SOME ESCAPE FROM FIRST WIVES TO SUMMER WIVES
By Mahmoud Ahmad
Arab News, JEDDAH
20 July 2006
It is summer time, and Saudis across the Kingdom can be seen trying to escape a host of things in pursuit of bliss and happiness. In a growing phenomenon, while many people travel to foreign cooler regions to escape the arid summer heat, many men are sneaking out of the Kingdom to spend dirty weekends with secret second wives, reported Al-Watan newspaper.
Most of the men that go abroad and marry second wives hush-hush are generally old and looking for a little spice in their lives. These men do not bring their second wives to the Kingdom in fear of what the consequences could be if their first wives find out. That is not to say that young Saudis do not also go and marry foreign wives. Most of the young Saudis that do go abroad go out of frustration at not being able to afford expensive dowries and the upkeep of Saudi wives.
Jamal Muhammad is a Saudi man who was married for 15 years after which he secretly married a foreign woman. Muhammad says he never thought of taking a second wife and that it was his friends, many of whom had second wives, that instigated him to marry again.
Muhammad said that after many years he felt the idea of marrying again was not bad after all. “My friends influenced me and I decided to experience what they were always talking about. I married a woman from a neighboring Arab country. She lives there because if I brought her here then people would find out and if my wife found out then I would be in serious trouble,” said Muhammad.
Ahmad Abdul Kader is a Saudi who says he ended up wasting 21 years of his life with a “monster”. Abdul Kader says that he has suffered an unhappy marriage and that after the first year of marriage his wife dramatically changed continually cursing and swearing at him making his life “hell”. “After I turned 50, I thought it was about time that I enjoyed life again. Marrying a second Saudi woman is extremely difficult. So I decided to find another wife from a neighboring Arab country” he said. Abdul Kader says finding a non-Saudi wife is easy. “The most difficult part is to keep the marriage secret because we live in a society that treats people that marry at my age with no mercy. People would immediately accuse me of behaving childishly,” he added.
Other Saudis believe that second marriages are a source of punishment for disobedient wives. In his quest for a better life, Abu Talal, a father of six, married a Moroccan woman. Abu Talal says he could not stand his wife of 18 years. “One of my friends told me that the best punishment would be to marry a second woman. Since I couldn’t marry another Saudi woman because of the trouble that I would face, I decided to marry a Moroccan,” he said. Abu Talal says that when he told his wife that he wanted to get married she could not believe it. “She felt I wouldn’t do such a thing. Nevertheless, I still went through with the marriage in Morocco and my first wife was admitted into hospital the next day suffering from high blood pressure.” Abu Talal says he felt sorry for his first wife and thought in the least his second marriage had made her think of changing. “My dream of a peaceful second marriage was shattered when I came to realize that the second one was worst than the first one,” he said. Abu Talal says his Moroccan wife began pressuring him to divorce his first wife and abandon his children. “I escaped from fire to land in hell. My marriage with the second wife lasted only seven months and after that I had to divorce her,” he said. “My first wife learned a lesson in how to respect me. What matters most is that my wife’s behavior has improved. She is more careful now.”