Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why can't I sip your tea?

Thirsty, and you didn't order one for me.

I found this in a group called 'Ingredients of a Happy Muslim Marriage' on Facebook. The complete list appears in the group, but I reproduce some of the more interesting ones below.

Love her …when she sips on your coffee or tea. She only wants to make sure it tastes just right for you. She should be able to share any of your food and drink without any husband-centered reason, unless either of you have compulsive hygiene issues. 
Love her…when she "pushes" you to pray. She wants to be with you in Jannah (Paradise). Why aren't you praying on time anyway? Aren't you supposed to be the household leader? 
Love her…when she asks you to play with the kids. She did not "make" them on her own. You should not only be playing with your own children, but also bathing, feeding, and reading to them. 
Love her…when she has annoying little habits that drives you nuts. You have them too. Copy "So do you". 
Love her…when her cooking is bad. She tries. Why don't you cook instead? Or eat takeout? 
Love her…when she looks dishevelled in the morning. She always grooms herself up again. Paste.  
Love her…when she asks to help with the kids homework. She only wants you to be part of the home. Unless you're afraid of emasculating yourself when the kids find out you can't solve their math sums. 
Love her...when she spends hours to get ready. She only wants to look her best for you. Paste. 
Love her…when she buys you gifts you don't like. Smile and tell her it's what you've always wanted. Or, you could work on those communication skills. 
Love her…when she suffers from PMS. Buy chocolate, rub her feet and back and just chat to her. You don't have to let her talk back. 
Love her…when whatever you do is not pleasing. It happens and will pass. Paste. Because when the husband makes a mistake it 'will pass'. 
Love her…when she stains your clothes. You needed a new thobe anyway. Do your own laundry.  
Love her…when she tells you how to drive. She only wants you to be safe. Um, or maybe she actually knows a faster route?

In the first place, these kinds of lists are suspect because they have as a premise a great and irreconcilable abyss between men and women -- we are so different physically, emotionally and spiritually. In actual fact, many men find this list irrelevant because they do many of the abovementioned tasks themselves.

What is so remarkable about this list are the things that men or husbands are supposed to be annoyed about in the first place. It appears to be a response to a collection of complaints that husbands have towards their wives. Is it just the stereotype of the hot-tempered Arab man? (Clue to the cultural context: 'thobe' is a long robe worn by Arab men.) 

Supposedly, these husbands get angry when their wives take a sip of their drink. Seriously? I thought only children had problems sharing their things. With regards to domestic work, their wives stain their clothes, don't cook well, and encourage their husbands to do the most minimal and hardly unpleasant work -- playing with children and helping with their homework. What are these men expecting after marriage if not to devote their lives to raising their children?

With regards to the appearance or character of the wives themselves, these husbands seem completely oblivious that each of these criticism applies to them. Annoying habits, looking like they just woke up when they wake up in the morning, and taking time to get ready -- all these are simply gender-neutral personality characteristics. Some of the advice seems totally bizarre, for example, that even though she looks like crap in the morning, she will revert back to the made-up perfumed beauty you courted, pronto.

Nevertheless, some of the advice I omitted actually sounded okay. It was just these ones that were too strange to not talk about! (:

Here's a link to a similar article on the blog of Mars Hill Church, in which the suggestions on 'honoring' women are more respectful, and cover multiple aspects of married lives.

1 comment:

orange streaks said...

Thanks for the Mars Hill church blog link! I'm sharing it on FB because I agree with most of it. :)

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