By Halima Wakili
Marriage could be defined as a legal union between a man and a woman. It is publicly accepted in the society as a pre-condition of the formation of family.
According to Osofor (1990), marriage is the approval of social pattern wherby two or more persons establish a family. Marriage could also be said to be a social union between a man and a woman for the purpose of recreation.
Divorce, on the other side, is known as the dissolution of marriage or the end of maWarriage.
The world encyclopedia defines divorce as the ending of a valid marriage. Divorce is a severe family disorganization and a topic of gossip in our society___this is because divorced couple are regarded by the society as deviants, insatiable and the worst people in morals.
A divorced woman is seen as being of bad character that a man cannot think of remarrying her within a short period of time in the society. It is believed by many society that once the first marriage crumbles, it will never be easy to be successful with other subsequent marriages.
Alcohol addiction, physical and emotional abuse, sexual incompatibility, falling out of love, financial problems and lack of maturity are some of the major causes of divorce.
Divorce has shown to have some sociological and psychological effects on both partners and their children. For instance, lack of parental role, emotional anxiety and negativity towards life, based on review, is more common in most societies and culture.
Many sociologists believe that societies hoping to flourish must rear children responsibly. In most functioning societies, an intact family helps children to develop strong moral character. Lacking such guidance, children of divorce home are more likely to behave as social deviants. Children whose parents are divorced are more likely to experience external problems such as conduct disorder, deliquency and impulsive behavior than kids that were brought up by both parents.
Report by Heritage Foundations shows that these children are more likely to commit minor crimes, run away from home, get suspended from school, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, carry weapons, engage in physical fight and use marijuana and cocaine. Such children from broken homes, during adolescent stage, are likely to experiment sex at age 11.
Divorce also breeds poverty in the society, particularly for women and children. In the 18 months of following divorce, between 77 to 83 percent of mothers and their children live in poverty. With fewer economic resources, most children of divorce families experience disruption charges in child care, living arrangements and school that create turmoil in their lives.
Long term effects of poverty in divorce are most obvious in girls.
Additionally, divorce hinders society by dissolving families and weakens family life as an essential unit. Many sociologists go with the fact that family goes beyond uniting people by marriage or blood and adoption but also provide financial, emotional and educational supports which its members need to thrive socially. Without these supports, adult or children from divorced families tend to be mentally and physically weakened, becoming less productive in social participations and likely makes them question if family is worthwhile.
In Nigeria, the rate of divorce is high and growing, but not as high as other countries in the world. However, The nation still believe that marriage is a sacred alliance between two souls that is blessed by the Lord. Whatever the religion is, owing to this belief, the rate of divorce in Nigeria is quite disturbing but its nothing compared to the western world.
Reasons for divorce are numerous and not quite special or very special from those in other countries. Based on this, one may observe that as a socio-psychological problem, it is quite common in most societies and cultures.
Furthermore, it is said that there are still abusers in Nigeria who practice domestic violence on their wives and children___cruelty disrespect, restrictions, violence and total control, humiliation and beating which are some of the leading and major reasons for divorce in Nigeria today. These are serious problems in marriages today that require special attention and complex approach to solve.
Finally, Marriage failures can be easily fought with enough devotion and patience. It is necessary to educate future spouses, explain everything about their responsibilities to their spouses and children and prepare them thoroughly before diving into the institution of marriage.
Marriage goes beyond physical attraction and basic feelings. To understand the reasons and responsibilities is the way forward.