It is Raining Divorces in Kerala's Family Courts.
Marriages happen at beautiful venues and a good number of them end in Kerala's family courts.
In fact, there is a four-fold increase divorce cases in Kerala between 2006 and 2012. And, this is a matter of worry for many.
Changes in divorce law now allow couples to get a divorce on mutual consent. The mandatory separation period is halved. Social scene has changed. All these lead to the sudden increase in divorces.
Here is a quick look of divorce statistics in Kerala
During 2005-2006, there were 8456 divorce cases filed in Kerala. The number of divorce cases in Kerala family courts increased to 44,236 in 2012. The statistics for 2013 and 14 are yet to be published.
Period – No of Divorce Cases
Out of 23.43 lakh divorced women in India, 1.96 lakhs are in Kerala. In Kerala, most divorces filed are in Thiruvananthapuram, followed by Thrissur, Pathanamthitta and Ernakulam.
Most divorces are among couples working in IT sector and those divorces happen within three years of marriage.
Causes of Divorce
Dowry related violence, domestic violence, alcoholism, extra marital affair of spouse, differences with family members, etc are the most important reasons for separation.
The exact reasons of divorce are unknown. Most often, not even the couples have no clue how their relation came to a standstill and a breakdown. And, this is no surprise. The real reasons are hidden underneath and we will see only symptoms of the underlying problems.
Excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and substance abuse are other reasons of increased stress. People think they are relaxing, but in reality they are only compounding to the problem.
Divorce Becomes Necessary When. . .
Divorce is the best option for people to get out of abusive relationships. No one has to suffer at the hands of their partners. And, every individual has a right to lead a life of dignity and self respect.
Dowry related violence, domestic violence, physical & mental abuse, etc are reasons for separation. No one has to suffer a life of indignity. Divorce is an escape route for such people. And, in that sense, divorces are a good thing.
Changing Family Conditions
Unlike in the past, when the divorces were pretty low, family members came to the support of couples. The family and extended family would get themselves involved in the differences. They also try to concile both the parties, offering mental support and enabling the couples to enjoy a normal family life.
However, with changes in socio-economic conditions, the nuclear families don't have such a luxury. The couples usually live separated from their families, not getting any family support in the events of stress and burn outs.
The couples too can't support each other because of the work pressure each one suffers. IT couples work long hours, shouldering big responsibilities, and without relaxing.
The root of the problem is both the parties have few openings to vent their frustrations, disappointments and mental pressure. There is no extended family to turn to. The spouse is usually very busy with his/her own share of mental agonies.
Enter Addictions – For Example, Facebook Addiction
Alcohol addiction is not the only addiction modern young couples have. They also are addicted to social media sites like Facebook and spend a lot of time in an imagined world.
The side-effect is, couples turn to their virtual friends for support – instead of to the family or the extended family.
And, there is every chance such virtual relations can lead to illicit relationships, extra-marital affairs and unwanted complexities. Couples feel cheated. They will find it easy to break themselves up from their marriage.
It is really the problem of support, but most people blame Facebook for the debacle. Couples turned to where they could get support, but ended up on a downward slide.
Understand Ego, Get a Life
Don't let ego ruin your life. Ego is one underlying reason for avoidable divorces. Simply opening communication channels among themselves and to outside world can send ego flying out of the window.
Seeing things in perspective is the first step. When someone puts matters in perspective, most couple will see what a beautiful life they are destroying by allowing ego take control.
Family Can (Sometimes) Make Matters Worse
Well-meaning family members may try to reconcile both the parties. However, with inexperience and lack of understanding of mental working of the parties, they can do more harm than good. Instead, talk to an experienced counsellor and you will see how you can handle the varied situations in a positive, enriching manner.
If you want to stop divorce, there is a way.
If you are not in an abusive relationship, you can think about avoiding a divorce. If half of your mind says staying in the marriage is the better option, there is help available. Communication problems and ego are root-cause of many family problems. Strengthen communication and try to identify what your partner is trying to communicate.
And, when needed, talk to a professional. You will see the real issues in your relationship and will discover new ways of adding pleasant, fulfilling and enriching experiences to your life.
Our article published in Arogyapadmam Magazine - December 2018
Our Article published in Our KIDS Magazine-October 2018