Friday, December 23, 2011

White Lies, Black Lies and Big Fat Liars

One thing I will never understand about Arab culture is telling lies. It's just so common in the Arab world for men to lie to their womenfolk. Men lie to their wives, to their mothers, sisters, and kids. Women are almost always the targets of these lies. The Arab man is the master of all types of lies.

I come from a culture of a respect for absolute honesty. Finns are the most honest people you will find on earth. We always top the corruption studies as the number one least corrupt country. Finns can leave their doors open and always return lost wallets, some with all the money in there. Even our politicians are honest (well ok not ALL)!

So the lying Arab male to me is like a red flag in front of my eyes and seeing this phenomenon makes smoke come out of my ears and nostrils!

What could be behind all this lying?
An Arab man is brought up surrounded by liars. He will grow up seeing how his father lies to his own mother on a continuous basis without any consequences. Maybe his father took more wives and was dishonest with the first wife, and of course the second one. Nobody will know the truth except the men.

The boy adapts this seriously screwed-up model in his own life and applies to his wife and own children. Men are basically honest with each other, but with women for some reason they are not able to be truthful 100% of the time. Some not even 2% of the time it seems.

The Arab man will tell white lies to his wife all the time. Some are "innocent" with no bad intentions, but lies nevertheless.  But even if the man supposedly sincerely (only an Arab man can lie sincerely) means good with his lie, it doesn't mean it is not going to hurt the recipient. White lies can also hurt the most.

Sometimes he will make black, ugly-ass lies to get himself out of trouble. We have a saying in Finland that is very fitting for the description "kuin koira veräjästä" meaning he will take the easy way out, or literally "escape like a dog from the back door". 

The sad thing is that being a big fat liar is a perfectly normal status for him. The Arab man does not even feel ashamed of lying. You will never find him apologizing or begging on his knees for the wife to forgive his idiotic actions even though that would be the right thing to do.

He thinks it's his birth-right to lie to women.

Especially if it is to "protect" the woman.

A typical Arab guy will never tell his womenfolk the absolute truth about his financial situation. Arab men are experts at hiding assets and keeping purchases, loans or bankruptcy from the women of the family. Is it because they think women are too emotional to handle anything deemed serious? Do they view women as stupid and incapable of handling finances? Do they think telling women about finances will cause the poor women to faint or start ululating and pulling their hair out in shock of how lousily he has dealt with money?

Are Arab men really so dumb to think women don't have a clue? 

Well I have a newsflash for those dumb-asses out there: You are probably the one with only clues. Your wife most likely is the one with more sense and when it comes to money-issues if given a chance would excel you in them.

Men like this are simply weak and afraid of women. Afraid that they will be better and take control. 

The Arab man has to always be in control. His pride is too high for anything else. By lying he thinks takes control. But of course, he is wrong. This is the only conclusion I can make from this idiotic habit of compulsive lying. Or then they are just cowards. Too scared of the truth and rather hide behind ridiculous stories.

How does this happen, seriously I just don't get the mentality behind it. How does a man come to think it's better to lie to the wife than tell the truth? He will get caught someday anyways, so why not be honest from the beginning? Why take the extra drama and hurt feelings? Wouldn't it actually be easier on him to come forth with the truth right from the start?

So what if the woman gets hurt or upset from what he has to say? She will get a MILLION times more upset about the lie AND the action. If she were to know beforehand, she might get upset at first but at least being honest with her would lessen the hurt.

Why is it so common for Arab men to lie to women? Withholding the truth is just another form of lying! Also, how do women come to accept this, because it wouldn't be so common if more women viewed as unacceptable right?



P.S. please refrain from making a comment stating not ALL Arab men are big fat liars. This is by no means what I intended to say. There are good men, there are bad men and there are good men with bad days.
P.P.S. I realize men lie all over the world, even Finnish men. No need to remind me of that, but the post is about this specific cultural phenomenon.

46 comments:

Liza Khan said...

Salam,

I can't say for Sadui Men but I know the culture in the middle east is that way through out. My in-laws are constantly lying to my hubby and when they get caught they say its for his protection also... I'm lucky to say I found a man that has learned that lying is wrong. He has worked hard but he is changing. I think with a helping wife to steer him in the right direction he will break that evil cycle. Isha'Allah this article helps women that are married to Middle eastern men that with love a patient you can change bad habits :)

Almost a Muslimah said...

by all means I'm not an expert but I read a comment somewhere made by a lady married to an Arab guy that it's all about how things look on the outside (and I would agree with it an extent). As long as everything looks good on the outside and doesn't give the community a reason to run their mouths, all is good. Maybe that's why they lie, to keep things looking good. Keeping one's face is everything.
just a thought :)

JHENNIE said...

your post has left an uneasy sensation but I think that's a phenomenon present in many cultures not only in Arab countries; For instance, in mine men are big liars as well, of course not all of them but lying is very common, mostly on cheating matters and it would seem it has become in a daily basis practise between women as well as a response of men behaviour.

♡ αmαℓ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It was a very disappointing post - generalizations of this kind are acceptable not for a nice blog like yours but for some gossip column

Anonymous said...

I love you blog and your writing. However there are times when you show some of your vulnerability. Nobody's life is perfect. Neither yours or mine or anyone elses. Hugs.

♥hind♥ said...

My husband had to learn that im not into lies at all. I dont need my life, trust or peace built on lies, that I can handle the *truth*. I have never accused his cultural backround to be easy with lies. I call it diplomatic. They are pretty much diplomatic..Thank you for that post..

Anonymous said...

This description matches with Turkish culture as well. Before I used to take everything literally which doesn't work here. Some people can say whatever to get out of situation or they will say what they expect you want to hear. It has been sad to notice that promises don't mean much, they can change their mind on things and even claim that their lie was just a joke! The worst is they can lie sincerely as you mentioned, even swearing that something is true when it's not. On the other hand, if I freak out and say things, they aren't taken very seriously either. All this makes me feel insecure, it's hard to trust in people anymore. Trust is such an important thing and after realizing this continuous lying, "joking and telling stories", I can't believe anymore all the things I hear or trust which is sad. Thanks for this post, it makes me feel a bit better to know that I'm not alone with these thoughts. Hugs, from Turkey

Om Lujain© said...

WOW... what an interesting and descriptive post hon! Lying is sadly very common here (it is common all over the world.. YES)... but it is much more common here.. little lies here and there.. lies such as... telling a kid if he cleans his room, he will get to go out... the cleaning is done.. and the kids is ignored and never taken out.. little things like this are lies that grow into bigger lies as the children grow up. Additionally, the culture of things here allows women to be left in the dark more so then anywhere else in the world. Why? women are unable to handle their own affairs let alone be a part of their husbands affairs. A women needs a man to run her business for her (the parts where a man is needed to go to government offices etc)... anyway.. I do hope people teach their children from a young age NOT to lie.. that lying is not acceptable.. and that being honest will truly keep a family happy.

Take care hon.. *Hugs*

Laylah said...

Thanks for the comments I really enjoyed reading your different perspectives.
I don't have time to reply to everyone one by one this time sorry!

I knew when I posted this that
A)most western women exposed to ME and arab culture will agree with me

B)many arab women won't and will become defensive saying men are liars everywhere

and C)some people who are not exposed to ME will say I am generalizing and won't understand why I wrote this.

Ok so all of the above happened and of course I am not surprised and I understand those negative reactions.

I just want to point out that is self clear men all over the world lie. Finnish men lie too, of course.
My post was not about lying men, it was about how common it is for arab men to lie. That is why I used the term Arab men.

My post is also about the phenomenon of lying to womenfolk that is very common throughout the middle-east. I didn't write Saudi men because I have heard of the similar problem from around the region.

I can't write to please everyone. I write about touchy and taboo subjects too. I'm not the kind of person who sweeps everything under the rug or buries their head in the sand and denies the existence of problems such as this.

It is a real, widespread phenomenon. Calling it generalizing would be denying the truth.

Anonymous said...

Olen täysin samaa mieltä, miesten valehtelu on raivostuttavaa. Itse olen enemmän perehtynyt latinokulttuureihin, ja täytyy huomauttaa että ilmiö on täysin sama myös siellä. Latinomiehet ovat erittäin kovia valehtelmaan, mutta pitävät myös oletuksenä sitä, että myöskään heille ei kerrota totuutta. Tämä saa heidät siis epäilemään kaikkea ja kaikkia. Valitettavaa kyllä, täytyy huomauttaa että myös naiset valehtelevat. Eivät käsittääkseni niin usein kuin miehet, mutta erittäin usein kuitenkin. Uskoisin kuitenkin, että naiset ovat luottavaisempia ja uskovat miesten valheisiin yllättävän paljon.

Valehetelevatko naiset myös Saudeissa?

Kiitos jälleen mielenkiintoisesta postauksesta!

T. Suvi

Jenny said...

It is sad when lying is rationalized. We care so much about what other people think of us but what should matter most is what God thinks. It's ironic (and sad) that this could be more common in a culture with a such a strong religious tradition. I hope that your own Saudi family members don't fit into this pattern.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I couldn't agree more and find it very odd how easy it is for men to justify their actions. I have been lied to by my Arab American husband and things have never been the same since. I don't understand the need to lie...why not just be honest! Just because we are women doesn't mean we are incapable of understanding the reality or whatever situation.

A lie is a lie regardless of how big or small. Just sayin...

Ciao

ASaudi'sGirl? said...

Haha, what a great time to read this poat. After a huge fight with my Arab about telling lies! He sucks at it and always gets caught, but still keeps trying. I'm the fool who puts up with it. And I agree, any woman from the west with an Arab man will agree that they lie more. not only do they lie more, they lie about things that don't even need to be lied about! YOu got my vote sister!

Shimshim said...

Arab men do lie sadly, its always about "protecting you" and "I did it because I didn't want you to worry"...sometimes, you feel like you are going round in circles, because this is the "last time" he will lie, until the next time that you catch him out. I know of Arabs whom have heard news of a loved one who has passed away, he/she is a close relative of the wife, but he doesn't dare tell her because: 1.it's too upsetting
2.her health is so delicate she won't be able to cope with the news - so he goes on lying to her about the relative...

How can they justify it in their minds? I would like to see how its processed, do they have any guilt? Or do they genuinely believe that they are doing the right thing???

Anonymous said...

ITALY- Given that Arabs tend to be liars, would any woman married to a Saudi recommend a relationship between a Western woman and a Saudi guy? I need your advice. No marrriage in sight, just a relationship. He's living in Europe at the moment, and very unhappily married at home. I know him quite well, but..he's Arabic.

Anonymous said...

To ITALY.
From Poland - I was in relationship with Saudi. Everything was perfect, but it turned out he was cheating on me, since the begging. I have serious doubts about his friends' relationships. If he is married, let it go. We all know they can have up to 4 wives.
Highly not recommended.
Zuza

Hope said...

I never thought of Arab men as liars.. Maybe because I've been mostly exposed to Arab Americans.. Their nature is different than the ones who were raised in the ME... Theyre more focused on following and learning about their religion rather than pleasing their culture... I think a society that has too much of backbiting, lying, jealousy is what makes a place so hard to live in.. It makes u sick and sad...I feel that there's too much energy spent on people's outward appearance and zero energy spent in teaching manners...

Sandy said...

I think there are several prevelent kinds of lies- though closely related. Of course they lie about all things involving another woman. And this is throughout the world. They also lie to "protect" the woman.

But Arab women lie quite a bit as well in the following types of lies. Lies of convenience. Lie to children, lie to co-workers, lie to get out of trouble, lie to get what you want. Lie to make things appear right- the reality is less important as someone posted above. Somewhere I read a great article about this- shame-based cultures vs merit based. Saudi is a shame-based culture and anyone of any gender will lie to avoid shame.

To Italy- you are THE OTHER WOMAN. Of course it's not a good idea. Who knows if he is really unhappy at home. Who wants a cheater?

Anonymous said...

ITALY- Thanks a lot, ladies, for your advice. I will bear it in mind. Btw, Italian men can be very big liars! Never trust an Italian man ;)

Laylah said...

Suvi-kiitos kommentista, mielenkiintoista kuulla etta siellakin pain maailmaa sama ongelma!
Kysyit Saudi naisista, kylla hekin osaavat valehdella mutta uskoisin etta enimmakseen se on miseten ongelma, ja siis nimenomaan naisille valehtelu ja salailu. Ikaankuin naiset eivat pystyisi ollenkaan kasittelemaan todellisuutta!
Raivostuttavaa, kylla.

Laylah said...

Jenny-you're right it's sad when we have this kind of phenomenon within Muslims..obviously Islam does not agree with lying!
My own Saudi family does have some members with this problem. unfortunately, it is that common.
To me it looks like the women are so used to it they don't even see it as a problem really.

Laylah said...

A Saudis Girl-I'm sorry to hear that! I hope you can work things out and he will grow put of this habit!

saudi_children_left_behind said...

Love your blog, Thank You for voicing your opinion about this phenomenon of the lying Arab man and the struggles that woman may indeed face. Keep up the good work on helping everyone get a glimpse not only the not so good side but also the wonderful side of the Arab world.

Laylah said...

Shimshim-It's also very common for families (men and women) to lie to elderly patients about their condition and prognosis. The family thinks they are doing a favor for the patient by protecting them from knowing they will most likely die soon, but in the end they are really doing the opposite.

It's more common not to reveal the serious issues to the female patients though.

Laylah said...

ITALY- I would absolutely not recommend having a relationship with any married man, let alone a Saudi one! Run as fast as you can the other way.

Laylah said...

Hope-thanks for the interesting views, that's right there are many factors such as the importance of appearances vs the reality, and basic good manners.

Laylah said...

Sandy-would you say Saudi women lie as much as Saudi men? And if so, do they lie mostly to other women or strangers rather than their husbands or fathers?

Laylah said...

Saudi children left behind-thank you very much and keep up the good work on your blog :)

Anonymous said...

Has your husband been lying to you?

Laylah said...

what kind of question is that?^ LOL

Airi said...

Found this article interesting ;) I guess Finnish men or in general Nortic people are rised up not to lie! It is wrong and to steal, it is not right. Sometimes I found so called islamic countries and theyr government a real Hell :S everybody is cheating, stealing in any way they can.. most of all - stealing behind a poor honest hardworking person. They have lost any sense of empathy and humanity... Kids are violent towards God's creatures, torturing cats, dogs, even grasshoppers :( And women, not all, but most of them... backbiting is harmless... they insult you in public, in to your face. And one has done nothing bad. Getting all this dirst just because of jalousy or another has got enogh from sleeping at home on her lazy bot. So sad! But alhamdullah, theyr are people struggeling against this madness, staying honest and polite :)
Airi from Estonia

Laylah said...

Airi-so nice to hear from you! thanks for your comment. I agree with your observations. I don't know why that happened to some people :(

Anonymous said...

I'm Canadian and work with many Saudi men. I've noticed too their ability to accept what they call "white" lies.... such as someone else doing their homework, writing their tests. It seems acceptable. The bigge lies are all about pride and or in the name of protection of the woman. Why do women have to be soooo protected. One Saudi friend advised that women can't visit cemetaries in the KSA because they couldn't handle it emotionally. I know this is off-topic, but typical of their thinking that we just can't handle much. Maybe lying to us makes it that much easier.

saudi_children_left_behind said...

Hi Laylah :) As always LOVE your blog!! With my facebook page going good, I thought I would start a blog for the site as well. I just started this blog and I am hoping to get interviews from the other women who have found themselves in our situation. It is imperative that their voices are heard . I truly would appreciate any help in this matter.

Blog: http://saudichildrenleftbehind.wordpress.com/

You can contact me at: saudi_childen_left_behind@hotmail.com Or on the Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/SaudiChildrenLeftBehind

Laylah said...

Saudichildrenleftbehind- No problem I will add you to my blogroll!
I hope you will find many women willing to share their stories so that others can be warned about risks of dating Saudi students abroad..
Keep up the good work!

Danielletrini said...

Olen alkuperaisesti Karibialta ja tämä on iso ongelma koko Latin Americassa ja Caribialla. Mutta uskon että siellä miehet yleensä valehtelevat kun he pettää heidän vaimoaansa toisen naisen kanssa. Melkein kaikki minun miespuolisten sukulaisten on pettäneet vaimoaan ainakin kerran. Mutta he eivät valehtelevat "meidän omaksi paraksi" koko ajan kuin Lähi Idässä minun mielessä.

Anonymous said...

Indian men are no different....

thetruthaboutsellingsex said...

Lovely post. Saudi men will lie to get what's denied to them: dating women. The students have no choice but to lie, otherwise they won't be able to experience relationships. No woman in her right mind will go into a relationship with a Saudi being fully aware that he cannot marry/reproduce with her (unless money can sway her...perhaps).

Anonymous said...

My husband is American, from the South and he does not lie...hes even said that theres no such thing as a white lie either. Much as I love him, I cannot trust him 100% as most of the men I have come across,regardless of nationality, all lie....be it white lies, black lies, blue lies... u name it!I am slowly changing to his point of view and have even stopped using 'bad traffic' as a reason for coming home late...its a bit difficult though not even a thinsy weensy little lie ;o)

Anonymous said...

"only an Arab man can lie sincerely" ...just marvelous
Great job Laylah!
Maria

Once bitten twice shy said...

Sorry to burst your bubble but Finnish men can lie just the same as any other man. I know; I was in a three year relationship with one and one night he told me he loved me, was going to move to the States with me and all that stuff. Five hours later someone calling herself his girlfriend contacted me and told me they were busy breaking in their new bed. Turns out, he'd taken up with her about four months earlier without mentioning a word to me about it the entire time he was making plans to move in with me. After her message, I never heard a word from him; he blocked all contact without explanation of why he did what he did. He married her two months later. Turns out she literally abandoned her child and flew across the globe to be with him after knowing him for just a few months.

Sorry, but any person from any background can lie. To believe otherwise or believe a specific nationality is less likely to do so is naive.

Once bitten twice shy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

G R E A T AND TOTALLY AGREE ...WITH SAUDI FRIENDS !!

Anonymous said...

Yes it is true I am half European and half latina and it is true that sometimes there is that way but not as middle east...Latinos what they do is cheat on women and they can make a utterly new life but ther are not telling you lies the whole time even with the most stupid thing.I was in a relationship with a Saudi and I couldn't stand it.I prefer Europeans by far!!! Some times its also a norm in undeveloped countries (mentally speaking,not only in economic terms)

Anonymous said...

Exactly even for things that don't even need to be lied about.