13 most rampant causes of broken marriages

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 13, 2021 - 12:00am

January is one of the most marrying months of the year, next to September, October, and June. Marriages commence with weddings that often begin with big bangs, and end sadly not even with a whimper. There are states in the US where the divorce rates are over 50%. In the Philippines, more than one third of marriages involving OFWs end in separations and annulments. Why?

Boldly, I dare to suggest 13 possible answers: First; easy come, easy go. Immature, impulsive, and reckless, often young people enter into marriage with stars in their eyes. Many of them end up with black eyes. They have this so-called “bubble gum” love. They love each other while they are both sweet. Once the sweetness is gone, so is the marriage. Second, some marriages are arranged by parents, uncles, aunts, and self-styled matchmakers. The couple didn’t really know each other and just plunged into marriage blindly. Then they lost that lovin' feelin and ended like ebb tide. Third, some marry only for convenience; like to get a green card, or dollars from sugar mommy or sugar daddy, and love has nothing to do about it. Thus, they lose nothing following a divorce.

Fourth, undisclosed skeletons in the closets. Some grooms still expect virginity and are expecting a bloody first encounter. And so, shock follows the discovery that Magellan didn’t discover Mactan. You know what I mean. Fifth, some couples are simply incompatible with conflicting likes and dislikes. The guy love dogs while the girl is allergic to dog hair. The girl would snore like a warship siren while the boys' underarms smell like an undredged canal. Or the girl smokes like a chimney and the boy drinks like an elephant. Or differences in religion and ideology, like the son of an army general, marrying the daughter of a NPA commander. Sixth, too much vices, wine, gambling, smoking, and substances. Or too much barkada.

Seventh, labor migration, or when one of the spouses is an OFW. I was a labor attaché to Taiwan, Malaysia and Kuwait for nine years. I saw the life of migrant workers, especially those assigned to do dirty, difficult, dangerous, deceptive, and degrading jobs. Many of them end up with broken marriages and shattered families. Of course, not all. But statistics are frightening. And I don't have to tell you why and how. You know the stories. Eighth, third parties. The husband went back to his ex, and the wife went to her y. Both of them have their x, y, and z. Ninth, too much interference by in-laws, mostly, sorry to say, the mothers-in-law. The mother always invokes good intentions but her interventions create more harm than good. Believe me, there are also fathers-in-law who get romantically involved with the wives of their sons, who are working abroad, or sons taking advantage of their stepmothers while their dads are OFWs. These aren’t only in telenovelas.

Tenth, money matters. Many marriages are ruined due to the extravagance of one of the spouses, or there’s simply not enough money to pay bills. Some wives or husbands give more to their parents than to their spouses. Some wives don’t know how to budget and no matter how much the husband gives, it’s never enough. Or, the husband gambles and the wife splurges on branded goods, and the children are neglected. Eleventh, the marriage was strong when the husband had a stable job with a high salary. Due to the pandemic, the company closed, and the husband lost his job. The family had no savings. The marriage was rocked by endless bickering about money. Twelfth, the couple just drifted away from each other. She was too brilliant, articulate (ma-arte na, makulit pa), smart, clever, and brainy. He was just very handsome, that's all. They have different wavelengths. The wife is a Ph.D. holder, who talks of rocket science and quantum physics, while the husband is an AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, who thinks that an atom is a TV reporter.

Thirteenth, the couple has fallen out of love because there’s no spirituality in their relationship. It was all physical, financial, and transactional; just like an ordinary contract. Therefore, it cannot be annulled and broken. The Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia, and yet marriages are breaking up and families are shattered. The nation is weakened when the basic unit of society is being eroded. We need to do something to address this emerging phenomenon. Marriages, families, the most fundamental of human societies are breaking up.

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