By Abeer Al-Harbi
05 Sep, 2014
It has been said that “marriage is a partnership between two parties that results in a wonderful human relationship between a man and a woman; a partnership that is based on love, compassion, mercy, and commitment to rights and duties.” But as fate would have it, the matrimonial relationship sometimes becomes tense and disputes increase and the couple reach the point of no return: divorce. At that moment, time stops and a woman becomes like a deserted well.
In divorce, the little love birds fly away and their chirps cannot be heard; flowers do not blossom and the sound of water cannot be heard. The moment a woman receives the divorce papers, the roller coaster ride begins and it does not stop until she is married again. Then, a new ride begins.
The worst experience a woman can have apart from the loss of her parents or child is the experience of divorce. A divorced woman is not welcome anywhere. Everyone stops talking when she enters the room, not because they are considerate of her feelings but out of fear of her evil eyes. Even those close to her may steer clear of her as if she were some kind of zombie.
Divorce is a bitter and cruel experience. The members of our society still do not realize its danger and the psychological effect it has on a woman; therefore, they do not know how to save her from drowning in sorrow and how to pull her up so that she can stand on her own two feet.
So many marriages end in divorce due to the husband’s violence or perversion or because of the wife’s negligence and her disobedience to her husband. However, a new reason for divorce has appeared – the husband and wife no longer love each other and they have reached a point beyond reconciliation. I am sure many have gone through this experience.
In our society, a woman is always blamed if her husband is an inconsiderate man who does not appreciate marital life. When divorce occurs, we only care about the hurt feelings a woman has. In our society, a divorced woman has to be careful about everything she does and where she goes because the eyes of all her neighbors will be on her.
A woman once told me her story, which I did not believe at the time. She was married to a troublesome man who always quarreled with her. She got divorced and stayed in the same apartment with her children. When she was married, she used to walk around the nearby park. After her divorce, she stopped walking in the park because the Imam of the local mosque told her not to for fear she would seduce men. This is what she told me. Now I do not completely understand this. Do divorced women have more sexual desire or is it that men look at divorced women with more sexual desire?
In 2012, there were 30,000 divorces in Saudi Arabia, 82 cases a day at a rate of 3.4 per hour. These are very alarming and disturbing statistics. Along with the issue of expensive dowries and the practice of some guardians who prevent women from marrying, the divorce rates make both men and women think twice about marriage, disrupting the social equilibrium which is based on the family.
To reduce the number of divorces, we should go back to the root of the problem. Each husband and wife should consider three aspects in order to have a successful marriage: the mental, the ethical and the emotional. That is why Shariah makes it obligatory for a suitor to take a good look at the girl he wants to marry. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) urged suitors to look well at the young women they consider marrying because they might find something in them that strengthens this relationship. Each party should speak frankly about what they expect of each other and what they want.
A word to every woman: Before proceeding with divorce, consider the pros and cons and put your happiness on top. If you find that you will be happy with the decision, make it and pray that Allah will get you a better man. The most important thing is to learn from this experience. You will feel frustrated, but stay strong. My advice to you is to find a husband immediately after the period prescribed by the Shariah ends. Reshuffle your papers, consider your options and make the right decision. I wish every couple a happy marital life.