Anonymous question about marriage

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to your question. This is one of the nightmares I think of if I am getting married to an Egyptian. I even think that if my mother didn’t have me, she wouldn’t approve a guy with my situation proposing to my sisters. And I imagine it being worse if the female is the handicapped one.

That being said, I can say there are general rules and ideas to consider:

  • There is no way to do this without her approval. Unfortunately this is how marriage in Egypt works, and if you go without it your life will be hell.
  • Expect that it will take time to convince her. It will be a marathon full of ups and downs. You and him have to expect, and understand this. And be willing to go the long route. It can take up to 1-2 years to get it done.
  • Most people will tell you “talk to her” or “try to address her concerns”. This is mostly bullshit advice because I am sure you already did and it is not working. We humans are irrational and with Egyptian parents multiply this by 100. You need a plan and a lot of trial and error.
  • I don’t know about your relationship to your parents, but personally I am more of the secretive type. If you are one of those open communicators, you have to stop immediately without them noticing. You need to give only the information that would help you move closer to your goal, and avoid any info that could make things worse. I can go to the extent of saying the way you introduced him and the timing make a difference, but you are already past this stage so there is not much to say.
  • Read this book, and make him read it “Never split the difference”. It may sound like a joke, but basically you are entering a multi-party complex negotiation and you need to up your game. I personally had a friend with a very complicated marriage situation and I made him read the book, they are now – after 2 years – happily married. Learn a lot about negotiation.
  • Build a support network around both of you. And cut the naysayers. This is a marathon and you need all the available support.
  • Understand that he is probably so anxious about it. Many handicapped people – including myself – are insecure about being rejected because of something they didn’t choose and can’t change. Try to be open about it with him and let him vent if necessary.

The above was kinda more generic/principle advice. Now to some tactics:

  • See if there are possibilities for the wise people on both sides to talk. For example if your father supports the situation then his father should call yours and discuss the possibilities to reassure your mother.
  • If you have a sweet talker friend, let him/her talk to her to convince her. If you have a supportive aunt/friend of your mother they should do the same.
  • If your mother conforms to religious authorities, try to get a Sheikh directly or indirectly to convince her. One tactic could be to send a question to Dar Al Ifta as a mother rejecting the marriage to a good guy because of his disability and see what they say. Or to get a celebrity Sheikh that she likes to call her. (Of course all of this I am assuming you are Muslims but if not the same apply to other religions).
  • If she is more about financial reassurance then he has to show off a bit and you need to throw in the middle of your conversations with her some cues about him being financially well.
  • The kids part is the toughest one to address in my opinion. If I were you I won’t say that I don’t care about it. I will bring it more from the side that we will do our best to make it work. I will try to highlight that since he is the US, medicine has already progressed so well and it could be possible. You need to create hope.

That’s all I could think of. I really hope the best for you. If you have other questions don’t hesitate to ask, and feel free to DM me if you want to have a conversation about it. ربنا يتمم بخير.