In times past in Nigeria, people tend to shy away from divorce, even the few that finally gets it to hide the information from the public space. At that time, divorce was unmentionable as people held family ties in high esteem. The reverse is the case in recent times, divorce is now one of the most common cases in local courts in Nigeria.
The incidence of divorce has gone up exponentially and not even the wearisome process and expensive cost of filing divorce; which depends on factors like a court, location, lawyers’ charges and sometimes the reason for divorce, has been able to stop the high rate.
An Abuja based lawyer recently declared on her Twitter page that 4000 divorce applications have been filed in Abuja in just 51 days into the year 2020.
4000 divorce applications in Abuja already and the year just started.
Some of these marriages are less than a year old.
What's really happening?
— Annebrafa Esq. Cac Accredited (@Sandraorokodo) February 21, 2020
It is quite alarming that some of these marriages are less than a year. This data suggests that by the end of the remaining 315 days in 2020, the divorce rate might have risen to the nth degree.
If divorce applications in other 36 states of the country are considered and added to the list, coupled with the lists of separated partners/broken homes that haven’t filed for divorce yet and might never even file for one, it is apparent that the rate will be outrageously high.
Erstwhile, domestic violence used to be masculine in nature. Instances of domestic violence that were seen, heard or read about revealed men as sole dispensers of violence in marriages. Recent trends have totally annulled this.
Cases of domestic violence now feature both men and women as the perpetrator of this heart-wrenching acts, worst still, spousal killings seem to be the order of the day.
In addition to its normal usage in the kitchen, Kitchen knives have been assigned odd tasks of stabbing and slaughtering humans by intolerant couples. The threat to life could, therefore, be one of the reasons for the current upsurge in the rate of the divorce application.
Going by the recent cases of spousal killings, the most recent news being the final judgement of Maryam Sanda who murdered her husband, Bilyaminu Bello sometimes in 2017, some of the issues that lead to these killings are sometimes resolvable and at other occurrences, irreconcilable. Some are as infinitesimal as failure to prepare meals, while some are as heart-breaking as extra-marital affairs and discovery of illegitimate children.
While no one will advise that people stay in marriages that are abusive or not working out, it is important that individuals count their costs and understand what they are venturing into, before wedding bells ring. Individuals are better as an entity before marriage than they become after they have gone through a divorce.
A research carried out by CNN revealed that
“Divorce causes more than bitterness and broken hearts, the trauma of a split can leave long-lasting effects on mental and physical health that remarriage might not repair”.
Children are always at the receiving end of the negative impact of broken homes. Right from the point of decision making on divorce, the issue of child custody is always at the forefront of the brawl. Children are left devastated and resort to using of drugs/substances, sexual practices, crime, suicide and other negative behaviours to fill the void.
Some become victims of sexual abuse, domestic abuse and maltreatment in the hands of step-parents. Some are presented with the option of teenage marriage while some become school dropouts. The impact of divorce on our society at large is colossal and definitely not a constructive one.
While divorce is breaking free from one’s partner, it obviously is more than that, it leads to emotional and psychological stress; it can upend the future of one’s children and by extension the future of a nation. It is therefore pertinent to choose carefully, tread wisely in the choice of a life partner and marry for the right reasons. It’s essential to be mindful of the fact that the wedding ceremony is short term while the marriage itself is long term.
Written by: Fehintola
A writing enthusiast and a beaded jewellery connoisseur.
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