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Reader Questions: Dating an Algerian Man

Hi. I’m recently divorced, mid-thirties, no kids, living at home with my parents because it’s rent free and we are very close. I was raised Protestant but never believed in god and am non-religious now.
I joined an online dating website and within 20 minutes was texting a few guys, one of them was “Jean, the Frenchman who teaches French children that live in the US”. I’m a sucker for an accent. He’s so sweet, kind, affectionate, doting, all of this in only 3 weeks. We text every day and talk most nights on the phone.
Last week, I showed a pic of us to a friend who gave me a look (I’ll admit, I’m a bit naive and too trusting of just about everyone). My friend asked his last name, I told him. My friend said I’m more Swedish than he is French. (I’m blond-haired, blue-eyed, fair skin). I poked around the internet to discover that yes, he lied to me. I was more upset that he lied than the fact that he’s Muslim or Algerian. But I digress.
I texted him, asking him to be honest about a question I have. He said sure. “Are you Muslim?” I asked. “you asked me to be honest, yes I am :)” “Are you really from France?”. This was last Thursday and we had a date on Friday night. “can we talk about this tomorrow please?” I told him yes, that I didn’t care that he was Muslim or isn’t French, I care that he lied about it. I told him I like him for how he treats me not because he’s a French schoolteacher. He said he would explain everything Friday but asked that I don’t judge him until he tells me. I said okay.
Friday night, our 3rd date, we were to go to Long Beach and just hang out and talk and stuff. I met him at the train station and before we left, I said “you have some explaining to do.” We talked for about 10 minutes in my car. I previously found out, and he confirmed, that his real name is Ahmed, he comes from Algeria, and is a cashier in a convenience store. (He speaks French because Algeria used to be a French colony, but Arabic is his first language.) He said I have to understand where he’s coming from, and I do, but some friends and family don’t. He said he first came here 5 years ago by himself not speaking any English. He learned on his own and speaks okay…sort of. When he would talk with people, they would ask where he comes from because of his accent. And they would only want to talk politics and religion, instead of sports, music, entertainment. So he made up “Jean” when he went on vacation. He said that people don’t question the intelligence of a school teacher, but they think very differently of a store clerk. And I agree with him.
We texted a lot this past Sunday and he confirmed that he’s not just dating to date. He’s looking to get married and start a family, that only time will tell if we are right for each other, but that he sees us together in the future. I told him flat-out that I would never convert to Islam, I would never visit or even live in Algeria, and any children I have with anyone would not be raised in a religious home. He didn’t seem to have a problem with it, except for visiting Algeria to eventually meet his family.
I’ve asked him if he prays. He says he wishes he did. I said if you wish to, why don’t you? His answer? Because he’s too lazy!!! I laughed and said good answer. I asked if he fasted for Ramadan. He said no, that he’s a bad Muslim.
I asked him if he’s disappointed that I won’t convert to Islam. He said that’s my choice, that “it’s not a big deal, trust me.” I asked him if he would ever consider marrying a non-Muslim. He said yes, Christian or Jewish. I asked if he would ever raise non religious children. He said yes, my children will have a choice. He said he doesn’t blame me for thinking the way that I do, that the media gives us bad pics of Muslims.
I’m so very confused. It’s only been 3 weeks but he has swept me of my feet. But I have my doubts. What if the man I see before me really doesn’t care about religion? What if this is his real personality showing? If it is, then I’m a fool for judging him wrongly. But if the media, friends, and some family are right, then I’m screwed.
As he says, only time will tell if we are right for each other, but from day 1, I’ve felt like I’ve known him for years and am so comfortable around him.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any advice you might have for me. For now, I’m just going to take it one day at a time with him and have some fun while I’m doing it.
46 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    09/14/2013 7:00 PM

    I am married to a Muslim man from Algeria. I too was not raised in a religious home. He was recently divorced with 2 kids, so I was skeptical. But I did a lot of reading about Islam. He never once forced me to do anything or learn anything about his religion. We dated for 2 years before we got married. My family loves him to pieces. I have since converted but when fasting came he told me I did not have to. He has never forced me to do anything I did not want to do. I would not change a single thing in my decision. I will admit I was scared at at first but he is right in that time will tell. Your friends and family if they love you they will support you and get to know the person and not judge him because of where he is from or his religion. Hope this helps.

    • Amy permalink
      09/15/2013 9:59 AM

      Thank you for your kind support. : )

    • I'm an Atheist from Algeria permalink
      05/27/2015 11:13 AM

      I’m an Atheist from Algeria.

      How old was your husband, when you married him ? You’re saying that, he never forced you to become Muslim, so how did you become Muslim ? You could be Muslim way before you met him, coran and books are available everywhere.

  2. Al-Kabteni permalink
    09/14/2013 7:00 PM

    Hello Amy,
    I am sorry to see this happening to you. It is my opinion, as an American Muslim married to a North African Muslim, is that you forgive, forget and move on. Relationships are difficult. Lying in the beginning of one does not set a good trusting foundation for the future. While he is correct, it is sometimes hard to be accepted for being Muslim and North African, it is the core of what he is. His religion and culture will be a huge factor in your future relationship and in the lives of any future children. He should want to be accepted and loved for who he is and where he came from. If you cannot forsee taking any future children with you to visit their family and know the other half of their heritage why consider any future with this person? What will you do when it is time for the Islamic holidays (called Eid) and he wants to celebrate them? What if he wants any future kids to celebrate them? What if he starts praying and fasting? It is my opinion (as a total stranger on the internet šŸ™‚ ) that you should look for a different relationship, someone who has a similar background, same culture, one nationality and similar religious/nonreligious preference. Best wishes.

    • Amy permalink
      09/15/2013 1:47 PM

      Hi Al-Kabteni,
      Thank you for your thoughts and insight. I agree with you that lying sets a bad foundation. My ex-husband was an alcoholic and perpetual liar. His stories were decidedly inconsistent at every turn. But the more I speak with Ahmed, the more he is revealing himself to me, and I have come to the conclusion that he is no longer lying. Whatever he tells me now has been solidly consistent and I find that very reassuring. He is not offended by any questions I have for him, and he said he doesn’t blame me for my mistrust; it is the media that brings only negative images of Muslims to Americans. Nothing in his personality has changed, which is what attracted me to him in the first place, and the attraction grows stronger each day with each kind, compassionate word he has to say, not only about being Muslim, but about his family, life views, and interests, too.

      I’ve had a lot of time to think this past week (I was on a meditation retreat and between meditations, I thought about my life, where I am right now, and where my life might lead me witht his man). While I don’t think I’ll miraculously one day believe in god, it is highly hypocritical of me to say “I will not change who I am for you, but expect you to change, or just not be who you are, for me.” I don’t think of myself as close-minded, but clearly I am ignorant in Islamic life and am worried about what my family and friends will think of me. I rushed to judgment when I didn’t intend to. I need to be educated, which is why I posted my story here in the first place. I need an unbiased point of view. Friends, family, and I have seen too many one-sided movies and news stories of only the bad things that Muslims have done and, I am very sad to say, we have all been prejudiced by this.

      When he told me who he actually was, he said he understood if I didn’t want to see him again, but that if I give him another chance, he would never lie to me about anything again. I believe in second chances. Everyone makes mistakes – I am no exception; neither is he. I told him I would give him a second chance and I’m grateful that I have.

      As I become even more comfortable around him, the more we talk every day, as he tells me more about himself, the fact that he is Muslim is becoming less and less of an issue for me. It is part of who he is and I have no right to deprive him of his beliefs or where he came from, whether he practices his religion or not. If we do work out in the end, and we do have children together, I feel that they should decide for themselves what, if any, religion they would like to follow, but my ignorance led me to jump to conclusions that may or may not even happen. It would be unfair of me to deprive any child the knowledge of who they are and where they come from, no matter who I have children with.

      Again, thank you for your contribution to my story and making me think. I appreciate your opinion.

      • Mimi permalink
        09/19/2015 7:06 AM

        I feel that you’re investing too much anticipations and expectations for this relationship. It is clear that this guy has marked you. But I am not that comfortable with people who lie. This guy has lied to himself, the world and you about his very essence- who he is. And he says that he does not pray nor fast- which means that he is far from the understanding of who he is and where he comes from, let alone feel guilt about his title or nationality. I feel that this guy is ‘iffy’. Sorry to say that. And I feel that you are eager to like him and invest time on him. It is also clear that you come from a moderate to high SES (yoga retreat)– and most of the time, this guy for you will be a ‘case’ a ‘case to study and analyze’. I mean you’re already wondering about him on the net. That is a sign that the communication and trust between you two is not that strong. I see you with s/o else. It’s better for him and for you. It feels maybe he wants only a relationship, a woman to put his troubles in.. but as he will evolve through years, he will return to his identity- trust me. I know this. Spend time with him and give him a chance for sure. But do not get too attached to him. Also, it is not possible to say our children will not go to Algeria. You’re going to make him miserable and by extension be unhappy too. Trust is extremely important. I, myself, had a marriage of 12 years with s/o and I left him in the end because we do not share the same values.. It’s up to you whether you want to gain time or lose time.

  3. Jana permalink
    09/15/2013 1:06 AM


    If I were your friend or family member, my concern would not be that he is Muslim or that he is Algerian, but that he lied about it. I’m not sure how old this man is, but assuming he is not some 20 year old, he should be mature enough not to lie like a child. Seeing that he lied makes it seem like he sees this relationship as temporary….like he could get away with lying for the time he needed to.
    I am married to an Arab man and just like the men in the USA there are good ones and there are bad ones. People judge us, and it was worse in the beginning of our marriage, complete strangers would stick their racist, prejudice nose in our business. Culture only becomes a problem in a relationship when one or both parties are closed minded and are deep set in their cultural ways. I can’t comment on your partner, but from reading what you have written you do seem a little closed minded, ie not ever wanting to go to Algeria and raising non religious children. This seems to be a selfish and closed minded point of view. What do you think would happen to you if you were to go to Algeria? What if your children took an interest in the father’s religion?
    Intercultural relationships are a wonderful thing if both parties are willing to learn about each other, try something new and COMPROMISE. These relationships help develop understanding and acceptance, something the world is deeply deprived of these days.

    • Amy permalink
      09/15/2013 2:13 PM

      Hi Jana.

      Thank you for your thoughts and insight, as well. Please see my response to Al-Kabteni above. It answers some of your questions.

      Ahmed is 29; I am 37; my ex-husband was 44. Ahmed if far more mature than my ex ever was. My mother is very opinionated about mixed marriages and the children that they produce. She’s not racist but she says it just makes it very difficult for the children to have to explain who they are. I tell her that this is not 1950 and that times have changed. The world is shrinking and we must not cling to the old idea of sticking to your own class, culture, and creed.

      You’re absolutely right, as I said in my prior response. I do sound very selfish and close minded. I have seen too many one-sided movies depicting Muslims in a harsh and evil light, as if one group of people could all possibly be the same. I believe that stereotypes exist becuase some people perpetuate them while others completely contradict those same stereotypes. I try to judge a person on their initial intention and final follow through, rather than how society says they will most likely act. But I am not perfect. I prejudge, too. But when I’m wrong, I try to promptly admit it, and I feel I jumped to conclusions too quickly. I don’t know what would happen if I went to Algeria but it’s silly for me to make assumptions; they just make me look foolish.

      For years and years, I was so used to NOT compromising with my ex (giving him everything he ever asked for and never receiving anything in return) that I immediately put my foot down to something I didn’t understand. I want to learn more about him, his culture, his religious beliefs, his nationality, what makes him the kind, tolerant, compassionate man that he is. I like to learn about new things and he’s willing to teach me.

      Again, thank you for your contribution to my story and making me think even more. I appreciate your opinion.


  4. Rachael permalink
    09/16/2013 7:56 AM

    I’m an American, non Arab, married to an Arab Muslim man. Although I have been married for 7 years, looking back, I was too young and naive and if we didn’t marry as quick as we did (4 months after meeting), then I’d have to say we probably would not still be together. Inter cultural/religious relationships are not easy. I’ve always been open minded. I come from an open minded family (moms side only) but it still has not been an easy ride. People do change. In the beginning they will say and do things because you are in love/lust, but like in all relationships, you grow comfortable with each other, and start to settle in a routine. My husband was more compromising in the beginning, but as years went by, that changed. I will admit we did not discuss many things before we got married. Like kids, living situation ect. So I fault myself for that. I assumed a lot, but he probably did as well.
    It sounds like you are very open minded, and so does he. But keep in my mind that men change their minds. And in the Arab culture when it comes to family, that means a lot more to them. And even if he is not a practicing Muslim, he is still Muslim. And any children you have with him, your kids will be born Muslim. Whether they choose to practice it, is up to them. But in Islam, any Muslim man that has children, they are automatically born Muslim. So in my opinion, I would take it slow. See if things change. If that’s one thing I could re-do, I would. I love my husband so much. He is smart, loving, motivated and I’m still as attracted to him as I was when I first saw him. But it has not been easy. We do not have kids, but are now trying. And although I was raised catholic and I’m not practicing, I thank God for my husband and hope he guides me in the right way in this next journey of our life. Good Luck šŸ™‚

    • Anonymous permalink
      08/13/2014 11:02 AM

      My (Algerian) husband and I married within 5 months. We skyped every day and texted every day. Constant communication. I had thought he was the one for me and vica versa. Everything was so great between us. We talked at length about our differences in religion and culture. We both promised each other that we would never try to impose our religion or cultural beliefs upon each other. I discussed it with him a few times to really make sure he understood that he wwould not try to change me.

  5. Nora permalink
    01/15/2014 8:22 PM

    Hi Amy,
    Hope your relationship is going well. I am an Algerian living in Chicago. I enjoyed reading your post and learning about your journey. I say you should go for it and trust your intuition at same time as with any other man. I can honestly say that I have never heard of divorce or abuse from any Algerian male in my life. The media exploits our fear of the unknown by labeling every one by placing them in large boxes instead on little ones that are unique to our personas. I can see you are frustrated with the lying but I think you two did well effectively communication and in turning a possible breakdown in your blossoming relationship into a break thru. Best wishes and kindest regards. Your Algerian Sister.

    • Anonymous permalink
      10/08/2015 10:10 PM

      I second that motion by congratulating you, Amy, on persevering and not giving up on your new relationship. I feel blessed to know there are relationships that are thriving out there, even in the face of diversity. Although I am much older than you, I pray that I find someone just as special, no matter their background. I have had the pleasure of meeting someone very special also, who is from Algeria, and even though he was considerably younger than myself, I have found a friend in him. We have both agreed to be friends only, as after we were romantic for a brief period, I sensed a red flag early on, and since talking about it with him, he confessed to me, that he was interested in someone who he has been trying to get to move in with him. I have seen her quite by accident, and she wears a scarf around her head and neck. Sorry, not sure what it is called. But anyway, I had approached him without knowing at the time who she was. Later that evening he contacted me, and we talked about what was going on. He hugged me after we talked and said he would miss me, and I exchanged the same with him. Since we talked about it, I never have felt uncomfortable with him. I am curious to know if this is something that Algerian men do before committing to one relationship and marry. Or is this just an isolated incident? Maybe he is conflicted about it, or just confused, I don’t know. But I do know I will miss him as more than a friend. He said his father and mother married very young as well. I have not dated for some time, and when we first met, he gave me the biggest hug, and it was instant chemistry for both of us. I was touched by how affectionate, intelligent and loving he was. Before I knew it, I had developed feelings for him without planning to. But keeping things in perspective, we agreed after his sharing this new information about this other woman, with me, we could not be romantic again. But we still speak on friendly terms only. I pray there is someone for me out there who is just as special, no matter where he comes from. This experience has certainly opened my eyes to how many amazing guys there are out there that are not from here. No offense to Canadian guys, but Algerian men know how to treat their ladies, and listen, really listen, ask questions and initiate conversation without making a woman feel inadequate. As far as a career goes, I was more interested in the person and not what they do. This amazing man that I met, and have since become friends with, worked hard to get to where he is, and put himself through school, to acquire a trade, so he could support himself. Not sure if that was or is his passion, but he did what he had to do, like anyone else. Even though we are not romantic anymore, I wish him all the happiness in the world. Blessings to you Amy and your beau as well. Brenda

  6. alessandra permalink
    01/22/2014 7:25 PM

    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Alessandra. I am a Mexican-American 24year old (non-practicing) christian female, born in California and raised in Mexico. Last Year I met a 38yr old (non-practicing) Muslim Algerian man born and raised in Oran. He has been married for 4 years now to a Parisian woman whom he met in France and married a few months after his father passed away. For the past 2 years they have a very weird, distant relationship and continue their marriage mostly because they respect eachother and for the sake of marriage itself.
    Long story short, we met and immediately flelt love at first sight. Since then we have never stopped seeing eachother.
    He took me to Oran in December and I met all of his brothers, their wives, his cousins, best friends and so forth and they all have mutual respect for women (no poligamy involved here) but it seems obvious to me they respect his choice and our relationship.
    Both of us are extremely highly respected and intelligent people who have fallen inlove and want to have kids together. Our plan is to file is divorce in Feb-March 2015 and move to Spain where we can manage our business from a central location.Sounds crazy but if God had us cross paths and fall inlove, then this was meant to be, right?

    • 01/23/2014 9:19 AM

      Alessandra, Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you have a solid relationship and a very clear plan in place. He plans on divorcing in February 2014 and then you are planning on moving to Spain in March of 2015?

      The best advice I can give you is to Take Your Time. You are more than 10 years younger than he is, and you will be moving through different stages of your life… for me, the emotional jump at 27/30 was very different than 38/40.

      Also, make sure you have a very strong support network.

      Please keep in touch and tell us about your happily ever after.

      • Alessandra permalink
        01/23/2014 12:03 PM

        Thank you so much for the support. To be clear, although he has not filed for divorce yet him and his current wife have a respectful friendship, they haven’t been inlove nor have had sexual relations in over a year now. Before me, he was unfaithful to her for years, and I guess the day we met I’ve trusted him because its been almost a year now and since the day I met him he has never done anything deceiving. I have already visited Oran,Algeria and assimilated easily to his culture becase it reminds me a lot of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where my family is from. We are both extremely well travelled (i.e I’ve explored all North, Central and south america, europe, India, South East Asia and North Africa) so im very extraverted, intelligent business woman and PLEASE BELIEVE me when i say I have done my best “to be the best person I can be, respect others, have faith and know my worth”, but this is a situation God put in my path and like everything else I do, I will ask God for Guidance and wish for the best because “The Best is Yet to Come”.
        I have been very blessed in my life.

        So at the moment they are selling their homes in France then he will seep rate banks, speak to his mom then file for divorce. I have met everyone in his family except his mom. She knew I was in Oran for a week as Her sons guest, but we all knew she knew who I really was.. Moms know everything, ATLEAST my mom always does.
        When he took me to Oran i knew that would be the deal breaker. But after a fantastic week in Oran nothis broke it just got stronger.
        His entire family is extremely liberal, well travelled successful people and according to everyone I met (bestfriends, cousins, brothers their wives, nieces and nephews) noone seemed to know much of his relationship with wife, almost again as though noone was a fan of his marriage (keep in mind Algerians still hold grudges against the French still) so when they met me everyone spoke so highly of me and really tried hard to get a long with me and be very welcoming. I truly felt at home and in peace.

        It was also interesting that I am
        THE FIRST brunette he has ever dated. He LOVES blondies.. All of his best girlfriends in Oran are beautiful brunettes yet he prefers only blondiesssss lol it’s a joke everyone made while I was in Oran. Noone could believe I was a brunette and kind of algerian looking.. (My Mexican genes gave me MiddleEast features) so I just blend in appropriately. In addition, since Oran is a 40 min flight to Alicante,Spain everyone in is social group are Madrud or Barca fans and most of them have lived in Spain or France so we all mutually speak Spanish which helped since I don’t speak French nor algerian.

        There after he met my liberal Christian/Catholic mexican family and my parents loved him… Him and my dad are very similar: both intelligent, sales driven, history fanatics,realestate investors etc thank God they connected and dug deep into conversations and impressed eachother so I feel great noe that my family has also accepted him. They know absolutely everything about him except the huge fact that he is still married. Being divorced is not an issue but having had kids or still married is not good news for anyone. The day he is divorced I will let my parents know the thrush, but until then I will continue going with the flow and with gods grace moving forward to where it may lead me.

    • jana permalink
      01/23/2014 9:44 AM

      The first thing that went through my head was, that poor woman I feel so bad for his wife. Even if they are having problems you have no right to step in until he gets divorced unless he marries you and you are a second wife. Otherwise he is cheating on her and what makes you think he won’t cheat on you? Also, when a man says he plans on getting a divorce, if all he does is says it, it doesn’t mean it will happen. All too often you hear about certain kinds of men using women…and they are not just Muslim men….these men want it all the young something new and the “old” comfort to come home to.. I’d be careful not get your heart broken, because from what you wrote, that’s what seems like is going to happen, but only God knows. BTW there is no country called Oran, did you mean Oman or possibly Iran?

      • Anonymous permalink
        01/23/2014 10:08 AM

        Oran is a city in Algeria, about 250 miles west of Algiers (gotta love Google!!! Lol)

        • jana permalink
          01/23/2014 4:48 PM

          Oh whoops, well you learn something everyday. Thanks!

  7. alessandra permalink
    01/23/2014 12:36 PM

    Hola Jana,
    I respect your opinion because, I have thought of every angle when I analyze our relationship. But she knows. She has known her and her husband are not happy together and that he is been unfaithful for years now, and she shows no emotion. Like me, she is a respectful , succesful woman and I hold nothing against her. I am in love with her husband and she is not. Before I met him, his marriage was not love and affection it has always been more of a support and friendship. Do not take it has my justification reasoning, since I was a child my parents instilled in me the difference of right and wrong and I am on your side in regards to US being wrong. But this relationship is that extra special crazy one that rarely just happens.

  8. alessandra permalink
    01/23/2014 1:19 PM

    Allow me to add, for those who know more and understand the muslim community more than I do, that his wifen does not respect his religion. She also met him as a liberal muslim but 3 years ago he decided to occacionally learn how to pray. There have been times (such as Ramadan) that he wants to feel closer to God and his culture and decided to pray with his friends and she freaked out on him. When in Oran I witnessed muclim family friends in prayer and like most of the times, this didnt bother me.

    We have had clear communication since day One. I personally will never convert to Islam because although I am a non-practicing christian, I am born & raised a christian and like Islam, I believe in my One and Only God. He respects me for who I am, for how my family raised me and he is happy knowing that I am comfortable in my skin and that I will not convert.

    In regards to children, his wife doesnt want children and he was content at first with that mutual decision but secretly has always wanted to have 2 girls. I am a HUGE FAN OF KIDS. In the hispanic culture, family is everything, I am ready to have children in the next two years. I have been working hard for the past 4 years in corporate america and I am ready to create my family and continue my career as an entrepeneur.

    Although I rather only having boys, one day I realized any healthy baby with our genes is a blessing. And the day I knew he loved me was the day he told me “I ask God to continue blessing our relationship and opening our path to a neverending future because all I want in this lifetime is two beautiful baby girls that look exactly like you:.
    He is a good man and I fully trust our love. I am born in June so I am cancerian, emotional, protective, family oriented, stubborn and extremely intuitive.. and I have has nothing but good vibes in this relationship.

    Sorry everyone for so many messages, but I am happy to finally have found this Blog where I can share my experience and listen to other mature women’s input and guidance. Afterall most of you have experienced life more then I have.

    Wishing you all a fantastic weekend,

    • jana permalink
      01/23/2014 5:38 PM

      arg, I just wrote a very detailed message and poof, it’s gone.

      I’ll try again……I wish you all the best. Intercultural and interfaith relationships can and do work, all it takes is an open mind from both people and a little bit of flexibility. I’m not that much older than you but I’m in an intercultural marriage, we’ve been married for a while now, and for us it’s worked out great. In my mind our kids are more open minded, they adapt better to different situations and are more understanding. There are people, in my culture and his who just don’t get it. His family and my family (to some degree) accept our relationship and love us, but it’s the people in the (Arab) community that we;ve had some issues with and it hurts when you find out someone doesn’t like you, not because of something you did, but because of where you were born and what country you were brought up in. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon reaction, there is a Mexican woman whose kids go to school with my kids and she’s married to an Indian man, she has her issues too with how other Indian women treat her, this is just one example and I’m sure every mixed relationship has their story.

  9. 01/27/2014 4:52 PM

    Hi Amy
    First, i hope this process leads you to happiness and greater self awareness.
    I am 31, born Muslim, of asian descent married to an Algerian man for the past 9 years. I am really happy that I married outisde of my culture, ethnicity and background as it has broadened and enriched my life in many ways. But it has also been really tough. Despite both of us sharing a religious faith, we have had huge cultural differences. At the end of the day, we have survived becase we are able to talk (most of the time), and respect each other.
    One of the things that struck me about your post was your concern about Islam. I would encourage you to read and study the basic tenets of the faith for yourself ( a good start is, I am not suggesting that you convert; just that you find out for yourself what being a Muslim means. You will discover that its just a regular monolithic religion, centred on a core message of one god, followed by people of all backgrounds in every corner of the world.
    A cornerstone of Islam is that there is no compulsion-in belief or practice. So if you ever decide to convert it shouldnt be because someone asked you to do. Rather it should be from within yourself.

    We have a circle of about 12 Algerian friends, and of course extended family in Algeria ( i visited twice, more on that later) and one thing that struck me in these 9 years is that regardless of how conservative or modern a person is, how religious or not, from cities like Oran, Algiers or Blida or from rural towns, Algerian culture and customs and most men are patriarchial. Men expect women to play certain roles (hosting guests, child rearing – male kids are big in Algerian life, cooking), and behave in a certain way (feminine, subservient). For a feminist like me, this was a huge shock. Hubby and I discussed most of this pre-marriage and eventually agreed on our own terms, but its essential that you ask the tough questions and be prepared for the difficult answers. Then, you are able to assess if this is the man, and the lifestyle for you.

  10. Alena permalink
    05/16/2014 6:19 AM

    I m russian.I married to algerian man1year ago, i also met him in internet. We are living in russia now. I want tell you that all algerians are different and never listen all this scary stories about women who came in algeria there husband didnt let them go out, didnt let them do nothing!becouse these women choose bad men, who u can find in any country. U have to see how exactly is your man treats you and what he ready to do for you, and also very very important is his parents! If his parents dont mind that you ll not convert to islam it is good, but if they mind it will be problem, becouse algerian men listen there parents more than any one! So it is first what u have to do-see what his parents thinking about you and about your lifestyle(i mean clothes)If u have good relations with his parents everything will be good! But if u like going out with friend too much and drink somatises, believe me u will make him suffer and yourself. This what for sure they will not accept.

  11. Noor permalink
    05/21/2014 1:17 PM

    Dear Sisters,
    I am of mixed ancestry (East Indian/Black, Latin and British) and I am a Muslim woman. My husband is an Algerian Berber Muslim and we have 2 beautiful boys. When we first met, I truly believed that we were right for each other. We shared the same goals, we had the same ideas in mind for our family and future. Since the birth of our last son, unfortunately I have been suffering from post partum depression. I maintain my faith in Allah and ask him everyday for strength to overcome this…I never asked for this to happen to me. NO ONE ever does.

    I never imagined in a million years that my husband, who is highly educated as I am, and seem to be a truly understanding person would present such insensitivity towards me. I know anything to do with depression/mental health is taboo in Islamic culture, yet because my husband presented a very respectful yet liberal attitude I thought he would be more compassionate.
    Although we are both Muslims alhamdulillah (thanks to God), the circumstances have truly taken a toll on us. I have been to Algeria many times and know everyone from Grandmother to Great Aunt to Uncles and wives and cousins and ofcourse my In-laws they are such lovely people, etc. We had over 200 people at our wedding in Tizi Ouzou. But let’s remember the saying “COME SEE ME IS NOT LIKE COME AND LIVE WITH ME”.

    Sometimes it seems as if my husband resents the fact that he has taken on a role as father and husband and has to be financially responsible. Although these days the modern muslim woman take on roles in the workforce, it was agreed upon that I would tend to our children because I could not find any work opportunities and this time at home would be very meaningful for my children. Yet I feel as if I am begging everytime the family needs something as my husband gets annoyed when I have to ask for something for my children. This is why I am trying so hard to become stronger so that I can look for opportunities that will allow me to support my family. It is very hard for Hijabis (covered sisters) out here in the USA.

    I am not saying he is a bad person, he indeed works very hard, but he makes sure he is taken care of first before he takes care of our family (wife and kids).

    Alessandra, inshallah your life with this man will be a happy one…but please please wait until the brother is divorced and also try to visit with the family again and try as much as possible to know everything you can about him. He might be telling you that his relationship with his wife is estranged, but keep in mind the times he has been unfaithful to her. Believe me that lady is hurting terribly but remaining strong. Just as he tells you he wants a life with you, how many others did he tell the same?

    Que Dios Te Bendiga Hermanita

    • Anonymous permalink
      05/23/2014 4:09 PM

      Hi Noor & Ladies!

      I just want you to all know that this page has helped me out a lot. Anonymously, listening to all of your thoughts and opinions aren’t considered as pros or cons to me but more constructive criticism.

      I really want to illiterate that gratefully I come from a very strong and highly educated family. I have a tight and healthy family relationship and since I broke into maturity, it was installed in me NEVER to cheat, disrespect or physically act out on anyone. Relationship advice from my mom was never get involved with a married man and never forgive infidelity. Please understand that I am highly aware of these life principles that I was raised on. I work in corporate america and am very independent and thank God successful on my own. My Point, I NEVER THOUGHT GOD WOULD CHALLENGE ME WITH SUCH A COMPLICATED LOVE STORY.

      Its been exactly a year and since a year we have traveled together to Algeria, Morocco, France, Mexico and Spain. Over Christmas 2013 time I met all of this family in Algeria cousins, family members childhood best friends (everyone Except his mother- although she found later and was very disappointed in her son). I thought his moms objection would break us, but he told his mother he has never been happier and weeks after her other sons confirmed I was genuinely a very educated, professional and humble girl. So since then she has left her son to be and prays for him everyday I am sure.
      And in January we met with my family in France (my parents and siblings). It so happens both of us (our families and social groups) are open minded mostly because we are all very well traveled.

      I think about a lot the pain his wife must be going through, and I ask God everyday to please guide me, to please help aid all the pain and to please show me the right path. The difference between choosing REAL UNIQUE “ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME” LOVE or stick to life principles and break it all off. If we were to break he will never stay faithful to her, they have both kind of just parted romantically and intimately, but the respect and human affection will of course always be there between them.

      We recently just returned from Spain last week and we have never been more in love. We speak about our plan constantly and most of it he has led on. I listen, observe and develop from his plan and at this moment we have always been on the same page.

      If God blesses our relationship then he will be divorced by first quarter 2015. If actions don’t unfold by January please know I will indefinitely end it.

      Please continue on sending over your thoughts, opinions, criticism. I am emotional so it always hurts to hear the truth, but it helps me so much to be a better person. I am a loyal, respected and hardworking woman, so this is my first time ever feeling like I am walking on fire. If this doesn’t work out, I will have lost a DEEP love. Because we have is out of a novel. Intimately, mentally, socially, personally, professionally this relationship has been the greatest turning point of my life.

      Since I was in elementary school with Gods grace, I have always overcome obstacles, completed all of my challenges and successfully finished at the finish line, so I hope this he is my better half. Because at this point in time I know he is the only person I want to spend my life with.


  12. 08/03/2014 5:49 AM

    You are a stupid woman if you think he will not lie to your face again. It’s not an issue of religion, race or economical stature. It is a trust issue. Do you think you can still trust a man who pretends, and seems to be comfortable lying about it? You deserve better, unless you think otherwise. Taking from Perks of Being A Wallflower, “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

    • 08/16/2014 3:04 PM

      Allow me to begin my saying, “Do you really want to be with a man who wasn’t confident and proud of being Muslim, Algerian?” My future husband is muslim, Algerian from Oran and I am non-practicing Christian. And it is EXTREMLY important to continue speaking about religion, family, children, goals, finance, ideas, opinions etc before thinking about marriage. These are subjects that are highly important to be clear and 100% transparent. its the only way to fully understand what both of you are seeking and want in life. Differences highlight intercultural marriages an its almost empowering but dont get ahead of yourself. Continue exploring eachother.
      I am not sure what your age difference is, but always keep in mind that as humans grow, whether we are religiously practicing or not, as years go by sometime we want to reconnect to God and get back in touch with our family, traditional religious practices. If you feel you will judge him for that, then I suggest look elsewhere.
      Remember that if you have children with them, then will be born Muslim no matter how you look at it.
      I directly spoke to my future man an told I also will never convert ( when I say never i mean at this point in my life I still yet feel the necessity of converting because I was born and raised Christian/ catholic) but because I know my children will be born muslim I have taken action and got in touch with Mosques/Masjid in my neighborhood and joined children centers. I was involved for Ramadan at the center to experience, witness and understand FIRST HAND what islam is about. Googling islam, speaking to non-Muslims about Islams and/or relying on your partner to explain to you is a mistake. GO ALONE and reach out to he brothers and sisters at your neighborhood muslim community and they will welcome you with open arms and allow you to watch prayer, hangout with the people. Do not ever jut absorbs others opinion. That is mistake number one.
      The Bible, Quaran and Torrah have so many similarities Islam is not “scary”. I am a mexican American who has lived in Mexico. I am extremely well travelled and I have also been to Algeia which is a beautiful country! It’s so misleading and inappropriate or you to want to continue dating your man but never be open to visit algeria. Algeria is like Prrto Vallarta, Mexico but win Mediterranean Sea. It’s not a conservative country. Women don’t even cover themselves. Algerians are beautiful intelligent people. They even speak Spanish since spain is right above.
      My opinion is to continue discovering yourself first and your partner. You seem to close minded at the moment. If you don’t feel you need to open up then I suggest continuing dating withing your culture and comfort zone. Message me if you need any other advice. Best of luck

      • Fethi Oran permalink
        05/30/2015 6:27 AM

        Is your boyfriend’s name Fethi by any chance ? šŸ˜‰

  13. Anonymous permalink
    08/13/2014 11:08 AM

    He promised he would respect my wishes. He has not kept his promise. When I do not behave in a Muslim fashion, he changes into something ugly. When I defend myself or not tolerate his behaviour towards me, he becomes more angry. I love my husband and I know he loves me, but although he may truly believe, at first, that he can accept that his wife will not “behave” in a Muslim fashion, the religious and cultural teachings that were ingrained in him will break its way through. I am not perfect, I do swear sometimes, I do drink alcohol sometimes – but he knew and saw all this before we married. Hesaid he would be accepting of me drinking alcohol on occasion. And he was, until a few weeks ago. he got nasty with me.

  14. Anonymous permalink
    08/13/2014 11:14 AM

    My husband is a beautiful man, really. His family and friends are wonderful. But when I do not adhere to the muslim rules about how women should behave, he turns in an ugly man and thinks he has the right to disrespect me. In the beginning of our relationship up until a few months ago, he took responsibility for his actions and apologized. But that has changed. He justifies his behaviour by accusing me of causing it. I am not alone in this problem. I see that many women are discovering the same issues. I was so naive to think that I would not be in that group.

    • 08/14/2014 2:47 PM

      Dear Someone, It sounds to me that you are married to an abusive man. This has nothing to do with his religion, his culture or his nationality. This has to do with someone not knowing how to be respectful. I would encourage you to get help.

      Please read this article on Identifying Signs of Abuse. If not the whole thing, the chart.

  15. sonia szynkarski permalink
    10/02/2014 8:59 AM

    Hi,I was in a relationship with an Algerian man for 10years.I thought he was my soulmate and loved him dearly and would have done anything for him.There was a 6yr diff between him and I me being 44yrs at the time we met and him being 37yrs old.He was still married to a woman in the UK which I assume now was to get his UK citizenship.He lied to me from the begining about who he was.He told me he was Italian and lied about his nationality.I believed him for 3mnths as he spoke french and my nationality is french and I speak fluent French and then I started to have doubts however I had already fallen in love with him.He divorced his wife and we never lived togeather although I believed that one day we would.Everytime I asked him when he would marry me or live with me he would change the subject.He always told me he loved me and would till the day I died.I cannot have anymore children.He never introduced me to his friends (all algerians and british)saying he was extremely jelous.I accpeted what he said.Itried my very best to be a loving person.Every year or even 2x year he would go back to Algeria to be with his family.Also he would fast for Ramadan however we would still have sex and he would say that if he washed himself from head to toe he would be forgiven….I believed him.I respected this mans religion and never questioned him.1xmnth ago he sent me a text to say he had made a baby with another woman but he was still in love with me.He would not confront me face to face to even explain himself.I am heartbroken and cannot understand and feel like I have been used on so many levels.He is 47 now and I still do not know where he is.I sent him messages saying I still loved him but he seems to have vanished into thin air.I contacted his sister by Skype who lives in Canada and tried to explain to her what was going on.She sympethized with me and said her relationship with her brother had broken down for nearly a year now.I trusted this man with everything I had.I feel so used and such a fool…..Now I know why he never ever wanted to commit.His excuse was he had a lot of pressure from his family and friends saying that he was Gay because he had no children……I do not understand and still do not know why he did what he did……I will never know…..All I am left with are questions and a very broken heart………

  16. Anonymous permalink
    05/08/2015 9:19 AM

    Run as fast and as far as you can from this man. The biggest red flag is the fact that he is still married but worse would be to follow if you if you took it further. I would not wish an algerian on my worst enemy. And another warning watch your checkbook and possessions.

  17. Fethi from Oran permalink
    05/30/2015 6:14 AM

    Hi there

    I am a sucessfull business woman, I own two companies and I am single.
    I am well educated and friends consider me as a level headed strong individual, I live in an EU country.

    Despite all this I have been fooled like a small girl by an Algerian.

    I was in a relationship with an Algerian from Oran, his name was Fethi.
    Business man and somebody who appeared loving and kind and very very romantic.

    We met via Facebook, he found me and from that day he was bombarding me with romantic messages and compliments , I was a bit afraid hearing negative stories about Muslims….but
    within 1 week he has worked his way to my heart whatever I wanted or not!

    I was hungry for love and his magic worked on me, the contact was great he had shown me so much love and admiration I was so happy and could not stop smiling, I have never experienced this with any man from North Europe.

    During that first week he has told me he loves me and he has found his future wife!
    When asked why are you not married until now? I was told ” this is my destiny, I was waiting for you to come into my life”.

    Within 2 months he asked to marry me which I was a bit sceptic about. I was asked to start arranging Shangen visa for him. He pushed to get that visa sorted, I was asked about my economic situation and other practical things, when asked about his economical situation I was told to not worry he has money for us both……But looking at the photos I have got from him, looking at a very poor room interiour, crashed walls and overal cheap finish to the walls and windows I knew he is not telling the truth.

    I started to put together 2 and 2 , and started to think, it did not made sence to be told after 1 week he loves me , I am the love of his life and to ask for my hand so quickly and start to plan the wedding, warning lamps went on and I said I want to wait we must get to know each other better.
    Ok no problem I was told , he will wait for me , he is sure I am the one! The contact was still good and romance was flowing but not as before, I got 2 messages per day and that was it.

    On Facebook I have noticed he pressed ” likes” on women from the West countries, women of similar background to my own, who had their own business or seem to be quite well off.

    Following my gut instinct I have contacted 1 lady asking about her connection to Fethi? And imagine the shock I have got when I was told she is in love with my Fethi, they plan to get married and she is the one for him.

    I could not belive my eyes, I kept reading her message time after time I was in deep shock, I felt betrayed , hurt and lied to. The trust was gone.

    That lady has photographed his messages via her mobile phone and sent to me, the truth was there all black on white infront of me, he even used same words to both of us, same love declarations and making of future plans. Even same romantic photos sent via private messages, I felt sick to my stomach…….

    I have then contacted other ladies he had pressed ” likes ” frequently on and brace yourself, 18 women from USA, Canada, France, UK, Sweden, Poland , Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Germany and Holland all responded quite shocked telling me they are in a loving relationship with MY FETHI.

    During the time when he was so busy with other ladies he blocked me on facebook chat – in my window he appreared offline while he was online all the time romancing others.
    When asked why he is offline nowadays during so many days I was told the internet is broken, that was his standard excuse.

    But when comparing messages with the other ladies I have seen that during the time ” his interenet was broken” he was on facebook romancing and flirting with other women, inviting them to visit Oran and stay in his house with him- because she was the one, the special one he wants to marry and have children with…..

    When I have confronted him regarding these ladies, he of course denied everything, lied saying: “they are just facebook friends, it is you who are my future wife, it is you I love, the others are nothing comparing to you” Don’t trust them Omri ( darling ) they try to destroy our relationship! Block them! They are evil, block them Omri”.

    I been solidaric with the other ladies have taken a print screen of his converation and sent it to them , they were all shocked too and all felt betrayed.

    Many of them decided to block him on Facebook, he used to call himself on fb : Fethi Oran.

    This man is after EU passport as so many other Algerians, ladies out there please be careful, Algerians are very good at flirting and getting into your heart, for them to flirt even when in a relationship is like a sport, they enjoy it very much and are masters in this area.

    They will lie and cheat on you, to me Fethi said he was born on 1.04.1971 to other ladies he said his dob was 25.04.1971, one was told 17.04.1971.

    1 year after I am still hurt and felt betrayed and humilated, he betrayed my trust, love and friendship and loyalty I have offered to him.

    Love and light

    • Anonymous permalink
      10/08/2015 1:16 PM

      They appear to all be the same except the ones who marry women from their own country and build their life in Algeria.

  18. Rebecca permalink
    10/05/2015 12:05 AM

    I called off my engagement about a month ago. I met this very nice young man on a chat site. We talked for a long time. I was really surprised when he told me he wasn’t in America but actually is from Algeria and is muslim. He is so sweet and nice to me. We have amazing conversations and talk about meeting. I already have really strong feelings for him. What if we fall in love? Then what? We’re citizens of two different countries and both in school.

    • A lady from the UK permalink
      10/07/2015 9:33 AM

      Hi Rebecca

      You will regret it, be very careful. I have spend 3 years on a man from Algeria who was nothing but a liar, he as well was very charming, and loving , kept telling me the most beautiful words every woman wants to hear… time passed I have discovered he had several Facebook accounts where he engaged in flirt and romances with other women from the West.
      He had 4 skype accounts too.

      Please don’t trust them they are after a visa and a life outside Algeria.

      Mine was called Fethi and was from Oran, but sometimes in other fb profiles he called himself Mohammed.

      Be very careful and protect your heart.

      • Anonymous permalink
        10/08/2015 1:17 PM

        Hi Lady from the UK would love to speak with you somehow some way would be nice to chat.

        • Anonymous permalink
          05/31/2016 7:51 AM

          You are welcome to contact me

    • 10/07/2015 2:06 PM

      Hi Rebecca. First and foremost, right now you should focus on your education. If you are meant to be together, it will be, but not right now. Maintain your properties, YOU must put yourself first. Keep in touch with him, in your case skyping is easier than meeting, but don’t take it to the next level until you’re both out of school. I’d give that advice to everyone, whether they’re both American or not.

      Second, I totally understand where you are coming from. As in my original posts, I had major trepidations about a man who came from a country that I had barely heard of, and from a culture that has a really bad wrap in this country (a few rotten apples always spoils the bunch). However, I decided to take a chance and judge him for the way he treats me, treats others, his personal values, and morals, among other things, instead of judging him on his religion, nationality, and culture. He’s not perfect. He has character flaws, the same as you and I, and all the other people leaving their comments and opinions. And ultimately you don’t know how someone is until you live with them.

      After 2 years, “Jean” and I are still not married because he’s not ready and wants to take care of his immigration status first. I haven’t converted to Islam because I’m still not comfortable with religion as a whole. But I certainly know a lot more about Islam then before we met and it doesn’t scare me. It makes more sense to me than Christianity. I appreciate his culture… It’s what defines him and I love him that much more because of it.

  19. Alice permalink
    03/08/2016 12:24 PM

    Aww I read all your story Miss n I don’t know what to say but I think you should give him a chance….Muslims are not bad n those who do Bad things Are not Muslims….Me I’m too young lol but I also fell for an Algerian Boy….He’s five years older than me n He really knows that How to treat a girl….We are online friends…we talk to each other everyday…. I think Algerian people are nice and they have respect for ladies šŸ˜Š so good luck šŸ˜˜

    • Seddik permalink
      03/31/2016 11:30 AM

      Alice , Good luck in your relationship , all the best for you

    • Seddik permalink
      03/31/2016 12:10 PM

      the best of luck Alice , in you relationship šŸ™‚

  20. Lillian permalink
    05/24/2016 2:33 PM

    I’m seeing this post in 2016. By now you learned that choosing an Algerian man set you up for a very rough ride. I hope you’ve been a tough cookie.

    • Anonymous permalink
      06/09/2016 6:11 PM

      Lillian rough doesn’t even begin to describe it……… Alice keep your eyes wide open.

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