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The Trouble With Divorce 

By Becky Evenye & Brunhilda Ekwati Dashaco*

CameroonPostline.com — Husbands, wives and children alike know too well that divorce leaves deep scars; that it is disastrous to the body, mind and spirit. Sometimes the cure for a marriage that is breaking up is worse than the disease.

While it is well known that many marriages today are bound to fail, less known are the lingering effects of loneliness and depression. Barristers Steven Njilla and George Loh, who entertain many cases of divorce, attribute the causes to sham marriages. These marriages, they say, may be to collect a huge sum of money or travel out of the country. Such marriages do not last because after the purpose is achieved, there comes divorce.

Other reasons for increase in divorce are the fact that couples practise acts provided by the Matrimonial Causes Act, Section 1 sub 2 A to E which include adultery, misbehaviour such as cruelty, no food for the family, as well as separation for five years. According to Mathias Nzuma, Regional Chief of Service for Family Wellbeing at the Southwest Delegation of Women Empowerment and the Family, MINPROFF, both men and women come to report cases of marriages which threaten to break up.

Nzuma said that divorce has serious effects on the three parties; father, mother and children.
“The effects of divorce vary depending on the situation. The first people to suffer in a divorce are the children. They may suffer from psychological problems, emotionally as well as financial problems. For the woman, if she is not prepared for it, it might affect her emotions and it will give her emotional stress. But if the marriage was a threat to her life and she was beaten by her husband regularly, divorce will give her relief.

As for the man, if the marriage was boring and a threat to his life, divorce will be the best option for him, but if he was not prepared for it, he will be emotionally traumatised,” Nzuma said.
Samuel (not real names) was a radio station worker married to a tall beautiful woman. Five years ago, he walked out of the marriage. According to him, his wife was a nag and disobedient. She always did the things he restricted her from doing, and she was also not welcoming to his family members. Samuel wanted peace of mind. Instead, he has found unhappiness and loneliness.

“I really miss my wife even though she did something which made me angry. I really see that she was important after she left. Even though she was ill-behaved, she always cooked good food for me, washed my dresses and took good care of the house. Now that she has gone, I do all these myself. Now I understand that in every dark cloud, there is a silver lining,” Samuel said. After feeling cheated on by her husband, Lucy called it quits. But just like Samuel, she lapsed into unbearable depression.

According to Lucy, her husband preferred to drink all day with his concubines and give money to them rather than to her for food and the general care of family. “In his alcoholic state, he would come back home and ask for food and if I said there was no food, he would give me the beating of my life,” said Lucy. But now, Lucy misses the good times.

“I actually miss my husband despite the fact that he cheated on me and always beat me. Apart from these, he sometimes pampered me. On Christmas days, he used to give me presents and also took me and my children for shopping at the end of the month whenever he collected his salary. Now I know that divorce was not the best option; I think we needed to take the matter to the pastor for prayers,” she told The Post.

Any which way divorce comes; be it due to nagging or rude wife, a drunken husband or womanising one, divorce, often uproots the children from the sacredness of their homes and changed from innocents into confidants; affecting their education, emotions and bringing frustration as well as division amongst them. Marion, Lucy’s daughter, says, “I was affected in many ways because the burden of looking after us is too much on our mother, since our father has decided not to support her.”

Lucas’ son, meanwhile, says that his father divorcing his mother due to her misbehaviour was not the best idea. “We miss our mum as she will always remain our mum,” he said. Evangelist Ndumbe Monono of Judea Baptist Church Soppo Likoko advises that “what God has put together let no one put asunder.”

Also the Bible says, “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing. But today, some people get into marriages without asking God for His blessings and without the blessings of God, the marriage cannot work. Therefore, if one wants to marry, he/she needs to pray and ask God to show the right partner so that we do not make the wrong choice. The problem of marriages that do not last is because the partners never prayed and ask God for the right one.”

*(UB, ASMAC Student Journalists On Internship)

First published in The Post print edition no 01370
 

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