The family is the fundamental unit of society. It creates tribes, clans, communities, societies and nations. Divorce, on the other hand, produces chaos in the family life and instead of achieving the above cited objective vitally damages the social life of the conjugal partners along with the children and the families of both partners. Divorce is not a desirable act in any religion of the world. At the global level, the trend of divorce is rising continuously and gradually. It is a very alarming situation for the survival of the familial institution.

People are not fully realizing their marital responsibility. One of these reasons is getting married at an early age; people are presumably more mature and better at handling marital challenges in their late 20s or 30s, than when they are just stepping into adulthood. Second reason is that Working women who are financially independent are less likely to remain in unfulfilling marriages, and may also be less interested in making compromises to make the marriage ‘work’. Extramarital love affairs are yet another lead-up to divorce. The partners can also be carrying unrelated frustrations (for e.g. from work) into their relationship.

Divorce can result in social isolation as readjustment to a new role may prove difficult. Financial constraints often follow divorce, particularly for women who are left with children to raise and little or no support system. In our culture even the word divorce bears a stigma. Not only is the divorced couple personally affected, but children of broken homes are at risk of developing mental health problems. In Lahore city alone more than 100 divorces are registered in family courts in a day. A research was conducted at University of Punjab, Lahore to see the effects of parental conflicts on child’s self-esteem. They found that warm and nurturing parents had children with high self-esteem. In Pakistan, women are more vulnerable to depression due to uncertainties about the future being less socioeconomically stable than men. A research study in Lahore showed that women who were divorced experienced more social interaction anxiety, depression and higher level of anger as compared to married women. The findings also showed that the extent of social support predicts depression and loneliness. Insomnia, loss of appetite and inability to focus on work are other effects.

Divorce is the most disliking legal act of any Muslim in the eyes of Islam. It should be avoided as much as possible and if people couldn’t resolve the issues even after using all other options, they are allowed to use the option of divorce in some severe cases.

MAIRA TARIQ,

Lahore, November 6.