Wanting to understand a rats mentality

Laurence

Major Ratslayer
A tunisian man will never forgive a woman that made make him "loose his face" for family, close friends and the community...even if he loves her, he won 't forgive her both by social pressure and loss of selfesteem...
What could be the cause of loosing his face? Cheating on him mainly!
A rat on the contrary would "forgive" her as long as she is usefull to him....
 
J

Justchecking

Guest
@Laurence - what if it is the opposite? That he would lose face if he finished with her? (Because she is European, they are engaged and have been planning the wedding with his family, he has been planning to go to Europe and become the breadwinner for the whole family). Would he be under pressure to put up with more from her, since finishing with her would mean a loss of status (in his family's eyes at least)?

That could be due to genuine non-ratty motives yet with the same outcome that she is "useful" to him and he would lose face if he finished with her.
 

simple

Major Ratslayer
@Laurence - what if it is the opposite? That he would lose face if he finished with her? (Because she is European, they are engaged and have been planning the wedding with his family, he has been planning to go to Europe and become the breadwinner for the whole family). Would he be under pressure to put up with more from her, since finishing with her would mean a loss of status (in his family's eyes at least)?

That could be due to genuine non-ratty motives yet with the same outcome that she is "useful" to him and he would lose face if he finished with her.
They dont regard European women as pure ,so its not loss of face if he finishes with her .
 
J

Justchecking

Guest
As long as the new love is European, will marry him, let him come to Europe and let him be the breadwinner for the whole family, I´m sure the family will not mind.
How could he know that she would be at that stage? In this hypothetical situation I am assuming that there is no Plan B waiting in the wings and he's in a relationship with just one woman.
 

simple

Major Ratslayer
Is that all Tunisians?
No not all ,,,But its generally a backward belief for most ,,You have to remember that sex before marriage is Illegal ,that tradition dictates ,its the boys family that seeks the girls family for marriage .That the boy MUST pay for everything ,even if his fiance is western ,she should be treated like a Tunisian fiance .If she isnt ,then its a case of lack of respect .There are no allowances ,,,Thats the way it has been and will always be .
 

Laurence

Major Ratslayer
Justchecking, you seem to forget one major thing: a european woman is a prostitute in the eyes of most tunisian families...so to exchange one prostitue for another, is of no importance whatsoever for them! As long as the son/brother gets what he wants from her...

What is exactly your concern, I think it would be much easier to advise you if we knew all the whereabouts.
 
J

Justchecking

Guest
@Heidi I think it might be a language thing. The main aim of the thread is to understand Tunisian men's mentality better.

I use a lot of idioms when I speak, which is probably making it harder to understand me if English is not your first language. I'm sorry I do that and I will try to be clearer. What I meant with my last post is this:

Our imaginary Tunisian man is not a rat - or not a serious rat anyway - and he is in a relationship with only one European woman. There is not another European woman waiting to be his new love. He might not even be thinking about having another relationship immediately after he ends the one he is in. So, in that situation, if he left his European girlfriend and had no plan to find another one quickly, what would the family think? Would they be angry that he had wasted an opportunity?
 
J

Justchecking

Guest
@Laurence I'm trying to understand Tunisian thinking better, that's all.

Are all European women prostitutes to all Tunisian families? Excuse me for being blunt, but does that mean your husband's family thinks you are a prostitute?? :eek:

That attitude must change somewhere in the process. When does a family stop thinking that you are a prostitute and start thinking you are a part of the family?
 
J

Justchecking

Guest
So, to summarise:

Non-rat Tunisian:
  • Will break off a relationship for emotional reasons, or if his gf makes him lose face (e.g. she cheats on him)
  • Will break off a relationship if a better prospect comes along
  • Is often moody and arrogant, but occasionally very forgiving
A non-rat Tunisian's family:
  • Will probably not know about his relationship
  • If they do know about it and the relationship ends they will be relieved that he has come to his senses and will hope for a Muslima next time around
  • Will probably view all European women as unsuitable marriage partners for their "prince".
A rat:
  • Is not emotionally involved so will not break off a relationship for emotional reasons
  • Will normally have several prospects on the go at once and will remain in contact in case you're useful to him in the future
  • If often moody and arrogant, and not above emotional blackmail
A rat family:
  • Will likely know about and encourage the relationship
  • Will likely collude with the rat and go along with his lies
  • Will probably view all European women as a potential source of income
Sound about right, ladies? :whistle:
 

Big Bang Theory

Senior Rat Expert
A tunisian man will never forgive a woman that made make him "loose his face" for family, close friends and the community...even if he loves her, he won 't forgive her both by social pressure and loss of selfesteem...
What could be the cause of loosing his face? Cheating on him mainly!
A rat on the contrary would "forgive" her as long as she is usefull to him....
Ditto
 

Laurence

Major Ratslayer
My husband's family is not a rat family. My husband is the only one in his family that got married to a foreign woman, older than him, with already children from a first marriage. His family was not happy with me at all, but they eventually accepted (maybe tolerated) me (one uncle excepted) because he held on to marry me and also because his brothers have children, so him procreating wasn't that important anymore to his parents...
They certainly like me now, because they see that my husband is happy and that I am not a burden to him (as are most tunisian brides and later on children) and he can move forwards in life. BUT I know that if he would divorce me and decide to have a tunisian bride, his mother would dance at this marriage, which she didn't do at ours....
 

simple

Major Ratslayer
I lived out there for a number of years and i can honestly say,that i have never understood the mind set of good or bad Tunisians ,,nothing is as it seems .All my neighbours were Tunisians and all were a contradiction to their lifestlye .As Heidi said ,nothing is black and white ,what you believe to be true is not and visa versa .
 

Big Bang Theory

Senior Rat Expert
I lived out there for a number of years and i can honestly say,that i have never understood the mind set of good or bad Tunisians ,,nothing is as it seems .All my neighbours were Tunisians and all were a contradiction to their lifestlye .As Heidi said ,nothing is black and white ,what you believe to be true is not and visa versa .
My experience: Things that are perfectly normal/acceptable to us can be totally alien/unacceptable to them. Things that are perfectly normal/acceptable to them can be totally alien/unacceptable for us. Rat or non rat. :confused:
 
N

neela

Guest
I for one do not understand the mentality, I am sure that my husbands mother did not approve of our marriage and thought I was a witch or something. I hardly ever saw the family. One sister inlaw was very up front and although we could not speak the same language I got on with her. Her husband said to me he wished tunisian women would go to work like european women. I know he wished his wife would work. I have given up trying to make sense of the thought patterns.
the humor can also be strange.....
 
N

Npk

Guest
I for one do not understand the mentality, I am sure that my husbands mother did not approve of our marriage and thought I was a witch or something. I hardly ever saw the family. One sister inlaw was very up front and although we could not speak the same language I got on with her. Her husband said to me he wished tunisian women would go to work like european women. I know he wished his wife would work. I have given up trying to make sense of the thought patterns.
the humor can also be strange.....
jez sorry neela you even had a bad time with the in-laws.
How are you these days. I hope your getting stronger. best wishes to you. xx
 

wallah

Major Ratslayer
The longer that I live in Tunisia, the less I really understand the mentality fully. Even my really lovely local friends sometimes stun me with their reasoning. Not to worry, we have decided that when we return to UK at the end of April - usually to avoid the very hot weather, we won't be returning again. One lovely friend of many years will inherit all that we have in Tunisia - clothes and the lot. She once said to me, 'I have seen what the Europeans have and when I marry, I will work hard and have the same.'' and my goodness, she has been as good as her word, so deserves everything that I'll leave her. I won't dare tell anyone about our decision until the last week, so hope that the inheritance soothes the blow a little for her and her family xx
 

simple

Major Ratslayer
The longer that I live in Tunisia, the less I really understand the mentality fully. Even my really lovely local friends sometimes stun me with their reasoning. Not to worry, we have decided that when we return to UK at the end of April - usually to avoid the very hot weather, we won't be returning again. One lovely friend of many years will inherit all that we have in Tunisia - clothes and the lot. She once said to me, 'I have seen what the Europeans have and when I marry, I will work hard and have the same.'' and my goodness, she has been as good as her word, so deserves everything that I'll leave her. I won't dare tell anyone about our decision until the last week, so hope that the inheritance soothes the blow a little for her and her family xx
I think its time you started to think about yourselves ,,to settle and relax ,Youve helped so many in Tunisia.
 
J

Justchecking

Guest
Not to worry, we have decided that when we return to UK at the end of April - usually to avoid the very hot weather, we won't be returning again... I won't dare tell anyone about our decision until the last week...
@wallah what's brought you to that decision?

Perhaps naively I imagined that once Europeans settled with their Tunisian husbands in Tunisia, and had been there for many years they became used to the culture and felt integrated. It sounds like the more time you spend there the less settled you feel.

Is there a reason to keep it quiet until the last minute? Someone on the Other Forum commented recently that despite his family relationships being good, he didn't enjoy his last trip over there. Too many people calculating what he could do for them.
 

wallah

Major Ratslayer
Thanks for that @simple
Justchecking, my husband is not Tunisian and whilst he is not as totally sick of the place as me, he does share my decision. I fully understand the culture and have studied the religion - actually know more about it than many practising Muslims - many of whom have never read the Holy Koran and I do respect those who follow it, but it is not for me. Tunisia has changed greatly since the revolution. The young men living in the tourist areas in particular are totally disillusioned, have no motivation to get up and try to improve their lot, but resent those of us who have ''everything' -------------------- and please don't try telling then how bloody hard we have to work in Europe because they will never believe you! The general atmosphere of the country has changed and certainly not for the better. I am weary of looking at the piles of stinking rubbish and breathing in the general air of decay - it is all so depressing now.
I have many local long term friends who I know love, value and respect me, but again, generally, foreign women are never totally accepted as being as good as the Tunisia women. we are all judged to a degree as being of the same mindset as the promiscuous ladies. In a way, I don't blame them for this, mentally they are not worldly - if there is such a word -- have no true concept of how others live, so judge accordingly. Laurence will totally understand this. I know that I am accepted more than tourists by those in Mahdia. Everyone knows me and they are warm and friendly, but to a degree, Wallah there is not the real Wallah. I live and act in a way that I know is totally acceptable - so living a lie in some ways.
I will miss many things of course -- certainly the delicious vegetables. OK, they are dirty, misshapen and look most unkept, but the taste and flavour and superb -- especially the tomatoes - and the hindi ---- goodness, I'll miss that ! I'll miss the superb patisserie and the delicious bread and the green expensive lipstick that stays on forever :) (1 td a stick! :) ) I will most definitely miss all the hard working hotel maids who call into my room twice a day for coffee and biscuits - for paracetamol - for comfort if they are in trouble - for empathy if they have domestic problems - they will miss their English mum. I will also miss writing the 33 monthly letters to those who do not have email. (600 millims postage has never increased in 13 years!) Mostly, I will miss all the abandoned children that we have helped to support and I will miss all the lovely undemanding desperately poor people that we have been fortunate to meet. thankfully, a group of students from Sousse uni will carry on some of the support for the most needy. A long list and too many more to mention, , but not enough to make me want to stay -- this feeling is not new, but has crept up for the last 2 years and I cannot ignore it any longer.
I dare not tell anyone that I am leaving until the last minute, because at the end of every April, when we leave Mahdia , all of our friends are very upset and the maids in tears -- they make both of us cry, as well as the housekeeper allows them to come and wave us goodbye. I admit that I am afraid to tell them. How long will it take them to stop calling 523 Wallah's room all through the summer months?
My friends in UK are estatic of course - they have all resented our absence so much, but despite that, have supported all the charity work that I have done for the children and the poor people. I will always be grateful for them for that.
In February we will both be 72 -- scrub up quite well -- and despite bits dropping off of us on a regular basis, we are both in pretty good shape, but ------ as S says so kindly, time now for us to think about what is best for us --- and that is no longer Mahdia. We will never return.
On a lighter note -------------------- there are lots of bus trips for pensioners :D:D:eek::eek: ---- can't really see us doing that for a few years ------ but ------ who knows? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 
Top