MUMBAI: As the stigma around divorce dissolves steadily, an increasing number of couples in the city are choosing to end their marriage, sometimes soon after exchanging their wedding vows. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of divorces in Mumbai rose from 4,624 to 5,245, a spike of over 13%. Last year's figure is even more startling when compared to 2002's statistic of 2,805 - this means that the number of divorces has climbed by more than 86% in less than a decade.
Social scientists and psychiatrists explain this as a sign that the till-death-do-us-apart class of marriage is under strain. "Young couples marry impulsively and separate equally spontaneously. Divorce is now seen more as a corrective mechanism and a way to move forward in life," says psychiatrists. Financial independence, multiplicity of relationships and ample career opportunities as some of the reasons for the increase.
"Gone are the days when the mother-in-law was the villain. Now you alone can save or break a relationship," he says. 'For today's women, divorce no longer carries a stigma'
As the number of divorce cases in the city rise, psychiatrists cites financial independence and more career opportunities as some of the reasons behind this trend.
Varsha Bhosle, who is in her late 20s, decided to end her two-year marriage after she realized that she and her husband "did not have any time for each other". Both of them worked in an IT firm at Malad. What proved the catalyst for the divorce was the husband's choice to move cities. "He wanted me to shift to Pune too. But I felt I had better career choices here. We were both ambitious anyway," Varsha says.
Kusum Singh, a financial consultant, got separated from her husband in January. "It was not that my husband was a bad person. But somehow we just drifted apart and I began seeing someone else. I felt bad for my husband, but after the initial heartburn even he understood ours was a loveless relationship," Singh says.
Lawyers say a major reason for the rise in divorces is that women have become more independent, financially and emotionally. They do not feel that ending their marriage would bring upon them a lifelong stigma. A majority of young couples these days, in fact, separate by mutual consent. "This saves them from the headache of going to court many times. One can get a divorce within six months and maybe two hearings," says Sajal Chacha, a family court lawyer.
Chacha adds there have been cases where young couples have divorced within six months or a year of marriage. "Elders in the family have become more accommodating and do not force their children into a second marriage if the first one fails," she says
(this is an original newspaper article by Times of India, Mumbai, 27/07/2011)
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