Sunday, February 25, 2007

Are you married to the idea of divorce??

Anjali has written in her blog about a incident which is often untold in most homes..Often not talked about because of the stigmas attached to it..What I want to write about is not a solution to the problem , just my take on the two school of thoughts evident from the blog and the comments I read..I wont claim that my perceptions are the right one, it is just the way i think...


Scenario

A woman gets married to her wishes to a handsome bloke and starts living with him .They have a kid like any other normal household.But the hunky dory story goes awry once the husband turns out to be not that great after all..He isn’t the lovable hunk anymore and turns out to be a wife abuser..She is staying with him inspite of all the harrasments.The question is whether she should sign that document called divorce agreement and come back home with her kids…

Sanctity school of thought

Marriage is considered sacred…It is made in heaven and has to be ethereal not hampered by daily skirmishes that happens in households..Sacrifice and Forgiveness are what makes marriage survive.We have to make a marriage work at all costs irrespective of the differences.In lighter words it is a system which should work even if the hardware and software are not compatible with each other…

My two cents

It so happens that the buzzwords sacrifice and forgiveness looks quite nice until you are not bearing the brunt..I appreciate the concern you have for holding a marriage as it is not poker that we are playing in a marriage..

But how long can you forgive and sacrifice??Is there any time limit prescribed for it??Is it like once you are abused three times, divorce is morally right??Or is it like you suffer all throught your life..go to church and pray hoping things will change??

We think like this because we are taught that divorce is a evil that should be avoided at all cost , something that the church abhors…hey cmon the girl is not married to the church..She has married the goddman guy..I may sound like a womanizer. But I don’t care if I sound so..When you say that you have to forgive some one..It is not one side of the tale..You forgive someone when the other person is guilty of fault and repenting..But what many of you advocate is implied forgiveness bearing all the brunt however hard it is .

'An Ace is Ace' school of thought

It is in black and white .Woman aren’t anymore “take-care-of-household” machines.They believe in work sharing and rigid segregation of personal and professional life.Seperate bank accounts for the husband and wife and basically everything contradictory to the concept that husband and wife becomes one after marriage.People following this school of thought are generally classified as feminist..
Fierce independence is the driving factor for many of em.

Marriage is a contract that has to be respected with heavy penalty clauses if they aren’t followed.. very much business like.

My two cents

I appreciate the talks of equality and work sharing.But aren’t we taking the concept of “independence” a bit too far.In that case why do we need a marriage.??Wouldnt some clinic which creates test tube babies do the trick?? I admit that wife beating is a heinous crime that doesn’t come under the perview of “forgive-and-suffer-along” school of thinking..Such cases have to be legally dealt with.But there are cases where marriages break up due to silliest of ego issues..Many of you take the concept of no-nonsense approach without thinking about the future..Every household problem is not a cancer where only amputation works…some can be treated with medicines..Divorce is the last resort.
It might be a easy way to end things..but the kids maynot necessarily think like you. The society is hard on you however reasonable your case is.. All those pro-liberation organisation wont be besides you till the end...


Collating the two school of thoughts..it is a tough choice to make..A choice which you have to make based on your priorites…based on how you look life at...and that is a personal choice…

46 comments:

alex said...

Yeah Mathew, it is all a choice.

My 2 cents on how marriage came to be. Centuries back, there were tribes roaming this earth. They used to hunt for food and copulated when ever they felt like. As a result, the population increased. Food started becoming scarce. [Economics]

There was one tribe leader [Must have been the first economist] who noticed this phenomenon. He came to a conclusion that for his tribe to survive, sex leading to children should be controlled. Initially, he must have allowed 3 or more women for a man; which as time passed reduced. As of now, it stands in most places as one.

And this evolved into what 'we' call as a marriage which takes place in heaven.

PS: I have been trying to unearth how marriages came to be. If any one can help, please contribute.

Keshi said...

Matty ur right...it's a very personal choice. So it's really upto the wife to do what she thinks is right for her.

having said that I dun have any respect for wife-abusers. And I believe a marriage should have mutual respect. And if that's not there then why be in it.


Keshi.

Nariyal Chutney said...

Mathew , I wont be surprised if some gal writes to you with a proposal after going through this post . You have echoed the feelings of 21st century man , mate . It is truly a tough choice :) . In fact as I have written in the post you had linked to the "Most Important decision in Life taken with least amount of information".

What you have written I think can be summarised in one sentence . " Marriage is this wonderful union between two individuals bringing in a lot of harmony , cheer and unison for both of them and families . But it also invloves cleaning diapers , endlessly boring shopping trips , washing clothes , cutting vegetables , sharing money with each other and so on and in many cases couples fail to realise that marriage has two sides which have to be shared and that is when relationships fail :(. Sad, Is it?

I dont belong to the forgiveness school .Was just thinking about that lady in the post you have linked to and what she was going through.Somehow I felt it strange when everyone was commenting on how she should react to the situation she is in.

Divorce is not certianly an evil but since there are so many cases in which divorces have happened based on silly issues and divorce seems to be the last resort as you have said in that specific case because of the four kids.Think how that woman will be able to raise four kids. The future somehow looks so bleak and may be she is taking on everything for them , who knows when all of us are saying that she is afraid of the society.Somehow I admire her and may be out of sympathy , who knows.

Nice , Candid Post Mate :)

clash said...

What about the Dowry accepted, will that be also returned??

Or is there any need to do so?

We hear about so many Soniya's who have 2 apartments and eduaction toiling to keep her social status up.

In India, every 12 min a girl or woman is mauled due to dowry or some issues.

Education rarely provides intellect or courage, or may be it did, but that was long ago. If we push more in to the western style, we will be okie, with these kind of issues... divorce, abortion, mom swap and wife swap - Adaptability is the forte of the "professional" world.

Cheers!!

silverine said...

Super title!!!

And no I am not wedded to the idea of a divorce :)

I agree to all your two cents except the last two cents :p I think a husband and a wife should pool in a fixed amount for the home and the rest they should keep as their private fund. This removes yet another area of possible friction in the marraige. I see so many married female colleagues who have to hand over their salaries to the in laws/husbands.

Anyways this was a balanced view and will be suitable for guys who think like you, not for people like Sonia's husband who doesnt consider his wife a wife but a glorified ayah, housekeeper and child bearer or people like Sonia who has no concept of a personal choice.

p.s how many proposals have you got till now? After this post I am sure you are spoilt for choice LOL :p

silverine said...

"Every household problem is not a cancer where only amputation works…some can be treated with medicines..Divorce is the last resort." That was brilliant!!

Super post!

mathew said...

@Alex

you are wedded to economics man!! :-P
Your idea of how marriage came into existence is quite interesting..Some thesis material you can research on!! :-P

Neways marriage has moved far ahead from the times of the tribal leader..now it is a bub-bling business indeed!!

@Keshi

After all who has the respect for such folks?? I don’t think anyone in their sense have respect for such folks. Maybe some hardcore sadist might empathise with em..

It is up to the wife, But it is responsibility of society to give her a favorable environment..

@NC

Lol!!.In that case I should have written it some time back..

On a serious note. I have more pity for her than admiration. The sacrifice she is doing by holding up in such a household is not worth it.. Considering the torture she faced as per the blog living a single mother looks far more reasonable that bearing that guys brunt. In the case mentioned above society has to give her the respect she deserves. Her friends should encourage her to face the society rather than meekly surrender to fate.

@clash

A common perception of western culture being bad is very much a portrayal of movies and the media. It is not all that bad as perceived. Admitting the cultural differences we have with them, they are reasonable in many other regards. They don’t have wife beating or child thrashing.


@Anjali

My point is not that the wife should put all her money in the hubby’s pocket. I agree with your idea of funding at home. The point is it should be mutually agreeable and reasonable. A nice family shouldn’t run on strict segregation which includes money..house chores..taking care of kids..etc..

If it seems that the husband is a better money manager , let him handle all the bucks. or if the wife is a Citibank manager. let her take care of all the dough!! :-P

And regarding proposals am still waiting…hello any one there!!!!!!! :-P

maybe I ll register myself in bharatmatrimony!!Lol!!

priya said...

Mathew: Marriage is not an agreement but mutual understanding. If its not upto the expectations, its nothing wrong to be a single mother. Happiness and freedom is more important than staying with someone who you think is only a little part in your life.

alex said...

Mathew,

I think that it is important to know how 'Marriage' is today's world evolved. Any thoughts on that, please do share.

alakananda said...

very sensitive and sensible post. yes, lots of adjustments do go into making a marriage work. but of course there is a limit to what a person (whether man or woman)can put up with.
on the other hand, these days most marriages break up on flimsy grounds. and like u said, most often it is the innocent kids who carry the psychological scars of it. maybe that is why there is a general commitment phobia among today's men and women, atleast among those who think too much.

Mishmash ! said...

Mathew, U just put in ur two cents and am sure u re getting back a million proposals :)))Am I right?? real gentleman-ly approach to the problem and very creative title :)

Shn

Tohou Lidia said...

Excellent post and clever title Mathew :)

I've always believed in marriage - more from a religious perspective i guess. From my christian upbringing, i learnt that marriage was - like you said, sacred. It's where two people can share everything and become one - both mentally, emotionally, physically (hehehe) and spiritually. But i also believe in divorce. Because people change. Nobody ever stays the same. Views will change and i guarantee people will fall out of love :)
That's my two cents ;)

mathew said...

@ Priya

yeah..exactly..My concern is that when someone decides to become a single mother that has to be the last resort. not a decision in haste.

@Alex

That’s a tough nut to crack isn’t it?? I cant actually think of anything more logical than what you have mentioned..also think marriage was the logical conclusion for keeping folks of the same tribe together. Or maybe they might wanted to keep the math simpler and hence re-stricted the partners someone can have!! :-P

@Alakananda

Thank you……..

Exactly. I know one friend of mine who is very apprehensive about marriage for the same reasons.. but more often the ‘kid-is-affected’ problem is what makes many marriages exist just for namesake and it’s the wife who does the sacrifice most of the time..

@Mishmash

Lol!!!..I think a few less than a million..hehehe..
Thank you..

@Lidia

Lol!! That was nasty..hehehe..

Btw falling out of love is something new…I haven’t thought from that perspective.Maybe all these are the vagaries of life which we learn and feel as we grow older. Everything has its own reason isn’t it..

moontalk said...

i agree that it should be a personal choice, but the fact is that no matter how much we like to believe otherwise, it hardly ever is.
a woman, when she is abused in a relationship, hardly has the opportunity to think objectively and weigh her options-there're kids to think, her family,his family, the society, blah and blah
i think marriage should last only as long as both parties really WANT to be together...no i'm not saying that u get a divorce on a whim, but d day a relationship becomes an obligation, it loses its meaning.
many women stay back for their kids, but no one realises wat it does to the child's psyche to see his/her mom being beaten up by the dad everyday.perhaps the kid will be stronger for the fact that his or her ma had the courage to stand up for herself. but as u say, its a tough choice!
a well written post :)

Neers said...

good take!! and its always a personal choice...if you do not exercise your choice to choice, others will... and then again, since its always a trade off.. you decide what is important to you.

good stuff matt!

Jithesh said...

While reading your post, i got reminded of the movie "Laws of Attraction" wherein the heroine ( a top notch divorce lawyer) describes divorce as a learning process;a chance to look at the complex emotional labyrinth that is the human relationship.Well, I donno whether that learning can be of any help. May be it may help during the next marriage :-)
The choice, as you said, is really tough. Failure, as in everything, results from inadequate preparations. It hold true in the case of marriages also. Many people take the plunge without comprehending the issues than could arise in the life ahead. And when problems actually start coming, it triggers a domino effect which eventually becomes unmanageable.
There are merits in the ideologies of both the schools of thought. And as you rightly said,the choice has to be ultimately based on the priorities.

mathew said...

@ moontalk

that was very matter of fact…’ the day a relationship becomes an obligation, it loses its meaning’ good summation. I agree with you. But when a relation is becomes a obliga-tion , it is our own making. Physical or emotional harassment doesn’t come under the purview of obligation wherein you have to compromise. They don’t deserve a negotia-tion for that matter. Compromises have to made about other little ego issues which off late seem so prevalent and eventually lead to bigger splits..
btw thanks for dropping by!!!

@neers

Most of the time it comes down to silly bargaining of who does what and who controls what. The rot starts there .It is so hard to reason with another human!!. :-P


@Jithesh

I haven’t seen the movie you have mentioned about..seems to be interesting. But then the western counterparts idea of marriage is quite different from ours. For them it is a iterative process where they are constantly trying to find the right man or woman. Whereas we Indians(both guys and girls..hope so J) have more traditional ideas of a lasting relationships where we presume that our first choices last forever. So we try extra hard to keep a marriage from being a failure..

Btw thanks for dropping by!!

alex said...

Mathew,

Yeah tough nut indeed!

But, i am looking up on early literature to get to know more about it and also through people.

Though a book written by Thorstein Veblen, an economist in 1899, called 'The theory of the leisure class' tries to explain how the 'rich' came to be and talks about how mannerisms came to be.

[I am planning to write on it in my Economics blog soon.]

starry nights said...

Interesting post Mathew and I think it is hard to tell any woman what they should do unless we have walked in their shoes.I do not believe in Divorce , maybe it is because of culture and what my family expects of me.But i think it has to do with the circumstance you are in and the kind of abuse.Like you said it is very easy to give advice from across the fence.In any marriage if there has to be mutual love and respect.

Neihal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neihal said...

I have no cents left :P
You said it all :)

Keshi said...

yep :)

Keshi.

alex said...

Mathew,

My name figures twice in your blogroll. :)

And i have more theory to put forth as to how marriage came to be. This is taken basically from Veblen's work.

Long long ago, tribes used to raid other tribes for jewels and precious things. And women used to be taken as slaves. More slaves implied that they had more wealth. By and by, a slave leader came to be. Probably the importance of the slave leader grew and grew and transmogrified into the 'wife'.

Nariyal Chutney said...

No Proposals till now :( ? What happened to all those sensible gals in the world ? :). Very Bad that blogs are not popular among progressive parents . LOL :)

Ajith said...

>>>
and that is a personal choice…
>>>>
--that sums it up well ..
I feel if both husband and wife go and try claiming independence, world would once again go back to the days of tribes.. Marriage I believe, is a wonderful institution that has to be preserved

Priyankari said...

Yea. It's very true that it's a personal choice. But most people take that decision under the forces of their super-ego (social pressure, moral issues that divorce is an evil, etc)and not the ego; and so go on bearing the pain. I wish people would take a more clear view of the matter before making a personal choice to stay together or leave.

Raghav said...

there are a lot of details missing here... for example we dont know what kind of a relationship they had prior to the marriage... we do not know anything about why the guy has turned into the kind of husband that he has turned into.
i believe that reasons are always important, its important to know why something is happening the way that it is.
they should review their feelings for each other, they should sit down and discuss/argue/fight over what their marriage has become and then they should take the decision.
i mean these are educated modern people, i mean cmon its not the dark ages anymore.

silverine said...

@raghav: If you are referring to my post then it is evidentaly clear that this was an arranged marriage. If the issues were small like ego hassles etc that happens when two people live together and make joint decisions, then it can be sorted out through counselling. But this is not a normal couple nor their relationship worthy of being called one. It is high time we recognised marriage as a union of two people than as a binding contract between two people to live together. If a spouse is physically abusive, it means he has violated the spirit of the marriage and hence should be removed from the marriage. Living in such a relationship is a hypocrisy. He should be counselled after he is removed from the marriage as recovery will take time and the other spouse has a right to get on with her life. We are a civilised society, let us not behave like barbarians by keeping such people in the relationship and counselling him in the hope that he may change in the future and thus condemning the other spouse to a life with him. His behaviour will have serious repurcussions on his kids too and they have to be removed from this situation post haste.

@mathew: Sorry for the long comment but the very premise that an abused spouse should live with her abuser becasue he should be given a second chance thru counselling makes me see red!!

mathew said...

@Alex

Good luck bud..I appreciate your patience to research and investigate ….I would have said ‘Quits’ long back!! :-P

@Starry nights

Exactly..Divorce should be the last resort when you are 100% sure that it wont work anymore..

@Neihal
Lol!!..I wouldn’t mind it in dollars…


@Keshi
:-)

@Alex
Thanx for pointing it out!!!

@NC
;-P

mathew said...

@Ajith
Yeah Marriage is a wonderful institution that has to be preserved in mutual understanding .

Thanks for dropping by..

@Priyankari
Yeah most people get married based on a time limit prescribed by someone or social pressures..By the time they realize that it wasn’t all hunky dory it gets too late..

@Raghav
I think you have got some clarifications from Silverine’s comment below..When we say we have to discuss argue and fight over with a wife beater ..does it make sense..??Discussions are possible with people who will find sense in the reasoning..who are ready to hear..But when someone is insanely physically harassing his wife will we try to sit down and reason with him…Like you said the shocking part is that these chaps are educated folks..how much education they have practically gained is questionable…Hope you got the clarification bud..

@Silverine
Thanks for the clarification..

And for the pleasure of long comments!! ;-P

alex said...

LOL. :D

Sreejith Kumar said...

Agree with you and most people assembled here: "personal choice"

How do we know said...

Great Post Mathew!!

tkkerouac said...

very insightful, I like your mustache.

Keshi said...

new post new post :)

Keshi.

SilenceKilled said...

Yes....All about choices u make...All about ethics you follow...
But then, that can't be solace to a heart that gave everything to the marraige only to see spouse dear straying around...
Maybe, talks about independence are "IN"...But why to deny, that however close two individuals are...They still have their own identity...Being together after marriage never means giving up ur seld, identity....
Well....All this marraige game looks like a gamble to me...

mathew said...

@Alex

;-P

@Sreejith

thanks..

@how do we know

thanks a lot..

@tkkerouac

it is a fake!!! ;-p

@Keshi

i cant keep pace with u bud..

@silence killed

exactly..it is defintely a gamble worth taking isnt...but u still can gamble intellingently!!!

SilenceKilled said...

Well... Right now, I can just say its a gamble....Worth taking or not...maybe can comment on that some years down the line.....

Shakhi said...

Marriage is a gamble in a way! You never know what's gonna happen. But some squirmishes are bound to happen when it concerns more than one individual, and marriage means two person living together 24hours...
It should be based on understanding...you have to always remember that breaking something is always much easier than creating something...but then there's also no meaning in dragging a relationship if its already dead...
But then its a personal choice...its "you" who sholud decide if the relationship is dead or not... and not society.

mathew said...

@silence killed

:-) life is in itself a gamble..

@Shakhi

thanks a lot for the long comments..

"its "you" who sholud decide if the relationship is dead or not... and not society.
"

exactly..that sums it up..fully agree with your thoughts..

Mellowdrama said...

Whose blog did you stumble into - sounds like this person hasn't a clue what he or she is talking about and obviously isn't married.

Here's how the ol' jig goes from my experience with counselling idiots stuck in a no-win situation. And yes I am married and pretty happily too:)

1. Never and I mean never EVER EVER EVER even think about having a child with such a man - wife-beaters do not emerge overnight, it starts out as something insignificant and gradually builds up
2. Divorce sounds like the ideal solution but tell me how many women are finacially secure. They may be smart but can they earn enough for themselves and their child. And here I mean women in smaller towns - not the metros where it is still possible. Honestly marriage for these people is a security blanket...which vaguely reminds me of this line from MAY YOU BE THE MOTHER OF A HUNDRED SONS - A Journey Among the Women of India (highly recommended to the doof who made the original post) -
Something about most women marrying because they seek a window to the sky but never being able to open that windown once they are in the marriage:)

mathew said...

@Mellowdrama

I appreciate your concerns but you havent given a solution to the problem..

Point 1)

Ofcoz no one becomes a wife beater overnight..

Only woman I know quite well enough in my life is my mother.And I have stigmatised myself to think that all woman are good like her.Infact a bit hard to conceptualise evil woman theory!! ;-P
Even assuming that the lady is at fault for any mistake it is definitely deplorable to indulge in wife-beating.

And I dont think in most marriages woman have a choice..the girl may not be as strong headed as you are and is obviously at her husband's mercy.Forget about the choice of not to have a child with this guy, do you think she might have had any choice for anything in her life..

I agree with your second point.
For many woman the dignity of being a wife to someone is more precious than a few thrashings at home..but then mindsets have to change..dignity has to be redefined for them..In Silverine's post she is trying to re-emphasise that and pondering a possible new life for the girl..When the girl in question has the ability to stand on her own feet why does she still surrender to fate??

Natasha said...

Mathew, can I have your phone number? ;)

I'm single and in my quest for a compatible guy who can tolerate me and vice versa. Seriously, if we were of the same religion, I'd have definitely thought of proposing you (as absurd as it seems) coz, just about every view you've put forth is so like mine.

I'm not putting in my thoughts on the issue coz there's a lot I'd like to say. But, I am in the process of writing a short situational story with wife-abusing as the main topic.

Umesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Umesh said...

Hey Natasha this is not fair. Even i have the exact same view as Mathew's. Even I have a phone.

Oh btw what did Mathew say... lemme read it... :P

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