COIMBATORE: Even as suicides among women resulting from marital problems remain a matter of concern and an advocacy issue for many NGOs across the country, the city of Coimbatore is among the few places where more men than women committed suicide due to marital issues last year.
According to data in the “Accidental Deaths and Suicides 2014” report compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, 25 men and 8 women committed suicide in the city due to marital issues in 2014.
Statistics reveal that 36 percent of the men committed suicide as they could not “settle” into married life. Seven of the eight women who committed suicide also did so for the same reasons. Seven of the men ended their lives as they or their spouses wanted to file for divorce.
The others ended their lives due to “other marriage-related issues,” according to the report. In Coimbatore, suicides (by both men and women) due to marital problems constituted only eight percent of the total number of suicides in 2014. It is one of the few cities where more men than women took their own lives over marital issues. The others are Ahmedabad, Jamshedpur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Rajkot and Vadodara.
In Chennai, there were 15 men and 18 women who committed suicide due to marital issues in 2014.
According to G Rajamohan, Head of the Department of Psychology, Presidency College, Chennai, said such couples do not work towards conflict resolution, which intensifies their stress and the animosity between them. Also, with more women taking full-time jobs, male partners unused to working women and doing household chores were unable to deal with the stress they develop. This caused fissures in marital relationships and led to divorces and suicides.
Psychiatrists also point out the changing dynamics in the marital relationship. Women are beginning to assert their independence, be it on taking financial decisions or sexual practices, causing the man to feel threatened.
Besides, the stress on couples living in cities is ano-ther reason for the increase in the number of suicides. In 2014, there were 178 marriage-related suicides in Delhi (city) the highest in the country. The national capital was followed by Bhopal, with 153 suicides. In Mumbai, marital discord led to 63 people committing suicide last year.
‘Inability to Strike a Compromise in Marriage to Blame’
Psychologists give several reasons for more men than women committing suicide due to marital problems in some cities.
They also said the actual number of people committing suicide due to problems in marriage could be higher. Many incidents do not get registered in the police records under this head as they manifest as other acts of desperation.
Most of them point to sexual incompatibility between the spouses, with the male partner not being as “emotionally mature” as the female counterpart. This leads to problems like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men and resultant sexual frustration.
“In many cases, the woman takes a dim view of her husband’s failing and responds with scorn and sarcasm to his sexual infirmities,” said Rajamohan, a noted psychologist from Chennai.
Conflicts in other areas of the marriage also push both sides into experimenting with drugs and alcohol, leading to depression which could eventually result in suicide.
Psychologists also feel that the partners get a huge shock after marriage as they leave the cocooned atmosphere of their homes. As each is then expected to act selflessly and compromise in the relationship, differences naturally arise. The inability to work around such conflicts, due to the relative independence that both sexes have, makes compromise a challenge, they said.
The number of suicides resulting from marital issues have been increasing over the years. Experts says this is likely to increase. In the country as a whole, there were 6,560 such suicides in 2014, with 369 of them in Tamil Nadu.