February 3, 2008

Second/Multi Marriages in the Egyptian Society*

*(OMG, that sounds very much like one of my old Sociology projects)

I went on a six-day trip to come back and find that very controversial topic about second marriages vs. cheating discussed by fadfadation. Reading the post, I had too many thoughts that just wouldn’t fit into the comment space, so here it goes…


All through my life, I’ve heard my dad’s jokes with friends about the whole having-a-second-wife thing!! He’d always say how it is 7alal and that men are entitled to do it and no woman should “te7arram” what was deemed 7alal! Nonetheless, when the females in the discussion (either friends or friends’ wives) start attacking his thinking, he’d say with his well known sarcastic tone “howa elly yetgawez marra ye3melha tany… Bas bardo da 7aga rabena 7alelha le sabab we 7alelha be shoroot” (he’s basically mocking marriage and saying that he who marries once should be wise enough to never do it again! Yet, if religion allowed second marriages, it must be for a reason; moreover, it’s governed by certain rules)

I remember a childhood friend of my age, who got engaged around the same time I did insisted on debating with my dad saying “… but what about love”… my dad being the biggest cynic I know (who somehow still believes in morals in away) told her something like “fe thawabet, al 7alalo bayen wal 7aramo bayen.. manlakhbatsh nafsena be mostala7at nesbeya zay el 7obb” (rules are rules, religion is crystal clear about right and wrong… there is no need to confuse ourselves with relative terms such as love). It did not convince my friend, she argued about the certain rules and what they should be. She was not able to imagine what could possibly be a good reason for a man to remarry and put the first wife whom he loves/loved through such misery. At that point, I told her “if he no longer loved her, then she should not be with him, and if he did, yet he still wanted to be with another one, it’s either she accepts it for it’s better than adultery, or she can walk away with her pride well preserved”… the look on my friend’s face was indescribable!! It was like I betrayed women every where by believing that love fades!! She did not believe that I could speak that way despite being in love and planning to marry that man I loved.

I think it goes without saying that the whole second marriage never shocked me really!! I have to admit though, I always found it hard to believe that men are indeed capable of loving two wives, but like everything I find hard to believe, I did not spend much time dwelling on it. After all, I had the “perfect guy” who was going to love me forever and ever. **insert a cynical looking smiley right here to judge me**

Now, six years later, I try my best to think of second marriages that actually worked without having any negative impact about those involved… I can’t seem to find any! You see, in every case, the man would say he had “reasons”, but who defines reasons? Him? Either of the wives? Society? Religion? I am not that strong religion wise as my readings are pretty limited, so I am sorry if I don’t know what good religious reasons are! Here are a few cases from real life, of which I would like to get opinions from you…

Case No. 1:

T… T is a friend of my dad… a supposedly extra religious figure (whom I think gives religion a bad name sadly) who had been imprisoned for a failed attempt to murder late President Sadat. He married his wife while he was in prison (as in katab ketabo) and I have to say that I never understood why on earth she married someone who was sentenced that long, let alone someone who believed that murder was a good idea!!

Of course by the time he came out, she was too old to give birth (late 30s or 40s, I am that bad guessing people’s age!!). However, they visited a number of doctors until they were convinced that she cannot bear children. Of course, since adoption and surrogate parents are not an option in Islam, his remarrying was the only left option.

That man went bride shopping, looking for divorcettes/widows who already had kids to ensure he’d have kids of his own, given that he had done the necessary lab work for himself and proved fertile. He forgot that the first wife spent a good number of years waiting for him (I don’t understand why, I just never will!!) He did not stop to consider her feelings knowing she can never have kids of her own, and only worried about having his own kids; I am sorry, I think that was cruel of him… If he was to get married, he should have done it more decently; talked to her, gave her some time to feel supported and appreciated before tossing her aside the way he did.

She did not ask for a divorce because she had no one else to support her, you see, she paid for the apartment where they lived, but it’s in his name (I am seriously doubting her IQ level as I am writing this), and she had nowhere else to live except with her brother; therefore, she accepted being the first wife/nanny for his kids while he married that other woman and provided her with another apartment (also in his name, which means he could afford buying another apartment!!).

Again, I try not judge, but this man hurt his first wife and abused the right God gave him. I don’t think women should stay in a marriage because they have no other option, neither should men for that matter. People stay in a marriage because they want to, or at least they should only stay because of that. He should have done the honorable thing and changed the ownership of the apartment in her name, and then gave her the option. I would have respected him if he had done it that way, but I think he’s too much of a greedy pig who wants to have it all: the wives, the kids, the apartments!


Case No. 2:

Uncle MA… now that one married his beautiful cousin and I am saying beautiful not just because she really is, but because this is how he always bragged about her looks!! MA comes from a religious background; however, his parents have been separated long time ago, splitting him and his siblings in the middle for no apparent reason! He left to Kuwait long ago with his wife; he has three daughters within the same age categories of my sisters and I. During gulf war, they moved back to Cairo and he spent months unemployed while she worked and provided for the entire family! I am not saying she did it all by herself, but the whole concept of her sticking by him should have meant something when he decided to marry the ‘beautiful’ flight attendant he used to see regularly on his flights from and to Kuwait.

Of course the wife got offended big time, she insisted on a divorce, and since she had 3 daughters, she was entitled to their Cairo apartment, not that she needed it! However, he did not divorce her!! His argument was, my parents are separated and it’s working and she wouldn’t remarry anyway!! He married the flight attendant and gave birth to a boy (did I mention he said he wanted a son!!)

Now he lives with his second wife and son in a huge apartment (three apartments combined) in the name of two his daughters plus his son. And has the other apartment where his first wife and the girls live in the name of the middle daughter and he thinks he did them well!

Now, the girls, the older two have serious eating problems in addition to a somehow anti-social behavior. Those two girls are the same girls who used to tell me I should let my hair loose the first day I ever say them, did not even start a conversation last time I saw them!!! Their mom, developed cancer and got a divorce shortly after, since the second wife demanded that.

I don’t know how MA sleeps at night. I mean yes, he did not commit adultery… but does wanting a son serves as a justifiable reason, and if it is, shouldn’t he have taken better care of the daughters he already had?? And shouldn’t he have granted his first wife the divorce she asked for when she did, instead of divorcing her after she got sick upon the second wife’s request??? To him, he thinks he was being fair by dividing apartments on his kids… but I wish to tell him that when he dies, the apartment, the big one, will only go to the son and the second wife the way things work in Egypt.


Case No. 3:
Mr. AA, the husband’s previous employer. He is a multi millionaire, from a well known family who believes he is religious enough because he happens to pray and refrains from drinking! It’s strange he gives minimum wages to hard working people and still believes that way, but who am I to judge!

He married his secretary and had two sons and two daughters. 22 years later, he married his 25 year old secretary at the age of 50. What was the reason? I think refraining from adultery, although it wasn’t announced. So his new wife got a wedding gift of 400000.00 EGP worth, in addition to a latest Lincoln Grand Marquise model which she had specially ordered. I don’t care how judgmental I would sound when I say she married him for the money.

The day his family found out, the wife collapsed and I think she hit hysteric paralysis, yet she never asked for a divorce, probably for financial and social reasons! His daughter almost had a car accident as she got into her car right after he told her himself he was marrying someone a couple of years older than her! his mother and brothers refused to attend the wedding (yes, it was a big white wedding!!), and the new wife’s sister got promoted in the company and of course the new wife herself was not stupid enough to quit work and leave room for another Twinkie (I am sorry, I just couldn’t help it)!!

Almost 2 years later, he lost a good franchise to his competitor (yestahel) and his company has been liquidized and divided between him and his siblings since I don’t think they could trust him with their money anymore. I don’t know anything about his family or his business since I don’t know anything about the husband to begin with, but I can’t help but wish he gets a taste of his own medicine when the new wife decides she’s still young enough to find someone her own age.

I remember how much I despised that man when it all happened. He did not stop to consider the impact his second marriage had on his wife, that I can barely understand… but what about the negative impact it had on his kids??? His daughter could go marry someone his age just to spite him, and he wouldn’t even argue, but I’d like to see him try!!!

Talking to my father (who kept laughing cynically as I was telling him the whole story with passion enough to start media war on that man), he was like “he thinks he did nothing wrong, he still provides for both of the wives, and supports his kids financially”… I insisted “but what about destroying his kids emotionally, I mean don’t fathers have obligations towards their kids”… he continued “he thinks he did the best he could, his calculations are merely financial, and he thinks it’s more than enough… not just him, a lot of people think that way… and it could be right to an extent you just never know… you see, justice cannot be applied as far as emotions are concerned”… I know what my dad meant, it just wouldn’t register in my head!! I know and I understand why one cannot be fair when it comes to their emotions and I understand that fairness can only be applied with tangibles, but those men I mentioned caused tangible emotional damage to people whom they should care more for.


I am not saying it’s religion’s fault, I am only saying that the way people apply religion SUCKS, and it does our religion great injustice.

I don’t know how to say that the “right” way, but I think second or multiple marriages are only ok if no one gets harmed; at least not the children!! If women in our society are forced to stay in dead-end marriages just for the sake of the kids, then perhaps men should reconsider second marriages for the same reason.

However, if the choice ever comes between second marriage and adultery, I would vote for second marriage because no person in the right mind should choose what’s wrong over what’s right, and like fadfadation said, marriage protects the rights of all parties involved, not just money wise, but also social acceptance wise, which is very important, especially in or society.

I know it’s hard to believe, but I will say it nonetheless: if he had come to me saying “insomniac, I think I am in love with her and I will marry her, it’s your choice to stay or walk out on this marriage, but I am doing what I have to do!” I would have left. I know I would have cried rivers, but my tears would not have the same bitter aftertaste of the humiliation of being cheated upon, of being compared to a person I have no respect for, of being lied to and hurt just to cover up for several moments of weakness… after all, I would like to think I deserved better treatment, and I would have liked to think that I was worth more than an affair, that I was worth something legitimate.

But hey, that’s just me!!

41 comments:

Arima said...

Sick, sick, sick! I completely agree with your comments regarding the cases that you mentioned. I also intensely dislike the idea od 2nd marriages. I know several of my father's friends who did that and in seemed to lead to hurt, rejection and competition between the kids and the wives. It is natural that the wife will feel jealous if her husband marries another but unfortunately people misapply Islam to sanction what is basically a way to legalise their sexual weakness.
Another issues is older men marrying women who are young enough to be their children- again this is emotionally traumatising to their children and quite simply an example of an old man trying to relive his youth...rather sad really.

MrsFadfad said...

Beautifully written ya Insomniac, fel goal as usual. I read ur blog a lot but never get a chance to comment, the kids ba2a wel dawsha :)
I won't comment on ur 3 stories, they need no comment besara7a haga te7azzin begad! the saddest part is that they are "religious", but they follow the totally self-serving, male-oriented interpretation of islam, lel assaf.
It's exactly what u said, that the way people apply religion sucks... & it's not as simple as "its 7alal, ma7adesh loh 3andy haga, i can do whatever i want".
unfortunately most stories of second marriages are built on totally wrong reasons, that mostly boil down to things that God forbade aslan, greed, lust, wanting to intentionally hurt the first wife, etc... people sometimes tend to take the easy way out & opt for a second marriage instead of trying to improve their first one, seems its easier to get a new wife than to discuss stuff & try to work things out with the first one (waga3 demagh maloosh lazma ezzahir) ;)...
when u get married, i think u r supposed to dedicate urself to ur spouse & ur family, u r supposed to be living a family life & not allowing urself to be inticed by the outside world & what it has to offer, ur priorities should be different when u have a family... marriage isn't easy, u need to work on it, both partners need to work hard to make it work... however, sometimes its like for example "so what, i can look & get to know other women, i am allowed to marry again if i want, so it's ok" ... or "i want babies, i'll go marry someone who can give me babies, it's my right" (don't u think the poor childless woman isn't burning to have her own babies too?)... and what about ur kids from ur first marriage, khalas metzabbateen perfectly that u can afford the energy, time & finances to have another household, what about their feelings, and their feelings towards u, they'll feel the bitterness & hurt of their mother... there r really so many major things to consider before getting into another marriage that most people tend to neglect just because rabena says its "7alal"... well rabena says a whole lot of other responsibilities too.
of course every case is unique and not every second marriage is built on wrong reasons... some second marriages work out for all those involved, like a terminally ill first wife who wants her husband to remarry (it does happen), or a first wife who wants another hand to help out in the house (this also happens by the way) :)... one shouldn't be too harsh to judge second marriages, but, going back to the original issue of second marriage vs cheating, tab3an it'll be second marriage however the fact that it got to that choice, i think this means that something is totally wrong with the marriage to begin with... u shouldn't be put in that position aslan.
PLS FORGIVE ME for babbling on so much, the kids are sleeping wana ama sadda2t hehehehe... i'd better go cook or Fadfad afandy will hold it against me as a "justifiable reason" for a second marriage LOL

insomniac said...

arima...

i second everything you said... men as humans are weak, but society gives their gender more space and makes it easier for them to tailor religion to fit their weaknesses as 7alal, that's too general i admit, but it has a great deal of truth to it sadly!

and i am not saying women are great or stronger, they are just as human... and well, men do cheat with women, it does take two to end a marriage and it takes two to start an affair/commit adultery/remarry

Anonymous said...

Women should know by now that men have only two instincts:
to fill up their bellies and discharge their penises.

Maybe being a lesbian is not that bad of an option.

insomniac said...

mrs. fadfad :)

you're most welcomed to my blog, it's an honor you like my post :)))

i know all about the kids and dawsha, rabena yekoon fe 3onna kollena...

u did mention a good point; that most second marriages are based on greed or lust... it actually brought to my mind a 4th case with a guy of our age category... he's palestenian who married his brother's egyptian widow to make sure that whatever she and her son (who is their blood) inherited does not get manipulated by an egyptian dude in case she remarries... the sad part is that she agreed, and the sadder part is when i asked about the first wife's reaction i was told "we heya feeh fe edeeha eh"...

it always turns my stomach when i see how society forces us women to feel that helpless, because in reality, women are not helpless; they have all it takes to be stronger figures who know how to take care of themselves, their homes, and their children!

i can't say i am totally against second marriages; as i said earlier, if it's something God allowed, who am i to say otherwise... it's just that the cases i have seen for myself were too tragic to be ok!

and ur right... who said marriage was easy??? if it's that easy to start a new home with someone, then it should be easier to resolve prior problems with the existing home, or at least end matters appropriately... we nebda2 3ala maya beeda (sorry about that, i spent three days on cafes where the ppl i was with kept asking for shay 3ala maya beeda!!!)

your comment was pleasant to read, and i hope it isn't your last :) feel free to babble all you want when the kids are asleep, you babble nicely :)

insomniac said...

anon, that's too harsh!! i think men tend to worry about their basic instincts a lot more because society gives them that much space!

i think women would do the same if they were granted that much freedom... elly mabeyla2eesh 7ad yellemo beyeshta7, men or women!

Ma 3lina said...

I have read both ur post and fadfdation even i tend to get bored from long posts but they r really amazing and I really respect ur minds "u nd fadfdation"

ًwell I disagree with 2nd marriage in case the other partner was really good nd sacrifices with everything like in ur stories

but if somethng was wrong wiz his wife like she is unbearable or they huv communication problems and for the sake of the kids he canot divorce her, i think the situation here differ but honestly i reject it too

coz all family problems affect kids wiz different %

nd i believe that parents must sacrifice wiz everything for their children coz they r responsible for their existence nd they should complete their responsibilities toward their kids "I sound selfish here bs i feel that the damage in the children r huge that parents should bear their differences for the sake of their kids"


-----

I can only laugh on ann comment but u reply on him rocks :))

insomniac said...

dr. ma 3alina (eh ra2yek ba2a)

in the stories i told, i highlighted the first wives’ role... however, i failed to talk about their negative side simply because i have not been exposed to it, but i am sure there was one for each because angels just don't exist :))

i don't believe in ultimate sacrifices ... i believe that kids can only grow up to be healthy individuals when they have content parent(s)... if either of the parents is miserable, there is no need to sacrifice, because when people sacrifice and remain miserable in the process, they build up strong feelings of resentment, and they seem to expect too much appreciation, more than what the other party is willing or even expecting to give.. sacrifice is a selfless act which implies that no return is expected; therefore, very few people are capable of doing it....

my point is, if a man sacrifices his happiness to keep the home and maintain the wellness of his kids emotional and mental health, he should be able to accept that they do not have to appreciate it the way he's expecting them to... i don't know if my point is clear enough, it's too philosophical!

after all, kids grow up to learn that life isn't the way they would want it to be either way, but they should learn that their parents try their best to keep them from harm, sometimes they just fail! i hope this is how my kids will grow up to think of me at least!

Jade said...

Insomniac,

I must give you that your post is well thought out & must have taken a lot of effort laying the facts as you have.

I do not agree though that you have addressed Fadfadation's post & in fact, you have gone on & proved his theory - that it is unacceptable in society w khalas & that goes against religion. That is exactly what he was debating, he wasnt debating in case it is wrong, he was debating in case it is done right? Which you completely overlooked.

All the cases you have listed do not abide by religion. & just because society abuses religion that doesnt mean that it is right, or that those are the example we should portray in speaking about multiple marriages & arguing as to why we think it is wrong.

As Mrs. Fadfad said for example a terminally ill wife, that can only be fair - I do not know how this example though can coincide with a woman that needs help with the house - with all due respect Mrs. Fadfad - you make house work & taking care of children seem like such a hardship that you've downgraded the entire female gender into nothing but maids with this example. I am not sure if that really happens as you have put in between brackets - maybe you know such examples - & if that is the case, then of course the man has the right to marry once & twice & thrice, if they are all nothing but maids in the end & would accept it just to have a helping hand around the house.

I love how you went on explaining that marriage is a commitment though & both parties should communicate & try to better their situation... but what if one party cant change? What if one party wont change? What if one party has changed? Had a change of heart... should he/she live in misery forever?

If women accepted the multiple marriage with an open mind, men wouldnt need to abuse it believe me, as twisted as that sounds - but think about it. Men wouldnt need to lie, or be bastards. Men would appreciate that their wives understand this Halal given them by Islam & would think a million times before wanting to do it. Men are children remember & "el mamnou3 margoub" & when they will do it - they'll do it right. Sick people will always be in the wrong, no matter what you do - & religion has nothing to do with it. So he treats his wife like shit? But we complain that he's married another? It's all wrong. & believe me, if wives accepted that – they would also work on bettering themselves for being friends & wives with their husbands… Not their mothers, nor maids, nor sex machines… But rather Soul Mates & Friends, cause knowing that he can choose another wife any minute – will make her never take him for granted. & if the whole society accepts it as a whole – then it will also have a ripple effect on the children. Instead of the mother wallowing & crying over her fate that her husband has chosen another, she will continue to be a good mother & wife & that will surely bring out healthy individuals onto the world. & vise versa, if the woman is unhappy & chose to divorce & the society accepted that – once again, it will only show on healthy children. But unfortunately, all that women do in the case of second marriage is talk shit about the father until the kids are sick in their souls.

Without being "enticed" by the outside world, women forget that in the office next to her husband could be a brainer - not just a hot body, or a dumb secretary with loads of cleavage, as you all talk about. It's not always lust, it's a human connection which can be made from anywhere & any source even if the husband is religious & loves his wife & even if it is "lust" – we women tend to forget how important that is, if it isn’t for you – then we always have to remember that it is for the Man. Maybe remember is the wrong word, BELIEVE is it.

Marriage is supposedly a "Forever & Ever Bond" & actually, that's what Ta7leel multiple marriages does – It doesnt have to end in divorce. No! Love doesn’t last forever, neither does desire – what Multiple Marriage does is it allows people to have a choice, get divorced or stay with the current situation. Not accepting it as a whole just because we all need a reality check about what "Forever" means is wrong.

Obviously we are all charged with previous experiences & stories…
It's a nice debate & there is no right or wrong.

I salute you all.

Яαgιи Яαvєи said...

Cool post. A list of why women should hate men. jk :P

I agree to most of what Jade said here.. but here's what i think:

1. From what I've seen, there are two kinds of wives..
the ones that kill their own marriages and the ones that don't..
Of course that's bearing in mind that some men are complete assholes.. but allow me to ignore that for now in order to make a point. Here me out.
Some wives beykhanna2o 3ala egwazhom.. and ALWAYS.. ALWAYS want them to be around.. which is practically impossible, as a result.. one of two scenarios take place:
(Scenario 1) Beyzawwagh bardo.. emma 3ashan yokhrog.. yeshem hawa.. yel3ab playstation.. whatever.. beyerga3 ba3d el tazweegha.. we merato tenakked 3eleih 3eshto.
(Scenario 2) Beyesma3 kalamha 3ashan el markeb tefdal mashya..
we yo23od.. a day, two... a whole fucking year only to eventually find that they've turned into "parenting machines"... no emotions towards one another.. beyetkhene2 menha.

2. My theory towards second marriage is as follows:
(( و ان خفتم ان لا تقسطوا في اليتامى فأنكحوا ما طاب لكم من نساء مثنى و ثلالث و رباع فان خفتم ان لا تعدلوا فواحدة او ما ملكت ايمانكم ذلك ادنى الا تعدلوا))
fa EN KHEFTOM AN LA TA3DELO...

This is what most men seem to overlook.
Al khoof men el ZOLM.

law kol wa7ed khaf yezlem merato.. things would be so different.. 3ashan rabbena 7ay7aseb el zalemeen 7esab 3aseer.

da Rabbena AMARO.. ka2enno bey2ool mel akher.. law mesh mota2akked ennak te3raf te3del yeb2a khalaaas.. WA7DA BASS.. u CAN'T have more.
Of course.. da tafseery al shakhsy lel aya... but it makes soooo much sense aktar men en kol Muslim bey2a mo7aat bel zawgaat ka2enohom gawary
3arfa law makanetsh di el case? makansh rabbena 7allel zawag el mot3a fel 7oroob wel ghazawaat... kan saab el 3amaleyya maftoo7a..
etgawwez yabny leeek lessa 3 wives.. one down three to go
wallaho a3lam
:)

W rabbena yekremna gamee3na zeeja to3eenona 3ala deenena wa donyana wa akheratana wa 3aqebat amrena.

insomniac said...

wow... i have two smart people to reply to... i knew this would happen when i start talking about social issues :))

ok so Jade...

i will try to answer to your comment in the same order of points raised...

i did not write that post to argue against fadfadation... as a matter of fact, i said somewhere that second marriages were allowed for a reason... however the reasons i have seen by men in real life do not seem justifiable enough from a religious point of view... or at least how i see it anyway!

i would never be against it, especially when the other option is infidelity...

what i am against is how society handles it... how men cheat and lie to hide it... how they may go around by 3urfy marriages and such... how they hide it even when it's legal although it is supposed to be e3lan wa eshhar... how some men know that the first wife only stays because she has no other provider and does not act in a more honorable manner.... i am against all that... and i hate society for allowing it to happen...

i never said women were victims either... women are NOT victims... we are strong beings... and again, a man ends am marrying another woman... so it's both men and women who have issues...

i totally agree that women may behave in a way that forces men to go round in circles, but i would like to believe that even those women would respond better to sincerity and honesty once the hysteria is over....

of course if the husband had come and told me he wanted a second wife, i wouldn't have congratulated him... i would have acted text book until i had the time to weigh things with my mind.... i would like to believe that most women would behave in a similar way... but i can't expect them to do that when i know that most of them rely on their husbands financially and perhaps have no families to support them with their choices...

i also mentioned to ma 3alina that i don't believe one (be it man or woman) should sacrifice their happiness by remaining in a dead end marriage... marriage is about communication and mawada we ra7ma... if it's not there, then what's left will be resentment and hatred...

their might be a case or two where second marriages were done fairly... but i haven't encountered any lel asaf....

i did mention before that my late nana got her divorce in her late 40s after my late grandpa remarried several times to spite her... he was a lousy father to my mom and all her sisters and brother plus the half sister he had with one of the other wives.... my nana (Allah yer7amha) hated him... i could never judge her because when i think she's been married to him since she was 18, and had to bear up with his bad temper and strictness and had to fight with him for the well being of seven children and had to be both, the mom ad the dad when he went on his endless business trips and marriages.... this woman was strong yet he broke her... what about other women who are more dependable and vulnerable, what about those who married for love and got disappointed.... i walked half a mile in those shoes and i felt my soul aching... i can't judge!

so i think to end my long comment we need to establish how second marriages could be done right...

i think the first wife should be entitled enough security both socialy and financialy... she should be given the right to stay or leave without the stability of her life being at risk... if a man can stop and do that before getting married for the second time, then he has earned the right to to be treated by his first wife with an open mind.... otherwise, don't ask women to have an open mind about being cast aside like chemical waste just because they made a mistake or two which perhaps were not brought to their attention...

you said it was about choice, but choice has to be leverage free in order to be a real choice...

we're not disagreeing here, we all agree that it was 7alal for a reason, but society makes it a taboo! we make it a taboo the way we let it apply i suppose....

i hope i covered all ur points... waiting for further feedback if u have any :))

insomniac said...

now Raven the Raging :)

yeah a lot of women do smother their husbands with marital bonds and such.... it happens every where with different levels i suppose... but how about communication... i think when men explain their need for space and when women explain their need for company, they can reach a certain middle ground to meet and perhaps find harmony...

may be if they go out together, hang with different friends, talk about stuff other than el beet wel 3eyal, they would be intellectually involved rather than him being "abu el 3eyal" and her being "um el 3eyal"... i have always hated those terms and found them rather demeaning of how two married couple should think of themselves!!

i wish more men adopted your explanation of that aya... i really wish people in general would stop to think of their duties before they keep asking for their rights...

mahmood said...

Dear Insomniac,
My heart ached when i was reading couple of your posts. From reading them i could create an image of you as an honest loving devoted person that had a dream of a successful family that did not materialize, now I agree with every points you've made about those who use God and religion to just satisfy their whims and desires sometimes with their desperate housewives support.
having said that I must tell you I've lived in the US for a while so i can't be a good judge of what goes on in Egypt.
however in my visits i was shocked at some girls and women and how they fall for the bad boy image and think it's (cool) and also think that this is just a phase and it will pass, will it ends up it is not just a phase, it is his nature which they tried to deceive themselves by not seeing it, in fact some females by doing that they unknowingly inflate the bad boy self image even more, and consequently so many marriages end up in misery and if they are lucky they get divorce.
I'm not really an avid reader but from what I read in Quran I find the conditions required for multi marriages are very tough to meet yet many man will do it without thinking of fulfilling those conditions.
Will, ladies good luck next time around and I hope you wouldn't think that all of us (men that is) are good for nothing.

MrsFadfad said...

It's always interesting reading what people think about issues that fall in the grey area, u can keep arguing forever.

This is just to reply to dear Jade who with all respect accuses me of "downgrading the entire female gender" which i happen to belong to by the way... the two examples i gave have nothing in common except a second marriage... maybe i should've elaborated, yes the second one does happen fel falla7een where house work is not just taking care of kids & cleaning, it's raising animals, growing crops & harvesting, having kids to help in the field etc etc.

insomniac said...

mahmood, thanks for your visit and for your nice comment too...

i agree with you regarding how some girls fall for the bad boy image... it's sad!

finally, for what it's worth, i don't think men are good for nothing... after all, my sons will grow up one day to be men; i just hope they would be the kind of men who respect other people's rights and act in a considerate manner without being wussies or mama's boys

Jade said...

Insomniac,

I have no more feedback babe... I guess we agree on agreeing then (or disagreeing, that's fine too - as long as everyone respects everyone's openion).
Just because Society abuses religion - it doent make the religion wrog.


Mrs. Fadfad,

No no... No arguing at all. I thought we are just a bunch of ladies having a chat about what we think about this phenomenon. I didnt accuse you of anything dear - please - do not take offence. I just didnt think you were talking about el fala7een... ah! So those are who you were talking about? I am sorry, it's just that in your first comment, you said that these were the two of the examples where you thought second marriage can work out & is fair... Though I dont think God made it 7alal in case the wife is ill; For in that case, he would have 7alel it for only 2 wives - not 4. & regarding the fala7een example - pardon me - didnt think of it at all, I thought we were talking about urban modern women like you & me... at the end of the day, this religion & issue affects all of us - not just women who dont really have a say about anything in their lives like el fala7een.

Cheers to all!
J

insomniac said...

mrs fadfad, it is indeed interesting to know people's take on such an issue! as for arguing forever, wow, i have this thing for endless arguments, i like them as long as they maintain mutual respect... so far, YEEEEYY

regarding the case where wives need a second wife to help with the chores... i think that when a choice is given to one of those wives, her objection of the concept is not really an option... after all, she has been born and raised to believe that she had to do as told by her husband no matter what... she probably grew up having step mothers and half brothers/sisters.... is a choice really valid when you've been told for a life time that this is the ONLY way to live.... it's hard for me to register here, but i think i better refrain from judging because i never heard from a woman in that place before, i am interested tho!!

which reminds me, where are you Nile Girl, didn't you suggest we start a women support center.... more topics ahoh wenty wala hena!!

insomniac said...

joujou...

handled like a true sagittarian...

we kaman kan feh a couple of men here, not just us ladies ;))

MrsFadfad said...

Ya Jade, bonjour, no offence taken... Just to be clear, i'm not saying the reasons r right or wrong...i think whether the reasons r right or wrong is with respect to the particular case of second marriage, ya3ny it may be right for a couple but it's not for other people... those two examples i gave r cases i heard of which worked for those respective people... ama ba2a being fair, well, kol wa7ed w zoroofo & dameero ba2a, i'm not one to judge at all, i stopped judging :)...

Inso, ur comment "i think when men explain their need for space and when women explain their need for company, they can reach a certain middle ground to meet and perhaps find harmony...", this is it, the core problem faced by so many couples, the main reason why so many wives become so clingy & demanding & so many husbands close up on themselves & escape from their home... it takes couples years to figure it out & then they start discussing it & it's like "wow, it's that simple" :)... u put it so clearly, how wise :)
by the way i'm having my coffee at the moment & Jade saying "a bunch of ladies having a chat" reminded me of the good ol' days back when my career wasn't hibernating where my mates & i would grab a few minutes away in some hidden office to enjoy our coffees & babble about stuff other than work ...aaah wala zaman :)

insomniac said...

wise... wow, u have no idea what i was like before wisdom hit me 3ala afaya :)))))

i think it is literally a brunch given that three of us are probably having our morning drinks and discussing things despite being in 3 different countries!!

personally i just drank cinnamon and i'm nibbing on kharroub :))) mo7deset aswan :))))

if u feel nostalgic to old days mrsfadfad always come for a morning babble dear, it's home :)

Jade said...

Yeah, I would have loved for NG to be here... I would have loved to hear her take from an American lady's point of view. I wonder if she would have come out ba2a talking about women rights & equality & all that feminism bullshit :p

Inso - I know the guys are here & I was waiting for someone to make the comment, but I didnt count them in cause they are cool with it - they are not the ones with the problem - we are.

I think women are too clingy in our culture & men are too unexpressive & distant... With all due respect Mrs. Fadfad once again, we shouldnt need to "talk" about everything with our men - that's the whole point right? Them not wanting to "talk" about it! It is an issue that all couples need to be educated on.

Enjoy your morning Coffee Ladies...(& all the boys reading this)

mahmoud said...

Insomniac, I'm glad your faith in people is still intact,
based on what I see here your lovely sons will grow up to be considerate inshallah, sound people have a name for that gentlemen, and gentlemen they will be..god willing.

insomniac said...

mahmoud, i never said my faith in people was still intact... i said i did not believe men were good for nothing!!!

i believe in the basic goodness of people, and i wish i could believe that all of them respond to goodness, but the cynic i have become knows it's not always the case...

from time to time, the naive utopian in me responds to kind words and gestures a lot more than the average me would, but i learned to reserve my reactions until later, and that my friend is the hardest thing i learned as a gemini who was never used to waiting!!

keep coming :)

mahmood said...

Insomniac, I revise my words then to the basic goodness of people rather than total faith, and the synic you have become.. you just woke me up with these words in the early hours here with your quote,(I use to call cynicism caution till today) I guess that is bound to happen to all of us due to the twists and turns that we encounter in the roads of life, you made me realize that you are not alone, you are in a big company of synics and insomniacs, here I'm up so early for no reason what so ever.

insomniac said...

well i should have said rather trust issues... i have big trust issues, BIG :)

i never wake up early for no reason; either i stay up very late for no reason, or keep waking up in the middle of the night for no reason :) the worst kind of insomnia when u actually have a reason to wake up early in the morning!

mahmood said...

Wow Insomniac, I'm dumbfounded by your words, and i"m tending to agree with you every time you respond to me and that can either be one of two things,
A-I just woke up and I'm slow.
B-you are just smart(i.e. smarter than me) I just can't say it flat out..it's an ego thing, but you get the idea.

insomniac said...

so is it mahmoud or mahmood!!!!

it could be that u just woke up... and it could be because i am smart (very smart)... but i think it's because i am lemda as they always call me... there u go!

mahmood said...

It's Mahmoud,just trying to conserve time on the keyboard..!
i know what are you thinking now..lazy..
will, you are right again..
and very smart you are, if they call you lemda for your intellect so be it, although that wouldn't be my choice of word, after all every thing is reversed in Egypt these days they wouldn't see beauty and intellect if it hit them in the face.
i wouldn't listen to them.

insomniac said...

ok lazy mahmoud :))))

i am ok with lemda, lemda is totally fine you know, because it means i have a reply on everything and that no one can shut me up unless i want to...

but the way you commented suggests it has a different less favorable meaning!! is it true? does it really have that unfavorable connotation??

mahmood said...

You got me there, I wouldn't know linguisticaly speaking, but i will check.

Deeeeeee said...

I totally agree with every single word I read. However there is one tiny detail I'd like to underline.. "you and your friend having a conversation with your dad" an educational conversation that takes time (by educational I mean tarbawi not ta3leemi), where you're dad is taking time to spend with you and your friend to pass along his experience, wisdom and knowledge. You can never expect people who were not brought up in psychologically stable environments to understand a word of what you wrote. Whether that psychological instability is due to lack of education, their social class or priorities. And recently people's conceptions and priorities in life have been badly sabotaged

I'm sure you've came across people who are not educated but seem to be religious.. how can that possibly make sense... if the first word of Qur'an was "اقرأ" and there are more a7adeeth on "talab el3elm" than there are on many other topics people make a fuss of. I clearly remember watching one of the people you'd refer to as 'give Islam a bad name' on TV telling a caller that he has to pray everything he ever prayed in his life over again because he did not properly wipe his elbow with water till the very end during elwodoo2! So our religion and religious people are not always related, as for T, he's just a religious guy who fights against the enemies of God (from his own perspective)...whatever!!

MA and AA to me are just cases of screwed up upbringing! I mean they did not have fathers that symbolize responsibility and commitment, they do not know the value of family, their dads did not set an example of how their moms should be treated (just like Islam says women should be). They do not seem to know that spending time with your offspring counts( not just children! That they're doing more benefit to themselves, their children and their society by dividing their time between work and home! My dad always says "almost every guy can have kids, but only a selected few know how to be a father" and its because of those figures that people turn out they way they are or..otherwise

The concept of remarriage to me is scary, though I'm currently not in a position to worry about that, but in the back of my head I know that there's something I have against it, why should my life revolve around my family when the other main pillar of the family only gives the family 50% of his life! It's not a matter of comparison, but I don't exactly think that is fair. I'm sure there are terms and conditions to bigamy, but unfortunately I'm not well read enough to know what they are, the only thing I know is 'fairness' and that it is almost impossibleto achieve, but if the only other option was adultery than bigamy it is! Though I know that the modern law requires the first wife's consent. I also know that gawaz elmot3a (marriage for pleasure) is 7araam! You should only get married if your goal is to start a family (that doesn't mean you have to get kids right away) but the goal behind marriage shouldn't be getting what you desire fel 7alaal.

We should really be thankful for the families we belong to and the circumstances we were brought up into!

gjoe said...

First of all, damn it! I am too late posting a comment and all the things I had to say are already said.
Second of all,I loved this post very much (I had a call at work from a friend--bedoon zekr asmaa2, Dee, telling me you should read insomniac's post on second marriage!)

I agree with you, mrs.fadfad, and dee..w bema ennoko kollokoh oltoh elly ana 3ayza a2olloh i have no other choice but to concur and applaud!

P.S.: I loved your father's saying "manlakhbatsh nafsena be mostala7at nesbeya zay el 7obb"

insomniac said...

Deeeeeee, (see, i counted the 'e's)

coming to think of the words i usually quote from my dad, they were never said by him in a tarbawy way... it usually started with him joking about something and i had the itch of replying and i get those pearls of wisdom... and i like it that way better, because whenever my dad gave advice, they were rather harsh and judgemental (i love him nonetheless)...

i don't think i grew up in what you call a stable environment! it may sound like i did, but i am quite aware of the opposite! i just have a good father and a kind mother who made up for the hysteria i had to put up with :))))

i don't know what stable is, it's not about parents being together or not, because my best friend's parents were divorced, and it's fair to say that both of them had the tendency to drive her nuts! yet, she's one of the wisest people who know how to listen before laying judgements... she taught me tolerance when all my parents offered was a black/white perspective!

my point was, it's not just the environment and the set of priorities you're brought up to adopt, because as you grow older you tend to develop your own methodology of thinking... it's a bit of everything really, but the person him/herself is the one who filters all and decides the percentage of each! am i making sense???

i had to say that because it's not just about education, some people received less education and do not necessarily know languages like we do but they have amazing instincts! my nana Allah yer7amha did not go to college and she had instincts and wit that i think outsmart those of my mom's... i am sure there are people like that from even less fortunate backgrounds, or so i would like to believe...

i totally agree with you on MA (i can't really agree on AA since i barely knew him)... i knew MA's father, he's a known religious scholar, good man, but he forgot to pay more attention to his own kids before he went educating other people's kids about religion... my late grandpa was a smaller version of him!! i always told my mom whenever we talked about that issue that i thought Geddo's thawab for helping other people shouldn't count for as much because he ignored his own boys... i always blamed him for how messed up my once favorite uncle K was!! your dad is absolutely right, not all people can be good fathers, and not all women can be good mothers either.

now the last part of your comment... you hit one sore nerve girl... the whole point about how fair is it for the woman to worry about her husband getting remarried! i mean men always give strong talk about who their wives should and shouldn't talk to... they make too many rules and they say big words like "saharfy", "esmy" and it's totally acceptable if they understand women's great need for security and stability and their pride (i hate how they say love is stronger than pride, it shouldn't be)! it was never about being needy and clingy!!! whenever he went on business trips and his friends or my friends would joke about him 'yel3ab be deelo'... i always smiled and said "he would never do that, i trust him"... when he cheated for the first time, he took that away from me, i couldn't even tell myself i could trust him again, i lost my feeling of security, i could no longer maintain a stable marriage!! i thought love made us trust, but i found out that lack of trust kills love...

i think my comment got longer than urs :)

insomniac said...

gjoe,

welcome to my blog... you're not that late, i think the fact that you agree with mrsfadfad and dee is what gives u nothing to say :)))

yeah, i wish i understood what my dad meant by the relativism of love back then :) glad u appreciate this phrase at a younger age :)

MrsFadfad said...

I just remembered a story, i can't believe i had forgotten it... this is especially for u Inso, it may restore ur faith in men ...and make u lose it in women ;)

A few years back, a colleague of mine, a very religious, happily married father of a couple of kids, was in my office. I asked after his wife & kids & how they are doing in general. He said his wife has been acting strange recently, she's been going to a religious circle for a long time but recently she's been after him to take a second wife...he asks her why & says "i'm very happy with u, i don't want anyone else, u r all i want", her response was that "el asl fel gawaz howa el ta3addod" (poligamy is the rule while monogomy is the exception) and she wants to "teksab feeh sawab"...
PS. I am not making fun of anything, i am simply telling a story :)

insomniac said...

heheheh, i know ur not joking but it made me laugh :)

de tekhabeeha khales we manwarehash le7ad... haddaya3 7o2oo2 el mar2a kolaha :)

wow... well madam ba2a benfadda7 lel settat, my mom always tells my dad to remarry we yeshoof meen hayesta7melo :)

mahmood said...

Insomniac, good morning
I'm still searching for the roots of lemda, but through my search I made a discovery that has nothing to do with it rather with the word synic since you are self proclaimed one..
synics are interesting people when you end a conversation with them they leave you with a question mark to take home. after all i'm sure you are the ones who initiated the very unresolvable question of who came first the egg or the chicken?! and that is bound to be immortal.
and i think the world owes you guys..!

insomniac said...

good morning mahmood (ur time anyways)

u actually checked the origins of lemda, how impressive :)

cynics are smart people generally, i haven't met a stupid or dull cynic yet!

as for the chick or the egg... it's the chick, there you go.. an answer... i can explain how i came up with that but it's irrelevant really!

mahmood said...

Insomniac, what did i just say?!
synics leave you with a question mark..! may be it's irrelevant to you cuz you know the answer..nice going insomniac, yesterday you leave me with lemda and today with the chicken, thanks allot.
i see you just posted another article, i wish i can comment in the subject matter but my experience doesn't lend any credibility for me to get into such thing, been there done that,
no wonder we both like sting, DE burgh, cranberries and the sweet Sade who really didn't know what she was saying about love bla bla bla. thanks for nothing sade.

insomniac said...

"been there, done that" now who's leaving a question mark behind!

those are great people... and sade may have given false advice regarding love (love is stronger than pride) but she knows that there are sad stories (kind of sorrow)... and her music just relaxes me :)

mahmood said...

I know her voice is relaxing, so relaxing that,s where the danger lies, when one is so relaxed that's when the surprise is a real pooo..
dont get me wrong she is one of my top female singers that's why i'm abset with her.
as for me been there done that, will it's the long lived east vs. west thing.