Background Of The Study
People of all ages,gender and cultural background are affected by marital instability,which is common and ends up making divorce the end result. Most people enter marriage hoping to enjoy life and have their goals fulfilled according to Kepler (2015), while Mobegi, Mokoro, and Keari (2016) add that a happy marriage is a highly valued targets for the majority of people all over the world and that marriage is an age-old institution that is recognized world-over albeit in different forms and status. Therefore, ensuring sustainability in marriage is an important undertaking. Premarital counselling refers to scheduled meetings between a couple seeking marriage and a third party for the purpose of helping prospective mates evaluate their relationship and acquaint themselves with the ways by which they might build a more happy and successful marriage (Mobegi, Mokoro and Keari, 2016). according to William(2007) premarital counselling should be a requirement for all couples before entering into a marriage because counselling would help in providing information to the couple which is planning to get married in order to improve their relationship after their relationship after the get married.
Premarital counseling is offered with the goal of creating more stable and satisfying marriages and consequently preventing divorce(Stahmann, 2000). The serious effects of divorce point to a need for prevention strategies such as premarital counseling to improve marital quality and reduce the current rates of marital distress and divorce.
Over the years,research has shown that the effects of broken marriages such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, intimacy problem, finances and stress are far reaching and extend beyond the family to the society;however, the institution of marriage faces many challenges. It is therefore importance that issues affecting the marriage are addressed before couple gets into marriage. And premarital counselling is one those forums where this issues can be addressed in,hence the need to address the effectiveness of premarital counselling .
Statement Of Problem
Marriage is an important institution and biblically in almost all societies it is viewed as a permanent bond, such that in some societies, it is virtually irrevocable (Bagarozzi & Sperry, 2012). However, there appears to be a reduction in the number of people getting married and an increase in separations and divorces (Kepler, 2015). Many religious groups regard marriage as one of the key fabrics in perpetuating and practicing one’s faith. The church provides guidelines for establishing and maintaining a marriage. Such guidelines are helpful and need to be passed over as people plan to get into marriage.
The Presbyterian church of Nigeria has been proactive in keeping marriages stable through premarital counseling conducted by the parish ministers;however, the effectiveness of the premarital counselling program it uses has not been evaluated since its initiation. According to the present northern calabar presbytery moderator, Rev Mrs Okonawan Uket, the church had tried to harmonize the different approaches it uses however, it did not succeed and up to date parish minister uses different premarital counselling approaches. The church has experienced premarital issues among those who have gone through the premarital counselling .It is for this reason that the researcher seeks to investigate the effects of premarital counselling on marital stability with an aim of preparing individuals concerning issues that leads to instability in marriages, an issue that requires a scholarly approach. Smith (2012) emphasizes that premarital counselling ought to be a requirement for those planning to get married in order to curb the high rates of divorces.
Objective Of The Study
The study has the following objective:
To find out the causes of marital instability
To determine the contribution of premarital counselling towards marriage sustainability
To establish effective strategies for premarital counselling for marriage sustainability.
What are the causes of marital instability ?
How does premarital counselling contribute to marital sustainability ?
Which are the effective strategies for premarital counselling to enhance sustainable marriages.
Significance Of The Study
The study will contribute to the existing literature on stability in marriages and the effect of premarital counselling on the same.It will also help in establishing ways of helping couples to remain stable through preparing them before they start their marriage. On a wider scale, the study will contribute to stability and cohesion within the church and the nation. The study could be used in University libraries and provide a basis for other researchers to carry out research in related fields. The study could be helpful in other Christian organizations which could be facing similar marital challenge.
Scope Of The Study
The idea of this research work is to ascertain if premarital counseling can effectively serve as a tool to marriage sustainability. This study will be covering mainly the Presbyterian church of Nigeria,ishie town parish of northern calabar presbytery
Limitations Of The Study
Availability of materials was a major constraint in the course of this study. Time and inadequate finance was also a limitation during the course of this study.
Definition Of Terms
Pre Marital Counseling: Premarital counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage. This kind of counseling can also help you identify weaknesses that could become problems during marriage.
Marriage: This is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship
Sustainability: sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life
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