Marriages no more made in heaven?
Marriage as an institution is fast crumbling in this country. It was regarded as the most sacred institution, attributed to not one but seven births. Mostly the rural areas and small towns have preserved the success ratio to the larger extent, urban areas are seeing higher increase in divorce rates.
Here is a link to an article published in June 2019, which clearly says that divorce rates in India have doubled in the past two decades as per a UN study : https://www.livemint.com/news/india/non-marriage-very-rare-in-india-but-divorces-doubled-in-past-two-decades-report-1561486297890.html. And this was two years back. Although the divorce rate is still around 1.1% in India (quite good as compared to the rest of the world), it is a matter of worry, the way it has picked up pace in the last two decades. An understanding into this will help us.
If you take note, the common trigger reasons cited are more or less the same :
- Difference in opinion of spouses
- Extra marital affairs
- Domestic violence
- In-laws interference.
- Inability of the woman to bear a child.
- Sexual incompatibility
Add a few more subtle ones to the list :
- Baggage of earlier Cohabitation experiences of either spouse
- Impact of dramas / movies to sow discord in relations
- Economic independence of woman
- Unmanaged Stress
- Blind aping of the west
Viewing minutely you will find, all these trigger reasons were never absent. Extra marital affairs and infidelity, as despicable as they are, have always existed in the society, wrapped up in grey covers. Difference in opinion of spouses and not being able to resolve them is also something as old as time. Domestic Violence has actually reduced owing to social education and better awareness as compared to earlier times. In-laws interference is as old as the concept of marriage itself and different financial standings at both sides have caused problems like forever. Sexual incompatibility is also not something new and can be helped with counseling and developed medical facilities now. Ability for child birth has surely reduced with rising stress levels and improper lifestyle.
The subtle factors which have added to the woes are also in presence for some time now. These factors are actually more impacting than the trigger reasons. Women adding themselves to the work force and earning for themselves is giving them the economic power to live alone, out of the wedlock. Earlier they had no choice. Live-in relationships or cohabitation has also become a subtle factor for adding emotional baggage of past relationships to a marriage. The charm of marriage is lost and it leads to easy disenchantment too. Movies and dramas have left no stone unturned to poison minds. Blind aping of the west, regarding absence of patience as independence has also taken its toll.
Stress is becoming a prime factor in disintegrating relationships. Unmanaged stress at work finds ventilation at home and results in sour mouths. Over a period of time, it turns the relations lukewarm and unpalatable. The mad race to earn money and assets also adds to the sum total of grievances where people end up buying houses and killing homes, in turn killing relationships too.
But, the most important two factors which decide everything at the end are only two :
Marriages don’t sustain on love alone, they sustain on trust and interdependence. Even when couples fall out of love over a period of time, they live together to take care of their families adjusting to each other’s shortcomings, still caring for each other and taking care of each other.
When the financial and emotional dependence on each other is over, the marriage is over. Same thing is with trust, once trust is over the marriage is over. It would stagger for some time and eventually fail. Whether such marriages should persist or not is a completely different discussion altogether.
In times when economic independence and feminism are the most hyped, it would be folly to talk about restoring economic interdependence. So emotional interdependence needs to be restored.
Communication is the key. How ? This is something very abstract and will vary couple to couple. You have to be brave and break the ice before the death knell of the relationship. Trust cannot be injected, it comes from within, you have to be the first one to take the first step.
Any relationship in the world would lose its charm over the years. So, looking for greener pastures in not always the solution. It is always easy to create things and very difficult to sustain them.
If you are at that point in your life, look back, take a deep breath and think again. Only you can help yourself.