In cultures where divorce was long considered taboo (Japan, India, China etc.) the marital laws and the gender bias were stacked heavily against the female of the species. However with the onset of economic progress, the critical factors like compulsory education and growing work opportunities have enabled women to almost attain equality with men in all walks of life and are definitely more organized (far greater extent than before). The power to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when women mean it, is also legally enforceable in the laws of the respective country. Therefore it is only natural that when the woman is empowered, she has a choice to enter or end a marriage.
It is common knowledge that cultures and countries with a long history definitely enjoyed a very low percentage of cases where women were the initiators of divorce because it was the men who were doing the divorcing and the women were totally at the mercy of the male partner. Society frowned upon the very thought of a woman contemplating divorce and society subjected a divorce seeking wife to inhumane treatment. In some cultures, women did not have the legal right to divorce (Ex: the Shia community in India and the Middle East) because the religious texts were interpreted as forbidding women from divorcing their husbands.
Does this fact – that women are now wanting out from marriages – mean that the majority of men are at their worst intolerant behaviour? Statistics prove that men are more inclined to perpetrate all forms of violence or abuse, not just within their homes but also outside it (drug abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, bloodshed, marital violence etc.). This should be a sure indication as to why the percentage of women opting out of cruel marriages is on the rise.
Again statistics reveal that some of the biggest contributors to increasing divorce rates are – lack of time for each other and unsatisfactory sex. This seems to point to the conclusion that men fail to satisfy their wives emotionally and physically. This theory is backed by the statistics that women are filing for divorce, twice as much as a man does. Thus the degree of happiness (or unhappiness) of the wife (whether real or perceived), tends to play a major role in women wanting divorce.
Consequently, it can also be said that attendant external factors like work pressure, the need to be independent (in maximum areas), achieving financial goals and relaxation of social norms also play a role in women seeking divorce (Men can breathe easy now, since the statistics do not lay the entire fault at your doorstep). Previously the female partner would do her best to try and hold up the fabric of married life against Herculean odds. That was possible because of the fact that women tended to the home while men earned the bread.
But in this modern age of varied human values, she has given up easily because society offers many options, to live the way she desires. Today’s society and generation is more tuned into making it big and therefore are passionately indulging in materialism, irrespective of gender. There is no time for anything else, which interferes drastically with that materialism. Partners willingly work hundreds of kilometers apart and are content to have email or phone contact (children are conveniently tucked away, out of sight, at residential schools) while eagerly climbing the corporate ladder. So, can it be said that society is also an important factor for women divorcing their husbands?
Child custody and alimony, intended as a legal saviour for ensuring the survival of defense-less children and dependent wives, is increasingly being used as a tool to ensure that post divorce life is more comfortable for the custodian of the children, rather than the children themselves. The courts are throwing out many cases where it has been discovered that the grounds sought for divorce, by the woman, are purely for material gain or for financing a fresh comfortable marriage with a lover.
Most divorce cases cite ‘mental cruelty’ as the grounds for seeking divorce. But a closer look at the issue reveals that, invariably it is due to lack of mental or physical closeness and communication (brought on by external modern day pressures) that is the real cause for women pursuing the easy way out of marriage – i.e. divorce. From a dominating role of food gatherer, hunter and protector of the family, the male psyche will need more time to adjust to his new role of an equal partner. The environment of bygone days and the environment of today vastly vary. The new order demands that, the male has to adjust into a new role of sharing in the so-called exclusive domains unfairly reserved for women (cooking, washing, parenting, housekeeping etc.) until now.
This activity of sharing in everything leads to a greater understanding and more time and ideal communication between the partners. Women need to encourage their naturally endowed qualities which contribute to the happiness of any home, because of their greater capacity to give love, caring, forgiveness and to make sacrifices.
A woman should be a homemaker rather than a home-breaker.