“Did he beat you, slap you, or insult you?! None of these happened so you should quietly be back in your husband house.” That was the answer of Huda’s mother when she came complaining of her husband’s emotional stinginess.
Huda and her husband have lived under one roof for many years, but the distance between them is very far. Partnership features in their marital relationship vanished and has been replaced by rigidity of emotions and feelings. Unfortunately, they become employees in their married life, sharing passing meetings and material obligations to maintain their social and familial look in front of others. The first year of her marriage was full of emotional feelings but then everything changed and all her husband cares about is the children and household expenses. “I tried a lot to talk with him and explain for my feelings and how much I need emotional words from him, but he considers it nothing and useless,” Huda said.
She began to feel that their relationship is as strangers who share the same house but has their own life. Five years passed and now they have three children but Huda suffered a lot and couldn’t continue with him so she decided to leave her husband’s house and move in with her family. The disaster was with her mother when she asked her why she left her husband. Huda started to explain for her mother how much she suffered with him but the mother couldn’t understand her daughter because she believe that the wife can’t leave her husband unless he beats her. No one could understand Huda and she returned to her husband’s house carrying her disappointment and pent-up feelings to continue her life with him as a stranger.
The absence of the emotional feelings between couples is the most important reason behind divorce cases. Different reasons behind the ignorance of emotional feelings such as that the husband’s preoccupation in work, his interests with friends, as well as the way of the husband upbringing for the husband who grew up in dry emotional environment cannot convey emotion and affection for his wife; because he drew an image of cruel father and obedient mother.
Studies show that the man is not fluent in verbal expression and women have high language skills and can express their feelings. Ebtisam Zaid, psychologist, said that because of their culture men learn that speech is contrasted with the work and believe that man does not talk, therefore, he does not pay speech a great interest.
According to her, marriage is a social unit that gathers men and women to put up the basis for family life. “A couple’s relationship in the home without the presence of emotional ties is an imbalance in the marital relationship that causes conflicts, incompatibilities, the emergence of problems, lack of compatibility with each other, tensions and negative behavior in couples life and this leads to the presence of troubled and confused marital lives.”
Lamia Ali, a wife, said that her husband is practicing the same routine and doesn’t try to break it, “I decided to make a surprise for him and celebrate our marriage anniversary but he doesn’t like it and consider it imitating of other communities.”
Psychologist Ebtisam Zaid said that the lack of emotional feelings force some wives to fall in love with other men which is forbidden in Islam and this itself is a problem. She said that a lot of people came to her to find solutions for their problems and most of them suffer from their husband’s ignoring pf their emotions that led them to give these feelings to another man.
Mohammed Ala’a said that also woman share with man the same fault because she also neglected her husband, especially after having children and paying all her attention to them. “Sometimes the man has many problems which prevent him from talking to his wife and this is the role of the women in which she should start breaking the silence.”
For her part, Salwa al-Jabir, psychologist, said that if we say that both couples share the responsibility of the emotion’s absence so the solutions should be by both members of the couple to rebuild a good relationship between them.
According to her, the first thing is that they should be honest with each other in all matters of their lives. They have to specify time for them far away from children to ensure emotional communication and renewal and to be away from routine and avoid boredom.
Wives in Yemeni society are still controlled by a culture of shame. They don’t know a lot about their rights and believe that the man does all things right. They keep silent because they think that they are wrong while actually they have the right to talk and they are totally right. “Men have to stop the emotional stinginess and be more generous,” al-Jabir said.