As lovers prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, the question on whether many Kenyan families and marriages are enduring the changing dynamics in the society is still a major concern.
Pastor George Mutua, a relationship and family counsellor, says most modern marriages have lost their real meaning. He notes that families are being started on a shaky ground where premarital counselling is not done as was the case in the earlier days. He notes that many families are thus living in conflicts.
Pastor Mutua says in the traditional days, marriage had to last because it was a communal business.
However, today, marriage values have been diluted and about 60 per cent of marriages are non-functional, he says.
“Divorces and separation have become the order of the day, people are marrying and breaking up within a period of less than two months of officiating,” he says.
“If people disagreed during the traditional days, it was a family responsibility to ensure that they got back together,” he adds.
He notes that modern marriages are characterised by disagreements and expensive lifestyles, which have made unions more stressful.
Polygamy, which was allowed back in the old days, is slowly cropping back secretly in the society, causing many marriages to fail.
The pastor says other factors such as infidelity are leading to break-ups. He adds that exposure to internet is also contributing to failed marriages.
DENYING PARENTAL LOVE
On parenting, he says parents value work more than family, denying children parental love.
“I believe that this has negatively affected children’s behaviour,” he says.
Mr Boniface Akhufula, a psychologist, says divorce cases are on the rise because couples do not respect each other.
“Cases of spouses killing one another have become too common, unlike in the old days,” he says.