Happily ever after? Data shows no more

Happily ever after? Data shows no more

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Happily ever after Data shows no more

A woman, identified as M.G., in Turkey's Aegean city of İzmir, left her husband after 11 years of marriage.

"When I found out my husband was cheating on me with another woman, I told him I no longer wanted to live with him. I was a housewife with two children at the time," she told Anadolu Agency, asking to remain anonymous.

She joined the growing number of people in Turkey who chose to get out of an unhappy marriage rejecting deep-set societal norms that attach great importance to marriage as an institution.

Divorce rates in the country have shown a 10.9% increase from 2017 to 2018 with 142,448 couples getting divorced, according to Turkey's statistical authority.

For M.G., the decision was a leap of faith.

"My children were too young, my youngest son was in elementary school mand oldest one was in middle school, I was scared I would have health problems or would not get child support," she said.

M.G. is now working as a cleaner in a government office. She is living life on her own terms, she said, and is supporting her children.

"I am proud and grateful for the life I have built for myself and my children," she said.

Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reveals that divorces mainly take place in the first five years of the marriage.

According to Özge Ünal, a clinical psychologist and family counselor, relationships have three main periods.

The first is the flirting period when couples are more compatible. The flirting is followed by marriage, where the couple "come to terms with reality."

The third period is the phase of becoming a family and having children, Ünal said.

"Unfortunately, clashes occur in relationships that cannot make the transition from flirting to marriage," she said.

Ünal said newlyweds sometimes rush to have children to fix their problems; a move that deepens the problems in the relationship.

Match made in heaven, broken online

While cheating has long been the key culprit for divorce, Ünal said, it recently has become much easier to cheat with the advent of social media.

"It is easy to cheat nowadays because it is much more simple to meet someone through social media and also because a physical interaction with that person is not there, it does not give a sense of cheating," she said.

Ünal said cheating indicates something missing in a couple's relationship.

"There must be a reason why couples do not feel full and something else feels more appealing."

"This usually happens if the flirting spirit is not there any longer, if conversations do not roll like they used to, or they lost their tolerance for each other," she said.