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    18 August 2007
    Is divorce bad?

    Once again today I had to endure a conversation about the vices of Western society. How bad we are. How we have drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and worse of all - how our divorce rates are higher than anywhere else in the world*. Because see, divorce is really bad, and it happens right left and centre in the West.

    It got me thinking. Is divorce really that bad?

    Looking at the history of divorce in the West, it's quite obvious that the stigma that was once associated with divorce isn't there anymore. Both men and women can get a divorce and still be accepted in the society. They can remarry again and live a happy life. Or not so happy, in which case they can get another divorce :P

    In the East, however, divorce is an awful thing for all involved. It's not just between the man and wife anymore, it's a shame for the entire family or clan, and has to be avoided at all costs. Divorced women normally won't have another chance at having a family (among other things). Depending on the reasons for divorce, sometimes women can be even killed instead.

    Why is divorce gaining ground in the West? Mostly because women can now afford to get divorced and get on with their lives. They are no longer dependent on men and being a single mother is no longer a crime. Some women even choose to become single mothers. So these days a woman would rather walk out on a bad husband than stick to a bad marriage for the rest of her life. And good for her!

    Those who say that divorces are bad for kids are right, but only to a point: divorce IS bad for kids, but divorce is much better than a bad and abusive parent, a hostile family environment, endless fights and living with parents who hate each other but have to continue living together.

    I think divorce is not a bad thing per se. It can be both bad and good, just as marriage can be bad or good. A divorce is a good solution to a bad marriage, that's for sure. Many kids from "broken homes" grew up with a step parent and step brothers and sisters in a loving family. Staying in the marriage "for kids' sake" isn't always in kid's best interests. It is better for the child to have both mom and dad at home, no argument there. But if mom and dad fight all the time - that isn't better at all.

    I believe that divorce is a little like abortion: the act in itself is negative, i.e. breaking a family, killing a life, but it’s being pregnant or married when you don’t want to be that really really sucks. The problem isn’t divorce; the problem is bad marriage. Divorce is simply a solution to that problem. Not having this option when you really want it is much worse than getting a divorce.

    *Maldives has the highest divorce rate in the world. Maldives is a Muslim country.
    posted by Bravecat @ 6:34 pm  
    • At 18/08/2007, 19:34, Blogger Sever said…

      Cat, it's just my thoughts!

      Especially that part about kids.
      Who said that it's bad for kids?
      In the most part of cases it's good for them also, not for parents only.

      At the same time it can be hard to decide to divorce. Agree? :-/

    • At 18/08/2007, 19:38, Blogger Dotsson said…

      You should have told those people "The bible specifically states that divorce is not allowed so westerners picked up the idea of divorce from Muslims since it is sanctioned in the Qur'an." That would shut them up.

      I'm Muslim and the happiest day of my life was when my parents split. The house was fucking peaceful for once.

    • At 19/08/2007, 08:41, Blogger jumping translocation said…

      With globalisation there's no such thing as a Western society anymore.
      I am sorry but this "us" versus "them" theme is gradually slipping into oblivion, so that everywhere you find more and more people living the kind of life that suits them best no questions asked. You no longer need to live in London or Stockholm only to be a practising tough liberal. While divorce is unfortunate, it is inhumane to deny someone their basic right to divorce just as it is barbaric to coerce people to get married, once they are settled in life.

    • At 19/08/2007, 08:57, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      Ideally, a child should grow up with mom and dad living happily together. Hey, I wouldn't want my parents to split even now, and I am an adult! It would still hurt me. But I came from a happy family, see. Ideal in many ways. Not that many families are ideal! And many kids wake up and go to bed hoping their parents would finally split.


      Thanks for the tip! Will use it next time, lol. You definitely know what you are talking about.


      Totally agree with you. It's not so much about "us" versus "them", it's about people who think divorce is evil, and people who don't. And there are plenty of both kinds everywhere. It just happened that I was dragged through the whole "you Western people are evil!" tirade, and that's why my post reflected a little of regional differences.

    • At 19/08/2007, 11:16, Anonymous Broken heart said…

      My husband left me without any warning saying he fell in love with another woman and he chose not to hurt me by having an affair and to leave me instead!!! well it hurts really bad that he could leave his wife of 12 years and his two kids to be with some other woman who he says makes him happy.

    • At 19/08/2007, 18:21, Blogger Ella said…

      i hate it when people speak with no base, and i hate it when people argue that ' oo our country is soo perfect we have nothing bad going on here' ! OH PLEASE! these people are just ignorant honestly they jsut dont want to believe that any of these ' negative ' things are taking place in their society.

      You see the problem with Arabs is that they hate to acknowledge the problem. Nobody ever wants to say that yes i am wrong, or i made a mistake or there is a problem here! Everyone goes around the bush trying to find the safest way out. i.e. they'll never get anywhere!

      We live in a society that everything is based on how we are judged and looked at. The killer truth, the piercing sharp tongue of the neighbour and the neighbours neighbour is what keeps us locked in and worried about what their going to say when they find out that a couple has divorced.

    • At 19/08/2007, 20:26, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      You are right, but I can't talk much about it because I will be lynched! I see how much what neighbours say affect the people here and it is rather sad to witness. People stuck in unhappy marriages simply because there is no honourable way out that would be understood and accepted by people around. Tough to be them.

    • At 20/08/2007, 04:44, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      The permanency of marriage is only for children. Adults can deal with it. Divorce ameliorates the ability of one parent suing the other for child support.

    • At 20/08/2007, 08:35, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      LOL yeah you can say that, I guess. I don't think independent adults really NEED the permanency of marriage. I daresay it wouldn't be their choice given the possibility. Of course there are exceptions, and of course there are KIDS for whom the permanency of marriage does mean a lot still. As for the child support - that's an entirely different subject. There are so many parents who don't provide any support to their kids while still in the marriage! Divorce got little to do with it.

    • At 21/08/2007, 05:52, Anonymous mariam said…

      You've got to be KIDDING... KSA has to have the highest divorce rate EVER...especially if you looked at just Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah...not so much the rural areas.
      As Dot says in his blog, it is quite common to split after milka. And rich guys divorce so they don't exceed 4 wives. Why do you think Riyadh is full of syrian women??
      Maybe UAE is different..but officials in KSA are seriously worried.

    • At 21/08/2007, 08:57, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      I'm sorry to hear that :( However, it seems that where divorce is empowering women in the West, it strips them off their rights in Saudi. I wonder what kind of life they lead after they're divorced, with a kid or two or three.

    • At 02/09/2007, 04:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Man, Qutar cat, have you ever actually lived in the west????

      But to answer your question of "I wonder what kind of life they lead after they're divorced, with a kid or two or three".

      Almost certainly the same as here in the good old USA. Poverty.

      There are over 30,000,000 single mothers on the US welfare rolls. Yea, thats thirty million.

      If you dont know what welfare is, its a goverment program that keeps people from being homless, and starve to death.

      And let me tell you, it ISNT empowering at all. Its a sub povertly lvl existance, surrounded by filth, crime, and hopelessness.

      Almost like Ive been there, isnt it.

      Child support doesnt cover much of anything. US salaries are simply too low for 1 man to pay for 2 familys. US income is enough for 1 man, 1 family, PERIOD!!!!!

      Once a divorce happens things like upper education for you kids is impossible, health care dissapears other than Medicade (More Welfare),

      Yea, thats 30,000,00.

      So if you think its "emowering", i think you need to ask 1 of the 30,000,000 here in the US. I bet they will give you a far different answer.

      Actually, 1 of the 30,000,000 is posting on your forum.

      And when hubby dumps you for a some other woman, and you end up on welfare becuause you cant support 3 kids yourself. oh yea, how "empowered" i feel.

      You dont seem to mention that part, In the west, hubby can dump you at the drop of a hat. And if he isnt making a ton of money, you get very little in any kind of support.

      And the lack of health care for the kids really hurts.

      And working with 3 kids in the USA? its almost impossible, child care is non-existant, or so expensive that you simply cant afford it. So then what??

      So please, if your going to say how great divorce in the "west" is, get a clue first.

      Its very much like Saudi. You might get a few princess that does well, the rest end up in the slums.

    • At 02/09/2007, 08:44, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      I am Western myself, so yes I lived most of my life in the West. On top of that, my best friend in Qatar is American who got divorced, raised two kids on her own, got an education while at it, got a PhD and is now a professor at a University. So don't tell me about poverty and percentages. I wasn't talking about that at all. I was talking about a possibility of getting a divorce and still having a life. You can't possibly tell me that everyone who gets a divorce in the West ends up in poverty. I'll laugh at you if you do.

      Of course, not everyone in the Middle East ends up miserable after a divorce, but if we compare the bulk of divorcees in the West with the bulk of divorcees in the Middle East the picture is far from rosy for the Middle East.

      There are extreme cases everywhere. And before you jump at my throat and tell me how bad it is in the USA please remember that USA is not the only Western country in the world. In fact, I think it's the worst of Western countries and not to be taken as an example. Look at Europe. About 40% of people get divorced, you really don't want to tell me that 40% of people in Europe lead a sad existence you described.


    • At 13/09/2007, 14:53, Anonymous Snake said…

      Sorry to open up and old post, but it is annoying to see statistics used incorrectly. Ano over here says 30,000,000 single mothers are on welfare in the States. So effing what?!! How the eff does that relate to the divorce issue. Ano here is misinformed that she is using stats that are unrelated to the issue. Those single mothers are the results of a different social issue which are out of wedlock children, in other words "Bastards"!

    • At 14/09/2007, 10:16, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      Yup I know that, but obviously Anon doesn't. I laugh at the way statistics are bent by the people who want to prove their point. And boy did she make her comment sound convincing? :P

    • At 26/09/2007, 09:23, Blogger tinkerbella said…

      This post is dead on. Divorce rates are higher in the west simply because it is a normal option. It is not so high in the Middle East because of the idiotic social stigma associated with it. Its incredibly stupid because we have to many people (women especially) are living miserable lives because they are unable to exit a disgusting/abusive/unhappy marriage. A couple of years ago, Jordan finally enacted the ISLAMIC right for a woman to divorce her husband (Islam gave her the right, society took it away, Queen Rania finally got it enacted again) and divorce rates initiated by women SKYROCKETED! It was a very shocking time in Jordan but every enlightening - they were miserable enough to face the scorn of society and just get the hell out of their marriages.
      I have no personal objection to divorce.. I will do everything I can to fulfil the commitment I made when I married the guy but if it doesn't work out, we each go our own way and move on.
      The key to doing that successfully is a good education for the women, so that they are empowered to start over and get a career to support themselves and any kids that the marriage may have produced.
      So yes...viva la right to divorce! Hopefully, Arab societies will wake up soon and figure out that marriages sometimes do NOT work and it really is okay to get divorced and get a fresh start at happiness.
      Long shot, but you never know...
      Sorry for babbling on so much, this is an issue i'm pretty passionate about :P

    • At 26/09/2007, 10:06, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Thanks for a great comment, Tinkerbella. I agree with you that education is key. Many people who live in horrible marriages and don't try to change their situation simply don't know they could do better or perhaps they don't have an option. I feel really sorry about them. Being in a happy marriage myself, I can't imagine a person enjoying anything less. If it doesn't work - it doesn't work, and if both parties agree that they would be better off on their own, then so be it.

      And double yay to the women of Jordan! And Rania rocks.

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