HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsCouples in loveless marriages stay for the kids

Couples in loveless marriages stay for the kids

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Last week, I listened to a phone in programme by SK on ZiFM Love Lounge where people in loveless marriages called saying they were finding it hard to tell their spouses that it was over.

SATURDAY DIALOGUE WITH ROPAFADZO MAPIMHIDZE

“My wife has not done anything wrong, but I just don’t love her anymore and the more she makes the love gestures, the further I draw away from her,” one caller said.

Presenter of the programme expressed shock at the number of both men and women that were stuck in loveless relationships.

But this presenter has, however, a way of tackling these issues which I have been following for a couple of weeks and I keep wondering whether he is a marriage counsellor, sex therapist or whatever.

He speaks with so much authority as he advises callers on line and I have no doubt that this is one of ZiFM’s best talk shows that keep you wanting to spend hours just listening what callers have to say.

Affairs, growing apart and becoming more like friends are among the top reasons he cited for unhappiness in relationships.

Many suffering in troubled relationships are too worried about the effect a divorce would have on their children.

It also emerged that, of those who have already divorced a partner, a few stay in the relationship longer than they want to for the children, with the majority now wishing they had left a long time ago.

I too have spoken to so many unhappy couples who live together for the sake of their children.

Whilst most people are under the illusion that its women that tend to hold on, men too actually expressed on SK’s Love Lounge programme that they were finding it difficult to leave.

It is incredible to note that children often pick up on things regardless of how much parents put on a united front.

I suggest that couples seek help to minimise the effects on their children.

If you are in an unhappy relationship, and if a divorce or separation is handled sensitively by both parents, children can and do prosper more than they might have done, had their parents stuck together, but in an unhappy home.

Although the radio programme cannot be used as a barometer to measure the extent of this problem, I believe the marriage institution is under severe attack.
I wish someone could do a research on this topic to find out just how marriages are surviving under these conditions.

Not having the money to move out or live alone or not being able to afford to go through a divorce and wanting more time to consider things before making a final decision, can trap couples in an unhappy marriage.

Research has proved that if parents are not happy, their feelings will inevitably affect the whole family no matter how hard they try to hide it.

Couples tend to worry more about stigma of divorce or the financial implications, but ultimately people in this situation need to seek specialist advice and endeavour to ensure that what they do is best for everyone involved.

Deciding to separate is never easy, particularly when children are involved. But we all know that conflict is particularly damaging to children in the long-run.

“I feel so guilty when I see my wife all smiles and kids hanging around me happily, but deep down in my heart I no longer love her.

“My wife has been a good wife, but love for her flew out of the window a long time ago and I just don’t know what to do,” a man from my neighbourhood said.

Some people argue that the reason why some couples are unhappy is because they dated for a short period.

“If you started out as friends who laughed and shared stories, went out to film shows, partied and so on that is likely to continue in marriage.

“The problem is some couples married after girlfriend fell pregnant (a one night stand) and was forced to marry because maybe the man feared that he had slept with someone under age. As time passes, the man realises that he has absolutely nothing in common with the woman who he has now sired with two or three children.

“That is one problem that I noted in some relationships,” noted a social worker Tatendaishe Ingrid Marimo.

She said it is every woman’s wish to be married, but expressed that couples have to be great friends first because these communication skills will work wonders when their marriage experiences trouble.

A loveless marriage sounds cold and lonely, but in reality there are many loveless marriages where the couple has respect and appreciation for each other and things run smoothly.

It is not easy to face the fact that you are married to someone who doesn’t love you, and whom you don’t love; it takes a special couple to make a loveless marriage work for whatever reason.

Despite the best intentions or financial difficulties, there are times when a couple should definitely look into separating.

Domestic violence is one reason which results in some couples calling it quits.

There is no need to stay in a loveless marriage if it doesn’t work for both parties.

There are many couples who have enough respect for each other and their children to maintain a loveless marriage, and even remain cordial and friendly.

After all, they once loved each other enough to commit to living their lives as one; so even though they have each grown and changed, they still care for each other and can cohabit easily.

“There are benefits to having a loveless marriage arrangement, the main one being of course the lack of lifestyle disruption. The financial security for both parties is also a benefit, as well as presenting the image of a complete family for the children involved.

“Also, once the matter is faced with challenges and arrangements

are made, there will be a drop in the tension and arguing in the home. There will be no more jealousy, insecurity or hard feelings over imagined slights.
“While this solution isn’t for every couple, it is something worth looking into if you are facing a marriage where the love has died and you don’t want to get a divorce,” notes a column on eHow, a website on Internet.

Feedback: rmapimhidze@newsday.co.zw

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