Divorce from Arranged Marriages: An Exploration of Lived Experiences

Nicole F. Bromfield, Sanaa Ashour, Kennon Rider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: Divorce in virtually every culture is a private affair and thus not easily discussed in public. In the Arabian Gulf, because of the shame associated with deep religious, traditional, and gendered views of marriage, divorce is extremely secretive and has therefore been rarely studied. This article explores the lived experiences of 21 Arab Muslims from the United Arab Emirates who were in traditional arranged marriages and have divorced. Ten Emirati women and 11 Emirati men were interviewed using phenomenology to guide an inductive exploration. Nine themes emerged from the interviews. Five were shared across genders and 2 themes were specific to 1 gender. The first 4 might be called universal themes as they show up consistently in literature from both the East and the West. The rest appear to be more culturally specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-297
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 18 2016


  • Arabs
  • Gulf nations
  • United Arab Emirates
  • divorce
  • phenomenology
  • polygamy
  • polygyny
  • traditional marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Law


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