By K. H.
Sadly, this is becoming so frequent that the sanctity of marriage is dissipating. Marriage is no more the ultimate commitment one would enter into to build a family, a community and a living.
Divorce statistics are alarming in the Arab world. Why is this becoming the “norm”? I heard shallow arguments and read tosh analysis that indicates the more the woman becomes independent the more the rate of divorce! I also heard cynics squarely pointing to women for the failure of marriages citing all sorts of “nonsense”. And frankly the most irritating reason for a failed marriage I came across points to women education; to be clear the more a woman is educated the higher the chance of a divorce!
Being angry from such arguments does not solve the problem of experiencing high rates of divorce. So what could be the reasons and how can we contain this phenomena?
I would argue that becoming a material world needing the next iphone, more branded shoes, and the best sports car, the bigger house; the lavish vacation; and the list goes on, is making us substitute the more important with what is not. Competing for materiality instead of quality time spent with the spouse is a leading cause for failed marriages. Another reason for divorce in this time and age is pressure from what’s around newlyweds; media projects an image that is unreal distorting what is right and what is not; lack of identity mistaken with mutual respect and open communication creates a clash that pushes couples apart. There are many other reasons ranging from money matters to sex to unmet expectation and opposing priorities are more reasons for this serious problem.
The answer to all of the majority of these problem centers on the ability to manage conflicts. Generally, Middle Eastern people are more emotional than logical; they talk more than listen, and argue first then regret later. Teaching our kids at a young age how to listen and how to negotiate are key to having better marriages and a better living. Classes to curbing anger and managing emotions are additional skills that need to be taught at a young age. Moreover and particularly women should embrace self-respect and self-worth to establish equal partnership in marriages. Finally and when all fails, seeking professional support is not a taboo and ought to be seem as a sign of commitment to resolving the differences and doing all what is possible to preserve the nucleus of community.
I conclude; by advising all that want to marry to think before they commit; and all those that are contemplating divorce not to take the easy path as this may seem better in the short term with adverse implications on the long term.