Why marriages fail [Archives:2003/655/Culture]

July 31 2003

BY Nawal Zaid
For the Yemen Times

Many husbands opt for divorce for the silliest reasons, and many lack the true understanding of marriage life and its responsibilities. There are many reasons why this happens such as that a person is not convinced in the process of marriage in principle and does not fully understand what this social establishment is. Both sides of the married couple are not mentally or socially ready for marriage and the couple finds itself forced into this situation by the will of their families.
Families in countries like ours take the leading role in arranging marriages, sometimes even without consent of the to-be-wed man and woman, claiming that love and understanding comes after marriage. But such concepts are not right especially in these days as things have changed and youth has become more aware and more responsible for themselves and most of all more independent from the traditions and cultural rituals that had been inherited through generations. However, in spite of that we find many families still maintain the outdated marriage rituals and force their sons and daughters into arranged marriages without realizing the grave consequences of such action. Consequences that are likely to lead to early divorce because the family chooses a bride whom they like and appreciate as if she is to marry them and not the groom who unfortunately only meets her in the wedding night for the first time. What if one of the couple is shocked and can not accept the other? There are more than the looks. What if they have certain likings and habits or nature that they cannot adjust with and hence can not live together because of?
Harmony between the husband and wife is very important, whether social, educational and even emotional. Because it brings together points of view and makes life easier and more enjoyable to live when there are common interests and likings.
The scene that youths face before marriage in these times is that they either have someone whom they wish to marry and face rejection from the family, either by refusing completely or putting many obstacles against the marriage such as a high dowry or preventing conditions. Many families opt for marriages of convenience such as for financial or power gain etc. There are many issues that might lead to destroying a marriage even before it is concluded and these are critical issues in our culture that must be dealt with. If marriage becomes a commercial business-like issue then it would definitely lack emotions and trust and it is more likely to fail. Lack of emotional compatibility leads to estrangement of the husband and the wife and hence breaking the connection between them emotionally and intellectually.
Some people say that marriages that results from love fails because the couple is not realistic or practical and does not see the actual characteristics of each other. But although this is relatively true it could apply more to marriages without previous acquaintance because then it is more likely that spouses don't know anything about each other. Also post-marriage issues for those who have known each other before are related to loyalty and understanding of marriage responsibilities which are very personal aspects concerning the individual and not the way the marriage had been made. Because it is not only a matter of external looks and how one outwardly appears. These are temporary aspects and with time they wear out and only spiritual characteristics that would remain.
For happy marriages a family must understand that there should be compatibility between spouses. They should see and know and even like, if not love, each other before marriage and find out common background for them so as to be able to live a happy joyful married life.