‘You know what I find most confusing about these killer brides/wives, they don’t fit into the prototype frustrated young wife image. I mean we used to hear about young wives attacking their husbands because they were forced into marriage with them while they preferred someone else, or because they just didn’t want to get married. But today these violent wives are products of love matches, some with society weddings to boot. So why are we seeing such deadly domestic violence these days?’ I asked, addressing my friend Asabe, who had just stepped into the sitting room from her kitchen.
‘Extreme suspicion and jealousy I suppose. Otherwise how can a happy love match create a home that’s a boxing ring and sometimes even an execution zone? It’s only because there is very little trust and a lot of suspicion between the couple.’ She replied, taking the seat opposite mine.
‘But jealousy and suspicion have always been part of marriages Asabe, especially among newlyweds who are trying to settle into their new life together. Yet these violent attacks and even killings were not prevalent before. Why are they happening now? And then there are all the ugly disclosures that follow when the case gets to the media or is in court. I mean look at that Kano case, the one where the law student attacked her husband with a knife and he ended up in hospital with an open gut. Her relatives told everyone he was a serial abuser who regularly beat her up and so she attacked him in self defence. He, on the other hand, convened a press conference as soon as he left hospital, to publicly accuse her of infidelity, while claiming that she only attacked him because he had reported her to a cleric so she can mend her ways. And the two of them are expecting a child in a few months time. With these actions and allegations who do they expect the poor child to believe and respect?’ I wondered aloud.
‘I think the answer to your question might be found in a Whatsapp video I received today. Take a look at this’ she said, showing me a video playing on her phone screen. ‘This is a wedding dinner or reception that took place recently. Just watch what the bride and groom did then tell me if it doesn’t explain why today’s love matches end up in violence and murder.’ She added. I took the phone and watched a bride in a flowing maroon ball gown walking towards where her husband was seated on a chair. She knelt down to feed him something she had on a small plate, then she rose and sat on his lap. And as if that wasn’t enough of a public display, the moment the young lady was seated on his lap, the groom lifted his head up and kissed her fully on the lips, right there before the eyes of all. In fact to the delight of audience since the crowd seemed to be cheering them. Then it was his turn to feed her and the young groom vacated the chair for his wife. She sat on it and he attempted to feed her but was obviously so carried away he couldn’t do the feeding bit, instead he rose and kissed her again, shamelessly, while the crowd continued to cheer him. At this point I got so angry at what I’d seen that I stopped the video from playing and said to Asabe.
‘I see what you mean, this level of shameless display can deprive a marriage of all blessings. How can a couple emulating the Prophet’s (PBUH) worthy sunna of marriage start it off on this shameless note? And He, SAW, had said “shyness is part of faith”.’ Yet shyness is totally missing in this brazen show.’ I opined.
‘Exactly and my take on it is: who are they trying to impress? Is there an adult in that crowd who doesn’t know what happens between brides and grooms when the crowd is gone? Why did they think there is anything special about their love that they had to make a show of it before everyone? And when you have displayed all your love and affection in the crowd what remains that you’ll show the each other behind closed doors?
This is why the love doesn’t last, because it is all a shallow show without depth. And when the show is over, the reality of marriage sets in and most young couples just can’t cope with the reality, because there is very little love to support it. This leads to the jealousy and suspicion, the violence and the killings.’ Asabe concluded, heatedly.
‘I think it’s time for parents to take back their children’s wedding preparations. Right now most of them entrust everything to wedding planners who care nothing about cultural or religious sensitivity. Their sole aim being to entertain. In the process, newlyweds are urged to display excesses that usually incur the wrath of Almighty God rather than His blessings. I agree with you that such blatant displays can lead to failed and potentially deadly marriages.’ I observed.
‘Additionally parents should learn to pay more attention to preparing their children for marriages rather than weddings. Honestly Bint, I think what happens is too much emphasis is laid on the wedding festivities and very little on the actual institution of marriage. So the result is that both brides and grooms go into marriages without understanding the amount of love and commitment needed to make it work. In his case, he resumes his bachelor lifestyle, as soon as the honeymoon is over because no one taught him that it’s time to quit; and meanwhile she grows jealous and resentful of the fact that he was free to continue befriending other females and abandoning her.
And because no one bothered to teach her the steps to take in times of marital crisis, she decides to take the law into her hands and deal with him; sometimes fatally.’ Asabe concluded.
‘What a mess, I hope our society will rise up to the causes of domestic violence and address them urgently. Otherwise the whole institution is threatened. I mean we may reach a situation where young folks will be too scared to marry, fearing the outcome. Before we get there we have to act now.’ I declared.
‘I agree with you Bint. We have to start doing something immediately.’ Asabe concurred.