Marriage is a journey which gives one companionship, incessant support and a friend for life. A friend who can be part of all your ups and downs. But what happens if you are not compatible with your partner and this makes your journey traumatic and miserable? Should one make an endeavor for such a marriage to last or amicably part ways? In a recent case that shocked the tricity, Seerat Dhillon killed her husband Ekam Dhillon stating his demand for money and greed as the reason for the incident. A young life came to an end. Two innocent children lost both their parents in a single stroke of fate. A domestic dispute which was simmering since years went unresolved despite warning signals. Was this the only fate this relation would have met or we could have done something to avoid this tragedy?
A decade or two ago such incidents were unheard of. Marriage was considered to be a religious ceremony deeply rooted in our customs and traditions. Marriages were supposed to last a lifetime and its success was a reflection of ones character and upbringing. A failed marriage was a taboo and made ones entire existence questionable. Of course, there was the stigma of being a divorcee too.
But what we have failed to realize is that in these two decades our society has seen rapid changes. Women are more educated, employed and independent. Both partners are working and responsibilities now have to be shared. Joint families have given way to nuclear families and we have single children who want to share less and own more. More people are going in for late marriages making them less flexible and adaptable. The primacy of marriage in our lives has taken a back seat.
The greatest difference is in the way people perceive marriages these days. Youngsters do not look at alternatives and ways to save or fix marriages rather they look at plans and procedures to end the marriage. They are ready to pay any price or go to any extent to get rid of an unwanted marriage. With these changes, the face of relations in marriages have also changed. It is essential that these changes are dealt differently if we want to avoid incidents like Seerat’s.
The society needs to reorient itself to the concept of marriage. Marriages are meant to last but not when they are filled with distrust, anger, hurt and violence. Divorce should not be seen as a tragedy. Staying in an unhappy marriage is a bigger tragedy. We as a society need to create an environment where we are more receptive to the idea of ending an unhappy marriage.
Pre-marital counseling should be made available to all. It is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship — giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage. It can also help you identify weaknesses that could become problems during marriage. Marriage should be a well thought of decision and not something done in haste or because of the pressure of society.
At times, despite our best efforts and precautions one can not anticipate the problems one can come across in a marriage. In such a scenario, it is essential to seek help. So the conflicts are resolved and better understanding created between the partners. On the contrary, if differences are too wide and no chances of reconciliation exist, one should find ways for amicable separation. Help can be taken in any form- a friend, a marriage counselor, an NGO or even a family member. It is crucial that help is taken and instead of suppressing or hiding the issues, they are discussed and settled.
It is high time that society should not view marriage as a sacrament alone. To keep burdening people in the name of Dharma and religion is wrong. This Institution though pious, involves two individual lives and it would be unjustified to make them live through a marriage filled with disharmony and disagreement. Once the gap has widened and there is no hope of reconciliation, it is best to dissolve the marriage. The legal system in the country should aid in the process by providing quick disposal of such matters, having more family courts, trained counselors and specialist judges to deal with such sensitive situations.
Marriage is a beautiful institution which can fill one’s life with happiness, joy and fulfillment. But on the flip side, it can also cause havoc and destruction. When next time we see another Seerat Dhillon and Ekam, instead of waiting for a tragedy to happen, intervene and help them find their different paths in life, their separate happiness and separate lives.
Edited by Mrinaal Datt.
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