Dubai: Woman sought divorce in order to give primacy to social media engagement, legal official says

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Dubai: Increased usage of social media has had a negative effect on relationships, leading to marital problems, conflicts, jealousy and eventually divorce, an official at Dubai Courts warned.

According to Ahmad Abdulkareem, the Director of Family Guidance Department at Personal Status Court in Dubai, engagement with social media platforms has become a major reason behind family disputes and divorces as most often, excessive engagement with social media leads to zero interactions between couples.

Neglecting family responsibilities

He said that his department received a recent case over a major dispute that occurred between a Dubai-based husband and his wife due to social media engagement. “The problem started with an idea from the wife to create a business opportunity through social media platforms. Her husband agreed on condition that family should always come first and that the wife shouldn’t neglect their children. Unfortunately, the wife got addicted to social media and problems started building up between the couple,” Abdulkareem said.

As the wife gained more followers on social media and her business expanded, her husband accused her of neglecting the family. Following the accusation, the wife filed for divorce. “She chose her personal work over family responsibilities and sought divorce. She believed that divorce would give her more freedom to pursue her work.”

Feeling oppressed

Abdulkareem said that addiction to social media and a general tendency to show off have caused serious dissatisfaction among many wives who tend to compare their lives with those of celebrities. “Some wives follow a social media influencer or celebrity travelling from one place to another. They would feel oppressed by their own condition and might even rebel, thinking they would be free by getting divorce,” Abdulkareem added.

A new statistics released by Dubai Statistics Center, in collaboration with Dubai Courts, has shown 1,867 divorce cases filed last year, compared to 1,729 cases in 2019.

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‘It’s all about sharing’

In 2020, about 1,250 divorces involving non-Emiratis were registered, while 358 cases were filed by Emirati couples. The stats also revealed that 259 divorces happened between Emirati husbands and their non-Emirati wives.

Abdulkareem pointed out that newly-married couples shouldn’t form their idea about marriage from celebrities on social media. “The relationship should be about sharing and shouldering responsibilities together. The couple should know that patience is important — especially at the beginning of their marriage,” he advised.

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