Liking Kim Kardashian is now grounds for divorce? Get real!

I got my first proposal when I was fourteen years old, at a family wedding, after being cross examined by a well meaning Pakistani society matron who might have believed that I would be a good mix for her family’s gene pool. Luckily the prospective groom was not present and I spent most of the evening hiding in the ladies room to avoid more of the same. This is not an unusual turn of events and for the next decade my sister and I would be accosted at weddings, social events and the like by match making mamas all eager to find a bride for their son or nephew. Now I look back on this time with nostalgia and a giggle but at the time I do remember freezing in terror, especially if I did not know the groom to be in question. How could I be expected to marry a man I didn’t know anything about – his likes, dislikes, what kind of music he listened to, what books he read and what films he might have seen and whether he was into cars or sport? So many questions but I was adamant this was necessary in order to forge a long and happy marriage – the more things we had in common, that we both liked, the less chance of the big D – divorce. Also attributed to the Pakistani upbringing were many apocryphal stories of couples who had divorced before the end of the honeymoon. One girl literally came home the day after the wedding and refused to return to her seemingly perplexed husband. And always the family on both sides would attempt to come up with a plausible reason for this abrupt volte face. But we young things who listened in horror always imagined a far more sinister explanation.

I do admit that the same habit that one may have found charming at the start may prove to be the breaking point ten years or more into a marriage

Ahlya Fateh

Now as divorce becomes commonplace in the West with two out of three first marriages failing, the East is catching up. You all must have heard the tale of the groom who was humiliated by his bride at the wedding and took revenge by divorcing her on the spot and marrying one of the female guests in her place. I have now heard this story so many times that it has evolved into an urban myth – sometimes it is in Lebanon, another time it was Egypt, now it is Saudi Arabia. Whatever, wherever it happened to occur, it merely reinforced the macho Eastern male stereotype and drove home the cautionary tale to young girls everywhere to not antagonise your husband or risk immediate divorce!

This week a story that is both tragic and comical in equal measures – a Saudi wife who latched onto her husband’s comment that he liked the look of Reality Queen Kim Kardashian, immediately began a drastic course of action to look, behave and even walk like Miss Kim. By undergoing plastic surgery and a radical make over in the hope “that my husband would be more attracted to me, but the results were not as I had wished.” Indeed, her spouse decided to divorce her and marry another woman in her stead! Now call me suspicious, but this seems like a convenient excuse to have your cake and eat it, and then make tiramisu out of the left-overs.

Now women in the Middle East are getting their own back though and refusing to stay wed to men that irritate them – one young Kuwaiti bride sent her husband packing because he ate peas with bread and not a fork. Is it me or are the grounds for divorce getting more and more ridiculous or is it proof that it is the little things that can tear a marriage asunder? I do admit that the same habit that one may have found charming at the start may prove to be the breaking point ten years or more into a marriage. But surely it would have been easier to buy some attractive silverware (Christofle, anyone?) rather than getting the lawyers in, and a lot cheaper too.

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Ahlya Fateh knows all about fashion and publishing. As the former managing editor of Tatler magazine and the managing director of fashion brand, Tata Naka, she has combined a strong creative vision with an understanding of strategy and management. Ahlya lives in London and is a mother of two.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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