Thursday, February 15, 2007

har haal mein,har daud mein... hamein muskurana agaya

yesterday i had read an article in emirates day about the soaring divorce rates in dubai. or in the uae, in general. ras al khamaih, one of the least populated cities of the uae had 71 last year. cases where the woman had initiated the divorce. im not sure how much it is in percentage. this was something which was unheard of. however, now increasingly no of women dont want to stay in a bad marriage and are opting out. the main reasons are that they arent treated well by their husband/husband's family. abuse cases, the husband is taking all her hard-earned money...etc the crux of the article was that these women dont have it easy even after divorce, there is still the negative connotation associated with a divorcee. especially, if shes a woman. it exists, not just in the arab society but in the asian society as well. and after the divorce she sometimes has to lose custody of the child, has very slight chances of getting married again or ends up being the second/third.. wife.
lot of people here blame it on mixed marriages. of which there are a few. not a whole lot though. the culture difference is considered too wide. perhaps. i dont agree with it though. u can be of the same culture and have differences. ive seen cases where one is married in their extended family and it doesnt work out. i.e in their same culture, their same social status, and even cases where they practically know everyone in the family. so its not freakin scary when you meet the other side. but still, it doesnt work. on the other hand, there are many stories of couples from mixed marriages who have been married for two decades plus and still maintain that respect, lvoe and compassion for each other.
in conversation with some friends the day before, many at their jobs are noticing this trend too. i dont know too much about the statistics, but i believe the higher percentage would be of working women being divorced. there was a huge debate then, is it because women are working now and consider themselves self-sufficient which is why they dont want to put up with any crap. of course, it could also be that becoz they are divorced they have to work to support themselves. so its not a really good example. my mom thinks its perhaps a case of high expectations.
i dont think its the "high" factor which is the problem. i think its just the expectations which is. i think its important that you understand the person and the family that one marries into. you should know things like how the other will react to a certain situation and they should know how would you react to the same situation.
some people thought that earlier people (older generation) didnt get divorced, they had more compassion then now. i dont know if i agree with this, have people really changed? dont the stupidest thing make us upset? dont we fight on the same things? dont we say things we sometimes dont mean? i really doubt that its coz people have lost the compassion. i think earlier if people were stuck in a bad situation, they accepted it and in their hearts they created threads of "what-ifs" and "why-mes". a close friend of mine when talking on this was like im totally ok to divorce. i was a bit shocked and said dont say that, how can you say this before even getting married. but having seen her cousins miserable situation, she has mentally prepared herself that if it doesnt work, it doesnt work. Na mile na sahi, kuch na rahe to na sahi
at the same time, im not saying that all reasons for divorce are correct. a friend of mine working in collections had to once deal with this emirati fellow who had racked up his credit cards bills just so he would be able to save face with his friends in terms of their lavish living. and his wife got fed up and was on the verge of divorcing him. when you hear stories like this, unconsciously we (which includes me ) tend to judge people. sometimes we think his wife should stick by him and show him the correct path. but none of us know the reality. and sometimes its just a one sided truth. maybe she tried and hes just beyond help. who knows?
still, i dont agree with movies like kabhi alvida na kehna. if two people are sensible and sane enough, and have some compatibility of some sorts you can work things out with kindness, lots of patience and respect. but at least both should be sensible somewhat. everyone goes through rough patches. we go through them in our friendships, even in our family. but we dont ditch them. at least, we shouldnt ditch them. its the same thing, i think.


Ashraf's Pen 11:55 AM  

Interesting post but I think you are being far too ideal. The world has changed. nowadays people are far too unwilling to compromise. And its about attitudes. My mom had to weather some very difficult in-laws and relatives but she did it.

Even I like the sound of working on problems but it does not work many times. We seek compatibility now, not adjustment. There are fewer compromises.

As for women seeking divorces I think if men can seek divorces, so should women. Basically its the individuals choice.

Read this post of mine.. You may find it interesting

btw my name is ashraf not ashrafs pen ;)

Ashraf's Pen 12:00 PM  

the link is

I think its getting cropped. the link ends in .html

Santosh 9:58 PM  

Divorces can never be solutions... though i might be wrong but I have seen people getting in to worse situations after divorce..
Its all about people's inability to find solutions (though sometime it might be the only solution), they take this easy path..

life in words 6:22 AM  

ashraf : lol. sorry, =)
which is why i think its important before you get married to anyone you should understand them and their family. its not just the two pple involved. even if you arent living in joint family settings. even then. u should understand what ure getting into. and sure if the in laws and relatives are sensible and sensitive to you, its awesome. but if its not, i understand it can be a nightmare. but if the person you marry is sensible and so are you and both of u are fair to each other and stick up for each other, it should work.
no matter how difficult anyone is.

there are adjustements irrespective of whether you knew the person for a gazillion years.
no one can know another person completely.

santosh: i think divorce is not the best solution. In a religious aspect its one of the most frowned upon things. But even if I were to think in a non religious aspect I still think it is. But then there are situations which are so impossible and so difficult that one cant help it. "Jiskei upar beeth thi hai, woh hi jantei hai" types. ANd I do agree that some people do take the easier path. and there have been really sad cases of pple ive heard of who have been madly in love and divorced a year later just coz they didnt want to be together. no real reason. but we cant weigh everyone in one scale,each has their own reasons. some reasons may be trivial but some may be justified.

Ashraf's Pen 10:51 AM  

So here's a question for you(there are no ambiguous answers).
What do you think works better- arranged or love marriages?

COz arranged marriages are no guarantee. The smiling groom could turn out to be very different. Also one cant tell about th would be in laws behaviour just from a meeting..

On the other hand love marriages are still not accepted in India. A girl and a boy going out is still a taboo in may places. And what if the family does not accept but the couple are in love. What then??

So tell me how does one before marriage understand whom n where one is marring.

I agree fully that the best scene is where the husband is very supportive of the wife. I have seen ppl weather tough scenario's only because they knew they had support from their spouses. Also as soon as a relationship changes from friends to a couple there have to be adjustments.

Also maybe you are assuming everyone to be very altruistic. People can be very malicious-knowingly and unknowingly.

Divorce in most cases indicates complete breakdown of relations. I am not sure if I support being married and staying so just for society even if its all over between you and our spouse.

life in words 6:30 AM  

ashraf: LOL. its really funny the way you put it, the "smiling groom". zyada thar dulha ki phat rahee hoti hai during the wedding period.far, far from smiling =)

jokes apart though. my answer probably will be ambigous. this is the age old question of love versus arranged. i dont really see the difference between the two. im talking about the new arranged concept. you get to meet the person, their family many a times. i dont mean just blindly agreeing based on a picture. again i do expect that both sides are sensible enough. maybe thats expecting a lot.the situation where u spend considerable time talking to the person. i dont mean dating here. on the other hand, isnt love arranged by ure friends, by u. ultimately everything is arranged by God, no?
and given the sad circumstances where the family doesnt accept the other person. there no clear cut answer for this. perhaps your family is right and you arent as clear headed that time to make a right decision. maybe your family is wrong, and if they are then i believe if u really think this is it for you, you should stick with each otehr and weather it out. hopefuly they will eventually agree to it.

The other thing ive seen and ive observed and sure it maybe too idealistic, but based on my observations. if its really meant to be it will happen without much effort, things will eventually fall into place. like they were supposed to. and if it is not, things will spiral out of your control. in all these things, one should listen to and follow their gut feeling.

Ashraf's Pen 8:06 AM  

Well as for the 'smiling groom' I allude to that wierd ladki dekhne waali ceremony. Everyones smiling and everything is a facade. As for dulhan crying I think its more of following a time honoured ceremony. [;)]
I have seen the dulhan crying her heart out even when she was just moving next door. Also one of the customs is that the dulhan returns home next day 4 a week.

A joke just struck. Its about the dulha. At the vidai, the dulhan starts crying-'MMaaaannnnnnnnnn(mom)', 'baapu main jaa rahi hoon', Bhaiyaaaaaaa. After hearing her wails the dulha gets nervous and says 'Oh poor thing, lets get the vidaai done later'. The father-in-law immediately replies'Ye sab to naatak. Vidaai kar lo. Maa kasam bahut kharcha ho gaya hai'

Beyond the jokes, I personally dont think all things will turn out well by themselves. I believe we have to make efforts to make it work.

A very interesting article I once read said that now divorce is an attractive option for women because of how they are protected and also the fact that most of the educated can find employment easily. [b]So basically the guy is at risk of loosing his marriage even if he behaves like the typical patriarchs of yesterday-unconcerned and uncaring.[/b]

Finally I think its the tough times that will actually be the best test of a relationship, coz at that moment at least one will have to work super hard to make it work again

aqsa,  9:46 AM  

Well, I guess both love marriages and arranged marriages have a cloud of doubt attached to them. Who knows how the guy you’re dating will turn out to be…or how the friendly family will turn out to be.
The most important thing that’s missing is…“Adjustment”.
People are not ready to make sacrifices, earlier the guys thought they have all the rights to quit now women think even they can end an affair that’s not working out.
Anyways, divorce in my eyes is not a solution unless both of them actually give their best to save the marriage. It can be the ultimate thing but there are things that can be done. It’s just that trying to save a dying relation is now taken as something old fashioned… though I cannot make out why!

Ashraf's Pen 10:31 AM  

Well Aqsa(nice name but what does it mean)

Well I dont think trying to save a relationship is considered unfashionable. I think its more like we are all so busy that we never really have the strength to make the effort.

A relentless media assault is creating a stereotype image in our minds of love and life. It has to be perfect and more tragically we are made to believe it will sustain itself.

On the other hand divorce is just one face of a bigger problem. The bigger problem is people being unable to adjust to the changed circumstances. What a marriage may need at most times are compromises.

Divorce was allowed in Islam and in society mostly as to allow women and men alike(hope so) to get out of bad marriages.

Its very recently that in some nations divorce has been allowed. Think of a case where a couple cant annul a bad marriage because divorce is not legal.

Though it should not be frowned upon in society yet divorce should be the very very last option.


(its exactly midnight here)

life in words 9:07 AM  

ashraf: Lol, dulhan crying is not a custom! Ive seen dulhans cry with the whole barei barei aasoo tapking, im pretty sure they arent crying coz they are supposed to! one does feel even if one is going just next door. you are leaving your home, your family, where you know everything and are at total ease and comfort and now your in these different surroundings and you have to deal with these new changes. and i agree tough times do make or break a relationship.

aqsa: thanks for your comments =) i totally agree with you. but sometimes conditions are really bad and divorce is the only option. and sometimes people are just childish and stubborn and just dont want to adjust, as you mentioned. there was a case in dubai, some time back where a woman who got married and later found out her husband was bald. coz all the times he met the family he was wearing a headdress. (white wrap kind of thing which arab men wear on their head). after marriage, she found out he was bald she wanted to divorce him immediately. in this cicumstances, its a bit funny the story. but pple can take it in two ways. firstly it could be like chalo he lied maybe he was embarassed to say so, but overall hes a good human being and respects me. some pple can also think he lied for such a simple thing theres no telling how many lies he has said and how much lieing he will do. its very hard to make a judgment on these things without really knowing the situation or the people involved.

Ashraf,  8:22 AM  

OK embarrasing mix-up if u get what I mean.

Moving on I agree all dulhans cries is not a tamaasha but the 'rasm-reeti-riwaaj' adds a bit of pressure.

Coz I have seen every single bride cry at her vidaai like she was being taken against her will to be sold or even worse murdered.

COme on there must be some who must not feel so much of grief.

Like the arranged marriages you so eloquently talk about where the bride gets comfy and its all a gentle transition.

The absence of such a minority point to the existence of a 'tamaasha'

life in words 2:51 PM  

ashraf: ok im not sure why ure so upset about the "crying dulhan". LOL.
counterargument to your existential theorem. =)

one of my siblings laughed throughout her vidai, in fact I was like you are supposed to look little sad today. but since we are so comfortable with the other family and with my brother in law. it didnt feel like she was getting married at all, the whole vidaii part dint seem like she was leaving.
on the other hand my other sibling sniffled and my cousin bawled and didnt even look up throughout the whole reception even though she is living in the same city as her parents.

each his own. but everyone does feel a little sadness. some cry some dont. if youve stayed all your life with your parents and you have to leave your house,and even though you know its coming its really quite tough. on the other hand if youve been away and have been living independantly for quite some time its still much better but it still makes you feel bad that you are leaving your home. ive seen people at weddings cry during other pples vidai. mainly coz it reminds them of their own and those emotions they went through during that time.

its very difficult for a guy to understand this, since you will never have to go through it. unless you are from a matriachal society. i wonder if guys cry then.

Ashraf's Pen 10:47 PM  

Upset-no I am not. That's for sure.

As for the dulhan,if u were to look at the flow of conversation,you would see u started the point. And u prove my point that there are socital expectations to a certain extent.

As for being a guy and not understanding, I am not sure thats a valid point. I cry, I get emotional,is only the fools who are weighed by the stereotypes that guys dont cry.

Though its not same still I could draw a parallel bwleaving home from engg. I ended up in a college 1400 miles from home. To a home I grew up in I now return about three times a year for 10-12 days. Its saddening at times but this is all a part of life.

And could you please explain matriarchal society. I dont get it.

pi,  6:54 AM  

ashraf: never said that guys dont cry. =) what i meant was a guy wouldnt know how it feels during the vidai. well, unless hes from a matriachal society ( where the guy moves into the girls home).

Ashraf's Pen 9:28 AM  

The guy moving into the gals house!!!! Now I wonder where is it found?

I am not sure if any of us belong to a matriarchal society. I would prefer that scenario where the couple have an independent establishment.

I would personally think the sexes are wired a bit differently. The males are a little more stoic yet are the weaker foetus(scientifically proven)

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