Bizarre Reasons to Divorce

MUMBAI: From frivolous to ridiculous, the reasons why people are seeking divorce is growing bizarre day by day. If a husband wants to step out of his marriage because his wife cooks meat in a cooker while his mother used to do it on slow fire, a woman wants to walk away from her husband as she does not want to employ the same doctor and chartered accountant her husband engages because she cannot understand his mother tongue.

Advocate Kranti Sathe, who appears in matrimonial dispute cases, says she comes across these absurd instances as clients approach her seeking divorce.

Sathe recounts the case of a North and South Indian couple, who had a love marriage, but later the wife approached her to fight the case. “The wife refused to go to the same doctor or chartered accountant as her husband because he would talk to them in his mother tongue. Also, the woman could not stand her husband talking to his family members,” says Sathe.

But she also says that several such instances of idiosyncrasies contribute to total sum of cruelty but “can never by themselves be a ground for divorce”.

But marriage counsellor Dr Rajan Bhosale has a different take on it. He reckons that these frivolous reasons given by the couples may be just outward reasons to camouflage their real intentions. “There may be a core reason for the dispute. Sometimes, the couple know it themselves. Sometimes, they don’t tell anyone, not even their parents. They also feel they cannot blame one another. So, they look for excuses and wonder what to come up with,” he says.

He says that the fast-paced lifestyle is making the couples suffer from low impulse control. “In olden days, couples tolerated each other. Today’s generation wants everything instant. Considering that they have their whole lives, they may be just taking a wise decision,” Bhosale feels.

Perhaps, Bhosale is not far from the truth as there are many who have defied odds to make their marriages work. Mahim residents Sheila and James D’Souza completed 51 years of married life in January this year and have seen all their four children settling abroad. The 76-year-old Sheila says that petty things must be overlooked. “There are ups and down. But in a marriage there has to be a give and take. After all, we take our partner for better or for worse.”

Her husband of over half a century, 86-year-old James understands and nods his approval. “We have done nothing extraordinary. We have lived a simple life. We have stuck by the precepts of our faith.” But he ribs Sheila, “I’m not a fellow who talks too much. Ninety percent of talking is done by my wife.”

If Sheila and James kept it simple, 74-year-old Mulraj Seth and 69-year-old Bharti of Gurgaum Chowpatty say there has to be love and patience in a marriage. After living as husband and wife for 46 years, Mulraj and Bharti seem to have endured it and say that they draw their inspiration from Mulraj’s parents Jayantilal (97) and Chanchalben (92) who completed their platinum jubilee in January 2010 and subsequently passed away.

“I never heard my parents quarrel. They understood each other without even speaking,” Mulraj says but adds that he and Bharti have small arguments, only to patch up. “You have to trust each other. Today’s couples have no patience. The way they fight is as if one person has to die in the battle.”

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