x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Divorced parents make talk of marriage tough

Children of divorced parents share their positive and negative experiences.

ABU DHABI // For AS, the pressure to marry is on. At 23, the Emirati from Dubai says he withstands daily lectures from his parents about the importance of establishing a family. But he says he has witnessed too much to risk repeating the mistakes of his parents.

"If having a family is so important, how come you weren't able to pull it together," he says he thinks to himself when he is on the receiving end of one of his mother's lectures.

However, even if AS had a desire to marry, it would not be an easy task.

"When the girl's family finds out my parents are divorced, you can immediately sense the worry on their faces," he says. "They think, 'Oh, this man is from a broken home, what is he going to bring into our daughter's life'?"

And although he thinks it is an unfair judgement, he says it is not a completely invalid concern.

"I am scared. I've seen the problems and I don't want to relive them through my own marriage," he says.

However, not all children of divorce have had such negative experiences.

Only six-years-old when his parents divorced, IK, a 17-year-old from Sharjah, is performing quite well in school and is loved by his peers.

"I've always been very lucky," he says. "From the time my parents split up, I never felt loved any less. In fact, I consider my childhood very spoiled. It was almost like a competition between my parents of who could spoil me more."

The teenager says he completely understood his parents' decision.

"They just didn't see eye-to-eye and I get that. They only knew each other three months before they married. Better to be apart and happy rather than together and miserable. It's less of a headache for me as well."