Saudi Arabia’s Most Bizarre Divorce Stories

Uh oh! Trouble in paradise – in Saudi Arabia? Divorce rates are sky rocketing.

According to Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi, an average of 82 cases per day, or three divorces every hour, occur in the Gulf country.

Although there are various reasons behind Saudi Arabia having one of the highest divorce rates in the world, the ones cited in news reports are usually – to be honest – ridiculous.


While this man makes a fair point, it was surprising to find out that a significant number of these divorces have actually been filed by women – given that it is the only country in the world that has imposed a ban on female drivers - and a number of other pointless restrictions on women's rights.

Following are some of the most bizarre stories of divorce from Saudi Arabia:

1) Looks matter.

Most recently, it was reported that a Saudi man was shocked when he saw his wife’s face on their wedding day and immediately asked for a divorce. “You are not the girl I want to marry,” he reportedly told her. “You are not the one I had imagined. I am sorry, but I divorce you.”

2) Not replying to Whatsapp messages.

A man divorced his wife because she didn’t respond to his messages on Whatsapp. He further elaborated that she spent all of her time on her smartphone talking to her friends, but paid no heed to him or her duties as a wife. Poor guy just wanted some doting attention, huh?

3) Looks matter in more than one way.

Although this happened years ago, it’s still as bizarre as ever. In 2008, a woman wanted a divorce from her husband of 30 years because he was apparently a peeping tom – and she was the victim! No really – she, along with her maternal ancestors, believed in covering themselves from head to toe – even from their husbands. He married her knowing this, but three decades later curiosity got the better of him when he tried to sneak a peek while his wife was sleeping. Unfortunately, she woke up. “Marriage is about love, not faces,” she said.

4) Height matters. Looks matter, a lot.

A woman filed for divorce because her husband was shorter than her, and it was starting to affect their marital bliss. This was reported in a local Saudi newspaper and stated that the wife thought her height had became an inferiority complex and her husband needed to visit a psychiatrist. Yikes!

5) You never should have married your brotha’ from anotha’ mother!

It’s quite common for newborn infants to be breastfed by another birthing mother. Islam believes that creates a kinship of sorts, which is unfortunate, because one couple found out they were both breastfed by the same woman after having seven children together and being married for 25 years.

6) Morning coffee.

This is just a tweet, but given the trend, there’s no reason to doubt its possibility.


7) Looks matter, but please don’t try to look like Kim Kardashian

Upon noticing her husband’s admiration for the reality star, one Saudi woman reportedly got plastic surgery and even practiced Kardashian’s walk – but her husband was horrified at the change and asked for a divorce. So much for breaking the Internet; the "Kardashian look" sadly broke up this marriage.

8) Drinking – but it’s not what you think!

A Saudi husband was enraged when his wife did not listen to his warning and decided to go ahead and finish a bottle of Pepsi, or as Arabs would more aptly say “Bebsi.” He was angry enough to file for divorce.

9) Not closing the door – that is so annoying!

But does it warrant a divorce? One man told his wife to shut the car door upon returning home, but she suggested that he should be the one to do it, since he was nearest to it. He became angry and told her she could not come home if she did not listen to him, which, in Saudi lingo is a divorce threat. She became angry too, and called his bluff and left home.

No wonder the authorities have introduced a training course for married people! It seems that both men and women have the habit of making snap judgments about their state of marital affairs.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters

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