Saudi Arabia: A Direct Route to Making or Breaking Friendships



Few details have emerged about a recent case of marriage but the details that are known are enough to raise eyebrows.  A Saudi teacher told the man who proposed marriage to her she would only accept his proposal if her married two of her colleagues (and friends) at the same time.

The prospective groom was initially taken aback and seemed inclined to reject her conditions.  But under pressure from relatives and friends, he acquiesced and married all three women .

After the marriage, he ensconced each bride in her own apartment within the same apartment building, allowing easy access to each other.

Polygamy is allowed within Islam and under certain conditions set out in the Quran, a man may have up to four wives.

However, in spite of being good friends, I wonder at the wisdom of three young women living in close proximity to one another and also working at the same facility while sharing the same husband is really a good idea.  No matter how hard a man may try to be equal to all women in reality this rarely works.  Even the Quran states how difficult it is for a man to be equal in time and feelings let alone material provisions when he has more than one wife.

In this case, I believe I feel sorry for the man and think the three female friends made a huge mistake in all marrying the same man.  I see these conditions as prime for deteriorating the existing friendships between the women.


15 Responses

  1. This is going to be a disaster.

  2. This is very odd, but being an American it would seem so. I wonder if the woman was looking out for her friends?

  3. I am sorry that he bowed to pressure to marry all three women under these conditions – wow!

  4. It’s a LOT of pressure on a young Saudi man.

    On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM, American Bedu

  5. I think it’s a no-win situation. The matter how hard he tries even if he does treat everyone exactly equal perceptions are a tricky thing. Jealosy rears its ugly head and all of a sudden there’s the perception that he’s not treating everyone equal. Plus these three are friends so the man is outnumbered right away.

  6. “Jealosy rears its ugly head and all of a sudden there’s the perception that he’s not treating everyone equal”

    Agree with Oby.

  7. on the flip side, they are friends and know each other better and for far longer than the man. so maybe they can make it work. i wont say it’s a great deal for the man, setting up 3 households in place of one cant be easy but if thats the price he has to pay to get the love of is life — then so be it.
    however i’m curious as to how the other 2 women take this , he obviously wanted one of them and agreed to take the other 2 . cant make you feel too happy 🙂

  8. I wish I knew how to contact the groom or any of the brides. It would make a very interesting interview.

    Radha – so glad to see you back. I’ve been thinking and praying for you and your family. i’ve no doubt you and F had been very busy.

    On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM, American Bedu

  9. Interesting article–I have seen that issue come up before. I think the women made a huge mistake, but that’s just me. I thought this article was going to be about the friendships Western women make or break due to living in Saudi Arabia. So many of us bond for the sole reason that we share the experience of being married to Saudis and living in Saudi Arabia. However, I have experienced over time the break up of many of my friendships for various reasons, the biggest one, I suppose, is that I no longer live there, and only visit.

  10. Its been hell carol. but much settled down now. I cannot even explain what we saw . can human beings cause so much suffering to co-humans? why?

  11. Where have you been, Radha?

  12. She’s a physician in Boston ,Wendy.

  13. Oh. I didn’t know she was in Boston.

  14. Yes, she and her husband are both physicians at local hospitals so I can only imagine how busy they have been. ):

    On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 1:11 PM, American Bedu

  15. Well I am surprised nobody has thought of it but these ladies may be having a lot of fun together that doesn’t involved their husband. It may have been a very smart move on the part of three close friends to get married to each other. If so good luck to them.

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