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A few months back we heard Angelia Jolly splitting from her husband Brad Pitt, using the term “irreconcilable differences,” And I find whole media and a bunch of feminist bloggers going wild over writing about it. “Is this a correct step when you have half a dozen kids? “, “Reason revealed, Brad is having an EXTRA marital affair.” Many more verdicts came out when the crowd saw a celebrity couple getting divorced. While some of them appreciated this step for coming out of a disturbing marriage. Most people scoff them off for using a new-age approach to what is necessarily a dark, painful life event, a divorce.
The demise of a long relationship is really a sad step and its effect on kids and other family member is obviously a negative thing. But I feel with time we have advanced over each and every aspect of living except separation from a life partner. As our thinking and lifestyles are getting cutting-age, people are getting open in every matter. They are open in expressing their life choices. Many of them are open about expressing their love (even in public). Some are even candid about their homosexual nature. But we are still old fashioned about seeing divorces. We have accepted “love marriage” as a modern marriage institution yet we are closed about seeing the brighter side of separation in most of the cases. And this I am talking in reference to our country.
Divorce is intrinsically hard and I have no doubt on it. But our cultural beliefs and attitudes make it even harder than it needs to be. We often consider the wife bad charactered and rebellious if she is asking for it. We assume the husband careless and freaky if he wants a separation. Guilt, shame and a sense of failure significantly raise the emotional cost of divorce, and that’s why many of the women and men are forced to carry an unhappy and abusive relationship even today. Still, the divorce rate in our country is low. I don’t think this is because everything is brighter in marriages here. Interestingly, divorces granted by the family courts has increased in metro cities in last few years. But why this disparity, why marriages have turned more fragile in last five or so years, still not breaking into pieces easily?
The obvious reason is the high cost of divorce, particularly for the wife. Gone are the days when husbands used to buy property/house in the names of their wives. Now everything is his asset and a wife gets very less for living her further life. Though there isn't a fixed formula to quantify the alimony amount, generally it is in the range of one-fifth to one-third of the gross earnings of the spouse who has to pay alimony. This is worse in the case of non-working women. Such women may have nowhere to go after divorce, except to her parents’ place where too she is unwanted, particularly by her brothers, who are claimants to paternal property. The flip side of the coin is wives misusing divorce laws for getting a share in husbands’ property. Court trials which are mostly biased towards wives leave very less room for husbands to prove them innocent in the matter. And divorce being a costly affair, from hiring a lawyer to courts proceedings, goes as a painful business than relieving.
I am completely against on even thinking about divorce on petty differences between couples. But I also feel the society has to get a bit liberal towards divorce as a procedure. If a couple is going towards it, we should not just assume that they didn’t try to resolve their mutual issues. Without understanding the matter, no one should raise a finger over the wife or the husband. We should take a more empathetic look at the end of a marriage. What is your take on it?