By Bethsheba Achitsa
Published February 11, 2010
Plenty is amiss in marriages today. Though many spend a lot of money on weddings, more than half of these marriages are doomed to end in divorce or miserable unhappiness. Sadly, Robert J Wieland writes in his 144-page book, Will Marriage Work in Today’s World?, observes that the general pessimistic view of many youth further implies that the marriage institution is troubled the world over.
The almost continual propaganda of radio, TV, newspapers and magazines to normalize divorce and separation has popularised easy separation; in fact, it seems as if somebody is running a campaign to create a new culture in which standards of right or wrong no longer exist. This in part is influencing more and more people to end the miserable unhappiness they find themselves in: marriage.
Why has something as wonderful as marriage become so full of pain and misery?
Many no longer consider the family the basic unit of the present day society. And with this view gaining currency, the societal set up is crumbling as many people turn to the wrong man-woman relationships with sex as the only thing left to titillate and excite them. However, this appears to have been predicted in a 1969 Time magazine article by Jacques Levy that had said the world was witnessing a time when there would be fewer deep relationships among people; the writer had noted that the civilisation that the world was moving to was one that would not sustain two people in a bedroom all by themselves for 40 years.
This prediction has come to pass as the once revered traditional values have been submerged by the new trendy lifestyles that have subjected the traditional family unit to constant pressure. As a result marriage permanence can no longer be taken for granted as easy divorce is generally accepted. Long gone are days when couples would assume they would remain married ’till death do us part’.
The book further notes that women on their part are discontented to be economic slaves of men. Women’s improved access to education and the awareness created by the media has made them downgrade the traditional concepts of marriage. On the other hand, potential husbands drowning in alcohol and vagrancy while some are content never to marry has largely contributed to the failure of many marriages. Other factors such as lack of communication among couples, financial misunderstandings, physical violence and lack of moral commitment, can also explain why traditional marriage has lost its appeal to many.
Wieland is also of the opinion that many marriages turn out to be unhappy because people often do not show enthusiasm while choosing a wife or a husband as they do in choosing a motor car or other machinery.
Though this book is not intended to solve the many marriage problems, it seeks to bring the readers the hope that marriage can still work. The author advises that it is important for people to take a good look at marriage and know what they are getting into before they end up in a nightmare they can’t get out of. For a world without marriage, Wieland states, is a world virtually without sexual responsibility or self-control. It is a world brazenly committed to a ‘me first’ philosophy, the playboy variety of self-gratification.
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Published by Africa Herald Publishing House of Kendubay in Kenya, Will Marriage Work in Today’s world? is a well written book that can be easily understood by anyone interested in marriage and family life.
The author offers a guide on how men or women can choose life partners and offers a way on how married persons can find happiness after entering the marriage union. He also talks about why there is shame in sex.
This book is an invaluable contribution to an issue that is greatly discussed all over the world. It will help young people intending to get married on how to choose their life partners. Married couples will also find it useful as they can learn from it how they can live happily ever after in their union.