Widowed rather than divorced: Honor killing

There is another form of honor killing in Jordan that haven’t been highlighted yet and where the victims are men not women.

The term honor killing were created to describe the killing of someone in the name of honor. Usually it is the killing of a woman by a relative man who believed she has committed any kind of sexual socially not accepted act that would tarnish their family reputation in Jordan society where family names mean a lot.

There is another form of honor killing, which is killing the son-in-law of a family because he wants to get a divorced which many families consider it as a humilation to the family of the women gettign divorced, and so would rather kill the man and have their daughter widowed rather than being divorced.

Here is a story that happened to a relative of mine 15 years ago that demonstrates this issue:

After years of hard work, and collecting some good fortune, the middle aged man wanted to celebrate his eldest son turning 18 years old by finding him a young beautiful woman where he would have plenty of time seeing his son happy with his bride along with good potential for many grand children.

With lack of good education, even in 15 years old standards, and where the young man dismissed school at an early age, and with the old society mentality of marrying very young women in order to make sure that she is still virging, they chose a beautiful young lady, which has just turned 14 years old and where everyone was talking about how beautiful she has turned to be.

Beautiful women didn’t used to wait long before they get married, and so, out of fear of loosing the young lady to another man, the father stepped in, and asked her parents to allow his son to marry her.

Her parents, and because of the wealth of the other family, they thought that it is an excellent chance to provide their daughter with a long term happy life with a young wealthy man.

With no time, the couple got married. They were too young. Their parents planned a big wedding to celebrate them where the beautiful couple where envied by everyone for their youth and beauty. The young man was envied because he is marrying a beautiful woman, the woman was envied because she was marrying a wealthy man. The parents were envied for having such beautiful children marrying at this young age.

Unfortunatly, nothing can be perfect in this life.

After a couple of months of the big wedding, the young lady fall down sick. The exact nature of her sickness wasn’t revealed.

The groom’s family claimed that she had an eclipsy and that she has been sick since her childhood but her parents kept it as a secret and that is why they rushed into accepting on letting her get married at this young age.

The bride’s family claimed that their daughter was totally healthy, and that the young man had some other adultery relationships where he transfferred some kind of a virus to her from on of the prostitutes that he slept with.

For a couple of months, the news were hidden. The groom’s family had to handle the hospital expenses in order to get their daughter-in-law back to her health. Situation on ground wasn’t good. The young lady didn’t seem to do any good. when she got out of the hospital, she never got back her health like before. She was incapable of doing her wives duties, and so, the young man, with his raging hormones and needs, couldn’t handle to keep his promise for his wife on their wedding day to be there for her in sickness and in health.

Being a christian, the young man has no choice. While divorce is prohibited in Christianity, it can be granted now for specific cases, but marrying another woman while keeping the current man is totally not accepted.

And so, he decided to divorce her and turn her back to her family.

Her family went mad at the idea of having their sick daughter divorced. Her mother used to ignite that anger in her brother’s heart. She used to tell them you sister better come back as a widow than being divorced.

One day, the two young brothers who were in their early 20’s as well, went to talk to the groom. They tried to convince him not to divorce their sister. He was determined to divorce her, and so they pulled up a gun and shoot him dead.

His parents’s heart were destroyed. The happiness that they pursued for their eldest son were suddenly vanished. The life that they planned for him was stolen infront of their eyes.

The two young men were prosecuted, and had to serve around 15 years in jail. They had to pay their youth for what society percieve as a price for their family honor.

The young lady died a couple of months after her husband was shoot.

The beautiful fairy tale turned out to be a tragedy.

Everyone lost to protect what they call Honor!


  1. Really sad story:(I just hate the fact that we live in a society were honor is judged in this silly ignorant way.Unfortunatily I know that this mentality will never change as much as we get exposed to the west by the media and studying abroad etc the same old traditional arab mentality will stay.


  2. ^^i think you’re wrong^^ , i think we came a long way , 20 years ago the number of honor killings was ALOT , but these days it’s an average of 8/year which is soooo much better than before but still it’s not good enough but it will completly stop soon i think


  3. Nasser, yes it is sad, I have no idea how we have developed this kind of mentality, but I think that it is changing, and will be gone with time. I don’t know how much it would take, but it will go eventually because it isnt right.Moh, I agree with you Moh, it is getting lesser now as our society mature, but still we have to work on make it 0 per year.icahk, yes sure, I would love to. I will check you site now.


  4. Personally, I believe the Jews and Christians of the West made a mistake a thousand years ago or so when they (mostly) forbade plural marriages. (Germans were allowed multiple wives for a generation or two after the Thirty Years’ War.) The best, and most honorable, way out would have been to permit the young man a second wife. I think there are countries in the world that do permit Christians a second wife, just as Jews in Yemen today still practice multiple marriage. Doubtless the young man still loved her! I would have recommended that the troubled couple move there and make the best of their life together as they could.


  5. solomon, no I disagree. Marrying another woman on her wouldn’t make her pain any less. Maybe it is the christian teachings in me, but I beleive that when someone committed himself to marriage he should honor his promise no matter what happens (in sickness and in health), unless they both agree to break free of that marriage.


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