To Be Or Not To Be: Understanding The Rate Of Divorce In Nigeria

Who among the Disney princess is your favourite princess? Well, I guess the most popular Disney princess whichever favourite yours might be, remains Cinderella. These princesses have become a symbol or some sort of emblem to how and what a woman should aspire for. She is always expected to be a damsel in distress who gets saved by her prince charming. Nice right?

Well, this picture or imaging of a happy ending with the best guy in town has left the dreams of many girls broken and the guys too. Having the imaging of a docile female who sees and adores his every breath is outside of what reality has to offer.

Many leave in a makeshift fairy tale life that has added to the outbreak and high rate of divorce in Nigeria; a society that has put a label on divorce and a failed marriage. In a labelling country as Nigeria, how is this alarming rate of divorce seen as weighed to the traditional orientation of a woman being seen and not heard? The supposed modern times have greatly influenced the tremendous change in the domestic idea of marriage, impelling people to break and redefine the stigma attached to being a divorcee.

So now we have single mothers and fathers who are leaving their lives with pride and understanding that life indeed happens. Some like Cinderella and prince charming have their happy ending while others end up like dissatisfied like her sisters. We are indeed gradually taking a step away from the traditional ideals into another epoch. The mindset and understanding of the shortcomings and blessings of marriage better prepare one for what lies ahead. With the change in mind frame, it thus initiates in understanding the gimmicks and psychology in marriage. For the sake of sanity too which we have come to realise is more important than what “they think,” less timid steps have been taken and spiked the increase in divorce, having realised there are other things in life and other ways to live.

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Nonetheless, in redefining the world of divorce and separation, the libra scale is not balanced by lady justice simply because of the battle of the sexes that has society being chauvinistic to women, but again life happens right? A scene in the film, “Marriage Story” has gained attention for speaking unequivocally, and stating the obvious like never heard before, of the imbalance in the expectations of men and women in marriage and child “rearing”. Pointing clearly to the Virgin Mary as an epitome of how a woman should be just like the Disney princesses are seen, therefore acknowledging this as the problematic foundation of the union between the male and female. In the same breath, it points to asserting that such are the ins and outs of life and all it brings to our doorstep which we just have to deal.

The idea of a divorce is not one thing that a sumptuous cake is made for. But it is a chance for self-growth and understanding despite leaving what seemed like the best turned worst situation of their lives.  Many have even ended up “besties” than ever before as husband and wife while some have not had it rosy. With icing on the cake, some separate and get hitched again to live happily ever after having gone through so much together.

Society has created the idea of the perfect marriage and the perfect union that has lots of people not absorbing the realities of you win some you lose some. It is no debate that there is a rejection of society to divorced couples, and yet again a woman is seen as the shining light of “wrong and shame” when a divorce takes place. The man, on the other hand, is granted a dozen excuses to his inadequacies, forgetting that divorce is not gender-specific.

It is safe to say that the humiliation or dishonour that divorce brings is fast diminishing; that is not to say that it has totally died off. Having to give friends and family the pleasure of seeing one as a failure in their journey of marriage has fast backtracked rather than leading to coexistence in marriages that have long ended before it even started. No one marries with the hope and intention of getting a divorce or separating which leaves these individuals in a mental battle of what people will think.

A failed marriage is not a thing anyone is proud of or plans for. No one knows their strength and capacity once a romantic relationship turns into a marriage. It is for all the unexpected journey of the self, blossoming into what life has for one.

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