Marriage is a holy and revered institution in India. People here believe that couples live together for 7 lives. The western world has always wondered how Indian couples held their marital bonds so intact. Unfortunately, with the pervading modern culture and the mindset of discarding when something is wrong, the notion of is it better to divorce or stay unhappily married is penetrating. Couples are ignoring the fact that divorce is not always the answer.
Marriage is a game-changer in everyone’s life. It lies in luck and the choices like every other aspect of life. The life partner can make or break dreams and future in many ways. When going through a failed or troubled marriage, broken hearts tend to find solutions to unhappy marriage in divorce.
Divorce might not help always
Most people assume that divorce would free them from all the unwanted side-effects of a failed marriage. However, here is a piece of bad news: Divorce is not always the answer for an unhappy marriage. Wondering why it can’t be? Move on to know more.
Memories can haunt
A marriage brings together two hearts and souls. The memories of togetherness would haunt a couple after separation. The very sight of a loving couple or a family at the market or a mall can bring back the sweet memories and leave us depressed.
Children will be the ultimate sufferer
Parents’ divorce can take a toll on children. They suffer emotionally when their parents get separated. Their tender minds cannot comprehend the relationship gap between their parents.
Children of divorced parents can form a negative opinion on life and relationships. They may suffer in silence and develop emotional issues. Such children might get attracted to bad habits and company that can ultimately ruin their lives.
Compatibility issues exist in every relationship
Incompatibility in the thought process is the root cause of the divorce. In fact, every two people can have opinion differences, irrespective of their relation. Even with future partners.
Marriage binds two strangers with the bond of love and responsibility; thus, it is no wonder that the couple faces opinion differences at times. Expecting compatibility all the time might be no less than an unrealistic expectation. Patience and compromise are the keys to any successful relationship. Couples must realize that divorce is not always the answer and inculcate mutual trust, respect, love, friendship and understanding to make their married life happier.
Loneliness can burden
Post-divorce, one partner may move on with the marriage while the other may remain unmarried in many cases. The other one might decide not to marry for the rest of their life.
In such a case, loneliness would bother such sole souls at the end of every day. No amount of engagement with social life or professional life can fill the void of a missing partner once we head back to our nest
“A husband and wife may disagree on many things but they must absolutely agree on this: to never, ever give up.”Anonymous
Dependency and depression in elder age
Children grow up no soon. Their careers and families will consume their time and energy is the game of life. Once children grow and fly out of the nests, parents feel lonely. Not to mention the vacuum that single parents experience. The impact of divorce on adult depression is massive. Having a companion helps in leading a blissful life in old age. It explains why divorce is not always the answer.
Divorce in Indian society
India officially has the lowest divorce rate in the world. On the other hand, the divorce rate in the USA is 45% higher, confirms studies. Unsurprisingly, the strong cultural roots and the importance women give to family over career play a primary role in this lowest divorce rate.
The foundations of Indian culture are deeply rooted in the family system that lies on patriarchal norms. Women are the caretakers of the house and children, while men must provide and protect them. This notion still prevails in many families with educated women too.
Indian women are accustomed to making compromises in marital life. The practice passes through generations where mothers and grandmothers advise daughters to compromise for a happy married life.
Another major decisive factor in protecting marital bonds in India is ‘karma’. Being born in a land of ‘karma’ principle, Indians believe that a divorce might impact generations to come.
This Incredible India is the MotherLand of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma. Vedas prescribe mantras or sacred chants for marriage and even death, but nowhere for divorce. The concept of divorce never exists in any sacred texts of Hinduism.
Throughout the texts, the instances of husbands troubling their wives are many. However, nowhere do we come across situations called divorce. In all such cases, patience, time, and truth reunited the couples.
During marriage, the groom applies kumkum on the bride’s forehead and promises “naati charaami“. This Sanskrit verse means “I will never leave you in any difficulty.”
Hindu Marriage Act always safeguards a marital relationship. It permits divorce only under grave reasons. Every couple that applies for divorce is guided about how to fix their bond instead of dissolving them. The Act considers marriage as a protective relation for society.
Staying in an unhappy marriage is better than divorce?
Strictly no. Unhappy marriages can hurt every instant. Abusive and respectless relations are no better than staying in no relationship. Every woman or man that faces such marital bonds have right to seek legal intervention and expert counselling to repair their marital life.
However, divorce is not always the answer. Not every couple that fights or tends towards divorce might need to take the extreme step. Here are various ways to explore to mend an unhappy marriage and make it blossom again.
Communication gaps between couples can do more harm than expected. Unrealistic expectations and assumptions can increase the communication gap between couples. Talking openly and clearing doubts and issues can help in resolving marital problems.
Spend time together
Family responsibilities and professional stress can hit marital relations hard. With mutual understanding and respect, couples can easily overcome their marital problems.
Women must realize the stress men bear to provide for their families. Men must appreciate the care and sacrifices women make for the sake of the children and the family. This mutual appreciation can strengthen the bond between a wife and husband.
If you wonder why divorce is not always the answer, remember that time is a great healer. And when it comes to healing such deep wounds as marital problems, time is the best medicine. When the thought that divorce is the right decision strikes your mind, ignore the thought for the time being.
Divert your attention to children, career, or other healthy interests. Learn new skills. Inculcate new hobbies. Develop spirituality and serve society by helping the poor. Shift your mind from the nagging marriage problem and seek relaxation in other healthy tasks.
Over time, you will attain confidence and realize your life’s purpose. It will help you to navigate through married life too.
Develop physical intimacy
Intimacy between a couple can strengthen their bond. Intimacy is not always about sex. It can be a warm kiss on the forehead or a hand in hand while walking. Physical touch through hugging and cuddling is proven to release stress-releasing hormones that can strengthen romance and improve marital bond.
Stop taking your partner for granted
Before marriage, partners don’t leave a chance to attract the attention of the opposite sex. Post marriage, couples take each other for granted and things turn monotonous. It can lead to grave consequences in relationships.
Identify how your partner is significant to you. Thank and surprise them every once in a while for making a beautiful difference in your life. Talk positively about your partner in front of others even though you may have complaints about them.
Wish and surprise them on occasions like Men’s Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries. The same applies to husbands too. Encourage your woman to pursue her passions by motivating them. Surprise them by wonderful gifts that cheers her up and rekindles your romance and affection.
Such acts can help to show how much you respect and love your partner. It can boost your bond and help to make your marriage a happy one.
Give and take space
Marriage need not mean an end to pursuing one’s dreams and passions. Take time for yourself to continue hobbies you had before marriage. Learn new skills to keep yourself fresh and engages. Spend time on your well being and fitness. Make sure to keep your social relationships healthy and intact even after marriage.
Similarly, allow ample space to your partner and encourage them to have life of their own. Just make sure that a third person is not entering into this space which can be detrimental to your relationship otherwise.
Troubles in marriages start with too many expectations that are rarely attainable in real life. Career, financial, family and health issues can trouble men while women are face the challenges of pregnancy, childbearing, household work, adjusting to in-laws practices, career-related stress, and health issues.
Amidst such stress triggers, it takes no time for the romantic feeling to fade and reality enters. Here is when the conflict arises between couples as they feel moving distant from the expected beauty of marriage.
Hence, stay realistic about what life would be like after marriage. Marriage is a wholesome package. It brings together families, children, society, relations, responsibilities, and stress all at once. Every successful couple faces them many times with compromise, trust and patience as the keys to navigating such situations.
Marital problems that can push towards divorce have their base in either party. Introspect the root of your problem. The solution could often be in the mindset change, or giving a little more time and respect to your partner to make them feel valued and loved. Start implementing the things that can fix the root cause.
Fix, don’t discard
Marriage might appear broken, but it is certainly not a physical thing to discard. Marriages in India always were successful because people of older generations knew how to fix them patiently. They firmly believed that divorce is not always the answer.
The younger generations need to inculcate patience and understanding to mend the broken relations instead of discarding them like an outdated mobile phone or laptop.
Devote time to each other
Spending time together can nurture marital bonds. Studies find that not spending time with the partner can push them towards extramarital affairs. Establish a timetable for your couple and adhere to it.
Whether it is a morning coffee or dinner, make sure to have it together. Talk and spend this time together, even kicking away TV or mobile phones. Enjoy daily or weekend walks and spend time together.
Cultivate common interests and enjoy them as a couple. Take breaks from work every while and spend time together exploring the world with your partner.
Divorce is not always the answer
Every couple goes through testing times without any doubt. Any couple that says they are the happiest and never had disagreements can more than be lying. Good things in life come to those who wait.
Instead of trying to change your partner, it is wise to accept them as they are. Loving them unconditionally will only help you more than it does to them.
Understand that this troubling phase in your marriage also shall pass soon. Stay hopeful that your love and happiness will again bloom. Patience and perseverance can always bear sweeter fruits. And this is true for strengthening your marriage too.
“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”Dave Meurer