Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is a 'loveless marriage' worth its while?

Guest Post by-Arunima Srivastava

Marriages may be made in heaven, but their fate is decided right here. Is a loveless marriage worth its while or is divorce the better way out? 
While the ever piling divorce applications may be a way to determine the number of troubled marriages, what's never accounted for are the number of couples pulling through loveless relationships. 

Going by a British survey done sometime back, over 59 per cent of wives would divorce immediately if their economic security was assured while half of husbands thought their marriage was loveless. Over 30 per cent said they were living in a doomed marriage to save themselves from going through a massive upheaval while another 30 per cent men said they were staying for the sake of their children, because they were scared that they would have to leave them otherwise. Get asking people here, and they confirm no less.

"Given a choice I would have walked out within the first year," agrees Nisha Vohra, a homemaker, who's been married for seven years now and has a six-year-old son. "It was an arranged match which seemed fine during the initial months. But too much interference from my mom-in-law and my husband being subservient to her made me resentful. I planned to seek a divorce, a decision which my family supported. But by that time I'd become pregnant so thought it better to carry on with my marriage," shares Vohra.

"This is very common," avers divorce lawyer Ranjana Dixit: "We have so many women, especially from lower middle-class homes, who'd rather stick on in a troubled marriage than be financially insecure or bear the risk of social embarrassment. In a recent case of a Muslim family that came to us, Shama had been divorced by her husband Imran, who had even performed a second wedding. However, after bearing all the social and mental agony, Shama pleaded to be allowed to stay with the husband and his second wife to ensure financial security. That speaks volumes for the dependency of a woman on her husband."

But is a loveless marriage reason enough for divorce? "Yes, of course," states Dixit, citing the famous Samer Ghosh vs Jaya Ghosh case, in which the divorce had been sought by the husband who stated that his wife no longer cared for him. The case which was dealt by a full bench of
 Delhi HC in March 2007 was termed as 'an irretrievable breakdown' of marriage, which also amounts to mental torture, and which is one of the seven grounds for divorce." 

But who's to decide if a marriage is loveless or not? questions Khursheed Kanga, a
 relationship counsellor. "The problem is that people have a utopian notion of a life-long romantic love. But reality kicks in soon after marriage. So it is this very notion that we try to fight first when people seek help from us to deal with the depression of a troubled marriage," though she agrees that, "Many of these people want to work on their marriage because however much they may wish to, they cannot divorce. And the reasons vary from concern for kids, financial insecurity to social embarrassment." 

Reasons which are valid according to sociologist Reeta Brara: "Only
 love can't sustain a marriage. It may not be a perfect institution but provides many safeguards like economic security, social status or bringing up kids together. And one should not be embarrassed in seeking them through a marriage. In fact that's the stabilising factor in any relationship. So, one can't really give up on a marriage just because there's no love." 

Also, is the fear of leading a divorced life a deterrent for couples? "Of course it is. Divorce can be a shattering experience and not everybody can handle it. Besides in
 India, there's a certain stigma attached to it, which sort of forces many to continue in a troubled marriage rather than walk out." 

{The writer of this article is Asst. Editor ‘Lifestyle’ TOI .com and has be reproduced from ‘Times of India’ with her due permission. Acknowledgement:- Times of India}


  1. A very dangerous trend indeed! But I'm not sure loveless marriages would do any good!

  2. Loveless marriages are just a transaction.The two involved in it are just victims of circumstances.There is no redemption in being a victim so why continue? Better to get out of such a farce and look out for true love!

  3. EGO is the biggest thing that people need to learn about and how to come over it. Each person wants their say to have an upper hand, this leads to all kind of complications... No wonder we have "क्योंकि सास भी कभी बहू थी" alikes have marathon runs!!!

  4. Love is not something that can happen in a day or even a year. It is only when people get to know each other and develop an affection that they care for each other's wellbeing and growth.

    Unfortunately this may not happen to all people and so they end up in a state of loveless marriage.

    I suppose love marriages have a better chance of success than arranged marriages because people atleast have a better chance to know about each other and a better chance to fall in love with each other.

  5. An abusive marriage needs to be walked out of but I think every marriage is the same, all need hard work to make it work...times a tough coz women are changing and men refuse to!

  6. May be marriage as an institution itself is man-made and not the natural human instinctive tendency...

  7. Hard work is involved in making a marriage successful.Also it is not just one person's mistake.if a marriage is broken,then both of them are responsible.In the early stage it is possible to repair the relationship if one person is sensible.But there also problems happen when ego comes in.

    I support love marriages.It is far better than the arranged one.

  8. Loveless marriages are not worth it. However it is always good that the couple take good efforts to keep it going. But an abusive relationship is a next level, and I don't think that it does any good and it is better to end one.

  9. In addition to love, every relationship - marriage or otherwise needs to be founded on mutual respect, trust and friendship and should be carefully nurtured. Love is merely an expression of all such emotions. When trust and respect are lost or people are taken for granted, then it leads to a breakdown, I suppose of any relationship.

  10. marriage is marriage, and my point is , its an auspicious thing ,once married saat janmo ka saath.( love can be cultivated. )
    if u can not continue and want a divorce, no other match will last long, because the error lies in you. u hve to correct ur error.

  11. While i agree with Nalini that marriage requires a lot of hard work on the part of both the partners, I don't fully agree that men have not changed while the women have. The problem is that women want a complete turn around of men's attitudes which can't happen in one generation. ?It takes some time for social changes but the change has begun, often to the detriment of men's interests, thanks to the aggressive attitude of women.

  12. There cannot be one skeletal answer to this question. It is to be considered on a case to case basis. Too many things matter. Probably I will write a post on this topic too :)

  13. It's a very well written article on a topic that the majority of married people would identify with! Congrats, for writing about something that people feel and think but are very reluctant to admit or talk about!

  14. A friend had once remarked in a party, she would have left her husband long time back, had he not been such a good plumber and an electrician.

    Is this the reality of most loveless marriages - we stick on to it for the sake of convenience?

    And an unhappy relationship, begets an unhappy child.

  15. Can we imagine a marriage wherein both the parties are economically secure and yet are in lasting love with each other and no problems from in laws etc? Marriage which starts with a bang finally settles down to an acceptable compromise with the fate and may last longer if either partner shows maturity and readiness to endure for the sake of children.

  16. hmm very true.. there are millions of marriages like that!
    When your time permits, please read this post @ http://bhavana-pen.blogspot.com/2009/08/place-for-individuality.html
    I have written about what I feel about some of the social problems(marriages are also included).

  17. I am no experienced person to say on this subject, but yes I would never like loveless marriages. It is much better to stay apart thn together if it has no love, unless there are some binding forces!

  18. I agreew ith the above comment from Sourav..every marriage has its highs and lows but a marriage of only convinience without any emotions at all..sucks. Men OR women need not be so dependednt on each other that they spend their entire lives with a person they cannot get along with in the name of a society or a child. Every child understands once it is grown up if the parent explains well enough & U live only once so live it well..the stigma associated with divorce is also man made..besides with or without divorce if U r unhappy either way..how does it matter anyway living life the way people want U to.

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