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Peculiar Okafor: Nigeria Might Need More Divorces

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Divorce can be defined as the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or another competent body. In lay terms, it could mean the end of  a marriage. Husband and wife saying, ‘I no do again’ meaning that both parties can no longer live together; hence both have a hand no matter how little in whatever caused the separation (though in this part of the world, one party usually takes the blame).

There has been a lot of outrage about the growing rate of divorce in the nation but despite this outrage, there are people who say Nigeria might need more divorces. This write-up will argue for and against the proponents of this school of thought.

Those for the motion of the topic bring forth the following points:

It forces people to respect their partners
These people argue that partners, especially males, treat their significant others better during the dating phase because they are afraid of losing them. They usually bring out their worst behaviours in marriage because they are almost confident of not losing their partners.

So if divorce were acceptable, the fear of divorce ‘might’ force them to treat their spouses better. Emphasis on the word ‘might’.

It teaches the next generation that having a partner takes more than a ring
It is not good for anyone to be alone. Companionship and love are their own rewards; and if we are all honest with ourselves, having that one person that pledges to go through thick and thin with us does make the journey of life more exciting. (If that one person is the right partner). However, some people have taken this as a reason to maltreat their God-given significant other and these people are told to endure because ‘marriage is like that’ ‘ a lot of people are praying to be married.’ People, therefore, believe that if there are more divorces then people would come to realize that it takes more than giving someone a ring to keep that person in your life. Hence the future generation won’t see marriage as a do-or-die affair.

Some people have been known to do better at the demise of a spouse
Stories abound of people who seemed to have found their place after loosing their partners. Maybe because they were now ‘free’ to be ‘themselves’ as their partners held them down. The Argument therefore is that maybe if more people worked out marriages holding them down, the world would get to benefit from a lot of untapped potentials.

Children (especially of a particular gender) do not get to see ill treatment as ‘normal’
If more people left their marriages because they were treated wrongly. i.e, being beaten, lied to, cheated on indiscriminately, etc. this would send a message to the next generation ‘such behavior will get your a** kicked out’.

God permits divorce on grounds of unfaithfulness
This point seeks to pacify the religious folks. One could also argue further that bitterness, anger and hatred which are the results of staying in a pointless marriage are STILL SINS in the sight of God.

Those against the notion put forth the following arguments:

It hurts the children involved
They argue that children need a home with the presence of both the father and mother to grow up into well-adjusted individuals as this was nature’s original intention.

It is against our cultural and religious beliefs
Most people argue that God is against divorce and that in our culture before the advent of westernization, marriages worked.

If people were less selfish, more tolerant and forgiving, there would be be fewer divorces This puts forth the argument that if you want to get married ‘i ga edibezinu’. Afterall, that’s the only way this love thing can work.

All men (and women) are the same
Presumably, members of each gender have the same sets of bad behaviours,hence there is no need to keep walking out on marriages knowing fully well that you might encounter these with others.

After considering the arguments of both sides, these are my submissions. In making my submissions, please let me state the following disclaimers;

1. I am no marriage expert (to be honest, I am not even married) neither do I have any marriage or counselling experience.

2. I am not an old, bitter, angry hag; I’m in my mid-twenties and really love my life.

3. I was raised in an extremely happy home and believe in the institution of marriage; My parents’ marriage was the kind you see on romantic sitcoms and my father was no sissy. He was a successful Igbo businessman who loved his wife and family and earned their respect out of love. We lost him 2 years ago, and there was no hidden child, family or mistress; everyone had one thing to say about him; ‘He loved God, his wife, family and people around ( and he loved these groups in the order stated’. He was an epitome of a good man and growing up has made me realize how fortunate I was to be his daughter. As per my mother, she gives the woman described in Proverbs 31 a face. Who can find a virtuous woman? I’ve found her and she is my mother.

So, on to my submissions.

We need to respect God, Karma or whatever force rules this world
I’m not talking going to your places of worship once every week and spending other times acting like the devil. I’m talking about acting in a way that says ‘I won’t do this, because I respect and honor God’. It’s that simple.

We all need to know our worth
Human beings are priceless as most religions believe that we are made in the image of God. Hence we should value ourselves and set standards of how we want to be treated and not allow ourselves be treated lower than we deserve.

We all need to value the other person
Live by the golden rule and treat people like the ‘image of God’ that they are. Refuse to allow any one be maltreated and if you meet a person with a low sense of self worth, refuse to allow the person stay that way. Hold those around you in high esteem and watch them rise to the value you place on them.

We need to learn to be whole and complete in ourselves before getting a partner
Marriages/relationships involve a lot and wholeness is required to succeed. Ever heard the term ‘Don’t shop when you’re hungry?’ In choosing a partner, you have to have truly discovered your authentic self and made peace with it before getting married. Note that being an authentic human being also involves acknowledging the need for companionship. No need for this superman/superwoman syndrome.

We need to celebrate the good and condemn wrong
This trend of sucking up and meaningless flattery is just wrong. If a man treats his spouse wrong, then successful or not, he should be called out. We shouldn’t go making excuses like ‘he’s a successful man, women are the ones throwing themselves at him’. We should condemn wrong. The same applies to good behavior, we should extol people for treating their spouses with dignity.Note that the next generation is watching and in condoning or excusing wrong, we give our seal of approval.

We need to teach our children the right values
Enduring and old-fashioned values like respect, contentment, prudence, honesty, humility, equality of the sexes in the sight of God, a heart of service and the fear of God are values we should painstakingly instill in our children. These ‘owo ni koko’ and ‘packaging l’omo’ ideologies might be our own undoing.

Let me conclude by saying that I believe that marriage is a beautiful institution created by God but it is not a do-or-die affair. Rather than argue whether or not there should be divorces, we should spend time teaching our kids respect for God, themselves and their neighbors while instilling a strong sense of self worth and enduring values. If we did these, then the divorce arguments might never arise because everyone will be happy doing what’s right.

I hope you are convinced.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Ron Chapple

Peculiar is a Marketing communications personnel, she believes that one can have a full life without being bitchy and she wants it all 'A good career, love, laughter, wealth, you name it. She blogs at www.daworkdiva.blogspot.com.ng.. Follow her on Instagram @daworkdiva and Facebook 'www.facebook.com/Daworkdiva'

24 Comments

  1. Animal Doctor

    February 6, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    YAWN!

    • Fizz

      February 6, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Yawn indeed.
      Are you an actual vet because I’m looking for free consultation.
      Haha…
      But for real though I am.

    • Nanamanna

      February 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      LMAO!!!!!!!! Seriously tho, was expecting epistles in the comments section on for or against theories. Just seeing your YAWN alone made me burst out in fits man! EPIC!

  2. Nkay

    February 6, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Great write-up for a topic laden with land mines. People need choice in life. They need to be free to make autonomous choices and bear the consequences of such, whether good or bad.

  3. Fizz

    February 6, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    TLDR-too long didn’t read-
    How about instead of more divorces lets stop fake, loveless marriages that are based on the petty Nigerian concept of marriage and how grand of a wedding one can hold, how much money the man has, how the woman is “running out of time” therefore settling for trash and promote marrying for actual true love. And don’t tell me that shit about love not putting food on the table because it is your responsibility as a grown ass person to have a source of livelihood and not rely on a partner to support you. One must never RELY on anyone for happiness. Hiss.

    • Nkay

      February 6, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      20,000 likes for your comment.

    • oj

      February 9, 2015 at 7:12 am

      u should have read before commenting

  4. Delawn

    February 6, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Not as provocative as the title suggested. I’m all fordivorce if it isn’t working out. Shikena. Can’t come and go and die.

    • blow

      February 7, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      Delawn, ,,,I perfectly understand your English jare,,,,,, mi o Le wa lo ku!,,,,, lol

  5. Iris

    February 6, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Some of the points made sense, but perhaps it would have been better to focus on not rushing into marriage for reasons of pressure or thinking you can change a person. With regards to the first, I think there is a disconnect between our generation and that of our parents. Times have changed and so have priorities and culture and it isn’t such a bad thing. Culture is never static because it does not define us. We define it. Both women and men now have more opportunities and in addition to having a family we want other things. We want better jobs, more traveling opportunities, more learning opportunities. Those desires will typically cause you to take more time to settle and raise a family. With regards to number two STOP trying to change people! Who the hell do you think you are to think you can Mould someone into what you want and they’ll actually be happy? It may happen but it will not be permanent and there will be resentment lurking beneath. I strongly believe marriage is a sacred institution that you shouldn’t walk in or out of lightly (that bring said abeg domestic abuse does not count as a light issue -run!). You should also mutually decide on what you want before you go into it. I used to think there wasn’t anything awful about occasionally sacrificing your family for major career choices, the way I’ve seen people get laid off without notice after five to ten years of loyalty because of this oil crisis, I’ve realized that a company will always do what is best for the company. Where does that leave me?
    Lol I have written an epistle today. Sorry.

  6. NEWSCRIB.NET

    February 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Am with you…

  7. always happy

    February 6, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I go laff die ohh when I saw owo ni koko and packaging l’omo ideologies , though funny its true of how we in our little minds believe in these man made formulas that put “us/mere humans” at the centre of our lives instead of having God as the centre. Has it occured to you that All the “owo” and “packaging” is finite, God’s blessings and favor are infinite

  8. ama

    February 6, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    nigeria is troubled. divorce? this announcement made it sound like a good thing. The author Peculiar Okafor, should promote positivism. I am totally against this so called encouragement. thats my opinion.

    • Surely

      February 7, 2015 at 12:56 am

      So what is your solution for people in horrible marriages that threaten their existence but cannot leave for fear?

  9. Wifey

    February 7, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Divorce is a formality. If your marraige is over … you and your spouse will know it. Then divorce will just be a word because you probably already be living separate lives.. Using divorce to coerce someone into behaving a certain way will backfire.

  10. hawttalkwithtosan.blogspot.ca

    February 7, 2015 at 1:59 am

    The concern od what people will say will continue to make people live in horrible and pretentious marriages in Nigeria unfortunately

  11. My interpretation

    February 7, 2015 at 2:36 am

    Geez, many have misinterpreted this entire write up which I must say is very creative …welldone!…her point is simple….people will behave themselves when there are CONSEQUENCES ….period, simple as that. She’s not even from a broken home so she has obviously benefitted from being an offspring in a good marriage……and yes, a broken marriage is indeed better than an miserable one….it’s not like there is a second life to re live….better to be happy and valued.

    • Peculiar Okafor

      February 8, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Thank a lot dear

  12. aleesha

    February 7, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Apparently, most of the commenters just read the title of the post, and didnt go further to read the post itself.

  13. jennifer

    February 8, 2015 at 7:58 am

    In one word NICE..Would love to meet you, you are my type # you spoke my mind #

  14. Peculiar Okafor

    February 8, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks a lot dear

  15. oj

    February 9, 2015 at 7:15 am

    bellanaijarians, please take the time to READ before COMMENTING. some of u read just the topic or a paragraph and then draw up wrong conclusions.

    Peculiar, this is one of ur best write-ups. chop knuckle!

    • Peculiar Okafor

      February 9, 2015 at 9:15 am

      Many Thanks dear. You just inspired my next writeup

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