MARRIAGE is no doubt the most essential fact in procreation as ordained by God. It is a divine instruction from God to which all mortals must submit.
Unfortunately, this age long secret institution is now been threatened by gales of divorce which is now an hallmark in the Nigerian Society. Divorce is no respecter of age, sex, colour, creed, social status, religion or any consideration. On this note, it is expedient to look at issues that may leads to divorce and what could be done to check mate the ugly trend by both partners.
However, about 85 percent of married couples in Africa divorce. According to the Africa culture, Divorce is a bad orientation but these days the divorce rate in marriages in Africa has gone high.
The central focus of my remarks will be to explicate the role that marital education, family counseling and related services might play in promoting and strengthen healthy marriages. The rationale is reasonably straight forward, about a third of all children born in Africa each year are born out of wedlock. Similarly, about half of all first marriages end in divorce and children who are single-parented do not enjoy the love of a healthy home unlike children who grow up living in an intact household with both biological parents.
Concern about these trends in out-of-wedlock births and divorce, coupled with the gnawing realities that child poverty is inextricably bound up with family structure. The focus on marriage was met with skepticism by others. Critics argued that marriage was not an appropriate province for government intervention and that income and opportunity structures were much more important factor than family structure.
Although every married couple experience difficulties in their relationships at some time, it is possible to strengthen and rebuild a relation. This leads to the question, why do people go from happily married to divorce? Something happens between the two points and it has very little to do with infidelity or falling out of love and everything to do with the two people who are a party to the marriage.
More so, there is a misguided belief that marriage will make partners happy as if marriage is an entity but something outside us will make it survive and thrive with little input from a husband and wife. Women plan huge weddings; throw bridal showers and go into marriage not having any idea what marriage is. Men find a woman to care for, adore and work to take care of , only to find himself married to someone who only want more and then a little more after that.
Therefore, when both become disillusioned with their marriage, they start looking outside themselves to define the problems in the marriage instead of looking at the situation and asking, “What can I do to make things better?”
It is easier to blame spouse or marriage in general than to take responsibility for how they are living on the inside and what possible changes they may need to make that will allow marriage flourish.
In other words, people are too lazy to do the self-exploration, learn better relationship skills and put the needed personal effort into a marriage. Marriage takes hard work and if you are not committed to working hard a marriage won’t last. Therefore, lack of communication skills in marriage brings about divorce. Pure and simple, people don’t know how to talk to each other and they know less about listening. The most important conversations (like, I love you, thank you, I’m sorry, take care and so on) spouse have with each other are put with little effort and there is zero tolerance listening to their spouse.
Hence, if you can’t communicate, you can’t solve marital problems. The easiest way to build trust in a marital relationship is via open and honest communication skills. If TALKING and LISTENING do not become a habit, there is no hope.
According to Sam Walton, “High expectations are the key to everything” unless of course when we talking about marriage. Expectation and Laziness can go hand in hand when it comes to predicting whether a marriage will end in divorce.
The woman who buys the expensive wedding gown probably also has very high expectation of marriage. Men and women both make a lot of assumptions when it comes to marriage and what to expect from a marriage.
Therefore, marital expectation rarely aligns with the realities of what life is like in marriage. There are chances of divorce but it can be avoided by those who are willing to work hard at marriage, those who know how to effectively communicate and those whose expectations are realistic.
When marriage is going the wrong way, there are ways in turning it around with some ideas to consider.
Your spouse is the best friend you have, you’re a team. Know yourself, without self knowledge you can not be in charge of your own life, without knowing what the other one thinks, you cannot have unity as a couple.
Consider how the responsibilities are divided in your home.
Discipline of children
Sit down and work out what is your biggest problem at present
Lack of respect
Lack of communication
Physical / emotional abuse
Religion children’s conduct relatives
Alcohol / drugs/ gambling
*Know the actions that lead to team destruction
Use of silence as punishment
*The road to building your marriage
Be active listening
Remind yourself that things and people change: review and remind yourself this.
Talk to your spouse about the things that you are willing to change in order to make things work. Explain that you want to deal with the issues straight on
Ask for advice: whether you talk to a marriage counselor, family member or friends get advice from several different sources.
Rekindle the romance: spend more time doing things that both like. Focus on what the two of you still have in common. Work on being friends, not just partners.
In conclusion, marriages have to be nurtured, if not, partners fall victim to myriad of problems.
By Ogunkoya Odunayo.
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