It’s not easy being a female divorcee, especially in Pakistan

I happened to have an incredibly appalling conversation with a male friend the other day. It pretty much went like this;

“Hey did you end up finding a girl for yourself?”

“Yeah, I did, but I ended up rejecting the proposal. She was divorced and seemed quite sharp.”

But, to my surprise, his response didn’t really shock me. Even so, his comments still ring in my head. I was amazed at how an educated and sensible man like him could pass such a judgement. Unfortunately, we’ve been moulded to think divorced women are off limits. They just don’t stand a chance in the ‘marriage market’ we’re all so well acquainted with.

When I logged onto my Facebook account a few days ago, one of the first few things I spotted on my news-feed was a video of a divorced girl who was sharing her story. As I scrolled down, the very next post, which was shared by a friend, was also about divorce. I was moved by their stories; it’s not easy being a female divorcee, especially in Pakistan.

Over the past two decades, the divorce rate in Pakistan has significantly increased but our reaction to it hasn’t changed at all. It’s one of the most painful and devastating times for the couple, as well as the families involved. But, I personally feel that life becomes more of a living hell for women.

People’s reasons for refusing divorced women for marriage stem out of complete ignorance and stupidity. They find the most inane reasons to disregard divorced women as a prospect for marrying.

For instance: she drove her husband away within the first month.

Or better yet: she might have a loose character – that’s probably why she’s divorced.

It gets better.

Some go as far as to say that her degree or her job is the problem; that’s why she wasn’t and will never be capable of being a homemaker.

What’s worse is that women (the victims) themselves are perpetuators of this viciousness. They don’t stop to think it could happen to anyone, maybe their own daughters or sisters. Such allegations are completely immoral and being the devout Muslims we claim to be, we must be extremely careful before we speak – especially, when it comes to dishonouring a woman. Before raising a finger at a divorced woman, think about your daughter, sister, mother or aunt. Be mindful about “exposing” them to the world. Feel their vulnerability, empathise with the mental trauma that they have faced, or are continuing to face.

In our society, a woman is usually held responsible for a broken marriage. She is blamed, insulted, and ridiculed, while men go scot free. Men usually get a new life partner within months, years or in some cases, days. However, women can’t shrug off the label of ‘divorcee’ as easily; their label becomes more of a social stigma. For this reason they either choose to remain divorcees or take a really long time before ever opening up to the idea of remarrying.

Because let’s face it; why would society accept a woman who has been with another man and gone through divorce? That’s not how it works. We only want young and unmarried girls as prospective suitors.

And to be honest, most men don’t really want to marry a divorced woman either. Even if they do, either the family opposes or the ‘log kya kahay gei’ (what will people say) factor will kick in.

What is the reason behind the ever increasing divorce rates?

Expectations, interfering in-laws, incompatibility, forced marriages, greed, and intolerance are some answers. However, according to me, intolerance takes the first position in the list of reasons.

Divorce is a legal right and it is religiously allowed as well. But even then, it is discouraged by God. A happily ever after requires huge amounts of sacrifice, respect, and input at the beginning. In our society, the secret of a happy marriage is

Qabu karna or muthi mai rakhna,”

(Keep the woman in your control)

Unfortunately, there are no pills or magic spells that do that.

The secret to a successful marriage is to win hearts and winning someone’s heart requires a lot of effort. Along with this, tolerance is key.

Marriage is not about the mehndi, mayun, dancing, singing, dowry, clothes and food. It is an oath newlyweds take to face the ups and down of life together and to support each other in every walk of life. But nowadays, people spend millions on each event but don’t bother educating their children on such integral matters.

The nikkah ceremony has become a formality; no one pays attention to the clauses stated in the nikkah sermon. Families and guests are more interested in what’s on the menu and the giveaways and the bride and grooms families just don’t stop bragging about the customised items they have ordered for the wedding. People waste months shopping for the ‘perfect wedding,’ but no one takes out time to teach the bride or groom what to expect and how to react to different post wedding situations.

Is there no way to teach our children and future generations that marriage is a commitment; a unifying factor that needs to be nourished with patience, tolerance, love, humility and respect in order for it to bloom? Let’s not teach our children the wrong values, let’s learn to understand and not judge.

It is easier to condemn divorce than to understand what the reasons behind it were. It’s possible that the divorce was inevitable for reasons unknown to us. Our duty towards this issue is to not blame women or presume what led to their marriages falling apart; it is to teach ourselves and our children the aforementioned qualities.

Teach your sons not to slander and reject a woman because she is divorced. Teach your sons not to bad mouth a woman once he isn’t her husband anymore and vice versa. That is when we will be able to celebrate healthy relationships.

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Source article: http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/34354/its-not-easy-being-a-female-divorcee-especially-in-pakistan/

 

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9 Responses

  1. MA says:

    I’m so glad you’ve posted this. Being a hound divorcee myself who left an abusive marriage, it’s so upsetting to know a large number of men and families do not consider us without giving us a chance to even know us. When you ask them why, they don’t have a valid reason other than “I prefer someone who’s not been married before”.
    Our own beloved Prophet (pbuh) married divorced women during an era long before now.
    My advice to men is that please give women a chance before you judge them based on their marital status.
    May Allah make it easier to bless all divorced men and women with their righteous spouses

    • Awais says:

      Absolutely agree with you. Let’s not judge a book by its cover and give a chance .

    • Romeo says:

      Thats just way things are. Should’ve thought about that before you left your marriage. My mum goes marry a widow but don’t marry a divorcee. If men are usually the culprits in ‘allegedly” abusive marriages why does the hadith about people in hell say a hreat amount of people in there were women. And the main reasons were because they were disobedient to their husbands. A lot of Muslim women want to be feminists these, you cant have both.

  2. Freso says:

    I will be happy to marry a divorced woman coz most of them unfortunately most of them get to understand and feel real men after they get driven with lies from these spoilers who are not willing to know just one woman in theire life… Most of the time its men fault and they blame women to find an exuse to move on… After all i lived and still living a hard life and showed mr what people are.

  3. marty says:

    thanks for your comment, it suprises me in this day and age people’s mentality hasn’t changed whether they are educated or not. on numerous occasions i have been rejected cause im a divorcee, apparently divorcees have a stigma attached to them.. thats completely fine, people can think what they want, it doesn’t bother me at all. The way i see it today its me tomorrow it could be you. nobody wants a divorce its the most difficult decision anyone has to make, before you get on your high horse why dont you ask the person why it didnt work out instead of making allegations. The message i would like to send out there is whether you are a female or male people deserve a chance in life dont rule them out due to their marital status.

    • MA says:

      Well said. People never know the reasons behind a divorce yet are quick to point finders at the woman that she is incapable of holding down a marriage.
      Like you said, it’s one of the most difficult decisions a woman has to make in her life. God forbid it happens to their sister or daughter one day

  4. Quraishi says:

    The reason is simple, most if not all men only want a single wife, thus resulting in such a scenario. It’s all about supple and demand, will a woman marry a man whose poorer then a rich man with equal qualities otherwise, for sure not. Similarly when men (as you also mentioned in the article) easily find another unmarried woman/girl, why do you or anyone in their sane mind expect a man to consider a divorcee first up.
    It’s got nothing to do with the culture, I don’t agree with the writer/admin there, just that men have the luxury as the supply of women is more then the demand.
    This can only be resolved it men start taking more wives and not only one, forcing men to marry divorcees and widows as they won’t be able to find an unmarried girl easily.
    One can say whatever to people on such as the admin, they will always agree to words, but in action just would want others to behave this way. Even rationally such a demand from men in this case is doesn’t make sense.

  5. M.adnansardar says:

    Well said. People never know the reasons behind a divorce yet are quick to point finders at the woman that she is incapable of holding down a marriage.
    Like you said, it’s one of the most difficult decisions a woman has to make in her life. God forbid it happens to their sister or daughter one day

  6. Nabz says:

    i liked this article this is reality.

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