Divorce in the Middle East
The rate of Divorce in the Middle East has rapidly increased during the last couple of years and negatively affected both parents and children. Studies have stated that the annual divorce in Dubai increased to 21% last year with 3,012 lawsuits filed. There are one in four marriages ending in divorce according to the UAE court. At least Dh800million is spent in the UAE every year on divorces, according to educationists and family affairs experts. However, we are now trying to overcome its negative affects on children and parents. There are many reasons in which divorce may occur in the Middle East.
These reasons are made up of minor and major causes. One of the most important reasons is the way men grow up in the Middle East. They grow up without responsibilities and are used to being served by women and maids. This makes a man dependent, which means that when they get married they will not be able to tolerate the obligations and responsibilities of marriage and children. They would throw all marriage responsibilities on their wives and would never share household duties. They would instead resort to committing adultery in order to satisfy their needs.
This is the result of their wives being distracted with necessary tasks; her children and house tasks. They then would get married again, to a second wife, since in Islam a man may marry four wives at once. This causes conflicts between the first wife and her husband. However, Many wives cannot bear seeing her own husband with another lady and therefore asks for a divorce. Most marriages in the Middle East are arranged marriages. In Islam social separation of both sexes is the custom, making it hard for individuals to meet spouses on their own.
Many cultures interpret marriage as an agreement between families, rather than just between two individuals. Meanwhile, by time the wedded couple may diverge due to the lack of knowledge of the other partner and may require a divorce. Also, men in the Middle East, after coming home from work, seek to relax in front of the TV, and generally men prefer watching TV to talking to each other especially to their prickly wives. This will ultimately cause an absence of communication between the couples, and will lead to endless quarreling.
This matter is very important since the nonexistence of interactive relationships mostly end with divorces. Divorce causes psychological effects on the children of those estranged couples. One of them is a result of being exposed to violence. There are many parents in the Middle East who use violence when they confront a disagreement. After seeing violent acts between the two parents, the children may start considering violent actions normal and they may also lose their sympathy to their environment. Partly related to this effect, the interpersonal communication between the child and his friends or teachers reduces.
Being oblivious to the grief of the divorced parents causes the children to become isolated. The children in a detaching family realize that there will be an excessive transformation, and their previously protected world is in a state of change. Many things will vary despite the idea that either the mother or father will not be around anymore. They may loose contact with one of the families, either the father’s family or the mother’s family. This is depending on whom the court decides the children should live. Their bedtime, mealtime and after school routines may differ. It is a state of upheaval.
This also causes a behavior change and the children may perform differently. The anxiety level between the husband and wife usually increases during and brusquely after a divorce. Parents who try to turn their children against the other spouse generate an unconditionally unbearable state for that child. The children will also probably endure from a sense of not belonging, feeling lost between both parents, which could further lead to not obeying one or both of them. Absence of control could also develop into disobedient behavior that may lead to misdeeds, such as stealing and bullying.
Other negative effects embrace loss of friends, inability to make friends, dreading marriage in the future, and self-inflicted pain. Divorce might also cause children to be intimidating and break school rules, miss school, perform poorly academically, and lose interest in higher education. With regards to health, children may suffer from insomnia, depression, migraine, stomach pain, speech problems, bed-wetting, weight loss or just the opposite excessive eating habits. Divorce does not only affect the children, but also the parents get affected. Due to divorce either one of the partners or both may loose control and become incredibly violent.
Due to their bad temper and aggressiveness, they may develop difficulties dealing with their children, which may cause immense complications. In the Middle East most women do not work, and men those days become stubborn and selfish after a divorce. Many men stop expenditure on their family after a divorce. If that happens there will be nobody to pay for the children’s school fees and their necessities. Due to that the family may have a deficiency in their requirements; however, that is when the court interferes and spends on the children or may force the man to pay.
Parents do not mean to hurt their children in any way but unintentionally they do. When they suffer from self-inflicted pain they reflect it on their partner, but since they’ve got no partner anymore, they reflect it on their children. A depressed partner may loose the sense of mindfulness and may start drinking excessive alcohol, specifically men, or may have sleeping and eating disorders. In these cases one will have to seek advice from a therapist. There are two sides to a coin.
Both the parents and the children get affected negatively; on the other hand, the family agrees on a divorce by first deciding if they have the ability to cope with the divorce. Hence, it is the parents’ accountability to sustain their children and handle this circumstance with patience and diplomacy. Once a couple has decided to separate, the children must be given adequate time to come to terms with the reality. If couples are considering a divorce, they should be straightforward with their children and support them. In addition, they should be real and honest, but should as well keep an optimistic undertone in their conversation.
They should also make them conscious about the causes behind the divorce. What is really crucial is that adults should devote their time to their children to help them find an outlet to express their feelings. It will reduce their grief period and prevent them from feeling lonely. Parents should provide persistent emotional and financial support to their children so that they would be prepared to accept the changes.