What’s rocking the marriages in UAE?

ABU DHABI — ‘Marry in haste and repent at leisure’ is proving to be true in the UAE too.

By Nada S. Mussallam (Our staff reporter)

Published: Wed 21 Nov 2007, 8:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:38 AM

Early marriage, disparity in the education levels and financial pressures have been cited by legal officials and social experts as the main causes for rising cases of divorce in the country.

These and underestimating the value of married life and dissimilar tendencies among couples are blamed for disintegration of family life among both UAE nationals and expatriate residents.

Quoting the Abu Dhabi Shariah Court statistics, the officials confirmed that the divorce rate among nationals has recorded an alarming increase of above 30 per cent in the recent years. They did not specify the years.

However, there are no definite statistics about the divorces among expatriates available with the local authorities as most of them have left their spouses in their home countries, the officials clarified.

Getting married early has been found to be a major factor behind family problems that end up in divorce, said official sources at the Shariah Court which deals with the federal personal law.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, the officials noted that family discord is more among UAE couples who tend to marry early.

Disparity in academic qualifications between couples is yet another major reason for divorce between nationals and expatriates, said the officials.

“Unequal education level plays a part in building up a sense of stubbornness in one of the couples because he or she harbours an inferiority complex,” explained the officials.

Problems arising from economic pressures are more common between couples of different nationalities.

“Most divorce cases where wives accuse husbands of failing to live up to their financial responsibilities are being reported among expatriate residents,” they said.

The officials advised couples against rushing into harsh decisions like divorces over trivial reasons like difference of opinions, jealousy and issues related to one partner’s family, which are likely to create a gap between the couples.

Dr Hassan Ismail Obeid, a social expert with a foundation dealing with family issues, said early marriage and socio-economic factors could trigger problems between couples and might lead to divorce if not handled properly.

“Getting married at a young age could be attributed to most problems because the couple might not be fully aware of the responsibilities involved in a married life. The lack of experience also hampers their ability to overcome difficulties and lead a successful family life,” said Dr Obeid.

“Unequal education level is another factor that creates a fertile soil for troubles and hinders evolution of a ‘common language’ between the husband and wife which is very important to avert personality, attitudinal and cultural clashes.”

The expert also attributed chronic family disputes to economic factors.

“High dowries often result in financial problems for the family that is forced to shell out the same and can create tension between the couples, which will have its negative impact on the integrity of families. Among expatriate population, economic problems arise from the inability of couples to live up to their financial responsibilities amid rising cost of living,” said Dr Obeid.

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