Many Turks Today Choose to Get Out of an Unhappy Marriage

Published February 5th, 2020 - 08:05 GMT
Unal went on to say that relationships have three main periods.

M.G., a 43-year-old woman living in Turkey's Aegean city of Izmir, left her husband after 11 years of marriage.

"When I found out my husband was cheating on me with another woman, I told him I no longer wanted to live with him. I was a housewife with two children at the time," she told Anadolu Agency asking not to be named.

She joined the growing number of people in Turkey who chose to get out of an unhappy marriage rejecting deep-set societal norms that attach great importance to marriage as an institution.

Divorce rates in the country have shown a 10.9% increase from 2017 to 2018 with 142,448 couples getting divorced, according to Turkey's statistical authority.

"My children were too young, my youngest son was in elementary school and oldest one was in middle school, I was scared I would have health problems or would not get child support," she said.

Ozge Unal, a clinical psychologist and family counselor, said that divorces were mostly driven by the increasing usage of social media, less dependency on men, normalization of the concept of divorce and late parenthood becoming a trend.

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data reveals that divorces mainly take place in the first five years of the marriage.

Unal went on to say that relationships have three main periods.

The first is the flirting period when couples are more compatible, followed by the period of marriage where they come to terms with reality.

The third period is the phase of becoming a wholesome family and having children, Unal said, which are all part of the family development with twist and turns on the road.

"Unfortunately, clashes occur in relationships that cannot make the transition from flirting to marriage," she said.

Unal said newly-weds sometimes rush to have children to fix their cracked relationship, a move that exacerbates the problems in a couple's journey.

While cheating has long been the key culprit for divorce, Unal said it recently has become much easier to cheat with the advent of social media.

"It is easy to cheat nowadays because it is much more simple to meet someone through social media and also because a physical interaction with that person is not there, it does not give a sense of cheating," she said.

Unal said cheating indicates something missing in a couple's relationship.

"If your stomach is full, you wouldn't eat like you haven't eaten for days, right? Hence, there must be a reason why couples do not feel full and something else feels more appealing."

"This usually happens if the flirting spirit is not there any longer, if conversations do not roll like they used to, or they lost their tolerance for each other," she said.

TurkStat shows the crude divorce rates in Turkey are overwhelmingly higher in the western part of the country; with Izmir leading in 2018 at 2.79 per thousand. This is also the part of the country which is more cosmopolitan and urban.

M.G. is now working as a cleaner in a government office. She is living life on her own terms, she says, and is supporting her children.

"I am proud and grateful of the life I have built for myself and my children," she said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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