Marriage Sabbatical – can it work for a zimbabwean couple?

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Marriage Sabbatical is the apparently new alternative to divorce according to some, while others just say it’s the break you need to avoid divorce. Can a marriage sabbatical work in Zimbabwe? Would you try it with your partner? Pakaoma – kunzima

Often we hear of a sabbatical in terms of work – a paid or unpaid rest or a break from work, often lasting from two months to a year. Most of the literature you read about work sabbaticals will tell you that yes you actually do need a break from that dream job. Some advantages of work sabbaticals can include:

  • gaining experience in another job/project that you otherwise would not have time to take part in during your regular job like taking part in charitable work
  • learning about other cultures as often times work sabbaticals involve some travel to parts of the world that may not be possible due a demanding work schedule
  • better health or recovery from a traumatic experience or medical condition. Nothing beats good old relaxation for a speedy recovery and what better way than to get a break from work. You come back to your job feeling rejuvenated
  • Sometimes work can get so overwhelming that some folks want to quit! Well, a break from all the seemingly chaotic or stressful environment could be all a person needs before coming back refreshed and ready to do a good job.

So as you can see there are many benefits for taking a work sabbatical! Of course there are cons to this too and the greatest risk is that you may come back and find your job unavailable as most employers will be concerned that you may just use the time to look for another job. Hmmm… But don’t worry, most employers have warmed up to the idea of work sabbaticals.

Now let’s turn back to marriage; yup that dream marriage…

I intentionally started by explaining the benefits of work sabbaticals because almost everyone understands this concept and it’s history… the fact that employers used to be more resistant to this idea but are now even encouraging it. Do you think your partner would accept the idea of a marriage sabbatical? Marriage sabbaticals are still in their infancy so there is still some resistance despite the rise in their popularity in some communities.

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Unfortunately when you say marriage sabbatical, almost everyone immediately imagines their partner being intimate with others during the sabbatical; that’s a real concern but it depends on the individuals just as it does during a work sabbatical when an emplyer is concerned that the employee may sort employment elsewhere. While it’s a real risk that your partner during the sabbatical may travel to several beautiful vacation areas we have in Zimbabwe and meet someone on that trip and become intimate, you can’t ignore the benefits of a marriage sabbatical just yet…

It’s natural that after some time a lot of relationships lose their initial excitement and it’s when these signs begin to show, that a couple needs to find ways to bring back that excitement in their relationship to save it. Just like work, both people in the relationship or one of them may find themselves unhappy with their role or perhaps just feel overwhelmed in their role and begin to even doubt the relationship… early signs of divorce as an option. People sometimes divorce for similar reasons to quitting their job… One may feel claustrophobic and suffocated in the relationship and without time to learn other skills or pursue their professional passion. This could, believe it or not lead to anxiety and other medical conditions, even suicidal thoughts from the feeling of being imprisoned by the very union that should elevate and liberate us.

So if work sabbaticals have saved dream jobs, why can’t marriage sabbaticals save dream marriages?

So often you hear friends talking about trying to find themselves but not having enough time in a marriage to even sit issues africa ZimShoppingMalls business profiles 336x672-1down and have a quiet moment. I’m sure some of you reading this article will attest to at some point just breaking out in tears because running the family and keeping the household together just felt like an un-achievable task with hindrances at every corner. Sometimes you can feel like no matter what you do, you just cant get anything right… You just can’t catch a break… then you go into depression and become absent in your partner’s life and the sex life becomes a rare occurrence and before you know it there are kids born our of wedlock in between your kids… The sad truth in our society. What if a marriage sabbatical is exactly what might save your marriage and all that drama…? Not saying that it will, but just saying what if it could…?

Based on content that I have read online, it appears that a lot of couples trying this relatively new concept are finding that it’s working and is a great way for them to not only find themselves but a great way to ignite that lost or fading spark in their relationship. The family unit and marriage itself is changing in Zimbabwe and faster than most of us would like to admit. I’m 95% sure that there are Zimbabwean couples that have either taken a marriage sabbatical or thinking about it or would love to try it but not sure what their partner will think about it.

We would love to know your thoughts towards this concept of marriage sabbaticals in Zimbabwe and whether it’s feasible in our community… Hmmm! Would you be fine with your partner going away for 6 months and attending the Victoria Falls carnival without you? Are there better ways in our culture to re-ignite our marriages?

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