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 ;)
Change can happen in Saudi Arabia
7 months ago