Iranian divorce rate skyrockets


by azadi5

I was treading an article on the divorce.com which was about the rate of divorce in Iran. Pretty tragic stats if you ask me.

Although Iran is not found on current lists of countries with high divorce rates, it seems the country may possibly have the highest divorce rate in the world today. A study released by a research group at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran earlier this month reports that the divorce rate in Iran could be as high as 90% among couples who marry by choice as opposed to more traditional arranged marriages. The split between traditional arranged marriages and more modern “love” marriages is larger than you might think though, with just 15% of marriages in Iran today being arranged and supervised by the parents of the bride and groom. The other 85% of marrying couples in Iran do so without parental supervision and choose their mates on their own.

The problem is that the Iranian couples marrying for “love” also have the horrendously high 90% divorce rate. Couples married with parental consent were reported to have a minuscule divorce rate of just 2%. The study concluded that the “new” marriages were almost exclusive to young Iranians who get married early without really getting to know their partners very well. The love marriages were often found to be based on unrealistic expectations and disregarded basic cultural, financial and religious preferences that are so important in more traditional unions.

Despite divorce being discouraged in Islam and historically disapproved in Iranian culture, the rate of divorce for love marriages may eventually reach a point of 100% failure if the current increase of 11% per year continues. As the population of Iran increases and shifts toward a younger median age, the number of couples marrying traditionally is decreasing and the younger generation is rushing headlong into modern matrimonial doom. The study noted that couples in love marriages do not receive the family guidance and counseling that arranged marriages provide. That marriages strongly rooted in traditional community ties seldom end in divorce underscores the importance and value of family relationships in all marriages, not just Iranian ones.

Young Iranians may be making steps toward a more modern Western approach to marriage, but at the same time they are also inheriting some of the West’s social ills in the form of high divorce rates. That fact is reinforced when you consider that divorce is almost nonexistent in the more traditional rural and tribal communities, and rising only in the urban communities and metropolitan areas. Among married couples in Iran, men from age 25 to 30 and women from age 20 to 25 had the greatest numbers of divorces. Divorce has traditionally had great consequences for Iranian women due to their low economic and social status and their dependence on men for survival. For today’s young Iranian working women breaking with tradition, it is not surprising that those employed outside the home have the highest rate of divorce.

Iran seems a country torn between the traditions of the past and the temptations of the future. As part of the population tries to remain rooted in their cultural heritage and apart from the problems of the West, the nation’s youth is trading that heritage for freedom to make their own choices, and ultimately, their own mistakes. The result is a country with two different extreme divorce rates, one so small it is hard to measure, and the other so large it threatens to reach a total eclipse of marriage. All that seems to be missing from the scenario is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announcing that "In Iran, we don’t have divorces like in your country."


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Abarmard jaan it actually IS about "love" v "arranged" marriages

by Anonymouse on

In this article (which I agree with) if you read more carefully it defines the "traditional" marriages as "traditional arranged marriages" so traditional and arranged marriages are the same.  Whereas we usually treat the "arranged" marriages as those that are really arranged and the couple see each other just a few times before marriage.  And traditional are those where a family introduces a party to the next.  Love marriages are the hard headed youth who fight tooth and nail with their parents and at times are disavowed by their parents for the sole purpose of mentioning this is a bad union and they do it despite everything else.

In Iran as this articles explains and I tried to say in my earlier comment prior to the marriage the couple are both "in love" and they end up with a "love marriage".  The expectations are quickly shattered by 1) thirty plus years of gender apartheid laws and norms and 2) crippling financial issues.

In the "traditional arranged marriages" the couple are introduced and cared for by the parents of both parties.  Often the parent of one provides the housing (1 bedroom mouse hole costing billions of Tomans :-) and frees the newlyweds from the expensive burden of rent and housing which often accounts for 2/3 of a couple's monthly budget.

In the "traditional arranfed marriage" the couple also see each other more freely and they actually plan on what to do after marriage whereas in "love marriages" couples (in Iran) are often in hiding and la la land and asking each other things like who loves the other more and they'll live with each other in a car and so on and so forth.  You know the generic lovie dovie stories that can happen in other countries with no gender restrictions but not in Iran where you need a birth certificate to get a hotel room, much less anything else!

So bottom line to answer Yolanda's question in the "traditional arranged" life under the Islamic Republic, where you vote and your vote is not counted, "traditional arranged" marriages have a better chance of survival.  We're talking about life under Islamic Republic not life in Amsterdam! 

Everything is sacred



by Abarmard on

It's not based on love marriages vs arrange marriages, it's based on family involvement vs modern life of couples working hard to making the ends meet.

Earlier, people were not married together alone, they had the responsibility to satisfy social norms and family requests and latter is not so.

Divorce is not a bad thing if two people can't live with one another. before the women had no voice and dealt with her husband regardless of how he treated her, or in some cases the other way around.

Iranian women, generally after the '70s, became more independent and more powerful in decision making and this trend continues.


John your right. Iranian men in Iran r only romatic b4 not after

by Anonymouse on

Indeed 30+ years of state sanctioned repression of women and the gender apartheid that is prevailing which in essence means being a woman is a "condition" has all but doomed the marriages.

In the "traditional" marriages the couple are living in the boxed version of what a man and woman should do and that is women being submissive and all.  So when this is agreed from the beginning the rest of the way is just cruising the "expected".

Financial as Azadi has mentioned is also another big piece.  Vast majority of young Iranians have a hard time making it on their own and when they do they have to do it with limited means and bad neighborhoods and rough housings.

When young Iranians meet they are so full of ideals and go to movies and cite poems and all that stuff and the guy promises to be for liberty and justice for all! 

But once they get married and the all-you-can-have-sex is accomplished, the guy changes and expects the wife to be the 2nd class citizen that she is and that's when things start going south.  Divorce is also far more devastating for an Iranian woman and as a whole the society and morale gets a little more damaged with every young couple in divorce.

Eventually this young generation will get sick of all these restrictions and once the fire starts in one part it'll spread to other parts and we'll have a better Iran.  The struggle continues.

Everything is sacred


90%? LOOOl

by Parthianshot91 on

 I mean I understand you have to make some propaganda up, but atleast make it realistic.


"They are not afraid of the ideology alone, but of the detemination and will of the men behind it"

Sargord Pirouz

Reminds me of the scene in

by Sargord Pirouz on

Reminds me of the scene in Fiddler on the Roof where Tevye asks Golde (his arranged wife of twenty years) whether she "loves" him.


A big problem with no easy solution

by azadi5 on

I know some of the people who have divorced back in Iran. Almost in all cases it comes down to finances, specially if the marriage is one of those "love" marriages, which could translate into the parents of the couple not supporting the couple as much as in a traditional marriage.

If you think of it, traditionally a husband in Iran had to have a house and a car and of course a job to support the family. unfortunately in the recent years, the cost of buying a house or apartment has become so high that without the help of the parents it's nearly impossible for a newly wed couple to afford, combine that with the inflation rate and unemployment rate, then you have a complete mess.

So what happens next is that the man can not afford the life that the woman had dreamed about and the marriage slowly falls apart, specially if the woman has a job and actually is under the impression that she can do better if divorced. What some of these women don't seem to realize though is that the appeal of a woman falls drastically after a divorce and they will have a tough time finding another man. But that's another story.



I wonder if divorce rate is related to how well-to-do one is?

by MM on

If so, then the families who go through the traditional marriage route are most likely religiously inclined and probably associated with the IRI and get good wages.  On the other hand, the couples who marry for love have to fight for the daily bread and the social pressures get to them leading to high divorce rates.

I wonder what our resident psychologists think about the discrepency here?



by yolanda on

It is interesting that the "love" marriages don't last, but the arranged marriages (no love?) last forever! How can that be?

One question: Are those people in the arranged marriages happy? Are they in love?


More to it than "traditional" vs. "arranged"

by John on

My two cents: I'd be more inclined to think that a sky-rocketing divorce rate is due to 30 years of state-sanctioned repression of women.  When a generation or two of men has been raised with an unrealistic expectation of what women and wives should be, and with restricted experience of them, there is bound to be conflict when they end up with modern women who realize how they've been devalued by their society, yet who see via the media how women elsewhere can aspire to equality and greatness, and who decide to aspire to more than what their mothers have had to accept.