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Gone are those days when marriage was considered a sacred institution. The woman of today, audacious and independent, is no longer a damsel-in-distress, rather she is a fighter, nonchalantly walking out of her marriage. Issues like domestic abuse, career issues or even infidelity cases are not even the main reasons now, divorces are taking place just at the drop of a hat.
Reasons like “he did not shop with me”, “she does not attend my office parties”, are simple reasons which suffice to a dreadful divorce. The 21st century modern Indian woman has saliently transformed.
Few of the recent reasons cited for a divorce, no matter how shallow it seems, as are :
‘She is a workaholic, can’t deal with his bad breath and snoring’,
‘We read different books’ to even ‘my wife is into black magic and voodoo.’
Definitely, these reasons are bizarre, leading to a 13% increase in the divorce rate in India.
Dr. Nisha Khanna, a leading psychologist states that Indians have become more emotionally unstable and vulnerable over these past years. They have very high expectations from marriage and believe it to be similar to a fairy tale, which definitely isn’t the case. Even Bollywood has been able to capture the claustrophobia related with marriages with movies like ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ in which Priyanka Chopra, who is yet to conceive with her dour businessman hubby, has been keeping a secret: she is on birth-control pills for years as she gives more importance to her career than being a mother. And she ultimately wants a divorce from her husband who subtly doormats her.
So, what’s wrong in that?
As women are increasingly becoming more educated and intellectually refined, they know they do not have to be subjugated by a man’s ego to carve their own identity. Instead of protesting, indulging in obnoxious fights and humiliating scenarios, women of today chooses to simply file for a divorce when the situation turns grim. They are no longer as dependent and patient as their mothers, who believed that perhaps having a child would solve the problem and bring back the lost intimacy.
Rather, they are head on with the facts and are well aware that if there is no spark, there is no spark! Calling a spade a spade should not harm anyone, eh!
Transforming gender roles
Initially, men married women out of their own choices, comforts, benefits and convenience. But today, the identities have changed. A woman is no longer associated with household chores and making babies. She can be the CEO of a company or an entrepreneur starting her own business. Her personality needs the same amount, or perhaps more, of adrenaline rush and thrill for achieving her own identity, like her male-counterparts. When men, who have been raised in this patriarchal society and feudal set-up, looking for virgins and docile damsels, find their partners overpowering and ambitious, they simply don’t know how to face the heat.
Eventually, it leads to a bitter divorce because the women of today are no longer ready to compromise!
Women get better with age!
In case, this trend for divorce intuitively suggests only the younger couples, you are here for a shock. These days, even elderly women, who in-fact have teenagers, are opting for divorces. Yes, after all these years! For years, such women have been used to being seen but not heard. They had no identity whatsoever. But now, they are fighting from their shell and are ready to claim their right over their own happiness, opening up to a new world of possibilities. They are growing financially independent, no longer afraid of the fear attached with the label of a ‘divorcee’ and even managing their children, pretty well.
Divorce by mutual consent
These days, modern couples, those belonging to upper middle classes or above, have started this new phenomenon called ‘Divorce by mutual consent.’ Over the years, they have realized that they would do better without each other, whatever the reason might be. Instead of a hullabaloo, they opt for an amicable separation with integrity. Practically sorting out the finances and properties is easier because right from day one, these couples maintain their own individual accounts and assets, which can be easily divided when time comes. Well, it’s because they want to preserve their own individuality in the marriage, which of course, they have the right to do.
A Divorce App?
Well, now when everything and anything is turning digital, why shouldn’t divorce? Two psychologists Dr. Gitu Bhatia and Dr. Linda Bortell have launched a new app, called DivorceWorks which gives advices to couples opting for a divorce. Cheaper than self-help books, this app is meant specially for those who are hesitant to meet a therapist. The App understands the cultural sensitivity and mindful awareness of the consumer and hence, guides them accordingly. It has self-help quizzes, emotional rating system, a reading list and cooling and comforting tips.
In a nutshell, we are living in a different present. Along with the changes in the patterns of having a family, there are also changes in fertility practices, changing living arrangements, out-of-the wedlock childbearing and delayed marriages. Women have the right to file for divorce if they are not happy with their partner. It does not need to be something as obnoxious as domestic abuse but rather be something small yet significant as mutual respect.
For today’s woman, who carves her own identity, marriage is not ‘made in heaven’ but a choice, which she has the right to manoeuvre however she wants!