Why do women get divorced? [Archives:2003/666/Reportage]

September 8 2003

By Nawal Zayd
For the Yemen Times

“You are divorced” is a very simple phrase verbalized by husbands to their wives, regardless of consequences that accompany their matrimonial life. Divorce signifies serious indications regarding the family and community. Divorce has become so common in our society these days that it is time to ring a warning bell. Sometimes divorce is regarded as the beginning of a life of suffering for the shattered family.

Reasons and factors
There are several factors behind divorce. Marriage arrangements are usually made in a way that would merely please the couples' relatives. This kind of marriage is the most widely adopted in Yemen of today. Both to be husband and wife usually get married before knowing each other well enough.
Couples have to bear huge marriage burdens, which in time and in most cases ends up in divorce.
Even those couples, who chose their spouses by themselves and not by their relatives, usually fall prey to divorce as a result of family disputes.

When happy life becomes impossible
Family disputes and misunderstandings between happy couples grow little by little to ruin their lives and reach the level where they find divorce as the only option available. For them, it is the only cure to all their problems and disputes.

The victims
But, who pays the cost of divorce? It is certainly children, who turn out to be the main victims. Family breakups arise and children face contradictions in their behavior as a result of divorce. Endless and tangled family problems are reflected on children's present and future as a result of divorce.
Children of divorced couples face difficulties in education and their behavior in the social context reflect everlasting frustration. When the ex-husband remarries another woman, new family problems arise before the child, who find him/herself lost. Lack of love, care and compassion is then felt deeply by the child, who continues to live with one parent only. No sense of motherhood or fatherhood is any longer provided. His life becomes threatened and his future becomes in stake.

Teenagers suffer too
Teenagers, who stay with their fathers as a result of a divorce also suffer tremendously. Most of them would lack the passion of motherhood they used to feel before their parents separated. This is because the adolescence age is quite critical in the live of children. It is the time they need their parents' care and supervision the most.
Other reasons leading to divorce can be attributed to relatives themselves. This manifests itself clearly when marriages are not given the chance they deserve. Relatives of married couples should be held accountable in cases when no opportunity is given to them before marriage to know each other and be fully aware of their future horizons.
Meanwhile, early marriage has its inevitable negative consequences on the family as well. Couples' lack of understanding of the real matrimonial life in an early age is another motive behind divorce. This is because both parents don't know each other well enough and marriage of this type is hastily arranged. Lack of understanding of matrimonial life is usually due to the fact that boys and girls in teenage years are usually ignorant, inconsiderate and irresponsible. What has become so common these days between early married couples is hurling stream of abuses to each other.
Excessive jealousy is considered to be one of the psychological diseases that cause divorce in many cases. It is true that jealousy is a clear testimony of true love. But if it exceeds its limits, it threatens love and matrimonial life too. All these deface the true meanings of happy marriage.
Another factor that could cause divorce is mistrust between the husband and wife, a matter leading to strict monitoring and naggings between them. This of course differs from one husband to another. Some husbands insist on preventing their wives from mixing even with relatives. Wives in this case feel that their freedom is restricted to intolerable limits as they are not allowed for instance to answer phone calls, mix with strangers, or go shopping because those acts are considered by some, according to Yemeni conservative traditions, to be shameful and should never be practiced.
One of the convincing reasons behind divorce is age difference.
When a man for instance gets married to a girl, who is much younger than him, this leads to a contradicting attitude between the couples resulting in the collapse of the whole marriage. Some elderly men seek to get married to much younger girls when for instance his former wife died or because he divorced her for being infertile.
All the afore-mentioned reasons to divorce have their negative consequences on matrimonial life.

Some modest advices given
In order to avoid divorce and to put an end to long-term family disputes, the following tips should be taken into consideration.
– Both the wife and husband should not take hasty decisions when offered a marriage opportunity. They should only select a good spouse-to-be that is capable of shouldering matrimonial responsibility in a complete manner.
– Outdated traditions which create obstacles to a happy marriage should be abandoned.
– Early marriages should be avoided.
– Relatives should give more freedom to their daughters and sons when it comes to the issue of marriage. They should exchange opinions and ideas with them so as when the decision is taken to go forward, they would all share responsibility in future.
– Establishing good morals and principles among girls and boys along with educating them based on Islamic regulations. This of course depends on the family where he/she is raised.
– The exchange of insulting words between wife and husband should be avoided, especially in front of children.
– Adhering to Islamic principles in polygamy.
– Sharing responsibility between wife and husband in order to protect children from loss and vagrancy.