Husband Wife Relationship

The aim of marriage is the spouses' mental, physical, and economic partnership, and the bearing of numerous descendants. Only if there is a child, is the "rightness" of marriage deemed to be confirmed. The husband-wife relationship is characterized by affection and companionship, especially in the case of nomads who rarely separate. Husband and wife do nearly everything together—eating, sleeping, working, making decisions, and spending their leisure time.

In cases of childlessness, the adoption of a child of relatives is the alternative to the dissolution of marriage (see "Parental and Other Caretaker Roles"). Childlessness as a consequence of infertility or miscarriage is put down to magical malpractice or imperfect dealings with the spirits of the ancestors, or it is associated with the incompatibility of the spouses' personal spirits who shape every human being's character (mare). Only if these causes can be excluded is childlessness traced back to biological infertility, which is then supposed to affect only the woman.

Divorce is infrequent, it is impossible during a woman's pregnancy and it is mostly granted only if there are no offspring. However, divorces occur, and do not reduce the prospects of remarriage. Both partners can ask for divorce, and their request has to be discussed with the spouses' parents. Also, if one side is not willing to separate, he or she can protest. The spouses' parents normally try to identify the problems and find a solution. If this proves impossible, they agree to the divorce and the partners return to the residential group of their respective parents. If there are offspring, the younger children normally stay with the mother, while the older ones can decide by themselves whom to follow.

Another form of divorce is simply to escape. This occurs, for instance, when one of the partners abandons his/her spouse and children after a severe dispute, leaving all material belongings behind and perhaps never returning.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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