By Abdul latif Hourani
What is the criteria when selecting your partner in life? Unfortunately, some of which are the key reasons for the subsequent divorces. In the olden days, the whole purpose of marriage was to create a family, and settle down and of course to fulfill the religious requirement and avoid falling in sin. However now a days and in many cases marriage has become more of a business deal, and what each partner has to offer in return. People bargain on the MAHR and on wedding particulars as if it’s a Vegetable market with the main concern being “what are the benefits I’m getting out of this union?” Regretfully it is based on interest rather than the core purpose of the relationship, things like, her father is a Minister or he is the son of someone important … HAH?
Many men have a woman’s beauty as a priority when searching for “the one”. Yes, beauty is important and chemistry as well, but it is not everything. Similarly, girls are looking for over realistic sense of security, expecting a young man to possess his own house, a fancy car, provide branded gifts, and to top it all off to travel the world. The question here is, how do you expect a young man whose been working only for a few years to provide what your father has been giving you? Keeping in mind your dad has been working for over 35 years. Most young men cannot afford that kind of lifestyle and even if they did the chances are that this wealth is mostly not the fruit of their own hard work, but more likely it’s from family’s support, which they did not put any effort in. Therefor the odds for these men to let go are easy and likely especially if love and commitment were not genuine. Why do many girls assume that this “false” sense of security could last? What grantees do they have? A rich man may go poor and a healthy one may fall ill after marriage, would you walk away then?
In my opinion, simplicity and being realistic are some of the key factors for a happy successful marriage. Sharing responsibilities and hard work to build a good family is essential; don’t expect to get everything from day one. More importantly in our conservative and Muslim societies, it is not wrong at all to go for social / semi arranged marriages as this is used as means of introduction for meeting someone who is serious and wants to start a family, but one mustn’t approve just by looking at his/her photo or relying on the family members to meet and recommend, one must get to know the person well before diving into marriage.
A very important lesson I’ve learned in this life, one that I think is worth sharing, is when such relationships click and a couple end up getting engaged after such arranged meetings “love and trust are earned they are not a given.” Be realistic this person that you have only met weeks back cannot have possibly fallen in love with you, maybe has accepted you as a potential partner and found you attractive, but this person hasn’t got to know the real you, your characteristics, your habits, your morals, your ethics. One always attempts in showing their best side when first introduced to someone, you mustn’t always judge a book by its cover as what lies from within maybe very different. One could be pretty but lazy, rich yet stingy or rude etc.
It is good conduct and compassion that builds love and trust overtime. You, and only you, can make your partner fall in love with you and earn their trust. Don’t expect miracles and movie romance from the beginning and don’t presume that your new partner will hand you his credit card just because you got engaged, or blindly accept your decisions without discussion.
Communication is key, talk, share, even argue if you must but then jointly reach to an agreeable outcome that satisfies both partners. Give one another time, and space, and realize it is O.K. to let go at times and compromise, to show support and understanding. Soon enough, when trust is built and feelings become genuine commitment will generate automatically and he will give you his credit card without you even asking for it. Marriage is not about benefits, it is all about sharing and jointly working hard to create a stable and happy family and life ahead … I guess.