Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The opposite of weddings – Top ten reasons for divorce in Kenya

We are deep in Wedding Season in Kenya. From September 1, right up to around December 22, in any given year, you get used to seeing balloon festooned vehicles in traffic, especially on Saturdays. Because this is the season to be married, tra-la-la-la-la, la la la la.

Only Valentine’s Day beats this season rush, and I bet there are many couples currently planning their weddings for Friday the 15 and Saturday the 16 next year. I mean, man!

How many people do you know whose wedding will fall in the middle of the week and month – like Wednesday, January 16 – next year?

That is the happy bit, and it is part of my job to deliver the bad part of the opposite of weddings.

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What a hard legal word. But it happens, and it is not the end of the world. Just the end of a marriage! If you are going to end it, file the case in a smaller town (not Nairobi) where the matter may take months, instead of years, and cost less than a hundred grand; especially in cases where both parties want OUT without conflict.

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But what are the most common causes of marital split in Kenya?

There was a recent survey; here we go.

 Infidelity and promiscuity.

Many married men cannot keep their their pants zipped. Conversely, the modern world has seen an increasing amount of married women involved in affairs.

When things reach here, for either party, it is time to go separate ways.

Five of every eight marriages end because of third parties in the union.

 Financial constraints

You stand there near the altar, gazing into each others’ eyes dreamily as you say those magic words ‘for better, for worse, till death do us part.’

But did you know half of marriages end in divorce because of money – or, rather, the lack of it? So as a man, you better pray you do better, money wise, even as she utters ‘for worse’, because, boss, otherwise utajua haujui.

 Communication breakdown

Many people, after the first and sometimes long, flush of love simply find they have run out of things to say to each other. Or that they are not compatible, either sexually or socially. You have seen those ‘silent’ couples; or others ignoring each other for social media/smart-phones?

Lack of trust and suspicion

Then there are those 36 per cent of couples who suffer serious trust issues.

If you cannot let her step out of the house without asking her for her itinerary like a KGB agent, or every time you go to take a leak, she’s scrolling through your phone.

  Desire for money

Money is the root of all discord for 35 per cent of couples. Unlike the broke ones above, this is where you find a man is workaholic or on deals, neglecting his woman. Or she makes monetary demands the man cannot keep up with.


A third of all couples will split because they have issues to do with respect. You find a chap who is contemptible about his very ‘useless woman.’ Or a woman constantly putting him down as not being good enough, which is an ego killer for men.

 Alcohol and abuse

If you drink all day, or most nights, just know booze is a time bomb for a third of all couples. Then there are those people whose answer to life, both men and women, is to go physical. Booze and beatings are a battering ram to romance.

Western culture

You better believe it, mzungus and ‘modern’ life have also messed up with the marriage and couple institution. If one constantly lives in the ‘white’ cuckoo land, with strange expectations of African love, it can and has ended a quarter of all serious relationships.

In law Interference

For all the vilification of the ‘monstrous’ Mother-in-Law and so on, only one out of every six relationships are threatened by in laws.

I left this one open, so you can write and tell me about it. What else do you think causes a couple to split, in this day and age? Do tell.


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