Why young mar­riages fail?

Vu­tomi Tsha­bal­ala is a 23-year-old di­vorcee, sin­gle mother and com­pli­ance of­fi­cer. She writes mo­ti­va­tional ar­ti­cles in her per­sonal ca­pac­ity.

African Times - - Travel & Lifestyle -

It is the dream of most kids to some­day grow up, marry the love of their lives and live hap­pily ever af­ter. How­ever, life is not as kind as the fairy tales that we paint for our­selves. In a world where a lot of peo­ple por­tray a pic­ture per­fect im­age of love and ex­trav­a­gant wed­dings on so­cial net­works, the rate of di­vorce keeps go­ing high at an above av­er­age rate.

If love truly does con­cur all, then why is it so of­ten that peo­ple who love each other are no longer to­gether? A sim­ple Face­book ques­tion di­rected to me awak­ened my thirst to bridge the gap to the knowl­edge that I have in re­gards to why most young mar­riages fail. While en­gag­ing with dif­fer­ent peo­ple and read­ing fancy ar­ti­cles by au­thors who con­ducted in-depth re­search painted a pic­ture, i thought beat­ing them with fa­mil­iar­ity of hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced a failed marriage at 23 years of age, and ob­serv­ing cou­ples in gen­eral could give you a dif­fer­ent view.

There is un­ques­tion­ably no mas­ter nor a full proof guide as to this thing called love. I re­ceived a long list of be­hav­iour re­lated rea­sons as to causes of failed mar­riages - from in­fi­delity to lack of fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity. While those rea­sons are true, al­low me to say and add that emotionally “bro­ken peo­ple” are the big­gest cause for di­vorces in young mar­riages. Like any sib­lings born of the same womb en­gage in a quar­rel, cou­ples also oc­ca­sion­ally par­take in ac­tiv­i­ties that hurt each other un­in­tend­edly. Apol­o­giz­ing and for­give­ness are re­quired ac­tions to main­tain­ing peace in the house. May it be noted that for­give­ness main­tains peace, but it does not in­stantly heal the pain. Un­til the un­in­tended ac­tion of hurt breaks and changes one of you, then a marriage will re­main un­shaken.

Abuse causes phys­i­cal and emotional pain, but un­til that pain breaks you down whereby you start to per­ceive your­self as a worth­less per­son and ei­ther com­mit sui­cide or walk away, then abuse does not fail mar­riages. Cheat­ing on its own does no dam­age; but un­til the be­trayed per­son’s per­spec­tive about love and life in gen­eral changes; un­til they can no longer ac­cept bro­ken prom­ises; un­til go­ing to bed alone at night and cry­ing them­selves to sleep tears them apart; cheat­ing is harm­less.

Un­til the dis­com­fort of fi­nan­cial strain has one on their knees and feel­ing as though cut­ting ev­ery­one out and only hus­tling for one­self will be the best op­tion, then lack of fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity does no harm. The in-laws may hate and treat your part­ner bad, but un­til the words spo­ken by the fam­ily and the un­kind deeds done to them change him/her ac­tions, dim the light that used to shine on your love and wraps it in bit­ter­ness, then evil-in­laws don’t in­tim­i­date any marriage.

Bear with me for a mo­ment: un­faith­ful­ness, lack of fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity, lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion etc. are mon­sters be­cause they dam­age peo­ple. That is why even when the cheat­ing part­ner vows to stop cheat­ing, the op­tion to renew the marriage re­mains dif­fi­cult, be­cause trust has been bro­ken. That is why even when the in-laws have apol­o­gized, one still han­dles with care. Peo­ple have un­in­ten­tion­ally been bro­ken by their mar­riages. If all of th­ese were un­true, then why do mar­riages still fail to work out when the prob­lem fac­tors have been re­moved? Then why do we put up walls and com­pli­cate the next re­la­tion­ships that we move onto? I’ll pack it right here for now.

Spir­i­tu­al­ity is all well, good and most im­por­tantly feeds the soul. How­ever, over-Chris­tian­iz­ing marriage can also kill it. Like ev­ery job that one gets hired to do, marriage also re­quires a lot of work and com­mit­ments which might some­times come in a form of phys­i­cal labour. A wife can­not just pray for her hus­band’s needs of the flesh to get sat­is­fied; she also needs to phys­i­cally avail her­self to work. Young cou­ples don’t quite un­der­stand the com­plex­ity of liv­ing with the species of the op­po­site sex; we are yet to learn how to pri­ori­tise the needs of an­other per­son be­fore our very own and re­spect their in­di­vid­u­al­ity within the marriage. A man can­not just pray for his woman to change her bad prepa­ra­tion time habits; he sim­ply needs to phys­i­cally put in the ex­tra hour in his sched­ule to ac­com­mo­date his wife to get dressed be­fore an event.

I could fur­ther fault our par­ents who stayed in love­less mar­riages not know­ing that what we wit­nessed were lessons on how to tol­er­ate an­other hu­man be­ing, and not the core root of love and mu­tual re­spect. We then grow up to be con­fused and bro­ken in­di­vid­u­als who waste their young adult lives try­ing to move away from what our par­ents set­tle for, as the hap­pily ever af­ter shown in movies is most ap­peal­ing. We are young adults look­ing for some­thing we have never seen; we don’t even know how to love some­one; but we be­lieve that we are the right gen­er­a­tion to find and en­joy its sweet honey. But that would be plain dis­re­spect­ful. So I won’t go there. I will just head straight to my con­clu­sion.

Con­tinue choos­ing to love your part­ner the best way you know how - even when the but­ter­flies have stopped fly­ing in your stom­ach. Con­tinue to pray, pri­ori­tise and love your fam­ily. Do your best not to en­gage in ac­tiv­i­ties that will dam­age your part­ner. But then again, don’t take ad­vice from me. I suf­fered a failed marriage, but at least do think about it. I might just be onto some­thing.

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