Moroccan Youth and the Fear of Marriage
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, June 11, 2012
In the past, when our ancestors married, they didn’t take the fear of marriage seriously. But today’s youth, in particular, are afraid to fall prey to the institution of marriage, which they consider to be a trap.
It is self-evident that this phobia must be ascribed to a range of reasons, some of which are reasonable, while the rest are unconvincing. Some matrimophobia-ridden youth, for instance, go on to explain their desisting from marriage on the basis of financial instability. To me, however, I would attribute matrimophobia to the misconception of financial and social instability.
It is undeniable that the majority of single Moroccans are poor or rather impoverished. And it is their poverty that does not motivate them to muster enough confidence and to get married. They do not literally fear marriage per se, but they are concerned to be trapped in it for the rest of their lives. Regrettably, this fear worsens until it turns into a phobia. Yet, the question, here, remains whether poverty is behind this desisting or the misconception that poverty leads to a miserable, saddening married life.
That many poor couples have brought up their children in a proper way and have educated them well, poses the inevitable question of whether poverty is what really makes one afraid of getting married. To my mind, it turns out that the matter doesn’t mainly lie in poverty, but rather in the fear of getting married to the poor. Regarding the women who are affected by this phobia, it seems clear that many of them are hesitant to accept the proposal of poor men, not necessarily because they are poor, but because these men are unable to live up to the expectations of today’s women.
Think, for instance, of the Moroccan family code that decrees that if a man divorces his wife he has to share his fortune with her. That is why men are afraid of meeting this destiny and women are afraid about their future soon after marriage.
If financial instability is the reason why some of us think we must withhold the youth from getting married, how could we then account for a number of poor couples that have proved to lead a successful married life? The only explanation for me is that “matrimphobia” has something to do with the mentality of people and with the impact of one’s culture rather than the direct reasons, such as poverty.
For me, people themselves are to be held responsible for “matrimophobia” as it is they who have created it, and they must therefore bear the price of it. We all know that people of today have grown more materialistic than ever before. The fact that many women set hard conditions for their suitors and men also go on to set their own aggravate the value of marriage and associates marriage with phobia and phobia with marriage.
At a time when suitors pose the question of whether the family of the proposed girl will set conditions also and whether they will accept the man as he is, and not by what he owns. This mind-boggling matter instantly reminds me of the hell we brought about to each other to quote Jean Paul Sartre’s statement, “Hell is other people.” Now, it is different; “matrimophobia” is other people. If we men and women ignore the issue of one’ possessions and the inestimable value our society associate with material things, we will not cause each other “matrimophobia.”
If men and women set to sacrifice certain things, such as beauty, one’s material conditions, one’s position, the phobia of marriage will diminish with time. Being afraid of disappointment is another aspect of “matrimophobia,” particularly that suitor’s are now afraid to be disappointed by the families of their lovers.
“Matrimophobia” wouldn’t come into being without the aforementioned reasons. Simply put, it is the society that causes it and we, regrettably, go on to spread the phobia.
Edited By April Warren