By Winnie Kabintie
Traditionally marriages would last for 37 years and more but today they only last 37 weeks. According to statistics, 50 per cent of new marriages in the modern world end within the first year.
In Great Britain, one out of every three marriages ends in divorce. Just after the World War II, statistics for that country showed that more than 80 percent of children grew up in homes with two biological parents who were married to each other. However, that figure has now fallen to nearer 50 percent.
RATE OF DIVORCE RISING IN KENYA
The rate of divorce in Kenya is on the rise as well and if the reports are anything to go by there is a divorce case in court every day. However, due to the high legal costs, most couples opt to settle the issues out of court.
Married couples are now divorcing faster in Kenya than new couples are getting married and studies reveal that a myriad of reasons have led to this.
MARRYING FOR THE WRONG REASONS
Key among them is that young couples are marrying for the wrong reasons.
A survey conducted by Consumer Insight’s and published in the Saturday Nation, revealed that financial instability, social insecurity and the desire to share responsibilities are driving Kenyans to marry early.
When such interests gain prominence in marriage, expectations are too high and in the event where a spouse fails to meet some or any of the expectations, the other party ends up feeling unfulfilled.
LACK OF PARENTAL GUIDANCE
Lack of parental guidance was also cited as a factor for Kenya’s failing marriages.
The survey revealed that unlike in yester years when people consulted their parents or relatives before getting married, today that is considered a thing of the past. “65 per cent of Kenyans would actually live with a partner regardless of the opinion their parents hold on them”, the report says
For the young generation their parent’s thoughts are considered outdated. Although it is perhaps debatable, parental guidance when it comes to marriage would surely go some way in preparing young couples on what to expect in marriage.
MARRIAGE IS NOT A BED OF ROSES
Many couples are getting into marriage expecting a bed of roses only to want out when hit by the smallest conflicts.
Some people argue that the girl child has also become more empowered (which is not a bad thing as far as the Kenya Forum is concerned) but unfortunately at the expense of her role in the family.
INFIDELITY AND THAT LITTLE ‘SIDE DISH’
Infidelity has also played a major role in the high divorce rates.
Having a mpango wa kando (‘a side dish’) has become the order of the day in Kenya and as a result HIV prevalence is said to be much higher among married couples.
MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS
Marriage, so the Christian marriage ceremony proclaims, was ordained by God and was meant for a purpose. Sadly half of marriages in Kenya are ending up in divorce and children remain the greatest causalities.
Maybe it’s time people revised the God-given purpose of marriage and make informed decisions before ‘tying the knot’.