By André Allen-Casey
Misconception: If we love each other we should be happy all the time.
After saying 'I do', most married couples hope that they will be together happily every after.
However, data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) show that Jamaica recorded its highest rate of divorce in 2009. The 1,853 divorces recorded, represent an 8.65 per cent failure rate for every 100 marriages. With no sign of things slowing down, the St Andrew Church of Christ has decided to conduct a workshop titled, 'Is your marriage destined for failure?'.
According to the church's evangelist, André Allen-Casey, the motivating factor for the workshop is that marriages are failing. "The nuclear family structure is declining and our young adults are choosing cohabitation over marriage. If the family is the backbone to any society, then preserving the family within the context of marriage is necessary."
Among other things, the workshop scheduled for the Karram Speid Auditorium at Merl Grove High School on November 3 will focus on knowing if your partner is right for you. Allen-Casey notes that some of the signs are their spirituality and values, ability to communicate well and deal with crises and stress, commitment, unselfishness, flexibility, adaptability and tolerance.
He told Flair some of the misconceptions couples have when entering marriage: "If we love each other we should be happy all the time; we should agree on every issue and as long as we have each other we don't need friends, which is not the case."
He explains that the most blatant signs that a union is on the rocks are:
To safeguard one's union, he notes that couples should keep romance alive. "To safeguard your marriage, you have to ensure that the romance remains. Marriages will become more romantic when couples choose to communicate with each other and love each other unselfishly. Their job is to love each other with kind words and deeds, and continue doing that daily, no matter if their feelings go up or down. There are three things one can begin doing today to put back the romance in their marriage. First, give more appreciation, second, do kind actions and, finally, complain less."
André Allen-Casey is the preacher of the St Andrew Church of Christ and a professional counsellor at Family Life Ministries.