Divorces up, marriages down - Stats SA

2016-09-08 06:00

IN South Africa Marriage Week is from Thursday 1 to 7 September, a theme week to bring the value of marriage and faithfulness into focus.

However, statistics indicate the divorce rate is increasing, while marriage rates are dropping. Thirty percent of unmarried women say they do not want to get married, and 70% have hope and want to get married, whether for personal and financial security, or just to have a ring on the finger.

South Africa’s divorce rate is currently at its highest, this according to data released by Statistics SA, which states that the divorce rate has increased by five percent since 2012, and while the number of marriages have decreased. Divorces in 2014 - 21 998 - indicate an increase of 4.9% from 20 980 in 2011.

A divorcee of three years, Stacey Delport said the main reason she divorced her husband of 10 years was because they grew apart.

“We got married very young and later realised we wanted different things in life, and that we had both changed.”

Rethabile Ntaka (26) said marriage is just not for her.

“Marriage comes with a lot of complications and commitment. If I do ever get married it would be fate, but I never dream of it.”

Clinical psychologist, and marriage counsellor, Dr Cathrine Venter of Port Shepstone, said many couples get divorced because they fail to communicate with each other about serious issues.

“Couples just fall in love and ignore issues of finance, family and other conflicts that do arise, which normally leads to divorce.”

She said marriage is two people coming from different backgrounds, living together and committing to one another.

“Both parties should remember they are supposed to ‘become one’ and should discuss their differences so that the relationship works,” said Venter.

She said going to a therapist before marriage is one way a couple can get advice before committing themselves to each other.

“Professional advice is always better than getting advice from a family member as they are not always objective. A spiritual leader or a therapist always has the best advice before marriage, or in event of a divorce.

She said pre-marital counselling helps deal with all the tricky questions and issues that might affect a couple, such as children, careers and the future.

“As the relationship becomes deeper couples get too comfortable and start neglecting the relationship or their partners. A relationship is like a plant, it needs to be taken care of,” she said.

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