A well-known relative struggled and battled the challenges in her marriage for years and it was not yielding positive results. After various interventions by both families and even the church, it looked as if there was nascent peace. Yet bitter acrimony lay deep in the hearts of the couple and within a few years, the marriage finally collapsed due to irreconcilable differences. Rose and her husband parted ways. Her parents who were modest in their career and lifestyle were considered comfortable and properly lettered couple. Her father retired as a permanent secretary while the mother was an inspector of education. Both were role models in their various degrees. Due to their accomplishments in the community and church, they attained heights through determination and won several laurels for themselves. They were members of groups, societies and did not joke with their knighthood as strong Christians. Coming from such a background, it was unheard of that their first daughter’s marriage had been annulled. Initially, it was discussed in hush-hush tones until the bubble burst. It was so surprising when it hit the airwaves. How come? People wondered in awe.
Now, this is a situation that rattles most parents in the society because they find it extremely difficult to believe their daughter, who they had given the best of life opportunities and a lavish marriage ceremony is coming back home because her husband wants her no more. Some do not want to be associated with divorce cases of their children, especially their daughters. Based on Rose’s parents’ status, it is considered a shameful and ridiculous situation and an unmentionable case. Yes it is! Parents would add and subtract; point fingers at friends and foes, in-laws, envious relatives and play all the blame game but the truth is that their daughter’s marriage is in shambles. How will the situation be managed in the public sphere? What is the way out?
Interestingly, no daughter who is treated like the biblical virtuous wife in her true sense would wake up and take a walk from her peaceful marriage, except she is mentally deranged. There is no woman who would want to leave her matrimonial home, to go back to her parents to share a room, kitchen, television and car, etc, when she previously controlled all these in her house. She certainly would not desire to go back home, to receive insults from her younger relatives. Leaving a home to get married is a very big bold step in the life of a lady. As soon as the marriage celebration happens, expectations are high for the daughter to excel in another family, which she should remain attached to for life. In the new union, she becomes the cynosure of all eyes, changes her name and brandishes her wedding band. God blesses their love as they pursue their dreams and aspirations and seek fulfillment as husband and wife. All parents pray for the success of their children’s marriages and wait for the joyful news that turns them into grandparents, probably nine months after the tying of the nuptial knots.
But when all the expectations are not met, the journey becomes tough and rough, and even when a daughter passes through the furnace to make her marriage work and it vehemently refuses to yield good result. When she has soaked her pillows with tears, looked up to God, and the desired answer seems far from her, when she toils day and night, and nothing is shifting ground and it finally breaks down, what do you do as parents? Yes, divorce is not a palatable circumstance, but then do you abandon your divorced daughter, and hang her out to face the scorching heat of the marital break-up? Do you throw her away because she is no longer your child rather a marriage experiment? Do you vent your anger on her present condition because she was sold into slavery? Does her present predicament mean she is not worthy of taking another shot at marriage? Has she become the cheap bowl for the village spit because she is now a divorcee? Should her condition be next to death? Must she be reduced, ridiculed, abused and made jest of? Would you her parents allow family and friends to sting her like swarm of bees, and talk thrash to her? It should not be so; rather it is a time to show love and affection, consolation and polite correction, to birth a new beginning. Life should not only be enjoyed when it is all rosy. At times like these, parents and guardians should care more.
Regrettably, it is a low moment for parents and families but do not forget that the daughter who has crumbled like a pack of cards today can rise up again. She was once a little princess and pride of the family but today she is at the centre of a divorce mess. The treatment given to her could make or break her more. In life, body chemistry differs; some ladies who are naturally stronger can pick the pieces of their lives immediately and move on while others might need family support before they could stand. That is why a family remains one of the strongest institutions known to mankind. It is a place of peace, love, succour and comfort at all times. If a child is being terrorized outside, he runs home because he is sure of safety. That is how a divorced daughter should be treated.
A story was told of a lady who had issues with her husband. She ran to her parents for refuge, the same parents washed their hands off the separation and sent her back to her husband that same day. A scuffle ensued that night between the daughter and her husband and she lost her life. Her mother never forgave herself until she also joined the saints. There was another case of a mother-daughter relationship that went sour because she was divorced. Her daughter came home for that initial family support, but within one week mother and daughter could not see eyeball-to-eyeball and the frustration increased. The lady slumped into severe depression and was being carried from one hospital to another.
A pastor boldly took away his sister from the husband, who was battering her. In his belief it is only the living that can marry and remarry. The pastor stood his grounds and demanded that the marriage be dissolved not minding whose ox was gored.
Dear parents, a daughter who is divorced is not a leprous child and should not be so treated or written off completely. She did not commit any sacrilege or taboo. It is an unfortunate situation that befell her. Families who threat divorced daughters with disdain are killing them gradually. The divorce might be her fault or not, but when she is brought in with peace and understanding, her mind would be easier to work with instead of tongue-lashing and creating an uncomfortable environment. It is also possible that her husband might be watching from afar to make a great come back with time.
Note that a divorced daughter can go back to school for further studies; she could be empowered to support herself. She could develop business ideas; get political appointments, head industrial organization and make better quality choices of fulfilled life.