Some Saudi men have an uncanny ability that I have not observed among many others. This is the ability of the man to simply shut down his emotions and feelings as easily as one turns a light switch on and off. A Saudi man can be among the most caring, most compassionate, most tender. Then within an instant, he can become a remote and cold stranger to a wife, to relatives, to neighbors, to colleagues or other friends depending who is in his “line of sight” when the light switches off. Hence, my comparison with a light switch getting turned on and off.
My theory on this unusual behavior pattern is that due to the inherent privacy in the culture, many Saudi men will have multiple lives. These can include lives with more than one wife, children, colleagues, relatives, friends and neighbors. It is as if there are separate borders or even barriers between each relationship or life.
I believe that attribution of this trait is due in addition to the privacy of the culture but also to an extent from segregation. The whole process of segregation can have an impact on some Saudi men (and women) simply not knowing how to have a successful relationship or how to blend the various facets of their life with a partner or others.
As a result, the woman who is married to a Saudi man with such mood changes will need to be a strong woman. She will also need to be independent and capable of making her own life and finding happiness to not feel rejected or isolated. But, is this behavior what a marriage and a relationship is all about? Should a woman settle for not knowing whether her husband will treat her like a Princess or a castaway from day to day?
And what about the relationships which the Saudi man may reject outright overnight? Perhaps by his upbringing he does not know how to express himself or communicate so if some of his separate relationships have problems, rather than confront the problem, he again “turns off the light” and pretends it never existed. And the ones affected by his actions? They are expected to simply take care of themselves.
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