'Young couples lacking guidance'

HARARE - Melody (not real name), 25, decided to get married not because she wanted to, but because most of her friends had wedded.

But the real problem was which guy to get married to since she had not found the perfect one.

She decided to settle for Moses because he had shown glimpses  of being a good husband.

Somehow, she was wary of his drinking habits, but inside her she believed  she could change him for the better once they move in together, — so she overlooked the binging problem.

They got married and sadly, Moses did not change his drinking habits or irritable temper.

Within a month Melody realised she had made probably the biggest mistake of her life and wanted counselling, but she did not know whether Moses would ever really change or seek divorce in the early stages.

Her marital plight accurately  potrays the real picture of today’s sad marriage stories.

Closer to home, we have the story of Sharon Macheso and her ill-fated fairy tale marriage with Kudakwashe Munetsi.

Macheso has since filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences with Munetsi whom she accuses of physical abuse which she says occurs when her hubby comes home sloshed.

The couple has thrown damning accusations at each other in the media and, defying the normally held view that; “one should not wash their dirty linen in public.”

But the Macheso-Munetsi saga is but just one of the many ill-fated marriage cases in Zimbabwe.

Rebecca Chisamba, a social commentator and local televisiontalk show host said she would have advised the couples to go to court or to approach elders in the family or at church. 

“My response to young couples rushing to court is yes and no. If there is the aspect of domestic violence involved I would say they must rush to court and be separated or divorced because people have been known to die in such cases.

“We can argue that they need to talk but that depends on the extent of domestic violence. Newly married couples should also be counselled by elders either from their families or church,” said Chisamba.

The popular television host said people are marrying for the wrong reasons.

“Some women just say they want the ring without falling in love with the man. They soon discover after being married that they cannot live with each other. Let love blossom into a marriage so that the newly-married would not face many challenges.”

“As parents sometimes we put a lot of pressure on our children to get married. We envy those with married daughters and wish it upon ourselves but we forget that people are different. Couples should get time to know each other, they should marry for love.” 

Anna Colleta Penduka a women’s activist in Harare said, “Most couples are not giving their marriages a chance or even opt for counselling. Families are not also given a chance to intervene. Some are quick to run to courts to settle for divorce.

“There is a catch 22 situationhere as either one of the partners eyes the property or want to fix each other publicly.  When couples marry and swear oaths in front of the church, people expect that they have done all the background research about the partner.

“Young couples are taking it like it is fashionable to marry and divorce. I feel for those who have children as they are the ones who are likely to suffer. In cases of abusers of course one has no choice but to move on. Different situations call for different strategies. I rest my case.”

Pastor Gwendoline Kanokanga a senior pastor at Impact Christian Centre and also Director of the Marriage Centre said courts do not solve marital problems.

“Divorce is not a solution. It is a symptom of underlying problems. People must learn to keep their marital problems out of the courts. Courts do not fix the problems. The couple facing problems must go for counselling because there is scope for solving issues.

“They should not fight over their problems; neither should they be quick to give up on their marriage,” said Kanokanga.

Rebecca Matimba, a pastor at AFM Belvedere assembly in Harare said sometimes young couples face difficulties in marriage because of wrong channels of counselling.

“With the emergence of social media, couples are susceptible to wrong advice when they seek it from friends and relatives on the spot.  They are ill advised and then act on a whim to seek divorce.

“Couples should go through pre-marriage counselling because without this they go into a marriage without knowing what to expect. It is best for the couple to understand each other and to know that they were brought together by love.” Matimba said.

Rabison Shumba, a motivational speaker and social commentator based in Harare said marriage is not for the faint hearted. 

“Marriage is a noble institution and should not be entered into by the faint hearted and those who are not decided. For someone to say I want to get married they are saying I can now exhibit maturity in my decision making and I am now committed to the end. You cannot be a cry baby when you are entering into an institution for mature people.

“There will always be issues when two histories come together. Issues are best dealt with behind closed doors. When you fail to resolve issues you find a neutral party that you both respect that can bring the divided sides to see issues from one angle. That can be a marriage counsellor or a good friend. It can also be a Pastor or someone who mentors you in marriage.

“Courts are not the best option as you expose dirty linen to the public. You wash linen and present it out there as clean and spotless. Problems should unite people as they help to bring a common understanding. Young couples need mature couples to walk with them and show them the ropes and not pretend to know it all.”

Meanwhile, reports say divorce cases are on the increase in Zimbabwe. Press reports show that in 2013, 473 divorce summons were issued compared to 425 in 2012. This represents an increase of 48 cases.

Comments (4)

This is so true hey. I believe marriage is of God and what ever is of God satan is against it. I personally experienced it. I grew up as a victim of divorce and my wish was to find a loving and caring partner but it proved otherwise if not for God's intervention. Our problems started two months into the wedding, our marriage was like hell. I was regretting my decision. Beer became my best friend, I became a stockist of different types of whisks and brands. After work I would help myself with a dose so that I will be able to overcome my wife's nagging. We were fighting over silly things. When Satan is in your house you can fight for the side of bed on which to sleep or even for nothing. All our relatives did not even know that we were fighting a fierce battle in our house. However due to God's grace we were quick to notice we were going nowhere and I did not want to have a divorce history in my life. We sat down and reviewed our past to see what we were fighting for but all we saw was a chain of silly things. We resolved to respect and love each other. We now pray together, eat as a family, discuss things as mature people. All we did was put God first in everything we do, we increased our prayer rate, we read the bible together everyday, I quitted my beer addiction, I now face challenges as a man. Thank you Lord I am a happily married man, I thank you Jesus Christ. No one from both our families knew that we were vying for a divorce within two months of marriage, without even enjoying the fruits of marriage. Sharon and Kuda all I can say is Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge God and he shall direct your paths. Marriage has no formula, do it as you see fit as long as it pleases God. Wish you reconciliation and the best in your lives. Its you guys who can make it or break it!!

Zorodzai - 10 November 2014

WELL SAID ZORORAI. DIVORCE IS NOT A SOLUTION

ONIE ONIE - 12 November 2014

I would agree with Mai Chisamba...when domestic violence reigns, devorce is the solution straight away...it is true, some people have died or vakatoremara because of domestic violence! Chete nyaya idzi dzinonetsa as even churches also put pressure on the young ones and force them to wed...more so there other churches that shuts the door to one's family when they decided to wed. Hee tete vako havana murume saka vangakuraireyi chitorairwa na mai mfundisi...hee this and that. Ichowo chiri chokwadi even with these so called women activists...most of these are signle parents and their advice is not good...they stress human rights, hee equal rights instead of love. these young ones may not understand them properly and go home to implement the lessons from these clubs at home....disaster comes nababa mwana kumba....

TaTanga - 19 December 2014

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