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Relationships in Flux (Part II): Somali Stories. By Hassan M. When I married my wife, her father asked me to live with them but I politely declined. . Okay, online dating has been getting a bad rap, but I can't complain. Through the power of the Internet, Salaam Loves makes it easy to meet like- minded Somali singles. Whether you're looking for dating opportunities, marriage or. Somalis who marry non-Somalis are breaking the social norms of He converted to Islam before they met on a Muslim dating website.
I was equally to blame for the debacle of our marriage. We had no choice but to divorce.
By that time, I was already shopping for another mate. That is one of the problems of internet dating: Sadly, there is this perception that there is always someone else out there better than your mate. Several months later, I started dipping my toe back into the dating pool. I met Deeqa online and got married, again, shortly after. My relationship with Deeqa was very good. We were married for two happy years. Our biggest problem was our work schedules.
Aside from working full time, my wife was attending university. Although I wanted her to succeed in her pursuit of education, her hectic schedule was taking a toll on our marriage. Okay, I will be more honest with you: She had lost interest in sex. She was fine before enrolling in school, I was deprived of love and became frustrated.
Sometimes, several weeks would pass without anything happening between us. We talked about the issue regarding intimacy but to no avail.
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When I consulted with one of my friends about what to do, he advised me to start fasting. I was upset with him because fasting is a solution religiously prescribed for single men in order to reduce sexual urges.
Every time I got close to my wife, alarm bells were triggered. I was told all kinds of excuses, from being exhausted to doing school projects. Adultery was out of the question and so was sainthood.
To make a long story short, we got divorced. Oddly, four months after our split, my wife married another Somali man whom she had met online.
I am no longer active in online dating. I like to meet people the old-fashioned way: Do you know any woman in her thirties who is interested in meeting an honest, hardworking, motivated, family-oriented Somali man?
Did I give you my profile? Annals of Self-Hate I am a year-old woman who holds an unconventional perspective toward race, the black race.
It is ironic that, as a black woman, I have such a negative perception of my own race. On the surface, I appear well educated, well traveled, and well read. However, I have deeply entrenched views about color. I am a light-skinned woman who grew up in a coastal town in Somalia where being dark was perceived as a liability and being light-skinned was regarded as an asset.
Women in my town flaunted the color of their husbands. The lighter husbands were always getting a nod of approval, and the darker ones received nothing but contempt. Then, I came to the U. My decision to marry a white man did not surprise me, and I spent little time thinking about the consequences of such a marriage. Initially, I was flattered that a white man had fallen in love with me and wanted to marry me.
Secretly, I always fantasized about having children from a mixed marriage, imagining they would possess exotic and dazzling beauty. Interestingly, my people rarely marry outside their race.
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However, my husband was one of those whites who find black women very exotic and intriguing. At any rate, we married and had two beautiful daughters in the next four years. However, the marriage was anything but stable.
He was patriarchal, overbearing, and controlling. Although he was only a year older than me, he still insisted on acting as my mentor and even as a father figure.
In a nutshell, we had irreconcilable differences, and so we parted ways. Even today, I have no idea how or why I ended up marrying a dark man. His strong personality and affability made his appearance irrelevant to me. In a way, I went from one extreme of marrying a white blonde guy of Scandinavian heritage to marrying a dark East African man. I guess I was making a point to myself that race did not matter to me. My ex-husband, interestingly, had a darker opinion.
He believed I married a black fellow to infuriate him and get back at him. My marriage to the Somali man produced three children who, not surprisingly, look just like their father. Suddenly, I started avoiding family events. When I took my children to the park, strangers would ask if I were babysitting the three youngest children. My extended family indirectly favored the older two by showering extra attention on them.
Upset at this unfair behavior and to avoid any unwanted comparison of our children, I stopped accompanying my husband to certain family events. I also stopped going out with him. He was furious, and accused me of having low self-esteem. In a way, he was right. Yes, I loved him, but sometimes people are cruel in their judgments. I did not want to hurt my family by exposing any of them to cruel stares and hurtful comments. My husband walked out of our marriage and took three of his children with him.
Oddly, I did not file for custody of these children. Several months later, I realized I was miserable. I missed my husband and my children. When we were together, my husband was kind and caring, qualities that had initially attracted me and led me to marry him, but I was merely interested in superficial matters, such as looks.
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During those miserable months of separation, my life was empty and unhappy. I am now in therapy dealing with my issues of low self-esteem. Both my first husband and I are now parents, separately: He has three children and I have two.
Many intense memories came back to me when my first husband and his family came to visit us in Maine. My current husband and my first husband were schoolmates in high school in Somalia. They had stayed in contact and, of course, my current husband knew about my earlier marriage to his friend. What a small world! It was the most awkward moment, seeing my first husband so many years after our divorce. At dinner, I found myself going out of my way to give more food to him.
In a way, my question brought back the memory of how I used to overfeed him. His wife and my husband definitely noticed how I was catering to my ex much more than to anyone else. After our guests left, I was depressed. I became obsessed thinking about my ex-husband and the life we could have had.
I know it was not meant to be. Most likely, he is happy with his new family, but now I am no longer happy with my life. I feel that another woman has taken from me what was rightfully mine. Suddenly, I view myself as unhappy. My current husband does not know what is bothering me.
He is patient, but deep down I know he is frustrated with me. I have a feeling that one day my husband will leave me. Maybe I should get divorced and try to win back my ex-husband. I met my best friend, Anab, through online dating several years ago. Anab lived in Europe and I in New York. That, of course, made our relationship desperately hopeless.
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She told me upfront that she would not move to the United States and I told her I would not move to Europe. She had a big family there and most of my family members and friends live here. Thank God for the internet. Anab and I have exchanged emails for the last five years. I tell her what I do every week and she does the same. We have—and still do—exchanged pictures, gossip, and ideas.
I constantly seek her input and she gives me her honest opinion. I look forward to her frequent emails because they are nourishing. I never had a female friend—or male friend for that matter— with whom I felt so comfortable. In a nutshell, Anab was the woman who got away, but instead ended up being my best friend. Anab and I have never met; however, there is a new development in her life: Anab is always encouraging me to settle down, to which my usual answer is: What else am I going to say?
I was looking for love and matrimony on the internet; instead, I got a best friend. I got a jewel from the bedlam of the internet. Not everything about online dating is bad.