The biggest adjustment that I'm going to have to make in Saudi Arabia is being demoted from an empowered American woman to a second class citizen. Much as our new boss would like to deny it, Saudi women don't have the kind of rights American women enjoy.
As tongue-in-cheek as it sounds, I'm alright with the fact that I'll be experiencing a life as dramatically different from "The American Way" as one can possibly find. It'll be illegal for me to drive a car, I'll be largely ignored by Arab strangers, I'll have to be covered from head to foot, and I will have to be escorted most places. It's going to drive me absolutely bonkers. I'm going to hate having to hold my tongue and relying to heavily on the Mister. But I think I'll find that it's just what my marriage and I need.
Let me clarify: In no way is my marriage in trouble. We are not moving to Saudi Arabia to save our relationship the way others might have a baby. But healthy marriages aren't perfect, and couples are always learning about each other. To put it lightly, the Mister and I are about to embark on the world's most intense educational exercise in the history of marriages.
I think he would agree that I wear the pants in our marriage. I'd like to think that I'm not bossy or unfair, but if something needs to get done, I take care of it. I pay attention to deadlines, I ask all the needed questions, and I manage our calendar. On our honeymoon, when we were stuck in Frankfurt with no foreseeable chance of getting home, I was the one who got irate with the ticket counter lady and stared down crack addicts as we struggled our way to a hostel for the night. It's what I do, and it's why we work.
That's just not going to be ok in Saudi. I've already been shot down calling the Saudi embassy, and I haven't even left the country yet! The Mister's going to have to step up and do tasks he's not comfortable doing, and I'm going to have to stand by and watch...which I don't do very well.
We're both going to learn so much about ourselves and each other, and as frustrating as it's going to be at the time, it can only strengthen our relationship and mature both of us.
So yes, I genuinely am excited about being a woman in Saudi Arabia for a short while. Because it will certainly benefit me in the long run.
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