Divorce Rate in Kuwait Reaches 60%

Post by Mark

The alarm has been sounded again in Kuwait after figures for 2017 show that around 60 per cent of Kuwaiti marriages have ended in divorce.

Figures released by the Ministry of Justice indicate there were 2,001 marriages in January and February, down from 2,425 in the same period last year. The figures also show there were 1,193 cases of divorce in the first two months of 2017, up from 1,180 last year. [Source]

That would put Kuwait with Luxembourg in 6th place on the World’s Most Divorced Nations list:

1- Belgium (71%)
2- Portugal (68%)
3- Hungary (67%)
4- Czech Republic (66%)
5- Spain (61%)
6- Kuwait and Luxembourg (60%)
7- Estonia (58%)
8- Cuba (56%)
9- France (55%)
10- Lithuania (53%)

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64 comments, add your own...

  1. jm says:

    that pic is jokes

  2. Yousef says:

    Can a few Kuwaitis chime in here to help us understand what is going on? Thank you.

    • Fatemah says:

      sure, first of all it’s none of your business and focus on your own country, people and government.

    • Almotizzle says:

      It’s probably because a high number of people are rushing into marriages at a very young age. They realise it’s not what they want in life and decide on getting a divorce

    • Ysoof says:

      Ok السمي as a Kuwaiti guy I’ll tell you that am afraid of the demands, here it’s known amongst guys that most Kuwaiti women demand a lot, from the wedding party to the luxurious house/apartment and you furnishing them then an expensive honeymoon, bringing her a maid and the most aggravating is that she can’t even cook, all those add up and then you got relative marriage, not taking enough time to know each other etc…

    • Dun says:

      Sure, first of all have you encountered our women? Fatemah here is a good example. Try staying married to her for more than year :D

    • Mark says:

      I think one reason is girls rush to get married so they can move out of their parents house only to run into other problems

    • aaa says:

      1) Families rushing you off to get married quickly in case you expire like a carton of eggs

      Result: People who are still developing in their tastes and personality being locked into a life-long decision too early

      2) Families being incredibly picky about who you’re allowed to marry based on their parents and your parents and if your uncle grew up with their uncle and not judging the actual person

      Result: Having a pool of like 10 people to marry from and then realizing you don’t like any of those 10 people. Like, imagine your math class from highschool. Imagine you could only marry someone from your 9th grade math class. No, not your 10th grade math class. DEFINITELY not an English class your mother will cry so much

      3) Society does not allow couples to really get to know each other outside of like, awkward dates in Chocolate Bar with your mom watching (THIS REALLY HAPPENS)

      Result: You devote your entire life to the idea of a person and not the actual person, and then get incredibly shocked when the person is a real person. What? This girl farts? How could I possibly marry a fartgirl.

      4) People basically treat marriage with the same permanence as dating

      Result: People break up just as often as they do in other countries but here it’s actually documented

      5) Women actually work now

      Result: You don’t have to stay in a terrible relationship while your husband goes to morocco to see his 3rd wife every other month and knows you’ll sit at home raising his kids because you don’t have any other options, divorce rate rises

      • Ahmed says:

        Hey, Mark. I think I found your next blog contributor.

      • Man says:

        Points 1 to 3 – are exactly same as in a typical “Indian arranged marriage”!

        • aaa says:

          Yes, but in India a divorce is basically a death sentence for a woman. A lot of marriages in India stay together for family obligation, the families there seem to have even more sway over kids than here. Divorce in India is like, 1% which is abnormally on the low end (although even that has doubled)

          • Man says:

            Urban India is seeing a lot more divorces compared to the 90s. Again it has more to do with the economic independence of women.

            I like your new perspective on the divorce rates in India. You find them “abnormally low”!

    • Ozzy says:

      Hi Yousef,

      I hope Fatemah’s self explanatory replay helped you understand what is going on.

      Thank you.

  3. Me says:

    There are many reasons why Kuwaitis divorce.
    First, their married life is superficial.
    Girls marry at a young age because of society’s expectations. Women, especially mothers and aunts have this ridiculous idea where if a girl reaches a certain age, like 26 or 27, she’s “off the market” because she’s too old. There’s a word for it, it’s called “anes”, it’s used usually in a derogatory manner to convey that there must be something wrong with the girl whether medical, emotional, or physical, hence she’s not married. They never take into account that it could be a choice, or the girl might have her own reasons. So basically, what I’m saying is many girls fear that, so when they reach 25, things begin to rattle in her, she’s desperate to find any man. These girls who marry young either just left high school. She has no clue what she’s getting into. She hasn’t even joined the workforce. She doesn’t receive her own income. Some girls marry while still in college. Again, same idea. Some girls marry right after graduating college.
    Because of that, girls marry young to secure that when they reach that age, they’re “married”.
    Boys on the other hand, aren’t pressured in the same way. They can marry whenever they choose to. Oh and let’s NOT forget the superficial idea boys believe in Kuwait. Many of them have this view where if a girl interacts with him, she’s no longer wife-y material. ✌🏼 Unlike the rest of the world. They have no intentions of securing a future with her. And many boys are irresponsible. They just want to have fun. They want no responsibilities. They’ll always blame it on the wife. The wife could be the issue but not always. Let’s also not forget that many Kuwaitis are not heterosexual. It’s rampant in males. They marry to cover the fact that they’re not straight. A girl discovers that mid-marriage. Most men are in denial of what homosexuality truly is. 😂
    Another point in how their marriage is superficial is many Kuwaitis go for last names. It’s called “suma’a” and “aseel” – it’s a big deal here. A large select of families go for certain families to ascertain their crazy beliefs. For those who don’t know, “suma’a” is a superficial word for reputation and “aseel” is originality. They literally analyze a person’s bloodlines and heritage to ensure that person is suitable for their bloodlines and heritage. They don’t take into account a person’s true self. Hence, superficial people end up with superficial people. It doesn’t work.
    Then you have lying, cheating, manipulating, and deceiving, which I suppose, is what the rest of the world deals with.

  4. Sam says:

    Oh snap!

  5. Buzz says:

    There is a phenomenon discussed in the newspapers of fathers marrying their daughters to more than one guy then divorce without consummation to get the 4000 KD government help then split it with each husband. The father clears 2000 KD from each marriage. So, these are all fake divorces that inflate the real number. I think the picture will become clearer if the MOJ separates “marriage without consummation” from the rest in the divorce statistics.

  6. Ipsom says:

    I was going to post something but most of the comments above have already stated what’s mostly on my mind

  7. The Truth, Ruth says:

    A lot of the men here marry women who are their beards. A beard is a gay man’s female friend who acts as his significant other in order to cover up for the fact that he’s gay.

    I know a few husbands here whose wives are their beards. A few of these couples are famous in the country (and the region).

  8. el wisdom dude says:

    ill give you a vague explanation, she divorced him because he didnt buy her the porsche he promised her and he divorced her because she does not kno sh** about cooking nor raising a child…..and she became fat after 2 years of marriage

  9. Maj3as says:

    Because marriage is hard work

  10. DIAM89 says:

    Honestly guys lets all think a little bit harder and be more rational.

    In my opinion, I think it is because people set up unrealistic expectations that are unattainable.

    Marriage is hard work over a lifetime, it is not just a piece of paper.

    I would also imagine that people are surprised by the amount of responsibility required by both parties and are not adequately prepared for it.

    • RT says:

      Impossible to teach “hardwork” when cradle to grave welfare system exists… if one is paid for breath in and breath out, what is hard work…

      • Yousef says:

        I think the grave welfare system, in addition to the Islamic influence, could cut to the source of the divorce rates.

        • RT says:

          The marriage welfare fund should be tied up to condition of lasting marriage so as to avoid misuse and forced to work upon the marriage to avoid financial burden

    • Aisha says:

      This. Honestly I’m one year and a bit into my marriage and it’s hard everyday but we both made a commitment and I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

  11. Hamad says:

    Very multidimensional argument that can extends for the evers of time (I think). I like to think, as well, that marriage is a sweet sweet dream of every Kuwaiti girl where she think she’ll be suddenly crowned princess of the world or something as soon as she is getting married (مادري على شنو) as her infinite narrow-minded materialistic demands start (including a barbie house that she never had being an abused child). While the dude, is just trying to get some by marriage. Typical sad sad story Disney should never find out about.. pffft jk guys.

  12. Aisha says:

    Also it would be so much easier if you know you could actually pick your spouse based on qualities that are important to you, not just your family. Many cases marriage is still viewed as a business proposal between families when at the end of the day the only people that are going to put up with being married are the spouses themselves! This was one of my arguements when I faced backlash and surprise for my choice of husband 😂

  13. AlHajeri says:

    Having a foreign mother and spending a large portion of my life outside of Kuwait kind of made me have no confidence in myself to engage with a Kuwaiti girl, do the chics on Sharat Al-Hubb know how to flirt in English?

    Life in Kuwait is so expensive and for a lot of guys, money doesn’t grow on trees, you can’t afford all of the desires of the average Kuwaitiya. I’ve got girl cousins who are on 2nd and 3rd marriages, wouldn’t it be better to have let them choose a spouse and still be on their 1st marriage?

    I split the household chores probably 70/30 with my wife, I don’t think many Kuwaiti guys would be willing to make such sacrifices to indicate their commitment to their wife.

  14. Yousef says:

    This 248am post seems to have fracked a deep well into the Kuwaiti psyche and culture. I am absolutely intrigued and appreciate all the responses here.

    Can anyone point me to authoritative scholarly sources that unpack this multi-dimensional, intersecting phenomenon of marriage and divorce in the Gulf Arab region?

    This seems to get right to the heart of the insular people that I live among but haven’t been let in and invited to understand.

  15. vampire says:

    Because “priorities” are redefined for kuwaities

  16. K says:

    We’ll there are many reasons and a few were mentioned, however what are marital relationships like here. Are they happy, are they doing it because it’s their programming, they don’t want to be left behind? It’s the logical next step in a bachelor’s life that has started to get repetitive?

    There are so many reasons you could ask why Belgium and Portugal are so high up?

    My thoughts is their is a lack of education on the matter, a lack of proper upbringing and complications between guys and girls having any sort of relationship.

    A man needs to be raised with a good role model as does the girl. A father that respects his mother doesn’t treat her bad, takes care of her as she does him appreciates her and acknowledges her efforts to his children, cooperates with her.. basically the parent need to show the love AND hard work AND respect it takes . They need to see the changing roles of the current generation, and guide their kids towards their benefit pressure free so that when they are old enough and choose whether or not they want to get married they will know a bit of what it’s like.

    Also an engagement period, of at least 3 months in official and 3 official months they need to see each others personality for more than a few dates they need to make some hard decisions together know each other’s finances hobbies etc. Is he the type to stay up at night at diwaniya or is he wary of his responsibilities towards his wife and makes sure to not leave her at home too much or too long. Does the wife have the aspects he wants in a mate partner and friend, whether if she’s a traditional role housewife mainly with her family or with him, or is she more outgoing has a lot of interests that he supports and appreciates.

    Do the guy or the girl want a traditional role marriage or do they want to go be more out going group outings with mutual friends,

    There’s just so much that goes into choosing a marriage partner, and if neither of them are terrified of the marriage before hand then they aren’t ready.

    Add to that other factors like financial social personality issue or lack of compatibility. The couple need to think with their head and heart, you love him but he lives in 2 story house with his mom or he makes barely 1000 a month, love will only take you so far, are you super conservative, and he’s super liberal? Do you expect him to change? Is he cold and has a different sense of humor, childish does she still tell her mom everything or act like a baby to her dad, is that what either of you want.

    Marriage in Kuwait needs to be talked about, the good and the bad. Arranged marriages aren’t all bad, as they both sometimes want the specific roles and respect and take care of each other as per the roles that come along with the arranged marriage.

    However an arranged marriage and the guy or girlsays he was never romantic he I never fell in love or he always goes to diwaniya and only takes me out a 4 times a month. Its bound to fail as she or he wants something else and just got married as per programming.

    Marriage needs to be talked about it needs to become more stricter, because if the divorce rate is that high due to marital problems solely, they have no idea how difficult having a kid is. Or raising a couple of children.

    So marriages in Kuwait need some strict guidelines, engagement periods, the removal do stigma with more mature women, or men. Education to both of the values responsibilties and more of marriage and more.

    Also. And I leave this for last yet most important KUWAIT NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND FIND HEALTHY BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY, MENTALLY STIMULATING OUTLETS FOR EVERYONE ENERGY. PARKS LEISURE CENTERS MORE EVENTS THAT ARE TASTEFULLY MADE YET NOT INTIMIDATING TO PEOPLE WHO MIGHT FEEL OUT OF PLACE. WE NEED GOOD ROLE MODELS NO STUPID AND CHEAP TV SHOWS MADE BY CLOWNS AND BAS ACTORS WITH NEGATIVE STORYLINES. POSTVCIE MEDIA and just kill off all those silly soft open stars on Instagram and Snapchat. Get people out and active improve education promote libraries and education events and create a less judgemental society that embraces individuality and good morals and values.

    • I say says:

      I totally agree with u

    • Ingff says:

      😂 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • James says:

      K you are bang on. This us a self made problem. Peoples priorities are messed up and they live in a strange reality. Glad that numbers are guiding awareness. Surprising though that it’s gotten to 60% and no real action from society or govt. Worst thing is that its not too long ago that these were desert people where families and marriages mattered. What’s happened in just 50-60 years one need to ask.

  17. I say says:

    From the listed countries looks like we’re becoming european. Nothing to brag about. Now for the comments on kuwait not being liberal etc etc. You can see how liberal it is compared with other muslim countries. Look in the UK where the Pakistani (brits) in the UK who kill there kin for marrying a person from the country they are living in.

  18. anon says:

    I know there are a lot of generalizations, and it’s not like I wanna sound negative, because not everyone is like this, but to me this is the overall explanation:

    1- People think marriage is a simple endeavor; once you live together you will notice how things aren’t really only sunshine and roses. Financial matters, family responsibility, sharing the duties and STILL be intimate is not a simple task.

    2- MOST Kuwaitis are pampered since birth, and are given everything they want (parents) and have everything set up for them to be easy (government jobs and welfare), so many do not know what it means to live the ‘hard life’ and expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter with instant gratification. So when they have a partner who actually NEEDS shit from them, they don’t want to do it or are unwilling to compromise. This applies to both genders.

    3- These days women do not “need” a man. They have work, they live comfortably with their parents, she’s independent. If the guy she marries is not accepting of her and wants her to be ‘tied down’ without personality and dumping all the load on her, she’s not gonna take it.

    4- If daddy’s girl isn’t willing to also accept her husband has needs instead of just asking him to do shit for her, buy her stuff all the time, and be the princess who gets what she wants, then that won’t last either.

    5- most of the time arranged marriages don’t work because you don’t know the person. They say ‘eventually you will fall in love’ is complete utter bullshit. Love cannot be forced. It’s called ‘well I guess we have no choice so let’s pretend we are in love we just might as well’.

    6- Traditions ingrained into people’s minds… not every tradition is good. Some stuff is amazing and very cultural, but anything that harms people’s lives is not something to be proud of.

    I could keep going but I can’t be bothered to continue.

    Marriage IS NOT A JOKE. It’s hard work, requires a lot of PATIENCE AND COMPROMISE. Routine KICKS IN REAL QUICK. So if you aren’t responsible enough for it, just don’t get married. Why would you want to put men/women in such situations? Things like cheating or whatever is out of scope of this discussion because you can’t predict that. I’ve been married (happily) for 7 years now, but believe me it’s not the “white suburban dream”. It’s got many ups and downs, which get compounded when kids are in the picture.

  19. Yousif Jabarah says:


    If you truly want the most accurate source for the divorce are in kuwait.
    Here is a link. https://instagram.com/p/BTMqvmOFxrF/

    My cousin Dr. Hareth al mazeedi overseas almost every divorce that occurs in kuwait and works in وزارة العدل which has the most accurate numbers. There is a great misconception to the way the numbers are counted. . Here is what he says.

    Please watch and thanks.

    • Birthdaysuitpenguin says:

      I think part of the problem is how marriage is defined.

      If the intent is to truly marry someone and have kids or a long life with them, then that counts.

      But if there are other motives then can that even count as marriage.

      1. Exploit to get benefits (housing, money etc)
      2. Get citizenship
      3. Religious temporary marriages

      if you can categorize the cause of these marriages then reasons like the ones listed above should not be counted as actual marriages. Then I do wonder if there would be a large enough difference in those percentages.

  20. Mo says:

    Statistics can be very misleading depending on how you read them. The wikipedia article has some interesting info on the numbers, I’ve paraphrased some of it below, and if you wanna be more anal about it you can go to the sources at the bottom of the page and see the limitations in their statistics:
    Crude divorce rate, the number of divorces per 1,000 population, does not account for people who cannot marry(including young children). The refined divorce rate which measures the number of divorces per 1,000 marriages. Another measure is the divorce to marriage ratio, dividing number of divorces by number of marriages. Say that in the same year there are 1,000 divorces and 1,000 marriages, the ratio is one divorce for every marriage, which may imply that the relationships are extremely unstable. “The two rates are not directly comparable since the marriage rate only examines the current year, while the divorce rate examines the outcomes of marriages for many previous years. This does not equate to the proportion of marriages in a given single-year cohort that will ultimately end in divorce.”
    The conclusion is that if you want to measure an accurate divorce rate, you need better statistics and you need to look at what percentage of total marriages end in divorce and how long it took for those marriages to end.
    Now there’s been a number of colorful theories proposed here ranging from intolerable women (wink), inexperience, parents/women’s demands, girls seeking freedom, fear of social expectations, incompatibility, women having careers, homosexuality, spoilt population etc. Now assuming that this is the best data available and that Kuwait has actually reached a 60% divorce to marriage ratio, why are the rates so high in five other European countries? I mean obviously they don’t have the same problems proposed by this blog’s contributors. In those countries, couples date before marriage so the idea of intolerable women, inexperience, incompatibility are the first out the window. Women have careers and more equality than here, girls don’t need a marriage to gain freedom from their parents, parents don’t have any demands of the future husband, there’s no age limit on marriage and same-sex relationships are fine by the state and by society. And they definitely don’t have a welfare system that provides a financial incentive for marriage and having kids.
    I don’t believe the factors mentioned here are the main reasons for a high divorce rate. I think it’s more of a statistical problem than a social problem. I’m not denying that society is fucked up in certain areas but when it comes to the way those numbers are calculated and then mindlessly regurgitated by the media, then they need to be taken with a bowl of salt.

    • aaa says:

      Because in Belgium people live together without getting married, so you are not comparing couples getting together vs the ones getting divorced. There are a lot more people who are living together and having kids without doing the paperwork but divorces go on as always.

      The average child in Europe is more likely to not have married parents.

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