Wed after three years

By: Abena Manokekame
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HAVE you ever wondered why nowadays divorcing after being married for mere months or a few years is becoming “normal?”

Let’s not talk about our well known public figures and celebrities but let’s concentrate on the average Ghanaian. In every family, there is always that “one” who married and divorced later. Yet, 20 years ago it wasn’t like that.

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Let me ask these three questions:
1. What happens when after marrying, the two of you realise that you aren’t compatible in any way and you can’t find a common ground to make your marriage work?

2. What if after that all expensive traditional and church wedding, you face so many issues that both of you agree that it’s best to divorce? What happens to all those expenses and worse, loans you took?

3. When you’re saying “I do” can you read “I’ll divorce you soon on your fiance’s forehead? Marrying someone is different from dating that same person.

Gina and Kwei dated for seven years because she wanted to finish with all her education before marrying. Kwei had to wait for her to finish her first degree, do her National Service, work for a while and do her Masters.

His family felt he was wasting his time and money because he was the one footing the bills of her school fees, hostels and everything about her.

When she was doing her National Service, her dad suffered from stroke. It was so severe that he had to resign and stay at home just two years shy away from going on pension.

She had to use her National Service allowance to purchase the needed medication for him at the expense of her transportation and feeding costs.

Kwei had to step in every month with a stipend and this continued even when she finished her National Service and had to look for a job.

It took her over a year to get a well paid job but after six months, she decided to go back to school and Kwei had to foot those fees too.

After she finished, she finally agreed to their marriage and this led to a lot of back and forth over what to get, what to sew, what to buy, which guests to impress.... So at the end of the wedding ceremony, they had spent over GHc55,000 on their marriage.

After they got married, issues they had never resolved including how she always insisted on doing things her way, shouted at him and insulted him at every turn, forced him to demand a divorce after just seven weeks of marriage.

So many people reading their story would realise getting to know who you are married to takes time and the first three years are very hard.

It’s very easy to pack bag and baggage and walk away during that time. It is after you’ve been married for more than three years that you’re now certain of who you live with and can now cope/endure/tolerate their negatives.

Nowadays, so many people no longer believe in helping their partners to make their marriages work. There’s always that one partner trying to do all the right things and the other one caring less about their feelings. There are always those things one partner does knowing it’ll hurt the other.

Divorce has become so rampant that some people seek for a divorce so soon after marriage so my little advice is, spend as little on your wedding as possible.

You read correctly. When wedding, spend the least amount you can afford and make sure the chunk of your finances are kept in savings and investments.

Then if the two of you are still married five years later, both of you can have that all expensive wedding you want because when you do, you’ll realise that re-saying your vows will hit differently by having a far more deeper meaning.

This also means that if your woman or man is with you because they know you can organise an expensive wedding for them, they’ll walk away because they know you won’t.

I wish even churches would encourage their members to do the church wedding only after couples have been traditionally married for at least three years.

Believe me, there will be more success rates of marriages after the wedding than now. I believe in love yes but I also believe in the longetivity of marriage yet, the current rate of divorce needs to be curbed in more ways than one.