As I intend to write this article as a sequel of my two earlier articles on marriage related issues, i.e. Changing Indian Social Setup and Marriage (http://astrosaxena.com/marriageissues) and Insights on Relationship Astrology (http://astrosaxena.com/relatinsight), quite appropriately I chose a similar title to the first article.
Of course, the genesis of this article is also from the consultations I am regularly giving to my clients and from the problems people are facing in their married lives. At this moment, I honestly say that I feel myself lucky to be a Single. Somehow I feel that We, the People of India, are selective in the areas we want to change ourselves and our mindset and Marriage is one area which never enters into the selection zone where mindsets should change. If Divorce Rate is going higher every year, and I am sure that it is going to be higher now with every passing year unless we change our mindset towards marriage, then we need a serious introspection as to the reason of collapse of institution of marriage. Here, I would clarify that every word written here is sincerely thought-off and there is no typo or mistake. I sincerely abide by every word that I am writing here. So, let’s cover this article on following points –
Indian Social Setup.
Acceptance of Divorce.
Let’s check all points one after the other –
Marriage – Marriage is presented in Indian Society as normally a one-time event in lifetime of everyone which will make the couple “Living Happily Ever After”. Movies, Media and TV also sold this concept to a great deal. Although, I don’t deny that few people live a good married life but they are really a “few” people. I acknowledge Marriage as an institution which lays down the foundation of Family system of living. For me, the biggest advantage of Marriage is that Children born out of Wedlock will have 2 people to look after them and guide to become a good human being, and as I understand, this was the only purpose of creating this institution of Marriage. Then just to make people follow it, Marriage was linked with Religion. I am still fine with the concept of Marriage but I have two major objections –
- Marriage separates the person from Universe. It means that even if World is dyeing, I would be happy and content if my Family is safe. Even if I see a murder happening in front of my eyes, I will ignore and never report it as I am worried for safety of my Family. And in that moment of cowardice, I will also entertain the thought that person who is getting killed must have done something wrong. Like this, I will console myself against my coward attitude.
- Marriage gives an unnatural responsibility. So, if I am married or have a child after marriage, then I am not supposed to die, else who will take care of the Family? Now, this is one responsibility on which I can have no control. I can die the next moment of my marriage or conception of child. So, these are the two major issues I have with marriage.
- But I still agree that marriage is the only socially acceptable way by which Society can sustain itself, till we develop any new way of sustaining society without marriage.
Divorce – As it happens with everything which is created by Humans, a polar opposite is always created. Humans can never create a perfect full proof thing, concept or institution. So, as we created Marriage, Divorce was bound to come as the result and it came. One thing to note here is that Divorce is only available in one relation of Husband and Wife. I can’t apply for divorce from my mother, father or children or siblings. It is because only marriage is man-made. All other relations are made by nature. As we created Marriage, we automatically created Divorce as we knew that we can’t create anything perfect.
And this is where my whole point is, accept Divorce as you have accepted Marriage. Both are man-made concepts. It can’t be possible that Indian Society accepts Marriage with all the cheerfulness but treats the Divorce as Stigma over the person. Divorce is nothing but a failure of Marriage and failure of Marriage can never be treated as failure of an individual. If whole society was part of the Marriage then whole social setup and environment is equally responsible for Divorce too. Of course, an irresponsible Indian Society won’t accept it but this is what I want to tell here in this article that how whole society is responsible for failure of Marriage and as such, it can’t ignore its responsibility and continue to treat Divorce and Divorcee as Stigma.
Indian Social Setup – Here are few things, Indian Society needs to introspect.
- First of all, We, the People of India, need to get rid of this thinking of marriageable age. There is nothing like an age to get married. There is no right age of marriage, there is only right time for marriage. And that right time can come even in person’s teens or in his 60s. So, get rid of this notion that if you are 25+ and not married then you are not following norms. As I see charts of people, one of the main reasons behind stress in relationship is that people got married at an early age without realizing the seriousness and responsibility of Marriage. This is one way how Indian Society creates situations of Divorce.
- Then Marriage should be dependent on the happiness of couple. That should be only criteria for getting married and somehow we managed to overlook & ignore that most important criteria and emphasized on everything else, like caste, religion and language etc. I remember one of the preachings of Osho in which he said that people don’t allow inter-caste inter-religious marriages as they don’t want to get into a situation like Arjun was in Mahabharat where he had to fight his own relatives. Just imagine, if every Hindu-Muslim-Christian start marrying each other then how Societies will make you fight against each other? So, the only criteria should be happiness of couple and if you are sure about their happiness then I don’t mind even if you don’t match horoscopes too. But if love between partners is not there, then you have just created a hell for yourself and same Society of your caste, religion and language won’t come to help you if relation breaks. This is where I feel Indian Arrange Marriages are nothing but Bargains, Negotiations and Deals.
- Then, after marriage impacts of Society. Constant enquiries and queries about Child Birth. Like, I have many of my friends who have 1 child after marriage but people from Caste and Relations keep on asking them about when they are planning the 2nd child? Dude, what is your problem? Why can’t you just let someone live his life his own ways? Now, if one of the partners is not willing for 2nd child then due to constant enquiries and unnecessary reminders by people, stress is bound to come in relation of couple. And of course, the desire of a male child. As if you are sure that 2nd child will be male only? Considering India’s population, I will support any law made by Govt which restricts the number of child to 1 and ruthlessly applies it.
- Desire of Highly Educated and Homely Daughter in Law is another way how Societies contribute towards Divorce. Common Sense is that if girl is highly educated then she will be Ambitious too and then how can you expect her to be a housewife? This conflict in desires only leads to stress between couple and ends up in Divorce. But that is only end result, fuel is provided by Society.
- I can keep on ranting against Indian Society as I have so much to say against it but these are the main reasons how Society contributes to Divorce and then the biggest surprise is that same Society treats Divorce as Stigma over the person. He/She is not supposed to live a normal life after that, especially if it is SHE. But how can you forget that you, as a Society, only created this result? What is the need to push someone in marriage in early 20s when he/she doesn’t even know the seriousness of marriage? What is the need to force someone to marry strictly in a caste when there is no love between the couple? What is the need to push for child-birth if couple is not ready for it, either financially or mentally? Are you going to look after the child if parents are unable to support?
Acceptance of Divorce – As things continue to become stressful in relations due to some of the reasons stated above, the biggest problem here is Society’s view point towards a Divorcee. Divorce is still seen in our society as a stigma, especially for a girl, and hence married people are forced to continue their shitty relationship just for the namesake. What is the problem for Society if someone, who is having a horrible marriage, decides to walk out of it and make a fresh beginning in his/her life? Why it is necessary to continue a non-functioning relation just in the name of culture? And here also, I don’t see Indian Society has much problem with a Guy getting Divorce and getting Re-married. Here also, we have managed to be double-faced and hypocrite. For a girl, it is still a stigma to be a Divorcee. Another place where I see Society being lenient towards Divorce is Celebrities. It seems they can have multiple marriages and divorces but Indian Society would have no guts to raise any query? Why? If you are so concerned about your culture then 1st of all make those people follow culture, who are seen as ideals in Society? But it seems that hammer of morality and culture is meant for common people only.
It is high time now that Indian Society would have to take serious note of rising number of Divorces and accept that marriage is no longer a life-long matter (and forget about that togetherness of 7 lives thing). We need to accept Divorce as a part of our life as we have accepted Marriage as part of life. They are polar opposites. Both sides need acceptance now.
Western Countries – This is where I feel Western Countries and Cultures have proved to be smart. They have realized that humans can’t create anything perfect and ideal. Hence, if we accept Marriage then we have to accept Divorce too. I have seen people from Western Culture who separate on good terms and choose to remain good friends after divorces. In one case, divorced couple even decided to re-marry after 1 year of divorce. This is possible only because they haven’t treated Divorce or Separation as a negative thing. They have accepted it as part of life, just like Marriage. They don’t treat Divorce as Stigma upon person. Problem with treating Divorce as Stigma is that both parties to divorce won’t be able to forgive each other at any time. There will be animosity underneath between them because of social treatment they get after divorce. They will treat each other responsible for their pathetic condition and image in society. There may be some exceptions here and there, but I am talking about 99% majority of cases. Here, we need to learn from West. If we can adopt their lifestyle and feel great following their ways, it is also time to be receivable to acceptable social norms from their culture.
Astrological Facts – Talking about Astrology, I can tell you at least 15-20 scenarios of planetary position in a chart where Divorce becomes unavoidable. Either person may take Divorce or he/she continue to live a horrible married life. And as I have seen at least 1000+ charts now, I can say that 99% population has many of these planetary placements. That’s why, relations are so difficult. I remember a quote from Astrologer Ryan Kurczak – “Getting Married is not a problem. Staying in Marriage is a problem”. Also, I am only talking about those scenarios where separation can be there. There are also those scenarios where person should not even think of getting married. All I am saying here is that if a person is destined to have 2 marriages, then there is no point in forcing him/her to stay in a horrible marriage or ill-treating that person after divorce. He/She is just working out karma and destiny. At least co-operate at your level with him/her and at least don’t increase his/her trouble. Also, there are great examples where people lived a great life after their 2nd marriage. Late Pt Ravi Shankar and Sachin Tendulkar’s Father Late Ramesh Tendulkar are two examples on top of my head, who prospered after their 2nd marriage. So, it is not that if a person is divorced then his/her life is over and we should start treating the person as Stigma or good for nothing. Well, he/she is part of same social setup, right? So, if person is stigma then how society can keep itself away from the same stigma?
Conclusion – Finally, I just want to convey that this is high time now that Indians would need to change their mindset towards Divorce and Divorcee. Accept Divorce as you have accepted Marriage. At the same time, I understand that separations are painful and to avoid situations of separation, I feel following few suggestions should be kept in mind by all of us –
- Marry after 30 years of age at least. If it is further delayed then I have no issues. Let Saturn Return pass away then marry. Don’t live life like a time table that you have to marry at this age and have kids at that age. Accept that someone else is running the show and any interference in “HIS” plans can have serious repercussions.
- If someone is destined for delayed marriage, never ever try to force it in 20s. You may never know what is coming with Saturn Return?
- At social level, accept Divorce as part of our life now and I know that going forward, it will only increase as part of our life.
- Let couple decide how many children they want to have, if any. Society’s intervention is not required.
- Marry a person based on the factors which can guarantee life-long happiness, rather than Caste, Religion, Languages and Communities etc.
- If society makes a rule then apply on everyone uniformly. Your voice should not stammer in front of Celebrity or any High Profile person for application of same rule.
- Last, but not the least. If Indian Society is so fond of Western Culture and following them then learn from them how to treat Marriage and Divorce in balance.
Hope this hurts some mindsets, sentiments and feelings. Feel free to comment, if you have any.
Vishal S Saxena - Astrologer
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