Amid distressing times of the pandemic, Goa has witnessed another distressing trend. A spike in the number of divorce cases and annulments has compelled the State Law Minister, Nilesh Cabral to come up with a policy to make premarital counseling compulsory in the state of Goa.
According to the reports, it has been observed that the couples are seeking divorces within six months to one year of their marriage, and some even as less as two to four months. The state Department of Civil Registration has decided to come up with the policy as a part of their “social responsibility”.
As with every phenomenon, we are compelled to ask the question, ”WHY?”. Why are the numbers rising in this tranquil state? Even as we ponder over this disturbing trend, a news article from last year pops into mind. As India battled with its first wave of Covid 19 and imposed a total lockdown, there came news observing that domestic abuse was on the rise.
Confined in closed spaces with abusive partners, led to a rise of 15-30% in domestic violence cases. Within a fortnight of the nationwide lockdown, the NCW (National Commission for Women) had reported a 100% rise in complaints of domestic violence in the country. The series of lockdowns that followed, and the insecurities it brought, may only have given fuel to such abusive lifestyles. Added to that is the economic insecurity, financial instability, and isolation that the pandemic brought in its wake.
Pandemic or not, financial insecurity in a relationship is one of the top reasons why marriages end. The constant bickering over finances can only add fuel to the fire. Considering that the past year has been exceptionally hard for the people of Goa, which is dependent mostly on tourists, it comes as no surprise that most families found it hard to keep the stove burning. With many people losing their jobs, companies facing cutbacks, and even the return of the Goan diaspora, the strain falls on not just the finances, but also the relationships.
With strained relationships, bruised egos, and swollen pride, partners tend to move closer to addictions. Addictions of body, or ‘spirit’, literally. Alcohol and drug abuse is another major reason for broken marriages. Turning to a bottle, rather than to each other, in times of joy or desperation, slowly becomes an easier way out and eventually the only way out.
Modern relationships are slowly becoming like modern gadgets. Easily available, easily disposable and inferior quality. True love is taken over by likes and comments. What matters isn’t the depth of understanding or the level of intimacy between the couples, but the hearts you score on social media. More and more couples fall to the lure of an extravagant and share-worthy wedding picture than a life-sharing partner.
With love and responsibility comes another virtue far underrated. Patience! Patience to accept the other person for what they are. Patience to accept the flaws, and the failures. When the tidings are bad, earlier generations would wait for circumstances to change. Today, we don’t have the patience to wait it out. As an old saying goes, Wisdom in the man, Patience in the wife, bring peace in the house and happy life.