Gone are the days when women endured horrible conditions in their marriage and forced a smile when their hearts burned with anger and bitterness toward their husbands. At the time, they continued to hope situations would get better year in and out. While the African woman is strong and resilient, she continued to cook for a man who has given her no upkeep for the month. She continued to sleep with a spouse who has been in someone else’s arms. She worked hard to pay the bills even when the man could no longer bring the bacon home.
It still baffles me, though, that two love birds who were head over heels with each other — who couldn’t wait to be with each other — would one day walk away and no longer be interested in the marriage. How do you spend so much on a lavish wedding celebration in Florence and a romantic honeymoon in Honolulu, then barely a few days in to your third anniversary, you wish each other were dead and gone?
Divorce is a reality, and no relationship is immune. The moment you stop forgiving your spouse and tell yourself you can no longer bear unacceptable behaviors, then you’re on your way out. And while the separation doesn’t happen overnight, a gradual growing apart occurs: by looking down on the other person and peeping outside to check out other options, your relationship is going south. Half a century ago, there used to be few cases of divorce, but I guess in recent times, at least everyone knows someone who’s separated or filing for a divorce. Below are five reasons why more African women are opting for divorce.
- They Are Financially Empowered
With many girls going to school, the multiplier effect has seen many women pursue their careers, earn their own cash, and plan for their future. No woman wants to be at the mercy of a guy fending for her and walking out on her anytime. The joint account no longer seems attractive as more women want the right to make their choices. Many women won’t even consider a divorce if they’ve got no income; it’s not practical to return to their fathers’ houses so they hold on as long as they’ve got a roof over their heads and meals on the table.
Their staying married doesn’t mean they’ve got a fantastic marriage. With more and more couples signing pre-nuptial agreements, each party feels they could walk away anytime. Money can buy anything but it won’t cuddle and caress you on a cold lonely night. You walk away from a marriage because you can take care of yourself, but you’ll soon find out your heart aches and still needs someone. Many ladies have a big house, many cars, and credit cards at their disposal, but their teary eyes hide behind designer sunglasses as they ache for a soulmate.
2. They Don’t Think Single Parenting Is A Big Deal
Couples who have to raise kids are swamped with the Herculean task of keeping up with them. They are exhausted and almost running out of options to take care of the children. Single parents are doing a great job trying to keep their head above water by taking on twice the responsibilities and expectations of a regular couple and still being able to stay sane. But unfortunately, more women don’t think about the impact of divorce on the kids.
Often, the children will be unable to keep a long-term relationship because they’ve seen how you’ve responded to yours. Marriage is tough and lots of hard work but raising kids alone is harder. Many single parents are stressed out, and they wish they had help. And when the kids are older, they will have lots of unanswered questions and look to you to meet all their needs.
3. They Think There Aren’t Many Role Models of Long Lasting Marriages
If your goal is to get to the top of Mt. Everest and you get halfway, you’ll surely be exhausted and will consider going back. After all, many millions haven’t achieved this halfway feat, so why bother? As you consider going down, all of a sudden, you see a few people returning from the top encouraging you to hang in there, and it’s the same in marriage: two people from different backgrounds with different expectations try to live under one roof.
Most of us get married thinking it’s a fairy tale, but we never seem to live happily ever after. There are different phases in a marriage, and once you skip out on the hard part, you lose the opportunity to grow and learn together. If you spoke to an older uncle or aunt about the struggles in your marriage, the first suggestion might be to file for a divorce and get some peace but we lose the art of compromise, negotiation, and forgiveness. If you go to those who have been divorced for advice, they will talk you out of even trying to resolve the issue.
4. They Are Influenced By Western Culture & Social Media
The last decade or two has seen the Internet make a great impact on our daily lives. We are constantly influenced by what we see, hear, or read online. Our relationships aren’t any different. We “like” couples who are divorced since they made a lot of money from the lawsuits, and other comments we read online encourage couples to go their separate ways if there are irreconcilable differences. It’s easy to encourage someone to stay in a marriage that doesn’t seem to be working, but when it’s your turn what will you do?
Will you join the statistics of those online who have decided they can no longer cope or exhausted all options to make it work? As long as we follow others — trailing their daily lives, feeding our minds on the decisions they make in their personal lives — we might find ourselves walking in their footsteps when we need to make a choice as serious as filing for a divorce.
5. They Don’t Think Marriage Vows Should Be Kept
Only a few couples take the time to think about their vows and how much commitment is required. These days the vows are being reviewed with the “strong” words being deleted and “lighter” ones added on. Most couples at the altar quickly recite those words repeated by some officiating minister without thinking through. We all want the better part of the vows, but it’s “for richer or poorer, in sickness or health.”
Marriage hasn’t got any guarantees that it will be a bed of roses. Unless you’re in a physically violent relationship, which requires you to be out of harm’s way, the issues can be sorted if you both can submit yourself to professional help. If you can’t keep your promise to this lady, can you keep your vows to another?