Since childhood, we were brought up with stories and fables of happy ending and, quotes saying,“And they lived happily ever after..,” or wait, hang on, did they?

For years the common narrative of marriages, being the sole purpose of a woman’s life has been fed and sold to us in the form of romance novels, movies, songs, soap-operas, etc. She must abide by it, even if things go extremely south, since it’s her duty to serve (courtesy: patriarchy of course!)

As per India Today, unsurprisingly, India has the lowest divorce rate, which go as low as being less than one percent, this in a country which has the highest domestic violence and depression rate. In India, one out of every three married women, face domestic abuse, and, yet we have so many happy successful marriages.

Are people really happy or have they forced themselves in wrong relationships just because of the stigma that comes attached with a divorce?

One such example is of Ross Geller from Friends, Ross Geller received  much flak for going through three divorces in the sitcom. Now, imagine, a Rosselin going through three divorces or a Roopa or a Rubiqa. Society seems to develop a very cold exterior when it comes to judging females with history of failed relationships. In this situation, either of the two things happen: Regressive society makes it tough for you to quit marriage, therefore, you find yourself in a spiral of silence or worse, you, yourself endorse the normalcy in a toxic relationship. So how does this normalcy get propagated? It’s a complex work of the culture that is structured around it.The structure includes, triggering Indian soap operas, which apart from popularising superstition also endorse patriarchy on their lavish sets of never ending television series. Just in case, if you think, it’s primitive thinking and the novel millennial mindset which detests Indian soap operas and, the western culture, is way beyond it, then again you might want to reconsider. Calling it quitsis not only stigmatised for marriages but similar patterns are observed in millennial dating as well.

Notion of women being a therapy centre for poorly raised men is very much part of a popular culture even today. After book series, (later turned into a movie) authored by Anna Todd gained handsome popularity because it sold good, chast, pious girl Tessa Young and bad boy Hardin Scott. In yet another famous book It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover, readers were left agitated when the protagonist left her abusive husband Ryan for the good guy Atlas. Most readers shipped the toxic relationship that protagonist had with her husband, over the good one.

Prachi Khare, Journalism student, Kamala Nehru College, who is fanatic about American TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, when asked as to why she shipped the toxic relationship of Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd said,”It’s so engaging to watch the vulnerability of characters trying to sustain their relationships.” She further added, “I understand it’s fictional but I find myself like an idiot correlating it with my own life.”

The dangers of such content is that it subconsciously reinforces the wrong relationships, thereby, making adults be in wrong relationships albeit the fact that generational timeline has progressed. Hate to play the devil’s advocate, but the media is based on the preference of people’s taste and, a reflection of the society. Perhaps, we can be more progressive about our choices for structuring an environment which permeates healthy relationships, and is accepting towards the ones, which have failed.

 Feature Image Credits: thedelhiwalla

Umaima Khanam

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It doesn’t come as a surprise that India has the lowest divorce rate in the world, which sounds good but isn’t necessarily a good sign.

According to a report, stating the ten most and least divorced nations, India stood at the lowest with a contribution of 1% to the total divorces in the world.

Only 13 marriages out of 1,000 result in divorces in our country, making it even less than 1% which clearly tells us that people here are more comfortable with unhappy marriages rather than a broken marriage. Couples could be living under the same roof but be separated for years, maintaining a thin line between failed marriages and divorces.

The main reason for this atrocity remains societal pressure. People think that they are liable to live according to society’s idea of what counts as a good life, which is basically putting efforts for everybody’s happiness but yours. The need for seeking everyone’s validation has made our decisions restricted and counterproductive.

Furthermore, the concept of arranged marriages completely ignores the needs of the only two people involved. As long as their families are happy, who cares about them? And these are the same families who turn their backs on the couple when they are withstanding marital problems by giving the ultimate solution, “Have a kid, that’ll solve everything”.

Apart from this, there is hardly any concept of remarriage in our society, so a lot of people drop the idea of divorce and incline towards adjusting due to the fear of dying alone rather than having a second chance at love. Because, after somebody gathers all the courage to let go of an unhealthy marriage and start a new life, how dare they consider moving on with someone new?

How many times have we compromised our happiness over the thought of log kya kahenge? This fear is indulged inside us so deeply that we follow the ideology of “Sanskar over happiness” but at what stake?

Staying in failed marriages not only creates life long problems but also promotes the mentality in the future generations that it’s okay to stay with someone you’re not happy with, only giving rise to toxic relationships with a dead end.

We’re long into 2019 and still the Indian society, a society whose utopian dreams has made the younger generation hell-bent on westernising themselves, remains deeply rooted in centuries’ old values. Low divorce rate might look nice and ideal on paper but in practical, it hints at the rigidity in our society. Indian society needs to understand that divorce is not the end of a happy marriage but an escape from a bad marriage. In the end, it results in two happy individuals rather than one miserable couple.

Feature Image Credits: 

Avni Dhawan

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