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Wary Saudi wives block husbands’ solo travels

ABHA: Many Saudi women are now refusing to let their husbands travel abroad alone because of what they see as enticements that might lead them astray.

Tourism expert Khaled Dughaim said women are knowledgable about overseas travel. “Many of them fear the attractions and openness their husbands might encounter in some countries,” he said.
Certified family counselor Jamila Al-Harbi said that more women are refusing to let their husbands travel alone. However, she said that women must understand if their husbands have to travel abroad for work, and should allow them to do so.
“When a woman accompanies her husband, then their children are often left alone.” However, wives must draw the line if the trip is solely for tourism purposes. Then they have the right to join or limit these trips, she said.
Teacher Amira Abdel Ilah said that she refuses to allow her husband to travel alone. “It is something that every woman should refuse. We women have our reasons. There are some countries that we don’t want our husbands to even get close to,” she told Arab News.
She said that she once threatened to leave her husband because he wanted to travel abroad alone. “He had started packing so I left to stay at the home of my parents and refused to talk to him. I told him that I wanted a divorce if he left, so he decided not to do so.” She said married men must remember that they should not leave their families.
Social worker Hind Al-Anzi said that husbands must devote time to their families, especially during holidays. Men are making a big mistake if they travel alone or with their friends, especially if they have teenage children. “They will be suspicious and want to know whether their father is leaving them,” she said.
She said some men want to continue traveling the way they did as bachelors, which threatens to break up their families. “I believe that husbands must not travel abroad without their wives and children because this means they either do not love them or are looking for other things that are not available when they are with their families,” she said.
Noura Sulaiman, a housewife and mother of four, said that she has a good relationship with her husband, but has experienced strain in her marriage because he used to travel abroad with his friends. “Now I insist on joining him without directly saying so.” She said that she tries to sabotage any plans he has of traveling alone.

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