Yesterday I heard yet another story of a marriage that couldn’t take place due to the inanity of the groom to be. Even if successful in their careers, well-educated, and/or living independently, some men just seem to revert back to the village mentality when it comes to finding a wife. In this case, the couple ‘clicked’, both on the same wavelength in terms of education, family background etc etc, the superficial considerations of height, weight,skin colour, nose size were fulfilled, but for some reason the man insisted that his wife should live with his family some 400 miles away from where he worked, and he would come along every 2 weeks or so, to see how she was and fulfil his marital duties. She would be moving 200 miles from her family and friends for this.
Some might disagree, but a marriage is a partnership between two people, and the families are an important, but secondary relationship arising from that partnership. Personally, I believe that unless there is someone in the extended family that needs the full time support and care (e.g. elderly, ill or maybe if completely alone), newlyweds should have their own space to adjust to each other and to strike out their own path in life. In the case above, the wife is left without the support of the new husband, without the opportunity to form a proper bond with him, with her in-laws. If problems arise, naturally the husband will take the part of his family first,a s he will know and trust them better. I say he is spineless, as this lifestyle choice he is making is for the convenience of his parents, as they will get a sweet, respectful daughter-in-law who will be at their beck and call 24-7. So many times I hear of men taking the ‘easier option’ of doing what their parents want, whether it is marrying a cousin from abroad, living with huge extended families or even just giving up a good match Islamically for superficial reasons – they do a huge disservice to themselves, as well as to the girls they end up marrying.
This girl chose not to put herself through this potentially stressful and damaging experience, but of course he will get married at some point, and probably on these terms. Women end up feeling (or being made to feel) that they are the ones that are ‘picky’ when they have to make the difficult choice of turning down an otherwise eligible match, yet some sacrifices are just not worth making.