The Azerbaijani public has become more free-thinking and understands that marriage is not a lifetime sentence" />

Op-ed: why divorce isn’t always bad – especially in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani public has become more free-thinking and understands that marriage is not a lifetime sentence

A woman on the bus indignantly said: “Everyone sits buried in their phones. It causes nearsightedness and divorces. How many marriages have phones ruined?! People were also cheating in the past, so what? Back then, there weren’t all these phones and computers. Nothing came up, and families were not ruined!” Her hypocrisy just indicated how naive she was, even though it was rather touching.

One of my acquaintances is usually very happy to hear that someone has “quit”, or divorced. Not because she is an evil envious b*tch, but because she is of the opinion that divorce and dismissal mark the beginning of something new to come.

This is quite a controversial, yet optimistic point of view. It is not shared at all by those who have been worrying about the recent increase in the number of divorces in Azerbaijan.

Divorce in Azerbaijan: How to protect children

Social media in Azerbaijan: The cradle of the protest movement, a nest of debauchery or a champion of the oppressed?

Children born out of wedlock in Azerbaijan

 Data from the State Statistics Committee shows that 14,500 couples divorced in 2017. This is the highest it has been in many years, beating the 2015 ‘record’ when 14,800 couples divorced. Moreover, the number of marriages is declining, and divorces, by comparison, are increasing.

This topic is being discussed more frequently in the media, on television, in social networks, even in the kitchen. It is spoken of with anger, and of course, people look for something to blame.

Some think that the reason for everything is a bad financial situation, like love boats getting wrecked over reefs of bank loans and electricity bills.

Others believe that the matter is due to falling morals. Again this gayrope [a derogatory term commonly used in Russia to refer to Europe and its influences -ed] misleads our youth off the path of truth!

Oh yes, regarding the technical progress which the woman on the bus was complaining about. It doesn’t matter if phones are guilty of treason in the same way the X-ray is (in the fracture that it discovered).

Of course, divorce, as a phenomenon, is bad. However, in the case of Azerbaijan, every cloud has a silver lining. It primarily shows that people have become a little bit freer. They have suddenly realized that it COULD BE DONE this way. It is possible to get a divorce and continue living without seeing a marriage certificate as a court sentence of life imprisonment in a cell for two.

Ten, thirty, or even fifty years ago, there were fewer divorces in Azerbaijan. Not because people were richer, understood each other better, or they did not have smartphones – simply, it was not acceptable to get divorced. It was considered an extreme measure, one which you could only afford after all other options were exhausted, including killing your husband’s mistress. Divorce for a woman was considered a disgrace and a bold checkered mark for the future.

It was believed that a woman 0entering her husband’s house in a white dress, could only leave him in a white shroud, meaning six feet under. In this situation, of course, a wife tolerated everything, including a daily beating. However, many men were also deterred from divorce by the reluctance of being known as scum, disgracing their children, causing their parents to have heart attacks and so on.

Something happened in the minds of Azerbaijanis – perhaps something clicked, or perhaps evolution has taken over (no matter how hard you resist it). However, it seems that divorce has ceased to be a tragedy and a catastrophe for them.

Yes, it is sad. Yes, it is unpleasant. Everything started so well in general, but its not the apocalypse. You can survive it. It is possible to marry a second time, already having the first lumpy pancake behind you, and not also be considered spoiled goods. You can leave your wife without fear that you have destroyed her life and that you will burn for an extra million years in hell for it. You can even try again with the same person if, suddenly, you decide that you have not drained all the blood from each other yet.

Taking off the rose-colored glasses and looking at the face of truth, we should admit that divorce is a remarkable achievement of civilization. Moreover, banning it for all these years did not bring anything but problems.

According to safety rules, there must be a fire exit in all buildings. It does not mean that the building will catch fire one day. It will, in all likelihood, last for three hundred years without incidence. However, the fire exit should still be there. A high divorce statistic is nevertheless better than domestic violence statistics.

Overall, it seems that at least we have learned to get divorced. Now it remains to learn how to marry in a more human way. Then, by the way, there would be less divorces.

More on JAMnews