I need a Divorce

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

By Angela Mutiso

Divorced People Usually Experience an Elevated Feeling of Depression and Anxiety

Do not fall in love but walk into love with eyes wide open- Teacher Ikalur

Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery – H. Jackson Brown Junior

In his best-seller, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg takes us to scientific explorations that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Duhigg says, “Society, as embodied by our courts and juries, has agreed that some habits are so powerful that they overwhelm our capacity to make choices, and thus, we are not responsible for what we do.”

Think about this: can an annoying habit overwhelm you to the point that it renders you incapable of noticing when things are going wrong? Can it be so entrenched that you cannot detect when it, for example, leads to the end of your marriage? Don’t resentments hatch slowly? Can’t bad habits be noticed and repaired in good time?

When Omari visited his long-time lawyer and friend, we’ll call John, in his office, John was taken aback because, despite their deep friendship, it was not their habit to visit each other in the office. Their practice was to call each other up and meet in a club or restaurant. Omari (not his real name) was a social drinker and was sober most of the time. His lawyer loved his bottle more but was, on the whole, a responsible and caring human being.

Omari, always pristine, looked a little dishevelled and somewhat disturbed. “John, I need a divorce,” he said suddenly. “I cannot stay with Lisa anymore”… (Let’s call her Lisa). John was shocked; he hadn’t seen this coming. His friend Omari was a respected family man; he seemed to love his wife and two children. Both son and daughter look a lot like him; this endears them a lot to him. His daughter, whom he lovingly calls mum, looks a lot like his late mother, whom he had been quite close to and whose death ten years later he has never recovered from. He had, until recently, been his son’s reference point for any situation he’d find himself in. These are some of the reasons that made him stay in a marriage he had come to resent.

Omari and Lisa, an intelligent business lady, seemed like the perfect couple to the people around them. Lisa was talkative and easy-going; Omari was reserved and did not interact much. He was a lecturer and was always busy with his students and college-related activities, mentoring, writing, marking papers, and reading. He often said his workplace was his second home because it kept him busy, excited and active.

Regrettably, the rosy picture others saw was different from what this couple was experiencing at home. Omari, a deeply religious man, explained that he had been reluctant to give up their marriage because of the complication of having to part with his children and his wife, but he could not live with what he now knew. He felt that dissolving his marriage was the best thing to do for his peace of mind. Lisa’s habits were unbearable, and they came in different forms. Worse still, he was no longer able to advise or guide her.

At this point, Omari could have explained more but chose not to. What was apparent, however, was her obvious lack of respect for him. Lisa seemed to enjoy telling her husband off all the time. The children he had tried to get close to were backing off lately. Nothing he did pleased her any more.. 

John tried to mediate, urging his friend to reconsider his decision. Omari was adamant. He explained that he knew ending his marriage would leave such emptiness in his heart, but parting would be part of his healing. John soon realized he had no choice but to start the divorce process. He knew his friend always held on firmly to his plans and thought deeply before making life-changing decisions; it was now his responsibility to help him through this difficult period and to stay close to him to stem a seemingly developing depression and stop him from destroying himself in any way.

The first step John needed to take was to keep Omari looking dapper. It would be terrible, he thought, to allow him to deviate from his elegant self to a creepy-looking fellow, a strong possibility under prevailing circumstances (it is advisable not to make it evident that you are regressing when you are down). He advised Omari to get an empathetic colleague to stand in for him while taking a long-deserved break from work. Omari needed some time to think things over and redefine his life. For a start, John found an apartment for his friend near him. It would enable him to keep an eye on him and spend more time with him.

According to Wikipedia, divorce is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. It usually entails the cancelling or reorganizing the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state.

Studies show that divorced people often experience an elevated feeling of depression and anxiety than those who have not gone through it. So, it is a delicate time for the affected parties. Memphisdivorce.com tells us that denial is usually the first stage of divorce, followed by anger and then bargaining. Depression is the fourth stage, while acceptance is the fifth. 

When asked what was most hurting about his divorce, a man in his forties explained that it was the emotional investment and the whole process of marriage, including getting the woman on board, bringing both families together, and paying dowry, which can be quite taxing, planning for and going through the wedding, with all the best wishes from relatives and friends far and wide, bringing forth children, and then… having to part.

 It is a phenomenon you invest in physically, emotionally, socially, financially and any other way you can imagine. So when divorce happens, you experience rejection, a lowering of self-esteem, you feel like a failure and a poor manager, you feel wasted, not to mention the stigma that comes with it. This happens mostly when you are the divorced person. Either way, it brings many people down.

Why do people divorce? The possibility of divorce starts when you marry the ‘wrong’ person or when you marry for the wrong reasons.H. Jackson Brown Junior, in his book Tilted Life’s little instruction book, counsels – choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.

 Traditionally, elders help select the person you should marry after thorough scrutiny. This is done after meticulous research, which sometimes includes establishing that you are not related to the person you intend to marry, knowing the kind of family your spouse comes from, the underlying traits of their families, cultural differences and compatibility, among other things.

During intense discussions on love and marriage, a religious studies teacher told his students to forget love at first sight or falling unthinkingly in love with someone. Mr. Ikalur explained that you can live a miserable life if you do this. It has been noted that many ‘children’, even when they become adults, end up so vulnerable when they lose their parents at an early age. (Loss can be through acrimonious separations, death or other factors). 

Studies have shown that when mothers die early, for example, their children tend to marry people they would probably not have approved of as they may not see what a mother would see;  mothers’ voices are strong. In many cases, men are so overwhelmed by the loss of their mothers that they marry and let the chips fall where they may. It is worth noting that children need both parents to guide them through life, and they usually feel a deep void when they part. Their complementary roles must be appreciated.

After divorce and with the benefit of hindsight, some divorced men and women usually see where they went wrong. Some women explained that they realize they married young, their mothers did not tell them about the downside of marriage, and they were not prepared to raise children or have their freedom curtailed. A young woman who felt her marriage wouldn’t last caused laughter when she told her friends that her idea of an ideal marriage was based on the romantic books she never tired of reading growing up. She was shocked that most of her expectations were not practical or applicable, and she still had a lot of work to do on herself to improve her self-worth and deal with everyday issues. Her husband’s regular mood swings weren’t helping either.

 Meanwhile, a divorced man complained that his wife did not know how to cook; another said his other half did not know or like housework, while another said she no longer cared about her weight or appearance. Another sticking point is not getting on with in-laws and the spouse’s friends. Other men complained about poor personal hygiene and failure to discuss finances before marriage. One man lamented that his wife only told him she did not want to have children after marriage, yet he was passionate about kids. It has been observed that lack of commitment, Infidelity, extramarital affairs, too many arguments as well as lack of physical and emotional intimacyare some of the top reasons for divorcetoday.

Yet another man in his early forties and divorced from his wife counsels divorced people not to become enemies. He explains that if you have had a relationship or have children to raise, they get emotionally disturbed when their parents are hostile to each other and when they are not allowed to see the other parent. Regrettably, there are cases where a partner does not want their ex to prosper after a divorce. He feels both parties should be happy for the success of the other because despite their separation if any one of them is doing well, their children also gain. He says property matters should be discussed cordially by parties concerned rather than in court, where it takes too long. Yet, a peaceful sit down could straightforwardly resolve most sticky issues.

He reverently urges ladies to keep in mind that even though they bear the weight of the physical pregnancy, the anxiety, stress and excitement that comes with conception is felt by husbands, too, for the duration of the pregnancy. This is before, during, and after children are brought forth. (In other words, during this period, men are also emotionally ‘expectant’). 

Most men I interviewed believed that men provide requisite emotional, physical and financial support throughout the complex process. So their roles ought to be appreciated – they should not be denied their right to see their children. They say the woman’s role in childbearing and child-rearing is highly esteemed; however, giving birth should not mean the children are exclusively for mums. When a ‘we’ feeling is encouraged, an atmosphere of friendliness and understanding that benefits all concerned parties is created.

Meanwhile, Illuma’s family Law (source; National Law of Medicine) gives the following statistics, indicating the leading causes of divorce; ( It will interest you to know that Infidelity is not the leading cause of divorce)- Lack of commitment 75%, infidelity or extramarital affairs 60%, too much conflict and arguing 58%, getting married too young 45%, financial problems 37%. Others are substance abuse 35%, domestic violence 24%, lack of support from family 18%, health problems 17%, religious differences 13%, and little or no premarital education 13%.

Statistics show that half of all marriages in the US end in divorce, but that is only true when talking of first marriages, half of which are dissolved. Others are said to fail at a more elevated rate. It all depends on individual relationships. 

It is advisable to seek every avenue you can tap into to avoid divorce. Talk to your parents if you still have them, a counselor, a lawyer, good friends, a trusted pastor or people you feel comfortable with. Pray about it. 

Remember, those who wish you well will tell you the truth. Communicate all the time about what might be detrimental to your relationship. Be cordial to one another when divorce happens. 

Always remember to say these four things regularly and mean them;

· I love you,

· I am sorry (forgive me),

· You look great,

· Thank you. 

Take each other out regularly. Make your spouse your friend. Finally, laugh often, stay close to your children, and avoid conflicts as best you can.

The author is the editorial consultant of the Accountant Journal. Email-[email protected]


About Author

Leave A Reply