Pakistan and high divorce rates: The girl’s parents are to blame!
Pakistani weddings, specifically those orchestrated in the social hubs of our country such as Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi are celebrated with extreme glamour and grandeur. Most Pakistani girls, with the onset of puberty, envisage themselves in an exorbitant and gaudy red jora, sitting beside a handsome prince charming, who will walk her to a shiny BMW waiting outside the marriage hall.
Men share a similar view as well, except it’s an Armani suit and a diamond studded Rolex given to him by his eternal mother-in-law. The term eternal was meant in pure sarcasm, if anyone failed to detect that.
Sometimes I wish life had unravelled the way we had always imagined it to be, but unfortunately this is not the case. What our society needs to understand is that riches and glitzy weddings are not a guarantee for a long lasting marriage.
One needs to understand that marriages in Pakistan are not just between a man and a woman, rather between two families. It’s more like a merger between two families with differing norms, traditions and values. The time period after getting engaged up until the rukhasti, allows for a plethora of different feelings to develop and relationships to blossom. It is a beautiful and gradual process which requires time and effort. Everything seems to be perfect during that phase, so what changes after marriage?
The question remains, why is divorce such an easily available option now? Wasn’t the time and effort worth it? Why do marriages fail? Why do things start falling apart all of a sudden? What happens to earnest promises? Since when did breaking off a nikkah become an option? Since when did the husband/wife become replaceable?
It doesn’t require you to be a licensed marriage councillor or a self-proclaimed peer (religious saint) to get to the root of this problem. The answer is simple. People are not willing to compromise and expectations have definitely increased far more than before.
In retrospect, I believe that parents are solely responsible for this. Let’s focus on the girl’s side first (Please don’t assume I am a male chauvinist).
Mothers nowadays push their daughters to gain financial independence, but wait a minute. Let’s head back to marriage basics 101. According to the Sharia, the fundamental duty of a man is to provide for his wife. I’m positive that even the liberals will agree with me on this, let alone the staunch Sharia followers.
I feel that a woman earning defeats the purpose of marriage. Call me orthodox if you want, but I’m as concerned with divorce rates as I’m sure you are. Granting your wife autonomous financial power makes a woman feel she is better off without you and you just end up being a formality she has to fulfil.
The next point will nail the argument. Parents love their daughters, why shouldn’t they? Though there is a world of a difference between loving them and spoiling them. Personally speaking, there is nothing wrong in spoiling daughters, but if they have never experienced monetary struggle in their lives or temporary phases of mediocrity, they would have a difficult time adapting to such times if their husband ever went through it. Life is unpredictable and not being able to adapt will make life more of a bumpy journey.
In conclusion, the key to a successful and everlasting marriage is compromise from both ends. Inflated egos and obstinacy have never won anyone anything. One has to realise that a husband and wife have certain rights over each other and that human beings are inherently flawed and are prone to make mistakes. Therefore, try to rectify the mistake rather than the person.
As for the men, it’s imperative to treat your wife with utmost respect, overlook her flaws, forgive her for her shortcomings, console her when she’s upset and let her know she’s wanted. Harsh words have never won any hearts. It’s the softness of the tongue that has melted even the most impregnable of hearts.
Divorce is not an option. It never was. I sign off with a Hadith that I have always kept locked up in my heart. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was quoted to have said that the best amongst men are the ones who are good to their wives.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.