So many marriages continue to be arranged in Saudi Arabia. It depends on individual families on how many times the bride and groom had interaction before the marriage. In traditional families, the couple may see each other once or twice until their marriage. Some more forward leaning families allow or enterprising couples will get to know each other via phone calls or exchange of emails. In this case the young woman will be cautioned and advised not to share any pictures of herself as the young man is prohibited to have photos of her before they are officially husband and wife.
As a result, due to the traditions which limit contact and interaction, the couple are never alone together until the wedding night. Now try putting yourself into the shoes of a traditionally raised Saudi girl. She’s accustomed to segregation. She would not have any interaction with men who were not a grandfather, father, brother or uncle. She may or may not have had any discussions with a trusted female relative or good female friend about marital relations and what is expected or what happens. All she may know is that she is married and now her husband is her mahrem (guardian). She may also be away from her family for the first time and her wedding night may be the first night spent with a husband who is still an unknown stranger. I think it is fair to say that instead of looking forward to the wedding night with joy and anticipation; she is likely scared and missing her family.
Now what about the young man? Would his father or an uncle or a brother have come forward to talk to him about the wedding night? Would he have been told that this is the night he proves his manhood or would he have been told to be patient and gentle? Does he look at his wife as an individual whom he needs to take his time and get to know? Or would he look at her as his new possession to enjoy?
The wedding night is a night one never forgets whether it is the happiest night of a new marriage or a living nightmare that results in an instant divorce. This is probably the most critical night for a newly married Saudi couple on whether their marriage will start off on a positive foundation. It would be nice if part of the Saudi marriage process required that a bride and groom receive guidance and a candid positive talk on marital relations. The new bride should be aware in detail of marital relations and what to expect. The new groom should be aware of how a new bride may be fearful and he must be both patient and kind. He needs to patient with his young bride. If she is fearful he should not push her to have relations with him immediately. The couple need to get to know one another and be relaxed and comfortable with each other in order for intimacy to be a positive experience instead of a traumatic experience which can scar a young bride emotionally and physically.
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