Essay on Divorce in Saudi society
The phenomenon of divorce in Saudi society was explored in this paper by with the goal of addressing the need for premarital education programs for Saudi women so as to decrease the divorce rate in Saudi Arabia. The research conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews involving Saudi women married who have been married for five years. The responses were discussed based on the prescriptive skills approach, the principles-based approach and character and mindful-based approach. The reality as evidenced in the responses of the participants is that marital relationships weaknesses permeate most of the marriages even though the few marital relationship strengths keep the relationships intact with conflict management problems topping the list of weaknesses Saudi women perceive in their marriages. The results of the study are a clear indication that despite the different sources of premarital education and opinions held by Saudi women regarding premarital education, there was consensual benefit derived from such programs in martial relationships, thus, confirming the need for premarital education programs for individuals and couples as a suitable way of decreasing the divorce rate in Saudi Arabia.
Keywords: Marriage, relationships, premarital education, Saudi Arabia, women
Theoretical Framework-Essay on Divorce in Saudi society
Many relationship and marriage education (RME) approaches base their curricula content on social learning theory and changing relationship quality and satisfaction through the improvement of couple behavioral skills. In the same manner, behavioral theory talks about people experiencing increased stability and commitment based on the positive demeanors they have fostered in their relationships. However, in order to attain this increased commitment, stability, and improved relationship satisfaction and happiness, individuals must work on the self by developing a positive concept of self and identity through social interaction as advocated by the Symbolic Interactions Theory (SI), which this research is grounded on. The SI theory is used to explain human behavior by postulating that people assign meaning to the objects in their environment and align their actions to their concept of a given situation (Sergin & Flora, 2005). SI also places emphasis on how people develop their self-conceptions, because self-concept is supposed to be shaped by, and in turn shape, symbolic meanings as well as actions through social interaction (Blumer, 1969; Sergin & Flora, 2005).
These precepts of the Symbolic Interactions Theory that outline the factors that foster happy and healthy relationships and marriages are enhanced through Within My Reach PREP, ELEVATE and Mindfulness Based Couple Relationship Education programs. For instance, certain participants reported losing their identities by giving up on their interests and focusing on meeting the needs of their families and being submissive wives. This finding reiterates the notion of Symbolic Interactions Theory put forward by LaRossa and Reitzes, who stated that based on the social interactions in the marriage unit, an individual can lose his or her identity as a result of the other person’s demeanor or character in the marital relationship (LaRossa and Reitzes, 1993). Moreover, Symbolic Interactions Theory indicates that individuals seek to verify their identities through social interaction. This process is constructed on whether individuals succeed in verifying their identities to others or fail in getting others to verify them (Turner, 2012). Furthermore, if individuals succeed in verifying their identities by the responses of others, they will experience positive emotions and higher self-esteem. On the other hand, if they fail to verify their identities, they will experience negative emotions (e.g. distress, anxiety) and lower self-esteem (Burke & Stets, 1999). Essay on Divorce in Saudi society
According to SI theory, individuals place symbolic relevance on people, objects, and relationships, based on meanings that emerge from social interaction (Willoughby, Luczak & Hall, 2015). Thus, people shape and explain symbols in order to create a sense of self, allocate meanings to their surroundings, and communicate in daily life (Shirpak, Maticka-Tyndale & Chinichian, 2007). This is more evident when the foundations of these sources are analyzed. The connection between the responses and the Symbolic Interactions Theory is evident in the fact that the identities of the participants in marital relationships emanate from their interactions with friends and relatives, premarital education instructors, and parents/guardians. Thus, the foundation of their identities in marital relationships lies in the information they receive and implement from social interactions and symbolic cultures.