NEW DELHI: Marriage is easy. Sustaining it, however, is a whole different story. And if the latest survey by leading matrimonial website jeevansathi.com is to be believed, most marriages aren’t made in heaven anymore.
A closer look at the study reveals an upward trend in the number of divorcees under the age of 25 in India. The number of profiles of divorcees on the matrimonial website has doubled in the last three years, when it was about four per cent of the total number of prospective brides/grooms. In the capital alone, by the year 2008, the number of people under 25 who had sought divorce was 2,701. In 2009, it increased to 3,407, followed by 3,127 in 2010 and 3,118 this year.
For some couples, even the most miserable divorce is preferable to tolerating an unhappy marriage. “The biggest reason for this phenomenon is the fact that there is much more awareness about individual rights and a corresponding drop in adjustibility. There’s also a chauvinistic and barbaric system to contend with. Historically, for 20,000 years we have oppressed our women. Today they are well educated, independent and intolerant towards injustice, unlike two generation ago when they has no choice but to live under deplorable circumstances,” says Mandeep Singh Vinaik, a reputed divorce lawyer working the Delhi High Court for over 26 years.
Despite the benefits a marriage brings, there is something surely going wrong somewhere. Explains Rita Joshi, an entrepreneur who had a taste of marriage—briefly of course. “I was never the one for marriage, but because of constant societal pressures, my family was keen I tie the knot. Not to my surprise, 10 days after my marriage, I was being expected to cook, clean and cater to the needs of my in-laws’ and their dog. There was no way I could put up with that, considering I myself held a demanding job. Seven months later, I filed for divorce.” Pooja Sethi, a 23-year-old with a corporate job got married to her childhood sweetheart, ostensibly to get a better life. Soon after marriage, however, she was being needled to have a baby. “All hell broke loose because here I was, a young confident girl. I had barely learnt the ways of the world and I was being expected to conceive. After arguing for days, when my physical health was affected, I decided to separate,” says Sethi, who packed off to London School of Economics a few months later to pursue a masters degree. “Survival is not an issue for women anymore. They are liberated and empowered enough to manage a living with or without a husband. Men, on the other hand, have learnt the language of sophisticated wooing, but their mentality remains the same as before. To tell you honestly, educated families stink the most,” says Vinaik, adding that patterns below the surface haven’t changed at all. “We are looking at the branches of the tree but ignoring the roots. Outside of usual reasons for high divorce rates amongst young people, like incompatibility, lack of intimacy and busy schedules, clinical depression is also a major cause, about which most people are in total denial,” he says.
Rohit Manghnani, Business Head, jeevansathi.com, believes incompatibility and lack of adjustment is the key reason for increase in the number of divorcee profiles amongst youngsters. Online matrimony sites provide the divorced an opportunity to find partners of their choice with ease and sensitivity. “Our research shows that divorced individuals tend to find online marriage partners easily, and a high percentage of them have been successful in finding partners within the first three months of registering with us,” he says. Once bitten, twice happy?