Continued from last week
In that case you better accept his appeal and send his wife back. I mean he is obviously apologetic and remorseful. So what else do you need to convince you that he is really ready to turn over a new leaf?’ I demanded.
‘Believe me we feel the same way you do Bint. But the problem is Farida won’t even consider it. The only reason she and her mother came to see me is because her mother thinks I can convince her to give the guy a second chance. But when I tried I found out just what Fatima, my cousin, discovered about her daughter; that she has an iron will. Faridah might not be quick to anger and she can be very tolerant but once she’s fed up, there’s no going back.’ Jamila explained.
‘Really? Well I don’t blame her. It’s like the saying goes “It’s the owner of the room who knows where it drips during rainfall”. Farida obviously knows best what she’s been through and what she’s afraid to go through a second time.’ I opined.
‘Yes, I think that’s the problem. She has really been traumatised by what her husband has done and any thought of living through that again fills her with dread. She said as much, really, when we tried talking to her just before you came. She said if he was able to hide the monster he was from everyone except her, why won’t he pretend he has changed now and then return to his old ways anytime he wants. And that was what made us give up our campaign to make her return.’ Jamila declared.
‘I think you should give her time to get over this. Since the divorce was only declared once wasn’t it?’ I asked.
‘Yes it was. Even that was when Farida threatened to go to court, so in order to avoid unnecessary publicity, he agreed to issue the one-divorce letter.’ She answered.
‘In that case let her remain at home for a few months more. That should give her time to overcome some of the negativity she feels now. And it will also enable him to taste life without the woman he took for granted for so long. That way, if she ever agrees to return he will value her more.’ I advised.
‘But that’s exactly what he’s trying to avoid. You see if he exerts enough pressure and Farida is forced to return then there will be no need for another wedding Fatiha because she hasn’t concluded her iddah, the three months waiting period. But if she stayed beyond three months then the wedding Fatiha will have to be done again and to him that’s bad publicity because more people will get to know. Meanwhile if she returns now nobody will know beyond our immediate two families.’ Jamila explained.
‘I see, so he is worried about bad publicity but it didn’t stop him from raining abuses at her when she was with him? He sounds like a narcissist to me. Doing everything wrong but wanting nothing to go out that will tarnish his image. Can you believe it? What kind of a man is he?’ I asked, rhetorically.
‘You are right, he is a narcissist. He believes in his good looks and he thinks a fine face can buy him everything, including a good reputation. But we’ve since found out that he just has the beauty of a baby snake. You know, cute, but with enough venom to kill, like it’s parents.’ She disclosed.
‘In that case, please allow Farida to remain at home and continue her business, as well as enjoy some peace of mind. Urge your cousin to stop pressuring her. And both she and her husband must ignore the pressure from Farida’s husband and in-laws. Let her be, until she feels like returning on her own. If after six months or a year she still feels the same way, then tell him to move on that she doesn’t want to have any thing to do with him. An abusive and exploitative husband is not likely to be missed by any self-respecting wife.’ I argued.
‘My sentiments exactly Bint. When Farida insisted that she wasn’t going back, I felt the same way you do now. I said to myself this is one lady who knows her self-worth.’ Jamila concurred.
‘And did it occur to anyone to ask him why he began to rain insults at her. I mean a wife who picks your bills, is submissive and respectful, in addition to being beautiful and religious can’t possibly inspire such abuses. Why did he do it?’ I asked.
‘I think one of uncles did ask and the funny answer he gave was it was the work of Satan.’ Jamila answered, with a dry smile.
‘Satan indeed, well let Satan keep him company for now. The nice young lady he maltreated deserves a break.’ I proffered.