Looking at the growing rate of divorces, court cases for alimony, physical abuses and single parents; it does seem as if handling a relationship can be a tricky and often a taxing issue. Yet, critical analyses of recent contracted marriages in Ghana as against the increasing rate of divorce indicate that our attachment to marriage as our basic social institution is weakening.
For example, in the Central Region of Ghana alone, the contracted marriages of 2007, 2006 and 2005 were 85, 113, 91 respectively, but the average number of divorce in the same region is 4 in every week. This means that, an average of 16 marriages break-up in every month and a total average of 192 registered marriages break-up in the Central Region of Ghana each year. This figure of 192 divorces as against 85, 113 or 91 contracted marriages in a particular year in truly alarming, and this calls for a stricter look at the marriage institution once again.
People marry for many reasons, like love, happiness, money, companionship, physical attraction, desire to escape from an unhappy situation and the desire to have children. But marriage goes beyond these interests. It is a commitment with love and responsibility for peace, happiness and development of strong family relationships. It is the sacrificing of your freedom to attain the ultimate happiness for your partner. It involves emotional and legal commitment that is quite important in any adult life.
In the eyes of the law, marriage is a contract whereby a man and a woman agree to enter into a union for life for their mutual benefit, to provide each other with companionship, sexual gratification and economic help and to procreate and raise children.
The role of husband and wife to each other is a matter more of custom and tradition than of law. Marital role can be defined as set of attitudes and behaviours a spouse is expected to demonstrate in the content of the marriage relationship.
Marriage, although it merits being called romantic, passionate, strong, resonant, robust, hardy, solid, indestructible, indissoluble institution, is actually full of hard times and hard lessons that no one can ever prepare you for. But in the end, those are the things that give richness to your relationship, and make your love life even deeper and stronger than when it began. It’s more delicate and unsteady than you think. You co-habit with your spouse 365 days a year. Of those 365 days, how many were good days? How many were bad?
When you get married, you think that as long as you have picked the right man, you’ll be happy together until death do you part. Then you wake up one day and realize that no matter how great he is, he doesn’t make you happy every moment of every day. In fact, some days you might wonder why you were in such a hurry to get married in the first place. You think to yourself, ‘This is not what I really want in life’.
Human beings, you may have noticed, are not simple creatures. Your man has mysterious, unplumbed depths, and from where he sits, you’re pretty complicated, too. You have to learn each other the same way that you once learned earth science or world geography. And getting married doesn’t mean you’re done, it just means you’ve advanced to graduate-level studies. That’s because every time you think you’ve mastered the material, he’ll change a bit. And so will you. As two people grow and evolve, the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate to and nurture each other in the process. Therefore, in marriage, two universes come close together.