“Asunder we never shall be,”
Promised Dean to his bride-to-be Bree.
At the altar his vow
Reassured her, but now
They’re divorced via legal decree.
Indian family histories are replete with stories of unhappy marriages. Marriages fixed by parents often led to a union of two totally incompatible individuals who lived in total disharmony thereafter. The objective of marriage, it seemed, was mainly to make babies, settle them and expect them to take care of the parents in old age.
However, with education and awareness, the partners, especially the female, are increasingly choosing to walk out of an unhappy and unfulfilling marriage with or without children. I have come across several cases where females have opted to bid adieu to mental or physical trauma or both and rewrite their destinies. Not all of them have succeeded in re-settling snugly in comfortable homes, but they have definitely been feeling more confident with self respect returning to them.
But it’s high time that we change our mentality, stop treating marriage as a sanctimonious ritual, a union between two unequal and a life time commitment and instead encourage new educated couples to enter into prenuptial contract that equally protects the interests of both the partners in the event of marriage not working out on expected lines.
In the instances mentioned above, all the ladies have suffered post walking out of their inconsiderate and inhuman husbands. They were simple home makers who had to fight for the custody of the kids, start their careers late in their lives against heavy odds, bring up children single handedly, without any financial support and fight prolonged legal battle for an honourable separation. On the other hand, men remarried (in a hurry; they were already in a relationship with their prospective brides), fought tooth and nail for custody (though they had no love for their children or they wouldn’t have abandoned their families), avoided alimony by feigning poverty through fake testimonials and had general gay abandon while the wives underwent trauma.
In the course of writing this blog, I thought it better to give two caveats- unhappiness or incompatibility is not unique to arranged marriages but happens as much in love marriages too and many a times separation is initiated by wives also, though at that juncture they do not expect total apathy from their husbands! But this is the reality that irrespective of whichever party initiates divorce for whatever reason, usually the lady suffers and hence the searing need for prenuptial agreement. If the registration of marriage has been made mandatory, prenuptial agreement should also be made a compulsory requirement so that ladies have a choice of peaceful and comfortable existence post divorce instead of lifelong suffering.