When good friends split up…..


Image from jezebel.com

Our ex-pat friends in Abu Dhabi have been going through some tough times since arriving in Abu Dhabi. The crux of the situation is that the male counterpart (D) is Vietnamese and is often mistaken to be among the hundreds of thousands Overseas Filipino Workers (yes this is a proper name – even abbreviated to OFW) on minimum monthly salaries within the UAE. As such, he is not treated with the same respect as his Canadian wife (B).In this post, you will hear my personal opinions, traditions and values. I will not hold back and I do not make any apologies for this. I have tried not to judge this situation, as you never know what goes on behind closed doors. I will attempt to be as factual as possible, however, I will state right out, that I am currently more in support of D over B.

First off, this couple have known one another for five years and have been married for 1.5 yrs. About a year ago, cracks started to form and both of them started revealing their frustrations and worries about the relationship. I initially thought it was just a common situation, whereby in the first couple of years in marriage, you have your minor battles, usually working out your role and position in the partnership. Marriage has a way of sorting out where your ego fits, how much you can push the boundaries and where the main areas of dispute lie. I also thought that the move to another country was just adding extra stress.

Throughout their revelations however a few issues remained constant:

1) D was finding it tough to be treated on a lower level than B. Whenever they went out together, many people would mistake D to be B’s maid.

2) As a result of D’s Vietnamese background, he had found it difficult to find work and was frustrated not to be contributing, living off B’s salary. He was also finding it difficult to spend so much time alone, with little money.

3) D was missing his family and life back home, immensely

4) D was jealous of the connection B had with her boss and suspected something was going on.

5) B was frustrated with D’s jealousy and needy behaviour.

6) B was not willing to go back to their home country – Canada.

Throughout the year, one could see D working extremely hard to find suitable work, however was getting knock back after knock back, eventually getting to a stage where his confidence was being rattled. At one particular catch-up, he got quite emotional about it. To offer our support, the hubster and I bought them a dinner voucher and told them to remember why they got married in the first place, that they were not allowed to argue and that they had to just enjoy a night out.

For awhile, it seemed things started picking up. D had various job interviews and there was hope every time that things would work out for them. Three months ago, they planned their visit back home to Canada. D was beside himself with excitement. We went to visit D & B before they left, and D was like an excited boy about to receive his first bike. He laughingly commented, that he was so looking forward to going home, that he might not come back. We all laughed, toasted to the happy couple, enjoyed the frivolity and after a great night, bid them bon voyage.

Well D did not come back. I found out on the weekend after a catch up with B that he remained behind. This news really shook me – it hit me for six in fact. That night, I couldn’t sleep – I wanted so much to reach out, to fix the situation. I also wanted to shake B and make her see the reality of the situation. Instead of being remorseful, the person I saw was happy, grateful for some time out without him. She has a new hair style, has redecorated her house, signed up for tennis lessons – and in her own words, doing all the things she couldn’t do with D.

I wanted to yell that D would not stop her from doing this at all, but I just hung my head – in fact I had to wipe away the tears that kept springing to my eyes. Now the situation with B’s boss is still hanging around. B reached out to my husband to see if she could find work in his organisation, which the hubster helped her out with. In fact, she starts in my husband’s department tomorrow. BUT…. and this is the clincher for me….. she will still be helping out her ex-boss with work and he is therefore allowing her to keep the company car and house she is staying in.

Now for the judgemental part……. surely, if you knew your husband was jealous of a man and this is a defining issue in a relationship, you would do what you could to distance yourself? B’s new job would give her car allowance and housing allowance plus a salary increase of 20,000 AED a month. There would be no reason for why B would need to continue working for this man.

The situation smells a little bit suspiciously for me and I am not her partner.

The situation remains where the two are now not willing to budge. D has taken up his old role in Canada, living with his beloved mother and catching up with friends. B is not willing to go back to Canada, she is hoping D will succumb to the cold winter weather in six months time and come back to Abu Dhabi.

When I asked her if D decides that he can not come back to Abu Dhabi if she would go back – the straight answer has that she was not ready to go back to Canada. In her exact words “either in six months time we will plan to have a baby or it will be splitsville.”

Wow! My heart is bleeding. It took me back four years ago, when the hubster and I split for six months. How selfish we can become. I wish I could show her the rounded picture, but I just don’t think she is ready to see it just yet.

I hope that the two of them can work things out. Perhaps a different country all together would be the answer? Who knows…. it just doesn’t seem to be on B’s agenda at the moment. She is too focussed on her new job, working with my hubster…… and all of a sudden I am a little worried. She likes older men, and obviously has no worries doing extra little things for her boss…..

I remain cautious.

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