Unqualified Husbands and Wives: How We’re Pushed Into Marriage With Zero Prep

The average age of marriage in the Arab world ranges between 20 to 28 among women and 25 to 32 among men, but prior to them making things official and the big celebrations that follow, they were merely sons and daughters, with no knowledge of how to run a household.

When you think of marriage, your mind automatically goes to spending your life with someone you love so dearly, the beautiful celebrations and the carefully-planed honeymoon. It is not often that someone thinks of the immense responsibility that comes along with it.

You go from being treated like a child to becoming fully responsible for a household. You got bills to pay, cleaning to do, laundry to get done, a mortgage to worry about, and so much more.

The idea of marriage is pushed onto us before we’re even old enough to comprehend it. A family friend visits and notices how adorable you are and suddenly, you’re her son or daughter’s significant other. 

Girls grow up playing with kitchen appliances and baby dolls and boys grow up constantly hearing the phrase “the man of the house,” without ever understanding what it really means.

There is so much that we don’t even think we need to learn until we become grown-ups overnight. You have to call one of your parents and ask them how to turn on the washing machine and google what is the easiest dinner recipe that can be cooked with the handful of ingredients you have in your pantry. 

Budgeting, taxes, grocery shopping and homeownership are just a fraction of the things getting married and moving out entail. We usually have a false sense of independence when we start earning our very own income, but that entire income is often fully wasted on luxuries like shopping and going out. 

We never had to budget because even if our wallets are empty, we still have food in the fridge, the house bills paid, and both parents to “lend” us money that we both know will never be paid back.

Marriage should be between two adults, who each can hold their own. Not an experiment where both parties are having their first taste of adulthood. 

Parents believe that by making their kids’ lives easier, they’re shielding them and protecting them, when in fact they are raising them to be codependent adults, who can’t get a task as simple as cooking a meal done on their own.

Our attitude toward marriage needs to change. It’s not just a joyful occasion in which two families are joint (and in some cases, a single-family is joint even further but that’s a whole other story). Marriage is a responsibility, which both parties need to know how to be homeowners and how to live on their own.  

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