Blame it on the cultural rub off from the West, or just the inevitability of change, Indians too are witnessing growing cynicism around marriages and relationships.+
- At less than 1 percent, India is among countries with lowest divorce rate. But that is changing.
- One in four Indian millennials do not want to get married and one in five do not want children.
- The concept of compromise is outdated, and it’s the idea of partnership that is in vogue.
Indians take pride in the knowledge that theirs is the country with one of the lowest divorce rates in the world. So, when we hear news about high-profile foreign celebrity couples splitting up, a recent case in point is Bill Gates and Melinda Gate’s divorce, we leave no opportunity to pontificate. We begin to hail our culture, our value system, traditions, and above all our joint family culture.
But things are changing…
The situation at home turf too is undergoing a change, much to the chagrin of many. Blame it on the rub off of Western culture on Indians, or just the inevitability of change, Indians too are witnessing growing cynicism around marriages and relationships. Divorces are more rampant than ever. One in four Indian millennials do not want to get married and one in five do not want children. A sense of disorientation seems palpable in everyone.
One in four Indian millennials do not want to get married and one in five do not want children.
Older generations have had simple marriages, yet lacking in many ways?
It’s sometimes incomprehensible how older generations romanticize the notion of compromises and adjustments that they believe one has to inevitably make to sustain a marriage. To be sure, every relationship requires an investment of emotions, time and energy. However, back in the day it seemed that men and women approached marriage in a prosaic way, where the roles were articulately defined and embraced.
The man’s sole job was to bring food to the table and women were supposed to run from pillar to post running myriad, never-ending household errands. With such defined roles, it was easy to govern a marriage, and there was never a bone of contention vis-à-vis equal rights, sharing household work etc. in relation to contemporary times. The two people in marriage despite having an intimate relationship knew little about each other and were less involved in each other. The proposition of building their own world together never really occurred to them. It was simple, yet lacking in many ways.
Millennials & Gen Z look for companions, not compromise
Individuals of today view the institution of marriage as sacrosanct as long as their idea of partnership runs its course. Partnership largely encompasses the idea of ‘we’ in the marriage, rather than ‘I’, ‘me’ & ‘mine’. And by ‘we’, it means having equal influence in decision making, equal role in managing household and equality in all spheres of life. A welcome change.
Definitely. Their idea of marriage makes much more sense. Their is a sense of belonging, heightened awareness wrt one’s partners wants, desires and temperament. But like every good story has a ‘however’, this welcome idea of partnership in a marriage too has been turned onto its head by some.
A generation prioritizing individual freedom over anything
With words like self-love, self-care and prioritize yourself being spouted by every brand, every influencer and every person occupying a prominent position, it’s been effectively hammered into our heads the notion that self-love is supreme and foremost. And we have taken to the idea in all earnestness. A good thing, indeed. However, in this quest for making every moment of life a gratifying experience, we have very conveniently surpassed even our very primal, humane instincts. Not to mention, we’re a generation which prioritizes individual freedom over every other thing, even emotions and feelings.
Such is the growing need to put oneself before others, we’re experiencing more cracks in partnerships than ever. The whole marriage comes apart like a loose thread which was never meant to hold things in place forever; like a faulty water pipe which from the very start had the ill-intention to leak at the chosen, crucial hour.
The concept of compromise is outdated, and it’s the idea of partnership that is in vogue. What’s ironic is how people from older generations are less involved in their partners’ lives and their life together as a couple, but still remain invested in their partner in every which way. Their relationship may have failings and shortcomings, yet the bonhomie between them doesn’t fade away in oblivion on a whim. Whereas, modern relationships despite having become more inclusive are short-lived and fragile.
That begs the question: Have we crossed the fine line between asking for equal rights and turning inward-looking?