The Forbidden Tree of Life

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A few days ago, while waiting for my turn in a long queue, two guys standing behind me were chatting about relationships and marriage.


“This is becoming ridiculous, girls need to be more realistic and stop daydreaming”, said Guy 1.


Guy 2 replied, “can’t they realize that if their Mohanad was a nonfictional person who works everyday from 9 to 5, he wouldn’t be able to get his partner all these fancy gifts or throw her a surprise every day?”


With all due respect to my gender, I couldn’t agree more. Admit it or not, no stage you’ve been through will be the same as the stage that passed, or the coming one. Your relationship with your boyfriend whose great dream was to go out with you alone will be different from your relationship with your fiancée who eats dinner at your house at 12AM, and extremely different when he’s your husband, who lives with you 24/7, and his biggest desire became playing PS with his friends.


Face it. We grow older and our relationships grow with us.


Romance doesn’t have a holy book to follow. It is relevant depending on the person. Romance for me could simply be him eating a burned meal just because I spent hours preparing it.


I find no difficulty to develop with each stage, because I myself have different needs in each stage. 7 years ago, my biggest need was to have a fancy surprise party from my boyfriend. However, when I got engaged, my biggest need was my fiancé’s support in not allowing our parents to interfere in the way we’re planning our life. Now that we’re married, my biggest need now is to always feel that my husband is my backbone in every tiny detail, in fixing my car and in encouraging me to have a career as well. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like romance. I do need every now and then a hot Whatsapp message or unexpected gift.


It might seem that I’m enjoying inner peace and can adapt easily to each stage and yet be happy. However, there is a huge problem present in every daydream I have. This problem is that most of the marriages which last for 10-15 years suffer from the same dilemma. I can sum it up that a husband woke up one day to realize that he is fed up with his boring life and the rat race he goes through every day. His life is not as exciting as Sherif’s, his single friend, who spends each weekend in Dahab. His life was stolen from him. He just managed to get married, have kids, and see them growing. To your amazement, the core of his problem is his wife. Not expecting a gift on their anniversary, because she knew they had to pay the school fees was a sacrifice then, but now it’s no longer a need. He doesn’t want to spend his weekends in “Magic Galaxy” anymore. He wants to have more interesting adventures, but his wife is not that type. It seems that he lost a part of his memory in a mysterious accident and he can no longer remember his wife when she was sexy and used to party all night. He didn’t bother himself to ask where did those things disappear and why? He can’t admit that his wife chooses not to ask him to take her on long exciting weekends because she is aware that they have bills to pay. He also forgot that he chose to marry in his 20s and have kids. It was amazing when he was the first to marry among his friends and have a baby who looks like him, while Sherif didn’t. But excitement no longer lies there! It lies anywhere else; it can be another partner or just escaping from his boring home to amusement with his friends.


This is my real problem. You can choose to be a supportive wife with no expectations of receiving poems after marriage. However, you might wake up one day to find yourself accused. You put your kids as a first priority and treated your partner with responsible-yet-aging attitude.


Last thing, I know that if you are unmarried or newly married, while reading this article, you are  telling yourself: “this is not me, my experience will be different”, or, “this is the ordinary midlife crisis every couple passes”. I hope that your experience will be different and mine as well, but always remember that all couples pass by the midlife crisis, but not everyone survives it. Own what you have!


Nada Khattab

Twitter: @NadaAdelKhattab


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