Nur­ture a mar­riage for love to bloom

Post - - News - JA­NINE MOOD­LEY

T SEEMS fewer peo­ple are opt­ing for the tra­di­tional soli­tudes of mar­riage with a sig­nif­i­cant drop in cou­ples ty­ing the knot.

In Statis­tics South Africa’s lat­est sur­vey on mar­riage and di­vorce, the rate of wed­dings are on a steady de­cline from 150 000 mar­riages in 2014 to 143 279 in 2015.

A com­par­i­son with the 2014 data shows that reg­is­tra­tion of civil mar­riages dropped by 8.1% but cus­tom­ary mar­riages and civil unions, es­pe­cially in KwaZulu-Na­tal, in­creased by 13.2% and 18% re­spec­tively.

The com­mon age of first time civil mar­riage bride­grooms in­creased from 33 to 34 years, while the age for brides re­mained un­changed at 30.

The re­port also re­vealed that di­vorce rates in 2015 in­creased by 2.3% to 25 260, from a pre­vi­ous 24 689, show­ing that more women than men were fil­ing for di­vorce.

About 45.4% of the 2015 di­vorces came from mar­riages that did not mark their 10th wedding an­niver­sary.

In 2015, there were 14 045 (55.6%) di­vorces with chil­dren aged less than 18 years af­fected.

The pro­vin­cial dis­tri­bu­tion shows that Gaut­eng (6 544), the West­ern Cape (4 854) and KZN (4 140) were the prov­inces with the high­est num­ber of di­vorces.

How­ever, the In­dian pop­u­la­tion showed the se­cond low­est rate of di­vorces in the coun­try with only 1 566, as com­pared to 10 841 black di­vorces and 6 588 white di­vorces.

It is of­ten ar­gued that a high di­vorce rate is due to post mod­ern cou­ples, who refuse to make their mar­riage work.

uMh­langa based lit­i­ga­tion at­tor­ney and founder of TPA Le­gal, Theasen Pil­lay, who has dealt with count­less mar­riage and di­vorce cases, said three fac­tors come into play that lead to cou­ples call­ing it quits.

“Fi­nan­cial trou­ble, do­mes­tic is­sues and cul­tural in­dif­fer­ence are key con­trib­u­tors to the ex­pe­dit­ing rate of di­vorce we see in KZN.”

Pil­lay ad­vised cou­ples, who are con­tem­plat­ing mar­riage, to en­sure an ante-nup­tial agree­ment is signed by both par­ties.

“Al­ways sign a con­tract where you are able to keep your as­sets should you de­cide to part ways.”

Fam­ily ther­a­pist Dr Suhaima Hoosen said di­vorce of­ten oc­curred when there was a lack of emo­tional ma­tu­rity and fi­nan­cial con­flict.

“It be­comes es­pe­cially vi­cious when chil­dren are in­volved.”

Hoosen rec­om­mends ev­ery cou­ple con­tem­plat­ing mar­riage seek pre-mar­i­tal coun­selling.

“Ev­ery young man and woman must be schooled in the foun­da­tions of mar­riage and par­ent­hood. This is im­per­a­tive to un­der­stand the in­ter­nal cogs that make a mar­riage work.”

The Westville based ther­a­pist added that cou­ples who are go­ing through con­flict could seek free ad­vice from Fam­ily and Child Wel­fare, a lo­cal pri­est or a rel­a­tive or friend.

Clin­i­cal so­cial worker, Alex Keen, of Dur­ban North, who spe­cialises in re­la­tion­ship coun­selling, pre­mar­i­tal prepa­ra­tion as well as in­di­vid­ual ther­apy, said all peo­ple are dif­fer­ent when it comes to re­la­tion­ships.

She adds that it takes hard work to make a mar­riage work.

“Not only as far as gen­der is con­cerned but the vari­ables that are brought into a re­la­tion­ship, in­clud­ing fam­ily of ori­gin, in­flu­ences, re­li­gious con­vic­tions, cul­tural dif­fer­ences, life ex­pe­ri­ences, com­mu­ni­ca­tion pat­terns, ex­pres­sions of sex­u­al­ity, hob­bies, in­ter­ests, state of health and food tra­di­tions plays a part.

“It is no won­der that the ‘fan­ta­sised im­ages’ of a beau­ti­ful wedding and mar­i­tal bliss are soon tar­nished with ac­com­pa­ny­ing dis­il­lu­sion­ment.

“Love and at­trac­tion are the ini­tial in­gre­di­ents for a re­la­tion­ship. How­ever, day to day, work­ing on mak­ing one’s spouse the pri­or­ity in one’s life and keep­ing the value of one’s spouse high, are im­por­tant prin­ci­ples that then guide other im­por­tant mar­i­tal in­gre­di­ents such as strong com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, fun, laugh­ter, joint de­ci­sion-mak­ing, work­ing as a team to achieve dis­cussed goals, flex­i­bil­ity and good con­flict man­age­ment skills.”

Keen said peo­ple have be­come so used to quick fixes that mar­riages are some­times viewed in the same way.

“There’s a say­ing that ‘Love doesn’t grow a mar­riage, mar­riage grows love’.”

Keen added that in many of his mar­i­tal ther­apy ses­sions, cou­ples ques­tioned why they were not made aware of these dif­fer­ences and how to deal with them be­fore they got mar­ried.

“Most cou­ples mud­dle their way through one of the most in­ter­est­ing, in­trigu­ing but com­plex re­la­tion­ships, as­sum­ing that love will last and that love alone will carry them through.

“While true to some ex­tent, un­for­tu­nately love is not al­ways present 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and through years of mar­riage. Pre-mar­i­tal coun­selling or re­la­tion­ship sem­i­nars are thus im­per­a­tive for set­ting out re­la­tion­ship prin­ci­ples. Our Mar­riage Con­sti­tu­tion, much the same as a coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion, guides fu­ture is­sues that may arise,” he ad­vised.

Al­though deemed ro­mance and roses, mar­riage needs con­stant work.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.