The Quest for Love…

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God created women with so much love inside that it has no limit. Women love their kids and their husbands and their friends. They have enough love and strength for everyone. God created women to complete men, to be the kind heart and the tender support. He made specific roles for each, and told us that if we stick by them, everything in life would go on smoothly. But unfortunately, sometimes things change, and as the roles alter, the creations are mutated. What would drive a woman to look for love when she already has a man? Who is wrong and who is right? Let us see.


She was walking along the pool that afternoon, with her hair tied up in a loose pony tail, some strands escaped, framing her face, the faded jeans and crisp white T-shirt

made her look young, beautiful, carefree, she took in the warmth of the sun and the tranquil blue color of the pool, as if she had nothing troubling her mind, she wanted to forget for an instant about her life, just feel this peaceful moment. As she was walking, she tripped on one of the training bags by the pool, she felt the floor coming closer as she was about to take an embarrassing fall when a pair of strong arms grabbed her waist and held her firmly. It was the swimming coach who trained her kids. This was only what it took for Malak‘s defenses to fall. At 30, she was married to a man who had nothing to do with her or their kids, always at work or with his friends. A lot of times she felt like he wanted to complete his CV not to start a family. His interests in her disappeared as soon as he learnt he was about to be the father of twins. Everything was going on according to his plan, the wife, the kids, the villa, the resort, and the cars. She felt hungry for warmth. So when this man held her captive by his arms and his gaze for a few seconds, and when he told her that she had the most beautiful hazelnut eyes, she was moved to the core of her heart. She was so happy that someone noticed something about her. Her husband treated her as if she was invisible, this made her lose her confidence and she always doubted herself. The coach was polite and nice. The following weeks he always managed to find something to delay her for sometime to talk. She was amazed at how well they talked, how time flew by and how they shared common interests. They talked about everything, he told her about his Ph.D he was about to finish, his dream to travel to America to work in a good hospital as Physiotherapist and that he took swimming training as a hobby because he liked  kids. She told him about her cold marital life, the husband who is never there for her or the kids, the things she did to occupy her time and her bank career which she dropped because her husband said they didn’t need the money.  They kept in touch through phone calls which became an essential part of her life, they were innocent calls but enough to make her feel alive. She looked radiant when he called, her eyes sparkled and her heart missed a beat when she found his name on her mobile. But she was depressed at night , every time she thought of the way she felt and how she lived, she ended up crying, promising herself that she would end the phone calls and focus on her kids, but it was impossible, she was young and had needs as a human being, not only as a woman. She simply wanted someone to lean on, to talk to, share her life with. She plucked up her courage one day and asked for divorce, but the reactions she got from her family and her husband was way beyond her expectations. Her family simply said that if he didn’t beat her, or cheat on her, then there is no legitimate reason to ask for divorce and that a good mother dies for her kids. She couldn’t tell them of course that she wanted love because with this mentality, God only knows what they would think. Her greatest shock was her husband, who told her she should tell him everything. Innocently, she told him about her cold life with him and her attraction to the kids swimming coach, and that she can’t live like this anymore, he exploded in her face, then he denied that he ignored her, that they have everything and that she is just ungrateful, then he cried like a baby and pleaded for her forgiveness promising that he would never neglect her again and that he would definitely change. But old habits die hard, and as a typical Egyptian male with a bruised ego, he erupted into a violent storm and threatened to take the kids away from her and tell them that their mother was a hooker. Now she had a choice to make, either insist on leaving, leave the kids behind or go on living on those stolen moments of happiness she is blessed with during the phone calls and continue the family charade. Malak chose to end the phone calls and live for her kids. It was the toughest thing she had experienced, so unfair but it was the right thing to do. She felt her heart would stop from the ache. If you see her, you will instantly think of a flower withering away from neglect.


After a series of boyfriends and potential suitors who didn’t want to commit, and a dozen heartbreaks, Nour vowed to marry the first man who wanted to start a family, love or no love, she wanted the classic dream of a house and kids. After marriage, she discovered that she married a couch potato whose only physical activity was a marathon of eating chocolate bars. He neither had sexual nor emotional interests. He wasn’t interested in work either, “what is the use,” he always said. So, she played the role of a man and a woman. She spent her days working in a multinational company, her afternoons going over her kid’s homework or sports, her nights preparing for the following day’s meals. Her house was spotless, her cooking was delicious, and at 44 she didn’t look her age. She was the envy of everyone around her with her good looking figure, perfect family and wonderful career, but inside Nour was starving for attention. And as if her prayers were answered, he was a consultant who spent half his age in Canada, he was elegant, handsome, smart, a copy of Rock Hudson. She noticed how he checked her out. She found herself taking extra care of how she looked, how she dressed, and made excuses to drop by his office as much as her pride allowed her. Something clicked between them, in his presence she felt like a big huge magnet drawing her near. One day, he asked her to leave her car and go for coffee with him, she didn’t even think. They didn’t go for coffee, he kept on driving around until they reached a secluded place, he started telling her how beautiful she was and how lucky any man would be in her closeness. It was a typical cliché, but she wanted to hear those words. When he held her close, she chose to ignore the sirens screaming in the back of her mind and enjoy the moment. She didn’t want more than to be held, than to be appreciated as a woman. But what she wanted was definitely different from what he wanted, after a few months of crazy escapades, he told her about his apartment and that it was safer for them to meet there. When she refused, he held back, she knew it was to pressure her into going, but he had given her enough attention that she was addicted to him. When the brutal reality of what she had agreed to dawned on her, it was too late, she felt dirty and humiliated, especially that he told her she was faking the humiliation and that she was old enough to know what she was doing. Things got worse as he started ignoring her and she was sure he was with someone else now. She couldn’t take it anymore and was taking sedatives and anti-depressants, anything to dull the pain. Her quest for love cost her peace of mind, self respect and the job she always worked for, as for family it was too late to go back to her old life and erase what she did. When you look at her, that energetic beautiful strong woman is now broken.


Sarah married a man who promised her the moon. She put all her energy into her marriage, never saying no when he wanted anything and he always needed something. She took a loan to help him start his business, she was there for him when he discovered his gall stone and took a leave from her job when he was hospitalized. She attended to everything regarding his work, his health and his family besides taking care of the house and kids. Thinking that he would appreciate her for all that she was doing and be there for her too, but he never was. Not when she suspected a lump in her breast or when her boss chose her junior in a promotion she was working so hard for and not when she had a car accident and he said he was too busy and that she should call someone else. She did call her project partner who was always there when she needed him. He called her when her kids were sick and went with her to the police station after the accident and called the hospital for her to confirm her check up appointment. He was there. So when he started calling her from his booth daily just to tell her good morning or when he called at night to see how her day went by, she saw the danger. And when she felt emotionally drawn to her project partner, she pleaded with her husband to listen to her and feel her needs, calling her a silly fool and insisting that he didn’t do anything wrong; she decided to file for divorce. Her parents were supportive as they knew well what was going on with their daughter’s marriage. A couple of years later, and after she married her partner who made her believe that he knew how to deal with women and how to appreciate a sincere devoted caring woman (guess what?) he transformed into another version of her ex-husband. She was living the same life again, only now with an extra child and parents who told her that all men are alike. Sarah is living now with the proverbial shoe in her mouth.



Honestly, it beats me why men don’t appreciate what they have, why do they ignore their wives and praise a colleague or a friend’s wife. Do they think it’s demeaning to show their love? Do they think it would rob them of their manhood? Is it a trick they play to get the woman or a façade they put to look good in the eyes of a woman?


Of course a woman’s quest for love doesn’t justify falling in sin, be it on purpose or slipping. But let’s take a closer look at how indifferently some Egyptian men are dealing with their women. How they take a woman’s feelings and efforts for granted. How they treat her like she is invisible. How they let a woman starve for attention, and then are ready to hang her if she fell for someone else. It’s a big problem our society is facing. The numbers are dramatically escalating, men are still clueless and women suffer silently. I wonder how many Malaks, Nours or Sarahs there are. And how many women are begging their husbands for attention before they slip. How many women are like time bombs waiting to explode? I wonder what price women are willing to pay for their quest for love? And last, I wonder if we are about to declare the extinction of the moderate Egyptian husband who could balance his career/family/hobbies? If men want a woman who is feminine and obedient, women sure want a man who is masculine, not by looks but by substance.

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