Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marry in Haste, Repent at leisure.

People in the UAE place a huge amount of importance on weddings, the fancier the better. Weddings are now designed to show off exactly how much money went into making them as spectacular as possible. The irony is that for a culture that places this much importance on weddings, divorce rates in the UAE are soaring in an alarming way. It's my belief that in order to under stand why so many young people are getting divorced, the reasons for them getting married need to be taken into consideration. Young people get married because of family pressure and social pressure. They get married because they want to fit in and do what every body else is doing or because they want children. They get married because they don't want to be alone.
Families always want the best for their children. The best for the family is not necessarily best for their daughter or son. There was a story about a girl whose mother was so obsessed with her being married to a man with a very respected family name and high social standing that she completely ignored the fact that she completely ignored the fact that he was a mentally challenged drunk. This is an extreme example true, but it just goes to show that sometimes a girl's voice is swallowed and she's completely drowned in family pressure. It also wouldn't have happened if the girl was allowed to speak with her fiancĂ© before she got married. She would have instantly known what was wrong, but she chose to trust her family above her own instincts.There are some sons and daughters who feel afraid to speak out against their parent's wishes because they have been taught not to contest them and that it’s a sign of great disrespect. Marwa Kraideh as social researcher at Juma Al Majid center suggested that the way couples were raised during childhood and how they were prevented from expressing themselves clearly and freely is one of the reasons for the increasing divorce rate. The question here is if from the beginning the daughter or son couldn't stand up to their desires and wants in a calm way instead of remaining silent for fear of retribution, then how can they expect to stay happily married?
There are those who just get married because everyone else is doing it. There is an unconscious and internalized conformity which is learned in childhood and is made up of social norms that we don't question because we believe that’s how things are. People also conform when their forced to which is called compliance which is because of the threat of punishment. There is also a social anxiety such as a fear of embarrassment or being regarded as inferior. This also relates to family pressure and how parent's decisions aren't met with argument. The thing with marrying someone just because they fit the idea of what a person's supposed to do with their life at the time is that people change. They begin to realize that this isn't the life they signed up for.
There's a saying in Arabic that roughly translated means being in the shade of a husband is vastly preferable than the shade of a wall. In a country where almost every thing is being offered to local women that phrase is demeaning. Women are offered opportunities to study, continue on to higher studies, and work. Still, for so many women a husband is a passport to freedom and independence. There is a stigma in being unmarried and a deep fear of being a spinster.
Happiness is equated with marriage and that is most defiantly not the way to treat it. Young people in the UAE are educated and very aware of the world, yet few people are aware of what they truly want. People are getting married for all the wrong reasons. It is misguided effort to find their niche in society. Youth should be given a voice, to challenge authority, to question without following it blindly. They should be given a chance to share their opinions and what they believe feels right for them without feel of retribution or disappointing their families. Youth should be given a chance to understand what they want and not stay sheltered from reality. When we're sheltered from reality, we project our ideal images on something that may not be perfect. We aren't being taught to work through our problems and follow up on them consistently till their solved. The world around us has changed so fast that our generation is caught between the past and the present, East and West, and how to fit in.


The Dreamer said...

i couldn't agree more with what you've said!!

Shahoodeh said...

Thank u so much for commenting :)