Saturday, November 25, 2006

Of Breaking Relationships

I was the witness to a friend’s wedding recently, and accompanied him to City Hall when the couple went to obtain their marriage license. When they were filling out the form and I was proof reading it, I noticed something strange.

Gone are the two distinct columns where the left side said “Groom” and the right side said “Bride” and asked for their respective information. Now it said plainly “Applicant” and “Joint Applicant”. And they say same sex marriage does not affect heterosexual marriages.

And yes, since the wife filled out the form first (she had the pen) she was the “Applicant”. [PDF]

Too many relationships are breaking up recently. Having played the role of listener and wanna-be Dr. Phil over the last couple of weeks, I ventured over to the original ‘relationship expert’ of Toronto, a Valerie Gibson. She writes for the Toronto Sun, and according to their site, is “married (and divorced) five times”.

Now why would someone take advice from a person who could not make a successful go of it five times, let alone one, is beyond me. Having surfed through her web site and the advices she gave, I have come to the conclusion that people like her are a part of the problem. Here are a few questions people have asked her.

My wife and I are in mid-life and been married for over 25 years. She has, to my surprise, recently become very sexy.

Err... this is a problem?

When we're at home alone, she gives me wonderful hugs and kisses, fondles me …

Ok I am stopping here, as I don’t want this post to become the top link for weird Google search terms (believe me, I get enough of those – who the hell searches for ‘bhabi fair and lovely’ and how do they end up on my blog?).

Gibson takes the hubby down a notch by replying

Don't want to pour cold water on a hot situation but it might be possible she's having "guilt sex" because of an affair. [link]

I would have said just hold on and enjoy the ride. Why cast suspicion without any reason? Now rather than enjoying his good fortune the man will be keeping tabs on his wife's cellphone calls.

Then there is this gem.

Our 19-year-old daughter is at university and has asked if her boyfriend can visit at Christmas and stay in her bedroom. I know they have sex and practice safe sex and I feel it would be okay because I see her as an adult.

Well, good for you.*sarcasm*

However, my husband disapproves and says he doesn't care what they do elsewhere, but they're not going to sleep together under his roof. He feels it would set a bad example for her 15-year-old sister.

Twenty years ago this question would not even arise in the Canadian society. Three cheers for the man. People lived the Christian values rather than just talk about it. Gibson’s response:

It's hypocritical of her dad to accept that she's having sex elsewhere but isn't allowed to in your home. At 15, her sister can understand that there are different rules at different ages.

Yes, what a great way to encourage a budding relationship between daughter’s boyfriend and her father. Whatever happened to "my house, my rules"?

While I understand different values exist for different people, you would think as a boyfriend you would be a bit smart. If you are getting the bagging for the rest of the year surely you can go without it for a few days. Nah, do it at her father’s place and you will get none of the bagging and all of the nagging.

At least she didn’t ask me. I would have said make sure your father doesn’t believe in honor killing.

Most of her ‘answers’, and indeed most of the answers in similar columns in Now and other such tabloids, end with the statement that “it’s time for you to evaluate the situation and consider whether you want to continue this relationship, or if it’s time to move on”.

Its apparently easy to move on.

Love is all about self satisfaction.

Relationships are all about ‘me’.

Marriage is about benefits. When it hits troubled waters, "evaluate".

Husbands are not worthy of any special respect.

Compromise is a sign of weakness.

A father is just a bank.

No wonder divorce is rampant in our society and the institution of marriage is breaking down. It's not just same sex marriage.

It's the fact that now everyone wants to be the "Applicant", ALL THE TIME.



Anonymous said...

hahaha... i tell u man, these so called experts are just so messed up themselves that they think giving these kind of advices is going to do them good. But whats alarming is that big tabloids like the Sun, 24 hours, etc etc dont seem to have a problem in the type of answers these people are writing up to the innocent readers.

This post just made me laugh... especially the 19 yr old daughter wanting to sleep in the same room with her bf... sounds like a typical indian movie foundation :)
You can just imaging the father to be Amrish Puri (late), mother to be Moushmi Chatterjee, daughter to be Mallika Sherawat and the bf to be Emraan Hashmi. ;)


Anonymous said...

Very strange indeed. How can a person who hasn't lasted in a relationship be a relationship expert? It's like going to a shrink who is a nutcase him/herself. You know, where we existed before there were never such problems, I think people nowadays are trying to be so independent that they are screwing up all the good stuff they have and have started question any good think for example the man whose wife was being *sexy*. Maybe she just wants to get her groove on, man, just relax and enjoy, who knows when she wakes up tomorrow and she is a BITCH. The other problem is that many *eastern pple* have started adopting the western cultures (well, not all stuff is bad), but obviously there are certain things that are not culturally/religiously not for us. I could go on and on but the baby is crying....... :) sf

'liya said...

The worst part is that all these divorces have a huge impact on kids and the way they're brought up. And then I have to teach those kids... and you just can't help but feel sorry for someone who has to be moved back and forth from mom's house to dad's house, to have to deal with dad having a gf the same age as you, and on and on. If people would put more thought into who they're going to marry, who they want to spend the rest of their life with, then there wouldn't be all these divorces and I wouldn't have to hear complaints about mom's bf who talks all the time :S

Suroor said...

Lesson # 1 - I am an applicant and not a wife/bride.

Lesson # 2 - People (like Valerie Gibson) become *experts* if they do something over and over - each time wrongly.

Lesson # 3 - I should never try to be *sexy*!

Lesson # 4 - Having sex all over your parents' house is NOT a bad idea! Now, why didn't anyone tell me this before?!

Lesson # 5 - My father is and was always a bank.

Thanks for this post Mezba! If people have love in their hearts and consciousness about relationships like you do, then I see light at the end of the tunnel. Make sure you pass your consciousness to future generations.

Samaha said...


In the husband/wife case - oh god, that's awful.

In the father/daughter case - there is a simple lesson of respect, which our youth is now lacking due to us parents slacking. It's pitiful when an "expert" reduces the importance of respect for the right to free sex.

Nice post.

Farah said...

This gibson characters sounds like someone you could take sex/date advice from, but relation advice? no way. She is someone who sounds like they don't believe in the institution of marriage and relations, rather sex is the all and be all of her existence. Her latest book is on Cougars and how to get their men.

PS, why the kiss the cook avatar?

isheeta said...

Great questions, mez. I will never understand how people who have had zero experience in say, marriage, are considered qualified as experts in something in which they are a failure! As much as I love Carrie Bradhsaw from sex and the city..... oops, now ure gonna get weird google searches there, lol

Aisha said...

Interestin (as usual) post. Hmmmm.... the applicant/co applicant thing- I never even thought about that!!! lol. The inadvertent effect on the straight folks, lol. So is it civil unions in Canada or is it domestic partnerships or marriage??

That advice is bizzarre. Particularly the 19 year old girl question.... I guess they respect her opinion which is why they are asking. But its troubling.

Anonymous said...

I was glad to see this post to see that there are still individuals out there who see why marriage is broken up so easily today.

Sadly, we see compromise as a weakness, while it is truly an art only capable of being practiced by those who are patient and wise.

Shabina said...

hehe, this was funny.

perhaps ppl like this 'expert' are popular b/c she tells people what they want to hear, or are already thinking, as opposed to blasting them with the common sense their friends and family already gave them?

mezba said...

Behbood, lol at the Indian movie comparison. I can totally see the Emran Hashmi parallel, where he kisses the girl in front of her dad, later winds up dead and the dad is prime suspect but in the end it's the girl.

What is surprising about the Sun is that they sell themselves as a rightwing "values" newspaper and they promote such promiscuity and nonsense. Like many so-called "moral" mouthpieces, they are a hypocrite.

Sf: very apt comparison - she's a nutcase who thinks she's a graduate psychologist.

Liya: divorce is harsh on kids. But it would be interesting to note that though many 'Western' marriages start early (high school love) they also fail more than 'desi' marriages (where culture prevents divorce to a big degree). I think it's a sense of selfishness on part of parents where divorce is not the last option.

Suroor: Thanx for ur comments! I don't know if I will be good but I will try!

Samiha: Exactly, some of the answers are just applying common sense, it's not a matter of rights or who is right or wrong. And sometimes being happy is what is important, not the truth.

Farah: So I guess for her love is all about physical attraction. No wonder she strikes out in giving advice on relationships.

As for kiss the cook, well my kitchen is always open ;-)

Isheeta: OH I got weirder searches girl! But ya, some people who do not even respect marriage are the ones telling people how to stay together or 'evaluate'. I think Sex and The City produced a class of women who think they are qualified to give advice just because they are women. How come we don't have a male sex columnist (who is also NOT gay)? lol

Aisha: In Canada marriage is between two people regardless of gender. So it doesn't matter if the couple are of opposite sex or same. The marriages are treated as equal under the law. I think Canadians like same sex marriage because it irritates GW Bush.

Anon (7.39) I think compromise is the other name of marriage, or that is what we were taught. Now it is about realizing your potential or a tax break.

Shabina: Yup. Sometimes you don't want to say the truth but these experts don't care about happiness, for them it's about the truth or potential truth.

singlemuslimah said...

Okay, the applicant thing is just a sad state of affairs but I won't go there.

Valerie Gibson should not be giving advice; she needs advice. I mean, the woman has been married and divorced five times. When she figures out how to make it work, then she can give advice. If I read her so-called advice, I would be tempted to write back and give her a piece of my mind.

As far as the father/daughter situation goes, I don't know where the daughter gets the nerve. I mean, I have a few friends (non-Muslim) that sleep with or live with their boyfriends but when they go home all bets are off. No questions asked. You just do not have unmarried sex under your parents roof. It's beyond disrespectful. I don't care how "adult" you are. My mother is a convert so her brothers are non-Muslims. When they stay at our house, if they aren't married they keep separate rooms. And my uncle's are in their 5os. She has house rules and you follow them or you stay in a hotel. It's that simple.

Salacious Samosa said...

Amazing post Mezba, I simply love it!

Who is this fucking Valerie Gibson, if she lived in Pakistan she would have have been branded as the voodoo woman with a magic punani, who managed to find FIVE MEN to marry her... Boy they sure as heck must have been some seriously dumb men. If I were a man I would be taking precautions marrying her for the SECOND TIME....I am cautious about these 5 marriages... someone do a proper background check! Did she marry for citizenship/sex/money/money/money?????

You are absolutley correct Mezba. In western society I feel people love their individualistic lifestyle so much that they can't compromise shit. And what happens is that people take the more selfish and self indulgent descision time after time and it ends up being 'Whatever makes you happy'...well sometimes working like a dog all your life to pay the bills does not make you happy... but the whole of North America does it! People do things they hate here all the time. I can't stand it with the double standards, it's like an elephant in the bathroom! When it comes to love and relationships, all of a sudden folks become selfish and self-centered. Phulease! I may not be born here but I'm not stupid and I have excellent observational skills....

People from the West have something to learn from the East as far as this is concerned. The fact is a Martyr makes for a happy relationship, and you share who becomes one from time to time, you balance the dramatic hero, not feed the greedy desire to please yourself constantly! You don't embrace social and legal justice at home, you embrace practicality and the stuff that makes it work.

I don't believe in the western concept of marriage anymore... I just want to marry Jabba the Biryani hut, whom I can eat when things get bad.

Lovies Mezba, you are the greatest!

saqi namah said...

The world is getting weirder by the minute. What's with the expert such days. It seems that the prevailing idea is that if you do something enough times you are presumed to be an expert.