Empowered Women and Increasing Divorce Rates – Related?

The chasm only keeps growing and is swallowing up our  relationships. If you’re still wondering what am I referring to here are  the striking  differences between men and women in our society. Archetypical and  biological differences are universal; but what plagues our society is different. The men seem trapped in a time warp and are conditioned to conform, obey, respect traditions and family. They bear the brunt of being caretakers for aging parents, the primary bread-earners, the protective brothers and caring sons. They are forced to put their desires, dreams on the back burner and are expected to fulfill familial duties instead. It might sound rather strange but holds true for so many Indian men ! With the flux in our society the women seem to be evolving rather rapidly compared to men. A woman no longer needs a man to feel secure or for her self esteem; she is comfortable with postponing marriage to pursue her career, she’s emotionally empowered and autonomous and is seldom bogged down by parental expectations. Its only when holy matrimony happens is she expected to transform into a demure coy dutiful woman. This is when trouble starts brewing because more and more Indian women are refusing to fit preconceived notions and are  not very happy with conforming to stereotypical notions of a wife and daughter-in-law. An education, a career and the freedom to move out of the parental fold have all given the Indian woman wings and a voice neither of which she’s willing to clip or thwart in the name of marriage. She demands to be treated like an equal partner and a companion not the servile , subservient secondary member of the average Indian household she once was expected to be.  She isn’t comfortable with putting her career on the backseat for marriage and motherhood.

Her expectations from her marital home and life partner are changing . Which are seldom met thanks to the stick in the mud approach most regular Indian families have. It has a lot to do with the way we rear our sons and daughters.  Sons are conditioned and reared to be dependent emotionally, financially and in every possible way on their families especially their mothers.God forbid if they ever take a stand for their wives or pitch in at home they are labeled as “Joru ke Gulaam” and are mocked at.  They are seldom taught to do their own chores and almost never encouraged to move away from the parental fold to set up an independent home. A stark contrast to the way daughters are raised in our country. They are raised to be educated, independent both emotionally and financially and are carefree; sans any responsibility of their families. They are mobile and flexible in both thought and action.

Courtesy these differences more and more marriages are ending in separation and divorce. Expectations don’t match, tradition and modernity seldom find a common ground. Men  aren’t reared to treat their wives as equals and women are no longer comfortable with juggling both home and career singlehandedly and they’ve become more vocal of their disapproval. The stigma attached with divorce has dissolved and women would rather walk out of an unhappy relationship than take things lying down,

To bridge this gap, we need to sensitize Indian men, to start with we need to start rearing our sons differently. They need to be raised to respect women other than their mothers and sisters. To be more hands-on and proactive at home. They shouldn’t be thwarted emotionally and bogged down by paternal expectations. In the name of tradition and family values we should no longer thwart our children instead give them the space to shape their own lives without judging them. It’s high time that Indian men caught up and kept pace with the women and find some common ground to have more lasting and satisfying relationships.

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