For an eligible bachelor in society like Pakistan it is a difficult task to go against the norms in the matters of marriage. His marriage is somehow considered as the parameters of a family’s honour and respect. It is hard for men to have everyone in family convinced on their own choice. Somewhere, somehow, somebody is left complaining and opposing everything. In a situation like this, convincing parents to marry a few years older woman, who has been married before, and has a son, sounds like suicide plan. But my husband did it.
Similarly, parents of a daughter are always on their toes about, “Log kia kahein gay” and that too when a daughter had a failed marriage in past. No matter how evident it is that she was not at fault, it’s only her who must carry the burden of blames and taunts; doesn’t matter if that mistake of a marriage lasted for a month or few days. In a situation like this, telling your parents that you have decided for marriage and have zero interest about how society and relatives will react is a tough challenge. But I did it.
Subhan and I know each other from two years now and what made us best friends was being vocal and fearless about questioning and challenging what’s wrong in society. We used to discuss for hours how simplest of things are turned too complicated just to please other people and the funny part is, even then nobody seems happy. People sacrifice their life choices thinking they’ll be glorified in the end but sometimes, nobody even notice what they have given up on. It was rare for both of us to find someone with whom our thoughts matched to this level. Besides the emotional attachment, our rational views about life and society were aligned too well that we decided to stay together and, in the process, break some hard stereotypes of society.
Our decision of marriage came as a surprise for our parents and before they could question, revealing HOW we want to get married brought more shocks. We both planned our marriage date and “invited” our parents to be there just a week before. Everyone had same question; WHY in court?!? And we both had one answer; because we want it this way. The process of convincing parents wasn’t an easy one. They were confused, angry at points, frustrated, afraid and hesitant. I being divorced once and having a kid, made them question everything about my future husband and our choice of a simple marriage… We made it easier for our parents by giving up on our inherited property rights; to make them sure we both have no materialistic interests attached with each other. Our families met and equally expressed how astonished they are, we had to go through bitter questions and pinching reality checks on “How it’s NOT done this way” But only thing we focused on was determination and strong will to stand firm for each other no matter what comes ahead.
A night before my nikah, I wasn’t even sure if someone will accompany me to the court or not. Spending a decade alone fighting depression and suicidal thoughts, it wasn’t so easy to step out of my isolation knowing that now I can’t afford to fail.
At that time, my parents extended their unconditional and unafraid support. My father confirmed he’ll go to the court with me and will ensure my security. My mother took charge of giving a tight shut-up call to all those relatives who were raising questions on this “sudden and simple” nikah. My sister (being overseas) stayed on long calls with all her moral and emotional support.
I’ll gladly, willingly, whole heartedly give credits of this perfect simple marriage to my Husband. I always wanted a non-glittery, less show off marriage. I guess I’m lucky to have a guy who loves my tattoos instead of asking for mehndi and chooriyan.
To Youngsters: Do not complicate easy things – make life simpler and happier. Materialistic things are a necessity not a priority or something that can be exchanged for understanding and comfort of two human lives. Accept and be part of change, that’s the only way we can fix bigger problems.
To Parents: Give a chance to your children, listen and understand what they actually want from life instead of forcing set rules of society on them.
To all Struggling Women: More Power to You
To Judgemental People who own rights of labelling and accusing any single working mother:
Hope you Get Well Soon
Shared by Saadia Subhan, member of Soul Sisters Pakistan