My Wife has Male Friends

Different segments of society in Egypt have different approaches to interaction of the sexes for people who are not related. These very from the very liberal : my wife can go out with her male friends, even stay over at their place - to the very conservative : my wife does not talk to adult males who neither are her husband, brother or father. Most Egyptians fall somewhere in between those.

Many Egyptian guys expect that once they are engaged/married to their spouse, that she will automatically cut off any exes, potential exes and any single males that she knows. And many Egyptian females readily do this as well (Remember your friend who unexplainably unfriended you, only for you to see her new profile picture that shows that she’s married now?).

Conflict can arise when the husband’s expectations are different than the female’s. She might have life-long male friends who she does not want to lose just because she’s married now. Or she might not feel it’s anybody’s right to say who can be her friend and who cannot.

Without judging anybody, it’s important to find common ground.

If this is something important to you, talk about it before marriage. It’s always better to discuss an issue BEFORE it becomes an issue. This way you can really measure how compatible you are, as if one issue starts to raise another and another, then maybe you two aren’t for each other.

Lead by example. OK you want her to cut off any contact with Karim, Ahmed and Tamer. It’s unreasonable to ask her for that if you’re still chatting away every night with Sandy, Heba and Shereen.

Don’t make threats. Threats only lead to further confrontation and the issue is never really resolved. Don’t say “if you don’t stop talking to them, I will do....”

Why are you asking her to do this? Ask yourself, why are you threatened by her male friends? Is it because “Egyptian customs say it’s wrong”? Or is it because you really do not trust her? Before having this discussion it’s important to fully understand why your position is that way.

Try to listen to her point of view. She might convince you, she might not. But at least give her the chance to offer counter-arguments. Marriage is give and take, it’s not about one person dictating how your life will be.

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