Are we as Indians better at getting married and staying married?
At 1.1%, India has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world. In the past, as Indians proud of our culture and heritage we have often looked at this stat with a sense of pride. Even though the number of divorce cases filed in the recent past have more than doubled, the statistic is still lower than any other country.
Hina S* an advertising professional with her own studio, had first hand experience of a toxic marriage, for as long as she could remember her parents were miserable together. Her mother being a homemaker and her businessman father had stayed together due to familial pressure and for the sake of raising the children. Life at home had been stressful and full of conflict. When she got married at 33, she looked forward to a peaceful like with her husband. However, when the marriage soured just a few years in, she knew at once that she did not want to lead her life the way her parents did. Hina filed for a divorce and stated life afresh at 37, concentrating on building her company and living life on her own terms.
For Hina, and many like her (even those who come from happy homes with happily married parents) divorce is no longer a taboo; the choice to opt of out a failing marriage is readily available. If you look at the rising divorce rates, in relation to female literacy, education and the rise in disposable income for women – the numbers tell a different story. Whereas before, women got married younger, didn’t (or weren’t allowed to) have steady income streams and were fully dependent on their husbands for sustenance, now that is no longer true. In metros, tier 1 and tier 2 cities careers and education is higher on women’s priority list, with marriage generally waiting till the late twenties and early thirties. Unlike the previous generation, these women have the option of not being financially dependent after marriage. This directly results in more women choosing to opt out of a bad marriage and filing for divorce.
With increased education, divorce has become more socially acceptable than it ever was in the past, even parents today would rather their son/daughter get a divorce than continue with failed marriage for the sake of societal pressure. Independent women are less scared of societal judgement, when they are confident of being able to provide for themselves. Stronger divorce laws are also a contributing factor, with most opting for mutual consent divorces rather than a long contested battle.
For us at GetMeADivorce.com we believe that a rising divorce rate signals moving away from beliefs and practices that can compel people to stay in mentally (and sometimes physically) unhealthy relationships.It tells us that both women and men are more open to taking decisions that will make their lives better, rather than continue living in a bad situation for the sake of their families and reputations. However, we know that the taboo isn’t fully gone just yet, people who come to us are still wary of their families, friends and spouses finding out. This has been a major factor behind us building stringent security measures into our website, we wanted to provide our members with a safe space while they figured out the best way to start a new life. If you’re in this situation, talk to our experts, they’re here to help.
*Names changed to protect privacy.