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American Want to Marry Kuwaiti Man

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8/12/2019 18:53 EST


I am a 22 year old American my mother is from Lebanese heritage and my father Scandinavian/ northern European. I am finishing up my Uni and my boyfriend or now ex was from Kuwait who finished his masters. He graduated, and is now going back home, he may be coming back for an internship in a different city but not for several months. He is 2 years older than me.

We met and he told me upfront he has a strict family and that there would be no future for each other if it ever got to that point because of his very traditional family values, however his mother is the only one in the family who doesnt wear hijab along with his sisters but he says since he is the only son with 3 sisters who will take over his father's business that marriage is something they are most strict on. I understand this. However, as time moved on and we got to know each other more he decided to talk to his parents. He told them that he met someone and wanted to approach me about marriage. His mother cried and his father said do what you want but you will lose me. Therefore, obviously he chose to not proceed or continue with that idea and it was back to us having no future. It was so hard. I tried to not talk to him for 5 weeks and told him I couldn't do it anymore but he reached out to me again and I missed him dearly. However, he has left now and I am so heartbroken. We have talked on the phone and he told me if there was anything he could do to change things he would but there isnt. I don't want to move on and I don't want anyone else but him, but I don't know what to do.

What's your opinion? Do you think there is something more he could do maybe we didnt think of? Should I just give up and move on for good (hes been gone almost 2 weeks) im not ready but mentally I have to prepare myself that ill lose him forever. I wish there was another way or for them to at least meet me.

Thank you and I appreciate the support and feel free to ask any further questions.

Also, I would be willing to convert to Islam, live in Kuwait and inshallah have my parents home, I learned arabic about 75% fluent and read Quran and knowledgable in it. Would want my children to be muslim of course.

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8/13/2019 19:47 EST

Your boyfriend is being painfully honest. If it were in his power to change things he would do so, but he cannot. The problem is that whoever marries him must join his family, but his family refuses to accept an outsider. His parents don't want you or mixed-race grandchildren.

You grew up in a family and in a culture that is open and diverse. He grew up in a family and a culture that is very closed and insular. About half of the Kuwaiti people marry a relative such as a first cousin. While some of the Kuwaiti people will accept your marriage and your kiddos, his family and many others would not--and it would not be fair to your kiddos to live with that prejudice every day.

A mixed-race couple I know so left excellent jobs in Singapore due to the bigotry against their Chinese-Caucasian kids and came back to Canada, where they had met as students. Note that Singapore is not nearly as insular and inbred as Kuwait!

I know this is not easy to hear, so I am trying to encourage you. My (Millennial) cousin broke off his engagement to a lovely Vietnamese girl, after living in VN for a year and being committed to learning the language. Years ago, my sister was madly in love with a fellow student from Taiwan and was into the Chinese language and Chinese cooking. She would've had to move to Taiwan. In both their cases, despite the acceptance of the families, they had enough misgivings to walk away. A year or so later, they met and then married Americans and are living happily ever after.

As a matter of fact, I just saw them, their spouses, and their kids at a family reunion. The Millennial cousin lives in the Rockies and he and his wife just got back from a trip to India. They and their small children are thriving! So, let your boyfriend go, and let bygones be bygones, and be ready to open your heart to love in the next year or two or three!

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