Research has shown that most problems in most families arise from lack of communication among couples or partners. Lack of regular interaction between married couples is a major cause of misunderstandings in today’s families especially on the African continent.
It is very common these days to find one member of a family doing his or her own thing without consulting the other. This has resulted into conflicts and, as a consequence, domestic violence.
As we were pondering over this issue, some time last week, most of my colleagues were in agreement with an argument put forward by my friend Cyprian.
I have known Cyprian since 2003 when we joined the same university in Uganda. He has always been quite a character when it came to debate and argument. His reasoning was always absolutely spot on.
In this particular discussion, his argument was based on the fact that “what causes most of the domestic problems in our societies and families today is selfishness” he persuaded us to believe; emphasizing that people have taken the culture of selfishness which was never “an African culture”.
Africans had a common culture of sharing but now it is no more; people have taken up and are entirely fixated on the culture of ‘every man for himself’, Cyprian said.
This according to him is not only manifested in our societies but he emphasized that it is a destructive syndrome that we carry to our own homes when we finally settle down in a marriage.
So, to cut the long story short, we all agreed with him but what remained tickling my mind are the consequences of such behaviour on the entire family, especially children
Research and experience shows that children in such families are adversely affected by the behavior of their parents.
In most cases you would never find such children at happy. Most of them are prone to attack from diseases caused by lack of parental affection. In many cases parents are sullen, with a great amount of bitterness, so when they finally burst they end up committing unintended and undesirable atrocities to each other.
There is a great need for introducing mechanisms for communication that enable parents to solve problems internally without causing their children trauma.
This may sound a simple matter or you may even find it not at all appealing to you but it is a major problem that requires special attention and focus by governments especially for “us” Africans who do not even have time for attending counseling services.
Most of us do not even know the importance of counseling or where such services could be accessed. A campaign to motivate communication between married people is now a necessary evil for most of us are unwilling or even do they wish to comply and cooperate with their partners in many social and economic aspects.
Rwanda is not exceptional in as far as this matter is concerned. Many people are suffering similar circumstances although it is quite difficult to understand or identify the victims.
It is very paramount that as we think about campaigns against domestic violence we also address causes of such violence especially like one that arises from “domestic silence” by encouraging married couples to always visit counseling centers and also encourage them to initiate their own communication mechanisms that would help them live happily.