Marrying a Moroccan man? Expectations and Reality

Fatima O.

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You met a Moroccan man and you are thinking of marrying him? Congratulations! But before you make this big decision, it is important that you are aware of what to expect, both the good and the bad.

I’m a Moroccan born and raised and I’m currently married to a foreigner. I have seen, firsthand, how a relationship between a Moroccan man and a foreign woman can be both beautiful and complicated.

There are many cultural differences that can be difficult to overcome, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Note: Please note that these are based on my personal experiences and observations, and are not meant to generalize all Moroccan men.

Here are some things you should know before marrying a Moroccan man.

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marrying a moroccan man

For your Moroccan man, family is everything

In Moroccan culture, family is everything. Your husband will likely be very close with his parents and siblings, and you will be expected to respect and honor them as if they were your own.

This can be a great thing, as you will always have a built-in support system. But it can also be a challenge, as you may feel like you are always playing second fiddle to his family.

moroccan family marriage

Expect him to always put his family first (his mother especially), and be prepared to do the same. He will also expect you to get along with his family, which can be a daunting task, especially if they don’t speak your language.

You will need to learn to speak Moroccan Arabic

If you marry a Moroccan man, you will need to learn at least some basic Moroccan Arabic. This is the language that is spoken at home(if you plan to settle in Morocco), and it is the language that your children will likely learn.

While you may be able to get by with English or French in some situations, learning Moroccan Arabic will make your life much easier.

It will also endear you to your husband’s family, who will be impressed by your efforts.

You may be expected to live with his family

In Morocco, it is very common for couples to live with their parents until they can afford to move out on their own. This is especially true if you marry a Moroccan man.

Some even prefer to live with their parents even if they can afford it, and this is to take care of them in their old age.

marriage morocco men

The truth is nobody wants to live with their in-laws. It can be difficult, but it is a reality for many Moroccans.

If you can’t stand the thought of living with your in-laws, then you may want to discuss this with him before deciding to marry him. Figure out what his plans are and whether or not you are comfortable with them.

He might be marrying you for a green card

Unfortunately, there are some Moroccan men who marry foreign women for the sole purpose of getting a green card.

This is not to say that all Moroccan men who marry foreign women are doing this, but it is something to be aware of.

If you marry a Moroccan man, he will most likely have to apply for a spousal visa in order to come to your country. The process can be long and complicated, so if he seems to be in a rush to get married, it may be because he is trying to get a green card.

Again, not all Moroccan men who marry foreign women are doing this but just keep this in mind.

You DON’T need to convert to Islam

A wrong but commonly held belief is that if you marry a Moroccan man or a Muslim, you will be required to convert to Islam.

This is not true, a Moroccan man is allowed, Islamically and legally to marry a non-Muslim woman with the condition of her being from Ahl-Al Kitab which means “People of the Book”. This includes Christians and Jews.

So if you are not Muslim but marry a Moroccan man, you will not be required to convert. Converting to Islam is a personal choice, and it is not something that your husband or Islam will force you to do. Don’t believe otherwise.

He may have multiple wives. WRONG!

Another misconception is that Moroccan men are allowed to have multiple wives. This is not true, polygamy is only allowed in Morocco if the first woman gives her written permission.

Also, Moroccan men are not the type to marry multiple wives even if it were allowed. It is simply not common anymore. Maybe during my grandfather’s generation, polygamy was more prevalent but not anymore.

I personally have never heard of anyone from my surroundings getting married to more than one woman.

Yes, Islam does allow men to marry up to 4 wives. But, only if certain conditions are applied which are being financially capable to provide the same quality of life to all women and being able to treat them equally, emotionally, physically, and financially.

Nowadays. these conditions make it hard (impossible) for men to marry more than one and so even Islamically they are not allowed to.

Life in Morocco may not be what you expect

Far from the picturesque and romanticized image of Morocco that you may have in your head, life here is not always easy.

If you both decide to live in Morocco after getting married, you may find that it is not as glamorous as you thought. Depending on where you are originally from, you may find the living conditions to be quite different.

marrying a moroccan man

There is a big difference between living in Morocco as a tourist and actually living here. A few things you need to get used to in Morocco are the weather, poor administration services, mediocre public education, lack of safety in certain areas, low-paid jobs, poor infrastructure, public facilities, and the list goes on.

The culture shock is real

I have heard from many foreigners living in Morocco, that they had a hard time getting used to the culture shock.

If you are not familiar with Muslim culture or if you are not used to living in a developing country, culture shock can be hard to deal with.

I am not saying that you will not be able to get used to living in Morocco, but it is something to keep in mind. There may be things that you are not used to and that you may find frustrating.

Some of the things that foreigners have found difficulty getting used to are the strict gender roles, the food, the noise level, and the lack of personal space.

Gender roles in Morocco

Moroccan men are expected to care for the family financially while Women are expected to take care of the household and the children. This is true but not to the extreme that you may be thinking.

Women in Morocco are not confined to the house and they are not treated as second-class citizens. In recent years, there has been a lot of progress in terms of gender equality and women’s rights.

moroccan men and women

Women in Morocco are allowed to work, run their businesses, and support the family financially as well. In some families, the woman is the head of the household while in others, the man is the head of the household.

It all depends on the family dynamic and what works best for them. However, it is important to note that gender roles in Morocco are not as strict as they are in other countries.

Moroccan man jealousy

You may have already experienced this if you are dating a Moroccan man. Moroccan men can be quite jealous and overwhelmingly jealous at some points.

Jealousy is often seen as a sign of love in Morocco and it appears in many aspects of Moroccan culture. For example, it is not uncommon for a man to get jealous if his wife talks to another man or if she dresses in a way that he deems to be too revealing.

While jealousy can be seen as a sign of love, it can also be quite overwhelming and suffocating. If you are thinking about marrying a Moroccan man, you need to make sure that his jealousy is not going to be a problem for you.

Moroccan wedding

Moroccan weddings are quite a celebration and they can last for several days. If you are marrying a Moroccan man, you need to be prepared for a big wedding celebration.

The wedding in Morocco is a big happy event for the family and friends to attend. There is usually a lot of food and music and dancing.

moroccan weddings

Weddings in Morocco are usually quite expensive and the bride’s family is expected also expected to contribute. The bride will also need to invite her family to the wedding and it will be seen as inappropriate if the bride’s family does not attend the wedding.

If you want to know more about Moroccan weddings customs and traditions read this post: Moroccan weddings: All you need to know!

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out to me through Instagram messages.

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About Fatima O.

Fatima, born and raised along the foothills of the Atlas mountains, in the heartland of the indigenous Amazigh peoples. She loves Moroccan tea and travel. Now, she travels and writes about the beauty of her homeland.

3 thoughts on “Marrying a Moroccan man? Expectations and Reality”

    • Punished how? it’s possible that the parents of a man prefer him parrying a certain woman over another and they may force him to marry her but not the elders of a village. The tradition of having elders rule a village doesn’t exist anymore.


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