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In the past across all cultures more marriages were arranged. Even in progressive cultures women were still the weaker sex and dependent on the men. Many were uneducated, confined to their homes, not socially mingled. That's why most women accepted their fate as is and did not dare to risk their marriage in any way. People were expected to make marriages work and sacrifice for the sake of their community or family. Men and women both would feel compelled to overlook major ideological differences and conflicts. Marriages also took place within certain social spheres, communities or within specific regions so there were not as many background differences to overcome.
The most significant and important change is that women are no longer dependent on their husbands or families. Women who end up in unhappy marriages are not hesitant to get out of it. Another aspect with women being more independent is that some men are taken aback by their independence. Various issues like career, education, income, past relationships, socialization come up, and people who are unable to sort that friction end up divorcing.
Society has also grown a lot more individualistic. People no longer feel compelled to self sacrifice their interests for the sake of their family. People are more quick to speak up or conflict over differences and make certain demands. In old fashioned marriages if people dislike habits, or feel neglected, are offended by attitudes they would deal with it nowadays people will speak up hey I need you to spend more time with us, I wish you did not throw your clothes about or leave the kitchen in a mess, I wish you would be so arrogant to people. If such differences are unsorted it ends up in divorce.
Finally with cross cultural relationships you have a lot of background differences. People are crossing wider barriers like religion, class, country, culture. These barriers make marriages more difficult. People think they can cross them, but in practice it can be hard. Even people married for several years are unable to sustain the marriage when their spouses jobs take them to different countries. In the past one person would deal with it, but nowadays fewer people will accept to be alienated in a new culture.
In many aspects the ability to divorce is a positive change and trend. Compatibility is essential on physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels for any relationship. A happy marriage and family needs there to be genuine love, compatibility, compromise and commitment. In the past many marriages existed as arranged institutions. People stuck together simply due to obligation, they had no love for their spouses or genuine happiness or interest in the marriage or family. I'm not saying that loving happy marriages did not exist, but a large number of people would remain married for the sake of it and that's not the best situation. Divorce has allowed the ability to end poor, abusive relationships as well as farcial relationships.
However, it is true that too many people take divorce for granted. Sometimes people selfishly ignore the simplest of compromises and pick arguments for divorce for the smallest reason. People are also not thinking enough before marriage. They get carried away by the spur of emotions and the romanticism of the relationship that they do not think through if they can genuinely sustain that relationship.
Marriage is no game. Think twice before making a decision. Take the step only when you are ready to make that commitment to the rest of your life. But if you make the mistake, own up right away don't wait till its too late and there are too many hurt sentiments.
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