Updated: Jul 23
As the Coronavirus is raging and taking thousands of lives, leaving hundreds of thousand sick and the world under alert, the best governments' advice is to stay home and follow sanitary measures. For millions of families at home, what could be the impact on the current divorce rates in the USA, and how are the Sub-Saharan communities in the USA affected?
America is well known for its higher divorce rates in the world. According the American Pyschological Association, it's estimated that 40-50 % of newly married people divorce and the rate is higher for those who make a second marriage (about 60%).
"Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems." (American Psychological Association). The results of divorces are devastating on couples, children and socio-professional aspects of the families.
A recent 3-years study demonstrated that the Sub-Saharan community in the USA is having a growing number of divorces too. As if there was a divorce virus that eat-up healthy Sub-Saharan couples and happy families. What could explain such an increase among sub-Saharan couples in America, and what could be a solution to keep families united and healthy? For three years, the qualitative study was conducted on fifteen sub-Saharan families whose duration in America varied between 0-15 years (the study started with families already residing in the USA). The goal of the research was to understand what triggers the success or failure of Sub-Saharan families in America. The method used was participatory observation so that the data could be collected as naturally as possible. Results showed that religious families tend to succeed better than those who are not. The research also showed that the factors for failure for both religious or nonreligious couples are:
- Toxic relationships
- Carefulness (measuring others in relation to their monthly income)
For Dr William H. Doherty, the most common reasons people give for their divorce are
Lack of commitment
Too much arguing
Marrying too young
Lack of equality in the relationship
Lack of preparation for marriage
More specifically, the study above revealed that the Sub-Saharan community has additional reasons for high rate divorces, such as:
Marriages between a Sub-Saharan Immigrants US resident with someone still leaving in Africa
Money as the main criteria for getting married or evaluate marriage success
Lack of appropriate socializing environment
According to psychologists, all these problems could be fixed. However, still, with the growing divorce rate in America, we could easily conclude that even mental health specialists and marriage counselors are overwhelmed.
On the other hand, some communities developed their approaches to fixing their marital challenges such as attending social groups, church programs for married, peer groups in which they find the necessary education to help them have a stable home.
From Glenn T. Stantton view, "Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes – attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together... enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers."
We could affirm with certainty that the divorce rate among couples who share everyday spirituality has lower divorce rates than those who have no interest in any faith-based-life.
If you would like to enjoy a stable home and a secure future for you, your spouse and your kids, invest time to develop everyday faith activities.
If your couple is going through challenges, maybe it's a good time to redefine your vision of marriage and invest to save the remaining of it.
Get a copy of the book the love language devotional by Gary Chapman as an excellent start that could inspire you!
Read, Reflect, and Act on the love language (s) that your spouse understands, and hopefully, you will protect your marriage against the divorce-virus.
What do you know or experience concerning divorce rates in America? If you have any questions, write to us, and we will connect you to our marriage counseling team for help and support.
Africans4future Network Editorial