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23.9.14

Well, my experience with people tells me, that marriages do fail in India, but very few contemplate divorce as a solution. Some of the reasons that I could think of are:

  1. People here are embedded with the philosophy that when something doesn't work well, they choose to fix it rather than throwing it away. These people are more empathetic and patient in their approach towards relationship.  The number of such people were much higher in our previous generations. Now of course, people are becoming more casual in their relationships. But still majority, because of the cultural influences and societal pressures nurtures that belief.
  2. The other kinds are those who fear being ostracised by the society. India is full of prejudices and taboos. And getting divorced is one of them. They tolerate a painful relationship because they fear rejection from the society.  It is irrational. People chose to reject a better future of their own to avoid rejection from the society at large.
  3. Many people in India lack individualism. People make a relationship part of their identity. A girlfriend often boasts about her boyfriend driving an Audi or a Mercedes. Even if the guy is a jackass the girl tolerates him, because his social status fills a huge void in her life. If the relationship is lost, they fear losing their own identity. This goes the other way round also. I know so many people who are just referred as MR X's wife or Y's husband. No one even cares to know their 1st name.
4.In India it is not just two people who invest in a marriage. It is two families. Every decision (sometimes even the honeymoon destination) happens over a dinner table conversation with the complete family. Its a fairly democratic system. So two people don't just get to decide what is good for them. The whole family tree does.

5. One of the best skills that Indians can boast about is perhaps Parenting. And making a marriage workable and giving a good environment for a kid is part of it. In west fairly decent marriages get dissolved because of reasons that are best categorised as 1st world problems. It could be sexual incompatibility, career priorities, etc. For Indian couples their first priorities is usually their children. And they will work hard to make anything work as long as it benefits the lives of their children. Sometimes this hard work pays of and all the petty differences disappear over time and by old age they seem like a wonderful couple.

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