// HELP! How can I get closer to my husband's cultural community?
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LeylaNur
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Remembrance of Allah is the true source of peace..


« on: Sep 16, 2008 01:05 AM »


 salaam

How do I get closer to my husband's cultural/religious community?

My husband is foreign and while I'm a member of the same religion (Islam), I'm not a member of his culture (Turkish).

I'll sometimes be invited to functions but I have several problems.

1. Many of the women are stay-at-home moms. This causes:
a.) I don't relate to them because I'm not "stay-at-home"
b.) I don't have kids (yet)
c.) Since they stay at home, many have a weak grasp of English

2. When they get together in a group, of course they're all speaking Turkish amongst themselves which is totally normal and totally fine, but I'm out of the loop. I know limited Turkish, but I'm still an outsider.

3. Most of the married women are older than me as their husbands are older. Therefore, most of the women are in their 40's or late 30's while I'm only 25.

I always try to be friendly, talkative, I'll even ask some for their phone number, but other than being invited to these group events, no one ever really wants to get together.

This stresses out my husband since the wives "doing their thing" brings some kind of honor, strengthens community, makes the husbands closer and all that good stuff. I guess it's like military wives or old-fashioned networking.

How can I get "in" to this community? How can I make myself more integrated? Cause right now, I'm basically totally out of it.

I pray everyday that some of his younger friends in their 20's or early 30's will get married so I can have some women closer to my age, or that they marry fluent English speakers or maybe even Americans..

I'm not about to get pregnant just to "fit in".. I have some things to do before I have a baby, mostly having to do with finances and my weight.

Please help me out because this will help out our standing and our marriage within the community.

P.S. I can't invite them ALL over as it's a LOT of women and I don't have a lot of space OR a lot of money. Also when they're all together I'm usually the odd one out except for some nice ladies speaking to me.

Also, it's weird to ask people out individually since I'm not sure if they even LIKE me since they never ask me out anywhere.

HELP, PLEASE!

I try to remember to count my blessings each day because I have many:

To be thankful for my health, and that of my loved ones, the presence of my husband and the continuation of our marriage, that we can pay our bills and have food on the table..

So many blessings but often, so little thanks!
um aboodi
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 16, 2008 04:58 AM »

salam

I don't know, may be you could organize some community events with them. Like for eid, maybe the wives can organize an eid party which would involve communal food preparations.

Or if one of the ladies is good with let's say embroidery, sewing, or anything, you may suggest that she volunteers to teach you and others this if you find this interesting. 

Also you may organize a women's halaqa where each one of you may host the halaqa at her place each week. 

Hope this helps.

Take care
LeylaNur
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 16, 2008 05:16 AM »

I'd LOVE to follow up on some of those ideas, but it's a bit problematic..

For one, for some reason, they totally frown upon anything "potluck". I find this terribly annoying as if you host an iftar, you have to be ready to cook for 30 (which is NOT easy) and have your home totally childproofed because they WON'T tell their kids not to jump on your couch right next to you. (it's happened many a time!) I suggested a potluck once and had eyes like saucers given to me by my husband and his male friends saying it's a big no-no.

As far as the halaqa, I'd LOVE to do this too, but their lack of fluency in English and my lack of fluency in Turkish makes this difficult.

I think language and age are the big things.. We aren't on a first name level to each other, it's me (at 26) and most of them are abla+name basis. ("abla" means "auntie" and is an honorific term we put in front of women older than our own peer level) The other thing is I don't have kiddos.. Having a baby is the ULTIMATE way to get into the community. Everyone LOVES babies, but I can't just produce one to get in with the community.. Though I HAVE thought..  Roll Eyes Just kidding!  Tongue

I'd really just LOVE to take a Turkish class, but there are none in the area. Dilemmas, dilemmas, dilemmas!

I'm a bit at my wits end with trying to figure out a way to weasel in!  Embarrassed

I try to remember to count my blessings each day because I have many:

To be thankful for my health, and that of my loved ones, the presence of my husband and the continuation of our marriage, that we can pay our bills and have food on the table..

So many blessings but often, so little thanks!
Discoverulifecoach
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 21, 2008 02:29 AM »

Alhumdulliah. May Allah reward you for such effort to please your husband and to get on with the wives of his friends for his sake.

You are applying great behaviour flexibility here. So if the first thing fails, what else can you do.

Examples, go out somewhere like the park - no sofa to be destroyed, the kids get to play, and maybe you can just walk and get some fresh air and no need to talk too much either!

What about learning Turkish online...find some Muslim women, set up a skype account so it is free for you to talk to each other - you get friendship AND learn the language.

What else?

Keep going and thinking of more things like this.

Also, I am a life coach by profession and I am offering sisters a free taster session - 30 minute chat over the internet or phone. If you are interested then just get in touch at discoverulifecoach@ gmail.com (no spaces)...You mentioned some other issues and we could look at how life coaching might be a way to tackle those areas.

I pray it all goes well.

Wassalam

Sr. Farzana

cheese
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 27, 2008 10:56 PM »

This one is easy.

Learn Turkish.

Have babies.

Talk about stuff they are interested in.


I’m in a similar situation, my wife is Pakistani and I hate Pakistan and everything about it.
I’m a lot younger than my wife’s friends’ husbands because Pakistanis usually marry older men.
But I get on ok with them and they usually change their conversations to English and subjects that I’m interested in when I’m around.
Someone has to make the compromise. I think in your situation it should be you. Because you are one and they are many. You are young and they are old, and you want to be part of their community, not the other way around.
Princess1983
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Make duaa for those less fortunate than us.


« Reply #5 on: Sep 29, 2008 12:49 PM »

This one is easy.

Learn Turkish.

Have babies.

Talk about stuff they are interested in.


I’m in a similar situation, my wife is Pakistani and I hate Pakistan and everything about it.
I’m a lot younger than my wife’s friends’ husbands because Pakistanis usually marry older men.
But I get on ok with them and they usually change their conversations to English and subjects that I’m interested in when I’m around.
Someone has to make the compromise. I think in your situation it should be you. Because you are one and they are many. You are young and they are old, and you want to be part of their community, not the other way around.



Salam brother,

surely in this blessed month we can tone down the "hate"Huh?? Here have a drink on me after Iftar  bebzi

Sister LeylaNur-hats off to you sister for taking on such a big task  Wink

I can comment on what my great aunt did to fit in with her new found community (she comes from a none-asian, none muslim family) which was a Pakistani Muslim community.

My great aunt use to sit in the corner quietly and picked up on stuff like what women were going on about, what they were eating, their body language. After a few months (sorry sister its a bit of a lonh process) she got in their with the bit of the language she had picked up and asked sisters to teach her how to cook certain dishes (although she knew how to cook them just fine!).  They (the community) took to her really well and vice versa.

I have a similar issue to yours-though not identical. Most of the girls in my area of my age are married with children. I however went to university and got married at 22 rather than 18 which sets me back a few years  Roll Eyes
I have however found that I can relate to sisters who are not married and are still in education (some are older). We've found common ground on issues like community development.

Is there no groups for young sisters NeylaNur in your area? We have a Turkish community centre in our area and they have various community groups/projects running from the same centre. Just a thought-I must comment I'm in the UK so things may run differently in your neck of the woods.

Can you speak Turkish? Maybe you can make some baklava  madinaflag and take it to the Turkish sisters?!

Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wasn't just sent to guide us Muslims, he is a unique, true example to EVERYONE.
This life is only a test-passing will equal Jannah, Inshallah!
Oh Muslim brothers and sisters-consider sponsoring an Orphan if Allah has blessed you with the finances to do so-Ameen.
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