suitable premarital program for Saudi women The objective of this research was to come up with a suitable premarital program for Saudi women to aid in preventing and dealing with problems in their marriages. Based on the analysis from the data collected from the interviews, there is an overwhelming depiction of unpreparedness among most Saudi women before getting married. This is particularly the case for marital problems arising from insufficient acquaintance with knowledge about sex. Due to the conservative lifestyle led by many Saudi women before they get married, they neither get prior exposure to sexual relations nor sexual education. The fact that they mostly interact with or are familiar with men within their family tree, that is, brothers, cousins, fathers, uncles or brothers in law, only serves to accentuate the level of unpreparedness of Saudi women when it comes to engaging in sexual relations with their husbands. As a result, they experience problems in their marriages which exposure to sexual education prior to marriage would have averted. This finding is supported by research conducted by Alquaiz, Almuneef and Minhas that highlights the need for premarital sexual education among Saudi women (Alquaiz, Almuneef and Minhas, 2012). suitable premarital program for Saudi women
Research conducted by Ogletree shows that people go into marriages with different expectations and predispositions contingent on their relations with their partners (Ogletree, 2014). While most would prefer a blissful and fulfilling outcome, marriage life tends to take discordant trajectories as the partners get to know each other better and raise a family together. This disparity in expectation and reality is cited by many Saudi women respondents as a source of marital problems. Be it unrealistic expectations or lack of realistic expectations regarding responsibilities performed by women in marriage, a point that resonated with more than thirty percent of the respondents in this research is that the difference in expectations and reality in marriage affected their ability to have marriages devoid of problems. A similar study also found out that certain women struggle to cope with marriage life as a result of the sudden surge in responsibilities, especially when it comes to raising children (Geiling, 2013). The implication of this realization by married Saudi women of a different reality to their expectation of marriage and immense responsibilities thrust on them is the loss of their identities. As such, most married Saudi women find themselves at the precipice of losing their identity and isolating themselves from filial connection due to their dedication to their marital roles and novel families. It is for this reason that most participants needed their daughters to get well acquainted with viable and amicable ways of solving problems in marriage and resilience to maintain their identity amidst the responsibilities they are expected to perform in marriages. However, as research by Kepler evinces, acquiring pre-marital education is not a guarantee of a blissful marriage devoid of problems (Kepler, 2015). As the partners continue living together and raising a family, they encounter certain problems that no premarital education would have prepared them to expect or deal with in marriage. Notwithstanding, this does not in way dispute or disregard the prominence of premarital education or programs in helping couples have happy and fulfilling marriages. suitable premarital program for Saudi women
Premarital education is extremely valuable, but it is equally vital to agree to a marital commitment for the right reasons. Escaping one’s family problems and replicating a marriage similar to that of a family member or friend are not the right reasons for women to get married. Hoping to have a marriage that is similar to that of a friend or a family member is the outcome of wishful thinking as a number of respondents in this research came to realize once they got married. The same can be said about getting into marriage with the hope of escaping one’s problems, as it is merely a transitory voyage from one set of problems to a different kind. It is for this reason that marriage can never be left to the mercy of comparison and the uneventful outcome of advice from other marriages. Fortunately, this is a problem that can easily be solved through taking part in premarital programs such as the one that this research puts forward.
Marriages harbor immense secrets, some of which never see the light of day. The reality of this statement was evident in the reluctance of a number of Saudi women to divulge information about their marriages, especially in terms of the problems they faced in their marriages. In certain occasions, the women aired their frustrations instead of stating the exact problems they faced in their marriages that they needed the premarital program to address. This limitation resulted in certain responses from the respondents taking the form of symptoms of marital problems rather than actual marital problem faced by Saudi women that reiterate the need for sound premarital programs. Future research should focus on breaking down the core marital problems experienced by Saudi women so as not to dwell on symptoms of marital problems as this will contribute to the development of more comprehensive premarital programs. suitable premarital program for Saudi women
Alquaiz, A., Almuneef, M., & Minhas, H. (2012). Knowledge, attitudes, and resources of sex education among female adolescents in public and private schools in Central Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J, 33(9). Retrieved from https://nfsp.org.sa/en/awareness/Puplications/Knowledge,%20attitudes,%20and%20resources%20of%20sex%20education.pdf
Geiling, N. (2013). Men and Women Think on Family Matters Equally, But Women Get More Stressed Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/men-and-women-think-on-family-matters-equally-but-women-get-more-stressed-27826920/#oJLHEW85bSucuB2K.99 Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter. Smithsonian.com. Retrieved 30 November 2017, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/men-and-women-think-on-family-matters-equally-but-women-get-more-stressed-27826920/
Kepler, A. (2015). Marital Satisfaction: The Impact of Premarital and Couples Counseling. Retrieved from http://sophia.stkate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1472&context=msw_papers
Ogletree, S. (2014). Gender role attitudes and expectations for marriage. Journal Of Research On Women And Gender, 5, 71-82. Retrieved from https://journals.tdl.org/jrwg/index.php/jrwg/article/viewFile/8/8