Help for marriage in Nairobi
There has been a surge in marriage crises as reported by marriage experts, family lawyers and clergymen who come in frequent contact with couples with many reporting rising cases of divorce and separation among Kenyan couples.
They are worried that too many marriages are unable to stand the test of time and agree that modern-day couples are facing numerous challenges among them unmet expectations, differences over money, pressure to strike a balance between work and life; and spousal isolation, as a result of which many marriages are operating in a vacuum, lacking adequate support.
This is nothing new. It has always been under attack since the genesis of mankind, when according to the Christian bible, the devil deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. What we are witnessing now is an intensification of threats brought about by culture and high standards of living. In a world of empowered women who want to be “equal partners” in marriage, and in an era of technology with instant communication and online dating platforms, marriages in the 21 century are facing unique challenges.
There are four reasons why some marriages are ending up in divorce.
The first is that married people are increasingly becoming “irreligious” such that their marriages are not anchored on values to hold them together in stormy times.
The second reason is that as women continue to get more empowered, men have not been socialized to cope with a woman who is earning more than he is. Many men don’t know how to cope with an empowered woman. This is a recent phenomenon and so most couples didn’t learn how to cope with this situation from their parents. Money is really not the problem but what to do in the presence or absence of it is vital.
The third reason, is the traditional (or religious) definitions of marriage are slowly thinning out, as a result of which some couples no longer understand the traditional mandate of the institution.
Finally, men and women are created differently so there is bound to be conflict. Unfortunately, some do not know how to deal with their conflicts and this can end up in divorce.
Love does not sustain marriage
The lack of preparation for marital conflict is not peculiar. Most couples enter into marriage believing that they will never fight over anything because they love each other. The truth is that any two people placed together for whatever reason will, at one time or another, experience conflict just because they are different from each other,”
Some couples entering marriage, fail to realize that when one is in love, it is similar to being intoxicated. This means that the chemical dopamine is in overdrive, making one feel good, invincible and totally in love. That extra dose of dopamine and that feel-good feeling lasts only up to three months and may last up to 18 months if one is lucky. When the dopamine is over, you are finished with the romantic stage, and the drama begins, that the reality of marriage is that every single marriage goes through the “dream” stage and then the “drama” stage, during which spouses feel as if they have fallen out of love with their loved ones.
Love sparks never last
Sparks will not always be there. The beautiful thing is that you can pull through that difficult stage. There is no good marriage without hard work, and this is where counseling comes in. To address the challenges that marriages face, different professions, institutions and churches have put in place activities and initiatives to support couples.
From pre-marital counselling, to marriage mentorship, courses on marriage and peer counselling, the professions and church has become a resourceful institution on matters of marriage.
While some marriages endure, others end up in painful divorces that threaten the well-being of not only the couples involved, but also their children.
While divorce rates may not have gone down in Kenya, the rate of “ugly divorces” has significantly declined with more divorcing couples taking charge of their exits without necessarily washing their dirty linen in public or the courts for that matter. Mediation and counseling from professionals such as Intrapersonal Health are available to guide couples through these difficult times and come to an amicable agreement.