More than four in 10 marriages in South Africa end in divorce before the 10-year mark, according to Statistics South Africa. The 2016 figures went on to reveal that of those marriages, couples were married between five and nine years.
What the statistics don’t show is what percentage of these splits were amicable. On rare occasions, some couples manage to mend their broken bonds for the sake of their children, while for others it’s beyond repair.
Faatin Bux is a serial entrepreneur. She’s created an innovative award-winning recruitment solution for unemployed matriculants and an alternative housing solution. Now, she’s turned her attention to helping others with her Delightful Divorce concept. “I got divorced in 2011. The day the idea landed for Delightful Divorce was the day our divorce was finalised,” said the Cape Town mom of two.
“Unfortunately, it was mostly after our divorce was final that the situation between us became untenable for a multitude of reasons.” And that’s when she realised there must be a better way to go through the process of divorce. “Surely if you marry someone before an entire village, you must endeavour to part in the same way?” she thought.
Bux says over time things improved considerably with her ex, but those improvements had to start with her.
She’s now taken her experience and turned it into something positive. “Delightful Divorce is a movement towards the destigmatisation of this life path for everyone, and finding the path of least resistance through the trauma divorce can be,” she said. What started out as a Facebook group has now grown into a community that encompasses non-judgment and support for others.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin split in March 2014 in what they described as consciously uncoupling. Picture: AP
“The ultimate goal is then to pay it forward, not only in terms of advice and professional services, but also the financial and psychological support needed to overcome divorce meaningfully and mindfully,” Bux added.
An oxymoron of sorts, one wouldn’t really describe divorce as delightful. When actress Gwyneth Paltrow split from Chris Martin in 2014, she famously coined the term “conscious uncoupling” much to the chagrin of many. Their high-profile divorce was treated with scorn and annoyance, and yet, five years on and the former couple seem to be on good terms.
But what has been labelled as pretentious and unrealistic could be exactly the kind of methodology every divorce needs. Bux is a champion of the technique and adds that it’s a term that’s become synonymous with Delightful Divorce.
“In a nutshell, when one is conscious of yourself and the issues around you, you are able to make better choices and decisions for yourself, and ultimately, for those around you - especially the children involved when things start to unravel. It takes grown-ups to uncouple mindfully. Badly behaved adults refuse to let the ego go and uncouple peacefully.”
In her experience, Bux found the biggest contributor to divorce has been a breakdown in meaningful communication, financial strain, challenges of parenting and infidelity. When there are children involved, it makes the process even more traumatic for all involved.
“Unless the children are in danger in terms of their safety and well-being, do not alienate them from the other parent, regardless of financial support,” she said. “You can deal with the side issues separately, but do not damage the children’s psychological future because of it.”
Visit the Delightful Divorce Facebook page for more information or email [email protected]