FILE - Man and woman wearing wedding rings – Pixabay/Filipe Augusto
CAIRO – 25 June 2018: While Egyptian classic films, trying to emulate reality, mainly focused on couples loving each other, ending up married or dying trying to reach that noble goal amid fierce obstacles, perhaps film makers of the obviously decreasing romantic films have concluded that marriage nowadays is not a happy destiny anymore.
With the emergence of the idea of creating Facebook closed groups to include men or women only, each of the two sexes started to feel freer to express themselves.
On Facebook groups for MEN ONLY, numerous posts can be published a day for a man whose wedding date is nearing, asking other experienced and inexperienced men for advice. It is widely recognized that most comments on these posts are scary for every unmarried man who may watch perhaps 90 percent of the replies warning him of marriage, with “DON’T EVER” on top of the list.
To be objective, disputes between married couples were always portrayed in Egyptian classic films, mainly in a funny way. However, there is one way to know whether what is happening nowadays between wives and husbands is normal; it is statistics.
Divorce rates in Egypt increased 83 percent from 1996, according to the statistics collected in 2016 by Egypt’s official Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
In a February report, CAPMAS found that divorce rates increased by 6.5 percent in December 2017, compared to December 2016. The number of divorce forms issued in December 2017 was 14,000, compared to 13,000 during the same month of 2016.
Marriage rates witnessed a relative increase as well, but the rate of separations was much more than any other measured by CAPMAS. Marriage rates increased by 4.3 percent in December 2017, compared to the rate measured in December 2016.
Perhaps this explains a widely adopted opinion that appears in the comments on the kind of posts mentioned above, stating that marriage, however, is inevitable; many men advise the youth to enjoy their lives first and then surrender for their final deadly destiny of marriage.
The problem is that Egyptian young men do not have the chance to enjoy their lives before marriage. They have to choose between enjoying their youth and marriage, that is what one of the men on a private group thinks about marriage.
Marriage is not bad, but life is hard. How would you bear the expenses of marriage and life after marriage? Another user said, complaining about the unsatisfying economic situation in the country and the continuous price hike.
One of the most significant traditions in Arab countries, including Egypt, is that many parents can reject a man who wants to marry their daughter, because he is poor, he does not own a luxurious apartment, he does not have a prestigious car, or he cannot offer a comparatively valuable “shabka.” It is jewelry granted by the man before he is affianced to the woman he wishes to marry. “Shabka" is claimed to be a gift. However, men find themselves obligated to buy them for their future fiancées in most cases.
Numerous Egyptian men have been spotted on public and private groups advising other men to marry Syrian women who have resorted to Egypt since the violent incidents in Syria, as they do not ask for “shabka” or other elusive expenses before and after marriage.
Marrying an Egyptian woman ends up in the court, another user said due to the high rate of divorce recently.
You should know that after marriage you become occupied by an inevitable enemy that would subsequently waste your youth. After marriage, you should work on securing your children’s future and make sure they do not repeat your mistake, another person sarcastically said.
Following marriage, you would find yourself saving money just to buy diapers, a user, apparently has children, said.
Recently a user has accessed the group and asked people who have been married about the things they miss the most after marriage? A considerable number of comments just said: “single life” and “divorce”.
Although most of the reasons are obviously related to financial issues, many men think that social problems between couples worsen the situation. Men complain that involving one of the parents in the couple's private problems is very common and disastrous.
Probably one of the weirdest reasons why Egyptian men hate marriage is that they claim that Egyptian women are “cranky”. Most men think that women are not burdened with financial responsibility and therefore they do not have a reason to be bad-tempered.
Not all the comments were pessimistic. Yet, perhaps the majority on social media now thinks that marriage wastes youth, money and is not good for psychological health.
Chatting with a girl on a private group for ladies only, she told Egypt Today that a similar phenomenon is not recognized in their groups. She said that girls frequently ask questions related to marriage. However, they ask for advice concerning body care and other similar issues.
Apparently, with the same token, girls do not find the same problems with marriage, as in the Middle East, women in general are not socially obliged to work in order to get money for the family members.
We cannot ignore that many Egyptian and Arab wives work in order to help their husbands financially. However, most of them think they would not be blamed if they decided to resign or if they lost their jobs. Both men and women in the Middle East know they do not have the same responsibilities.