For a while, I’ve been lurking through this Facebook page where married women post anonymously and ask the members of that group for advices.
Different women, same dramas, same problems. So, I decided to write my 428 cents in the hopes to enlighten, empower, and maybe, just maybe, put a little bit of direction to those who are lost.
Disclaimer: I am not Egyptian, and I know there is a massive cultural difference, but I still believe that love is universal, so, here we are.
This started out as a response to Confession No. 1661, but halfway through, I started writing about the common, recurring sentiments that most women in this group share. So, I thought I’ll post it here instead.
My problem with Egyptian standards is that a lot of people are blinded by noise and clutter. (Sex isn’t good, he’s not financially stable, I’m afraid his mum will make my life miserable, I don’t like his sisters, he had past relationships. I had past relationships. Blah, blah, blah.)
Ok, I’ve lived in Cairo for 5 years and I understand the culture, and how people think, and I respect it. But IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT I AGREE WITH IT.
Financial status is not an issue. Educational background and social class is not an issue. The issue here is how well you know each other, and whether or not you know him enough to actually say ‘yes, I love him and can accept him for who he is–both his good and his bad.’ Because that is what love is. Finding a partner is not about how big the stone on your finger is. It’s about accepting each other’s past, living together in the present, and working together to build a future.
I’m writing this in the context that we are all women in this group, and I can go on and on about how I think relationships work/fail. And honestly, ladies, WE TAKE THE LOVE WE THINK WE DESERVE.
Of course we shouldn’t settle for anything less, (we heard this so many times because if it was that easy, no one would have to repeatedly remind you.) But the problem that I see in most of the confessions is that it’s coming from women who are lost, broken, scared, insecure, and unhappy.
So, how about we start by finding ourselves and understanding who we really are? (In this case who YOU are.) Be the person you want to be (it’s never too late, I promise you. Even if you’re single, engaged, married, divorced, young, old, it’s never too late. You can still work on a goal and achieve that goal. Start over if you have to.)
Then, mature a little bit–meaning, understand what it is that you want for yourself, what kind of partner are you looking for? But most importantly, what kind of partner are you? Relationships will not take off if it’s one sided. Both people involved have to put effort and time to cultivate it. But before you jump to a relationship, ask yourself: if you strip this man off his educational background, social class, financial status–WHAT WILL BE LEFT OF HIM? Does he have values? Does he have respect? Does he have integrity? Because a good man is not defined by his family or his background, or the noise that surrounds him. A good man is defined by his actions, motivations, and intentions.
And for those women whose problems are about their husbands wanting them to strip tease or lap dance for them, or to those women who think they have a problem because their husbands don’t enjoy sleeping with them, or their husbands tell them that they’re boring, and not good and blah blah blah… First of all, I commend you, because you show dedication in your marriage and how you ladies are willing to move mountains for your husbands. But the same dedication is also breaking my heart because you are even considering that something is wrong with you. Let me ask you this, will your husband move mountains for you too? Will he go through that length to satisfy you? Will he put you on his priority list? Will he give you time and attention and dedication? Everything takes practice, sex even more. But it will not improve on its own. Just like everything else.
I’ve also read confessions about women in dilemmas, asking the community if they should be honest about their past. I’ve read comments saying, no don’t tell your boyfriend/fiancé/husband this or that because it will cause problems. I’m not perfect and I don’t tell my partner everything, but I make sure that when I’m with someone, my conscience is clear and that he is with me because of who I am and not because of who he thinks I am. I will always choose to be liked for who I am than be adored for who I am not. Stay true to yourself, woman. And if your bf/fiancé/husband can’t handle the truth, then he doesn’t deserve all the good that comes with you. Another way to go about this is making sure that you are honest with the other person before the relationship even starts. Like, SERIOUSLY, NEVER (and I say never ever) START ANYTHING UNLESS YOU REALLY REALLY KNOW THE PERSON, AND THAT PERSON REALLY REALLY KNOWS YOU. If you were both honest before the relationship starts, then you wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place. We expect men to accept our past–to accept us for who we are, right? Let me tell you this, YOU will also have to make peace with your past.
Your past makes you who you are today. And I know women shouldn’t be sleeping with men unless they’re married (in Egypt.) But if you had, (first of all, always practice safe sex) let me tell you this, the only thing that went wrong was you fell in love with the wrong person. And there is nothing wrong with that. Recognising that you loved the wrong person is not a sin, or a mistake, or a weakness, but rather a STRENGTH and a sign of MATURITY that you are taking responsibility of your actions, that you have learned from it, and that you are so much WISER now.
I can only hope that everyone here will be in relationships that are meaningful, and genuine, and devoid of noise and clutter.