By Hasnaa Hassan
"Love many, trust few and always paddle your own canoe"
This is the American proverb that typically summarizes my story.
Being a wife for 3 years now, it is normal to have met with some hardships and difficulties especially that the first few years in marital life is a period of discovery. Each partner gets to know the other more and more through direct interaction which sometimes leads to clashes and problems.
From the beginning of my marital life, I had the strong belief that I have been blessed to have the greatest mother and the sweetest mother-in-law - yes I mean it, this is not a misprint! I really love my mother-in-law, and I'm sure of her love for me.
Anyway, after a smooth marital life: marital happiness and marital quarrels as well, I stopped for a while to think about my personal counselors - my two pretty counselors who unfortunately, whose advice I can no longer take!
Don't be shocked, as I still love them and appreciate the way in which they care for me, but at the end of the day I found they were two extremes, that were leading to the same conclusion.
Here is my mother's advice:
Me: Mom, I'm worried about…, I don't know but imagined it would be better than this and…
Mom: dear daughter, this has been always the case, and these are men, they are the same no matter where or when. Man is man -- this selfish creature etc... And you can't change facts honey - deal with facts
Me: thank you mom for your advice _ although I have the feeling that you are telling me to GO TO HELL -- But any way, I'll try to make things work.
After few months:
Me: Mom, I don't feel happy with …
Mom: Oh my daughter, I told you before. It's Men’s' nature; they are the same no matter where or when. Man is man this selfish creature etc.... and you can't change facts honey, and nothing will change him. Deal with facts!
After one year:
Me: Mom, I know what are you going to say, but I was thinking about my marriage since a year has passed and …
Mom: What a trouble you are. You won't forget about those useless thoughts, I told you from the beginning that MEN… bla, bla, bla. Deal with facts!
(And the same words, descriptions are repeated!)
Me: Mommmmmmmmmmmmm! Please stop it. Now I realize my mistake, and I will never repeat it again. Sorry mom.
This time mom was satisfied because she thought I understood the lesson she has been trying to teach me. and will not try to think about change again. Of course she didn't get what I meant by the word MISTAKE, but I'm sure you got my intended meaning?!
Having decided to avoid my dearest mom's advice regarding these damned issues, I thought about my alternative, my lovely mother-in-law as I never doubted her long life experience and her wisdom - and to tell the truth, she appeared to have a different technique …..
Me: Aunty, please advise as I'm feeling…
Auntie: Ohhh dear, this is because you have little life experience and experience in marriage as well. Marriage is not that pinky world as you girls imagine, look daughter, you are better than many others, you know our neighbor…? Her husband used to beat her and he always gives her a hard time, and my friend… I think you know her, her husband is a miser, and…X…., she was begging her husband just to spend 2 hours a day with her, and my cousin, her husband used to swear by divorce for any trivial matters and…and…and…
You should thank God dear , you have a very good husband and you are living in heaven while others are living in hell - ohh dear - don't let yourself fall in this trap, these are mere thoughts, bad thoughts, just forget about it.
Me: (Craving for anti-depressants) Thank you auntie, I think I already fell in the trap and repeated the same MISTAKE, but don't worry. I promise this will be the last time.
And then, I came to the conclusion that when I ask someone for advice or take someone as a counselor, it can't be because I love him/her, counseling is a totally different issue that affects one's life and choice. My counselor should be a person of wisdom . I shall trust his mind, his knowledge, and his experience. And more than this, I think I would prefer to be my own counselor!