Think before you speak…

Before you flippantly ask a woman, “when she’s going to get married” consider; perhaps yesterday the person she and her family joyfully thought she was going to marry decided to break it off and she’s still reeling.

Perhaps she’s the survivor of abuse and trauma and she’s still struggling to consider the possibility of marriage as a healing relationship.

Perhaps she’s oppressively been denied over and over because of the racism, colorism, abelism and classism which exists in our community.

Perhaps she’s eager to consider marriage, but constantly dealing with the stigma of being a divorcee or single mother.

Perhaps she’s the sole care taker of her elderly parents and no potential suitor has been open to having her parents live with them.

Perhaps she’s terrified because she has only seen angry, hurtful, abusive, painful relationships and she’d rather be single because she’s never seen marriage bring tranquility.

Perhaps she has her own private reasons to focus on school and work and community that go beyond the assumptions others make of her and labels others place on her.

Perhaps she desperately wants to get married, cries about it in the privacy of her room, while forcing a smile when you’ve awkwardly asked her this question, reminding her she’s getting older when she is very, very well aware of that reality.

Unless you’re in a trusted position to support her, before you ask a woman “why she isn’t married yet,” perhaps consider not asking her at all.

Maryam Amir

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