Date posted: January 15, 2015


Published in Identity Magazine – January 2015

Dear Marwa,

I’m a 23 years old girl. I’ve been with my fiancé for 2 years now and I still can’t get used to him being so materialistic. For him love and respect is all about money and I’m not like that at all, I appreciate kind words and warm feelings, the perfect birthday gift for me is a nice dinner on candle light but he values expensive gifts that don’t cost him a lot of effort.  I love him and I’m crazy about him but I’m afraid it will affect my life on the long term in every aspect of our lives. I’m also worried about the way will raise our kids; will we raise them up to be materialistic too? or spiritual?

Dear Spiritual

The kind of materialism that you should worry about is usually part of a package; a materialistic person would usually be extremely ambitious, is addicted to brands, judges people based on appearances, is a show-off, is arrogant, and is self-conceited. You said that you are madly in love with your fiancé of two years; hence, I could safely assume that he is not inflicted with any of the above-mentioned character flaws.

Your main problem with this man is that he is not romantic enough for you; you want to live a fairytale where your prince charming literally takes your breath away with awe-inspiring surprises. You are not spiritual; you are romantic! You have watched too many American movies, read too many English novels, listened to too many Arabic songs, memorized too many Disney quotes, and now you are longing to live in one of those bubbles.

Your fiancé probably thinks that all those heart-shaped balloons and creative gift-wrapping ideas are a pure waste of money. He might also think that most fancy restaurants are over-priced and at the end of the day, we all know where digested food goes. I am not defending your man, I am just trying to show you how he thinks and why your romantic notions might never cross his mind.

My advice would be: Take the Lead!

If it is your birthday, you prepare the romantic setting where he would give you his expensive gift! If it is any special occasion, you take the lead and design all those heartwarming intricacies that would satisfy your fantasies. Stop expecting him to be you! He is who he is and he is expressing his love as best as he could.

As for raising the kids, this might be a topic for discussion between the two of you; if you truly want spiritual kids, then you have to totally abolish the concept of reward and punishment! This would include occasion-related gifts and in-case-of obedience rewards. You would give them gifts – material and symbolic ones – at any time all the time! You and your husband will also have to find new ways of celebrating special occasions. As a family, you will learn to celebrate the gift of life everyday with gratitude and humbleness. This is the true meaning of spiritualism.

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