Stigma about Divorce Makes Couples live Separately Instead of Getting Divorced. Why Does Society Moralize Divorce?

Why Does Society Moralize Divorce? Why can’t they accept it as a couple’s choice?

In India, the number of people who separated in their marriage is thrice the number of people who choose divorce.  For this fact matters, divorces, which should be a normal part of society and human relations are often being associated as an issue to shame upon. Let’s take it simply if you don’t feel good in a person’s company if you are just not good for each other now if there are unresolvable differences between you both, and you have a choice of leaving each other, what on earth can stop you from doing it? Well, the sorry state of society is that the stigmas stop it. Ans we wonder why does society moralize divorce? Why can’t they just accept it as a couple’s choice?

Divorce and the history around

The concept of Divorce is as old as that of the concept of marriage. In ancient Egypt, divorce wasn’t just allowed but also used to give a spouse, liberty to divorce their spouse, on any grounds without interference from the state. In ancient Rome, couples were allowed to divorce by sending a letter to their partner or by declaring in front of witnesses, that the marriage is over.

The changing of the narrative around divorce was observed with the evolving rules and ideas of different religions. With Christianity becoming the primary religion, divorce started becoming opposed by the church. The only way in which the marriage can be ended then is by annulment, which could be decided by the church for special marriage cases. In Hinduism, marriage is a vow to stay together in not just one but seven births, i.e. eternity. In Islaam, divorce laws are there but still, it is something evil and should be avoided. Hence, it is a fact that religious groups have a strong opinion against divorce, though the reasons for the same are very unclear.

Read more: Worst Things People Say to Normalize Dowry

Image source – Canva

While the law now allows divorce, there is a lot that the religion feeds a couple and the society to believe that divorce is something immoral. Here are to name a few –

– self-stigma versus public stigma

Most of what is moral and what is immoral come from the religion, a person is born and brought up in. Since religions demoralise divorce, they enforce the stigma around it, at a personal and public level. The very fact that matters a lot to people is, ‘log kya kahenge’, and hence, they struggle to think of divorce as a decent option.

– failure, embarrassment, and perceptions of blame

There is a lot of sense of failure and embarrassment that lines in the minds of people when they stand for their divorce, especially with women. As patriarchy plays an important part in a marriage, women are often raised with an idea that they are to take care of their relationship. And hence, there is a sense of failure, embarrassment, and perceptions of blame, that develops if they fail to do so.

Why would one choose to get a divorce?

There can be a range of reasons why a couple/ partner can choose for a divorce. The reasons can be as simple as the marriage is not working out for them, trust issues, lacking self-identity, different, violent and abusive marriage, lack of compatibility, lack of communication, lack of equality, early marriage, and so on and so forth. If a couple finds it justified, who is the society to comment on it? The moral policing attitude of society has got a lot to do with what people choose to do in their lives. If society stops policing morals, and people start to care a little less about society, maybe, each individual could have a happy life of their own.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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