Social networks are affecting Saudi marriages

Addiction to social network is causing marriage problems in Saudi

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Many husbands became addicted to social networking to the level that they practically neglect their families and wives, creating many marital problems.

Often wives suspect their husbands are flirting with women on social networks.

Suad Muhammad, a Saudi wife, told Riyadh daily that her husband became so addicted to social networks that he forgot he had a family. She said, “I am constantly fighting with him over this issue.

He spends long hours on social networks and chat rooms and using social network applications on his mobile that he neglects to spend time with me and his kids.

I always beg him to delete these social network applications and he always promises he will but he never does.”

Muhammad said she suspected he is having an affair with another woman online, adding that person has “stolen his emotions and time away from me.” She said matters got worse and her husband now spends most of his time alone away from her.

Whereas in the past he refused to let her go outside, now he never objects to her leaving the house to go anywhere as long as he is alone in the house with his phone and computer, she said.

“He is so careful that he set a password for all his devices and applications so he will not get caught. He is killing me with his behavior every day.”

She said he stopped listening to her when she talks and most of the time he only pretends to be interested in what she says.

The worst thing, she claimed, is that children are missing their father even when he is with them in the same room.

He stopped playing with them because he is too busy chatting or watching videos on the phone, she said.

Muna Jaber, a housewife, said she gets jealous each time her husband spends countless hours in front of the computer or on social networks on his mobile phone.

She said: “Many women in my situation cannot hide their jealousy because they suspect their husbands are having an affair online.

Some husbands get upset and angry when their wives walk in their rooms while others panic and shut down the computer to hide any evidence of their wrongdoings.”

Jaber said many wives resort to spying on their husbands.

“We should not blame women for spying on their husbands.

“It is their right to confirm whether their husbands are in touch with another woman or not. Some husbands, however, strengthen their trust with their wives and give their mobile phones to them so they can see what they are doing.

This is not an invasion of privacy but the wife sometimes needs to be sure that he is not having an affair with another woman.”

Samah Al-Faiz is another wife suffering from this problem. She said social networking sites has its pros and cons but it is the negatives that have affected her family.

She spied on her husband’s accounts and discovered that he was flirting with other women on social media.

“Some husbands do not feel the gap they are creating with their wives and kids when they spend long hours on social networks. Their families became a source of pain while social media is the source of enjoyment.”

Manal Salem ended her marriage after she could not handle her husband’s addiction to social networking applications.

She said: “I noticed his behavior changed when he became addicted and he distanced himself away from me. I became suspicious and tried to talk to him many times but each time he would come up with an excuse about why he did not want to talk.

One day he forgot his cell phone at home and when I searched it I found out that he was in a relationship with many women and sending them poems and love messages.

What hurt me the most is that he criticized me by saying that I was a bad wife and could not take care of him. To me, that was crossing the line and I asked for a divorce after that.”

Dr. Khaled Al-Hulaibi, consultant at a family development center in Al-Ahsa, said social media addictions are the number one problem for families these days.

He said: “Spending long hours in front of a computer or on mobile phone social applications is creating a big problem for families.

“When the husband is busy on these applications, his wife can feel bored, suspicious and jealous.

Women by nature love attention from their husbands and want their undivided focus. Spending long hours on social networks will affect men’s health also.

They can suffer from sleep disorders and feel tired and exhausted, not to mention their role as fathers can affect their children, especially in terms of behavior.”

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