Monday, January 3, 2011

His Cheatin' Heart

Expat wives who have husbands moving to Saudi for work fall into two camps - one that hears preemptive warnings against leaving your husband alone in Riyadh, and the other that hears this when they arrive. Sooner or later every woman hears about the 17 year marriage that fell apart when the husband moved to Saudi Arabia and cheated on his wife.

Why you ask? Why would a faithful loving husband suddenly throw away his long term marriage for some romp in the sack with a hussy homewrecking nurse? Well there are a lot of factors but the number one cause from your anonymous internet expert is loneliness. There is really no kind of isolation quite like the Riyadh variety, and with the culture shock and work stress, a man can really disintegrate at an alarming rate into a blubbering mess in dire need of intimacy, cuddling, and...we'll call it "coochicoo"

Of course there are a few additional factors that I think are unique to this environment that make expat men especially prone to cheating in Saudi.

There is a kind of "macho culture" in Riyadh - men generally associate with the men from their offices or compounds and there are just not enough women around to keep them gentlemen. Not that this occurs in every office, but the lack of women in the workplace can lead to some men talking smack and convincing each other stupid ideas are actually good ones. There are a lot of security contractors out here, and when a group of macho guys gets together for a party... let's just say they are not painting their nails and giggling about Gossip Girl all night.

You know how Catholic students are always famous for being oversexed and repressed? Riyadh is Catholic school on a grand scale. The segregation of sexes and resulting lack of visual and social contact between men and women adds to the pressure cooker that boils over when certain parties provide opportunities for both genders to let loose.

Let's not blame it all on the guys and the parties because there are some nothing-to-lose women on the prowl in Riyadh too, and they are just as lonely and desperate for coochicoo as any man is. Single women in Riyadh? Yes! There are plenty, and they are usually either nurses or teachers.

To be fair, it's not all because of the Saudi environment, there are of course the universal factors such as long distance being difficult in general, and many relationships having deep cracks in them to begin with. If a couple has trust issues or faithfulness issues or I-settled-when-I-married-you issues, Riyadh is probably not a great idea no matter how good the money is.

I write all this because my hubster is a two timing cheatin' liar and I'm going to Bobbitt him later tonight. I jest. We are trucking along as we always have partly because I'm married to Jesus. I suppose I don't have any real motivation for posting on this topic other than hearing one too many stories of coupledom crumbling. It's probably more therapeutic to put on a Pixar movie than to blog about it, but heck I'm in a mood. And now you're in one. You're welcome ;)


diana said...

Hey, there! Great blog! :) I'm from Jeddah, but I've lived in Riyadh for a while so I love reading your posts. More!!

Orchidthief said...

hey diana, thanks for stopping by. I'll try to keep going!!

Carola said...

You are back!
Be brave and keep blogging, it is a delight to read you - even when the subject is not very nice..

D said...

ooh, my husband was a security contractor in Baghdad and cheated on me with a low class piece of white trash who worked for USAID.

interesting comment on loneliness and the "hanging with the guys" being catalysts for cheating; I think living in a fantasy world divorced from their real life in American is also part of it, but I hadn't considered the two reasons you propose. I think you are more right than me on the reasons.

keep us (me?) posted on what you decide to do about this. i'm still married, still trying to forgive, and sometimes wondering why. it helps me to hear the experiences & stories of those going thru similar trials.

Abdullah AlSayed-AlHashem said...

That's totally right

every day is struggling with yourself
your word : disintegration is very truthful

keep the pace ,

and fight back! find somebody else (like me hehehe :P)

Orchidthief said...

Thanks for stopping by with your comment Carola!

And D I am sorry to hear that your husband cheated on you. Unfortunately it seems to be more common than not. Living in the middle east is so much of a departure from real life that it's not really a stretch to call it a "fantasty land" is it?

I am afraid that I may have given people the wrong impression with my last paragraph. My husband has not actually cheated on me, on the contrary he treats me so well I feel guilty sometimes about it, hence the reference to being married to Jesus. He seldom does or says anything wrong. I was only joking or "jesting" about him cheating on me.

Though my heart goes out to those of you who have to deal with this.

Welcome To Mommyland said...

I have lived in Riyadh for 1.5 years. I find myself jealous because my husband has a life here and I am stuck home with the kids. I cannot wait for each holiday out of the Kingdom!

ipv6 said...

ah coochicoo, sound familiar albeit in different pronunciation..

princesssaf said...

hi there, nice blog. stumbled upon it while searching for luthan spa. looking forward to reading the rest of it! :)

Christelle said...

Wow, you hit the nail on the head with this one. All around us we see those couples, sometimes for one night and sometimes for a long while. But it's still cheating with one or both guilty parties. Loneliness drives you to do crazy things!

gadawgnnc said...

Thanks for the blog!!! As someone whose hubby has cheated in the past I'm not sure that this blog makes me feel any better. My hubby just went to Riyadh to work for the next 2 years. He is currently living in housing that the hospital set up and is thinking of moving off campus. I hope he can do the right thing.

Nidal said...

I stumbled upon your blog while I’m trying to look for anything in Riyadh that resembles life. And I must say, since I’m a guy at 20smthng, I can relate to the loneliness you mentioned. Though I don’t have a girlfriend back home, but the sense of the feminine presence, whether a sister, a friend or a special someone, or in the general environment provides sort of emotional stability. And it works both ways for women I guess

SGWrites said...

Lovely blog :) xx
A new follower from, would love if your follow me back on my blog too <3 <3 <3 xxx

Spider said...

Well can only confirm this is going on. This destroyed my marriage. I don't know much about other compounds, but a popular one - owned by a British company is flooded with single nurses who's got big party time there the weekends. Just have to know somebody there and then they have access to the compound and can have overnight stays ;-) I don't say they are all like that, but they are there, singles and apparently desperate to find a man. Don't care if he's married or not. Unconscionable hunting men. And some men just can't resist the temptation. I have been there - seen it....

alkhateeb said...

i dint know about Riyadh

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