Reasons for growing divorces - Saudi Gazette

Reasons for growing divorces


Al-Watan Newspaper

AN Arabic daily recently published a report titled “Six marriages and 3 divorces took place every 4 minutes in (the lunar month of) Muharram.” The news needs no explanation. The report is based on the data provided by the Ministry of Justice. Marriage remains a natural and a joyous event, which makes the society stable. Divorce, on the other hand pushes the spouses and the whole family into unhappiness and misery. It also leaves a negative social, psychological and material impact on the community.

I wish the Ministry of Labor and Social Development had made use of such reports to conduct a research on the growing divorce cases in the country. We need to know the reasons for divorce in order to find solutions to reduce its number and consequences. This will not only prevent the occurrence of divorce cases but also create new job opportunities for the graduates of sociology and psychology courses, which are often considered as useless. Actually, we need to conduct research with the support of these graduates in order to improve the condition of our society and build our future plans.

One of the questions that came to my mind after reading the newspaper report was that whether such divorce cases could be predicted or not? The issue also raised several other questions: Were the couples had achieved maturity before marriage? What was the age difference between spouses? How many marriages of minors took place? Was it a forced marriage in the sense that men or women had no role in deciding marriage time or partner?

What is the educational, cultural, social and financial level of each partner? Are they equal? Do they totally or partially match? Do they have any similarity in religious commitment? Do they follow the same values, customs, traditions and ethics? Do the spouses have the same nationality? Do they belong to the same city, region or tribe?

By asking these questions we would like to know whether or not the marriage started on a sound basis. The answers to the above questions will give us an idea whether the marriage was doomed to fail from the start?

There are other questions that arise when talking about the reasons for the divorce itself: Was it an individual desire or a joint decision? Was it special for a couple like love, incompatibility or lack of harmony? Is it due to the intervention of family and friends? Was it because of infertility or whether the rapid birth of a child had shaken the family life of the couple? Did one of the couple suffer from chronic diseases or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Did poverty or unemployment contribute to the demolition of these families? Has technology and other developments had any impact?

Can polygamy contribute to divorce? Did the husband’s second marriage contribut to his first wife demanding divorce? If that is the case, whether the second marriage of men would help widows and divorcees to have a family life as stated by supporters of polygamy or whether it would contribute to increasing the number of divorced women? Can we build a new house on the ruins of another? Is the second marriage desirable or not?

Before divorce, were there serious attempts to reconcile the belligerent couple? Are current reconciliation committees eligible to do the job? Or do we need an integrated program under the supervision of psychologists, sociologists, medical experts and religious scholars? These specialists should sit with spouses to convince them about the consequences of divorce, especially if they have children. Such talks will enable the committee to know whether the couple had reached the stage of no return or not. A neutral party will be to give the couple options and possible solutions to take a decision.

I knew a woman who had fully prepared for separation. She had rented a separate house and changed the children›s schools. However, she decided that she and her husband would undergo marital and psychological counseling before divorce. Both of them knew their mistakes through a neutral party and as a result they were able to cancel the idea of divorce.

Every question raised in this article can be developed into a subject for master›s thesis on the reasons for increasing divorce cases in the Saudi society. Perhaps a group of these questions can be utilized to prepare a doctoral thesis. Haphazard studies will not be enough. On the other hand, well-thought-out and effective recommendations are required to reduce divorce cases and strengthen social stability and security.

Our society celebrates marriages with happiness, even if it was built on wrong foundations. A year ago, the marriage of an intermediate student, aged 16, was conducted by his family with fanfare. A few days ago, his first child was born. His wife will be younger than him. What will this teenage couple do with their child? Did they take the decision to marry? Even if the couple are physically fit, does the husband have the physical and mental ability to manage his home and raise his children? Do they understand the meaning of paternity and the extent of its responsibility?

I am talking about the husband because the marriage of underage women (below 18) is not a matter of surprise in our society. This young couple will not be able to manage their affairs independently and the husband will be depending on his family on all matters. The family’s interference in every small and big matters of their life may later become a cause of divorce, God forbid.

Divorce is the most hateful thing to God, according to a Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as it creates many social problems and leaves deep psychological impacts among its victims, especially children. Therefore, it deserves every possible attention to reduce divorce cases. It is no less important than solving unemployment and housing problems. Perhaps, it is even more important and each of them is interrelated. After all what is the use of a house if the family cannot live there happily?