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Too Poor to Break Up

Category : Global Divorce, Global Marriage

I read an interesting article in The New York Times today.  A couple in Spain was desperate to get divorced.  The wife had met and fallen in love with another man and her husband had lost his job.  They were struggling to make ends meet and couldn’t sell their house.  They were stuck in this dire situation for over two years! 

Sadly, this has become a frequent problem in Spain because the economy has gotten so bad there.  But this is also a problem in the US.  Many couples stay together because their biggest asset — their house – is impossible to sell.  I cannot imagine how having to stay with someone you had fallen out of love with and not being able to move forward with your life.  This must be so incredibly difficult for a couple. It’s a lesson to not live above your means and to always be self sufficient in a relationship so nothing but love is tieing you together.

Three Places Where It Is Till Death Do Us Part

Category : Global Divorce, Global Marriage, Happiness

Sometime people get married, trying very hard to make it work and it just doesn’t.  They try therapy.  They try a vacation together.  They try everything they can!  In the end, the couple both realized it’s best to move on.  This seems like a normal scenario in America.  Imagine being in a country where this isn’t a possiblity.  There are three places in the world where divorce is actually illegal.  Yes, ILLEGAL.  Those places are Malta, The Philippines and the Vatican City.   

I can’t imagine what anyone would do under those circumstances.  In those three places it  truly is ”till death do us part!” I assume that one would make sure they are REALLY right for their partner before they go down the aisle.  There are no drunk nights and getting married by mistake like in Vegas.  Sure this kind of lifestyle would cut down on divorce, but nobody deserves to continue to be unhappy if they have a choice.  This isn’t robbing a bank…it’s getting divorced!  Sure people leave marriages too quickly in our society.  But I think most everybody would find it extremely difficult to live as an adult in a society without the option.  What is worse? Going to jail for divorce or being forced to stay in a terrible marriage, which can feel like jail? Is there a divorce jail in those countries?  Should divorce be legal everywhere in the world?

Marriage And Divorce In Jordan

Category : Global Divorce, Global Marriage

I just got back from a trip to the Middle East, and it was quite interesting to learn more about marriage and divorce practices there.

I had a conversation with a guide in Amman, Jordan. I asked him about marriage and divorce there (he’s Palistinean, as are many of the people in Jordan) and this is what he said. By the way, it’s extremely complicated, so stay with me. A man — lets call him Mohammed — decides he wants to marry a woman. He has his family elder go to his tribal spokesman for approval. If the tribal spokesman — lets call him Abdula — agrees, then the woman in Mohammed’s family calls the mother of the girl to set up a meeting. Mohammed’s mother and sisters go visit the mother and sisters of the potential bride. Mohammeds family does a selling job on how wonderful Mohammed is, gives his full name, credentials, job expectations, his status in his clan,etc. Then the girls family has 3 days to check out Mohammed. (I am not sure what that entails, but I doubt they Google him). Then Mohammed’s mother calls the girls mother and if the girls mother agrees, Mohammed’s father calls Abdula, and Abdula calls his counterpart in the girls family. A date is set up for all the men to meet. The brides male family sets up a tent, and there the two male part of the families meet. The girls family elder puts a cup of coffee in front of the grooms family elder, Abdula again sells Mohammed to the girls family. If the brides spokesmen agrees to accept Mohammed, he tells Abdula to drink the coffee. Then after some pats on the back and congratulations all around, the two tribal elders work out the dowry. The dowry goes to the bride, 1/3 is for her to buy cloths, and 2/3 is for her to buy gold for her to keep. The man pays the dowry and wedding costs. Furthermore, couples can choose their own partners, and go through all the steps above. B the couple cannot have sex before the wedding. If they do, the woman can be killed by her family and the man sent to jail.

Now ,what about divorce? Of course, after all that one would be too exhausted to even think of divorce, but there is always the chance. Well, a man can have 4 wives, so not sure why he would want to divorce any one, but all he has to do is say “you are divorced” 3 times and it is over! The wife then goes to court and tells the court what happened. She keeps the gold from the dowry , and the court may award her the dowry amount again and then more if warranted. If the woman wants the divorce, she goes to court and petitions for it. If she just wants to get rid of him, she gets no additional money. However, if she can prove cruelty or cause the man will pay more.

It sounds terribly confusing and convoluted, but there you have the story I got of marriage and divorce in Jordan. What do you think?