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CA0180's avatar

US woman engaged to pakistani/pathan man - beware?

Asked by CA0180 (36points) July 29th, 2017

Id like some advice if you don’t mind…

I’m engaged to a pakistani(pashtun) man, 30yrs old, never married (not a virgin but only had sex once when young), no kids, living in Dubai for last 5 or 6 yrs, finishing up his masters degree in accounting.

I am 35, one 13y/o boy, never married, working on bachelors in cognitive science, living in Caifornia.

In looking for marriage requirements I’ve come across a lot of warning articles against Americans marrying foreign men. They say the men will change after marriage, or will leave them to get married back home.

I did date a divorced Muslim (saudi) a couple years ago here on scholarship, his family wouldn’t let us get married (I met sister & brother who were supportive) and pressured him to get engaged with a girl he grew up with instead. He gave in but supposedly broke up with her, but ended up moving back to his country anyway & I never heard from him again, so I assume he lied to me and probably married her when they got engaged…so I am kind of weary, even though this feels different & my fiancee is much more “good” than ex was. (Ex gambled, smoked weed, drank, clubbed, slept with women, missed prayer regularly, etc).

Fiancees mother is dying to meet me, wants to skype (I won’t without him cuz I’m too shy), he wants to take me to pakistan when I visit dubai (he is paying for ticket, hotel, everything) if I can extend my trip a little, he’d prefer to marry in pakistan and live in Dubai but i want to finish school here and have 5–6 more years (to reach educational goals) & frankly want my wedding my way instead of surrounded by strangers, so he agreed to come here and get married instead, and possibly move back to dubai after…but either way for us take yrly visits to his parents or have them visit us, which I love the idea of & am really excited to meet them too.

He also wants no physical relationship (beyond kissing/holding hands/hugging) until we’re married, especially by his religion, even though obviously it’s SO HARD for us! & We have a lot of plans for our careers and family, for our Iives together ahead. He wants to start our family asap.

I guess my question is…should I worry about what these articles say or about everything changing once we’re married? I’m not worried from his current actions, not even from my previous experience because that one could have easily lied to me or used me for green card & he didnt, the only reason I ask is because of the articles.

Thank you!

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55 Answers

chyna's avatar

Have you met him in person yet?

Coloma's avatar

Yes, have you even met this man in the flesh?
How much, actual, face to face l time have you spent with this man? Is this a long distance romance? I wouldn’t advise jumping into anything until you have spent several years, at least, in this mans company on a daily basis.

I’d suggest he move here and you continue dating for a long time before jumping into something as serious as marriage and moving to a new country.
What about your son? How does he feel about all of this?
He wants to start a family ASAP?

If this is a long distance internet romance I think it would be incredibly foolish of you to jump into a marriage and start a family with someone you really do not know.

chyna's avatar

Yes, I forgot about your son. It would be incredibly selfish of you to drag your son to a foreign country so you can be married. It could even be dangerous for him.

rebbel's avatar

In your question I miss the word love (granted, you wrote it one time, when you told about visiting parents).
Do you love the man?
If not, it seems a bad plan to marry him and leave everything behind, not knowing what’s awaiting you (to me it seems a bad plan to marry someone without loving her/him period).
If yes, follow chyna’s and Coloma’s advice, then see how everything stands.
Also, and I speak from experience here: it is doable, even very good so, but relationships between people from two different cultures need extra work.

janbb's avatar

I see landmines all over here – have to say. Have you spent much time with him?

marinelife's avatar

You don’t say how long you have known him or how long the two of you have ever lived in the same country. If in the case of the latter,it is not at all or only a short time, I would be very wary.You would need to meet his parents and family before the marriage and have a long visit with them. Your also need to talk frankly to your fiance about your concerns.

Why don’t you compromise if necessary and have a wedding ceremony in each country if you decide to go ahead with it?

See him when he is in the bosom of his family. Watch how he treats his mother and sisters (if any).

Jeruba's avatar

Dear Abby answered this question memorably once, decades ago. Her advice still sounds wise. She said marry him if you choose, but first visit his country and see what the men there are like and how they treat their women. Then decide.

Especially if you think you’re going to live there.

Not only should you be acquainted with cultural norms and expectations for men and for women but also—and this is a big also—the charming traits that you think of as uniquely his may turn out to be found in abundance among his countrymen. If he still looks as good to you when he’s one among millions, then maybe you’ve got a keeper.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

I don’t have much to add to the insights given above, except for one, related to your son and his birth father.

That is: Where is your son’s father in all of this? Is he part of your son’s life? Does he visit? Has he had any input – not that he gets to decide for you whom you marry or even where you live – but “commentary only”? What would happen to your son’s relationship with his father if you should marry and move offshore?

janbb's avatar

As so often, we really need more info from the OP to answer more fully.

elbanditoroso's avatar

There is a reason why the articles describe problems. There can be problems.

Sure, not every couple has problems, and not all marriages fail. But if everything were perfect all the time there would be no articles describing the problems.

So please realize that percentage-wise, things are not in favor of success.

And I agree with @janbb – there is obviously much more to the story. We don’t know enough to make a judgment.

CA0180's avatar

Sorry, to answer your questions:
– sons father is not involved at all and hasn’t been most of his life.
– plan is wedding here, then have a 1yr anniversary party (when he’s legally able to leave US after coming here) for each of our families to celebrate.
– we wouldn’t be moving there,he would move here to the US until I finish school, then we would decide if we are going to go back to dubai or stay here. My son will be 18 and graduated by then and can decide to come or stay. Knowing him, he loves arabic culture and would probably want to come with us.
– dubai was #1 for safest city in the world and has fallen to #2, but still that’s pretty amazing, and it’s a very “westernized” country so no worries there either.
– yes, Internet romance. I met him through a dating site about 4 months ago, we Skype for hours every day and are texting the rest of the time when we’re not sleeping. I’ve dated online a lot and haven’t had any horror stories.
– I will be meeting his family on my trip to dubai in September, that’s when we’re going ring shopping & I’ll announce it to my family here.
– son is excited and really likes him. He’s excited to be his father also.
– I do love him and respect him, very much. He’s everything I’ve hoped to find and more. He isn’t perfect, but who is, and so far the flaws are small and things I don’t mind.
– he can’t move here because his company can’t offer sponsorship. He can come on educational scholarship but it’s extremely expensive and if you get married while you’re here on that it messes it up. Also, because he is a male & the country he is born in, it’s very hard to get a tourist visa to even visit the us because they are afraid the ppl will marry while here for green card.
– I realize it’s a risk but was just hoping someone had some experience who could help. I’m committed to this, but the articles did shake me up a bit.

janbb's avatar

@CA0180 Just one question for now. Why get engaged before you’ve even met him in person?

snowberry's avatar

Is he Muslim?

snowberry's avatar

After re-reading your question, I assume he is. That means you may, either upon your marriage or later be required to become Muslim too. If you haven’t grown up Muslim, that may not be as much fun as you thought it would be. Doubly so if you have to wear a birqua everywhere.

zenvelo's avatar

Be aware that it will be very difficult for him to get into the United States. While exception still to the travel ban are made for fiancées, that may be challenged if you declare you are engaged but have never met.

CA0180's avatar

- no, I don’t have to convert to Islam, that’s only for a man marrying a Muslim woman. I can be Christian.
-yes, he’s muslim.
– & engaged because we both know what we are looking for, it’s important to him and his culture and family that we’re engged. You’re not allowed to date in his religion. Which is fine, I’m happy & ready.

CA0180's avatar

& yes, that’s why we’re visiting in september. I’ll come back & file k1, then we’ll visit again in december for 2 weeks (with my son that time, 1st time I’ll go alone for 3 days (plus 2 days travel time), and again in february. Hopefully he’ll get to come somewhere between February and april.

CA0180's avatar

Oh, and I don’t ever have to wear a burqa. In his hometown they wear burqa, but it’s optional since I’m obviously not from there, nothing bad will happen besides stares & ppl trying to take my picture. I’m planning on wearing it when. I visit out of respect and to blend in.

janbb's avatar

I fear you are minimizing the difficulties that living in such a different culture or with someone from such a different culture will bring. I wonder what the attraction of such relationships is for you since you had another one previously (that I think you wrote about here.)

CA0180's avatar

I’ve always been attracted to arabic & Indian type cultures & date people from other countries. Growing up my best friends dad was Indian so maybe it’s Freudian LOL The men are so much more respectful and loving (I’ve heard good and bad stories equally just like with American men), the cultures are so beautiful. I love well traveled people. It’s just something I’ve always known I wanted for my life, marrying a foreigner & traveling the world experiencing other cutures.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Yes, he’s muslim & engaged because we both know what we are looking for, it’s important to him and his culture and family that we’re engged. You’re not allowed to date in his religion. Which is fine, I’m happy & ready.

Something just doesn’t sit right with me here…

You’re basically saying that you’re doing this for him and it isn’t certain that you like it or not.

I have nothing against internet relationship – In fact, some of best friends are internet friends. But we all know each other’s limit and respect that. When one of us want to do something, we ask the others and if the others can’t do it or are uncomfortable to do it, we stop, no more excuse. Every relationship can only stand strong because it is a two-way street. Do you yourself like to be engaged like this?

chyna's avatar

I’m not sure what your question is now. You seem to have already made up your mind.

CA0180's avatar

Yes, I’m happy with the engagement otherwise I would say I wanted to just talk.

My question was if anyone had any personal (or have known of someone with a personal) experiences regarding US/pakistani marriages, about men marrying for green cards, warning signs, things to look out for, or if the men really to tend to change after marriage?

janbb's avatar

All men change after marriage, the question is “how much”?

Strauss's avatar

@janbb All men change after marriage

I’m not the same man I was 29 years ago when the wife and I got married. But she’s not the same woman either.

janbb's avatar

@Strauss Yes, I was thinking of amending my statement to say that. I completely agree.

imrainmaker's avatar

As long as you’re in Dubai it might be ok but not sure if he decides / is required to go back to his country i.e. Pakistan (in future) that would be a different story altogether.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I agree that you appear to have made up your mind. I hope it works out for you.

I agree with those who have said it would make sense to meet with him in person before committing to marriage, and especially since you have a child. Knowing someone online for a few hours a day, even every day, is not the same as spending days and weeks getting to know them. Seeing their foibles, their habits, their attitudes in action and so on.

I think what you are doing has great risks.

And @zenvelo makes a good point about the travel ban. An Australian politician was just refused entry to the US while all his colleagues were allowed through. He is Muslim and had visited Syria on research trips (as part of his job as a politician) three times. They sent him back to Australia at the Canadian border.

Edit. Can I add that reading articles about the dangers and posting a question here asking if they are valid, suggests to me that you do have some doubts. Listen to your instincts.

CA0180's avatar

I didn’t ask if they were valid exactly, I asked for experiences, I think there’s a difference. But yes, by nature I am fatalistic so I question everything. And again, I’m technically engaged but won’t be telling family until after visit (aside from son because that’s too hard to hide).

snowberry's avatar

The issue isn’t about Dubai or Pakastan.

One technique that some Muslims use to increase their numbers in the world is to marry a non Muslim woman, move her to a Muslim run country, and one she’s there, she’s forced to become Muslim, wear the birqua, etc. Not Without My Daughter is a true story made into a movie, and it vividly demonstrates what happened to one US born woman. She ended up having two children there (sorry I can’t remember where), before escaping with her daughter. It wasn’t any fun.

Please don’t marry this guy.

CA0180's avatar

I would never move there. Pakistan is a very poor country. I don’t think he’d live in dubai for 6 yrs then move back to that? But I’ll check out the movie just in case…

Coloma's avatar

@CA0180 Well, given your fatalistic outlook I guess I won’t be crossing any lines when I say, I think you are crazy. 4 months, Skype? You are not in “love” you are in infatuation, in love with an image this man is projecting , not the real person that you have never spent any significant time with. I predict some serious problems.

The average honeymoon phase of a new relationship lasts about 18 months to 2 years, and that is when one is spending significant time with the object of their infatuation. To become “engaged” and decide to marry within less than 6 months time is insane!
Especially to a person from a very different culture and with only 4 months of internet “dating”, well, yep, good luck but the odds of this becoming a happy and long lasting union, all things considered, are very small.

snowberry's avatar

Agreed, but that’s the tip of the iceberg.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The sex thing would worry me. He may well have some strange (to us) expectations of a woman’s proper place / behaviour in that regard. I briefly dated a Saudi college exchange student in college. Didn’t have sex with him but he was weird about everything surrounding it.

snowberry's avatar

Absolutely @Dutchess_III! Based on my experience with my Yemeni family that I taught English to, She would be required to eat with one hand and wipe with the other, and all that. Prayers 5 times a day, fasting, etc. Also, traditional Muslim women are not allowed to enjoy sex.

The way describes her guy, it’s gonna be a bait and switch. Once she’s in their control, in their country, she’ll have NO ESCAPE.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, I had a Saudi guy give me a huge ruby and diamond ring the first night I met him at a frat party. I ran like the wind, I did not take the ring. haha

Dutchess_III's avatar

You should have taken the ring before you ran!

dappled_leaves's avatar

In my opinion, what you are considering is completely insane. You’ve known this man on the internet for four months. He tells you that he’s had sex only once by age 30, and you believe this? Have you ever had a conflict between you that required a compromise on his part? Have you ever seen how he handles a frustrating situation? Ever seen him angry? You have no idea what you are getting into at all.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I’m afraid it is getting to the point where the OP only wants validation and not honest advice, just like a lot of newbies with crazy questions here. I saw warning signs right when she responsed to us for the first time. Everything about this engagement is unbelievably perfect.

I also worry about the part where she doesn’t tell her family. If she is so pleased about this engagement, why not make it public? She is heading to somewhere… very… shady…

rojo's avatar

If you go to Pakistan (or Dubai for that matter) buy your own round-trip ticket and make sure you, and only you, are the only one to have possession of it. It won’t guarantee you can leave whenever you want but it will make it easier and be one less concern.

jca's avatar

I haven’t read any of the previous comments, yet.

My thoughts right off the bat are as follows: Your first job as a mother is being the best mother you can possibly be. Running to Pakistan to marry a man you have never met is not being the best mother you can be. What about your son? You would uproot him to another country? You would leave him here without a mother, in the hands of another relative? If you get killed (a very real possibility) or are never allowed to return to the US, what about your son, assuming he remains in the US? He’ll have no mother.

Are you crazy? Are you desperate? Really, this is not logical.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jca The OP is talking about going to Dubai after her son has already turned 18. The guy would (in theory, since I don’t imagine this would currently be permissible) go to the US to marry the OP.

jca's avatar

@dappled_leaves: At 18 years old, even though the son is able to be on his own, he still needs his mom, loves his mom and would probably need his mom’s support, both emotionally and financially.

snowberry's avatar

Absolutely! LIsten to @jca!

si3tech's avatar

@CA0180 Off the top of my head I am reminded of a true incident so notorious there was a movie made titled Not Without My Daughter. I believe it is also in book form. Before I would even CONSIDER a marriage to someone in/from an Arab country I would thoroughly familiarize myself with this true international nightmare. Learn their culture. Immerse yourself in it. Then, decide.

Coloma's avatar

I 3rd @jca ‘s comment. An 18 year old is still going to be quite dependent on their parents for many things. 18 is not some magic number where your parenting responsiailites just end. My daughter was still at home until she was almost 21 and rented her first apartment with a room mate and my friends youngest daughter is still living at home, while finishing her education and working at age 23, almost 24. To just pack up and leave your 18 year old would be negligent and selfish.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Coloma @jca Obviously, this is widely variable. I left home at 17 and didn’t look back; many of my friends (now in our 40s) had similar experiences. If you read my own response to the OP, clearly we agree that she should not go.

But we have no basis to assume that the main reason for her not to marry this man is that her ( then) 18-year-old son will not be able to cope ( 5 years) without her. There are far stronger reasons for her not to go through with her plan, without relying on an argument that, at best, relies on what sort of person the son will be five years from now. That’s all I’m saying. Even if he’s a model self-sufficient adult by then, she should not do this.

jca's avatar

@dappled_leaves: Right. I agree she shouldn’t do it even if she has no children.

Coloma's avatar

@dappled_leaves I left home at 17 too but times have drastically changed and many kids today stay home longer and often need to return home at some point given the economic climate. I agree as well that she shouldn’t do this anyway but my point was, not assuming her son should be the main reason whether or not she goes throug with this plan, but that 18 is not some magic cutoff for parenting. Kids today are staying home longer than in generations past a lot of the time.

marinelife's avatar

Four months is too soon to get engaged to anyone—let alone someone that you haven’t even met in person yet.

I can see that you are very excited, but you need to hold on to the small part of you that is saying slow down and what about all of the articles that say there can be problems.

You don’t know him.
You don’t know if he is a generous tipper.
You don’t know if he is an extremely jealous and controlling man.
You are in the “honeymoon” phase of romance.
You need to be in the same place he is.
You need to see him interact with his family and others.
You need to see him in his home environment.
And for a lot more than three days (which will tell you nothing).

Please, for your own sake, put on the brakes on this runaway romance. If you two have something real, then waiting and being more cautious will not hurt it, but will strengthen your feelings for one another.

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chyna's avatar

I just want to add that if you are seeing a lot of warning articles please heed them. They are there for a reason. And please note, out of all the answers above, no one thinks you should marry this guy without knowing him longer and in person. And we never all agree. Heck we can’t agree on pancakes or waffles.

Muad_Dib's avatar

My partner’s aunt married into an Arabic Muslim family of some means.
She was moved with little fanfare to Kuwait, where she is essentially her husband’s property. She has not seen the United States in over 20 years, her sisters have not seen her since the late 90s, and her adult sons and her husband regularly boast about raping the servants in front of her. She, of course, is completely brainwashed into thinking she’s incredibly lucky to be so well-off, and we’re all suffering here

It’s really not great.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh my God….

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