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Divorce rates of the world

April 4, 2007

A reader, Axinia, was keen to know about the divorce rate in India and so I looked it up and found something in the Wiki. In fact I found the divorce rates of the whole world. I am reproducing it all here. While I knew that divorce rates in India were low, I had no idea that they were the lowest in the world.

Its too complex and difficult to enumerate why India has such low rates of divorce. I can only give my own take on it. For one thing, we are a traditional society and therefore divorce is frowned upon. Secondly, most people think of marraige as permanent and give it their best shot. All they have in fact.

However, divorce rates in India were even lower some years ago, less than 1 per cent. If they have increased, it is believed that the reasons are that many educated earning women are walking out of marriages where they are abused.

However, even today it is rare to find couples splitting up if they do not ‘get along’. Generally we Indians have a fairly practical view of marriage. No one really expects to get along at all times, and overall I have seen in the marriages around me that both men and women tend to compromise.

Also, it is a fact that gender roles are more clearly defined here. This results in less conflict on a day to day basis.

I am little curious about the other countries though. For example, I am not sure why there are so many divorces in the United States. Is it because people have an idealistic romanticized view of marriage?

Related Reading: Do children help a marriage?
Reasons for higher divorce rates in India
What kills a marraige quicker: An emotional affair or a physical one?
You can have love in an arranged marriage
Teens and dating in India

162 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2007 11:44 am

    There was a funny reason given by a pundit for low divorce rates in India. He said it is low because most marriages are performed on auspicious dates given by the pundits. The reason other than the ones given by you, could be strong family bonds. All of us know children in broken homes suffer and to prevent that most parents put up with their marriages.Family pressures also lead to compromises and society plays a major role too.

  2. April 5, 2007 1:47 pm

    True, we are a child centric society.
    And overall breaking up with a man or woman is not at all easy as its tied up with the whole family. It like breaking up with a large bunch of people, not just one person. Its a very big decision.

  3. axinia permalink
    April 5, 2007 2:51 pm

    Nita, thank you so much for sharing this table and your view! Really interesting and valuable input.
    I guess the reason for highest divorce rate in USA is not “idealistic romanticised view of marraige” but the idea that all romance actually ends up with the marriage!! And it often does, because ín the West the whole consept of marriage is somehow wierd.

    One can say: if you see man and woman walking together and smiling to each other, you may be sure they are NOT husband and wife! It is sad…

  4. April 5, 2007 8:26 pm

    reason for low divorce rate is that low chances of remarriage…. esp in case of a female with child custody.
    nothing else

  5. April 5, 2007 11:04 pm

    There’s another factor that somewhat distorts the data. Marriage rates. Papers in the UK are forever lamenting that marriage there has practically died out. People cohabit, even when they have children together. And I would imagine many of those who do marry are of Pakistani or Indian heritage, thus sharing Pakistani and Indian attitudes toward divorce.

  6. April 7, 2007 8:29 pm

    Hi Nita,

    I just returned from my first trip to India, which I loved. From my tourist’s observations, it seems to me that most women do not have many opportunities to support themselves in what is often a highly genderized and rigid society, which would lead them to stay in marriages that may not be working. Maybe I am wrong; as I said, I just scratched the surface of India’s many complex cultures. Still, while a low divorce rate can be good, I think that there needs to be some release from gender roles. My limited observations seemed to indicate that women get the very short end of the stick. (Not that things are perfect in the US, where I live.)

    This is a wonderful blog, and I am so glad that I found it. I wish I read it before I went to India, but hopefully I will be able to go again.


    • Rgv permalink
      June 25, 2011 11:23 pm

      Ma’am you are right in a way…this applies only to women in our villages,who need to know about the opportunities they can get to support themselves….but still….even our modern,working ladies believe that marriage is a sacred institution…and another thing is that we indians know how to compromise…i don’t mean that we let others step over us….we proved that 50 years ago…but we understand that everyone is different…that no two people are perfectly compatible and can get through life without a single argument…..

      – Happily Married to an earning lady for 5 years

  7. April 8, 2007 3:08 pm

    Suzanne, I guess you are right about the gender roles.
    However its important to see that many women love this. For example there are women who strongly believe in staying at home and looking after the kids, they feel its a superior thing they are doing. It gets irritating at times, this holier than thou attitude. But the point I am making is that by western standards a woman simply doing womens’ work and the man not helping at all in the house can seem as if the woman is being exploited, but thats not the case. These roles are often accepted happily by both sides. Also, here we have servants so the household drudgery does not fall on the woman. She can play chef and housekeeper.
    The advantage of the arranged marraige system is that before marraige these things are often sorted out before marraige. Many men insist that they want a woman who will not go out to work and there are women who marry these men mainly because their education has simply been a waiting room for marraige. Their purpose in life is to marry and have a family and mind you, I am not judging them. If this is what a woman wants, she has every right to it. And if she marries a good man, these marraiges work out very well.
    On the other hand there are women who are career oriented and in an arranged marraige they make it quite clear that they will work. Many men marry these women willingly, either because they want an independent woman or because of financial constraints. In fact there are doctors who specifically only ‘see’ doctors for similar reasons.
    However, this is not to say that women are not oppressed. They are, but it doesn’t happen in all communities, and not in all families in these communities, and definitely less in urban areas rather than rural.
    As you said its a complex subject and therefore difficult to generalise.

    • sujen permalink
      October 10, 2009 1:11 pm

      hi agree with u somewhat, i have recently got married and quite happy. I strongly believe that once u get married u loose indvidual identity there is family as family comes before the individuals.what is kind of family u want to have that is more important than careers and individuals. i just beleive man and woman are going to seperate roles in life each individual should play its role to the when we canoe , canoe moves the smoothest best when two individuals one in front and one at back knows the role its going to play. both sit at the same place canoe collapses. to me both roles are beautiful and important but different. indians are better at managing marriage as compared to american statistics say so to.however much americans may like to say women are liberated or men are liberated , i would like to say the roles are distorted.54 % divorce rate sure that is not liberated society just a distorted one.

  8. Padmini permalink
    April 10, 2007 3:00 am

    Why are divorce rates so high in certain Western parts of the world? From what I’ve observed,the individual is not constrained by financial and social barriers.One of the main reason is falling in “love” with someone else and therefore falling out of love with the current partner.This has a lot to do with age and looks as well as boredom and the fast pace of life which demands instant gratification.Another reason is that the woman does not come out of the situation penniless – in many cases, she stands to gain and therefore there is not much hesitation to go ahead and take this step.On the other hand,in countries like India,the poor abused woman will hang on through thick and thin in most cases since she has everything to lose unless she is educated and can stand on her own.

  9. April 10, 2007 4:53 am

    I don’t think anyone has quite identified the fundamental principle underlying low/high divorce rates in the world. There is a certain trend that is identifiable from these numbers.
    Recently, I blogged about it here.

    My basic identification is this: “Divorce is good; in fact, it is an almost reliable indicator of a healthy and prosperous culture that respects individual rights and allows individuals the space and freedom to BREATHE! Show me a culture with high divorce rates and I will show you a culture that’s prosperous, healthy, and free.”

  10. April 10, 2007 5:50 am

    True Padmini, but there are a lot of women who stick in a marraige even though they are not abused, simply unhappy at times. And I have seen unhappy men stick in a marraige too. Ofcourse I am talking of educated, urban, liberal people. Here men as well as women tend to take marraige seriously enough to try and make a go of it.

    Ergo, I am almost tempted to agree with you but overall I think that any extreme is a mark of an unhealthy society. High divorce rates as well as low divorce rates. High divorce rates can show something is wrong (Padmini explained an aspect of it) and low divorce rates too (as several commentators have explained).

  11. April 10, 2007 9:52 pm

    Interesting reading
    and equally interesting was the comments by the other readers.
    I agree ‘absolute percentage ‘ may be low but percentage increase over previous year may be high.
    Reasons could be combination of social, economic and religious beliefs.

  12. Huh permalink
    April 10, 2007 11:48 pm

    Where is China?

    • sujen permalink
      October 10, 2009 1:20 pm

      china is a culturally dead society thank to mao tse tung.

    • March 15, 2012 6:04 am

      China is above India. Just see the World Map. 🙂

  13. Padmini permalink
    April 11, 2007 3:56 am

    True that there are a lot of well-educated and liberal couples who are unhappy in their relationships but still stick together. What this tells me is that their idea of marriage has changed or become more “realistic”.They no longer view it through rose-tinted glasses but now know the reality of their relationship with each other. Despite all differences,if they are still together, they still have something (not everything) going for them. And this may be enough for them.I see this as positive in most cases though there are always exceptions. On the other hand, the same is not true in countries with high rates of divorce.Couples do not view their initial commitments as permanent.They are not as willing to work hard at relationships and are not willing to compromise or overlook differences.Their outlook on life is very different and therefore a divorce is viewed differently.

  14. April 11, 2007 5:20 am

    Actually there are several countries’ data for which there was no reliable source. My guess is that these countries do not release such data.

  15. Palki permalink
    April 11, 2007 5:10 pm

    I think marraige in India is viewed very sacredly and people are really torn apart at the thought of divorce. Divorce is really viewed as a last resort. People generally don’t divorce unless they are being abused or there is threat to thier lives or their children. Women of low social standing have their own set of reasons for sticking in a marraige. I don’t believe that they stick because they are financially incapable. A lot of them work as house maids and do other petty jobs. They probably stick together because their society is different and will not accept a divorced woman. The well educated woman on the other hand, although has a more understading society, sticks in the marriage for other reasons. I think children forms one of the primary reasons why couples stick together. Other reasons could simply be that since we generally have arranged marraiges, we are prepared for a marraige that may be boring or which is just mundane. People also look at the spouse as a permanent person they are forming a relation with. MArraige is such a huge thing in India. The whole family likes to make it big because you marry just once in your life. So, unless there is life threat, couples generally try to make it work.

    With regards to the high divorce rate in the US, i think it is a whole different culture and they have their own way of looking at marriage. It is a society where instant gratification is seeked and a marriage is suppose to provide or gratify certain needs. When it fails to do so any more, it is time to move on. However, does that attitude keep people happy?? i don’t know. i wish someone would enlighten me on that.

    Ergo, I do believe what you said about it being a healthy society where individuals can breath but does too much freedom make you the kind of person who doesn’t take things seriously?

  16. Phantom permalink
    April 14, 2007 4:20 am

    ha ha ha ha ha….i laugh anytime an overly nationalistic indian boasts about the “stable” state of marriages in India, as opposed to the volatile and frightingly high divorce rates in western OECD countries. I laugh because this divorce rate statistic is a very very blinding statistic. Yes, India has a relatively much lower rate of divorces than the west. But how many of these so called stable marriages are HAPPY marriages. I am willing to wager that many many of these marriages are loveless, with insufficient affection, mutual respect and caring between the couple…and these marriages have not ended in divorce only because of the inability of the couple to seek diviroce (perhaps owing to a traditional family/societal environment where divorce is frowned upon, indirect communal pressure on either or both of the party to “give it another chance”). I have seen many marriages where the couple exist with each other, not really knowing each other, and getting along with life purely for the sake of keeping the marriage alive, to give the kids a stable family environment, and to avoid unpleasant events to maintain “face” within their community.

    I’m willing to hazard a guess that the majority of domestic violence cases occur in situations where the marriage was arranged, especially where the boy and girl didn’t get a chance to really know each other to some degree.

    How many women have been duped into marrying men who appear caring, genuine and respectful on the face of it, but end up being very different once into the marriage.

    Of course….not all arranged marriages end up negatively…my own parents had an arranged marriage, and only had 3 months to get to know each other, as best as they could I suppose….and their marriage has worked out fine…except for releasing the likes of me into this world….:)

    My points are:

    1] Don’t confuse divorce rates with true stability and happiness within marriages

    2] It is impossible for boy and girl to get to know the real character, nature and values of the other individual with just a few meetings and dates….esp if those meetings are under the nosy eye of the family/society and with an implicit expectation that it will all result in a marriage.

    3] Times have changed….boys and girls are more independent now and less a function of their upbringing or family background. So the considerations for arranged marriage are less relevant these days.

    4] I have no problem with arranged that I’m indifferent to how a boy and girl meet…whether at college, through friends, at work….or through a more structured arranged setting….as long as they get the opportunity to know each other to some extent (how much…is debatable and varies according to the situation…but to generalise, I’d say they they shud get to talk frequently, meet regularly for at least 3 months, ideally 6 months+).

    4] Anyone can act, look and appear their best when they know that they are being assessed. So, the boy and girl should have the opportunity to meet and communicate WITHOUT the indirect implication of marriage or the expectaton of it solidifying into marriage….and certainly WITHOUT the implied fear of the repercusisons of not carrying on into marriage. I.e. there needs to be a degree of freedom in being able to decide that the match may not work out. I’m not implying that the boy/girl shold play around and try out every match out there….this needs to be handled with respect and consideration of what is at stake.

    5] Finally…the boy and girl need to evaluate each other not on the basis of pedantic, materialistic criteria such as education, salary, family assets etc..but on more humanist criteria such as their ability get along, sense of humour, character, sense of values etc.

    6] I agree that in the west, many couples often divorce at the drop of a hat…thats cos to them its a very normal thing to divorce and often they’re not willing to give things another go. I believe that a cpl shid be mutually understanding and shud def try to work things out, esp when there are kids involved, or when the issues at hand can indeed be worked out with some mutual compromise, open communication and mutual care. There are bound to be volatile moments and periods of unhappiness in every relatonship, but some level of mutual respect and care can work many things out. However, there has to be a limit of tolerance that either spouse should have, beyond which, they should have true emotional, societal and practical freedom to choose to part ways and end the relationship before it develops into something worse and begins to cause more emotioal trauma than enrichment and happiness. That threshold is different differs for individuals, couples, and varies according to the situation.

  17. Palki permalink
    April 14, 2007 7:24 pm


    it looks like you’ve contradicted yourself with what you wrote in the last paragraph. You just said that couples in India lead compromising, loveless lives to keep the marraige alive and for the sake of the kids. In the end you just condoned that. Well, alot of couples in India are not merely together to face society but they just have a different notion of stability than the west. With regards to love, they also look atlove differently. They usually choose to love the person they are married to rather than waite to “fall” in love with somebody. Well, it is possible to love somebody ur living with unless they are completely intolerable. You even fall in love with a puppy if they stay in your home too long.

    i just think you can’t conclude that indians are not happily married just because to you their lives appear spiceless and boring. Happiness is not acheived by the same means for everyone.

  18. Phantom permalink
    April 15, 2007 2:59 pm

    No I didn’t say that ALL indian marriages are loveless or lack affection etc. I did give the exaample of my own parents, who had an arranged marriage without getting to know each other very closely or having the chance to “fall” in love…but their relationship grew into one of love over the years. Many arranged marriages in India are like this.

    My post was more about not assuming that a low divorce rate necessarily indicates true happiness and stability in marriage. I’m speaking from personal experience and reference, where I’ve seen many couples who seem to just “exist” in this marriage….in the sense that there isn’t much intimacy and closeness in the relationship……and in almost all these cases the marriage was arranged witout the couple having had much chance to know each other. You talk about many indian couples choosing to love someone they marry…yes I agree that this does happen….but often….if there is a clash of personalities to begin with…or the two people just happen to be different in outlook and mindset and want different things from life…then no matter how much you “choose” love that other person…it just doesn’t happen naturally.

    In an environment where the social repercussions of divorce may not be significant, perhaps many of such marriages may not continue…but in a traditional Indian environment, the social costs of divorce are huge, so the marriage continues.

    I’m not trying to say that the western model is any better or worse than the indian model…there is NO better or worse here. I’m just saying that a simple one-dimensional statistic such as “divorce rate” does not reflect the true nature of the state of indian marriages. I’m more supportive of a hybrid line of thought….which combines the individuality of the west with the social strength of our Indian culture. Like i said in my post….a couple meeting each other through a family environment (i.e. the initial stage of an “arranged” marriage) is absolutely fine with me….as long as the couple have a decent chance to get to really kow each other, understand each other and THEN decide whether or not they want to committ. So in this model that I’ve outlined…I’m combining the social structure and marriage construct as relevant to an Indian environment…with the emphasis on free choice and individuality that is relevent within a western model.

  19. Palki permalink
    April 16, 2007 3:23 pm


    I do understand that you are more concerned with people who stay in the marraige simply because of social repurcussions. However, I personally think the trend today is for families to be the media through which girl meets boy but they are given time to ask important questions like life expectations, etc. Children generally are given the final say. As far as I have seen, that is the normal trend these days. In our parents time perhaps, they didn’t have the opportunity to probe into each others personalities but that was a different time.

    Of course, a low divorce rate is no indicator of happiness but having lived in the west as well as in India, I feel people out here are more satisfied in life for some reason at least when it comes to family. That is my personal observation.

  20. Trent permalink
    April 17, 2007 12:42 am

    I am currently doing research for doctoral work in the area of marriage – specifically marriage mentoring. I am curious to know if India or other countries have mentors to help young couples as they begin their married life. I would appreciate any insight you might have related to this.

  21. April 17, 2007 7:17 am

    When I got married my parents did give me some advice, but it was of a general nature. However, overall, in India as families are close and there is constant contact between family members, and I don’t mean just parents and siblings, therefore there are a lot of informal mentors. Aunts, uncles, older cousins etc. In fact it is not unusual for a young aunt to try and help a couple if they are not getting along. The emphasis here is on not breaking up.
    In fact because of the closeness of families there are mentors for everything, not just marraige! Ofcourse this can get quite oppressive at times specially for spirited young people…but this system has its advantages as well as disadvantages. A strong support system on one hand, and the necessity to conform on the other. Breaking up with a partner can be frightening because it can mean cutting oneself off from family (we tend to get close to husband’s side of the family as well).
    Some families have a beautiful medium, some are positively oppressive, and some families break up…but overall the family is very strong here.

  22. Rohit permalink
    April 23, 2007 6:38 pm

    Hi Nta,

    thouh the findings have been on correct side by you.. but wat you have added about US is totally incorrect. please just do a lil more finding abot it.. it has been found that 41% is the heighest divorce rate in US at the peak of the time. now a days it has been around 30% or so.

    please reffer to the link mentioned here.. this clearly explain about the divorce rate in US.

    • February 9, 2010 2:48 am

      wikipedia is not a scholarly source. It can be edited by anyone…It’s 50% according to the national census bureau.

  23. April 25, 2007 8:26 pm

    Rohit, the figure varies between 31 to 50. in the statistics below i see only MA and SD less than 50.
    however the point is not in the absolute number. even at 31%, 1 in 3 marriages end up in divorce doesn’t look appealing.
    the marked difference might be due to the upbringing. In india children stick on with the family for longer periods and hence develop a tight bond. So by the time they are ready to get married they have a good idea about rearing a family. In US, children fly off relatively early seeking independence and due to the system, not having to worry about family until they get married. this is not generic though. i know people in U.S. who are tied to family as close as in India maybe more.
    and in response to the Phantom of HAPPINESS. the same applies to anywhere in the world. if we cannot find happiness in the things we do based on our judgements, we most likely are never going to find it anywhere. it’s like quest for money for we’ll never have enough of it.
    the real fact of life is not total independence, rather interdependence. that’s exactly why society is for. if we start making judgements on our own, disregarding our ancestors then where would our heritage end up ?

  24. Nitin permalink
    April 30, 2007 1:54 am

    Hi ppl,

    Just wanted to share some thoughts with you. Increasing divorce rates lead to many people living alone and having individual houses. In the UK, this is considered to be a major reason for housing market boom. This then leads to demand for extra resources and hence contributing to environmental burden on the planet. This is good for the GDP growth of the country since it increases the transactions in an economy, but terrible for the social stability and global environment.

  25. The Ace Of Spades permalink
    May 29, 2007 12:32 pm

    My father has an interesting view of why so many marriages in the USA fail. You have some of it right Nita, too much romanticizing and expecting your spouse to be perfect is part of the problem. My father told me that he thinks that too many people in the USA place the fate of their happiness too heavily on their spouse. People need to learn to be happy by themselves, and not place so much of that burden on someone else. Despite our marriage problems, we at least still have a birthrate that enables a society to grow.. unlike pretty much all European countries with birthrates below 2.0 live births per woman.

  26. ram permalink
    May 29, 2007 8:28 pm

    it i coz of the way the youngsters lead the life.
    Today, I drop the school and keep on repeating for few months ,it will become habit.
    Anything we do for few times , we dont feel it as ‘ Unusual’ . Even a crime if we repeat so many times , it is very difficult at the first time, but later is easy.

    The same way young people start dating at 12-15 , so frequently. They go through many relations before the marriage. As I have seen a girl beside my room changed boy friend 3 times a year.

    Therefore they feel nothing about breaking about relationships. At fist time it hurts. But easier later.

    In India , the social system real reason for less rate.

    I would say, the women being independent is a little cause. Women have become independent coz, time has changed. This also means that Men have changed !!!. Men are now a days dont impose much on wives.
    Commitment is different issue form ‘independence of women’ although it has lighter influence. It is influenced by the social system.

    Indian social system and marriage:
    1.Second marriage is difficult even for rich people till date.( fear in women )
    2.Women are not used to have many relationships.
    3.So for religion and customs urged on single relationships. It is difficult for them to change their mind sets immediately after marriage

  27. nisha permalink
    June 4, 2007 11:24 am

    being a “youngster” indian living in California, i can say that it’s very complicated and too deep of a question to completly answer. many people do get an arranged marriage, but end up falling in love during their marriage. also it’s not so much of an arranged marriage but kinda like a or set up by your parents.
    also, if you go to urban places like mumbai or bangalore. many people get “love” marriages like they do here. yet, divorce rates are still low. many indian-american marriages here in the USA also usually work. so as many people said, it’s the indian family and society mind set. it’s a shame to get a divorce in indian culture. just like it’s shameful here to get an arranged marriage here.

  28. Cathy permalink
    August 6, 2007 6:59 pm

    Actually India is not even in the top ten countries of lowest divorce rates per 1,000

    Lowest is Libya with .24%
    Georgia .36
    Mongolia .38
    Armenia .42
    Chile .42
    Italy .47
    Mexico .48
    El Salvador .49
    Macedonia .51
    Turkey .51

    and you can see 1.1 per 1,000 is well over double any of the lowest contries divorce rates.

    It may also interest you to know that the US rate is only 4.19 per 1,000 people. In fact the Highest in the World at 10.97 is India’s neighbor Maldives and Korea also has a huge growing rate breaking into one of the top 10 divorcing countries.

    Also just because there is no divorce, it does not mean that marriages have not failed. Asian countires right now particularly arranged marriage societies have the fastest growing divorce rates and the highest suicides (over three times as many) due to martial conflict.

    Fact also most feel trapped in marriage and extra martial affairs are rampant, they do not necessarily give it a shot but resign themselves to unhappiness rather then social ostracism.

    Marriage is not about a sacred bond in most cultures, particularly in an arranged marriage country but about social standings and money. A business deal.

  29. Neil permalink
    August 6, 2007 11:04 pm

    A good post and yes its a good discussion to have
    I was nearly there a few years back and can understand the Indian culture and the problems that are discussed
    Has anyone looked back at the divorce rates in developed countries in the 60’s and 70’s and made the comparison with India?
    I am an ex pat living here and see a great deal of what I saw when I grew up at home
    I think we will see a massive acceleration , just like computer prices , occur in India in the next few years in the breakup of the family values , please try to stem this flow whoever you are as I think it is important to keep such values in life
    Unfortunately we only understand them as we age and gain the experience that life offers.
    I have been in the family that had a strict upbringing and have brought my children up on the opposite side, teaching them life and wisdom as they go along , not always easy to bite your lip when they do things the wrong way, it has helped to tie a lovely lady to a man for over 26 years along with a lovely son and daughter.
    Talk and and argue is the answer, never keep secret what should be told. life is all about trusting, giving and receiving to each other. No one person should win, therefor both of you do


  30. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    August 7, 2007 12:25 pm

    I have quickly glanced through this thread and find the arguments very perceptive and thought-provoking. However, I think one important point is not getting the attention it deserves. “Divorce” as a legal term just means the termination of another legal arrangement called “marriage”. There is the whole area of people living together without getting legally married, but with as much fidelity and mutual trust and accountability as in a marriage. This is common in the western countries. I have not seen any statistics on such live-in relationships in India, but I would venture to suggest that their incidence is lower; in any case there is a social ambivalence about such relationships and they largely remain in the closet. The only extent to which they feature in civil law is in cases of domestic violence, especially under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005, under which a woman in a quasi-marital relationship has the same rights and entitlements as a legally married wife.

    So to discuss divorce rates in isolation, and to either feel good or feel bad about where different societies stand in this regard, seems a somewhat futile exercise. Humanity is constantly evolving in response to the social and economic environment of its own creation, and so must its age-old institutions if they are to remain viable. There is nothing sacrosanct (this may sound shocking to some) about institutions such as family, marriage etc. in the form in which we have been socially conditioned to understand them.

  31. August 7, 2007 2:07 pm

    Vivek, you are right, societies across the world are changing and it won’t be long before the winds of change start sweeping our society as well. I think there are quite a few live in relationships today amongst the young but as you said they remain in the closet. I guess once live-in relationships become socially acceptable as they have in many places in the west, then the question of divorce will not arise. People will start collecting statistics on the basis of how long couples stay together I guess…!
    If children in such relationships are not stigmatized, then I guess there is no problem with the change… the concept of what is a happy family might change.
    However sometimes I feel the institution of marriage might make a comeback in those societies where people are disillusioned with it. I feel this because I think some people do want to go back to old values…Neil for instance. I think there are quite a few people like Neil…but I don’t know.
    I feel the best thing about marriage is that you cannot separate easily. While archaic laws which make divorce difficult are wrong, so are laws which make divorce very simple. In live-in relationships it will become easy to part…and that is the sad part. very often disagreements can be sorted out and they often are when couples are the last stage of the divorce.

  32. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    August 7, 2007 3:28 pm

    Nita, as long as there are bonds of mutual love and commitment between the concerned individuals, the mere legality of being married or not should not make any difference. Sure, there are laws about property, inheritance and a number of other things that are hitched to the old order of things. But as that order evolves and changes, which it must, so will the laws.

    The hippies in the 60s and 70s tried to evolve an alternative way of life as an expression of their dissatisfaction with their society, its mores and norms. I do not stand in judgement on whether they were “right” or “wrong”. Prima facie the movement is dead, and to that extent it could be said to have failed. I think it is premature to come to any conclusion on this. Let’s wait and watch. We still have a lot to learn about the social institutions that we take for granted.

  33. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    August 7, 2007 7:27 pm

    Going back over this thread, I am fascinated by Cathy’s statistics. They must, of course, be read in conjunction with the cultural history of the societies to which they pertain. Except Mongolia, these are all countries with a history of cross-fertilising influences either with

    (1) ancient Europe dating back to Classical Greece, followed by the Orthodox churches of Eastern Europe and Asia Minor, and finally Islam as it evolved outside the Arab world. (In the case of Mongolia, Islam was the first “civilising” influence);


    (2) the Roman Catholic church in Central and South America.

    The only modern European country in the list is Italy.

    One needs to study this much deeper to draw meaningful conclusions, but it is interesting that Spain and Portugal, with about the same levels of social development in recent times as Italy and Macedonia, do not feature in the list (unless they have been marginally edged out of it. It would also be interesting to know what the attitudes in these societies are to extra-marital relaationships. A widespread tolerance or acceptance of these could be one reason for low divorce rates.

    All this is purely speculative, of course, but it seems a worthwhile line of social inquiry.

  34. sri permalink
    August 8, 2007 6:55 am

    My take on the article is that statistics are damned lies. Moreover, statistics have to be understood in the real world context. India’s 1.1% might be low. However, for a population of over a bilion, assuming there are 100 million (10 crore) couples, this works out to 1.1 million (11 lakh divorces every year). This would soon touch 12 lakh figure, due to a geometric growth of cases related to dowry harrasement, domestic voilence, which is a non-bailable offence.
    1. Is it good news that a lakh or 100,000 people get divorced every month ?
    2. Moreover the % might also be steady or increase even if marriages dont happen. This is because existing/past marriage failure would increase rates even if new weddings dont happen.
    3. I appreciate the author’s patriotism and a sense of being proud about the country. However, real problems should be solved rather than hidden under the carpet.
    I also agree with others who say that the suffering and pain of this 1.1%, though small is a huge social impediment.

  35. August 8, 2007 7:09 am

    Sri, true I am proud of our country, but not proud of our divorce rate. Please read my post again. I think I have offered a balanced view. As for hiding problems under the carpet, frankly I have no idea what you mean. I have said:
    //If they (divorces) have increased, it is believed that the reasons are that many educated earning women are walking out of marraiges where they are abused.//
    Also if you wanted me to write that divorced couples suffer, I don’t see why…thats a given, that divorced couples do suffer…but that is not the point of the post..about the suffering that divorced couples go through. That would have made for a different article. This is about the low rate of divorce in India and the reasons for it…
    Let me assure you that if you believe that only divorced couples go through abuse and suffering, that is not quite true. Social reasons prevent a lot of divorces and those who stay in a marriage can also suffer.

  36. October 3, 2007 11:49 am


    • Jay permalink
      July 18, 2009 8:48 am

      That’s a very ignorant statement. Women should be independent. I, as an American of Indian descent, see arranged marriage as overrated and unnatural. My parents who were in an arranged marriage see it as a good thing. Many Indians here do too, which is depressing. Divorce is good in the sense that you don’t stick with someone you don’t get along with and ruin your kids’ lives, by making them live in a hostile environment. After a while, most kids don’t mind divorced life. In fact, India is overrated. I enjoy the U.S., I enjoy being atheist, and I enjoy not eating Indian food and I enjoy listening to the music from here. Guess it’s cause deep down I’m fully American and I love it!

  37. October 3, 2007 12:07 pm

    Nita: I came across this post thanks to the all-caps comments above mine, on the side-bar.

    I think more marriages being arranged marriages may have something to do with lower divorce rates.

    Firstly people marry not a person but practically a family, so there is little scope for both airing grievances loudly and for getting away with them un-mediated.

    Secondly, arranged marriages start with low expectations. Both sides have to work to know the other one. That is if they are interested. If marriage is a rite of passage to one and a duty to the other, then they fulfil their vows that way. They have children, bring them up and once they leave, retreat into their shells. That said – and I have a lot of older friends in their 40s, 50s, and 60s both in India and outside – the number of ‘conversation-less’, humourless and loveless marriages that I have observed in India far exceeds what I have seen outside India. One has to wonder why those marriages last ..

    Third, I think lower rates had a lot to do with the financial dependence of a woman (what am I doing agreeing with a part of the fascistic comment above?). I have many more divorced and single friends now than I imagined I might have. It is no stigma because coupled-up friends do not isolate single friends any more. They invite them on holidays etc. In my generation, few women need that security so many more arranged marriages have higher expectations to deliver. Unlike in earlier days – when you can still see odd couples – women are no longer coy about being forced to marry ugly men, men with poor career potential, men with large families with sisters and men with a misogynistic view of the world and so on. When things do not work out, they are not loathe to walk out.

    I do however disagree with the comment above that this is somehow the fault of their upbringing. Some of the men I have known frankly, their genes should be prevented from being propagated.

    I however have to say that 1.1% in a large population such as India’s is still not small. It does signify a major societal change the effects of which will be far-reaching.


  38. October 3, 2007 12:08 pm

    Ramesh, your comment illustrates why women are going out to work. Its thoughts like yours.
    Women who do ‘women’s work’ are thought of as donkeys. As long as people disrespect women’s work more and more women will go out to work, as they are not interested in becoming donkeys. In fact I am sure they would prefer to live alone rather than with a man who thinks they are doing donkey’s work.
    I for one feel that looking after the home and children is great and elevating work. Far more important than earning money. When men start respecting women for the work they do, perhaps women might consider not taking up a job, a job that will give them respect, self-esteem and financial freedom, none of which they are getting at home. I am sure that women will think this is a better option than staying at home with a man who constantly demeans them for working at home, and is stingy with money, because he thinks its his. Women I am afraid are not an alien species. They are human beings, just like men. And like all human beings they seek freedom and respect.

  39. October 3, 2007 12:08 pm

    Nita: I think he was referring to himself and his ilk, not to women, as donkeys 😉 And he is right. Why should a horse live with a donkey?

  40. October 3, 2007 12:12 pm

    Yeah!!! 🙂
    I always was protected by such blatant prejudice in real life and the internet has exposed me to all views. But it still hasn’t ceased to shock.

  41. October 3, 2007 12:44 pm

    The web is nothing but a micro-cosm of the real world. Considering how few psychos we encounter, perhaps we should be pleased for the world? 🙂

  42. October 3, 2007 1:21 pm

    The web can be a scary place Shefaly!
    I guess we draw lines around ourselves in real life and that prevents certain kinds of people from approaching us. In a way thats not good, but in a way its very good. there are some people I would prefer to talk to only online…like Ramesh for example!

  43. October 3, 2007 5:58 pm

    I am amazed that some tiny low populated European countries have such high rates of divorces. I am amazed at Sweden too for being the highest considering that employment for Swedish Nationals, health care and child care are the best there. Not that these have a lot to do with relationships but i am just very surprised.

  44. wishtobeanonymous permalink
    October 3, 2007 6:47 pm

    Oh……there are a lot of mcps like that guy Ramesh. Sorry, I am using such a strong term. That is why we are having all these problems in the first place.

  45. October 3, 2007 8:31 pm

  46. October 4, 2007 1:45 am

    Madhuri: I think the state benefits make it easy to live however your circumstances might be. To comprehend divorce, asking exactly the opposite question may help – what keeps marriages from coming unstuck?

  47. enia permalink
    October 4, 2007 3:30 am

    Sorry but I really cannot understand why Indians boast about the low level of divorces..I had an Indian boyfriend who had made my life a living nightmare ; however was not eager to let me go with the excuse that “relationships should last forever”..Does this happen in marriages as well? Well I guess so.. With no doubt , a divorce is much preferable than an unhappy marriage …and having such a low level of divorces does not necessarily indicate that everything works perfectly…….

  48. October 6, 2007 12:31 am

    AT LAST some intelligent comments about the “institution”.

    The big factor is balanced access of women to resources. It has been observed even in many TRADITIONAL societies of hunters-gatherers, where divorce and remarriage is fairly common.

    In industrial (wealthy) societies :
    Women and men of the middle-upper class marry at a later age and tend to remain married more often, whereas partners who belong to lower classes marry younger and divorce more.

    The average age gap (in all social classes) is the same between men and women (1 year). (Average age gap in the world : 2 and a half years). The age gap increases between partners who remarry : men tend to remarry with younger women. The research on the stability of remarried couples is not yet sufficient. But the first data collected show remarried couples are less stable than upper class couples who got married in their thirties.

    It has been also observed that stabler couples tend to share the same advantages (physical attractiveness, instruction, wealth), values and style of life and that partners of those couples do many activities together.

    Tentative explanation : upper class partners draw more benefits from marriage (including benefits drawn by the fact that they can combine a better access to resources).

    The only exception to the rule concerns … artists.

  49. October 6, 2007 12:35 am

    Thanks Buster for your very thoughful comment. very good points.
    You have given the readers good food for thought, specially with that last line. One does have to wonder though what a definition of an artist is…

  50. December 3, 2007 11:35 pm

    I just found your blog. I loved this thread, it is very interesting to see the world as a whole and how different we all are. Sometimes we marry for the right reasons and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes things happen in a marriage, and they are too difficult to get over. A great deal of it is respect for each other, and self control. But, there is a great deal of info out there for all stages of marriage and divorce, for those who want to take the time and put the good practices to use. Thanks for the great table Nita!

  51. December 4, 2007 8:47 am

    @Howard MacKinnon:

    Thanks and welcome. 🙂 true, we are all different, but I think at heart we are the same. All of us want love and an everlasting love. The ways we go about it are different.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 9, 2009 7:05 am

      Ha. That is so true. I went to washington dc last week and at Reagan National airport there was a huge gathering of Asian people. they werent speaking our language, so i knew that they didnt live here. I heard a group of guys laughing and that just kind of reminded me that we are all the same you know? one thing about all people is that we all laugh, cry, and fight.

  52. The Reformed Faith Weblog permalink
    December 7, 2007 12:47 pm

    Wow. You guys really rock in the no-divorce department. I know this is an old thread, but the statistics really intrigued me…

    In the US, where I live (yikes) there are so many factors to our high divorce rate that I hesitate to even begin to list them. I have to say I have my personal list of suspects.

    One of the biggest culprits was the introduction of the no-fault divorce laws. It used to be that couples had to actually have a good reason to get a divorce, since it was recognized that keeping a family together was better for children and just society in general. Now it is so easy to get a divorce, you can practically do it while getting your nails done.

    While couples may have had difficulties in the past and did not always get along – like you said in the original post, the traditions overruled and people just stayed together and worked it out. God actually intended for marriage to last forever, but he also intended for people to be cooperative with each other… but now marriage is not viewed by much of American society as the sacred covenant it once was. Less and less people believe in God, and therefore don’t seem to see the need to follow His Word – which has a LOT of marital advice written in it, which includes something to the effect of “You people need to get along and love each other!” but I’m paraphrasing. ;-D

    There are also groups that are actively seeking to have the institution of marriage removed as a legal institution (the marriage certificate being the contract and the necessity of seeking court intervention in order to dissolve said contract…) because they see it as an institution pushed onto society by Christianity, a religion they do not like to say the least. These people would also like to see all vestiges of religious life forced out of the public view… many socialist and atheist groups are filing lawsuits to literally have the word “God” taken out of anything legal or linked to the government, even though it is an integral part of our nations heritage.

    Society here has become very decadent. I can’t go to the grocery store without seeing a magazine with some woman on the cover who is all but completely exposed. I generally turn the magazines around when I get to the checkout line because I don’t want my children to see them.

    Lack of training in relationships is also a divorce waiting to happen. Many parents just are too busy to teach their kids right from wrong, or to give them an example of what a good, loving relationship looks like. Often they give their kids over to the public school system to raise – not all parents really feel they have a choice since most of the time both parents are working outside the home to pay the bills… but not all parents need to be gone working as they are affluent enough to let one parent work and the other stay home to train the children.

    Child rearing is seen by “modern” women (i.e. the liberated woman) as drudgery and something they would just rather not bother with. They would much rather concentrate on making something of themselves at the office and let someone else worry about the children. (Isn’t that what we pay taxes for? Isn’t that the public school teacher’s job?)

    Of course, there are those who, having gone into a marriage thinking that they know their spouse, soon finding out that their spouse was putting on a front and the person they are married to might become violent or otherwise abusive… they have committed a fraud and the victim of this fraud has the right to leave. I knew of a woman who’s fiance’ was just the sweetest thing to her and she couldn’t have been more in love, but on their wedding night her husband gave her a black eye and called her all sorts of foul things. At that moment he violated his vows to love and cherish his bride… and she has every right to divorce him and claim damages.

    That’s one good thing about being here. Most of the time the law does protect the right people. Not all the time, but most of it.

    The statistics that WE talk about over here as “reasons” for divorce are ridiculously trite. Couples divorce over money the most. Either lack of it or too much of it. Some marry for it. When a spouse spends it on someone not their spouse, they’d be better off rubbing turpentine into an open wound, cause there’ll be h-e-double-hockey-sticks to pay for that kind of breach of contract.

    There are those who think that some divorces happen because they’re EXPECTED to happen. SO many people go into marriage with low expectations of the marriage lasting, the first really good excuse comes along and WHAM! They are out the door.

    I could just go on about this. But I won’t because I’m about to fall asleep sitting up.

    Have a blessed day – RF

  53. December 7, 2007 2:29 pm

    @The Reformed Faith Weblog:

    Thanks for that wonderful detailed comment! I guess any extreme is bad, divorcing for flimsy reasons and not being allowed to divorce at all. Sometimes I wonder if we humans can build a moderate society…but at the same time I think there are families in both the United States and in India who finding the balance.

    • Rgv permalink
      June 25, 2011 11:52 pm

      well said….just curious….are you married?
      if yes….your husband is one lucky man.
      if not….then you’ll have a wonderful marriage if you find a nice guy.

      -Happily married to a modern woman

  54. December 10, 2007 10:00 am

    In India, dowry problem is main reason for divorces. I read in a weekly that most of the divorces in India are caused by financial reasons and mostly in urban areas. We should remember that dowry harassments rate is high in cities like Bangalore and Vijayawada etc. In towns and cities, women also work and earn money unlike rural women of peasant families who economically depend on men. A working woman can live independently after divorcing here husband. Ability to desert the harassing husband shows how economical freedom is important for women but I don’t think that just working outside gives real freedom to women. Male and female workers are not equally paid in many countries. In America, women mostly prefer jobs that doesn’t require much competitive skills. Though the percentage of working women is high in America, women are less in positions such as company managers etc. India has around 70% of rural population. In rural areas, land rights are transfered to men from their fathers and daughters have no right to own family property. Rural women mostly depend on their husbands for economical reasons because they cannot get own land to till after deserting their husbands. Peasant women cannot get rid of dowry harassments if they are not given economical independence.

  55. RBish permalink
    December 16, 2007 8:56 am

    “Also, it is a fact that gender roles are more clearly defined here. This results in less conflict on a day to day basis.”

    Many of the gender roles you refer to here are flawed and entrenched in a pro-male power structure. Gender roles may be more clearly defined, but that’s doesn’t make them fair or those playing them less prone to conflict. Although divorce rates for India may be the lowest in the world, violence toward women — and a majority of it being violence in the home — ranks among the highest in the world. The juxtaposition of those two realities leaves a big mysterious hole: In more Indian homes than we’d like to admit, violent conflict is a daily reality, but unfortunately, so is the silence of its victims.

  56. December 17, 2007 9:48 am


    And there’s verbal abuse too. Women (and children), being considered as less powerful often bear the brunt of the anger of the male of the family in certain kinds of families and in these cases it is considered that the husband is not doing anything wrong as he is not beating her. If he takes away her freedom as an individual, or verbally abuses her she will still stay in the marriage as she will probably think it’s the right thing that is happening.

  57. December 19, 2007 3:57 pm

    Quite surprised to learn that Italy has a low rate of divorce too. It would be interesting to find out in what percentage women in this – low divorce rate – countries work and are economically independent. Unfortunately that might be still a very good reason for a woman not to split up. They wouldn’t know how to survive. It might seem an old fashion thought but I strongly agree with the concept that marriage should happen once in a lifetime otherwise there is no real meaning in it. It is too easy today to divorce but on the other hand it doesn’t make sense to keep living with somebody you don’t go on with.

  58. prince usman babatunde(stu) permalink
    January 4, 2008 10:24 pm

    i always like the best comments i ve browse through on your site please keep it up,i promise to preach this gosple to my friend.from Sango,Ogun State,Nigeria

  59. Tom permalink
    January 10, 2008 9:25 pm

    I have a theory as to one reason why the divorce rates in India might be so much lower than they are here in the United States. I am sure that the fact that many marriages are pre-arranged, as well as the fact that India has a more traditional and family-oriented society are key factors.

    But, i also propose that another key factor is the fact that many more women in India, like women in Asian countries, are tuaght to be aware of their bodies and how to do certain exercises such as the Aswini Mudra.

    In Asian countries such as China this is known as the “deer exercise”.

    In the United States, we call this the pelvic floor exercise or Kegel exercise.

    The truth is, most American women, and men alike, have never heard of this let alone how to do it. In a broader sense, Americans just don’t teach their children how to keep their “sex muscles” in good shape, and women here often “get loose” after childbirth, or even shortly after they lose their virginity, because they do not get exercise where it counts.

    This results in millions, maybe even billions of people who are just not having great sex, and all the women are unhappy with all the men becuase they “just don’t feel satisfied anymore”. Hence, they divorce thier partners and go looking for a “bigger” mate to keep them satisfied.

    Likewise, the men here get sick and tired of being with their “Loosey Lucilles” and go looking for a partner with tighter vaginas.

    Hollywood exacerbates the whole thing by placing well-hung males with petite females in porno movies and magazines. Pornography itself is the biggest industry in this entire country, not the oil/gas business or the music industry, and boasts $Billions in annual revenue.

    All of this perpetuates our extremely high divorce rate and even sex crimes like rape, child molestation, sodomy of a minor, etc.

    In general, Americans just don’t get enough exercise in any part of their bodies, their sex organs included, and most American relationships/marriages are very short-term things.

  60. January 17, 2008 2:58 pm

    Well, I dont know, how will be I read & understood here.

    I believe the reason behind the high divorce rate in Western countries are-

    1. Sexual relationship prior to marriage.

    I am explaining this with the help of a example.

    Like say their are no clothing shop in your city except one. Whatever is your requirement you go their & fulfill it (buy the stuff). Come home & be happy with it.

    Now say, their are 1000’s of clothing shop & everyone is fashion conscious. You go to 20 different shops, choose the garment try it many times, see color, shapes, etc. And then after shot listing, you finally make the buying decision.

    And when you come with the stuff, your friends arrive & gives you the feedback, either postive or negative. Positive then everything fine. Negative like, hey “abc” got it for $10 and $15 & stuff like that. Whie surfing the internet you see some more design & feel, if I would have bought this, it would have been better.

    Similar is the story with partners you seek. The more you mix with the people of opposite sex, the more you experience each other before marriage. the more is the chane that you won’t feel satiated by your current partner, in bed after the session you look at the fan & imagine, my ex was so great in bed. He/She could give me more that 3 climaxes, & this filthy piece not even one. And so on & so foth…

    2. Things are’nt clear betwen partners-

    I mean you got to tell your partner everything before marriage or before you start your relationhip. Everything, your family back ground, enviornment, your past life, your life after marriage etc etc in great details. So this will enable the other partner to examine, how she/he “wanted” to live with their spouse & how “will” the life be with current partner.

    This will help both of them to decide before hand, whether to go ahead or not.


    I am not a very experienced person or something of that sort. Barely 3 months married.

    This is “my opinion”.

    P.S. I have bad english, thanks for bearing with me.

  61. Umakant permalink
    January 20, 2008 3:38 pm

    The virtues of a family system are slowly being realized by the world now.

    There is no gender discrimination in India. People who say that, are ignorant of certain facts. Almost 75% of Indian population lives in villages and the rural economy is agro based. Here the entire family goes to work. Both husband and wife earn for the whole family. But at the same time there are certain natural reponsibilities of bearing children and taking care of them in the early childhood, for the wife. So it is not preferred in Indian society to give more stress to women. Women are perceived to be more kind hearted and caring. The bond between the child and the mother cannot be refuted in any culture.

    The family system is to be viewed in its totality as part of the societal health. Inspite of its huge population with diverse cultures, India remains peaceful because of its family system only. Parents infact do policing of their children and it is a common sight even today that parents’ views are respected by children mostly. There is a sublime influence of parents in shaping the character of the child. We can all agree that even in the so called most developed societies, the unrest between the children and step father is common. The separation of the parents brings enoromous psychological stress on child and a disturbed child, disturbs the society as well. So what was thought important was to keep the family system intact for the betterment of the society. This is the underlying principle of Indian family system.

    Yes, there could be exceptions. But love and caring means understanding and accommodating. This is a common sight in Indian families. This is just a common view of every common man in India.

    We also have Cossack communities in Russia like us.

    It is the vision of our ancestors which kept our society for good like this.

    Finally, to make is easily adoptable by all, the Indian culture always treats chastity of woman as sacred and this has a huge bearing on the minds of men!!

    But, we all must agree that having low divorce rate is good for the society to remain healthy.

  62. Anand Tandon permalink
    January 23, 2008 8:07 pm

    I just went through the list & found two strange things:-

    Firstly, there are no Islamic countries in the list (except for the few liberal ones, like Turkey). The reasons are obvious.

    Secondly, CHINA too is not in the list. Any guesses why ? Don’t they marry or Communism is against divorce or Chinese government/law is against divorces?

    One third of world’s population live there & still no significant complaints of unhappy marriages from there? Isn’t it strange?

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 9, 2009 6:57 am

      you probably wont see this, because you wrote this so long ago, but your write. youre so write about china. i was wondering that too. for one, it would be embarrassing to the Chinese government if a large percentage of their population’s marriages would fail, because one of the largest bases of their society is family and honor. there is also a chance that China could be covering up a larger number of divorces, i found another list in a link below that showed China’s divorce rate was below the divorce rate of India. But also, in their societies eyes, family is a very important thing and honor is too, because that had been the way of their society for Millenniums. It could be any of the three reasons. Or, the government could be preventing its citizens from filing for divorce.

  63. February 6, 2008 5:34 pm

    well a very simple answer~~~the people dont hav the guts to say that they dont like their partners~~~divorce is such a taboo in india~~~thats the onli answer

  64. February 13, 2008 7:48 am

    Talking about divorce rates, check out this blog:
    Apparently the family of the writer was tortured by the Indian police after his wife filed a 498A against them when he wanted to divorce her.
    Divorce in India can really get ugly.

  65. Ravi permalink
    February 14, 2008 8:36 pm

    I m so sad to see India at Rank No.1 in this particular list. Less divorce rate means more children and it exponentially increases our population there by our demands for food, electricity, water and employment. The quality of living will further go down. 😦

  66. Swarup Dutta permalink
    February 16, 2008 9:36 am

    I feel that the data is insufficient to draw any conclusive decision. More exhaustive data about the age of spouses in these marriages can also give us insights. I think our concerns, priorities and likings changes over time and so it is perhaps human that we do fall in and out of love. In a lot of cases especially in India a marriage perhaps is like legalized prostitution. “Sex” perhaps is one of the prime reasons of marriage, and so when the physical gratification is over or it becomes mundane, people become unhappy about their coexistence. So results unhappy marriages and infidelity. Some also try and search new reasons to continue their marriages, but very few can redefine it. Divorce is a healthy process, whereby you give yourself and your spouse a chance to evolve and get into a new more fulfilling relationship. Perhaps in the west in comparison to India they are more honest about their feelings and they are not afraid of admitting that the purpose of the relationship was served and it is time to move on to a more fulfilling relationship. Yes, the grass does look greener on the other side and sometimes self gratification does go to appalling limits, but, we should all have the freedom to look for our happiness and if it is suppressed it will result in more unhealthy relationships (would love to see data on India infidelity rates).

    • srinivas permalink
      February 18, 2011 4:30 pm

      in india infiedilty is there is less than in the west. even though they change thiere spouses now and then. and india it is less becoz.. there are so many raesons

      1. over population
      2. closed society where every body has eye on evry guy/girl
      3. family monitoring.
      4. boy/girl both wont have required freedom for extra relationships

  67. Phantom permalink
    February 18, 2008 2:23 pm

    I really see the institution of marriage becoming less and less relevant in the west. Its come to a point now where its quite common to find educated ppl from good families having gone through one or even 2 divorces, having kids from multiple relationships etc……all this is chaos in my opinion….think of the impact on the kids !!!!!

    In India, the youth born in the 80’s and beyond are oing through a whole different set of social considerations to their parents and grandparents. Today’s 18 to 30 year old urban, english educated woman has grwn up with arguably more freedom and empowerment than her predecessors. Women have grown up with the attitude that its ok for them to choose, to drive decisions, to not take nonsense. A lot of indian guys are still mama’s boys, have not been brought up wtih the education from home, of how to treat a woman as an equal. Of course i generalise here, but this is one indication of the changing social dynamics in modern urban india.

    Another factor is the progressive move away from the joint family system, and many couples living on their own, even in a different city to the bulk of their family. This creates an easier environment to seek leave from a struggling marriage, which can be seen as encouraging as well as a setback.

    Another issue is the amount of time one really gets to spend with a spouse. With many working professionals spending more time at work than at home, its no surprise that offie romances and affairs develop quite easily.

    Enough about the youth….with divorce no longer as taboo a subject, a lot of couples in their late 30’s to late 40’s (older than today’s youth, but younger than the parents of today’s youth) are finding that its relieving to be able to quit a failed marriage, rather than continue under the pretence of happiness.

    End of the day – i reckon the problem starts in the beginning. A couple who have entered marriage after knowing each other for a while, enough to understand, respect and like each other, will probably have a lesserr chance of trouble in the marriage than an arranged marriage where the couple havent had a chance to know eahc other to soem level of comfort. This is not a love vs arranged issue….note that i’m using the degree of familiarity between the couple as a qualifier.

  68. Ravi permalink
    March 9, 2008 9:29 am

    Its good to see india at No.1 position at least in this chart 🙂
    But I wonder if it stands in the same position if our women in india have same financial freedom as that of the women in west.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 9, 2009 5:06 am

      ive thought about the financial thing too

  69. March 30, 2008 10:01 am

    And what’s all this about “Love marriages may not work in India but I think it is because people are not accustomed to it.”
    I have never heard this before in my life!
    Please back up with stats.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 9, 2009 5:05 am

      ive thought a lot about that too

  70. chad permalink
    April 3, 2008 2:41 am

    Arranged marriages have its roots steeped in tradition and culture. It’s bounded by following a certain guideline or goal of the whole and not the individual. It isn’t based on love necessarily but meeting the needs of expectation. Therefore, divorce is a rare phoneomenon.

    The falling-in-love system has failed.

    Love comes after marriage. Don’t marry the person you love, love the person you marry. Just kidding.

    Whatever tickles your pickle…

  71. rameshraju permalink
    April 3, 2008 11:09 am

    Divorce is too high these days in India. Many educated women are walking out of marriage even for a small abuse. Women are supposed to have the patience of Earth goddess. They should learn to be submissive towards their husbands first. They are supposed to give importance to the family, ie, husband, children etc, rather than their personal. In olden days, women are used to depend on their husbands and there were no divorce cases. They used to develop adjusting mentality.

    But what happend now? As a result of education, Modern women are so brave and confident that they can live with out husband’s help. They would like to go outside for work and earn money rather striving hard to be called a good housewife. Women have the power to construct or destroy a family or a society. They should preserve their purity in order to be adored and respected. They should realize that individual freedom and independency should not exceed beyond the limits. Housewife is the ideal and noblest portfolio for a woman.

    The parents should know how to bring up their daughter since the childhood. At the same time, men should also recognize that their primary duty is to offer security and comfort for their wives and children. They should leave their supremacy behind. However Joint family system can bring down the divorce cases down considerably. In nuclear family system the couples are free to do even evil things. there will be no elders to teach lessons and morals. But in the joint family system, there will be elders to give moral support and to teach lessons for the mistakes done. However in order for a family to sustain for a long time, Husband should love his wife unconditionally, Wife should submit completely herself to her husband. This preserves the harmony of the family.

    • Anonymous permalink
      April 9, 2009 5:04 am

      walking out of a marriage for small abuse? any abuse should not be tolerated. if a woman whacked her husband in the head with a pillow, I guess he would punish her or something immediately. why should women be patient, when an abuser is an abuser. My mother’s first husband cheated on her and hit her for years, and he would always apologize, but then do it again. patience will not do us any good, because disrespect is disrespect, and if he had the nerve to hit her at all, that nerve will not dissipate. its wise to get out and take your children with you.

  72. rameshraju permalink
    April 3, 2008 11:38 am

    The main causes for the growth of divorce rate are :

    Man’s egoism & supremacy
    Financial Issues
    Dowry Issues
    Women’s education, employment & high salaries
    Women’s growth of individual freedom & independence
    Women’s economical freedom
    Encouraging Nuclear family system
    Lack of adjustment mentality

    The measurements that can reduce divorce rate are

    Encouraging Joint family system that includes parents and elders
    Bringing up Children in a proper manner
    Man’s responsibility and security assurance
    Women’s submissiveness and dependency
    Adjustment mentality, trust and Love.
    Avoiding interference of others (including parents) in confidential family matters

  73. April 7, 2008 3:03 am

    There are some really interesting and thought-provoking comments in this discussion thread – it’s great to have stumbled across it.
    I think the reasons behind the rising divorce rates within India are many and varied and probably impossible to capture in a few words. However, I do know that behind the statistics lies a lot of personal tragedy. In the West, many couples divorce or separate needlessly, regretting it bitterly afterwards – and this is especially true of couples with young children. It’s important India avoids repeating these mistakes.
    I have co-authored a book called ‘No Sex Please, We’re Parents’, recently published in India, which aims to help couples survive early parenthood with their relationships intact and we look at this issue in depth. One of the things we try to do is show couples just what’s involved in divorce and just how tough it is to be a parent when you’re also an ex-partner. We also try to encourage people to reprioritise so that rather than pouring energy into the workplace, people put that energy into their families. This is often easier said than done, but even a few small steps inthis direction can makea big difference.
    We write about the threat that India’s long hours office culture could hold for the health of its families on our website: here.
    Oliver Roberts

  74. pad permalink
    May 2, 2008 9:12 pm

    No matter which nation/city/village/planet the people live. Woman is Woman and Man is Man. Man is looking for beauty and Woman is lookig for money. Don’t Indians realise all Indian Women are looking for working men or wealthy/earning men. Tell me 10 women who is ready to marry a non-working men. So the common thinking is money here, doesn’t matter NYC or Delhi or village. If a women in NYC looking for a sale of $500K a women in Delhi may be for 500K rupees and a villager 50K rupees. It all runs around money and living comfort. This is the way human lived for many 1000 years and will continue for ever. Girls wanted to marry king in those old days no matter they had 5 wifes. Those old days money was earned by physical work which was tough to do for women. Now mind work makes more money and women can make it who is called independent women. Don’t we see the divorce in Indian IT women are the highest?!!. Why?. As long as a woman have money they don’t need a man the asset they have beauty. Man’s weakness is beauty and sex. Men work hard and want an enjoyment. Rest like LOVE, FAMILY, KIDS are created by society . Soceity I mean here is religion, government etc. ————————————————————————– Bottom line- Men must work and make money to support family. Women must make kids and cook to support the family. If this is agreeed in the marrage process then NO divorce!!.

    • Ram permalink
      October 4, 2010 2:19 pm

      Hi Pad,

      Well written comment man. Just visit any of the matrimonial site. you will find many educated women not willing to work but would want men in such and such salary bracket.

      These ones just eek out a living in the rotten and sloppy service industry.


  75. May 3, 2008 9:53 am

    NIta: It has been a long time since I have visited “A wide angle…” but there has been so much change here. Some good, I am sure, but I am surprised at some of the comments in this post.

    Anyway, I have a slightly different look at this whole subject. It deals with WHY we have a system of marriages. Marriages are a way of ensuring (or at least, trying to) monogamy. Why is monogamy important? Sharing of duties of offspring grooming and nurturing by both mates.

    But in the present day and age, a system of marriage has little to no relevance as far as furthering our genetic immortality. Hence, no matter how much you speculate, marriage remains an option in our present scenario. Anyone that wants to argue beyond the social relevance of marriages might be better served by reading some books on genes.

    Also, someone said that the stats were highly simplistic and I agree.

  76. May 3, 2008 10:09 am

    DD, Well, I guess we get all kinds of views and the internet is free for all! 🙂 In fact I have ceased to be surprised at the views I get on some of my posts.
    However I don’t agree that monogamy is simply for “Sharing of duties of offspring grooming and nurturing by both mates.” There is something called love as well! And I don’t mean the transient kind but the everlasting kind. For me at least this was why I wanted to marry the one I loved. To me “marriage” signifies commitment and loyalty and so what it is an instistution imposed by society? We are all living in this society after all and I have no problem acceding to its rules if I find them reasonable.

  77. batguano101 permalink
    May 11, 2008 12:20 am

    Ok, I’m sold.

    Wrap up a beautiful Indian woman and ship her to me C.O.D.

  78. Sonia permalink
    June 4, 2008 2:49 pm

    A very very obvious erason for loveless, soulless marriages going on and on and on is that women are conditioned to be the “ideal wives”. which means always putting husband and family’s needs before her’s; not paying attention to verbal abuse, sometimes even tolerating physiacl abuse. She is expected to stop looking after her maternal home and pay attention only to her “new home”. When she does this, husband and saas are mighty pleased; and the saga goes on and on. If she thinks of speaking out against this sickly vicious cycle, all hell breaks loose. But women are begining to question, which is why divorce rates may be the lowest in India, but they are steadlily increasing!

  79. batguano101 permalink
    June 4, 2008 5:41 pm

    This column has been interesting.

    One thing is certain: the values and expectations programed into women in the USA do not work. Total focus on “me” excludes functional marriage and love.

    Rather than embrace US training of women to be selfish to the point of making marriage impossible, India would do well to hold to what works.

    The wife who gives 150% to her husband and husband who loves and protects his wife 150% will do well.

    “Me” and only “me” does not work.

    Kindness is good for all. Love flows from it. The bond of marriage strengthens to steel by it.

    Rather than focus on the irritable aspects of marriage, cultural practices, try to think of what word, deed, small act of thoughtfulness, tiny item of that brings a moment of refreshing and happiness to your spouse (husband or wife) you can do each day and you build love and a strong marriage each day.

    These acts are cumulative, make a lifetime scavenger hunt to find and give words and acts of consideration, comfort, respect, tiny treats of refreshing each day. Your own happiness increases by giving. Acts of love break the hardest heart to respond in kind. This is marriage to me.

    That is to make a good marriage. It costs only your decision to do it, and make it a lifestyle.

    Keep the stability of marriage your nation has, you will only lose following the reversal of values sold in the USA today.

  80. Ammar permalink
    July 7, 2008 12:33 am

    please note:

    has the full list of world divorce rates there you will see that India isnt the country with the lowest divorce rate in the world.

    I checked the chart Ammar and I found that in that chart India as the lowest rate as well. In the second chart where they have caclulated the divorce rate in another way, they have not mentioned India at all. Therefore I am a little confused by your comment. Anyway, it’s always good to have more statistics and thanks for the link. – Nita.

  81. July 18, 2008 1:33 pm

    I enjoyed reading the post as much as the comments. Save for some comments by some people, I think all the possible facets of the issue has been brought out very nicely here!

    Regarding the importance of family in Indian society, a friend of mine put it this way: “Contrary to India, as I feel, the smallest unit of the society is not a family here, it’s the individual…The high level of independence is reflected in the amount of divorce that we see in the society, like 2 out of 3 marriages in Paris and 1 out of 3 marriages nationally end up in divorce. I recall seeing a poster a few days ago in different parts of Paris, telling “Are we too independent to be happy?” (

    Even when the woman has financial independence, and the couple is really not getting along at all, or one partner has fallen in love with someone else, or whatever, the decision to destroy a whole family is a huge decision for most couples.

  82. August 19, 2008 3:53 am

    Romantic love as the basis for marriage has only existed since the nineteenth century. Before that arranged marriage served society quite well. I think India as a society is a little more averse to change than most ( a little harder to mobilize ). Enlightening post though and great blog. You have a new subscriber.

  83. September 14, 2008 8:02 pm

    As a regular and frequent traveler to India, in which I stay with various Indians in their homes as opposed to hotels, etc.. I see things much different than the writer of this blog. The Americans (me) do not have a romanticized view of marriage (as of the last couple of generations, they have a commitment problem but that is not the real problem of divorce either). Prosperity and freedom has brought about an increase in the divorce rate above other nations. American women are nothing like those of other cultures. Our women are not held down nor under subjugation of the males or by society. Thus the women, as all Americans are able and capable of independence and freedom. With that said there are many problems in society and soon the powers at large will bring America down to be as other nations as they use our own freedoms against us and remove the liberty by following the legislations of the other nations.

  84. Sushmita permalink
    October 6, 2008 3:29 am

    I can only talk about my experiences, but I was taught that divorce is heavily frowned upon among Indians AND I know Indians who hide their remarriages/divorces. For example, an Indian woman might get married twice, but pretend that her second husband was her first husband all along. Hence, her kids may have been pretending that their step-dad is their real dad to the Indian community. Yes, this is a real-life example as I know an Indian woman who’s DESPERATE to hide her divorce and acts as if

    Just because something looks a certain way on the outside doesn’t mean it is that way on the inside. Indian culture is NOTORIOUS for preserving family honor and hiding family issues. I strongly disagree with the idea that Indian society is child-centric, as some Indian women stay married to men that abuse their kids. How is that healthy for a child’s well-being? If a father is sexually abusing his daughter, Americans would say that the mom should leave. But, Indians would say that staying married to such a man would be good for their well-being?

    Please, please don’t tell me that sexual abuse doesn’t happen in Indian culture. I have seen examples where Indian families ignore a child’s sexual trauma and force the child to continue to respect a sexually abusive family member. That’s much worse than dealing with divorced parents.

    You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to, but I’m offering my opinion and personal life experiences. I’m sorry if this has damaged anybody’s ego, as our people take great pride in being more “moral” than the goras and kalus. I honestly had to give my opinion on why the divorce rates are low in India and why I don’t believe that Indian society is necessarily child-centric. Just because a family portrays themselvs as having high values doesn’t mean they truly do.

    Tom-No offense, but what you said about vaginal muscles becoming loose after sex isn’t true. I’m assuming you haven’t had sex with a woman, as many non-virgin women can remain tight. Every woman is built differently, and the vagina is like a rubber band. It expands during sex, and contracts/tightens when a woman isn’t having sex. It’s absurd to assume that this is the reason why Indian marriages work out.

  85. October 13, 2008 5:05 pm

    Indian and Pakistani girls are the best in the world!

  86. Mara permalink
    October 14, 2008 10:33 pm

    I’m fascinated reading all the blogs here. My story is somewhat related to the issues at hand in these blogs.

    I married a Pakistani man that I met in college 26 years ago because we fell in love (I’m originally from the Philippines, but grew up in America). Since then my marriage has gone through its ups and downs. I managed to raise three wonderful kids and had a career at the same time. My husband put me through the wringer…he’s religious. I converted to Islam and raised my kids in this religion. I thought my life would get easier once my kids were grown…but I was wrong. I gave my husband the upper hand in raising the kids because we couldn’t agree. My husband thinks he raised “perfect” children & they could do no wrong. Today, I have tremendous issues about this arranged marriage (crap) and the fact that my two daughters (who are 23 and 21….my oldest is my son who’s 25) have not been asked for in marriage yet…my husband is “freaking out”; don’t me get wrong, I do agree with arranged marriages to a certain extent. My daughter would have been engaged but that went out the door…my daughters are not allowed to talk in any way shape or form to the opposite sex. My one daughter is sneeking behind our backs and have been caught. They have expressed to me that their father is absolutely unfair because how else are they going to know a prospective husband without communicating with that person. I have tried to reason with my husband but to no avail. I told him when the time is right and when Allah says so, proposals for marriage will come eventually. This whole situation has created a rift between my husband and me that I’m ready to divorce him…as I’m so tired of always following his “wisdom” in these matters…that he’s right and I’m wrong. Also come to think of it, I now firmly believe that inter-racial marriages really does not work. There are a lot of issues surrounding culture and religious differences, biases, hypocracies, etc…and I for one have reached my limit….I give up!!! A word of wisdom for those out there if you are a non-Pakistani, Indian, or Arab (especially if you’re American)….do not marry into this culture… you will regret it, unless you have a halo around your head and your husband is open-minded and educated. I’m open to any advise in this regard…thank you.

  87. chaynika katyal permalink
    October 22, 2008 7:25 pm

    Well, divorce are going higher in metros these days yeh if u compare with western countries it is very less in india I am staying with my husband from last 2 years but from the first day till now i dont feel like i am marrid i simply want to divorce him as we are nor happy with each other many time he force me to have baby but i dont like ti have child with that guy.Simply want to live live alone..

    Chaynika katyal delhi

  88. ampletea permalink
    October 27, 2008 2:19 am

    I am a little confused by all this mention of ‘unhappy couples sticking to a marriage’ and the implication that that is a frequent occurrence. I know it’s hard to understand the personal lives of couples when you’re merely an observer from the outside, but what are you talking about? I lived in India all the way until I was 14 and now live in the US. All I spend my time doing here is noticing the VAST differences between couples in India and the US in terms of commitment. Not to mention the baffling amount of parental neglect.

    I completely acknowledge the faults in the Indian institution of marriage, but it IS marriage, and it deserves that name. What they call marriage here is a huge joke. It’s not that the women here are more broad minded and independent, they are simply loose charactered. Furthermore, their culture endorses such behaviour. If your spouse accidentally sneezes while you are sleeping or wears orange pants, it’s time for a divorce and a big fat wad of cash!

    And as for the claim that social conservatism leads to less divorce, let me mention that in the US, the highest divorce rates are within highly religious and socially conservative communities. I’m no patriot, but let’s not applaud divorce as a standard of freedom and independence in the social strata. The solution to rigid gender roles, women’s oppression, abuse and financial dependency is NOT divorce.

  89. October 27, 2008 12:58 pm

    Hi Mara,

    sorry to say,your husband sounds like a typical hypocritical muslim who pushes his own ideas down others throat..Its been many years ,hence i needn’t give you a long rant on rights of women within islamic framework..

    Allah says in Quran: “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. (The Noble Quran, 4:19)”

    They are entitled to the freedom of expression as much as men are. Their opinions are taken into consideration and cannot be disregarded. It is reported in the Qur’an and history that women not only expressed their opinions freely but also argued and participated in serious discussions with the Prophet himself as well as with other Muslim leaders (Qur’an, 58:1-4; 60:10-12).

    So,if he pushes you or your kids to anything you don’t agree with,first tell him that if he have a slight respect for himself being called muslim,ask him to listen to Allah ..If he still act as hypocrite moral police and doesn’t let you live peacefully,talk to you immediate family or relatives and throw him away.

    Sorry if i was rude,but i can’t stand hypocritical people,especially moral police…

  90. maya permalink
    December 2, 2008 4:17 am

    im not sure where you got the stats from india, because in the wikipedia stats, india was not mentioned at all. Not even the U.N stats of global comparisons of divorce/marriage mentions india.

  91. Vijay permalink
    December 6, 2008 2:04 pm

    Interesting post and the comments with varied views. How many women working in IT firms are getting divorced? One must understand, divorce has been there always. After marriage, if the husband and wife are not happy, they live separately. There were many such cases till recent past. It was not legally a divorce. Divorce is just a legal way of doing it. Marriage is a way of living in harmony by loving someone and being loved. I would suggest the followers of this post to read a book, “ART OF LOVING” by Erich Fromm. The society in India was built on love, the cherishing human nature. And to keep it going, the arranged marriages are followed. If we only the ignorant educated Indians understand the profound meaning behind the arranged marriages, they will know the meaning of life.Loving is giving and living. Western thoughts are quite different from Eastern thoughts. Eastern thoughts are mainly aimed at keeping the human happy in every situation. Family was given at most importance due to that. When you have a fight with your wife, you can still talk to someone in your family to mediate. And the whole thing cools down. Happiness and sadness you face together. My personal experience, I dated woman from different cultures. The way they think are quite amazing. She wants to do clubbing with her friends when I was lying sick in the bed. They know not to love and care. And love is just a spark in their lives. But its not a will and commitment. These days, the change in the society,is moving indians away from this philosophy. It will be disastrous for the society in near future. We are losing the foundation on which we are standing. and its shaking. When it falls, we will fall badly.
    Lot of single woman/man might think that they can live alone. Well if only you can control your desires which is not possible in many cases. You might end up having man/woman simply for pleasure and there will be a time when you realise you are going thru self-esteem problem, it will be too late.We need to look at that aspect of divorcees. It applies to all men and women from everywhere. I was talking to a German girl, and her story is interesting. She met a guy 2 years ago and they were “going out”. But she was not ready for a relationship but the guy wanted to. They parted. Now she is telling that she loves him so much and cant forget. India is also getting there. Having sex and going out becomes a fun but the consequences will be disaster for your psychology.
    Well there will be a good job opportunities for psychiatrists in near future. So all those intend for a good profession, study psychiatry. All these complications are avoided when you live in a family and respect its meaning. Anyways, modern indians might find these comments old-fashioned.
    Anyways thanks for reading…

    • vasudev permalink
      March 1, 2009 12:10 pm

      Vijay…entirely true! our culture is still the greatest one can find anywhere in the world. marriages do not break that often and if divorce rates have gone up, it must be a latest day phenomena…but we have new fashions nowadays, don’t we? like living-in/boy friend/ girl friend/ f*** mate (instead of class mate or school mate). when the scenario changes to utter nonsense then nonsense is one that can be expected.
      someone said domestic violence is highest in india. i do not agree at all! domestic violence, wife/child abuse should be much more in countries like the US.

  92. December 11, 2008 1:43 pm

    “Divorce” a word which ruines the live of a happily married life.India has its lowest rate of divorce because of the tendency of sacrifice,true love, joint family values.
    India’s education,dependablity and community’s reaction are the factor which stop a couple to move towards divorce.It is said that once a women is divorced it is hard for her to restart her married life.we can say that a women takes care inside and the male takes care outside of the house.Male takes care of the financial aspects.
    but if we talk about American live ….it need lots of showoff,love and effection with highly formalitical manner.Independent career,open society and relocation after marriage (Mostly) lack of family moral values are few aspects which leads western marriage life into divorce.Western marriage live changes beacuse of their romantic life too.Marriage of a big age differance couple has become a fashion in high society which have very small marriage life.and ……..again leads to divorce.
    these are the few things which shows the success of indian marriage life.

  93. Prashant permalink
    January 14, 2009 7:11 pm

    The only reason is indians compromise for those we love. Americans don’t compromise at all, they will break the relation and walk out of it without even thinking of bending themselves for the ones they love. I think, they have made mockery of ‘marriage’ by their selfish attitude.
    No wonder they have so many family ‘problems’ and ‘troubled’ childhood cases.

  94. Diana permalink
    January 21, 2009 6:40 pm

    I do not think the divorce rate has anything to do with the arranged marriage. It has all to do with the social pressures to which the couple is subjected. I have a colleague whose brother can’t get a decent wife because she is divorced, such is the pressure and prejudice against the divorce.
    There is also a third category about which you have not talked about and that is the forced marriage. When a boy/ girl falls in love and they want to marry and their family opposes so much that they end up giving up eachother and forcefully agree to live with a stranger for the rest of their lives. Such is the social pressure that some people never even try to be happy and find love on their own, because they know it is useless because their parents won’t agree. In India it is shameful for people to love, except for the “love” that grows inside of the arranged marriage. I had a colleague who told in greatest confidence and asked me not to repeat again that his sister has gotten a love marriage.
    Also I have seen many arranged marriages where the people don’t match don’t have any feelings and don’t have anything to say to eachother. But they stick together because divorce is social suicide and a divorced person has no option to ever remarry.


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