Copyright Nim Gholkar 2015 All Rights Reserved
I was at a literary festival recently in India, attending as a speaker in a panel discussion and a member of the audience asked ‘Why do you think more and more marriages in India are ending?’.
When I was growing up, the word ‘divorce’ was still taboo. Many factors contributed back then to couples struggling for years through loveless marriages….factors such as fear of society and what people would say, lack of economic independence, lack of confidence to strike out on one’s own…these are some of the reasons that come first to mind. Over time though, things have changed, and divorce is no longer considered a dirty word. More and more couples are thinking: ‘Well, this isn’t working…let’s move on and see if there’s anything better out there”. Sometimes, it’s not even about finding a better partner…it’s simply about moving out of an existing uncomfortable relationship to be on one’s own.
So, why then are more and more marriages in India ending? Of course as many people in the audience pointed out, a lot of it can be attributed to women empowerment. Compared to years ago, women nowadays are more financially independent and don’t feel the need to stay on in marriages that are less than perfect.
But in my personal opinion, one of the biggest reasons is the modern couple is too busy. The modern husband and wife are running around all day from pillar to post, paying the mortgage, catching the bus/train/taxi to the next important appointment, meeting professional deadlines, taking the kids to various sport and academic activities, dressing up for the next big social event, attending weddings and birthdays…..so much so that they forget to take a pause in all this hectic rushing around and remind each other that they love each other. We are so busy looking after all the other areas of our lives which we deem more important, that love takes a backseat and languishes in a corner. The modern couple is taking each other for granted….the attitude is “Ah! Love? Of course we love each other. We don’t need to keep reminding each other of that, surely?”
But that is exactly what is needed. We DO need to keep reminding each other. Marriage or any long term relationship is like a plant…it needs to be watered, nourished and nurtured regularly for it to survive and thrive. We cannot keep putting it on the back burner and promise to pay attention to it once all our other obligations have been fulfilled. Love needs our attention now….we need to proactively work towards cherishing it, preserving it and growing it by regularly reminding our partners that we love them.
Let’s not be too busy for love…..we all know love cannot be postponed.