For the last five years, I have, more often than not, wondered about the reasons which lead to the demise of my marriage. I concluded that it must have been insurmountable incompatibilities rooted in cultural and ethnic differences. Moreover, it was all my fault; I hadn’t worked or tried hard enough to move across those monoliths of ‘culture’ and ‘ethnic differences’ and adapted to a new normal.
All that changed for me recently. I now know for certain that those were not the catalysts for the breakup of my marriage. Why do I speak so boldly? It’s because I very recently learned that my former husband, who had swiftly remarried after my departure, to a fellow thoroughbred of his own background, has recently succumbed to another failed marriage. Intriguing. How do I feel? Vindicated. Completely. Utterly Vindicated.
The years I have spent beating myself up for being the sole cause of my divorce, I cannot explain. In my mind, I had failed my husband, failed my children and worst of all, failed myself. He had not been pleased and had sought a new life to start afresh. Now I see that actually, it wasn’t me who was to blame. As clearly as I see the white full moon against the black canvas of the night sky, I believe the whims of man are often the cause of so many failed marriages. Mine was no exception. How else could I explain the sudden, erratic decision my ex-husband had catapulted onto our reality?
I write today with an unreserved candidness to explain to others reading this that there are no fixed formulae for marital success. For those who ruminated on my own marriage, offering their sometimes outlandish theories as to why it ended, I reject all they say. There is no rationale for it. Except this: man is an irrational being. And I mean ‘man’ with the exclusion of women. Perhaps that will irritate many male readers but I speak with empirical evidence. This has been my personal experience and my personal observations of too many countless marriages that have ended, including my own. How else could someone wake up one day and quite literally do a U-turn? I have seen men reach that critical mid-life point and suddenly become restless and confused – as if they have just awoken from a state of suspended animation and realise they need to make up for lost time. They seek to rewind time and press the ‘Replay’ button. How best to achieve that? Release themselves from their present lives and find a suitable replacement which deceives them into thinking they are able to recreate their own youth….
I am writing today without any real editing. I am expressing thoughts which I have had fermenting for some time but never gave any real attention. Now, upon hearing that my ex-husband is divorced for the second time, but in a fraction of the time he had been with me, gives me the right to make these statements today. He, who married a woman of the same ethnicity, culture and language, and therefore, an infinite ‘improvement’ on me, will have to admit that the common denominator in both failed marriages is indeed himself. However, I don’t believe he is quite ready to do that yet.
Until men admit to themselves a great deal more culpability for their own shortcomings, rather than shift the onus on their womenfolk, then we can continue to expect to see many more marriages coming apart at the seams. I am tired of seeing and hearing women beat themselves up about their own faults because they couldn’t live up to the impossible standards set by their husbands. My plea to women who find themselves in this situation, is to not reduce themselves to a nothingness, a person of no self-worth. Only Allah has the right to judge our worthiness. In uttering those fatal words of ‘divorce’ or ‘talaq’, I see now that the real victim is the man himself. He deludes himself that he will be moving onto Bigger and Better. In fact, he has shot himself in both feet, not just one. He has paralysed his own future. Pity the man who does not recognise this tragedy.
Alhamdulillah, I have lived to see justice being delivered. The best part is that I didn’t need to do anything except exercise patience, and Alhamdulillah the fruits of that I can see here and now. The truth is nobody is a victor in all this sorry mess. For five years, I have only ever wanted people to see the ugliness of their own actions. Alhamdulillah, my prayers have been answered.