The personal responses and reactions to divorce and separation are characterized by complex and transformative events that turn best friends into the worst enemies. This essay will, therefore, address the issues of divorce and separation. I will begin by tracing the root of separation and divorce in the contemporary world. I will proceed by analyzing the rubrics on which the tales of divorce and separation have been defined. I will then look at aftermath[i] when all is said and done, what next?
This essay analyses the rocky journey of marriage through the terrain of separation and divorce as seen through the lenses of the contemporary world because the discursive narrative of divorce and separation is a contested site of anthological discourse. The fact that stories relating to this topic are told from personal experiences riddled with pain, anger, despair and in many cases, regret after or before the dissolution of a marriage irrespective of whether the separation and divorce is slow, sudden or shocking points to the egoistic tendencies of the personhood in the institution of marriage.
The institution of marriage has occasionally been framed as a bed of roses where the proverbial prince spends eternity with his bride but the reality, at least in the contemporary set up has proved it to be the battlefield for conjugal titans. It is only in marriage that opponents sleep together.
Without underscoring the social, political, religious and economic importance of the institution of marriage and other intangible benefits that many people associate with marriage, “no one would deny that marriage threatens ones’ personal freedom…The threat to the negative face occurs at the very beginning of a marriage at the wedding ceremony. The wedding vows are assurances of complete loyalty and devotion “until death” [ii] and this seamlessly seals the fate of a free man and woman into an incredible legal, religious and emotional bondage that characterizes the frustration, rage, and hatred that follows separation and divorce.
Many have argued that marriage reforms have led to a revolution. From the legendary anthological account of Wangu WA Maker in the Kikuyu tradition to the 1960’s civil rights activism that gave women voting rights in the US.
These transformations in the institution of marriage are now becoming roots for separation and divorce where men and women do not value the bondage that was once characterized by loyalty and hence the social fabric is slowly and permanently breaking apart, giving rise to cases of divorce and separation and more men and women seeking to live independently.
In the US for instance, more than half of marriages break up within the first ten years. Studies show that over seventy percent of people in present marriages have divorced at least once and those in current marriages have prenuptial arrangements in case of divorce.
As more and more people become economically independent, a transformation of mind occurs and the ego steps up the motivation to break the bondage of marriage through infidelity.
Technology has its big share of this blame because dating sites such eharmony.com are very central to linking up people looking for relationships, even casual relations. The internet has revolutionized the institution of marriage and the world of social media is killing the institution of marriage and setting up the stage for more separation and divorce. A wife will creep into her husband’s Facebook page and she realizes he has not set up his status as “married to…..” it becomes a big fight in the house.
Simple as this analysis may sound, the current trends in separation and divorce are worrying as more women leave the home to pursue their ambition and freedom, putting the image of a married man into the frame of sexual domination[iii] and marital rape, which when legally transcribed, gives impetus to separation and divorce and revolutionizes the institution of marriage in a mighty way.
In sum, we are seeing more and more liberal marriages, which ideally are characterized by illegal unions and in my view can be classified as legalized prostitution, something that is the root cause of separation and divorce as more married people seek freedom sexual gratification outside marriage.
[i] Lisa M. Tillmann, “Body and Bulimia Revisited: Reflections on “A Secret Life”.” Journal of Applied Communication Research 37, (2009) no. 1: 98-112.
[ii] Amy Fannin and Smythe Mary-Jeanette, “Negative Facework in Marital Dissolution.” Conference Papers — National Communication Association 1. (2008).
[iii] Lisa Hogan, “Marriage, Divorce, and Sexual Domination in the Rhetoric of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.” National Communication Association 1. (2008).
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