"Sex, Adultery and Other Causes"... Why Newlyweds Are Divorcing In Egypt?

Friday 4 December 202012:31 pm
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Countless reasons leading to one result: Divorce. From infidelity, to rashness and trying to escape the inlaws, Egyptians reveal their reasons for divorce in the first year of marriage, following the release of shocking statistics issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in Egypt last month.

The statistics indicate the highest divorce rates came from those who have been married for less than a year, recording 29,703 divorce cases, a13.1% divorce rate. Meanwhile the period that extended between 9 to 10 years registered the lowest rates of divorce, with only 4,640 divorce cases at a percentage of 2.1% of total cases.

The Coma of Joy & Marriage

“Everything happened so fast and proceeded in very quick steps, like I was in a full coma. It was the coma of joy and marriage." Iman began her story with these words, as she recounted her tragedy with divorce in the first months of her marriage.

32-year-old Iman says that she entered the world of matrimony in a traditional marriage like any other girl, but hers was characterized as "The groom returned from abroad"; It is an expression most girls in Egypt dream of when it comes to their suitors, since Egyptian families usually regard any man returning from abroad a "lucky catch" that has a lot of money.

Since Iman is no spring chicken in Egyptian parlance, she agreed to the marriage.

Recent statistics in Egypt revealed that the highest divorce rate came from those who have been married for less than a year (13%), and the lowest rate (2.1%) for those in their 10th year of bliss

According to Iman - who preferred to use an alias - the engagement period was not long, and a few months were enough to kindle feelings of love for the new suitor. But a few months into the marriage, everything changed. She says, “My husband would sleep a lot outside the house, and if he returned home, I would see him talking to girls at night. Sometimes, he exchanges naked photos with them, despite the lack of any shortcomings on my part.”

She describes her husband as a lover of infidelity, and no woman would be enough for him, something she could not live with. When she confronted him, he told her through a text message, “You think that I’m married to you because I love you. I married you because it was an occasion that happened and that’s it. Your parents threw you away”.

“I tried to pick up the shattered pieces of my soul,” Iman ends her tale with the decision she had made during her first year of marriage to take contraceptives to avoid being ‘tied up’ to this man for the rest of her life. She states, “I have saved myself from this swamp. The feeling of constant betrayal and the fact that the husband is being intimate with others crushes any woman and causes her to die heartbroken, but I chose to safeguard my heart in return for my divorce.”

My Husband's Hell Over My Parents' Paradise

Suheila says she was divorced after two months of marriage, not even completing her first year, reaffirming that hers is not the first case, and that there are many others.

Suhaila - an alias - adds that she was living in the shadow of an unhappy family constantly arguing from the day she was born until she turned 29. Before her marriage, she would say, “My husband's hell over my parents' paradise any day.” She wanted to leave her family home regardless, it was hell for her rather than a house of warmth and affection, and she was loath to return to it. “But within two months of marriage I found out the complete opposite; the hell of my parents’ home was kinder,” she says with some sorrow.

She continues her story about how a handsome young man with a good job proposed to her and she agreed and was married within two months without an engagement period.

She says she felt this was a sort of "reward from God", but the reality was shocking. She recounts, “From the second day of marriage, my husband began to hit me if I disagreed with him on any matter. I endured slaps that I had never experienced before. It even reached the extent of his mother taking part in my abuse and beating me violently, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a mentally ill family.”

In the end, she gave up all her entitlements in exchange for divorce, saying, “I lost everything but I won myself." She advises girls not to rush into marriage and insist on an engagement period, since it is important for the partners to get to know each other well.

Speedy Decisions

“’With care comes safety, and with speed comes regret: Like any other Egyptian proverb, I paid it no heed until I quickly fell into the trap of marriage,” with these words Mohammad (alias) began recounting the story of his divorce following six months of marriage.

He is a Doctor of Pharmacy and is financially comfortable. When he turned 36, his family began urging him to get married, and his mother chose him a girl from a religious family and six years his junior, “But she was only religious on the outside, and I didn't know I would fall in the trap of deception with such naivety,” he says.

From the second day of marriage, my husband beat me if I disagreed with him on any matter. It got to the point where his mother was taking part in my abuse, beating me violently. I suddenly found myself in the middle of a mentally ill family

He adds that the girl's parents stipulated that he register a pharmacy, a house and car in her name, and he agreed because his financial situation allowed him. The wedding took place within a month without an engagement period, which was the big mistake he realized.

Things went well initially. There was no love, but there was good treatment. However, everything changed after several weeks, for the wife started to treat his mother in an insulting manner, neglecting her and neglecting the house, and after the first disagreement, she left the house.

He says, “I sought reconciliation so she would come back, but here was the surprise." Mohammad continued recounting how she returned to her parent's home and filed for divorce and another lawsuit regarding the squandering of possessions. She took possession of the pharmacy and all the furniture, while the husband went to prison for one year. He states, “So far, I do not know what wrong I did besides the minor marital disagreements that happen during the first year of marriage. I later discovered that this was the method her family cons men with and that I was not the only victim, but the law does not protect fools.”

Mohammad sees that one of the most important reasons for divorce within the first year of marriage is haste and not holding off when choosing a life partner, especially since customs and traditions in Egypt deem a man who had exceeded the age of 30 without marriage, a ‘confirmed bachelor’. This is something that enraged his family and drives him to quickly get engaged without full conviction.

Bad Sex and Intruding Inlaws

Doctor Amira al-Feshawy, a consultant in Human and Social Sciences says the reasons for divorce in Egypt are numerous, especially in the first year of marriage as well as other short time stages. She specifies the first and foremost reason as the rebellion of current generations against the institution of marriage, due to the existing societal norms that have damaged this institution.

She went on to say: “In Egypt we hear many negative things about marriage, especially through drama shows and films, such as how a white wedding dress is like a coffin and how the bride ‘will clip the groom’s feathers.’ All these phrases, even if said jokingly, leave a negative impact on the reputation of the institution. The two partners then enter this new life with alert anticipation as if they are in a wrestling ring or in a race to control the relationship."

A prominent reason for early divorce, is men's repeated infidelity. Exposure to social media and pornographic sites during the last 10 years in particular led to a state of dissatisfaction with real "brides", for they do not look like what men see online

She goes on to talk about the second and most prominent reason for early divorce, which is repeated infidelity especially by men. She indicates that exposure to social media and pornographic sites during the last 10 years in particular led to a state of dissatisfaction with their wives, for they do not look like what men see online, even though it is a fake world full of deception and cosmetics. According to her, "In turn, the joy of the marital relationship disappears as a result of shock following the first year."

The third reason, according to al-Feshawy, is difficult financial and economic circumstances, and not being able to bear responsibilities. She says, "Before, families were stable even during difficult financial situations, and couples knew the meaning of satisfaction and sharing responsibilities.

But now, many young Egyptians are married off by their mothers and fathers who buy them homes and all amenities. Following the first year and with the birth of the first child, they find themselves in a state of shock for suddenly holding big responsibilities.”

The doctor describes the fourth and most dangerous reason, which is manifested by the intervention of parents and family in the newlyweds’ lives. This is something that is greatly widespread in Egypt in particular, “Parents in Egypt have a strong attachment to their kids and want to control them and their thinking whether they were sons or daughters. Sometimes a mother passes on ideas to her son or daughter with the intent to help them in their marital life, but it actually leads to poisoning their minds and their eventual destruction.”

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