According to Commins (2014: p73), “A study in Saudi Arabia revealed that the total divorce cases recorded in 2012 were more than 30,000, which was an average of 82 (divorces) a day”. Reports also indicate that in the previous year, there were at least four instances of…
This increase in divorce cases across the country has led the country to reflect on marriage, as well as the priority of marriage in Saudi culture. It is commonly known that the last solution struggling couples seek is divorce; however in Saudi Arabia the percentage of divorced couples is exceedingly accumulating due to arranged marriages, polygamy and gender inequality.
Until quite recently, arranged marriages in Saudi Arabia were a cultural norm whose success was very dependent on sheer luck. There is particularly intense pressure on young women, raised to believe that having children and a husband should be a cherished dream (The New York Times, 2009). In such marriages, the wife and husband have minimal opportunities to become acquainted with one another prior to their marriage, which could result in miscommunication and eventual divorce due to irreconcilable differences identified after the marriage.
In Saudi Arabia, the number of arranged marriages disintegrating in the first two to three months after the wedding is increasing significantly, particularly due to emotional and sexual adjustment issues (The New York Times, 2009). In addition, the issue of pre-marital non-disclosure has also contributed to the high rate of divorce in arranged marriages in Saudi Arabia. In this case, fears about the effect of the truth on the outcomes of good alliances means that couples hide the truth from one another prior to their marriage. However, this truth does come out some times and, even if the couple has already been married for a long time or have a strong bond, the non-disclosing partner will be under increased pressure and may undergo indescribable humiliation (The New York Times, 2009). This may result in divorce due to a breakdown in trust.
“Husbands are encouraged to polygamy by male friends who see polygamy as ...
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