Marriage as an institution is one that thrives on mutual love, respect, and care for one another. If one of these facets fails, there is a chance of it not being a successful one.
Of course, different people have different views on how an ideal marriage would be, but normally, especially in a developing country like India, a marriage is usually one where the husband is the head of the family and the wife obediently does whatever he says. Gay, lesbian and polygamous marriages are not even considered options in a country like ours.
If people in Western countries marry out of love, Indians marry out of familial pressure and concern over what other people in the society will think. What the husband-wife duo usually does in front of others is a façade. Just playing along with how society wants an ideal married couple to be.
There’s also a societal-set age that determines when women and men should marry. It should also be noted how marriage is discouraged when a person exceeds that set age, even if the person involved wants to marry.
This proves that marriage is basically just a socially constructed institution to satisfy certain expectations of theirs. At the same time, men and women, either consciously or unconsciously mould into these expectations that society sets for them. Men must be the breadwinners, women shouldn’t work, they should stay at home; do the cooking, the cleaning, and looking after the kids.
The main reason why marriages fail is that either one of the parties doesn’t follow those societal expectations. It is usually women who cannot subjugate themselves to their husbands and treat them like gods while being treated like trash in return. That’s a concept of the past. Yet, men still hold on to the values their fathers handed down to them; the power over women, which is why there are always clashes between husbands and wives. Boys remember their mothers being submissive and believed their wives to do the same for them because patriarchy always put men in a position of comfort, while women made all the sacrifices.
Since women have gotten a lot more vocal about their needs and basic rights, it angers men. Since women have now started demanding equality, it angers men that they do not get to enjoy the same privileges that their fathers and grandfathers did.
Women, nowadays, don’t submit themselves to patriarchy even when their own parents force them to carry on the ancestral culture of subjugation to their husbands and allow legal slavery of their daughters in the name of marriage.
Women have gained more independence and self-respect with the help of the feminist movement and are now no longer silent or afraid to use their rights whenever needed. Thus, they know they can live without men, but agree to marriage just because of familial pressure, as mentioned. Therefore, it is a known fact that a divorce is an option if it doesn’t work out. It is also a curious case that it is only a woman who suffers after a bad marriage even though she wasn’t the one at fault, the privilege of being treated as a human, if you’re not a man, in a patriarchal world is limited.
Men always get angry at women who vocalize inequalities and unfair treatment because it’s inbuilt in them that women should always be inferior to men. This is the main reason that in arguments, even if the woman is calmly stating the points, it’s always the men who shout to establish superiority because it’s a hurt to his pride if a woman, a lowly being, wins against him.
Yet, each time at family functions, it is always the wives who are made the butt of domestic abuse jokes by the husbands painting themselves as victims. The jokes go along the lines of “Oh, I can’t joke about her, she’ll beat me up when we get home.” “Oh, I should do as she says because she’s the head of the house.” “My wife is so controlling. I don’t know if she’s the wife or I’m the wife.” The only one who knows that these claims are senseless lies would in the end be beaten up by the jokester behind closed doors.
Domestic abuse being one reason for failed marriages, sexual abuse and extramarital affairs come next. Marital rapes are still not criminalized in India and are considered an internal matter whenever a case is filed.
On the other hand, when either of the partners has unsatisfactory sexual lives, they seek for it outside marriage. The reasons can be lack of proper communication between themselves, ignorance about pleasure for women and men having higher sex drives, and looking to satisfy themselves elsewhere because their partner says no. Extramarital affairs are condemned by yours truly, though. No one deserves to go through that pain.
Another reason for a failed marriage in India? Dowry. If the woman’s family is not well-off enough to give dowry to the men’s family, the wife’s life becomes hell for her.
Therefore, with all these reasons, just being a few of the many others, it’s noticed that it’s mostly men who become the reason for a failed marriage. They want power and control, they want their ‘property’ to do whatever they want it to do, they need women to fulfill and disprove their useless insecurities. Thus, it all comes down to patriarchy. Men being taught from childhood that they can be as bad as they want, and their wives are supposed to just stick with it.
Too bad for them, women will not play along anymore. 🙂