Nigeria during its pre-colonial era is known for togetherness by couples who live through their good, bad and ugly times. Right now, the story has changed from together forever to together for a short time. People have divorced their spouse for extremely ridiculous reasons in Nigeria to the extent that they ridicule the scared institution called marriage. The rate of divorce in Nigeria is on an astronomical rise irrespective of the type of marriage. Marriages under native law and custom has taken a worst hit as a man can divorce his wife because she is not a good cook or she is not having regular sex with him.Divorce under the Marriage Act is more difficult as certain facts must be proved to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Here are 10 reasons why Nigeria is fast becoming a hub of divorce.
- Spate of domestic violence : The introduction of bad lifestyles in Nigeria has fostered a breeding ground for violence in the home. This is not to say that violence never existed during the time of our forefathers. But the frequency at which domestic violence happens in a home is alarming. The reason for domestic violence can be attributed to bad upbringing, peer influence, ex-cultists, the military mentality where every quarrel in a home starts and ends with a beating. The influence of hard drugs and other vices such as cigarettes, alcohol and the lot. Some violators were also victims of domestic violence and thinks it’s the norm to be violent. When a spouse becomes battered to the point of running the risk of loosing his or her life, he or she opts out of the marriage and this has in turn increase the rate of divorce in Nigeria as some women or men suffer violence in their home.
- Low tolerance level: Gone are the days when couples could tolerate a lot of attitudes and behaviours from their spouse, we are living in a jet age and every thing has become too fast for our own good. Women cannot tolerate their men and men cannot tolerate their women. The divorce mentality is more prominent in our lives, couples always believe they have a way out of the marriage rather than work things out. Marriage vows have erased for “better for worse” and replaced it with for “better for better.” Thus, when the marriage becomes tough, they leave.
- Married for the wrong reasons: Couples who married for the wrong reason can never complete the full cycle of time in a marriage. Simply put, you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand. Once the foundation is faulty, the marriage is faulty and is destined to fall. Some people marry for the wealth of their spouse and once that wealth is gone, puff -they go, like the wind. Some marry for outward beauty and once that outward beauty is gone, they can’t bear to stay in the marriage. Others marry to strengthen business relations, and if this does not happen their aim is defeated and they leave or become nasty. I once met someone who married a woman because he believed she could help him in getting a visa to America( Her siblings were citizens). He was not attracted to this woman and neither was he in love with her. His sole purpose of the marriage was to get a visa and in time a green card. This did not work out as planned as his wife’s siblings only sent for her to visit. The man became unhappy and shattered and the marriage never worked out.
- Financial incapacity There are many marriages going through financial difficulty, and it is not every one that can manage such situation or endure the hardship. Sometimes, the man badly manages the financial affairs of the family and when the woman finds out, she leaves. Instances are, giving money to outsiders or extended family members while not catering for the needs of the immediate family. Gambling with the family’s wealth, extravagant spending, or bad decisions on investments and businesses. For instance, the MMM saga, some spouse did not tell their better half of their involvement until it went sour. This leads to divorce as a result of the pain of the betrayal of trust the spouse feels. Sometimes, it bores down to spending a spouse money on extravagant lifestyles or using it to carter for outsiders. Once the spouse finds out, it shatters the home.
- Harsh economic conditions; The economic condition of the country has made most people hungry and less patient. The economic condition has pushed couples to take decisions out of frustration. It has led to the abandonment/denial of babies by their fathers due to the inability to provide for their upkeep. It has also led some men to chase their wife and children of the marriage out of the house to relieve themselves of that financial burden. Note: Not everywoman is strong or wise or financially capable of employing the resources to institute proceedings in court to compel the man to fulfil his parental responsibility. Most times, the women give up and become a burden to their parents or siblings.
- Unfulfilled dreams: Some marriages hinder a woman from fulfilling her dreams, she is tied down by the duties of being a wife, mother and a woman. Depression and bitterness sets in and she longs to be single again so that she can fulfil her dreams. Some men also are hindered from fulfilling their dreams due to their marriages, they are tied down by enormous financial responsibilities and this leads to frustration.
- Promiscuity/Cheating: Many men cannot tolerate a promiscuous woman and these days in the 21st century many woman are finding it difficult by the day to tolerate a promiscuous man. This has led to deaths in recent times. The Billyaminu Muhammed Bello’ s case is a case in point. Most spouse have worked out of their marriage due to cheating. How? You may ask, some women have given their husbands the children of other men. When the man discovers, the marriage might come to an end. Especially in this part of the world where cheating is an abominable act for women. Some men have also fathered children during the subsistence of their marriage with strange women. Once the woman discovers she feels hurt and betrayed and the relationship never remains the same or the relationship ends. Others cannot tolerate the incessant cheating habit of their spouse and that in itself brings the relationship to an end. In some cases, the spouse tolerates the cheating but the cheater divorces him or her to be with his or her younger or richer lover.
- Non-Physical Abuse: This type of abuse happens in a lot of homes, but no one talks about it. Sometimes, the abused or victim does not recognise it for what it is. It takes many years and sometimes a notable incident to arouse the victim’s senses into fighting against it. There is financial abuse, where a spouse cannot spend money without the approval of his or her partner. Or where the spouse is deprived of finances even though the partner has it in abundance. There is also emotional abuse, psychological abuse , constant talking down on the spouse, flagrant disregard of the marital vows, having mistresses in the home, cheating with the maid or the houseboy or driver or gate man.
- Differences in culture and tradition/Insecurity: Inter-tribal marriages are becoming more rampant in Nigeria. But there is still wisdom in the words of our parents that say “Marry your tribe.” Many unfortunate couples have divorced because of differences in culture. Especially those who are married to a spouse from a family who are traditional and cultural fanatics. Some partners are unable to cope with the incessant demands and dictates of the culture and tradition of their spouse and this in turn leads to divorce. Some spouse always feel like an outsider because they are not from the same village or tribe. This leads to insecurity over time and ends up breaking the home. There is also the insecurity some couples have, they fear their spouse would leave them for another, they fear that their spouse don’t love them, they fear a lot of things that might or might not happen in the marriage.
- Irresponsibility: This accounts for about 70% of broken marriages in Nigeria. Lack of maturity also falls under this group. Two young people fall in love with the idea of being married without necessarily understanding the nitty gritty of the institution. Many young couples do not know that marriage commands a lot of responsibility. The man forgets he is the provider and the head and the woman forgets she is the homemaker and the neck. She fails to perform her duty of making the home as comfortable as possible for her husband and children. The man fails to provide for the family, school fees are unpaid, house rent unpaid and feeding money in addition to other expenses and sundry are left hanging. Sometimes, this is no fault of his as the economy might be responsible for this. However, he fails to come down from his high horse and face reality. The woman provides the food, the school fees the house rent and works two times harder than the man. He still expects her to pamper him and serve him despite this precarious situation. He never makes it a point to assist with the domestic chores and care of the children. Even though he is not really making much or any financial contribution to the household. Now the tables are turned and in this jet age many women cannot bear it. Thus, seems to be the answer to their frustrations.
So, there you have it. Divorce may not happen on just one of the highlighted reason, it might be a combination of the reasons stated above. But now we know it, we can safeguard against it happening.