Thursday, May 7, 2015

Not in OUR Culture

Divorce rates have increased in many cultures, worldwide, over the past few decades. In most cultures there are religious, economic, social, and legal pressures and controls placed to encourage continuation of marriage. Legal grounds for divorce vary across cultures but there are some commonly and socially acceptable reasons where people may find support for obtaining a divorce, eg: infidelity, substance abuse,  desertion, violence, and lack of support. In many cultures and religions, with traditional role expectations for men and women, divorce still carries a lot of stigma specially for women. There may be shaming and shunning for women who have gone through a divorce, which can make moving forward very difficult.

Families from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds often have large extended families who exert power and control over their lives. In some situations, these extended networks provide invaluable emotional, social and financial support making the reorganization of life after divorce more manageable. However, in other situations, the extended families may override the concerns for the individual for the reputation or social expectations of the collective. In these situations, families may need to seek out the assistance of culturally appropriate and sensitive therapists, attorneys or clergy.