The institution of marriage in Tunisia is in serious social, moral and material crisis with the world record number of divorces, the reluctance of young people to commit officially, the prohibitive financial burden of marriage in a society in economic crisis, where the material issue takes precedence over feelings of love, which remains the only true foundation of marital happiness. (Illustration: behind the postcard of marital bliss, what a disappointment!)
By Semia Zouari *
It is wedding season in Tunisia. Every day on social networks, many couples post their wedding anniversaries with the counter in decimals and the ritual symbolism that goes with it, from cotton to diamonds…
In Tunisia, marriage is an ancient summer tradition, as marriages were celebrated after the return of the grain harvest and harvest.
The slavery of patriarchy
Without wanting to spoil the atmosphere and see the dithyrambic declarations of love being published, the ostentatious complacency displayed with unclouded happiness, one cannot help but wonder at the contrast between these beautiful declarations and the reality on the ground, in a country where the institution of marriage is undergoing a serious moral crisis that has led to an explosion in the number of divorces among the young as well as among the elderly.
But where have they become of all the unhappy couples who haven’t had the chance, the luck, of “to succeed” their marriage, to be loved and respected by their partner, to achieve a happy and balanced home?
Even without reaching divorce, marriage in Tunisia still draws all the constraints of patriarchy, of the material and physical exploitation of women, whose subjugation and slavery are all too often the key to a union that “go”. There are also many men who feel exploited and unloved by venal and narcissistic wives. So can we really still judge emotions in duration rather than in their intensity?
And we all know that in every couple there is too often one of the partners who is “locomotive”that does everything, what “to make it work”, while the other drags his feet, allows himself to be pampered, overestimates his position, goes so far as to establish a relationship of ungrateful, narcissistic, even perverse and contemptuous dominance towards those who invest body and soul in the couple. How can one be surprised to see one fine day that the locomotive stops dead, refuses to continue living in a toxic relationship, decides to leave?
A “prison” where love is absent
Behind the postcard of the united home, of the shopping list (marriage, children, house, diplomas, descendants, etc.), how many partners, women or men, can confirm that they do not feel trapped in “prison” of marriage when love is absent and only bills and drafts make for TV nights, even strife and quarrels for vain reasons, as if each blamed the other for existing? How many couples find a loophole in the separation related to the work of one of the spouses abroad, sometimes for decades, in a de facto separation that does not say its name?
The institution of marriage in Tunisia is in a serious social, moral and material crisis with the world record divorce rate, the reluctance of young people to commit officially, the prohibitive financial burden of marriage in a society in economic crisis where the material issue takes precedence over the feelings of love , which remains the only true foundation of marital happiness.
One only has to see all the religious dress of the Islamists that aim to legitimize marriages “orphis” and other disguised concubines to see the need for sexual liberation of the population, in all age groups and in all socio-professional categories, both in rural and urban areas.
Religious Patriarchy and Oedipal Matriarchy
Fundamentally, it is mentalities that need to be changed. The religious patriarchy and the castrating Oedipal matriarchy act as a brake on the emotional development of our youth and open the way for marriages of convenience and convenience that are bound to fail.
When mothers and fathers stop meddling in their offspring’s affective relationships, when marriage candidates are ready to commit to a balanced union, couples will be able to marry for good reasons and make every effort to have a truly happy marriage, happy children, even if only for a limited period and not for life.
Yes, of course it is not enough to create the alchemy of love, respect and trust in a happy and peaceful relationship, but it will always be a beginning to make a change in our sclerotic and retrograde society, which gets passion to feel guilty. marriage when it is the prerogative of youth and continues to perpetuate an institution in perpetual crisis because of its inability to reform.
Without wanting to disturb anyone and with all my best wishes to you all, regardless of your current status.