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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Until Death do us Part

Until Death Do Us Part

(Shuffle)

Another Stupid Adult
“I love you; I know how to make you happy; I am so strong; I will make you faint on our wedding night!” He said with pride to his future bride – yours truly – 12 years ago. I cannot deny that there are times when I wonder how my life would have differed had I not called off my wedding. If I woke up on the right side of the bed, my thoughts took me to a cozy house with a loving husband and lovely kids; but if it was one of my countless bad hair days, I envisioned a miserable wife in a boring marriage with teary-eyed kids, and suffering sleepless nights contemplating a flawless murder. I am certain that had I married the guy who used to exercise his “stick”, or the guy who wanted to deliver his own babies, or the alcoholic, or the neurotic, or the psychotic, or the caveman, or any other guy, I would have been divorced. I do not think I would have made it past the first month, let alone the first year. I was miraculously saved but not everyone was as lucky; some were even as unlucky as ending their marriage months after it started.

What fed their dreams to the shredder? What turned their vows into curses? To love but not to hold? For the better but not for the worst? For the richer because no one wants the poorer? In health but never in sickness? What would make a young bride runaway from the love nest? What would make prince charming flee on his not-so-white horse? Was it a bad choice? Was it that marriage put an end to the dating farce? Is it the lies? Is it the false pretences? Could it be expectations? Could their premature divorce be the only natural outcome of the marriage of a couple who were incubated in a schizophrenic society? Am I being too pessimistic? Am I being too realistic? To get my answers I had to ask the men and women in question. I wanted neither the staged sugar-coated replies nor the decent socially smart conclusions; I wanted the ugly shocking truth – the kind of truth that neither feared exposure nor knew any inhibitions. I created a male account on an adult site to lure the girls and a female account to entrap the guys. I searched for divorced men and women between the age of 21 and 30. I got my answers … and more.

Sara is 25, she got married when she was 21 to the man she loved since she was 16. She is on that site looking for a man who could love her and give her the warmth that her marriage was deprived of. She cannot take off her veil because of her family; she cannot get a divorce because she does not want to move in again with her parents. But deep down, she feels divorced and acts accordingly. Mohamed (28), her husband, is addicted to adult dating sites, and he is on that same site chasing women and doting on them, while she is withering at home alone - or in the arms of someone else. She has been demoted from wife to roommate, and he does not want to have kids. Mohamed’s pictures with his “girlfriends”, his chats, and his mementos are right under her nose – he does not care enough to wipe his traces. “Sara owes me”, he revealed to my male alias; he married her knowing that she was not a virgin. He believes that his actions are righteous and justified, and that she should be grateful that he saved her, and her family, from shame. “I will get a divorce eventually … I am so unhappy” said Sara and Mohamed not knowing that I was talking to both of them.

Mostafa (29) is another story; he fell in love with Menna (24) and after a dating period of one year, they got married with the blessings of both families. The marriage lasted for one problem-filled year, and finally they got a divorce. Mostafa is looking for sex. He wants to prove that the divorce was not his fault; he keeps saying that he is good in bed and is very desirable but his wife was distant and frigid. He wrote countless lines describing how passionate he is and how he knows and understands exactly what women need. Mostafa has watched plenty of xx rated movies and he wanted to re-enact each and every scene with his wife only to be faced with her shocked eyes and expressionless face. When he noticed that I was reserved, he snapped at me saying “I do not need another inexpressive b****.” Zeina (23) enjoyed talking to my female alias; she was the one doing the hunting. Her marriage lasted for three months. One night, she got a call from a hospital telling her that her husband has been in an accident. Being the dutiful wife she was, she hurried to the hospital only to be told that her husband was involved in a homosexual “gathering” that obviously went sour – they beat him up, raped him, and threw him in the street. Zeina does not want to get married again.

Khaled (30) and Mona (25) had an arranged marriage. Khaled had drinking problems and a very unstable career. He had tantrums and Magda’s face and body paid for his insecurity. He used to cry and she used to forgive him. The frequency of the frenzies increased and she could not take it anymore; hence, the divorce. Magda does not want to meet anyone; she is just looking for venting space. Karim (23) is living in a dreamy bubble of his own. He got married right after he graduated to his college sweetheart. He wanted to love her forever. He loved her hair, her sweet voice, her shy gaze, and how she understood him well. After their marriage one shock followed the other; her body hair, her morning breath, her horrible cooking, her hair in the bathtub, her monthly pads in the waste bin, her watching TV all night, and many other little things that he never imagined in his sugar babe. Karim used to believe in love, now he believes in co-habilitation before marriage – even if it was just short trips.

Mira (25) has a two-year old girl from a horrible marriage. He was 20 years older and was extremely jealous; his fits erupted whenever he caught a man looking at her. Mira told me that she had to quit work. She avoided unmarried female friends and all male friends. She was afraid to greet a relative she ran into in the street and, by time, everyone avoided her too. On the other hand, Salem had plenty of affairs and he used to brag about them all the time and Mira had to either pretend that she was deaf or that she knew he was joking. “My daughter is a blessing but Salem threatened to take her if I got married … I need a man and if I cannot get a husband then so be it.” Jina (26) got divorced two years after her marriage because of her mother in law; “the woman had no clue what privacy meant. She had a key to our house and used it at anytime. She asked about what we ate, where we went, and how many times we did it. My ex was not man enough to protect our marriage from such an invasion. I have no regrets other than marrying him in the first place.”

Sally (22) was the victim of a sadist; “he used to whip me when I was late, burn me when I asked questions, sodomize me in return for money, and stick a needle in sensitive parts of my body for every mistake he said I made. He told me that this was because he loved me and he wanted me to be a better person. I used to cry a lot and I was so embarrassed; I could not tell anyone what was happening behind our closed doors.” Sally submitted to his sick needs and desires for six months until, one day she fainted in the street and the passer-bys took her to the hospital. There the doctors were horrified and they called her husband and her family. She got her divorce on that same day. Sally told me that she never knew the man she got married to and that she found herself in a house with a total stranger who used her and abused her in the name of love. Her mother told her on her wedding night that a respectful wife obeyed her husband and kept him satisfied – otherwise he would leave her. Sally blamed her family for her disaster of a marriage; “they over-sheltered me to protect me but it was their ways that made me an appealing prey for such a sick man. I learned the hard way and I am now gaining my own experiences. I am not thinking of marriage; I just want to explore the world.”

The men and women who shared with me their sob stories are victims of our society. The double standards that they are brought up to adopt create what we call in business, an execution gap. There is a big void between where we really are and where we want to be; what we want and what we have; how we feel and how we act. We drown in an abyss of deluding illusions, unrealistic expectations, fake emotions, consuming demands, and the inevitable frustration. We get married for the wrong reasons; we mistake lust for love and confuse stability with stagnation. Mothers are over protective as though they want to suck us back into their wombs. Fathers discriminate between their sons and daughters. Women do not practice what they preach; they sing to the deaf ears of their male counterparts. Men do not meet the promises they make; they play to the sensitive tunes of the female vulnerability. Traditions, manners, taboos, and religion mix in one melting pot that defines stereotyped outlines for our ideal character and our perfect mate. We are dictated the answers to all the quizzes but we are left to face the final tests alone – we fail with flying colors.

7 comments:

askandarani said...

those were the lucky ones who managed to escape, what really hurts the others suffering in silence and thinking this is normal or their duty as a "good" wife. hope oneday the silence will stop.
one last point, the silent part include men as well.

NN said...

What if my story isn't nearly as dramatic as those but still, I'm unhappy. Two things trouble me about my husband. There's no physical connection and our hearts will never be on the same level. But he is ideal on paper and really is the perfect husband. Does it make me unappreciative? I just need more...

NN said...

I forgot to mention I've been married 5 yrs and have a 1 year old. But throughout my 5 yrs of marriage I've always wanted out.

Marwa Rakha said...

Hello NN,

I know that what I am about to say will sound like the most selfish thing on earth but I will spill it out anyway: Nothing is worth one minute of unhapiness - not even kids because people use them just as an excuse to live in more misery.

I will go into more details: You have a kid from a perfect husband but you are not happy; your unhappiness will be transmitted through your vibes to everyone around you.

The kid you are trying to protect will lose his "happy bubbly" attitude because your sadness is weighing on his heart.

The perfect husband will always feel that something is missing because of your aloofness.

Divorce? Why not? Friendly divorce? Sure!

NN said...

Good advice, thanks. And you're right - he's always said he doesn't feel deep emotions from me and that something's missing. But I feel like I'd be ruining his life if I left and he really doesn't deserve that. That's the only reason I've held on so far.

But I'm only 26 and I don't deserve feeling like this either.

Eyad said...

Ok, I know several stories that go in the same stream. Yet, I know several others about stable families; it is all about "MATURITY", Young couples needs to practice few things:
1- the logic difference acceptance
2- Never take your lover-partner for grant. Spice it up the way you used to during the hunting era
3- Lower the roof of your expectations about marital life. Love is a dream, marriage is reality. Do your best to make it a cheerful reality.
4- Take it as a challenge to navigate in your marital life avoiding all the rocks. If you reached divorce, you need to know you are a bad captain, never blame your passengers

Rafik said...

what happened to young egyptian couples? it seems to me that they have unrealistic expectations from what marriage is and what sex is?
It seems sexual knowledge is driven from wrong sources X rated movies or other unreliable sources. it is called making love as it is the ultimate expression of love, it also defined as the only game that both parties win. marriage on the other hand is a life time partnership, to survive it needs a lot of effort from both sides and compromises, without any expectations that someone will be able to change the other this does not happen and will result in a conflict of pushing and resistance and ultimately a high degree of delusion