Marriages decrease, divorce rates increase in Abu Dhabi
Over 28 per cent of the couples who got divorced last year did not complete one full year of marriage
The number of people tying the knot decreased in 2016 in Abu Dhabi as compared to 2015, while divorce rates increased, an official government report has revealed.
According to the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) report, 1,922 divorce cases were recorded in 2016 as compared to 1,813 the previous year, while just 5,892 couples got married as compared to 6,037 in the same comparison period.
Additionally, more than half of the failed marriages in Abu Dhabi did not last beyond three years. Over 28 per cent of the couples who got divorced last year did not complete one full year of marriage.
Reasons for divorces included infidelity, poor or lack of communication, job loss or financial strain, social media, religious and cultural differences and unrealistic expectations.
Naser Al Riyami, a psychologist at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi, blamed “changing expectations from marriage” for the high divorce rate. “Many young people have high expectations like happiness, good treatment from spouses and expensive lifestyles when they marry. And when they don’t get these, many end up seeking divorce.”
Al Riyami added: “Couples need to learn from each other and accept them as they are so they can save their marriages. Young couples seem to be less tolerant of family intrusion and this should change.”
He said another reason behind the rising divorce rate is lack of communication among spouses.
“You should always speak with your partner when you have some issues. Also seek marriage guidance from psychologists or experts,” said Al Riyami.
Dr Dolly Habbal, clinical psychologist and head of the department at Universal Hospital, said many marriages end up in divorce because of extra-marital affairs.
“Infidelity from one of the partners is among the major causes of divorce,” she said. “Couples should listen to each other, be flexible all the time and don’t think that things should always happen their way. Don’t compare your partner with someone else as there is no marriage that is 100 per cent perfect.”
Family counsellor Dr Salem Al Darmaki said the most important thing for spouses is to make good choices. “It’s good for a man or a woman to choose someone who best suits him or her in regards to beauty, character, behaviour, religion, level of education, social status, family and other things so they can have a happy marriage,” said Al Darmaki.
“A stable marriage relationship should be based on love, companionship, patience, tolerance, understanding each other and learning how to manage and solve disputes.”
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