Marriage or Live-In-Relationship
For most couples marriage is a no-no; because they see the erroneous side effects of it. Marriage – one of the oldest institutions in society is dying slowly. So what if it has survived all odds since past so many centuries. During the past few decades, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage; with shorter life spans of marriage, less people marrying, and many couples choosing live in relationships, the newest trend of changing partners even while living-in than marry. More and more young people wish to try out their relationship rather than get married. The glaring fact is that such live-in; relationships are becoming quite a general trend. In India, live in relationships are blossoming besides metro cities, in smaller towns and villages also. Dr. Harish Shetty, a renowned psychiatrist and expert on relationship issues, attributes this new, uninhibited attitude to love to the greater level of exposure to world today’s youths enjoy. Thanks to the Internet and social media.
Changing multiple partners has become a fashion. It’s like buying and throwing clothes, shoes, purse, wallets or gadgets. While many married couples see a different side to their spouses every day and then wonder how did I not notice that before? One reason for the live in relationships is testing your partner’s compatibility. What once upon a time parents did of matching horoscopes as a compatibility test is obsolete. Today, cast-creed, religion, age, education, profession – these and many other age-old parameters has taken a back seat.
Cinema has always been considered the barometer of portraying society’s changing outlook; so if cinema today shows live-in relations (Shuddh Desi Romance) clicking among small town couples, I think the idea of romance itself is changing very fast. Live-in relationships and pre-marital sex have emerged as the lifestyles choice for people across smaller and bigger towns and cities. The so-called Indian culture and tradition have gone for a toss.
The reasons are numerous for this transformation: from knowing your partner’s view on important topics such as religion, sex, money, politics etc, knowing some annoying habits, his/her attachment to parents and siblings, who his/her friends are some. Can everything be examined and tested in life? If yes, would any charm remain in life? Previously, young couples would spend initial years of their marriage in knowing their partner. But, due to fast pace of life such short-term associations are thriving. A major factor that drives people to live-in is parents’ objection to inter-caste/community marriages, and a growing disinclination to sacrifice personal agendas.
In India, a bench headed by Justice K.S Radhakrishnan said the domain of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 – which for the first time recognized a man-woman relationship outside wedlock – did not cover live-in relationships in general. However, it added: “Live-in or marriage-like relationship is neither a crime nor a sin though socially unacceptable in this country.”
Elaborating on what should be taken into consideration to decide if a live-in relationship fell within the expression “in the nature of marriage” so as to be covered under the law, the bench listed eight parameters – duration of relationship, shared household, pooling of resources and financial arrangements, domestic arrangements, sexual relationship, children, socialization in public and intention and conduct of the parties about their relationship.
It recommended that Parliament consider a proper law to address the problems faced by a large number of women in live-in relationships that are not in the nature of marriage and, hence, not covered under the act. The Supreme Court has said that if a man and woman “lived like husband and wife” for a long period and had children; the judiciary would presume that the two were married.
In a live-in relationship if you aren’t satisfied with your partner or you get bored of seeing the same face every morning, then you can pack your bags and move out without any legal measures or hassles. Whilst in a marriage, the legal proceedings are time consuming, money consuming and frustrating. Some amount of disturbance, annoyance, emotional drain is accepted. Most of the youth these days are unwilling to commit themselves. Everyone wants their space, they don’t like to be followed, and nobody wants any obligation attached. It’s live life like a free bird.
Married Partners have lot of hassles after their marriage is dissolved; payment of debts, dividing family assets, lawyer’s fees, attending the court, if children are there – their responsibilities and many more problems need to be sorted out. If a live in couple realize they are not compatible with each they can easily break up without any restraints. It’s all reciprocal and mutual in live-in relations.
A live in relationship does not bother about social norms; this, because at present it falls outside the norms of societal structure. But, sooner or later, there might come a time that this relationship will need some law adherence. The partner’s parents, friends, relatives etc have no place in a live-in relationship. Today’s “modern” youth today have no problems on this account and are a lot more open minded. Family get-togethers and functions are not important to them. They don’t crib if the partner’s family likes or dislikes them.
All sorts of freedom is given and taken in this relation. And, this is the main benefit. Couples don’t have to give up any rights nor accept any duties or responsibilities. Financial restriction is avoided at all costs. Both parties involved, avoid sharing their financial earnings and avoid entering into joint financial ventures.
On the other hand, a long matrimony does not necessarily be a happy or satisfying one. But, when couples stay together for numerous reasons – economics, the sake of the family unity or duty, convenience, or religious beliefs so on and forth; there are some advantages. Since you grow with your partner for many years of your life, he/she is familiar with your likes, dislikes, your health issues, your strengths and weaknesses. The number of problems faced by both allows each other to discover and redefine their relationship. For some, this manifests in more unrestricted division of household chores; for others it represents new joint interests or activities. And, when both grow older, their happiness and sadness levels grow or decline in sync. A new study suggests giving marriage a trial. The findings suggest a possible resource that hasn’t been tapped for promoting healthy aging. Similar to a pill or other treatment, cheerful spouses may boost a partner’s feelings of well-being. Marriage certainly eliminates loneliness from your life. It is very tough to live singly in the later part of life.
What would the future society be like; single parents or not known parents, no extended family, no social attachments, no acquaintances, and a scattered life; nobody to turn to, no body to rely on. It sounds creepy isn’t it?