Help at hand for couples facing marriage problems in Oman

Energy Sunday 23/June/2019 20:13 PM
By: Times News Service
Help at hand for couples facing marriage problems in Oman

Muscat: Marriage problems need fixing, not ignoring.
Omanis and expatriates who face marriage related issues can now approach a family counselling and guidance centre, thanks to the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD).
The number of new marriages has declined over the last few years while divorce numbers have been relatively stable, meaning that there are more divorces than marriages in 2018 compared to 2014.
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information, “marriage stability”- the percentage of divorces in Oman compared to the number of marriages- has increased from 12.71 per cent in 2014 to 15.27 per cent in 2016, reaching 18.30 per cent in 2018.
Marriages in Oman have decreased in the past five years as well, as people delay marriage either to focus on their careers first or in order to secure funds for marriage.
According to the NCSI, the number of marriages in 2014 was 28,152 but this number had fallen to just 20, 005 in 2018.
The MoSD has made it clear that it will do its best to treat expats and Omanis alike in its Department of Family Counselling and Guidance, where families with issues can visit or call for anonymous counselling on anything from marital issues to cases regarding the abuse of children.
Wadha Al Alawi, the Director of the Department of Family Counselling and Guidance at the Ministry of Social Development, told Times of Oman: “We do register cases of expats coming to us for help, and we provide our counselling to them in English.”
“The most common issues that expats tell us about are marital issues, problems when it comes to raising their children, complaints that they have about their children’s academic performance, as well as cases of abuse against children,” she added.
The relatively small number of expatriate couples divorcing in Oman does not mean that these couples are happier than Omanis, however.
Al Alawi added, “The reason for the difference in numbers is that expats who divorce tend not to register this with the authorities.”
There are, however, methods that both Omanis and expats can use to improve their home lives, according to Al Alawi.
The director said, “They can connect with our experts to learn techniques for dealing with their partners or children, learn about programmes that specialise in solving marital issues, and they can focus on their family connection and share the responsibility of raising their children.”
Tamasuk programme
The ministry also recently re-launched its Tamasuk programme, Oman’s National Programme on marriage counselling for newly-married couples, for 2019-2020, where His Highness Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Assistant Secretary General of the Office of Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers, said that marital life is a shared responsibility between both parties, and that one of the most important factors in marriage is love, respect, and trust. Since it originally launched, Tamasuk has benefited more than 20,000 people who were either newly married or about to be married.