IntroductionMarriages are made in heaven. There are film songs to the same effect. The boy or girl that one gets to marry is pre-determined. This message comes out loud in film songs in so many languages.
Be that as it may, a very disturbing trend is the massive increases in divorce rates throughout India. In every State and in every caste or community. Many real-world experiences have so many threads in common. The thought and action patterns and the variables involved are quite similar in most of the experiences. This makes it even more important to concentrate on a) increasing communication between the couple prior to marriage b) Seeking the help of elders in clarifying life goals c) Shedding of egos at every stage d) Changing the mother in law ' s role and e) promoting a deeper understanding on common or unique interests.
Increasing communication between the couple prior to marriageThis should happen as a routine. The meeting between the boy and the girl in an arranged marriage is often around sixty minutes only. This is very much inadequate when compared to what is ideal. There should be communication on four different days and each of them extending to even six hours. Let the couple exchange frank views on every subject of importance. If there had been any love affair that sort of blew up and did take the boy or the girl anywhere, such details should be shared between parents on both sides. This will clear the deck for a more frank and clearer level of communication between the couple. This is very essential.
Once doubts of any kind are cleared, it becomes quite easy to focus on ambitions, aspirations and the like. A good amount of understanding on these issues can be followed up by telephonic conversations too. Parents on either side should be broad minded to allow such communication to take place. The key is the kind of transparency in the whole process. Once this is ensured, there is every possibility that there will be very good understanding on both sides; this will be all the more so since there will be a broad agreement on all expectations and career goals on either side.
Seeking the help of elders in clarifying life goalsThis is an important step as well. Today, we have a huge number of doctors, academicians, lawyers, chartered accountants, cost accountants, MBAs, engineers and professionals in just about every field. It is quite possible to get accurate and timely advise from such people. Some four years ago, Ramesh, a chemical engineer, with three years of work experience, wanted to do a full-time MBA. He chose a petroleum industry focussed MBA. His maternal uncle, with 35+ years of experience, advised him on time to pursue a better MBA with Operations and Marketing as dual specializations from a Mumbai institute. That was a superb piece of advice. Ramesh today has the best of both worlds. He is Senior Manager in a medium-sized company in Mumbai. A relative of the founder also runs a startup at Bangalore in the inter-city, supply chain management phase. While Ramesh oversees production in the factory, he also assists the marketing team of the start-up. He is now ready for marriage. He looks forward to getting engaged to a girl working in a similar startup. This is exactly what the elders would call as wave-length matching in those days. It is now even more relevant than ever before.
Imagine how confident Ramesh would be when he settles down to discuss his goals and that of his fiancee. Timely help from elders is key. Making the younger generation listen to such advice is the bigger challenge. They generally do not want to listen to any advise at all.
Shedding of egos at every stageThe only daughter of one of the most famous auto companies manufacturing two-wheelers got married to the son of a very famous IT icon some years ago. It was celebrated in grand style. The marriage broke up and divorce happened even prior to the expected date. Why?
Clash of egos. This is the curse with hundreds of thousands of families. It happens everywhere. Women who are financially very well off, forget for a moment that they are now would-be mothers. Give and take is essential. Similarly, men also try to treat women as doormats. Such attitudes and dangerous egos would have to compulsorily go.
Changing the mother-in-law's role Marriage counselors often come across this big problem. The traditional mother-in-law. Horrible TV serials in many languages seem to be teaching many tricks to them to become treacherous mothers-in-law. Most of them do not change their attitudes and start behaving as if they are the sort of one woman army who can dictate terms. Yes, even in 2019.
The mother-in-law thinks that she can dominate every aspect of her son's marriage. If the son is also obedient and plays ball, all he will break loose. The differences start to widen.
It is left to the elders to advise the mother-in-law to change totally and also literally accept her as her own daughter. As already pointed out by this author in one of his earlier articles, such dramatic changes are so common in the metro cities. The problem is still acute in the smaller towns. This becomes all the important that the women here change too. Marriage counselors also have a big role to play here.
Promoting deeper understanding on common or unique interestsIn several cases, it is observed that the woman is a Carnatic music expert. Or an expert in classical dancing. These are special interests. Common interests could be traveling, exploring nature in villages, doing constructive social work and so on. This often happens when someone close to the family chips in with very good advice. The couple starts to rethink the good times of happiness. The marriage is saved. For sure.
All that needs to be done is to focus on such interests in a seamless manner.
ConclusionMarriages can be saved with some common sense and tact. We just cannot allow the Western values to dominate our thinking and behavior anymore.
It is time for meaningful action. Right now.
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Basically, two persons who are married should have confidence in each other. They should have trust in each other. In addition to the above qualities, the two must understand each other well. The matters related to the family should be discussed between the two and a decision must be taken with consent from both the parties. Another important factor is ego. This trait will spoil the relation.
These days these factors are not being considered. Each the party thinks they are the supreme. That is why the divorces are increasing day by day.
Author has presented a detailed article and has given some important tips on how to reduce the divorce rate which is right now shockingly increasing at an alarming level.
From my side, I would like to add a few more points. It is very important to notice the red flags before marriage. While getting to know each other, if one sees even slightest evidence of behavioral pattern which is abusive or over controlling in nature, then it is high time to stop and think twice. It would be a bad decision to move ahead blindly thinking that everything will get in control or will work out in future. There is every possibility that instead of getting sorted out, the things may worsen which can result in divorce.
Never give up on your values and belief system. Any compromise made in the present may turn out to be regretful in the coming future. Each and every person has some beliefs and deep values in their lives. They want their partner to respect their values and beliefs. It would be best to choose a partner who thinks and act alike. Thus, choose someone who shares the same values and beliefs. Do not agree to marry someone before determining this important aspect. These things are non-negotiable and thus stick to them irrespective of how strong the chemistry you sense may be.
Now a day’s premarital counseling is also available. If family or friends aren’t of great help and self-assessment seems difficult, why not take the help of a professional? Though the professional help no way blesses you with a blissful marriage, still the two people will know their odds and will know where they stand with each other. Counseling can help two people to know a lot of things about each other that can turn out to be of great concern and thereby they can decide to seek help or rather go slower in the process.
Yet another dimension pertains to the always in a big hurry or what we often call as the "here and now" attitudes of both life partners. This never happens. The wife says that she would like to spend on purchasing designer jewelry, the husband wants a flat to be purchased and so on. The disagreements become big issues. A little patience on either side can easily solve the problem. This never happens. We should address this issue too.
We are witnessing divorce of young married couples these days. One of the main reasons is that both the members are well educated and are capable of taking own decisions. Earlier, very often, husbands had an upper hand in the education level and as a result, had better jobs. Now in most of the cases both are educated well and are in possession of attractive jobs. We can see that in the IT sector, ladies are becoming a majority. Naturally, they contribute a good share of finance for the family.
In several cases, we find the reason behind the divorce is the attitude and influence of parents of brides or bridegrooms. It need not be a joint family these days. Since mobile phones are mainly used as communication media, almost every day, at least once, the bride's mother contacts her and discuss different matters related to daily life. Very often the husband may not like this. Slowly a difference develop and ends up with separation of the relationship. Sometimes even simple issues lead to separation. I know a couple who got separated within two weeks after the marriage. The reason was simple. Both were IT people. Wife wanted to accept a job in a foreign country and continue there, while the husband was ready to accept foreign assignments only for a short period, that is, to get attached to an Indian firm and go out for a few months or years. These contradictions in their views ended up in divorce.
There are other reasons as well for the increase in the number of divorces.
Basically, the bond of marriage gets stronger if the couple is wise. It's very common that the mother-in-law may try to dominate the bride since she is new to the home. She may try to show more authority over her son's life. It's the couple who has to think and should keep their mind cool so that it may not affect their married life. No doubt that divorce cases are increasing day by day because of the personal ego. No one likes to compromise, but that's wrong. One has to shed off his or her ego for the marriage life to go on smoothly.