Marriage is not easy, not as it appears now days, in the sense that it is not something innate and is expected to be successful, but like any decision taken in life setting a call for deep study to consider all the factors that will make a successful marriage and enjoy the permanence stability. The durability of marriage does not necessarily mean that the marriage is successful and this also does not mean that all continuing marriages in the Arab world are failures. Failed marriages and the end of the marital relationships is due to several reasons, the most important is caused by the poor choice for a partner, which leads some to the difficulty of understanding the other and depriving a stable and good life for raising children, and perhaps the most important reason for this is the traditional and most common way of marriage in the Arab world until our present time, the man marries a female relative or one recommended by parents as they thought that her credentials are appropriate for their son; the son whom does not wish to break his mother’s desire in the selection of his life partner!
Permanence of traditional marriage – even with the success of some examples – does not necessarily mean that the marriage is a fruitful one even when things appear to be on the right track. The permanence for such marriages lies behind many reasons that make them “lasting marriages”, but falls under the name of a “hidden divorce”. One of the most important reasons why spouses avoid divorce, despite the pressing need for it is mainly the children, and often the mother is the one who sacrifices for the sake of her children’s happiness and to give them a normal family life that consists of a father and a mother. Some women prefer to continue despite the misunderstanding and distance between them and their husbands that has a psychological negative impact and in some cases hinders their advancement whether in career or education.
On the other side, we have those who continue in their marriages out of fear of failure and to confront the many problems that arise with divorce as well as its impact on the psyche of the children or their education because of being separated from one of the parents. This shows that the Arab world lacks the concept of a successful divorce that saves friendship, respect and partners agreeing to disagree.
In order for both spouses to enjoy stability they should take advantage of everything possible to help them be successful in marriage, such as learning from the experiences of people with happy long lasting marriages, and the experiences of those who ended up with divorce.
There is a book called -The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman- talking about love and how it resembles a fuel tank, that with the passing of time it should be refilled again periodically. It speaks of the preferred language of love for people that is summed up in five points,
- Understanding the needs of one another: If both partners understood the needs of the other many problems that can lead to a divorce would be avoided, there is a saying that says (Understand your spouse and you will feel calm). Understanding leads to calmness and tranquility, which in turn gives the marital partnership stability.
- Openness: There is no marriage without trust and no trust without frankness. Sociologists introduced the expression – Hidden Divorce – it summarizes that if honesty and openness between spouses is not continuous and one does not know what is going on with his spouse, or what one wants from the other partner, this is like a semi marriage and merely a social form, because divorce here in a sense is a divorce of intellect and an emotional one, due to the absence of open communication between the two partners.
- Financial understanding: marital experts say that the two partners should develop an annual plan or a monthly one about money and how to avoid problems and to allow the wife to be involved and aware.
- Good communication: Here what is intended that the partner does not speak in a manner that he understand but in a manner that is understood by his spouse, because without this happening it will create a gap between the couple which will definitely lead to outbreak of disputes.
- Acceptance: the secrets of a successful marriage that is classified as a “happy marriage” is that the two partners reach the stage of accepting each other’s flaws.
In 1995 divorce rates in Malaysia reached 33%, the ratio is very close to the rates of divorce in the Arab world reaching in some countries up to 50%. So establishments that are focused on marriage matters in Malaysia established a new system that includes that any two people whom want to marry must first obtain a license entitling them to be equipped for marriage called a “marriage license” which is obtained after training on how to run a family life and avoid problems. Since this system was established divorce rates began to decrease, making Malaysia today with 8% divorce rates in the world.
Arab Woman Platform had a pol on social media accounts and Twitter asking,
In your opinion does permanence in marriage necessarily means its success?
The pols results were as follows:
- 36% said not necessarily
- 19% said its continuity is due to having children
- 4% said to avoid problems that arise with divorce
- 14% said yes marriage permanence means success
Translated from original Arabic article written by Eshraq Al Rawqi