Fear Of Remarriage And Androphobia

fear-300x216With a very heavy heart I’d like to share my story. I am 27 years old divorced woman. I got married when I was 24 years old back in September 2013. My parents especially my mother wanted me to marry my cousin knowing that he had hardly graduated but had a good job in Middle East. I was totally against this union as I didn’t like my cousin at all. I was a very non-serious and a naught kid of my family so they believed that I’m too immature to take such big decisions of my life.

My Aunt insisted that she only wants to see me as her daughter-in-law and no one else and all the buttering kept going on for two years until my parents accepted my proposal without my consent. I cried my guts out on this announcement as I begged my Mother and elder sister and my brother-in-law that I’m not interested in him or I have a feeling that he’s not a nice guy. But as always I had to hear this crap everything will get better after marriage, he’s a nice guy and all. My intuition was against this union and I had no guts to say no to my Dad.

Finally the day came and we got married. I tried my best to change my nature and attitude before getting married to him as being a girl I was born to compromise. In the very first week of my marriage I found that my husband was an alcoholic and the moment I asked him this question he turned into a wild beast. I was mentally, physically and emotionally abused to a stage where I wanted to end my life. But I had no option as my parents had selected him for me. I never went back to them for help. I suffered insomnia and I was scared that he might kill me someday as he kept saying this all the time. I was mentally tortured and totally broken as I never wanted my marriage to end (nobody wants that) irrespective of what sort of guy he was. But one day my elder sister saw him beating me wildly, just because I had spoken to her husband, and she couldn’t bear to see me in that condition. She called my parents and they finally got to know what I had been suffering.

My husband kept threatening me and my family members that he would kill if I filed for divorce. But finally after two months of my horrific marriage I took the decision of divorce.

Now it’s been three years. I have done my Masters and I’m trying to study more to forget that nightmare and move on. My parents want me to marry again and yet again with their own consent without me knowing the guy and a total arranged marriage. I’ve had enough in my life and I’m hopeful for my future but over the years I’ve developed androphobia (fear of men). But despite this fear and on insisting by my parents I have agreed to marry again an unknown guy. I happened to talk to him and he said that he’s an alcoholic, doesn’t give a damn about ‘halal’ and ‘haram’, lives in America and is a total liberal. He expects me to marry him after knowing all this. But I disagreed. I am totally confused about this decision in my life. I am trying to overcome that trauma and fighting androphobia at the same time and my parents keep forcing me to marry again as I have a younger sister too. So I have to leave the house first as per common ritual.

I hope you’ll try to understand my situation and help me please. As I don’t want to rush into getting married to any stranger again. I’m scared.

Please reply to me ASAP.

Fearful Girl

Dear Fearful Girl,

I understand your situation. It is very grave indeed, even if sadly, it’s a common one in some parts of the world, where a girl is married off as soon as she comes of age and that too to a total stranger without trying to figure out if they would be a suitable match for each other or not.

Many parents want to see their children, especially girls, married off without fully understanding what effect this might have on their lives. Whether the spouse they have chosen would be able to keep their daughter happy or not – and more importantly if she would be happy with him or not – is not always their top priority. Getting her married off to a financially stable guy as soon as she comes of age seems to be their top priority.

They wrongly believe that everything will turn out fine or things will change for the better after marriage. That is hardly ever the case.
How can a person completely change overnight just because he got married? If he was a monster before he got married, chances are he’s going to stay a monster after marriage. If his parents, siblings, relatives, friends, etc. couldn’t change him for the better then how can a girl who has just entered his life as a wife do that? Especially in arranged marriages? It’s nearly impossible. Not only is it unrealistic but also cruel of the society to expect that.

Do not get married, or for that matter even engaged, till you feel and believe that you are completely ready for it – emotionally, physically and mentally. Getting into a marriage before that might spell disaster – again.

I strongly believe that for any relationship to work, and for the people in that relationship to be happy with each other, there needs to be four vital ingredients: love, respect, trust and similar values.

In your case, the values between you and the guy in America are completely different. You want someone who doesn’t drink, understands and follows the concept of ‘halal’ and ‘haram’ and is not too liberal. He on the other hand is the opposite of all that.

Your intuition was right about your ex-husband. Everyone else’s was wrong. Stick to your intuition. If you don’t feel right about this guy in America then you most probably are right. Let your intuition guide you. Do not be confused about your decision. It’s the right one.

I would strongly urge you to resist your parent’s pressure in getting married again till the time when you feel you are ready for it – emotionally, mentally and physically.
It might sound terrifying but you will have to talk to your father directly on this matter now. This time you will need the guts to talk to your Dad and say no if necessary. You need to be prepared for that. You will need to be firm and try to make him understand that you are not yet ready for marriage again. Try to assure him that you don’t have anything against marriage and want to get married again but not before you are fully ready for it.
It might not be easy to do this and you might be branded as selfish and difficult but it’s something you need to do if you don’t want to lose your sanity and your chances of being happy in the future – with the right guy at the right time.

Letting yourself get pushed into a marriage again without wanting to be in it is going to lead you to be very unhappy and depressed, not to mention the aggravation of your androphobia, which can have a disastrous effect on your mental state of health.

Giving in to the pressure to get married just because you have a younger sister and according to custom you have to leave home first, is only going to make it worse. Do not be rushed into a marriage. You might regret it.

For your androphobia I would recommend seeing a psychologist if possible. That should greatly help.
If it’s not possible for you to go to a psychologist then research as much as possible about androphobia and see how others have dealt with it.
For the purpose of this article, I did research quite a bit about androphobia and read quite a few scholarly articles in online science journals and also blogs of people who were or are suffering from it. I found their suggestions quite helpful.

You are doing the right thing by pursuing higher studies. Don’t discontinue that because of everything that is going on in your life.

It’s a good sign that you are hopeful of your future. This shows that you are on the path to recovery.

Being scared is natural and acts as a defense system to protect us. Being fearful is completely normal. So don’t worry about that. Take your time, trust your intuition and stay hopeful for the best. You will be fine.

All the best

Asad