An eventful year for our showbiz celebrity couples
“We were too immature and naïve,” said controversial preacher Victor Kanyari on what led to his failed marriage with gospel singer Betty Bayo.
The self-proclaimed miracle worker, in a recent interview, said Betty was the best woman he ever met.
“But I think when we met, we were both still childish, I was only 31 years,” Kanyari said. They married in 2012 at a private ceremony. Three years later, they went separate ways.
Though efforts to contact Betty to find out whether this was one of the reasons she divorced Kanyari were fruitless.
A study on marriages points out that this could be the situation for many unions.
According to an analysis by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen, late marriage, at least up to a certain point, serves as a protective factor against divorce.
Another report by a US-based McGill University stated that the number of divorce cases for people who have been married for less than five years is on the rise.
“Increased age of marriage signifies both greater maturity and spousal self-selection into more compatible unions, leading to greater union stability,” the report said.
Caroline Wachira, a psychologist says that people in their 20s encounter challenges of self-exploration that compromise their marriage. So, what is the ideal age to get married?
“There is no magic number. However, statistically speaking, the rate of divorce declines as the age of marriage goes up.
Once a person is financially established with academic or career accomplishments under their belt, their perspective on what a long-term commitment means becomes more refined,” she says.
Many couples who plunge into wedlock early, Wachira says, do so for the wrong reasons. “They’re too excited about their relationship, about being married.
They often lack stability at home or on the job. Some are adrift in terms of family relationships, schooling or careers,” she adds.
Marriage and relationship coach, Barnabas Achoki partly agrees. “It is true marriage requires a level of maturity because of its complexity.
Not being mature enough to handle the stresses and responsibilities that come with it is what is leading many to call it quits even over minute matters that could easily have been sorted out,” he says.
However, Achoki says maturity some times has nothing to do with age, but the ability of one to take responsibility for their own actions and to handle relational problems.
“In my practice, I have seen older people behaving immaturely in marriage. So, it’s not just a matter of age, but also a lack of self-awareness, relational and communication skills, especially conflict resolution skills that lead to divorce or relational breakdown,” he reveals.
However, back in the day, people, especially women used to get married at a young age. By 20, they had several children.
Experts say that then, marriage was sacred and divorce was not an option. Also, women were not financially empowered to walk out of marriage.
But, there may be those who stand a chance at happily ever after. Jessee Mutua and his wife Mary Mutua got married at a young age of 23. This December, they will be celebrating their 20th anniversary.
“Before we got married, we used to hear so many horror stories about getting hitched at a young age. I’m still waiting to see what the horror is,” Mutua says.
Any advice? “Just like people invest in gaining more knowledge to advance their careers and education, people should also invest in their marriages.
Marriage retreats, reading books on marriage or having coaching sessions on certain areas of your marriage can help,” Achoki says.
He urges to develop a habit of seeking help from professional therapists who are trained.
“Just like cancer, some issues when detected early can be worked on instead of waiting till things get to Stage Four where there’s little that can be done to salvage the marriage,” he adds.
Just like people invest in gaining more knowledge to advance their careers and education, people should also invest in their marriages