- The divorce rate in South Africa is climbing at an alarming rate
- There were a whopping 25, 300 divorces in a single year in South Africa
- Lack of communication, cheating, money issues and physical and emotional abuse, have been highlighted as the main causes
‘Til death do us part’ what does this really mean and how many of us take it seriously? It is so sad to see the recent Stats South Africa data, which paints a bleak picture as far as marriages in our country is concerned.
With as many as 25 300 divorces granted in 2016 alone of which most lasted less than 10 years. The divorce rate among white South Africans have dropped by 50 percent, but this is not the case with Africans having increased by almost 40 percent.
Some well known SA celebs have recently fallen into the divorced category too. Unathi and Thomas Msengana, Melanie and Zwai Bala, Trevor and Lucille Gumbi, Marks and Sylvia Maponyane, Precious Kofi and Mr Schamel, to name a few.
There are various reasons for divorce but the most common are, couples failing to communicate, infidelity and money problems. Irene Motaung, a counselling social worker and mediator at The Family Life Centre (Famsa), says to maintain a strong and healthy relationship, there should always be good communication.
Problems start creeping in when spouses get the feeling they are not heard and respected. The spouse then tends to withdrawal and this only leads to more assumptions and suspicions. Once this starts to happen, the couple starts to drift apart, ending in divorce.
These are the most common:
• Lack of communication
• Money issues
• Physical and emotional abuse
Irene also states that infidelity is the principal source for the final break up. Most people find it hard to rekindle an intimate and secure relationship once the trust has been broken and a partner has engaged sexually with another.
Money issues affect the whole family. When there are financial encounters, the best was to deal with this kind of crisis is to talk openly and honestly.
Irene advises that a discussion of this nature should be spoken about in an environment of acceptance and emotional support so that this does not impact on the relationship.
When it comes to abuse whether it be physical or emotional, this is also a cause for divorce. Irene claims that deep childhood trauma is often the cause for abuse. Should this be the case, it is imperative that one gets help from a professional in order to deal with emotional pain.
In a lot of cases there are children that have to endure the challenges that divorce brings. Dr Angela du Plessis, an accredited and experienced mediator in divorce at Famsa, says that research shows that generally it is the conflict between the parents that inflicts harm on the children and not the divorce per se.
Before the divorce is even finalized, there are some that go through immense conflict between the couples with their individual lawyers fighting each other for the best for their clients. This results in the divorce been drawn-out and costing more than the couple can afford.
Claudia Abelheim, an education psychologist, also at Famsa, says the children end up getting mixed up their parents’ arguments. She says that parents should always remember that their children did not opt for their parents to get divorced.
Even though the children are aware of lifestyle changes, good co-parenting is essential to reduce stress the children will go through.
She highlights that a strong and healthy relationship is built around fluid and constant communication. Irene says that spouses can actually experience withdrawal when they feel unloved. This is a major contributor to divorces.
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