And you wonder why we have one of the world's highest divorce rates!
Egyptians value marriage above all else in life; we are somehow programmed to look forward to the day we marry, even before we start going to school! But marriage is no joke; it is serious business – literally. We rush in like fools at first then curse the day we met our spouses, which is probably why we have one of the highest divorce rates in the world. Clearly we're doing marriage wrong; here are seven ways how.
Overly Lavish Weddings
Hospitality and grand gestures are nice, but we Egyptians go for lavish wedding celebrations even if we can’t afford them, because God forbid your high school friends and their gossipy mothers don’t like the salmon or the valets. Better indebted than sorry!
Your young ‘suitor’ has to be ready with a million-pound apartment and a hundred thousand pound shabka (Egyptian equivalent of a wedding ring) or he’s not a real man! To think that people actually break up over such trivial matters may sound absurd, but it is quite common for enamoured young Egyptian couples to split up over who has how much, which is crazy because people go halfsies on rent all the time!
Not Being Ready
We tend to rush into things just because it's "the right thing to do" and not because either party is particularly ready to make a commitment. An Egyptian man will drop the M-bomb on you before you've even had the chance to fall in love with him because he's programmed into believing that this is how it should be. Being a stand-up guy and all, he'll propose right after she graduates from university – even if they've been together for a really short period of time – because that's what every ibn nas is supposed to do, because this is what it means to grow up - you know, disregarding the fact that this means you have to spend the rest of your life with this person.
Family: The Committee
Your mother has to like his/her mother and your father has to like his/her father and everybody has to be madly in love with each other because they’re just as much part of this marriage as you and your partner! Everything from his tux to her wedding dress to the colour of your bathroom tiles has to go through the ‘committee’.
Settling Down for the Sake of Settling Down
We don’t have anything against emotional stability, but a woman shouldn’t have to get married just to avoid being labelled a spinster, and a man shouldn’t have to marry just because that’s what you do!
Have Kids Nine Months Later
Since cohabitation is frowned upon in Egypt, having kids nine months after your wedding night is not advisable because you have never really tried living with the person. It's better to wait and take the first year to get to know them better, almost like a test run before you commit yourself to such a drastic and life-changing decision.
Everything is on the Woman
Egyptian society is becoming more and more accepting of working mothers, yet a woman is expected to come back from a long workday to mounds of dirty dishes, piles of laundry, screaming children, and a hungry spouse – and pull it off without the slightest bit of help from said spouse.
(Photo: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)