Root cause of divorces

26 Oct, 2017 - 00:10 0 Views

The Herald

Indiana Chirara Features Correspondent
WHEN most people tie the knot, they make sure that everything is classy and exclusive. From top of the range cars, fancy cake and imported clothes, everything is usually perfect. In 2015 l had a rare opportunity of attending such a wedding where everything was glamorous and classy. All the clothes worn by the bridal party were imported from Australia where the couple resided.

The cutlery was also from Australia, while the food was plenty and mouth-watering. Top musicians were hired to provide entertainment. It was indeed a day to remember. However, sad is the fact that after such a glamorous wedding, the couple severed ties after two years, to the utter shock of many. In Zimbabwe, such short-lived marriages even between the poor seem to be on the increase and are worrying. Whether rich or poor, there are many reasons which lead to divorce. Some women divorce their husbands due to poverty, other couples part ways because of infidelity, infertility while others just grow apart. Temba Madziro of Malbereign has seen it all. When he married his wife all was well. Problems started after he lost his job.

“I was no longer able to take care of my family. We had been married for five years. She could not withstand the heat of the poverty. We withdrew our children from good schools, food was insufficient and we were no longer able to buy clothes. Later on, my wife divorced me and moved on to another marriage,” said Madziro. A Kambuzuma woman who only wanted to be identified as Dion wishes they had remained poor as this could have saved her marriage.

“In the first years as a couple we struggled to meet our basic needs. However, we were a happy family. All hell broke loose when l started working and we became financially stable. My husband had several extramarital affairs. We used to share our mobile phones until he put a password on his. He would come home very late. He eventually moved out of our matrimonial home and ‘disappeared’ like he had vanished into thin air. I heard that he was cohabiting with another woman.

“That led to our divorce. Perhaps if we had remained poor my marriage could have survived,” said Dion. Such short-lived marriages were unheard of in the past and Mbuya Agnes Hofisi of Murehwa attests to this. Long back, she said, divorces were very few due to the advice and teachings which were given to boys and girls before marriage.

“Children of today get married without being well informed about the importance of marriages and how they are supposed to be handled for them to last. During our days, before one married, he or she would be taught many things. For example women were taught to be submissive, respect their husbands not to break their new family. Older boys were also taught how women are supposed to be taken care of. These days divorces are caused by lack of knowledge on how to satisfy a partner sexually. Back then aunts and uncles played a pivotal role in such issues,” Mbuya Hofisi revealed. She also pointed out the importance of knowing the background of the family one wants to marry into, putting into context the Shona saying “rooranai vematongo”.

“During our time, a girl would go for 3-5 years studying and scrutinising the behaviour of the man who will be proposing. She would also spend time with the family of the man resulting in a successful marriage. But these days it seems like everyone is in a rush to get married. People are getting married to total strangers and this is not conducive for a successful marriage,” Gogo Hofisi warned. Sekuru Vengai Mutasa of Epworth said people are getting married when they are still too young and this is the root cause of many divorces.

“Maturity is an important aspect when it comes to marriage. People are getting married at a very young age, not knowing the importance of it and not valuing each other. During our time, we knew how to protect our marriages,” said Sekuru Mutasa. Political and religious leaders are also worried by the increased divorce rates. In October last year, President Mugabe expressed concern over the high rate of divorce that was destroying many families. President Mugabe said this while addressing hundreds of women who attended the Women’s League National Assembly at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare.

He said in most cases, men were to blame for the break-ups. President Mugabe said this was not only happening among the educated, but also among the uneducated. He said some women also did not care if they went into relationships with married men.

“The girls don’t mind kuti murume uyu ane mukadzi wake kare, wongoti chero ndaroorwa, ndiwanewo wandingati husband. There are many unmarried girls so it is a social problem, a very serious one,” he said. He said in most cases the polygamous marriages were also sources of conflict as the wives and children born out of these marriages did not want to stay together. In one of his books, “Marriage”, founder of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance, Walter Magaya, highlighted the issue of adultery and lack of trust between partners as another cause of divorce.

“Many more secrets which you hide from your spouse create cracks in the marriage leading to a serious lack of trust, divorce or even murder. This leaves the children stranded because when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers,” said Prophet Magaya. In addition, he said, people are misusing the social media to do evil acts.

“There is nothing wrong or evil about these social platforms and gadgets, but the way we abuse them rather than use them. Most of them are secured with passwords but eventually it will catch up with them and it will lead to divorce,” said Prophet Magaya. The sad reality is that children are often the most affected by divorce. They are left miserable and confused.

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