Divorce is a big word in Nigeria.
Christians, especially the married ones, tend to shy away from the word as it is considered a “shameful” thing.
Sure, there is the awareness that marriages, without exception, hit rough spots…but generally, couples are expected to stick with each other through thick and thin as, given the opportunity and the application of appropriate relationship skills, the bad times ultimately pass.
It is the Nigerian way.
There is no denying that the average Nigerian aspires to a future where they have a “traditional family”: husband and wife happily married and functioning as a unit.
And while this is a goal that’s attainable, respectable and practically the root of human nature, we have to consider the fact that feelings toward a spouse and marriage come in waves or cycles!
While there are times when marital issues can be resolved or endured, there are times when the problems are so big, they send you running to a divorce lawyer’s office and filing for a divorce.
Usually, the problems in the marriage are too deep, there are no solutions and divorce becomes the only sensible option. There are behaviors inside some marriages that no spouse should be expected to live with on a daily basis.
Think about it, if your husband or wife is spending money recklessly and putting an economic strain on the family, maybe they have a shopping or gambling addiction they are hiding from you or he/she may be running up credit card debt that you don’t know about… what would you do?
Do you allow your partner’s problem to bury you in debt or do you make no excuses?
Or if he keep cheating on you and infecting you with STDs unapologetically, do you still stay?
Not to get it twisted, divorces are pretty traumatic. They are also costly and can often bring out the worst in people.
From who gets the house to who keeps the cars, couples can end up fighting over every little thing.
There are cases where divorce is the only solution. If you’ve found yourself in one of the messy situations above, coming to the decision to seek a divorce might be easy.
For instance, in cases of serial infidelity, domestic abuse or emotional abuse, divorce may be the best choice.
Recently, I read the story of a woman who caught her husband raping their house help but was afraid to get a divorce from him as both her parents and the man’s parents were insistent that she forgive him and move on with the marriage.
On her part, she was worried about what people would say as she was a worship leader in her church as well.
Truly, taking the decision to divorce can be a complicated matter and no one should take the decision lightly.
There will be some conflict, maybe even periods of high conflict during the divorce.
People who are skeptical or ashamed of divorce feel that way because they think the marriage failing is a sign that they are inferior in some way or that they are absolute failures.
But…the reality is that we have failed in certain things and may still fail again in our future life and we will still fail in life.
To deny failure, is to deny humanity. Ending a marriage is just a sign that the relationship is over, at least romantically.
Rather than obsessing on the negatives, Nigerians need to focus on the positives and believe that you made a choice that was likely best for you, and anyone else involved in the decision.
While staying in a bad marriage can provide security, getting a divorce can give you hope ― the hope to be who you want to be, the hope to be happy and the hope to find someone else to love.
What is your view on divorce?
Please share with me below…