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Custody Arrangements and False Allegations

After the lawsuit that was filed against me in Ramadhan last year, the judge decided that my ex could see his daughter once every week, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and that the days should be Wednesday, and Friday since he works shifts and can’t show up every Wednesday, or every Friday.

Things went by smoothly for almost a year with the exception to one thing. He would not pick his daughter up on time, and he wouldn’t drive her back at 10 like the court specified. As infuriating as it was for me to fret and worry over whether my daughter is okay or not since they don’t even have the decency to call and say when they’re going to bring her back, I chose to keep quite about the matter because I thought I knew how he felt. I thought that since he’s her father, he’s entitled to more than five hours a week with his daughter. I even ignored their rude conduct of not even calling and saying that I shouldn’t worry and that they’d bring her back at a certain hour rather than the one specified in the court order.

Kindness always comes back to bite you in the back. Because I allowed him to pick her up any time he wanted, even if it wasn’t a Friday or a Wednesday, he expected that I had nothing better to do than to wait for him to call and say that he’s going to pick his daughter in an hour. This week, he was supposed to pick her up on Friday since he didn’t show up on Wednesday last week. As a result, Mom left early to another city that is 25 kilometers away from my place of residence and took my daughter with her since I was still at work, and she couldn’t leave her at home alone.

His mother called to inform us that her son was coming to pick his daughter in an hour, so mom told her that no one was at home, and that her son isn’t supposed to come today according to the court order, and that if she had called about it earlier, mom would’ve waited for her son to pick his daughter. That bitch got so angry and demanded that mom drives back home so that her spoiled son could take his daughter. The phone call ended with mom saying that he’s welcome to see his daughter on Friday since that’s what the court order HE ASKED FOR stated.

An hour later, mom received a phone call from our city’s police department. The wuss went to the police station, and rather than letting the police deal with my dad who’s according to the Saudi law our family’s legal guardian, he gave them my mom’s phone number, and named her his arch enemy. Yes, I’m a feminist, and I do believe that men and women should be treated equally, but for someone ,who has a very traditional mindset, and who believes that real men do not go against women, to do something like that would be considered cowardly by tradition’s standards.

Mom explained the situation, and stated that he’s not supposed to pick her up today, and that this Wednesday isn’t the Wednesday in which he could see his daughter. She told him that she’s got the court order to prove it…the very court order he went through so much trouble to obtain only to refuse to abide by it in the end. The police officer told her that she’s not in the wrong here, and ended the matter. However, dad wouldn’t let it go. He had another long talk with me about not tolerating any violation to the court order anymore. And that he could only get his daughter through the police station from now on to have every visitation documented so that the wuss wouldn’t lie again.

Can they sink any lower than that? The funny thing is, during the time I lived among them, they treated me like an infidel since I wouldn’t wear an over the head abaya, or treat my spouse as a God. What’s worse is that they are all graduates of Holy Qur’an schools, and act as if they were the purest people on earth because of this. It’s hypocrites like them who give religion a bad name. I may not have memorized the Holy Qur’an, or I may not look religious, but I know that prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said that acts and good conduct are what define a Muslim, not words or appearances.

 

The Obnixious Person that I’ve Become

They say bad experiences’ positive side is that it makes a person stronger. I haven’t sensed that change in myself yet. I’m still a crybaby. The smallest things still make me so upset. I still think a lot about small insignificant details, and I make mountains out of molehills. I’m unable to control my anger and my emotions , and I still get deceived by people in spite of living with a bunch of masked individuals for more than two years.

There is one change that I’ve noticed about myself. I can’t seem to let certain things go. I have to discuss them with whoever is responsible for initiating them. Back then, I used to hate cutting my bonds with people and ending my friendship ties on bad notes. I accepted whatever excuses I was offered even if my mind rejected them and considered them lies because I followed the belief that people always mean well unless they show the opposite and that as long as they made the effort to apologize or at least make up an apology, they need to be heard.

Lately, I can’t seem to do that anymore. I don’t know if it’s a bad or a good thing. I’ve gone through two experiences this month in which I was offered an apology which my brain processed as a lie, but instead of accepting them, I rejected them.
When I first got married, my ex-husband would become upset over the smallest things, and would start holding a grudge. Whenever I discuss the insignificant small matter with him as a possible reason for his foul mood, he’d downright dismiss it saying that he’s not a child to be upset over something so insignificant. Because of his refusal to admit the truth, the problem would turn from something so stupid to something big, leading to families from both sides interfering. My marriage life was full of incidents of that sort. At first, and in spite of the fact that I wasn’t the one at fault, I’d go and apologize, convincing myself that I should be the one who has to act as the adult in that relationship. And whenever he wold make a half assed attempt to apologize, I’d accept it even though it was plain obvious that he was lying.

The results we both had of that arrangement weren’t pleasing. As you know, we had to settle for a divorce. Because I started the relationship by acting as the mature person, and apologizing for things I didn’t do, he got used to it, and would never once consider himself at fault. Even his attempts to apologize began with “you caused me to hurt you” which, in my opinion, is an accusation rather than an apology. And because I never thought to pressure him to tell the truth or admit the mistakes he made, we never got to address the real problems in our marriage.

I’m not claiming to be an expert here, but this, in my humble opinion, is the reason why we couldn’t live with each other anymore.

I guess being lied to for a couple of years, and having the tables turned against me every single time made me detest being offered an apology which is an obvious lie. I’m no longer able to think that a lie could be something that would shield me from a harsh truth, and that a person making up an apology actually cares.

I don’t like what I have become, but sometimes, I tend to think of this change as a positive thing. I guess I’m finally able to speak honestly and not allow others to take advantage of that trait in me.

I still can’t bring myself to talk to both friends. Both were at some point the dearest friends I had. The reason why I can’t talk to one of them even though she sent me her contact information is because what she did shocked me. What I hate more than anything is for someone to criticize a certain behavior and then to engage in it. Upon being confronted, she offered an apology which I totally didn’t buy. That apology made me think even less of her. The fact that she didn’t tell me anything shocked me, not only because she criticized that behavior, but also because it indirectly told me exactly what she thought of me. I did write to her, but the fact that she’s in a foreign place prevented me from saying what I had in my mind. I know that she’s experiencing enough difficulty as it is, and I didn’t want to burden her, but I also don’t want to be a hypocrite. Which is why I chose to refrain from contacting her all together.

As for the other, well, the only thing I seem to regret is acting as an ass. She was away for quite some time, and I didn’t even greet her properly when she came back. Even though not greeting her was uncalled for, this friend in particular enjoys turning tables against others more than anything else, and I guess I just lost it when she did that.

yeah, I guess I’ve become obnoxious after all.

Divorced?…I Think Not

The 2oth of Shawal, 1432 AH/ 19-9-2011 AD

It’s been a while since I last posted something, so I’ll start my entries with the dates to detail the road to freedom.

In the text message I received soon after my rebellion, I was informed that I was given the verbal divorce, and that all that I have left is the official document to prove that I’m a free woman. The court appointment I was given was the 20th of Shawal. My father and I had no knowledge whatsoever of how divorce is handled in KSA. We thought it was done the old way by which the husband goes to court and finishes all the papers required to officially divorce his wife, so we did not go, thinking that my ex would do all the paperwork.
We were wrong though. Apparently, in order to reduce the rising number of divorces experienced in the Kingdom, the ministry of justice thought it would be a good thing to let every divorced couples go through some sort of marriage counseling first as a way of reducing the number of divorces in the region. The marriage counseling session is mandatory, and no couple can get a divorce without it, or so I was told.
I didn’t want to go through counseling since I was afraid that I was going to cave, nd that they’re going to scare me using the custody issue …at least I knew my ex would since soon after my rebellion, he sent me a text message threatening to take my daughter from me. I didn’t want to go through the sort of counselling that would make me miserable and drag me back to a life of deceit and lies. Besides, if I thought counselling would work for me and my ex, I would’ve tried to convince him to seek it before I resorted to leaving him. What good would counseling do if a spouse keeps on lying and accusing others of things just to avoid being blamed?

Mom called his mother and asked about the divorce paper, but she immediately starting sending verbal jabs, and insinuations that we are holding them back from getting rid of us. Mom retorted by saying that they didn’t tell us what hour the hearing was going to take place and that they didn’t even tell us which court they went to. At last, she said that she was going to put a piece of paper with the new appointment in my daughter’s bag who was visiting her dad at that time. The paper I got was an official summoning from court, and which I did not receive the first time because of…I don’t know stupidity? Ignorance?

Dad and I went to court at the rescheduled appointment. We went into marriage counselling alone and told them that my (Ida: a period at which reconciliation is to take place after divorce) is already over, and that from an Islamic perspective, I’m no longer his wife, and that the only way he could have me back is if he paid dowry all over again, and had a new marriage contract.  Dad also showed the sheikh that my ex filed a lawsuit against me and that he has no intention of patching things up. The sheikh was cooperative enough and told my father that once my ex arrives, he’ll handle everything and that we can go back home, and consider myself officially free.

Several weeks had passed, and I still hadn’t gotten the document of official liberation. Dad talked to my ex about it, and he said that he won’t divorce me to teach me a lesson, which brings me to a very frustrating point.

In Islam, both a husband and wife can ask for divorce. If the guy asks for it, it’s called divorce, and it’s done without the woman’s consent. If a woman asks for it, it’s called khul’a or Faskh, each of which has its own conditions to be carried. Divorce is first carried verbally, and then, in our recent times, officially and through paperwork. Verbal divorce is still binding though, and a husband cannot go back and undo it.
Khul’a is done when a woman wants to end things with her husband, and she’s allowed to seek it even when there’s nothing wrong with her husband. To do the husband justice though, the woman has to return his dowry.
Khul’a is also carried without requesting the wife to pay back the dowry if there’s proof that she’s suffering physical or mental abuse. In this case, it’s very similar to divorce.
Faskh is carried when one of the conditions that the woman laid in her marriage contract was not fulfilled by her husband. In this case, it’s similar to an annulment.
These three cases are not as simple as I made them seem, but that’s just to show what each one involves. In the cases of Khul’a settled by prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, Khul’a was given to the woman immediately. Nowadays though, it takes like forever for a woman to finally divorce herself. Some men here take advantage of that, and leave their wives married to them for years without allowing them the opportunity to do things which require a guardian’s consent, or to be able to get married again to another guy. The judicial system here with its complicated procedures encourage the spread of such cases were women can’t get freedom. They walk around  with the title (married), but are actually unmarried, live alone, and do not even receive alimony. When they file a lawsuit against their husbands, their husbands either do not show up, or lie to the judge by saying that they want to work things out with their wives. Of course, such a lie may cause the woman to insist on getting a divorce which puts her in a position where she’s acting like the bitch, and where the husband seems like a decent guy. If proof of abuse is not given, some women, most of which leave their jobs upon marriage, are requested to pay back the dowry which is not a small amount.
The Islamic system has no glitches, but the way it’s carried and applied causes these problems. If the government demanded that each husband who had left his wife for months for the purpose of putting her in the (married-unmarried) state to pay a fine for each day he dallies in getting the official divorce documents, cases like these would become non-existent.

Anyways, I’ll walk you through my freedom in the next post.
until then, take care

Mixed Feelings

It’s now quite obvious that he wants to take my daughter from me once she reaches the ages of 7, if not now. About a week ago, we received a court order summoning us to a hearing. My ex was playing the same old game of lying to insure he gets what he wants. He lied to court, saying that my father and I would not let him see his daughter for 4 months. I almost went mad when I heard that. I mean, I knew he was one big liar and all but did not expect his family to go along with his story. They know and I know that I left his apartment on the 14th of Rajab, and he filed the complaint on the 15th of sha’aban. That’s only one month since he last saw his daughter! Besides, he didn’t call or show his face during that period of time. His mother called saying that he’s on the way, but we waited for several hours without him showing up. I told my mom then that he’s planning something. I didn’t know him well, but I knew what kind of plans he was going to use since I’ve learned almost all of his tricks. I told my mother then that it’s a ploy he’s planning. He tells his mother he’s going to pick his daughter, doesn’t plan to show, but then goes back and tells her that he knocked on the door but no one opened it. Mom told me I was imagining things, but this is exactly what happened. Yes, I expected him to do that, but did not expect the family that pretends to be so religious to go along.

Anyways, the hearing ended with the judge deciding on a day to let him see his daughter. My father thought of filing a counter complaint to get him to regret ever going to court. My father consulted a lawyer, and he told him that the nafaqah money (given to the child after divorce) that the ex should pay would be 1/3 of his salary, not the measly amount he gave me.  We’re not going to file this nafaqah case because we need money, no. We’re going to file it to teach him a lesson. You can’t go to court and lie, then get away with it. I told my father that my ex got several loans to pay, including one that his sister got for him, so there will be no official record to prove that the loan is actually his. It will be one hell of a blow.

But with all what’s going on, I feel that I shouldn’t sink to his level. I shouldn’t go to that extreme. I feel terrible. I’m not a person who would return an insult or seek to cause someone a trouble just to get even. For me there’s no justice like the one that god inflicts. Besides, I wouldn’t want to do something that might make god displeased. The other thing that I feel terribly about is what occurred today. His sister called today after my father made it clear to him that he shouldn’t send someone to call me or my mom; that he should call my father if he wanted to ask or say anything. What I know about this sister is that she loves her brother a lot, and can deliver some serious tongue lashing when someone insults her family. The court hearing yesterday might have gotten on their nerve since they were hoping that their brother would get custody. I didn’t want to hear the same insults all over again. What her mother told me was enough, so I decided not to pick up, and I told myself if someone wanted to talk to me about my daughter let it be him, or his mother. I don’t want to go through that experience again.

I immediately called my eldest sister, and I told her that his sister is definitely calling to give me a piece of her mind, that she had always been like that.

After mom picked up, his sister was quite polite in talking to her and I felt ashamed about the way I was thinking.

I’m a mess… Really. … I can’t even think straight anymore. All I keep thinking about is that I shouldn’t pick up immediately when they call because I’m afraid of hearing more insults. Is that going to backfire in the future? When they take my daughter from me, are they going to do the same? Or are they going to prevent me from seeing her all together? Even if they didn’t, I’m sure they’d humiliate me every time I go pick her up. I don’t want to give my daughter up, but I have my limit. I might give her up, not see her again and wait for god’s justice to be served, but I’m afraid they’d fill up her head with lies, saying that I don’t love her, or that I have deserted her. They’re lying now, so what might stop them from doing that to my daughter? Is there any way I can win the custody to prevent that from happening?

I wish I could know what god’s wisdom is behind all this? It might help me get through those ordeals. I believe that whatever god does is for a greater good that I can’t perceive at the moment, but I really need a sign telling me that it’s all going to be alright. I had a bad feeling about this marriage from the get go, but I prayed Istikharah, and everything went smoothly in spite of my objections. I prayed Istikharah again, and god granted me divorce so easily and without having to go through courts to obtain it and I’m thankful for that. I know that whatever involves Istikharah is good, but I’m unable to see it. If the good thing that came out of my marriage is my daughter, then why is she the reason why I’m living in constant fear of losing her? I have sold my pride for her, received insults for her and put up with all their crap for her sake.

God please, grant me the patience to withstand your trials and help me see the positive side to all this.

False Pride

If you read about the divorce cases here you’d start wondering, are those people really Muslims who fear the almighty god who forbid his worshipers to do each other an injustice? The cases of divorces made with mutual agreement outside court rooms are almost nonexistent. There are also no such things as reaching an agreement over most of the issues following divorce for children’s sake. It’s all a matter of how each party can avenge him or her self through using kids. I have to admit that my ex loves his daughter dearly, and the threat that he would take his daughter by force was a threat delivered partially because he loves her, but for the most part of it, he wanted to scare me so that I’d beg him to take me back.

Some men here can’t seem to handle the fact that they’re unwanted. I don’t know how such a group of men reprieve themselves, but the thing that I’m certain of is that the way society perceives men plays a large role in this dilemma. There’s no question that Islam insured the rights of both men and women, and that Islam is the religion that freed Eve of the long held accusation that she was the reason why Adam was forced out of heaven. Sadly however, society does not follow the laws of Islam religiously when it comes to women . out dated traditions are so mingled in the mi9nds of some people with religion that they started to confuse the two with each other. Islam did not favor one sex over the other, but society does, to the point where they started repeating slogans such as the only fault that you can find in a man is his pocket. and later on, this slogan was changed to an even stupider one that says, there’s no fault that you can find in a man at all.

out of this concept, all wrongs were blamed on women, and to have a woman declare that she can’t live with a husband anymore is something that those men can’t take. Yes, people may sympathize with a battered woman requesting a divorce, but they would still view her with some negativity. Because some husbands who have the wrong concept of pride can’t handle the fact that a woman requested divorce because there’s something wrong with them, they start dragging women in court rooms and swear to leave those women married to them forever. Now the thing that I couldn’t comprehend is, if a woman says that she doesn’t want a guy, then the right course of action…to keep a guy’s pride that is, is for him to say that he doesn’t want her, too?  why would some guys swear that they wouldn’t divorce their women if they request to be freed? What kind of deranged mentality is that?

I remember that after I told my ex that I’m leaving him because of the way he treated me and because he was not man enough to admit the things he did, he started sending threats through every party that tried to interfere to prevent divorce that he would take me back by force and that of course would be conducted through courts. of course, he sent me a text message a few weeks later telling me that he’s divorcing me and that I could get the divorce papers a month later from court. After I called his mother objecting to the way my things were handled, she told me in a proud tone that I should thank god that her son divorced me without requesting the (mahr) he paid. I refrained from reminding her that through the 5 years of marriage he didn’t spend much on me or my daughter. I bought my own things with my own money, and for the first few years of my daughter’s life, I was the one responsible for her other necessities such as clothes and medicine. He took over that duty later on when I brought it up to his parents. That’s one point. The other point is that from Sharia’s perspective, he’s not entitled to a single riyal. I kept quite because talking about all this to a woman so blinded by love to her son was pointless.

In that phone call I made shortly after I discovered that he had destroyed an official document of mine, she was quite disrespectful, but I held my cool, and god helped me make it through the call without breaking into tears over the severe injustice that was done to me. I told her that I once loved her as if she were my own mom, and that she told me over and over that she considered me one of her own daughter, so why would she do something like this to me? I also told her that I could reply in the same manner, but I won’t because she’s older than me. I told her that I don’t want to ruin my relationship with her for my daughter’s sake, and that she should talk to me in a civilized manner if she wanted me to do the same.

she hung up after agreeing with me, but even that agreement was delivered with an insulting tone.

The surprising part was when she called a few weeks later saying that her son wants to pay his daughter a visit. she was quite civilized and she spoke to me as if nothing happened. she even used endearment words! I like to think that she finally came to her senses and saw that the manner she spoke to me with was uncalled for. ..I’m even ready to accept the notion that she was forced to speak to me like that because she’s afraid that within those few years of custody that I have I might prevent her son from seeing his daughter in spite of the fact that I would never do something like that because he’s a parent just like me. But the thing that I’m afraid of the most is that this might be the calm before the storm. I’m afraid that after that cursed phone call, he and his family might want to teach me a lesson by dragging me in court rooms to have me divorce myself (khul’a) and we all know how long such cases take in KSA. one woman obtained her freedom after 3 years of being dragged in court rooms.

Don’t our judges have any sense at all? Women can’t drive themselves around for more than one hearing extended over more than a year. plus, women have more responsibilities in addition to their jobs. why is granting women divorce so hard? Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him didn’t torment women over such a simple right. Besides, what kind of life do they hope to grant a woman who can’t stand her husband anymore? They say (khul’a) has to be done for a reason, but would someone who lies (in my case)  admit that the reasons I have are true and valid?

I’ve had it with society…really. yes, people are good and kind here, but they need to open their eyes to the truth. what you’re preaching in relation to women isn’t Islam. It’s your out dated tradition clothed in religion and wrong interpretations of Islamic texts. I remember one of my students writing an essay about the rising number of divorces. she said it’s because women have jobs now that they so ungratefully leave their husbands. I agree, having a job made us more confident in making such a decision, but we’re not ungrateful. we’re now finally able to say no to living in humiliation. we are not forced to take crap from anyone anymore. It’s up to society now to raise the next generation properly. To teach them that women deserve the same respect they desire for themselves, but when will such a generation arrive?

In the end, I’d like to say that my articles may have made you feel that I consider women angels, but I don’t. I’ know that women can err as much as men…maybe even more sometimes, but I’m writing about those who are in similar circumstances to mine.

The Battle of Custody

There’s one thing that I couldn’t understand no matter how many times I look for an answer. Why is it that a male child gets to choose which parent he wants to live with and a female child doesn’t?

I remember the (fiqh) curriculum which was newly introduced to the third level of high school education. Our teacher told us that a female child is given to her father so that he could protect her. But, where’s the religious text that supports this? All I heard where hadeeths that prove the opposite. Prophet Muhammad granted a woman custody of her child when she came to him and said that she was the one who carried him, she was the one who fed him, and she was the one who took care of him and after all that, his father wants to take him away from her, so the prophet peace be upon him said that the child is hers unless she gets married.

But scholars tent to quote this hadeeth in support of a woman’s mandatory custody of her children whether they’re males or females up to the age of seven. If she marries they say, then her mother shall get the custody or her relatives. According to scholars, children to the age of seven are to be left with the mother or her relatives. Afterwards, comes the part which I couldn’t understand. Boys are to be given the choice, and girls are to leave with the dad.

To prove to you that there’s no religious text that openly supports this rule, the other Sunni sects (Malki, or shafi’i) give both the male and the female child the right to choose between their mom and dad. This is a matter of Ijtihad, and we learned that Ijtihad, since it’s conducted by human beings and is not the direct words of god or the prophet, cannot be put in equal grounds with the holy Qur’an or the prophet’s sayings.  Ijtihad could be right or wrong and it is not to be held as undebatable.

I asked a few lawyers whether I have the tiniest bit of chance to gain the custody of my only child specially that she’s a female and females need someone who understands their nature. They told me that it all depends on which judge is gonna handle the case. Some judges would go by the hanbali rule of giving the daughter to her father. Others would give the daughter to the parent who could best raise her following the prophet’s example when he granted a mother the custody of her male child even after he chose his father because his mother made sure her kid prays the five daily prayers.

The other question is why is it that if the mother marries she loses custody? Why can’t we say the same about fathers? The Saudi society is full of cases in which the custody of girls was granted to fathers only to have those girls tortured at the hands of step mothers. If the mother is still single and is willing to take care of her daughters, then why can’t judges apply the same rule and give the daughters to their mothers in case the father remarries? Scholars say that if the mother marries, she would be too busy taking care of her husband and she won’t pay much attention to her child. But is a father, who’s always absent and who (in my case) sees his daughter only for one hour a day just to be able to hang out with his pals, capable of paying a child the attention she deserves? The majority of Saudi husbands don’t know how to even change a diaper, or look after their kids the way a mother does. Can’t all these facts be studied to abolish the “give the daughter to a father” rule?

I’m not speaking those words as absolute facts. I could be wrong, but if you see that I’m definitely wrong, would you please set me straight?

I need logic, not blind obedience to scholars’ opinions. Their words are not the words of god, and human beings are not exempt from erring.

The Beginning:

To understand my story and the depth of agony, you have to understand the Saudi perspective of marriage. Marriage is a blessing and to have a woman deprived of that means that there’s something wrong with her, even if she chose to be single. Marriage in KSA works in favor of guys rather than women. This of course is a social perspective derived from traditions and has nothing to do with religion. To a guy, marrying a woman means that she owes him a favor of not leaving her single for the rest of her life. That is one way of looking at the whole issue. Another group of weirdos and who pretend to be righteous have all the texts that guarantee their rights memorized by heart. If you ask them what women rights in marriage are, they’d say to serve a male. If you produce one text that says that it is not the woman’s duty to clean and cook, they’d deny it and say that it’s the first time they hear of such a preposterous thing. I need to point out that these religious texts are taught in schools, but they tend to mysteriously sink in the minds of females rather than males.

I got married to a (child) who is beneath me in the educational level. I noticed since the engagement days that our perspectives are different, that his mentality was quite superficial, and that his family have certain values which are different from the ones I grew up with. I had a feeling that something wrong was going to happen, but I dismissed the idea as a mere superstition, telling myself that I shouldn’t act as a snob just because I have degree and he doesn’t, that open mindedness is not necessarily decided by one’s educational degree. Apparently, I was wrong.

He was not one of those husbands who beat their women, but he adored control. My life with him was a mental torture. When I try to express my opinions on certain issues, he would call me sick just because he didn’t agree with me. It was weird that I’ve been running away from closed minded people and I ended up marrying one. In reality, I’m a timid person who doesn’t like to be stared or yelled at and he did that quite a lot without me once saying anything to defend myself. He wasn’t a totally bad guy, but he was one of those people who loved and hated with passion. The way my life went was decided by his mood. If he wanted, he would love me and pamper me like no other guy would, and if he wanted, he would loath me for the smallest of reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. I was simply put under the mercy of his own moodiness.  Of course, the loathing stage included some mean things he would just to watch me cry. I wouldn’t say I was the perfect wife, but there was nothing I did that deserved him to react in such ways.

My career was a threat to him obviously since almost all the mean things he did were related to sabotaging my career. It first started when he refused to drive me to college to get my employment papers signed saying that he was too busy to attend to that even though I informed him the day before of how important this was to me. In the end, I had to call my father who was working in another city to come and give me a ride. After I had a serious discussion with him on why he did that to me inspite of the fact that he knew how ha4rd I’ve worked to get this job, he said to punish me for not listening to the (commands) I was given.  Then, he would go and delete all of the research papers I wrote from our, or I should say (his) computer. And one day he kicked me out of my home in the middle of the night, saying that if he came back and found me in the apartment he would give me a beating.

His insults did not stop here. He had the nerve of lying and saying that my parents insulted him. The problem with this child is that he suffers a serious case of psychological projection. Whatever he does or whatever he hates about himself, he would accuse others of it. He never once acted like the man he pretended he to be and took responsibility for his own actions. He would either deny they ever happened or would fabricate excuses and blame me for the way he acted.

I asked his family to interfere but all I saw was complete support for their son in (acting as the man he is) his mother went to the extreme of insulting me and calling me mentally ill just because I had post partum depression.  His father insulted my own father and told him that he shouldn’t support a daughter that much and should beat her and send her back to her husband as some sort of discipline. He also said that if one of his daughters came complaining to him, he would do the same since apparently  women should not be encouraged to object to being insulted. These words came from a man who loved his daughters dearly, but  marrying a daughter to a guy from another tribe can sometimes be like a death sentence since they’ll gang against her.  I’m not racist, but we have to face the fact that the majority in KSA are. Putting a daughter in the hands of a tribe that is not used to marrying their sons to outsiders could put her in a big trouble.

I finally summoned the courage to ask for divorce since I couldn’t live with those lies and accusations anymore. Every time something happens, he would blame it all on me and his family would show total support of that. Everyone kept telling me that I shouldn’t ask for a divorce since he didn’t start beating me, yet, but is being wrongly accused of things okay? Today I have my father to stop him, but who knows what the coward would do tomorrow if my only support, may god keep him for us, is gone

To Saudis, divorce is not liberation, but rather a call for belittling those who go for it. A woman should be patient they say. A woman should worship the ground her husband walks on. If you can’t accomplish the servitude condition, then you’re an ungrateful bitch. I was told by his family countless times that I should put his own rest before mine if the need calls for that, that I should keep quite about the things he does to insure that my life goes on, that he never once complained. I told her that he was in no position to complain since he was not the one being hurt. I also told her that the stone age mentality has no religious text to support it.

I’ve been to told to collect my stuff from his apartment. Mom wouldn’t let me go on my own saying that he wants to seize any opportunity to watch me in a weak position since I was the one who asked for divorce. Mom found my stuff wrapped in garbage bags and received the most humiliating treatment from his family, and on top of that all, she snickered saying that I should thank my god that they went through the trouble of packing my stuff. How can people humiliate others over their own possessions? Have you no fear of god at all. Haven’t the concept of karma sunk into their heads yet? Don’t they know that what goes around comes around?

I’ve been insulted so many times. I’ve been called a liar, a disrespectful bitch who doesn’t know how to thank her god for her blessings, I’ve been called mentally sick for going through something so natural, on my own. My soul has been scarred beyond repair because I can never open my mouth and defend myself. My daughter’s fate lies in their hands and they keep on threatening me over and over that if something were to go wrong, they would take my daughter from me.  I hear them snickering and talking about me, I keep receiving those insults one after another and I’m hopeless to stop them. My head is pounding and my heart is gripped with so much pain.

However, there remains a strong belief in my heart that god will not leave me alone, and that justice shall be delivered sooner or later.

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