The word “divorce” has become very familiar these days and Egypt is now ranked one of the top countries in divorce rates. This is not only because life in Egypt is becoming more and more difficult each day, but also because we are marrying for all the wrong reasons. Marriage is not easy; some do it for the right reasons, others rush into it without properly thinking it through. We asked 5 women about the reason they got married and found every answer to be different; so here are the stories of how they got married and why…
Nihal, married for 6 years explains, “The idea of not having kids was scary and I couldn’t handle it, so after my 35th birthday, I married the first person who asked me to marry him. For women of the same age, this is the most common ‘wrong’ reason to get married in Egypt and the reason for many break-ups later on. After exactly 9 months of being married, I gave birth to a baby boy who became my whole life and I cannot imagine life without him. I have been married now for 6 years and all I can say that my husband and I are living a normal life, we respect each other but we are not in love with each other. Sometimes I feel I was wrong to get married just because it was time to have kids. However when it comes to a baby, there is nothing called right and wrong, you just have to live with the consequences of your choice.”
Marwa, a single mom also tells her story, “I first met my ex-husband at a wedding, he was in his early 30’s looking for a wife, I was in my late 20’s and of course, it’s disastrous for girls at such age to still be single in our society. People had started asking me questions like “When are you going to get married? Are you too picky? How come you are still single till now?” Unfortunately, replies like “I haven’t found the one yet” or “I am focusing on my career now” are not acceptable in Egypt. So eventually I gave up and got married after 4 months of knowing him. Just 1 month after our honeymoon, things started to get ugly. I found out that he was a very ill-tempered and nervous person; he started to be violent and hit me. After a few months, hitting became a habit and I couldn’t take it anymore. But then I found out that I was pregnant. So because of the pregnancy and social pressure, I had to give up the idea of getting a divorce. However, once I gave birth to a lovely baby girl and continued to experience many physically violent incidents, I decided that I’d had enough and asked for a divorce. Society blamed me for the divorce and some people consider me a failure. But since realizing that it was society that pressured me to choose wrongly in the first place, I was able to ignore them. I am now 32, divorced; my daughter is 4 and has just started her first year in school. I am also pursuing my career as I’ve always wanted to and most importantly I am happy and satisfied with my life now”
He seemed to be Mr. Right:
A lot of Egyptian women will relate to Nermin’s story; she explains her journey as follows, “Years ago, I thought my marriage would last forever. Before meeting my ex-husband, I was engaged twice and both times it was a fairytale love. Unfortunately I broke up with them, for many different reasons but the overlapping reason was that I’d given to these relationships more than I’d taken, I loved them more than they could reciprocate. As a result, I decided to choose my husband not necessarily out of love but because he has everything on my checklist. We met in a very traditional way through a friend; he was handsome, wealthy, successful, well raised and most importantly he was a protector, a provider…and the list goes on. It was evident to everyone who saw us together that he loved me more than I loved him; I did love him but I was not in love with him. Throughout the years, I found out that I was in love with the idea of having a partner who can support me and my kids. As days passed by, we found that we were not compatible and reached a point where we were living as roommates but still together for the sake of our daughter. But one day he packed his bags and never returned. Now I think that we should not have got married at the first place, he was Mr. Right to someone else, not me, so I couldn’t handle that and he felt it”.
Taking it to the next level:
Hana’s tale exemplifies a lot of modern marriages; here is her story, “When my husband and I got married, we thought it was the right thing to do. We had known each other for 10 years and dated on and off for 6 years. It seemed back then that we needed to take our relationship to the next level and be engaged and then married because it was the right thing to do in our society and we thought marriage would make our bond stronger. But unfortunately we were not ready to spend our life with each other and it was not the appropriate time to get married. We struggled a lot during our first year, however we were smart enough to know that what we did was wrong, so we took some time off and luckily we were able to figure out our differences and solve our issues. Fortunately that happened to us, but I know some couples that were not so lucky; they lived years together faking happiness and continued their lives together because they thought it was good for their kids”
Married for all the excitement:
Mona, married for 10 years also tells her story “I was married for all the wrong reasons, but I didn’t know that at the time. I thought I was like many girls who were afraid to be lonely; wanted to leave their parent’s house seeking freedom; were getting intimidated by friends getting married and having kids and wanted to feel all the excitement of having a partner, preparing a future home, wedding and honeymoon. However, after 10 years of a very normal yet boring marriage, all I can tell you is that if you rush into marriage for just these reasons, you’ll end up living miserably-ever-after. Because, at the end of the day, you will have chosen to live some occasions that will eventually end, not a life with the person that is supposed to be your life partner.”
These stories may be different from yours, but all of them were married for the wrong reasons. So before you say “I DO”, give yourself enough time to think, check your motives and make sure that you are not getting married for the wrong reasons.
-Don’t get married because you are getting old and it’s about time to be someone’s wife.
-Don’t get married because you feel pressured from society, family and friends and want to avoid social discrimination against unmarried women.
-Don’t get married just to fill a void and escape loneliness.
-Don’t get married because you are tired of waiting for the one and you are afraid of never finding him.
-Don’t get married just to have kids, wait for Mr. Right to experience motherhood with.
-Don’t sacrifice Mr. Right for Mr. Right-Now who will never fulfill the deep longing in your heart that only Mr. Right can fill
-Don’t make a mockery of marriage. Don’t take something sacred and make it about your ego.