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Henia

Love defined by culture

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Algeria
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Esalaam, Salut and Hello all

With all the misunderstanding and annoyances I have had during the last days and talking with some people on the concept of love and marriage... Hmmm love and marriage...go together like a horse and carriage... Married with Children theme song is playing now in my head ( o snaps im a werido)

So I was talking with a fellow VJer and she made me realise LOVE is defined differently in various countries... so today as we broke fast, I asked some of my Algerian female relatives (the young married ones) how do you know your husband loves you? And here is the asnwers I got:

I know my husband loves me cos...

he buys me gold

he buys beautiful clothes

he bought me a new wardrobe

etc..

the theme here seems to be material...Also my husband seems to ask me daily what do you want, what shall I bring, do you want that (when we are out) is this his way of showing love? I would much rather hear some kind lovey dovey words and hold hands while watching TV (or rather him watching TV, me staring at me) and/or we talking...

What are your thoughts ladies?>

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I hate to say this but those ladies sound just like the ones in Egypt. Sure I like gifts like anyone gal but I'm happy with simple gestures. A kiss on the forehead, a compliment about how I look or what I cooked, a sweet word, help cleaning up around the house, a shoulder to lean on when I'm feeling sad, etc. If my husband were to bring me flowers now and then I'd be thrilled. The simple things are what makes me happy in a marriage.

Edited by moody

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Algeria
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I hate to say this but those ladies sound just like the ones in Egypt. Sure I like gifts like anyone gal but I'm happy with simple gestures. A kiss on the forehead, a compliment about how I look or what I cooked, a sweet word, help cleaning up around the house, a shoulder to lean on when I'm feeling sad, etc. If my husband were to bring me flowers now and then I'd be thrilled. The simple things are what makes me happy in a marriage.

Yes me too, Kara... I donnow but when I was asking my female Algerian relatives their asnwers were making me confused... and my replies to them made them even more confused. One women actually told me, you should not let your husband get away with not buying you things. I saw your home, it is terrible. You need to be a good wife and get him to fix it "chebba" she said... which means beautiful. ((((rolling my eyes now)))) ...mind you this came from a women who was giving me the evil eye all during my wedding and later I found out she is the second wife of her husband... and only married with him cos her family didnt want anyone to know she was messing around with him... Hmmm a new way to nag a husband, I guess... :lol:

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You know some women get jealous so they try to get you to fight with your husband. That's why they tell you to ask for more things. Then they can laugh about the fight you get into with him over it. My aunt in law tried to do that to me in Egypt but I caught on real quick. I've noticed that ME/NA women tend to be far more jealous than Western women. I'm not saying ALL I'm just saying that it's more common.

Edited by moody

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Algeria
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I hate to say this but those ladies sound just like the ones in Egypt. Sure I like gifts like anyone gal but I'm happy with simple gestures. A kiss on the forehead, a compliment about how I look or what I cooked, a sweet word, help cleaning up around the house, a shoulder to lean on when I'm feeling sad, etc. If my husband were to bring me flowers now and then I'd be thrilled. The simple things are what makes me happy in a marriage.

Yes me too, Kara... I donnow but when I was asking my female Algerian relatives their asnwers were making me confused... and my replies to them made them even more confused. One women actually told me, you should not let your husband get away with not buying you things. I saw your home, it is terrible. You need to be a good wife and get him to fix it "chebba" she said... which means beautiful. ((((rolling my eyes now)))) ...mind you this came from a women who was giving me the evil eye all during my wedding and later I found out she is the second wife of her husband... and only married with him cos her family didnt want anyone to know she was messing around with him... Hmmm a new way to nag a husband, I guess... :lol:

wow henia.. that is an interesting experience. i myself had noticed some of those qualities in the women there but not as extreme as this woman. sounds like she is a little off the wall..... i am glad u are having a great time there. i really enjoyed algeria and wished i could have stayed longer. i love the bread and the olives! they have the best black olives! the oranges and banannas were so fresh. it i amazing what food tastes like without all the chemicals in it LOL have you tried the tuna from the med. sea yet? i had it in a salad with some vinagarette and it was very good. another thing i tried was algerian cous cous :) i didnt care too much for the meat, but the sauce over the cous cous was great. ok off to do some laundry now. i am still trying to get all my homework done and get everythnig ready. i have less than a week before my baby gets here :)


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Filed: Country: Jordan
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Personally myself. I would be uncomfortable asking my sister in laws that question. Especially if they are arab they are not as willing to be very personal with you unless they really know you. So I can see why you got those responses. My own person experience I can see how my brother in law loves his wife and how my sister in law's husband loves her just by watching them interact with each other.

I think it's natural that your husband asks you if you want something. He's only being kind and trying to see to your needs. It's like my in laws they are always asking me if i need or want anything. My husband does it also and I do likewise. Remember you are newlyweds and you are in a foreign country. He wants to make sure you are safe and all your needs are met. I don't konw about other arab countries but Jordan is really big on hospitality but in the same time they are very private people. He also maybe shy to show affection to you or the way you want it. Remember arab men are very proud and strong men, they don't like to show signs of weakness in front of others. You just have to show patience and realize that maybe he really doesn't know how to show his affection yet.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Algeria
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You know some women get jealous so they try to get you to fight with your husband. That's why they tell you to ask for more things. Then they can laugh about the fight you get into with him over it. My aunt in law tried to do that to me in Egypt but I caught on real quick. I've noticed that ME/NA women tend to be far more jealous than Western women. I'm not saying ALL I'm just saying that it's more common.

Yes I have noticed that too, also my husband and his aunts have talked to about this. And believe me I felt the evil eye all during my wedding :lol: Dude here, the women have no shame asking me the most intimate questions...one has even asked me things about my martial life with my husband... I told her is haraam to speak on and even if it wasn't I would not speak on that... she replied...in Algerie we do that... Hmmm seems in Algerie islamic law does not apply :lol:

I hate to say this but those ladies sound just like the ones in Egypt. Sure I like gifts like anyone gal but I'm happy with simple gestures. A kiss on the forehead, a compliment about how I look or what I cooked, a sweet word, help cleaning up around the house, a shoulder to lean on when I'm feeling sad, etc. If my husband were to bring me flowers now and then I'd be thrilled. The simple things are what makes me happy in a marriage.

Yes me too, Kara... I donnow but when I was asking my female Algerian relatives their asnwers were making me confused... and my replies to them made them even more confused. One women actually told me, you should not let your husband get away with not buying you things. I saw your home, it is terrible. You need to be a good wife and get him to fix it "chebba" she said... which means beautiful. ((((rolling my eyes now)))) ...mind you this came from a women who was giving me the evil eye all during my wedding and later I found out she is the second wife of her husband... and only married with him cos her family didnt want anyone to know she was messing around with him... Hmmm a new way to nag a husband, I guess... :lol:

wow henia.. that is an interesting experience. i myself had noticed some of those qualities in the women there but not as extreme as this woman. sounds like she is a little off the wall..... i am glad u are having a great time there. i really enjoyed algeria and wished i could have stayed longer. i love the bread and the olives! they have the best black olives! the oranges and banannas were so fresh. it i amazing what food tastes like without all the chemicals in it LOL have you tried the tuna from the med. sea yet? i had it in a salad with some vinagarette and it was very good. another thing i tried was algerian cous cous :) i didnt care too much for the meat, but the sauce over the cous cous was great. ok off to do some laundry now. i am still trying to get all my homework done and get everythnig ready. i have less than a week before my baby gets here :)

Yes Shannon, all the seafood I have eaten here is the best. Also the olives and oranges. I do not care much for the sweets here, esp their "flan" and baklawa. I like the couscous, esp with a red sauce. Their bread depending what type you get... is all good. I prefer the semolina round loafs rather then the baguettes... and hmmm where can you get a loaf of fresh bread for about 8cents? :lol:
Personally myself. I would be uncomfortable asking my sister in laws that question. Especially if they are arab they are not as willing to be very personal with you unless they really know you. So I can see why you got those responses. My own person experience I can see how my brother in law loves his wife and how my sister in law's husband loves her just by watching them interact with each other.

I think it's natural that your husband asks you if you want something. He's only being kind and trying to see to your needs. It's like my in laws they are always asking me if i need or want anything. My husband does it also and I do likewise. Remember you are newlyweds and you are in a foreign country. He wants to make sure you are safe and all your needs are met. I don't konw about other arab countries but Jordan is really big on hospitality but in the same time they are very private people. He also maybe shy to show affection to you or the way you want it. Remember arab men are very proud and strong men, they don't like to show signs of weakness in front of others. You just have to show patience and realize that maybe he really doesn't know how to show his affection yet.

Hmm you may be right Angel... I am thinking to not go by what he says but his body language

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Personally myself. I would be uncomfortable asking my sister in laws that question. Especially if they are arab they are not as willing to be very personal with you unless they really know you. So I can see why you got those responses. My own person experience I can see how my brother in law loves his wife and how my sister in law's husband loves her just by watching them interact with each other.

I think it's natural that your husband asks you if you want something. He's only being kind and trying to see to your needs. It's like my in laws they are always asking me if i need or want anything. My husband does it also and I do likewise. Remember you are newlyweds and you are in a foreign country. He wants to make sure you are safe and all your needs are met. I don't konw about other arab countries but Jordan is really big on hospitality but in the same time they are very private people. He also maybe shy to show affection to you or the way you want it. Remember arab men are very proud and strong men, they don't like to show signs of weakness in front of others. You just have to show patience and realize that maybe he really doesn't know how to show his affection yet.

I agree with Angel. Not only that, but privacy is a big deal between a lot of Muslim couples. A gift is something you can show, not private. A man providing for his wife is considered an honorable thing. But emotional support and physical touch are private things. Also, the men that cook and clean and helping in other ways don't necessarily want their wives telling people. So these things are kept private and they talk about things that seem more superficial. It doesn't mean the deeper things are unimportant to them.

Also, with the unemployment rate in some of these countries and how hard those gifts can be to come by, buying them can be a sacrifice and absolutely a sign of a deep love. It terms of gold, it gives a women something of value that she can use later if the need ever arises. So not only it is a gift for now, but an investment solely for her.

On the other hand, talking about problems in detail publicly is something also frowned upon.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Algeria
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Personally myself. I would be uncomfortable asking my sister in laws that question. Especially if they are arab they are not as willing to be very personal with you unless they really know you. So I can see why you got those responses. My own person experience I can see how my brother in law loves his wife and how my sister in law's husband loves her just by watching them interact with each other.

I think it's natural that your husband asks you if you want something. He's only being kind and trying to see to your needs. It's like my in laws they are always asking me if i need or want anything. My husband does it also and I do likewise. Remember you are newlyweds and you are in a foreign country. He wants to make sure you are safe and all your needs are met. I don't konw about other arab countries but Jordan is really big on hospitality but in the same time they are very private people. He also maybe shy to show affection to you or the way you want it. Remember arab men are very proud and strong men, they don't like to show signs of weakness in front of others. You just have to show patience and realize that maybe he really doesn't know how to show his affection yet.

I agree with Angel. Not only that, but privacy is a big deal between a lot of Muslim couples. A gift is something you can show, not private. A man providing for his wife is considered an honorable thing. But emotional support and physical touch are private things. Also, the men that cook and clean and helping in other ways don't necessarily want their wives telling people. So these things are kept private and they talk about things that seem more superficial. It doesn't mean the deeper things are unimportant to them.

Also, with the unemployment rate in some of these countries and how hard those gifts can be to come by, buying them can be a sacrifice and absolutely a sign of a deep love. It terms of gold, it gives a women something of value that she can use later if the need ever arises. So not only it is a gift for now, but an investment solely for her.

On the other hand, talking about problems in detail publicly is something also frowned upon.

I agree also with your points Bosco... I am usually trying my best to 1st do all my actions and thinking within Islam, then 2nd logically... so as I have come here to Algerie the world seems to flip upside down... and everything is in Bling Bling mode it seems... the more bling the better it is here... so it seems that does not matter our husband will be broke for the next 25 yrs but we had a super expensive wedding and super extragant material things to have to share around to the other women folk LoL... Hmm makes me glad I like things simple.

Another thought, as I was talking with my female relatives on this topic and i brought up the subject of feelings, they all agreed emotions lay within their feeling of security and well-being. Hmm that made me think... to me my feelings are in tune with my emotions, how happy I am, and what makes me happy are words or simple gestures.

Also, I have noticed the women here are much more at least sitting amoung other women "talking" then taking a moment to be with their husbands...of course I have not seen any of them alone with their husband... just in a social settings... so maybe it is customary to "be" with one's husband while entertaining I am not sure...

But everytime I got up, after my husband called my name... literally I would hear laughs and snickers...I wonder why? And my husband has asked me not to seem to eager to leave when he calls my name when he is ready to leave... Hmmm :thumbs: ok but I am READY to leave the parties...one can take so much... 4-5 hours of gossiping, being told what is not the "Algerian" way and being showed all "I" have by all the women ...well that is way more then enough for me ...actually 4-5 hours would be a weekly dose, not daily... :lol:

PS. sorry if it seems i am bad mouthing people (women) here...i am merely trying to explore the variations in culture i have come across... i meant this post with the utmost respect for education purposes only

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Jordan
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I think the reason they feel that way is because the man is usually the breadwinner and many times the woman doesnt work. Some men don't spend a dime on their women, and some lavish them with gifts. I think the man that is more willing to share everything including his money is indeed a sign of love. Also everyone is into showing off there, so when a women is wearing something her husband bought her, everyone is going to know that he bought it for her and its a sign of respect for her to be able to show off what he bought.

I remember when I got engaged, my fiance insisted on buying me gold. I told him I would prefer a diamond ring. Well in Jordan diamonds are not really popular and they don't really see them as valueable. However gold is very valueable. He bought me a huge set of gold, it was so heavy. He insisted because he said it would show everyone just how much he loved me, thats the way they see it there. A women is worth her weight in gold.

He does so many other things to show he loves me, but no one else can see or knows those things. So this is more so to show others. I guess if I went to someones home and the man was driving a mercedes and his wife was dressed poorly, then I would think he didn't really care enough about her to even let her feel good about herself.

Thats my 2 cents....


~jordanian_princess~

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Algeria
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I think the reason they feel that way is because the man is usually the breadwinner and many times the woman doesnt work. Some men don't spend a dime on their women, and some lavish them with gifts. I think the man that is more willing to share everything including his money is indeed a sign of love. Also everyone is into showing off there, so when a women is wearing something her husband bought her, everyone is going to know that he bought it for her and its a sign of respect for her to be able to show off what he bought.

I remember when I got engaged, my fiance insisted on buying me gold. I told him I would prefer a diamond ring. Well in Jordan diamonds are not really popular and they don't really see them as valueable. However gold is very valueable. He bought me a huge set of gold, it was so heavy. He insisted because he said it would show everyone just how much he loved me, thats the way they see it there. A women is worth her weight in gold.

He does so many other things to show he loves me, but no one else can see or knows those things. So this is more so to show others. I guess if I went to someones home and the man was driving a mercedes and his wife was dressed poorly, then I would think he didn't really care enough about her to even let her feel good about herself.

Thats my 2 cents....

Hmmm JP thanks for your input... you have made me see this in a different light... and you are right. Hmmm I just think me coming from where I come from, I do not put much value in material things ... but now I understand more of it is... Thanks JP!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Jordan
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I think the reason they feel that way is because the man is usually the breadwinner and many times the woman doesnt work. Some men don't spend a dime on their women, and some lavish them with gifts. I think the man that is more willing to share everything including his money is indeed a sign of love. Also everyone is into showing off there, so when a women is wearing something her husband bought her, everyone is going to know that he bought it for her and its a sign of respect for her to be able to show off what he bought.

I remember when I got engaged, my fiance insisted on buying me gold. I told him I would prefer a diamond ring. Well in Jordan diamonds are not really popular and they don't really see them as valueable. However gold is very valueable. He bought me a huge set of gold, it was so heavy. He insisted because he said it would show everyone just how much he loved me, thats the way they see it there. A women is worth her weight in gold.

He does so many other things to show he loves me, but no one else can see or knows those things. So this is more so to show others. I guess if I went to someones home and the man was driving a mercedes and his wife was dressed poorly, then I would think he didn't really care enough about her to even let her feel good about herself.

Thats my 2 cents....

Hmmm JP thanks for your input... you have made me see this in a different light... and you are right. Hmmm I just think me coming from where I come from, I do not put much value in material things ... but now I understand more of it is... Thanks JP!

I agree with you and I also had a hard time understanding that. I think its because we are independant women who work and can buy anything we want for ourselves. We are looking for companionship and not material goods, but its not as common for a woman to work overthere and alot of times if they do their families take the money.


~jordanian_princess~

October 19, 2006 - Interview! No Visa yet....on A/Psigns038.gif

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I think the reason they feel that way is because the man is usually the breadwinner and many times the woman doesnt work. Some men don't spend a dime on their women, and some lavish them with gifts. I think the man that is more willing to share everything including his money is indeed a sign of love. Also everyone is into showing off there, so when a women is wearing something her husband bought her, everyone is going to know that he bought it for her and its a sign of respect for her to be able to show off what he bought.

I remember when I got engaged, my fiance insisted on buying me gold. I told him I would prefer a diamond ring. Well in Jordan diamonds are not really popular and they don't really see them as valueable. However gold is very valueable. He bought me a huge set of gold, it was so heavy. He insisted because he said it would show everyone just how much he loved me, thats the way they see it there. A women is worth her weight in gold.

He does so many other things to show he loves me, but no one else can see or knows those things. So this is more so to show others. I guess if I went to someones home and the man was driving a mercedes and his wife was dressed poorly, then I would think he didn't really care enough about her to even let her feel good about herself.

Thats my 2 cents....

Hmmm JP thanks for your input... you have made me see this in a different light... and you are right. Hmmm I just think me coming from where I come from, I do not put much value in material things ... but now I understand more of it is... Thanks JP!

I agree with you and I also had a hard time understanding that. I think its because we are independant women who work and can buy anything we want for ourselves. We are looking for companionship and not material goods, but its not as common for a woman to work overthere and alot of times if they do their families take the money.

Yesssssss you hit the nail right on the head JP... I could not have said it better myself :D

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Algeria
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henia i dont know if maybe i misunderstood but did u ever say in a previous post that you and your husband might consider staying in algeria? i thought you might have said that but with everything going on these days i cant remember :P i never had a bad experience with the women in samirs family. they seemed very generous and kind. then again, i dont speak arabic so I couldnt understand what they were saying, but i never got the same impression of them as you have of your husbands family. (so sorry ) i however, did meet some friends of the family who i did sense the type of attitude that u are talking about. samir told me that some women are like that there. he likes to send me gifts in the mail, and always wants to know if he can get me something. I have had the discussion "you dont have to buy things for me all the time" with him. he is so sweet. bless his heart. i have sent him some things to algeria and a few times some stuff made it too him and had things missing :(

henia, the way you feel and your husband feel about each other is genuine and he doesnt have to buy things all the time to show it. those women there are not being very Godly women by telling you the things they are telling you. what matters is you are doing what is right and that you and your husband love each other. maybe you can teach them a few things while you are there. LOL but in general i guess it would be fair to say the women there are materialistic. i feel sorry for the men who have that pressure on them. it isnt like they make alot of money there. :(

oh by the way... i loved the cous cous with the red sauce and my favorite bread was the french bread :)

Edited by samir_shannon

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henia i dont know if maybe i misunderstood but did u ever say in a previous post that you and your husband might consider staying in algeria? i thought you might have said that but with everything going on these days i cant remember :P i never had a bad experience with the women in samirs family. they seemed very generous and kind. then again, i dont speak arabic so I couldnt understand what they were saying, but i never got the same impression of them as you have of your husbands family. (so sorry ) i however, did meet some friends of the family who i did sense the type of attitude that u are talking about. samir told me that some women are like that there. he likes to send me gifts in the mail, and always wants to know if he can get me something. I have had the discussion "you dont have to buy things for me all the time" with him. he is so sweet. bless his heart. i have sent him some things to algeria and a few times some stuff made it too him and had things missing :(

henia, the way you feel and your husband feel about each other is genuine and he doesnt have to buy things all the time to show it. those women there are not being very Godly women by telling you the things they are telling you. what matters is you are doing what is right and that you and your husband love each other. maybe you can teach them a few things while you are there. LOL but in general i guess it would be fair to say the women there are materialistic. i feel sorry for the men who have that pressure on them. it isnt like they make alot of money there. :(

oh by the way... i loved the cous cous with the red sauce and my favorite bread was the french bread :)

Yes Shannon, we are really considering living in Algerie, but have not come to a decision 100%. We both have issues that we need to address first. But inchallah, I really do like Algerie and I think after a time of my husband and I getting to know each other better and me understanding how everything works in Algerie life here would be great!

Honestly, I donnot even care what others say to or about me... i didnt come here for them, I came for m husband. But from a cultural standpoint I find it interesting to see and complain differences and similarities. I have many things here similar to my own culture, also many that are quiet different. For example, the main question of this thread... How to explain to someone how your husband shows his love... :D

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