What is "normal" for a relationship with a Tunisian man?

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#21
They are like big kids that are spoilt and don't want to accept any responsibilities for living in the real world. Want all named brands to show off "what they've got" most of the time it's the wife gf paying or it's on credit!! Lies they tell I couldn't swallow I'm afraid, they lie about costs of everything when half the time the money is staying in their pockets while they spend yours!!!
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#22
Right ok you go out with a guy from the UK.

He tells you he needs money for clothes.......

Why do Tunisian men get away with it? Is it pity? How is pity an emotion that leads to sex and love.

I just don't understand it.

Regular Tunisian men are very proud and i don't see this, they may ask another man for money but not a woman. If they do its married couples buying something like a car/house together and thats a new "modern" thing.

Us British lads are shafted if we go out with a girl from the UK she doesn't want a looser..... if we marry a Tunisian we are expected to pay for absolutely everything.
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#23
Jeanette - he hasn't asked for money for his mum - that might be in someone else's post? If he did I wouldn't give it to him. He has an uncle who lives in France and so earns a European wage and I would expect him to ask his uncle. He's done enough to blacken his reputation on his own this past week, so I'll stick to what he has done. ;)

However, we did have a big chat last night and I found out some things that have tarnished my view of him somewhat. First, he has a MASSIVE chip on his shoulder about how much he earns. His 400 TD per month is peanuts as far as he is concerned and basically exempts him from ever contributing anything, or even buying me gifts (what could I buy with £160 per month he asks?). Second, he makes a distinction between gifts I give him (even stuff he has asked for) and "help" in the form of money for courses or stuff like that. Apparently it is his prerogative to ask for gifts, and it is up to me to refuse. (I saw red when he said that, but the shocker is coming next), regarding helping him out financially and in other ways as a g/f is expected to do, he "doesn't find I help him much at all". :mad:

I asked him if he would behave any differently towards a Tunisian woman, and he said that if I were a Tunisian woman we would be living in squalor, no wifi, dirt on the floors.... basically the whole nine yards. This is a huge shift from his initial attitude, where he told me where I come from is not significant and we would live in Tunisia because it is his country and he loves his country.

He did squirm a lot as we spoke, and refused eye contact, so I could see that he's aware of what an asshat he's being.

I pressed him hard about contributing his share to our costs, and I suggested that I would feel less like a bank if we were to put our money into a kitty and then pay our expenses out of that. Basically at that point a solution like that was the only way I was willing to remain in the country :(. I did threaten to leave, and all he did was sulk and say that I could do what I like.

We went out for food, for me to get some air and to change the energy because I could feel I was starting to lose the thread of my argument, and I paid for the meal (of course) but he put a coin in, and then since we hadn't gone food shopping he bought some basic supplies from the shop next door (bread, milk etc) and he paid for those. I saw that as a sign that something might have struck home. I'm going to give it a few days and see if he takes anything on board. He has shown in the past that he can change, so I'm going to give him a chance. If you want a more cynical take on it - I'm giving him a few days and enough rope to see if he hangs himself.:rolleyes:

Please - I know you're all trying to help, but it is VERY upsetting to read all the comments about bezness and being unfaithful. I know something is wrong - that is why I am here. What I would find really helpful is some perspective on your own experiences and a recalibration of what "normal" is. The "all Tunisian men are bastards" approach doesn't really help me in my situation. This is a specific relationship problem and I would be asking your advice (or at least I would be asking someone's advice) were I in a relationship with a British man too.
 

Mezoo

VIP Member
#24
if your fighting about money before marriage that is not good in any culture, your supposed to fight about money after marriage... :) find a new guy.
 

Mezoo

VIP Member
#25
lads are shafted if we go out with a girl she doesn't want a looser..... if we marry we are expected to pay for absolutely everything.
...lol edited and so true!
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#26
You see the thing is lovesarrow is some do hook a lady with endless money, these are the guys in the coffee wearing designer clothes, sunglasses flashing the cash etc. (Not his earned cash!!) Others (your bf) see this and think you are in his words, you're not doing enough!! You can afford to do all what you do at home, life, bills etc and still go to Tunisia for 3 weeks flights, gifts, etc etc so he doesn't "get it" when you say/show him it's not working or equal etc. In his mind why should it be equal when you earn so much more. He could be as genuine as they come LA but he still will not "get it" where money is concerned. It all boils down to whether or not "money" is the only issue in your relationship? He will never earn more than what he gets now so will never be able to contribute nearly enough. You will always be the main breadwinner and sound as though you can carry on your business there, otherwise you would then have issues with getting a job.. Lots to think about but you are wise and know whats what, I wish you luck and I hope you reach the right decision x
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#27
Kris, yes it is pity. Maybe it appeals to some maternal instinct? It is very apparent how much better off we are in the UK than people are here in Tunisia, and for most people it is a one-off gift. They don't realise the expectation they are setting when they give their waiter an England shirt, or their animator an MP3 player at the end of their holiday or on a repeat trip to the same hotel.

The problem arises in a relationship because it is sustained over a period of time, and it is about more than the gifts, but also about the dynamic. In a Brit-Brit relationship most couples buy each other gifts, probably earn roughly the same, and if they earn vastly different amounts have worked out some version of "proportionsies" that they feel is fair.

That is what I would expect from any healthy relationship. Any other type of set up in a Brit-Brit relationship would be considered outside the norm and would attract social name-calling like "sugar daddy" or "gold digger".

In a Brit woman - Tunisian man relationship... meh. We don't have those same social and cultural parameters set out for us. Each couple finds their own way, finds what they are both comfortable with, and with the internet and forums like these now also has a chance to find out what a slightly extended peer group is also doing in their relationship.

I'm here because I am not comfortable with the dynamic in my relationship and I want it to change. I want to show my OH that there are couples out there with a more balanced set-up, and the guys with the car and the mirrored sunglasses are in the minority. He wants evidence of this, so here I am, getting it!
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#28
TMD - you're right, and very incisive too. I accept that if we live in Tunisia he will never earn as much as me, and I count myself lucky that I can run my business from out here and earn UK pounds doing it. What I want to do is set up a future where he does have the potential to earn more - for us to set up our own joint business out here and both earn a living from it. In that sense I am offering him real equality.

The problem is that he can't see past the end of his nose. I think at some fundamental level he is very angry that he earns so little, and he takes it out on me by asking me for stuff constantly. He may even consider that as a man he should naturally earn more than a woman. In fact he has said that in the UK he would earn about £500 per month more than me, basically just for being a man.

Thank you for spotting that he could be genuine and yet still flawed.
 

janette

Well-Known Member
#29
what is the CNAM office?
C.N.A.M is a health scheme started in 2006. If registered with a doctor any costs involved with medical treatment including glasses, teeth, medication, the receipts are taken to the C.N.A.M office and usually 75% of the costs are refunded. In rare cases the whole amount.
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#30
Most do NOT have it done privately..What was the operation JC and did you have a cost of it?
 

janette

Well-Known Member
#31
Jeanette - he hasn't asked for money for his mum - that might be in someone else's post? If he did I wouldn't give it to him. He has an uncle who lives in France and so earns a European wage and I would expect him to ask his uncle. He's done enough to blacken his reputation on his own this past week, so I'll stick to what he has done. ;)

However, we did have a big chat last night and I found out some things that have tarnished my view of him somewhat. First, he has a MASSIVE chip on his shoulder about how much he earns. His 400 TD per month is peanuts as far as he is concerned and basically exempts him from ever contributing anything, or even buying me gifts (what could I buy with £160 per month he asks?). Second, he makes a distinction between gifts I give him (even stuff he has asked for) and "help" in the form of money for courses or stuff like that. Apparently it is his prerogative to ask for gifts, and it is up to me to refuse. (I saw red when he said that, but the shocker is coming next), regarding helping him out financially and in other ways as a g/f is expected to do, he "doesn't find I help him much at all". :mad:

I asked him if he would behave any differently towards a Tunisian woman, and he said that if I were a Tunisian woman we would be living in squalor, no wifi, dirt on the floors.... basically the whole nine yards. This is a huge shift from his initial attitude, where he told me where I come from is not significant and we would live in Tunisia because it is his country and he loves his country.

He did squirm a lot as we spoke, and refused eye contact, so I could see that he's aware of what an asshat he's being.

I pressed him hard about contributing his share to our costs, and I suggested that I would feel less like a bank if we were to put our money into a kitty and then pay our expenses out of that. Basically at that point a solution like that was the only way I was willing to remain in the country :(. I did threaten to leave, and all he did was sulk and say that I could do what I like.

We went out for food, for me to get some air and to change the energy because I could feel I was starting to lose the thread of my argument, and I paid for the meal (of course) but he put a coin in, and then since we hadn't gone food shopping he bought some basic supplies from the shop next door (bread, milk etc) and he paid for those. I saw that as a sign that something might have struck home. I'm going to give it a few days and see if he takes anything on board. He has shown in the past that he can change, so I'm going to give him a chance. If you want a more cynical take on it - I'm giving him a few days and enough rope to see if he hangs himself.:rolleyes:

Please - I know you're all trying to help, but it is VERY upsetting to read all the comments about bezness and being unfaithful. I know something is wrong - that is why I am here. What I would find really helpful is some perspective on your own experiences and a recalibration of what "normal" is. The "all Tunisian men are bastards" approach doesn't really help me in my situation. This is a specific relationship problem and I would be asking your advice (or at least I would be asking someone's advice) were I in a relationship with a British man too.
Hi Lovesarrow, I wasn't suggesting that he had asked for money for the operation, but think that you said tht
Jeanette - he hasn't asked for money for his mum - that might be in someone else's post? If he did I wouldn't give it to him. He has an uncle who lives in France and so earns a European wage and I would expect him to ask his uncle. He's done enough to blacken his reputation on his own this past week, so I'll stick to what he has done. ;)

However, we did have a big chat last night and I found out some things that have tarnished my view of him somewhat. First, he has a MASSIVE chip on his shoulder about how much he earns. His 400 TD per month is peanuts as far as he is concerned and basically exempts him from ever contributing anything, or even buying me gifts (what could I buy with £160 per month he asks?). Second, he makes a distinction between gifts I give him (even stuff he has asked for) and "help" in the form of money for courses or stuff like that. Apparently it is his prerogative to ask for gifts, and it is up to me to refuse. (I saw red when he said that, but the shocker is coming next), regarding helping him out financially and in other ways as a g/f is expected to do, he "doesn't find I help him much at all". :mad:

I asked him if he would behave any differently towards a Tunisian woman, and he said that if I were a Tunisian woman we would be living in squalor, no wifi, dirt on the floors.... basically the whole nine yards. This is a huge shift from his initial attitude, where he told me where I come from is not significant and we would live in Tunisia because it is his country and he loves his country.

He did squirm a lot as we spoke, and refused eye contact, so I could see that he's aware of what an asshat he's being.

I pressed him hard about contributing his share to our costs, and I suggested that I would feel less like a bank if we were to put our money into a kitty and then pay our expenses out of that. Basically at that point a solution like that was the only way I was willing to remain in the country :(. I did threaten to leave, and all he did was sulk and say that I could do what I like.

We went out for food, for me to get some air and to change the energy because I could feel I was starting to lose the thread of my argument, and I paid for the meal (of course) but he put a coin in, and then since we hadn't gone food shopping he bought some basic supplies from the shop next door (bread, milk etc) and he paid for those. I saw that as a sign that something might have struck home. I'm going to give it a few days and see if he takes anything on board. He has shown in the past that he can change, so I'm going to give him a chance. If you want a more cynical take on it - I'm giving him a few days and enough rope to see if he hangs himself.:rolleyes:

Please - I know you're all trying to help, but it is VERY upsetting to read all the comments about bezness and being unfaithful. I know something is wrong - that is why I am here. What I would find really helpful is some perspective on your own experiences and a recalibration of what "normal" is. The "all Tunisian men are bastards" approach doesn't really help me in my situation. This is a specific relationship problem and I would be asking your advice (or at least I would be asking someone's advice) were I in a relationship with a British man too.
Hi Lovesarrow, I wasn't suggesting that he had asked for money for his mum's operation, but think that you said that he was using the fact that he had to repay the cost as an excuse for not having any money. My point was that the lady involved would have had 75% of the costs refunded in the countrywide scheme. Irrespective of that, his attitude to you and your money is simply not acceptable in Tunisian culture, but a shameful thing. Certainly, they will borrow money etc off of male family, male friends, but never ask a woman, not even a family member. It is all about pride, so why should he lower his standards just because you are not Tunisian?
400 dinars a month is a normal salary for a Tunisian working in tourist, waiters animation, etc room staff , the very hard working chambermaids actually earn less, but it is all relative. For a Tunisian to rent a 2 bedroomed house in Mahdia can expect to pay 150 dinars a month compared with the £100 a week plus Council Tax that is paid for a 2 bedroomed flat in Nottingham. Utilities etc in Tunisia are also very much cheaper than in UK. I know many many FAMILIES who are managing on far less than that a month.
I have not suggested that your man is being unfaithful, but just pointed out that all the signs are NOT of a decent Tunisian male and I speak as someone who has lived in Tunisia a total of 6 1/2 years and mix almost entirely with local people, so am well aware of what is acceptable or not.
I appreciate that it is hurtful for you to read some of the comments above, but that fact that we are all saying pretty much the same thing, should if nothing else, open your eyes to the reality that things really do need to change between you to ensure a successful long term relationship . I apologise if I have unintentionally upset you. x
 

Trulymadlydeeply

Well-Known Member
#32
Janette it was jellycat that said her hubby is paying off an operation his mum had not LA.

Again we all know what is culturally right and wrong with what a Tunisian man should/shouldn't do. BUT they are in a relationship with a foreigner and one that earns a lot more money. It all boils down to what each individual would accept as fair. When/if LA's partner came to the Uk, it would be highly unlikely that he would gain employment straight away, what then? Would you expect her say well your not having any of my money you shouldn't be asking for it? Its about discussions and acceptance of finding the right balance. IMO x
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#33
Hi Janette,

You haven't upset me - and I appreciate your clarification of what you said. :)

His mum is ill but he hasn't asked me for anything for her. Was it Jellycat who said her OH is paying off a loan because of his sick mum?

I realise that everyone is saying that things need to change - I agree that they do! :D My frustration was with the trust element, because yes I know that some guys will have a string of fiances and that even in extreme circumstances may wave one off at the airport then go down to arrivals to meet another. That's a universal problem though, just made easier by the tourist trade. I have had relationships with UK men who have been unfaithful, so it is not something reserved exclusively for Tunisian men.

My OH challenged me to find out what other women do in their relationships because he is convinced that I will be shown that you all give your men exactly what they want all of the time, and that these men are all swanning about in cars that their womenfolk have bought for them and wearing Ray-Bans and all the rest of it. :rolleyes: I know, and you know that is not the case. What I want to know is what is the case for most women on here? Do your husbands and b/fs constantly ask for gifts? Do you send them rent money? I'm looking for an outside perspective. Your input about salary is really helpful - thank you :)
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#34
We'll I've already given you my experience of how it was before my husband came to the UK. No he didn't ask for gifts, I didn't send him money for rent or anything else for that matter. He knew I was busting my balls basically working here to be able to go over there so we could spend as much time together as possible.

The guys over there who are tarting about in their designer shades, new phones and labelled clothes are all pretty much of the same ilk....shallow, superficial and sadly lacking. There's a small minority who understand that to reap any rewards they have to earn it, but as I say they're a minority. Both me and my husband like nice stuff, who doesn't, but he knows the same as me that to get it we have to work for it.

Whether a leopard will ever truly change it's spots is debatable to be honest, it has been known, just not very common. Are you prepared for constant battles? Do you trust him? Because without trust, there is no relationship.

As for, what can he get you when he only earns 400tnd!!!! In Tunisia, quite a lot actually, it's not about something's monetary value, it's to not feel taken for granted, used as if you're some kind of cash cow (sorry for the analogy....lol).

I'll be honest Lovesarrow, I've no idea whether your boyfriend is insincere, unfaithful, got a string of girlfriends etc etc etc....however the way he is treating you and the examples you've shown don't bode well to me for your future together. I envisage a future of constantly second guessing, mistrust, fights over money and a general feel from you of being used and abused. My god it's difficult being married to a Tunisian WITHOUT all of the above....lol....xxx
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#35
As for, what can he get you when he only earns 400tnd!!!! In Tunisia, quite a lot actually, it's not about something's monetary value, it's to not feel taken for granted, used as if you're some kind of cash cow (sorry for the analogy....lol).
That's exactly why I asked for the rose. I wanted to see if he could understand that it is about the gesture, not the cash.

I do take your point about the future. I will PM you if that's OK?

ETA ermmm.... has the PM function gone? I can't find it!!
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#36
lovesarrow the good relationships are in a tiny tiny minority, you're asking for advice from those in a similar position but what do you want to hear? That his behaviour is ok or normal? It is not.

I'm particularly concerned for you when you mention setting up a business together, yet again this is a common route to relieving you of your money. Any investment you make will be lost, you'll never see it again. Again living here we see it time and time again. Sorry to be the doom and gloom merchant but I believe in telling it how it is, I wish you all the best.
 

lovesarrow

Well-Known Member
#37
Hi Scottochott,

I'm not asking anyone to tell me that his behaviour is OK. It clearly isn't because it is making me unhappy. What I want to know is whether it is common behaviour, and if it is what other Brits do about it. Several women here have told me that their now husbands never asked them for money or gifts, and that they would have had a problem with it if they had done. That's really good to know. It's also good to know that some women here have found that issues with money have continued into their lives in the UK once they have brought their husbands over. That's good to know too.

What's important for me is to calibrate where he sits on the scale and to determine (for myself) whether I can accept that. Several people have said that Tunisians have a different relationship to money than we do, but Jane BM has also said that in her case her OH eventually got the message. I think it is Jellycat who hasn't been as lucky and finds that her Tunisian is still as tight as a duck's behind with his English money now he is in the UK.

My OH is displaying some very unattractive traits at the moment - traits that would be unacceptable in any man, whether British or Tunisian. But before I denounce him as a love rat, or ditch him for being a loser, it's important for me to get a bit of cross-cultural relationship background. Personally I am erring towards him being a colossal knob who has forgotten how lucky he is to have me. :rolleyes:
 

janette

Well-Known Member
#38
Apologies Lovesarrow, I did get your story mixed up re the mum's operation. That is what happens when you read the new posts too quickly just before dashing off to Specsavers!!
 

cinders

Well-Known Member
#39
Hi Scottochott,

I'm not asking anyone to tell me that his behaviour is OK. It clearly isn't because it is making me unhappy. What I want to know is whether it is common behaviour, and if it is what other Brits do about it. Several women here have told me that their now husbands never asked them for money or gifts, and that they would have had a problem with it if they had done. That's really good to know. It's also good to know that some women here have found that issues with money have continued into their lives in the UK once they have brought their husbands over. That's good to know too.

What's important for me is to calibrate where he sits on the scale and to determine (for myself) whether I can accept that. Several people have said that Tunisians have a different relationship to money than we do, but Jane BM has also said that in her case her OH eventually got the message. I think it is Jellycat who hasn't been as lucky and finds that her Tunisian is still as tight as a duck's behind with his English money now he is in the UK.

My OH is displaying some very unattractive traits at the moment - traits that would be unacceptable in any man, whether British or Tunisian. But before I denounce him as a love rat, or ditch him for being a loser, it's important for me to get a bit of cross-cultural relationship background. Personally I am erring towards him being a colossal knob who has forgotten how lucky he is to have me. :rolleyes:
hi lovesarrow
you sound to me like you have your guy sussed ...dont ignore your inner voice and you wont go wrong
by paying attention to the niggle in the back of your mind or the front in your case ..
sometimes we dont need advice but by airing our thoughts we have worked it out ourselves and it sounds to me that you already know the answer ..
you come across a smart lady whom no one can pull the wool over your eyes ...unless you let them.
best wishes in whatever you decide ...Cinders :)
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#40
I dont think there is a scale as people can change at any time.

I can only tell you culturally men pay for everything in Tunisia, and a man who asks a woman for money who is not his boss or mum is not a real man.

When he moves from sandals, t shirt and shades Tunisia to expensive UK he will be like a massive teenage son.

The fact your asking these questions seems like you have already seen sense.

You either want to have true love then in this case this does not look like that.

Or you have a mans mentality (looks+bonking+how it makes you look+fun+entertainment - cost) / hasstle = x
 
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