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Just what’s troubling modern marriages?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 00:00 | By
Unhappy couple. Photo/File

It is assumed to be a pretty simple concept; fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. But something seems off with today’s marriages. JOHN KARIUKI author of a new book on divorce says our generation just isn’t equipped to handle marriages. Here is why…

Ann Nyathira @PeopleDailyKe

The first three months of this year, new research has affirmed, can mean the end of marriage for many, especially young couples.

The study, released early this month by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, notes the number of divorce filings in January was one-third more than normal. 

While specialists across the world have called the month of January ‘Divorce Month’, authors of the study have gone ahead to name the first working Monday after the Christmas break ‘Divorce Day’ after they typically saw a spike in couples considering divorce. 

“The stress of trying to create the perfect Christmas along with money troubles after the festive season break, are reasons why married couples decide to split at this time of the year,” reads the report.

This report has been backed up by yet another study from Richard Nelson solicitors, which found that searches for ‘I want a divorce’ rose by 230 per cent in the first week of January 2020 compared to December 2019.

The study also reveals that of couples who divorce in the early months of the year,  young people took the lion’s share.

It says most people tend to part ways after four years, and divorces with dependent children have decreased significantly, indicating married couples without children are ‘getting out’ early’.

This report seems to coincide with a new book recently launched by marriage counselor and author, John Kariuki. In his book, Divorce; What went wrong with my marriage?

Kariuki  attributes today’s failed marriages to a materialistic and superficial world.

He says most modern marriages cannot stand the test of time, adding that the right foundation at the beginning of the marriage is important. 

“Young people are entering into marriage for the wrong reasons; it’s not just about finding a girl or  boy then deciding to settle.

It is complex; it is more than that. If you marry someone because of financial status or beauty, that marriage won’t last, because there will always be more beautiful and wealthier people and you will definitely get bored of each other,” he explains.

He emphasises young people should make the right person a partner since no one is perfect. 

“You will never find a perfect person; everyone is flawed. So, instead of looking for that perfect person, why dont you make someone perfect?

Marriage is like a box, whatever you put in it is what will be in it and come out of it,” explains the author of another popular book, Strong Marriage Foundation.

 Kariuki also points out in his book that nothing exposes a person’s needs and defects like a relationship or marriage. 

“No one can hide who they really are for too long, provoking a partner before you marry and not overlooking the red flags, especially those that indicate rudeness or violence is, especially important.

Chances are, they will not change when you eventually get married,” the book reads.

It points to the importance of friendship in marriage. Couples should be at ease to share everything. When this element is erased in the relationship, disputes arise.

Kariuki says for marriage to succeed, couples must place each other above everyone else including their parents and family.

When you decide to get into it, it’s all about persevering each other’s shortcomings.

But to what extent should one persevere? The book goes on to quote the law, “A marriage is irretrievably broken down if a spouse commits adultery, a spouse is cruel to the other spouse or to a child, or a spouse wilfully neglects the other spouse for at least two years.”

Kariuki attributes part of the reason for increasing divorce cases to a landmark ruling by the High Court last year.

In September, 2019 Mr Justice Reuben Nyakundi quashed a section of the law that barred couples from divorcing before three years of marriage.

In his judgment, Justice Nyakundi said marriage is a union of willing partners, hence they should be at liberty to leave any time they feel discontented.

Some of the pointers of a failing marriage are neglect, not paying attention to a partner, physical or verbal violence, instead of love, communication and forgiveness.

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