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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Marriage Institution and “Yes, I Do”

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Marriage is an institution that comes with a lot of responsibilities as the couple is expected to be a team that will work hand-in-hand, to make the relationship strong. However, things are not always rosy after taking the vows, ‘Yes I do’, making some marriages collapse prematurely.

In this special report, John Akampale takes a look at the institution of marriage.

Ghanaian Traditional marriage

Marriage is a legal or formally recognized intimate and complementing union, between a man and woman. The union comes with responsibilities as both partners make a covenant to each other and God. They are taken through counselling by either professional counsellors or their spiritual leaders.

The joyful moment comes when the two, appear before the altar to tie the knot, a transition from youthful life to responsible adulthood. A moment to exchange rings, and promise to stay with each other till death do them apart, despite the difficulties that may arise.

However, many marriages are unable to stand the test of time, as some collapse prematurely.

Reports indicate that about six thousand marriages contracted in a year, collapse. In our quest to find out some of the challenges faced during divorce, we interacted with a divorcee’ who shared with us, the emotional turmoil he suffered during the process of break up.

For the purpose of this piece, we shall refer to him as Mr HANDSOME. He said apart from the psychological trauma that he went through; his children equally suffered the brunt of the divorce process. Mr HANDSOME said it is always difficult for the children to come to terms with the fact that their mother and father will no longer be together and as such they will have to choose between the two who to live with.

Infidelity, lack of communication and sparing sessions of sex, are some of the common reasons cited for divorce.

Chief Executive of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, and a marriage counsellor, Dr. Emmanuel Hopeson, said the individual interpretation and purpose of marriage influence their behaviour, he noted that people who go into marriage based on procreation or economic benefits will behave differently from those who see it as an institution created by God. Therefore, knowing oneself, the partner and the purpose of getting married is key to sustainable marriage.

So, what is involved in pre-marital counseling? Dr. Hopeson explains that professional counsellors need to conduct laboratory test to ascertain the individual temperament, the level at which he/she responds to crises and withstand challenges in the relationship and make it known to them before the go into it.

Given that couples are taken through counselling and prepared for marriage, would it be fair to ask, whether or not, the infusion of western culture, contribute to the spate of divorce cases in the country? The General Overseer of Devoted to Christ Church International, Bishop Joseph Peprah agrees adding that people rash to demand their share of whatever property they made with the little provocation bearing in mind that is only the marriage certificate that holds them and not real love.

Bishop Peprah called on the Christian Council, Pentecostal and the Charismatic Council, to reconsider the rites of marriage, in relation to the Christian doctrine. I dare say that many people enter into marriage on the wrong footing, and when their expectations are not met, they give up, leaving their matrimonial homes. So, remember, before you say “I do,” you always have the choice to say “I don’t!”

Groom and bride sitting at the table setted for two in the forest. Rustic style wedding in the woods.

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