“An ideal wife is any woman

who has an ideal husband.”

–Booth Tarkington

Marriage is an institution within itself; a much tailored institution. In this day and age, while marriage has lost some of its integral functions, it has retained the most important one; tending to the emotional needs of married individuals. Of all humanity’s needs, the ones which define us are our emotional desires. Marriage allows us to negotiate our desires and fulfil them. In our society, unfortunately, marriage is seen as a yet another opportunity to exercise patriarchy and dominance. The only needs that are to be catered to are those of the man. When left unaddressed, they turn him into a brutish beast who strikes without fear and kills without regret. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, in 2013 alone, 389 cases of domestic violence against women were reported. From the 987 honour crimes against women that took place in Pakistan in 2015, most were the outcome of domestic disagreement. While we blow the trumpet of success of the eastern marital system, can we dismiss the atrocities that eastern husbands inflict on their very helpless wives? We teach our daughters to ‘let it go’ but do we teach our sons to exercise restraint, or treat their spouse as an equal? Marriage is not supposed to be an unequal relationship. It’s about mutual decision making, mutual happiness and mutual advantage. All our ideals must be built on that.