Happily Ever After – Chapter 6

It seems that life doesn’t come without hardship, nothing stays “Happily Ever After” as all the fairy tale stories that we were told throughout our childhood. I was actually a victim of the “media of dreams” more than a victim of MJ. I waited for my “Happily Ever After” story for all my life so once i thought i got it i was waiting for the part where i end up ridding into the sunset on a horse with my Soul Mate. As time passed by, my sunset rides was starting to fog up and slowly fade out of view, i just was unable to believe in the fog that took over my picture perfect love story.

Our discussions in the month of July were taking over most of our conversations at the time cause we were figuring out how MJ was going to propose to my father. We were both oblivious to the Arabic ways, the rights and wrongs therefore allowing a window for his father to start telling him what is the right way to do things. At the same time, i was asking my dad in secret as to how he would like to be approached, getting the info and giving it to MJ to mole it over in his mind. I was very excited at the notion of him meeting my parents officially for the first time, i was planning what to wear, how i will show him around our house and take him out to places in Cairo, to get him to meet my friends for the very first time, integrate him into my life a bit, to get to know the real me. The day came where we decided on the date he will go down to meet my dad (with my dad’s also working with me on the side telling me what is the best time for him to come meet him) he booked his ticket and i was about to start booking mine when he asked me not to go with him, that this was a man to man thing, no women. That made no sense to me, especially after all this talk every day every minute on how to do it, what to do etc… so i persisted that i be there in this great moment in my life. He refused and we had arguments about it, at the end i succumbed to what he wanted, with an ach in my heart  i accepted it as a fact of my life i had to live with.  So I started to look at hotels that were close to my home since he was only going for 24 hours, something that would not get him stuck in the Cairo traffic causing him any agitation. I recommended a few hotels to him, and one in particular that was really close and a five star hotel knowing that he was picky about his hotel rooms especially that he travelled so much. A few days before his travel I told him that I will book it for him since he is so confused and under stress cause he was going to go on his own to my parents. As harsh as humanly possible, MJ chose to access his mean streak then and there “I don’t want you to do anything for me I am a grown man and can take care of myself, stop interfering in what I will do”. I backed out totally then, blaming his outburst on his stress. The day he was travelling he called to ask me to book the hotel room for him, since he had no time to do it, I laughed at him, and did it with an open heart.

The whole meeting went very smoothly, my parents loved him, so did my sister and brother who happened to be there to at the time. We were back on track again as things started to get better between us. In the mean time, MJ was talking about moving back to Abu Dhabi in hopes of being closer to his aging father since the years were flying by and he missed him. I hated the idea fully, I never wanted to go back, I wanted to breath, to live around the world outside of the Arab constraints the do’s and don’ts that were always a part of your daily life style. This topic was approached before on several occasions, in a casual manner, with me making my point very clear that I simply can’t live there. As it so happens, MJ never heard me or my opinion. After officially proposing to dad, it became a serious matter, he wanted to move back to his home and I didn’t want to move. I argued with him, spoke my mind gave him all my reasons for not going, still nothing made him budge. I needed to sit with myself, I needed to figure out what was more important my mans dreams or my dreams. This was a n extremely tough time in my life so I turned to my dad for direction and help. As a man with a very Arabic cultured way of thinking, I was told by my dad that a woman follows her man anywhere regardless of what they woman might want cause he is the provider for the family. Feeling suffocated by that advice, I called my best friend in the states to get her feedback, luckily she was completely against it feeling that there should be compromise on both ends not only one party giving up everything for the other person. So I took that approach with MJ asking him to re consider a compromise. My compromise was to live the first few years of our lives in the states then once we were established as a healthy couple outside of family restraint then we could go back to Abu Dhabi to deal with life over there. That was rejected. The next approach was for us to live only one year (our first year) in the states then move back to Abu Dhabi. Also rejected. I tried again, this time asking for six months abroad then moving to Abu Dhabi. He refused any type of compromise on the matter, it was his way or no way at all. He said that he had to be there with his dad, that too many years had passed with him living far away but now was the time to go back. I could not understand the psychology behind it an extra year or six months was not gonna make a difference in the fifteen years he was away. Nothing mattered, he was looking into jobs, talking with Samael the whole time on the phone trying to find out what is the best job offer. At my last hope of outreach, I then asked him to find something in Dubai, at least my sister lived there and people were more open and indifferent to what others wanted to do with their lives. He said he will try. Of course, he was only feeding me things to keep me quiet and accept what he wanted regardless of where I stood in the whole thing.

During this rollercoaster ride, we were planning for our engagement party where both our parents would meet for the first time and planning on where to do it. Naturally it would be in Cairo, the right way to do things. The wedding plans were being directed to Abu Dhabi, and before I now it, the plans were rolling towards Abu Dhabi, the country we would indefinitely live in. By then I knew in my heart that even Dubai was not going to happen, and came to terms with Abu Dhabi.

We were so involved in the whole engagement and his job offers’ every single day, that is all we spoke about, and of course how much we loved one another. He still flew done every weekend, still same amount of phone calls, sms’s e-mails the whole lot was still there. He flew down to Abu Dhabi for a job interview as I waited for his return impatiently waiting to see what my future was holding for me.

Once he returned with the job offer at hand, we found out that he is gonna start in September so he was to pack up and leave to go start adjusting his life in Abu Dhabi. His attitude had a bit more of a shift after his return, a bit more arrogant, a bit less affectionate, I ignored it blaming it on the stress of moving countries and the engagement we were planning. I had to stay in Montreal till end of September till I finished my course to be able to go back to Cairo to prepare for the engagement party my parents were going to hold for us in our house.

He was busy packing up his house throwing the things he didnt need out and keeping the things he needed in boxes, we were on the phone every minute as he kept telling me what he has and what he doesnt to decide what he should keep and what he should throw. I had given him a spongbob soft doll   (one of his favorite cartoons at the time) and it was one of many gifts i got him for valentines day, he had to irritate me by joking around and saying he will give it away while also telling me he has soemthing that Ellen gave him and wanted my opinion if he should keep it or not. The smae thing went for other items he came across explaining how Ellen gave him this and that, and if he should get rid of it or something i gave him. He would laugh so hard once i would start getting pissed, it was light humour at the time. There were times we would go shopping for shirts for him for hours then when i would fancy looking at somethign for me he wuold loose all interest to shop, and we would walk towards the male section him explaining that he didnt know how to do it without my input. Sometimes he would leave town and want me to exchange a few shirts for him cause he didnt like them after purchase, other times he would tell me that Ellen used to go buy him a whole bundle of shirts to his house, he would try them all and choose the ones he wanted, and she would always return the rest. In saying that, he would sweetly ask “why dont you do that for me? dont you love me?” i would never agree to the concept, so i never did it, and with that he woudl get angry and keep repeating Ellen great way with him untile i loose my grip on my emotions and then he would stop.

I was devastated that he was leaving so early with all what was happening, he was leaving by august to go and settle down until I was done with my course. I was applying for jobs in Dubai through my dad since he didn’t want me to live in Abu Dhabi until we were married. So the plan was for me to stay with my sister until then. MJ wanted us to get married ASAP so we were planning on getting married in December of 2007 so that we can at last live in the same country together. His father got really sick and so our engagement kept getting postponed until his father was well enough to travel. I got a job offer in Dubai that I would have to start in October, so the plan was since I was first gonna go to Cairo to see my parents then to go to Dubai to start my job, our engagement will be in the week that I will be in Cairo before I move to Dubai. That didn’t happen cause his dad got sick so it was pushed off till November.

The month that we stayed apart, me in Montreal and him in Abu Dhabi, MJ’s attitude started to take another turn. He wanted to find an apartment to live in so he doesn’t have to live with his parents. I was adamantly against that since I wanted to have the choice of where to live. The least he could do for me was allow me the choice of my new home accommodations. I put my foot down so harshly in this aspect, there was no discussions allowed I wanted a choice and I wanted to choose. He was mad as hell, telling me how suffocated he was living with his parents, how he can never go home cause he never wants to sit with them, he was out all the time with Samael and his friends and needed to have his own home to go back to. I refused with all my might, there was no way I was ever gonna accept not having a say in where my home will be like. The arguments started from there on, him blaming me for his stress me blaming him for his selfishness. We still stayed on the phone for hours and spoke a lot, but there was too much stress in the air, and I blamed it on the fact that he was starting a new job, living with his family again after fifteen years and re uniting with old friends. We discussed what car he was going to buy forever and a day, we would sit for hours on the phone with our lap tops searching cars their engines, their size, prices etc.. these were the times he was extremely happy in, and I was always interested in making him happy.

I never really noticed that he never asked about my school, or how my days were like in Montreal, I never noticed that everything was only about him. The times I would volunteer information, like I went out there or saw these friends, he would ask about the outing, if I was drinking or not. We had made a pact early on in the relationship that if we both go out at night neither one of us will have more than two glasses of alcohol, unless we are out together then we can do as we wish. Naturally this conversation started from his end one day, not liking that I went to a club without him in Montreal and had a few drinks. So he told me that he doesn’t like it and his rule was set, of course I set the same rule on him, telling him what goes on me goes on him, this is not a dictatorship relationship.

MJ was great with his gifts, he would get me a gift on most of his trips to Montreal, and they were always something very sweet and thoughtful. A bracelet with a heart dangling off it (this was my favorite one) and his love words etched on the inside of the bracelet. Another was a pendant to put mine and his picture in that we went all over Montreal trying to get the right size picture that would fit into the pendant (great times my God we laughed so much). He would also get me cute shirts from his travels. In return, I was such a gift giver, I loved to get gifts for people it was something that really made me happy, so to have this done to me in return was a pleasant surprise that he liked to do the same thing. I had a small fetish for men with leather bracelets, so on my return from Cairo (the Cairo trip time) I went all over Cairo looking for one to get him. With great effort I found one store that sold three different types, I bought two of them in case he wanted one or the other and engraved the one I really liked with his name, my name and a sentence he loved to tell me all the time which was “My One and Only” that was another nickname he used to call me with in addition to Baby Girl. He was so pleasant when I gave it to him, I was over joyed when he wore it as I loved to look at his hand and arm with it on, it was something I found extremely sexy. He wanted to give the other one to his third brother to wear because he loved the idea of the bracelet. I had no problems with that at all and was actually happy to have him share something like that with his brother.

To my surprise as time passed and I was still in Montreal, MJ called to tell me that he wasn’t to remove my bracelet cause he is in a prominent position in his job and this bracelet was making him look too gay. I said no, I will not allow us to succumb to what the Arab nation decides what is right and what is wrong. I was offended that the first signs of change were to do with how we were to present ourselves and that it was my bracelet that was to be removed. He went into a tantrum saying that he is a man, that he is not my toy boy, that I don’t have him wrapped around my little pinky. I mean what the hell was all that about, and where did all that come from, I knew something was wrong, things were twisting around; I just didn’t know who was talking to him, who was filling his head with nonsense like that. I ignored his tantrums keeping things moving smoothly till I got there to see what was going on. In the mean time we were discussion the engagement, fixing things up, planning the tickets for his parents. He was so excited about it, could not wait till we were engaged officially, he told all his brothers to come and be there on his happy day, sadly the only one that went out of his way to be there was the one who was living in Dubai by then. My heart went out to him, as he expressed his disappointment in his other two brothers for not putting in the effort to go. In knowing that, I became more and more forgiving of his newly developed cruel ways.

When I would approach the topic of my fear in moving to Abu Dhabi with him, he would comfort me by telling me that I should remember our song “chasing Cars” how this was me and him and no one else. How we are one unite, nothing can break us apart we have a certain way we have decided to live and we were still going to live that way the way we lived in the west. I trusted him, I believed when he told me that he would take great care of me there, how he had no one else other than me in the whole world and he would throw petals on the floor for me if that is what I needed when I move there. Yet I had a nagging feeling inside, choosing to ignore it, I believed his words.

Insights to write in your diary:

For Women:

1-      If a man changes on you, pay attention to who he is hanging around with, as indirect questions to find out from where all those new thoughts are coming from. Try to cut the new bad link as early as possible if you really believe that he is unable to think for himself. Or simply just walk out cause that person is only able to think through others.

2-     In all situations in life, there is compromise on both ends, especially relationships are a two way road not a one sacrificial road. In an abusive mans mind, once you give up what you want and entirely go with what he wants, he will take it as a sign of weakness.

3- In any relationship, NEVER interfere either family members in it, and make sure he is not a mommy’s boy or a daddy’s boy cause that will never change no matter what sense you try to make out of it.

4- You are the important person to yourself so your values and hopes and dreams should still hold importance with the man you choose to spend the rest of your life with.

5- Value yourself, no one else will.

For men:

1-      When you decide to build a family with someone, make sure that both your future dreams are aligned with one another.

2-     As much as your work life is important to you it is important to the woman in your life also that you are interested in her work.

3-     Do not be someone else just to get the girl, how will you ever know that your with the right person any other way.


About Rana Zaben
I help people feel their best and create a solid second income to enjoy the best things in life.

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