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Adultery in Saudi Arabia | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Adultery in Saudi Arabia

Adultery in Saudi Arabia

Adultery in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh-Behind closed doors; one hears incredible stories of betrayal. While the passage of time does heal, some accounts can never be forgotten and are hard to live with, especially, when, after being married for a long time, the husband, suddenly, betrays the bond of marriage.

Women in Saudi Arabia are taught to be tolerant and forgiving to their husbands, and so, they accept the situation. Despite being hurt, they swallow their pride and stay, because no one will support these wives across the Kingdom, if they leave their husbands when they betray them.

Counseling clinics see an increasing number of women who come to complain about how their husbands, busy leading a licentious life, are ignoring their marital duties and their families. Hoda vividly recalls a sudden change in her husband”s attitude. He went from being parsimonious with his money to, unexpectedly, showering her and their three kinds with money, even when she didn”t ask for it or need it. One day, however, she returned home early to find her husband in bed with another woman. She felt she had no choice but to leave her house and take the children to her parents”, where she spent four months. Hoda”s husband tried to win her back by apologizing and giving her guarantees that the affair will not be repeated. She went back to him but felt like a body with no soul, with no feelings toward him whatsoever.

Al Jawhara has no evidence, but still spends her nights awake, worrying about the sudden changes to the behavior of her husband, also her cousin.

They got married after falling in love and spent unforgettable years

together, until her husband encountered financial difficulties. She recounts how she stood by him and sold all she had to pay for his debts. Yet, &#34he never appreciated that; on the contrary, he avoided coming home even more.

He neglected his responsibilities to his children as well.&#34 With this change, Al Jawhara noticed that her husband was getting mysterious calls early in the morning and was spending long nights outside the house, so much so that she thought he”d married another woman! Instead she found out &#34he has an affair with a woman he brings whom&#34 when Al Jawhara and is away. She says she still hasn”t confronted him because she fears &#34the children will be emotionally scarred and would lose their confidence in their father.&#34 She also thought it was a stage and waited for him to return to his senses. &#34But the children are now grown up and are starting to realize the reasons behind their father”s actions&#34.

With tears running down he cheeks, Sarah tells of how her husband betrayed her but her family is unable to understand why she wants a divorce. Society, she adds, forgives a man for his sins, and expects the woman to patiently wait for her husband to come back to his senses. &#34When I cried to my dad, he replied with a merciless, dry voice that all men&#34 commit adultery. In her father”s opinion, as long as Sarah”s husband paid the bills and took care of the children, she shouldn”t ask for more.

Dr. Suleiman Al Ghadian, a doctor in Psychiatry, explains the variety of reasons that drive a husband to seek sexual satisfaction by having an extramarital affair. He says that it is possible the husband wasn”t attracted to his bride from the beginning, or that she was not the person he wanted to marry. In these cases, the husband rejects his wife and loses any pleasure from her company, become unwilling or unable to fulfill his bedtime duties to her satisfaction. As aresult, the husband seeks other ways of satisfying his sexual desire.

Surprisingly, extramarital experiences can help the husband return to his wife, Dr. Ghadian adds. Arguments in the family can negatively affect the spousal relationships and lead to rejection and dissatisfaction. Drugs and alcohol are also factors that contribute to extramarital affairs.

He blames the increase in affairs to the negative influence of friends and colleagues at work or in school who make the practice seem natural and inevitable, making it acceptable for the husband. Besides, women might become ill or go through circumstances that make them unable to satisfy their husbands. This, in turn, causes problems and leaves the husband with no option but to satisfy his sexual urges with someone else.

Another psychiatry specialist, Janna Ahmad thinks a midlife crisis can also be to blame. In her view, husbands sometimes return to their adolescent yearnings and search for fulfillment outside the marital home. They are seeking love, kindness, and care, which they might not have found in their youth.

Ahmed is quick to warn about the consequences of this behavior on the children. After becoming aware of their father”s erratic behavior and missing him in their life, the children might develop a feeling of insecurity and instability about their families. Thinking their father is a role model; the children might even follow in his footsteps and have extramarital affairs when they grow up.

One viewpoint, however, blames the wives for their husbands” mishaps.

Sociologist Ferial Kurdi tells women to look for the reasons why husbands seek refuge in the arms of other women. She says that by avoiding these causes, they can get their husbands back and return to a stable family. Of course, husbands may, in some situations, turn away from their wives due to deficiencies in their character in order to avoid fulfilling family duties, and to no fault of the wives.