Egypt is no longer the scene we see in the old Arabic black and white movies, nor is it represented by the movies shot in the 70’s and 80’s. The times of our Grandparents and parents are gone; society has changed, whether in terms of the visible or the hidden.
In specific, technology and globalization have helped spread a culture driven and led by the West, which is quite different to that which was prevalent before. In terms of fashion, dress codes are imitated and even if women wear the veil (Hijab), it is often customized to accommodate the fashion coming in from the West. Whether this means, short, skin-tight or revealing clothing; women have become more confident and generally show less inhibition than in the past. Meanwhile, Egyptian feminism, and the increasing rights which women have gotten, have made it very common that women and men interact closely and intensively. On another note, economic pressures, have prevented or delayed the marriage age of many women, which makes the supply of single women in society quite high relative to the number of single men who are capable of getting married.
As a result of all the above, this has helped create a new species of men, called MBA; Married But Available. These men are married however open to other types of relationship with women.
The relationships can be classified into the following:
Just talk. Some men just seek an emotional outlet and are looking for a friend. The wife is perfect, but the husband is in need for someone to be on the same mental wavelength, discuss business, issues of poetry, life, and politics with. Some wives’ accept this, while some others don’t. However realistically speaking, it does pave the way for cheating on the wife, and leaves room for emotions to grow no matter how much the husband is in love with his wife.
Looking for a girlfriend. Some men are looking for a girlfriend, either to sleep with, or simply to be a companion in activities that his wife is not interested to be involved in or that he does not wish to involve his wife in. How far the relationship develops, between the man and his girlfriend, depends on how pious he is, how scared he is of his wife and how socially conforming he is and how much of a conscious he has is in general.
Looking for a Mistress. Some husbands suffer from sexual frustration with their wives. This could be due to a declining physical chemistry, a lack of interest from both parts as a result of work load, or the increasing pressure of life, or as a result of carelessness on the husband’s or wife’s part. This could also be due to a lack of morals on the man’s side, lack of religious values or simply the man could be a dog, and one woman is just not enough.
Looking for a second wife. This type of husband openly admits lack of mental and physical satisfaction in the marriage, and hence declares his search for a new wife. In addition, this type of husband could be happy with his wife, but seeking change, and variety, for whatever that is.
The end result is that these man who are married, also position themselves as available for new relationships with women. They are “Married but Available”.
So both men and women need to do some emotional striptease and face their demons. Are you happy in the marriage? Do you take care of your partner and vice versa? Take care of you relationship and work on it.
Single women on the other hand, they need in general to maintain boundaries, and ensure that barriers are kept with married men, no matter how tempting it is to break them. This by no means implies women and men should not interact; interaction in today’s world is deemed a necessity, however it should be done with restrain and self-respect from both parties; men and women. Emotions should not be allowed to run or to develop when other parties can be harmed, or when built on deceit or betrayal.
This will not eliminate the Married but Available phenomenon, as these men will always be on the prowl, however, it is worth a try to minimize any further damage to a marriage.