A private university recently released a report on divorces in Kenya, revealing some startling information about marriages.
According to the study carried out by Daystar University, on average, many locals who are recently divorced went their separate ways before their tenth anniversary.
“(In) 77 per cent of the divorces sampled, the resultant marriages didn’t last ten years. Over 42 per cent of divorces took place in less than five years of marriage,” the study showed.
Oddly, most of these broken unions hardly last because of in-laws interference.
“Besides either of the spouses being reason for collapse of the marriage, mothers-in-law rank highest among causes of divorce in Kenya,” it read in part.
Unfaithfulness and poverty also ranked up there among reasons for permanent separation.
The research, which sampled 1,200 Kenyans, cut across class, religion and different marital status. “We sampled those who are married, divorced and separated in 46 counties except Garissa,” one of the researchers said.
According to the study, most local marriages last and the divorce rate is ten percent.
But among the divorcees, 23 per cent of them went their separate ways after the tenth anniversary.
Seemingly, after ten years of marriage, couple are more likely to stick together through thick and thin.
The study also revealed that the average Kenyan wife is scared of her mother-in-law, believed to be one of the biggest threat to marriages.
Crazy Monday went further and nosed around for cases where mothers-in-law were the causes of divorce or separation and a couple of cases came up.
In some cases, spouses are reported to have been forced to separate, merely because they come from a ‘hated or disliked’ tribe.
“One of my cousins was forced to divorce his loving wife because of tribe,” says one Nelson, adding that she was disliked from the word go due to her ethnic background.
It was strongly believed that she hails from a community not known to stay in marriage. “The mother-in-law fought her from the day she was introduced, openly expressing her dislike for her,” says Nelson.
So nasty was the disapproval that the mother in law poisoned other kin who matter in the family, leading to the separation.
Grooms mum micromanaging his household
Other cases too have been reported; like one in which a mother-in-law was so close to her son that it made the bride unconformable.
“She initially thought it was a mother’s love to her son, but things took a nasty turn when she began to literally micromanage her son’s household, much to the chagrin of the bride,” says James of a couple close to him that went separate ways due to a matronly mother-in-law.
However, besides mothers-in-laws and other close kin’s interference, other odd reasons have been reported as causes of divorce in Kenya.
The most recent case was that of a wife who divorced her husband at the coast after he demanded she engages in threesome intimate act. The third party was his mistress.
In other cases, wives are reported to have deserted husbands after they lost fortunes, fell bankrupt or lost big jobs and turned destitute.
But compared to other countries, especially in the Middle East, Kenyan divorces are less dramatic.
Some of the excuses and circumstances under which some folks out there go separate ways are hilarious, if not shocking.
In Taiwan, where many ‘women reportedly think sex is evil’, a man divorced his wife for being “too shy” to consummate their marriage for a whole year.
It was reported that the man, surnamed Chen, a 38-year-old teacher from Tainan County was introduced to a woman surnamed Lin, 29, also a teacher, by a matchmaker.
The couple got married after dating for three months, but Lin refused to consummate the marriage. On the wedding night, Lin slept fully dressed and wrapped herself in a duvet.
And when Chen tried to undress her in readiness for the inaugural intimacy, she pushed him away shouting: “You are ridiculous!”
She first claimed she was too tired. Then insisted it was too early for intimacy and that she needed more time to prepare psychologically.
The next morning Lin returned to her mother’s home, saying she was ill, and would not live with her husband again.
Divorced for refusing to consummate marriage
Through the matchmaker’s mediation, Lin signed a contract agreeing to consummate the marriage but only for the purpose of procreation, and demanded to sleep separately.
However, she did not live up to the pledge; she denied him access to the cookie jar for a whole year.
Consequently, Chen filed for divorce, which Lin contested, claiming that she refused to consummate the marriage, even after wedding. The good judge granted the divorce, ruling that Lin compensate Chen equivalent of Sh879, 102 for dowry wasted!
It gets even crazier. A 52-year-old woman in Taiwan divorced her 55-year-old husband, Zhou, over the size of his member. According to Dailychilli.com, the woman, Zhang, said: “His manhood is so small, like a kid’s, only 5cm long! We’ve never had enjoyable sex in our entire marriage.”
It was reported that the two met in July of 2008 and got married five months later. She wanted him to raid the cookie jar prior to the ceremony, but he refused, citing religious grounds.
Zhang says she discovered he had a very small member on their wedding night and asked him to seek treatment.
They spent some time together, hoping the treatment would work but wapi! She divorced him.
So you thought that was crazy? Well, a Saudi woman asked for divorce in 2008 because her husband tried to unveil her and sneak one look at her face after 30 years of marriage.
Apparently, the Saudi Arabian man had lived with his wife for 30 years without setting eyes on her face! Would you believe that? His 50-year-old wife strictly followed the traditions of her native village and kept her entire body veiled at all times.
One night the husband was overcome by curiosity and tried to lift his wife’s veil as she slept to take a look at her face. His outraged wife woke up during his sneak peek and, first thing the following morning, demanded a divorce!
The ‘betrayed’ wife said her husband apologised and promised never to do it again, but she insisted she wanted a divorce. It may seem odd, but cases of Saudi husbands with wives forever shrouded in mystery are not uncommon.
Separated over age cheating
Elsewhere in China, a woman surnamed Luo, who lied about her age, was dumped by her husband after 10 years of marriage.
Luo, who was 30 when husband-to-be Cen asked her to marry him, told him she was just 24. In 2007, Cen filed for divorce after realising he had been duped and the court granted his wish.
Wacky as it may sound, a Romanian woman unsuccessfully tried to divorce her husband in 2005 because she couldn’t stand having lunch with her mother-in-law every day. The 22-year-old woman had been married for only 10 months when she claimed her life turned into a nightmare because of her mother-in-law.
The woman told a judge that the presence of her mother-in-law at with her teasing remarks had ruined her marriage. The court asked Mrs Elena to reconsider her demand, advising her to find a better reason if she wanted to separate from her husband.
The reasons why some couples divorce get even more bizarre. Take for instance the case reported by the Mail Online of a man who was divorced after he got on a plane, leaving his new wife for having taken too long in an airport toilet.
The two were flying from a holiday (funded by the woman) in Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, and the woman went to answer a call of nature but took too long, pissing off her husband who boarded the plane without her! The wife was, of course, furious. She demanded an immediate divorce!
Nothing exposes insanity in humans like their break ups and divorces!