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I do, no, I don't

Unlike in the West, Indians often go to extremes to keep marriages intact. The tested formula: adjust.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2012 21:51 IST
Hindustan Times

Till death do us apart may be a little outdated when it comes to matrimonial vows today. But when a man says that his wife's serving him tuna casserole which he does not like or a woman who complained that her husband wore her dresses and was stretching them become grounds for divorce, then we must question the very foundation of any marriage vows. But this is exactly what is happening in England according to a well-known divorce lawyer. She speaks of another case in which a husband accused his wife of tampering with the TV antenna and throwing out his cold cuts.

This is at drastic variance with the way things are in India, though we cannot say that this is necessarily a good thing in many cases. The famous Indian adjustment comes into play in most marital disputes. In many cases, the bone of contention is the mother-in-law who is loath to let her son escape her clutches and go into those of another woman. The dispute can take on the form of verbal abuse and in some cases physical abuse. But, instead of rushing to the nearest court, Indian women are generally told to adjust to their new surroundings. In fact, getting on with the battle axe mother-in-law is just one adjustment. The other could be to give up a lucrative career and become a homemaker, to give up wearing ‘modern' clothes and dress more 'suitably.'

As for control over the TV antenna or deciding what the husband eats, forget it. But while we go to extremes to keep marriages intact, there is really no call to split up on such frivolous grounds like the wife in England who hated the way her husband breathed. This brings us to the question of future pre-nuptial agreements so beloved of the rich and famous. Apart from the division of assets, now they might have to include all sorts of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour patterns. But to each his or her own, with a few minor adjustments here and there.

First Published: Apr 10, 2012 21:48 IST