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‘Marriage is not just the honeymoon'
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 02 - 2012

Hussam, a young Saudi, never thought he would divorce his wife after only 40 days of marriage. He incurred a lot of debt and never thought his lack of planning would be the cause of separation.
Early divorce is a growing social problem among young men and women today.
Marriage registrars in Jeddah say they have seen some cases of divorce that took place within 24 hours of signing the marriage contract.
Among the several causes they listed, they said the most important was that the husband and the wife did not understand their duties and responsibilities.
They say most cases of divorce happen shortly after the honeymoon, and this shows that spouses are not mature and do not understand the sacred matrimonial bond.
“They don't realize that marriage is not just the honeymoon, but that there are ups and downs, and that they should brace themselves for this fact,” a registrar said.
Dr. Suhaila Zain Al-Abideen, member of the National Society for Human Rights, says one of the causes of early divorce is that some parents do not allow the spouses to sit with each other during the engagement period.
“It's better to allow the engaged man and woman to sit together in the presence of their parents. These meetings will give them a chance to get to know each other, share thoughts, discover shortcomings and feel attracted to each other,” she said.
Sometimes eagerness to get quickly married prevents the prospective bride and groom from discovering each other's shortcomings, Dr. Al-Abideen added.
In many cases, the family conceals shortcomings, such as their son's or daughter's psychological state, drug addiction or disease, from the other party, she pointed out.
Another cause of early divorce is the interference of the husband's or the wife's family, she explained. She called upon the newlyweds to keep their secrets between themselves and not to reveal them to anyone else.
Sheikh Saeed Al-Qarni, Imam and Khateeb of King Saud Mosque in Jeddah and legal registrar of marriage contracts, called upon future husbands and wives to take premarital courses like the ones offered by the Mawadah Foundation.
“These courses help newlyweds to deal with future problems,” he said. Both spouses should be flexible in dealing with each other's mistakes and shortcomings, he advised.
Muhammad Al-Shehri, legal registrar of marriage contracts, advised parents to focus on religious and ethical aspects of husbands more than the financial capability of the husband to hold an expensive wedding and provide other material items.
He cited an example of a recent case.
“I was asked to solemnize a marriage recently and was surprised when the bride's family asked the husband a higher dowry than the one agreed upon earlier under the pretext that the bride's wedding accessories were expensive.
“The bridegroom's father got mad and asked me to cancel the marriage contract. I tried to solve the problem, but to no avail.”
Al-Shehri's message to parents is to not create a situation in which the groom is drowning in debt. __


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