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How The Stigma Associated With Divorce Keeps Many People in Abusive Marriages in Kenya

Nyamweya is a columnist with a Kenyan print media.He is also a freelance writer with various online and offline media platforms

Couple's Quarelling

Couple's Quarelling

In Kenya, the stigma associated with divorce may have gradually diminished over the years and cannot be compared with what it was like some two to three decades ago. Despite the fact that the rate of divorce in our country has shored up almost threefold, the stigma is still prevalent. People who go through divorce are labeled failures and hence unable to stay in marriages. Sadly, it does not matter who was in the wrong or what caused the phenomena; Kenyans will still castigate you for having a divorce despite using a substantial junk of resources for weddings and marriage ceremonies. For one to be trusted by the members of the society, then he or she has to prove hard on why he or she was not the case of the divorce.

If the divorcee wants to regain his or her respect back, it appears that the only way is through remarriage. This entails finding another partner and walking down the aisle the second or third time. Otherwise, the feelings among the societal members towards the divorcee are that of bewilderment, pity, and suspicion. Further, a common verdict among many Kenyans towards a divorcee is that he or she is either ungenerous in bed, arrogant, mean-spirited, adulterous, unattractive or a helicopter parent.

This attitude from Kenyans towards divorce has subsequently forced many people to stay in undesirable marriages; irrespective of the circumstances and environment that one is in. A number of parents are said to coerce or plead with their daughters to stay in their marriages, irrespective of the abuse they may be going through.


Silas Nyamweya (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on November 01, 2020:


dashingscorpio for that insightful opinion

dashingscorpio from Chicago on October 30, 2020:

I suspect there is a connection between better career opportunities and higher pay for women that contribute to higher divorce rates.

In the U.S. (women) initiate 66% or 2/3rds of all divorce filings.

The more options one has the less crap they will put up with.

Ultimately the divorce stigma fades as the divorce rate rises because it is no longer seen as a "rare event". It's now common.

Also when you don't care what other people think you're FREE!

Life is a (personal) journey.

Human beings make mistakes in all areas of life including choosing the (wrong spouse) for themselves.

There are three basic reasons why couples split up.

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1. They chose the wrong mate. (They're too incompatible.)

Compatibility trumps compromise. Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys! There is no amount of "work" or "communication" which can overcome being with someone who simply does NOT want what you want.

Life is too short to be trying to change water into wine.

The goal is to find someone who (already is) what you want.

2. A "deal breaker" was committed in the eyes of one of them.

Deal breakers vary from person to person. Some of the common ones are infidelity, physical/verbal abuse, emotional neglect, financial instability, drug/alcohol/gambling addiction, and criminal behavior.

Anyone with self-esteem has boundaries and "deal breakers"!

No one is "stuck" with anyone! Suffering is optional.

The goal is to find a "soulmate" not a cellmate.

3. They fell out of love and grew apart over time.

There is no "neutral" in marriage.

We're either "growing together" or "growing apart"

Communication is the GPS for relationships which lets you know which direction you're heading in. Oftentimes couples treat marriage like it was a goal they achieved on their "to do list" and once they got married they moved on to the other goals on their list. Relationships are like gardens.

If you nurture them they thrive. If you neglect them they die.

It's easier to maintain a fire than it is to reignite a spark!

"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

- Oscar Wilde

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