This is the reason why marriage was so sacrosanct and all efforts were directed towards preserving it. It has an important place in an individual’s personal life too. It was a goal everyone desired to achieve and once married, a person was supposedly ‘settled’ for good.
Marriage has perceived connotations regarding a person’s character and worth too. Even today a married person is perceived to be someone who is trustworthy, dependable, sensible and capable. Statistics show that married men stand a better chance of getting a job, are more successful and draw more salary annually.
Besides the social implications, there are personal implications of marriage too. Married people are happier, emotionally stable and healthier. They are less likely to indulge in harmful personal habits such as alcoholism, smoking and drug abuse. They are more satisfied and their self-esteem and self-worth quotients are higher than unmarried or divorced people.
The health benefits of marriage also include the mental and psychological implications. Married people are less likely to suffer from discontentment and mental problems such as depression. All these benefits manifest themselves all the more in men.
Research shows that men benefit more than women from marriage and also show greater signs of deterioration after divorce. Women overall cope better with the situations and problems arising due to divorce. Men fare worse than women mentally, emotionally and physically during the post-divorce period. The only area where they are better off than women is the financial situation.
It is also a fact that despite the adverse effects seen on a woman’s life after separation, twice as many women as men seek to initiate divorce. Men, especially during middle age ‘never see it coming’ and are taken by surprise when women ask to bail out of marriage.
Through history it is men who have been the dominating partner in a marriage and even when divorce had a social stigma attached to it, they had more freedom to exercise this option. They also walked away with the better end of the bargain. Men were not ostracized for walking out of a marriage and soon set up a new home and family.
Things have changed since and a lot of divorced men are bitter men as they feel that women find favour with the law. Mothers are sympathized with while fathers are judged harshly. In fact, the situation is such that very often men do not seek divorce because they fear the situation they will find themselves in regarding finances and children, post-divorce.
There are a few recurring reasons cited often by men to seek divorce. They are:
1. No Obvious Problems: At times, sheer boredom or mid-life crisis makes men restless and look for a change in the form of divorce. They want to get out of the rut of daily routine and mistakenly blame their spouses for the problems. Seeking some change prompts them to change jobs, change homes, find a lover or divorce their spouse.
2. Falling out of Love: Many men marry young with inflated ideas of love. After the initial euphoria, they soon realize that they have fallen out of love with their wives and initiate divorce, hoping to find their soul mate or perfect partner thereafter.
3. Cheating: Infidelity or adultery by wives often bruises the inflated male ego so much that any reconciliation becomes impossible. Any transgression, especially the one involving sexual encounters, is difficult for a husband to forgive and forget and often leads to divorce.
4. Different Values and Lifestyles: Differences in value systems and lifestyles often lead to contradictions and conflicts. It leads to greater lack of communication leading to an increasing distance between them. This difference is another major reason for men asking women for divorce.
5. Others: There are a lot of other reasons causing men to divorce such as alcoholism, emotional and physical abuse, wives neglecting husband’s family and friends, child-bearing issues, financial issues, an affair of self, personal habits, mental problems, physical or sexual problems and so on. These issues add to the statistics of husbands asking for divorce though they are not the main reasons as such.
Men asking for divorce or women doing so, is an unfortunate event both ways and leads to a lot of broken homes and dysfunctional families. One should not embark on this sad journey until and unless one is very sure of the enormity of reasons for doing so.