A Family Life Coach, Elder Amos Kevin-Annan has advised couples to demonstrate mutual love and to reciprocate respect to their partners to preserve their unions beyond the wedding bliss.
“Because we are married there are certain things which are due to each other. For instance respect for each other, affection for each other, warmth, companionship and conversations heavy with emotive language.”
“These things are exclusive to your spouse and these things are what we call marital dues,” Kevin-Annan advanced on A Walk with Jesus, a Joy FM family programme on Sunday.
According to him, the lack of reciprocity and mutuality has led couples to deny and defraud their partners from what is due them in the relationship.
Contrary to perceptions created by flamboyant marriage ceremonies, which suggest that marriages are blissful, the renowned counselor said: “not everyone encounters bliss. Some experience shock.”
“This is where the difference becomes very clear. This is where the similarities also become very clear. Now, this is where a person gets unsettled. Because if you least expect these things then you get the shock of your life. And you are derailed from your cause,” he revealed.
Rather than adjusting, he revealed that some couples adopt all forms of tactics such as stonewalling, denying their partners sex and seeking refuge in their jobs to cope with the situation.
“A number of people find solace outside. They find alternative outside their partners,” he said.
Statistics available at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, between 2006 and 2013 show that a total of 4,080 divorce cases were recorded in Accra alone.
Again according to the Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 6 (GLSS6, p. 8), divorced and separated persons accounted for 5.6% of the population covering the period of census 2008-2013. This figure was higher in rural coastal (4.3%) than in Accra (3.6%; 2.3% reported in 2008) or other urban centres (3.9%).
A news article filed in 2015 (please see Adjassah, A. (2015). Divorce Rates High in Churches) the head pastor of Assemblies of God Church, Community 4 Tema, the late Reverend David Nabegmado, had bemoaned the alarming rate of divorce in the church. The article mentions a report by Ghana Statistical Service indicating that in 2014 alone, 600,000 marriages had collapsed.
But Kevin-Annan is arguing that the differences in marriage will not lead to divorce if couples adopt the principles of mutuality and reciprocity.
Borrowing from scriptures to explain his point, he said: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”
he added “When you say reciprocity it means you do me good I do you go. Mutuality means that we sink together or we sail together. So what you do must factor me in the consideration,” he averred.
Marriage, he argued, is not “a tit for tat.”
What he portends to be destroying marriages is selfishness.
“In the union, one person is wiser than the other. One person feels exploited. Because ‘I am the one who is always doing the hard work. I am the one who is always talking, always chasing. I am only left to pursue.’ That makes other people feel unfairly treated. So their motivation to continue drops,” he suggested.