It doesn't happen that often anyway.

I think he understands that now.

5/03/2007 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Perkunas said...

Sounds very complicated and very stressful -- may you find the strength and wisdom you need to cope with so much impromptu social life.

5/04/2007 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger tooners said...

i find the whole being nice to someone, cooking for them and all that jazz, even when you hate them, to be a bunch of hogwash. and if ppl want to say i'm stingy and such because i want a call before they pop in, then so be it.

i can't stand when someone comes unannounced... i find it to be rude, unless it's the in-laws.

there are some that i can't stand here... and think if i had to spend a minute being nice or COOKING for them... well... i'd rather get sick.

but.. i have an excuse... i wasn't raised here, this isn't my culture and don't care if ppl call me a rude american.

5/08/2007 12:47:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

tooners,

When I was little, I remember my parents exchanging house visits with people they clearly couldn't stand. When I would ask why, the answer would be that this woman is an old schoolfriend of my mother's little sister back home and my mother's little sister was always welcome in their home so now we have to be nice to the woman and her family because we owe them a favor for my aunt's sake. Or that that man's niece is married to my cousin so we have to be nice to them for my cousin's sake. Or that some man's father helped my father get his first job. And so on and so forth etc....

Now it seems to have carried over an extra generation. I have my brother's best friend for example who was always like part of our family growing up.

Obviously, he doesn't expect to be as good friends with me or my husband as he is with my brother or to visit us everyday etc...But when there is occasion for a visit he doesn't expect that he has to call a week in advance. He considers himself family you see. He thinks making an appointment would be too formal and silly considering he's been dropping in at our house all his life.

I could tell him that I don't see him as a brother the way he sees me as a little sister. It would be the truth but it would hurt his feelings and offend him. And it would definitely upset my brother. Is it worth it? In the one year since we've been married, he's been to our house with his wife 3 times in total - only one of them was inconvenient.

Lots of reasons why you can't suddenly decide to disrupt old and complex family relationships on an individual whim.

And yes, it isn't always nice to have to cancel plans to go out or spend a quiet evening in because of unexpected guests.

But then again, when my husband got in trouble over the fight with that taxi driver, it was those contacts who helped us finally resolve the issue. When we were looking for an apartment, it took about 2 hrs to find exactly what we wanted within our budget, whereas others take months and pay thousands to real estate agencies. When I had my miscarriage, I didn't have to cook for weeks afterwards because of all the hot-plates they used to bring me everyday.

In conclusion, I guess I'm used to it. I'm used to knowing a lot of people who may not be important to me but who are important to people who are important to me. And that people support us and do favors for us and we support them and do favors back. And that if my brother is in someone's debt then so am I. And that all of these things exist on a different plane from my personal likes and dislikes.

I'm also used to the fact that if I tell most of the people I know, don't come here again unless you call first, they just won't bother to come. Ever.

And besides, how honest would it be to complain about people when I know that the minute I need something they can help with, I'll pick up the phone and call them? How far can you get living in the ME without having roots and connections anyway?

But anyway that's a different subject for a different post.

5/08/2007 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger tooners said...

loulou, i understand what you're saying and i see your points. i think it's different for me because i wasn't raised here and don't have all the roots. i have met women who are married to bahrainis and i'd never mind if they just dropped in or such.... and like ur brother's friend... i can understand him just coming by. but... there are certain ppl who irritate me and there as the ones that i wouldn't like to just drop by. usually they have motives and reasons that aren't nice... and i see thru it... which, when thinking about it, i would never mind if they thought i was rude if i told them to call me first and such and not having them come, ever, would be fine by me.

and like you say.. it is nice to have ppl/friends that you can call when you need something. there's nothing like that feeling. i have a couple of friends here that are like this and i know my husband's family would be here for anything, if we needed it, but sometimes .... i don't know... there's just a lot of stuff underneath that i don't like. and like you say... i won't go all into that. it's another post all together. ;)

but i do agree w/ your logic and the way you feel.

5/09/2007 06:15:00 PM  

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