Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
UmmSqueakster

Tips to help your SO adjust

207 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

So, for those of us who have already gone through the (possibley painful) adjustment period after our significan others arrive in the United States, I think it would be beneficial to create a list of tried and true tips for those sistas out there who haven't gone through it yet. These can be cultural and/or religious in origin, or just helpful tips for when you go from living alone to sharing your space

Here are some of mine:

*Have some food from home readily available if possible

I stocked the cupboards with cans of foul and had the round bread popular across the ME/NA.

That softened the blow of odd things like tuna sandwiches and frozen pizza a bit

*Make space for him.

He might not come with a lot of stuff, but make sure there's a spot on the bookshelf for him,

room in the closet and in the drawers

*Watering can in the bathroom

At least from what I'm aware of, many people from the ME/NA region don't feel comfortable using just toilet paper. Putting a watering can in the bathroom will allow easy access at that certain time. Also, there are several bidet attachments availble that can be fit on american toilets.

*If he makes salat (ie muslim daily prayer), find the direction of prayer (usually NE) and get a printout of prayer times for your area.

The direction of prayer in North America is generally North East. Buying a cheap qiblah compass will help to find the exact direction.

Prayer times differ by location. Put your zipcode into Islamic Finder and you'll get a page that will list prayer times for the day, a link to a monthly prayer times chart, and a list of muslim businesses in the area, which may provide you info on where to find home food. Islamic finder also has a athan 3.0 program that you can download onto the computer. This program will calculate prayer times for your area and call the athan (call to prayer) on your computer.

Ask him if he has room to bring a prayer rug in his suitcase. Since he has limited room, offer to buy him one so he has more room to bring other stuff.


10/14/05 - married AbuS in the US lovehusband.gif

02/23/08 - Filed for removal of conditions.

Sometime in 2008 - Received 10 year GC. Almost done with USCIS for life inshaAllah! Huzzah!

12/07/08 - Adopted the fuzzy feline love of my life, my Squeaky baby th_catcrazy.gif

02/23/09 - Apply for citizenship

06/15/09 - Citizenship interview

07/15/09 - Citizenship ceremony. Alhamdulilah, the US now has another american muslim!

irhal.jpg

online rihla - on the path of the Beloved with a fat cat as a copilot

These comments, information and photos may not be reused, reposted, or republished anywhere without express written permission from UmmSqueakster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great idea, Rahma. I have concerns with this and have been wracking my brains on what to do to make his adjustment as easy as possible.

I would put at the top of that list... Begin discussing this even before he travels. I know that Mohammed has not arrived here yet but I've been thinking hard on this for a long time.

I have some of our things that he sent back with me. One in particular is an ancient Egyptian picture on faux papyrus that he bought for "our room" when we were together. It's now situated on my bedroom wall and makes it seem like "home" to me. I know it will for him too.

I have sent him pictures of our apartment so it will seem somewhat familiar when he opens the door the first time.

One other thought I had. Printing out on good 8 x 10 photo quality paper some of the photos taken in Egypt. I will frame them and place a few around the apartment so he can have little windows back to Egypt any time he wants. He's arguing with me that he doesn't want to remember, but I know he'll change his tune. We both adore ancient Egyptian culture, so I will hang the pyramids and the Sphynx first, but keep a few of the colorful streets from his hometown in the closet to hang when he gets homesick. I also have a special one of his mother (god rest her soul) waiting for him too.

The prayer rug is already situated on the floor just waiting for his to go next to it.

I learned to make mahshy. Food is definitely important (at least to Mr. Bottomless Pit it is) although he's already a big pizza eater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents did lots of little things that helped more with independence rather than long-term adjustment.

They printed out a big map of the immediate area that he could walk/bike ride too, including places he could run. Highlighted the bank, library, grocery store, mosque, etc. I hung it in our kitchen. (they blew up the pages from mapquest and taped them together).

They attached a quarter, dime, nickle, penny on a small piece of cardstock and laminated over the coins and wrote its value and it equivalent to a dollar. It was wallet size, so he could carry it for easy reference.

They typed up helpful phone numbers and laminated this for his wallet too.

My stepdad took him on the bus, metro and light rail shortly after he arrived, and took him to the transit station to get maps of all the routes. This was HUGE in making my husband feel comfortable navigating the public transportation system himself.

My parents gave him a stock of phonecards.

Explain 911. Explain sales tax. If they only have a dollar and something costs a dollar, they won't have enough.

It is so important to give them their own space, especially a clean spot to pray if they pray. If you have other household members, explain to them the importance of not disturbing him, passing directly in front of him.

Edited by Bosco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have so much I could probably share, but I will need time. But one important thing is teaching about Pork and what it looks like and what it's in your your spouse can avoid it. Also when you go to a potluck or buffet make sure you are near them or someone you trust so they are comfortable. My husband still follows me around like a lost puppy to insure he doesn't mess up and pick up some pork by mistake.

I was glad someone mentioned teaching them about taxes because my husband tried to walk out once without paying after I thought I had explained it before. I had to go and make sure he was paid in full.

But my best advice is never assume you explained anything. They might not have understood or remember later. I had to beg my husband to stop me and ask me to keep explaining until he understood because when he first arrived he was so ashamed he didn't understand he would just say he did to avoid the embarrishment. Then he'd mess up and I'd feel like I failed him by not explaining it well enough. Bw patient with your spouse and give them time to learn everything one step at a time. Plus when they come here for a week or too they will most likely act like Zombies because they are out of their environment, this is common.

If you are stressed over other life issues please try your best to not let them keep you from being patient and good with your spouse. Do anything you can to be good to your spouse to make them know they are safe and that they can take as long as they need to become comfortable, learn how things work and to be comfortable asking you questions. I probably had situations that was not common for most of you when your spouse finally arrives but if you do this your husband will be happier. One of my problems when my husband finally arrived, was it was during Father's last days with his illness. But the good part was my husband got to know him and was a blessing because he was so helpful with my Father. I think since my husband couldn't work when he first arrived the help he gave my Father helped give my husband worth and confidence that he still knew that was good no matter where you are. So give your spouse something to do that you know he can do without problems to reconfirm his confidence.

I was bad and didn't get Moroccan food for my husband and he hasn't had any since arriving and he acts very happy with it. He's been introduced carefully to a lot of things I know he would enjoy, especially desserts and now I think I've ruined him and he claims he might not survive long in Morocco. I carefully introduced him to foods I knew he would like a lot, so he would realize there was a lot of good foods so he didn't have to worry. He was shocked how similiar some foods are to Moroccan foods. Plus before he came I told him there are a lot of "Fat Americans, the food can't be bad" to relax him before he came. But the truth is he still worried and he had to try the foods to really believe. But now I worry when his family comes for visits how I can send them home after they the desserts. I will have to come up with written recipes for them and mail more stuff to them. I already mail his Mother sugar free candy and splenda and stuff they can't get their that is better for them. But they have been taught how to make Deviled eggs which they loved because it's so easy and they couldn't believe they hadn't thought of that since they eat a lot of boiled eggs, lol.

Well I have to run but I am sure if you prepare all you can your spouse will appreciate whatever you do and be more comfortable because of it.

Paula

P.S. Another thing I did was to make sure my husband had access to a computer or phone whenever he wanted so he stays in contact with his family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with the own spot idea. My husband has a room that has become his "man town". Its his, he plays bass, has a tv and dvd, playstation (i know i know), guitar, amp, and his laptop. There is a bed and its his chill out space. I think it really helps to have your own little area.

Oh another thing. Find a place that has good bread. thats a huge deal. We found a portugese bakery that has awesome bread.


Sarah and Otman

Naturalization interview: August 25th

Oath Ceremony: September 17th!!! woo hoo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I'm ready! I've been ready! :D I've had one part of my cupboard full of food that I know he loves that I got from the international food store and I have the bread in the freezer. I put the bidet in a few month ago. I cleaned out my closest months ago and I have a dresser I emptied that is just for him. Of course I've bought a few things for him that I've already put in the dresser. :D I went crazy on buying winter clothes when they went on sale and I went a bit crazy when the spring clothes went on sale. :blush: He tells me that he won't need to bring any clothes when he comes here because I already have everything. I even got him an electric razor. He was saying how much he wanted one so that will be a little extra when he gets here. I do have a lot of pictures of Egypt up on my walls too Jean. Khallid says he does not want to remember Egypt when he is here also. The prayer rug is ordered and should be here soon. Only thing missing? My man.

Edited by Aymerlu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are some awesome ideas! I hope you guys keep them coming. The bidet will be ordered after next week. I want to buy clothes for him, he says NO WAIT. I think he's right. He should pick out what he likes and I don't want to "over mother". The currency reference cards are a fantastic idea. Figuring out the public transportation is too. He's so adventurous that I want him to feel free to go as he likes. My 9 year old has already stepped up and volunteered to teach him currency and also spelling. Mohammed just giggles when he hears this and I think he's eager to sit with him. In trade he'll give guitar lessons and teach the boys hierography. They've already got this all worked out. Again, I'm so thankful for all those months in Egypt so I have a better handle on what he needs to know here. Please God, just issue the visa SOON...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I planted several mint plants so we will have plenty for tea when he gets here.

I emptied out half of the closet for him

I bought him "men's" soap and shampoo so he doesn't have to smell like flowers. (who wouldn't!?)

I put up pictures of us in Morocco in our bedroom.

I started practicing sleeping in the corner because I know how much he hates it haha.

I bought us tickets to see Ben Harper who he has dreamed about seeing for years in concert.

I've pretty much been cleaning like a madwoman in the past few days before he comes....

Any other suggestions?

Good thread Rahma!

Sarah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh Sarah..

awsome idea about Ben Harper...we are going in September to see him in Boston!

If Hicham is into music...try to see as much as you can. If there is a club or cafe or someplace thats nice it would be good for him to go for a while with you then after a while he may feel comfortable to go alone. (Othmane now has an eclectic group of guys that he plays pool with, ranging from a 70 year old maison to a 22 year old swinger from dominican republic). . its great for his independence.

which i know you know...im just rambling.

um...if Hicham plays music get him into lessons...or if he is interested.

You dont have that much longer until he is here right?

Oh my goodness you must be pumped.

let the butterflies enter the stomach.

Rock out,

Sarah


Sarah and Otman

Naturalization interview: August 25th

Oath Ceremony: September 17th!!! woo hoo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Sarah!

Yes I'm so excited.

Hicham loves playing the guitar and he is pretty good. He isn't bringing his guitar but I have a new one here for him. I will definitely take him to as many concerts and clubs with bands as I can I know he is going to love it. I seriously think that Hicham is more excited to see this concert than anything else.

Thanks for the ideas!

I hope you two are well and I love your pictures!

Sarah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reading these lists (which are great, btw) and thinking to myself...are these husbands/fiances we're waiting for or have we adopted children? I've been thinking that since I started this process...it's like I'm adopting an orphan from overseas. Forgive me if that sounds rude or weird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...