Monday, April 28, 2008

High Divorce Rate Among Nationals Due to Second Wives

I just saw this older article discussing the high divorce rate among Emirati men. Apparently 31.9 % of all divorces among UAE Nationals are due to the men taking a second wife. According to a study published by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs magazine, 28% of all marriages registered by Emirati men are to foreign women, and most of these are second marriages.

I'm not sure what the cause of this "second foreign wife" phenomenon is, but a few years ago I heard a story about a phenomenon amongst the Taliban, whereby the already-married Talibs arrived in Kabul (sans village wife) and married again to a more sophisticated and exciting city wife. These cases could be the same; "first I married, the socially-acceptable choice, now I marry the one I really like/hot on." Or it could be a case of expenses; marrying within the community costs tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dirhams, something that a man may not want to do twice. Or it may simply be the lack of good local options for a second wife; clearly bigamy is upsetting to the first wives; perhaps unmarried women also find it upsetting, and chose not to marry already-married men (original story here).

Alternatively, if a man would marry again over what are clearly his wife's strenuous objections, then maybe she just doesn't want to be with a man who could do something that upsetting to her.

Anyway, it's an interesting statistic.

PS In case you were wondering, 23.7% of divorces stemmed from financial problems, 34.4% childlessness (trying again with a different spouse. are there no fertility doctors to work out what is going on? Or are these divorces the result of people who have been, and are are seeking a spouse without confirmed fertility problems?), while 21.4% were the result of
parental intervention.

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