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Broken Marriages  Causing Concern
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Broken Marriages Causing Concern

Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems; however, about 20% of married couples in Iran divorce (according to latest figures from every five marriages one ends in divorce); however the figure is not the same for all cities in the country. In metropolises like Tehran and Isfahan the figure is said to be 34% and 30%, respectively.
According to official figures, 14% of divorces occur during the first year of married life and 11% after the first one to two years. In total more than 50% of divorces occur in the first five years of married life, khabaronline.ir reported.
The divorce rate has reached a critical stage during the last few years, sociologists say.
According to the news website, currently the average length of married life for all divorced people is 8 years. The figure is below 7 years in Ilam, Kordestan, South Khorasan and Ardebil. On the other hand the figure is over 8 years in Yazd, Semnan, Isfahan, Mazandaran, Tehran and Alborz Provinces.
According to Mohammad Esmaeil Motlaq, director general of the Health Ministry’s Office for Population Health, Family and Schools “Between the years 2006 to 2014, the country’s divorce rate has seen accelerated growth.”
“At present, the age for 80% of couples going through their first divorce is below 30,” he said adding that “during the current year (ended March 19), each hour, 18 divorces were registered across the country.”
The divorce to marriage ratio was reported at 15.4%, 16.3%, 18.1%, 20.1%, and 22.6% in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively.
According to the National Organization for Civil Registration affiliated to the Interior Ministry, in the first six months of the last Iranian year, the ratio was reported at 22%. During the period of time, 368,205 marriages were registered across the country while the number of recorded divorces was 83,277.
Although divorce has always been a concern, it has become more common in the last few years. In 1986, divorce to marriage ratio was 10%. In 1996 it decreased to 7% (due to increase in marriages).  Then in 2002 the figure reached 10% again (due to increase in the number of divorces).
The figure was at or near 10% until the year 2005. In 2006 (one year after the beginning of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 8-year tenure) the figure shot up to 12% and after that it grew to 22.6% in 2013.
During the tenure of the previous government Iran faced economic crisis and experienced problems in attracting foreign investment.
Understandably, divorce for financial reasons is one of the primary causes cited by couples in marital dissolution cases. The economic crisis also has negatively affected drug abuse in the country, and drug abuse is one of the main causes of divorce in the country.
“If the sharp increase in divorce rate along with sharp decline in the marriage rate continues, within the next 20 years the country’s fertility rate will drop to zero,” Motlaq said.
He also pointed to the emotional divorces that are not included in the figures and said, “in addition to legal divorces, emotional divorces can weaken relationships between couples and lead to further decline in fertility rate.”
The emotional divorce is that phase in a relationship where, although a couple appear far from physical separation or may not even be rowing, they are already emotionally disentangling from each other.
The total fertility rate (TFR) in Iran should reach 2.1 to make up for the significantly low rates in the past decade, Motlaq said adding that, “Currently, the TFR is 1.9, posing a challenge to the national population growth rate.”

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