A very high honor since the women in his family are most important in his life.
Since you’re ‘officially engaged’ according to him (you’re not, rest assured) then living together is OK. Remember, you’re not in the typical American relationship where people meet, date, live together, share a bed, then decide if they want to get married. His wife then becomes one of the women in his family.
For a woman to shed a tear and a man be the cause is shameful. Large family gatherings happened once a year during family reunion time and even that came to an abrupt halt when my grandparents died.
Fortunately my husband does fit comfortably into this part of the culture he appears to have left so far behind. The typical Southern Belle raised as an only child in America. I never had to share anything with anyone — even my space.
Many people have asked me what it’s like being an American woman married to an Arab man.