Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Saudi Arabia: Is Divorce an Easy Word?

“Has divorce become such an easy word?” asks Saudi Arabian blogger 3abira Sabeel [Ar], in this post which discusses how different today's women are from their grandmothers and why young women and men find it easy to dissolve their unions.

She sets the tone for her post by describing the scene when our “illiterate” grandmothers “ruled the roost”:

فـ السابق كانت الفتاة تخرج من بيت والدها إلى بيت زوجها ،،
ومن بيت زوجها إلى المقبرة (كما كان يقال فـ ذاك الزمن) ،،
كما أن الفتاة كانت تتحمل أعباء المنزل وأفراده سواء بيت والدها أو بيت زوجها ،، دون تذمر أو تأفف،،
وكانت تتحمل غياب الزوج عند ذهابه للبحث عن الطعام ، فـ تكون هي الأم و الأب لصغارها ، وتكون أما أو أختا أو زوجة لرجال أشداء ، يعتمدون عليها فـ جميع أمورهم ،،
وكانت تبني بيتها مع زوجها ، وتساعده فـ تسيير الأمور الحياتية رغم أميتها وعدم تعلمها !!

In the past, a girl would leave her father's house to her husband's house, and from her husband's house to the grave (as they used to say in the past). Women too would shoulder the responsibility of taking care of the house and everyone in it, whether in their father's or husband's house, without complaints. She used to withstand the absence of her husband went her went out for work; she would be the mother and father to her young children; and she would be a strong mother or a sister or a wife to men, who would depend on her. She was building her house, with her husband, and helping him run their everyday life, despite the fact that she was illiterate and uneducated.

That description is a far cry from today's girls, whom 3abira say no longer care about having the prefix “divorced” before their names – thanks to the intervention of “foreigners”:

لذا كانت كلمة (الطلاق) من أكبر المعيبات عند نساء الزمن الماضي ، كما أنهن يفضلن الموت على أن توصف إحداهن بكلمة (مطلقة)!!؟؟
حتى جاء هذا الزمن ، الذي قام فيه مجموعة الأجانب بالتدخل ف أمور حياتنا نحن العرب ، وزرع المطالبة بحقوق المرأة ،،
ولا أعرف سببا لذلك ؟؟!!
هل لأننا لا نعرف تسيير حياتنا ؟!
أم لأن الإسلام قد أنقص من قدر النساء، حتى تأتي أفواج (البابا والكاثوليك وغيرهم) ليرفعوا من قدرهن ؟!
ثم كيف نسمح لهم بالتدخل فـ حياتنا والمطالبة بالمساواة ، وهم فـ أرضهم تشتكي بل تذبح النساء بسكاكينهم ؟!

The word “divorced” was one of the biggest insults among women of the past. They preferred to be dead rather than called divorced. That was until this modern era, during which a group of foreigners intervened in our life affairs as Arabs, and nurtured the call for women's rights amongst us, and I really have no idea why that happened??!! Is it because we don't know how to run our lives??! Or is it because Islam humiliated women for the Pope and the Catholics among others to raise their stature? How did we ever allow them to interfere in our lives and call for equality, when women on their lands are complaining and are being killed with their own knives?

The result is:

لقد جاء هذا الزمن الذي لا تكترث الفتاة أو المرأة لكونها مطلقة ، بل المصيبة أنها تطالب بالطلاق عند أتفه الأمور ؟!
أصبحت كلمة الطلاق سهلة عند الكثيرات والأسباب واهية ؟!

We are now at an age where women are not at all bothered with being divorced, but the catastrophe is that they demand divorce for the most ridiculous reasons! Being divorced has become so easy for some and for imaginary reasons.

3abira then lists some of the reasons for divorce, stated by women, which she finds are ridiculous:

1. زوجها تزوج عليها ، تطلب الطلاق (رغم إباحة الدين له بذلك)،، أعلم أن الكثيرات يعاتبنني على تأييد تعدد الزوجات ، وقد سبق وقلت أنني فتاة مثلكن ولي مشاعر سوف تجرح عند حصول هذا الأمر لي ، لكن أحمد الله على نعمة العقل الذي يوجد عندي، فلا أمنع ما حلله الله :)
2. لم تستطع تحمل تصرفات زوجها، فـ تطلب الطلاق، دون محاولة منها الجلوس معه ومناقشة الأمر ، والحجة أنه هو من يجب أن ينتبه لتصرفاته التي تزعجها؟!
3. الزوج ليس رومانسي؟! ولا يعرف كلمات الحب والغزل :(
والكثير من الأسباب التي تجعلني أشتاط غضبا عند سماعها ،والغريب تمسك الأنثى بالطلاق ، وعدم الإهتمام بالأشخاص المصلحين والمرشدين الأسريين ؟!

1. Her husband remarries and she asks for divorce, although our religion permits polygamy. I know that a lot of you taunt me for my support of polygamy, and I have previously said that I am a girl like you, with emotions which will be hurt when that happens to me. But I thank God for bestowing me with a mind which doesn't go against what God has sanctioned.
2. She can't stand her husband's reactions, so she asks for divorce without trying to sit with him and discussing the matter with him. Her excuse is that he should have paid attention to his behaviour and not done anything which would bother her.
3. Marriage isn't romantic!? He doesn't know how any words of love and flirtation :( Or other lame excuses which just make me mad. What is strange is that women hang on to divorce, regardless of what counsellors and good doers tell them.

The blogger admits that men too are to blame in the increasing trend of divorce. She notes:

وأنا هنا لا أريد إلقاء اللوم فقط على المرأة ، فـ الرجل فـ هذا الزمان أصبح متساو مع المرأة فـ قلة التدبير والحكمة (لا تزعلون علينا ، طبعا ما أقصد الكل)،،
فقد سمعت الكثير وحضرت الكثير من قصص الطلاق لأسباب كانت تافة والله ،،

I don't want to blame women only. Men, at this age, are equal to women, and they too should enjoy a llevel of wisdom and the ability to run their lives. I have heard and witnessed a lot of divorce stories with lame excuses.

Among men's excuses to divorce women are:

1. ما تعرف كيف تحترمني ، دون محاولة منه إصلاح الأمر ، أو إخبارها بالأمور التي يحبها أو لا يحبها ؟!
2. زواجي كان تقليدي ، وما أشوف إن الزواج ناجح؟!
3. إلقاء الكلمة عند الغضب فقط ليثبت أنه رجل ؟!

1. She doesn't know how to respect me – without him even trying to improve the situation or talk to her about his likes and dislikes.
2. My marriage is traditional, and I don't see it as successful!
3. I did it when I was angry – and why? To prove he is a man.

In conclusion, 3abira advises her readers to stick to the values of the past and not let modernity and its trends to destroy their family lives. She says:

سبحان الله على ما آل عليه حالنا ،، لو أننا أخذنا وتمسكنا بعاداتنا وتقاليدنا الماضية لما وصلنا لهذا الأمر ،،
لكن السبب فينا نحن الأفراد الذين نطالب بالتطور ولا نعرف ما معنى التطور من الأصل ؟!

Had we insisted on our traditions and values, we wouldn't have been in the situation we are in today. The reason why we are here today is because we are calling for development when we don't even know what development is.

According to media reports, about 62 per cent of marriages in Saudi Arabia end in divorce. Another source, puts the rate at 38pc.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site