Muscat: Divorce cases in Oman witnessed a significant upsurge in 2022, with the number reaching a staggering 4,160 compared to 2021 figure of 3,837, highlighting the need for a deeper analysis of the underlying causes and potential implications of this trend. That means 11 divorces per day.
The spike in divorce cases raises questions about the stability of marriages, the impact of social media, changing societal norms and the evolving role of women in the workforce. Sociologists and experts have identified several factors that may have contributed to this upward trend.
Oman’s rapid modernisation and urbanisation have resulted in significant societal changes. The shift from traditional lifestyles to more fast-paced, modern living can place strain on marriages, as individuals adapt to new expectations and challenges. The pressures of work, financial responsibilities and maintaining a work-life balance often contribute to marital discord.
Changing societal norms and increased awareness of individual rights and empowerment have led to a greater willingness among couples to consider divorce as a viable option when faced with irreconcilable differences. Women, in particular, are becoming more independent and financially secure, enabling them to make decisions about their own lives without being solely dependent on their spouses.
Social media platforms offer a plethora of opportunities for individuals to interact, share their lives and connect with others. However, this constant exposure to virtual networks can have adverse effects on relationships. One of the most significant issues is the potential for emotional infidelity. It is not uncommon for individuals to reconnect with old flames, develop online relationships, or engage in secretive conversations, leading to feelings of betrayal and a breakdown of trust within the primary relationship.
Nuha’s journey began innocently enough, as she connected with her partner through Snapchat, a popular multimedia messaging app. The allure of virtual communication and the perceived anonymity provided a platform for their relationship to flourish. However, as their interactions intensified, so did the inherent risks associated with online connections.
The exposure of Nuha’s online relationship acted as a catalyst, unraveling trust and creating irreparable damage in her marriage. Discovering the hidden aspects of her virtual connection shattered the foundation of trust within her primary relationship, leading to a breakdown of the marital bond. The consequences of this revelation highlight the significant impact that online interactions can have on real-life relationships.
The surge in divorce cases highlights the need for stronger support structures for married couples in Oman.
Marriage counselling services and programmes that promote healthy communication, conflict resolution and relationship building could play a vital role in mitigating the rising divorce rates. Encouraging open dialogue about marital issues and offering guidance to couples experiencing difficulties may help salvage marriages before they reach the breaking point.