Men need to change to ensure domestic harmony

Men need to change to ensure domestic harmony
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Men need to change to ensure domestic harmony

Highlights

"Emandi", my mother would call my father respectfully. I don't remember her calling my father by his first name, even once. She considered it a taboo to address her husband by his first name.

"Emandi", my mother would call my father respectfully. I don't remember her calling my father by his first name, even once. She considered it a taboo to address her husband by his first name. She would wait patiently till my father arrived from duty without having dinner. Sometimes, it would be 11'o clock in the night but she would never give up. Dinner had to be eaten with her husband.

Now, times have changed drastically. Without a second thought, my wife calls me by my name. Most often, she finishes her dinner and goes to sleep if I arrive late from the office. Financial independence has emancipated women a lot. It has also impacted the wife and husband relationship immensely. Now, women are no longer dependent on men for their survival. This welcome change has however led to some disastrous consequences.

Men have not changed at the same pace as women's increasing participation in labour force and subsequent financial independence. Because of this mismatch, the expectations of men from their wives remained the same as the men of previous generation. Instead of recognizing the new realities men started getting annoyed at their wives new found assertiveness. Some started mistaking it as arrogance and domestic fights continued to rise by the day.

Many such fights are ending up in divorces these days. Increased work related stress, rising extra marital affairs at the workplace consequent to increased participation of women in the workforce have all contributed to this harmful trend of rising divorces in the country. Many newspaper reports attest to this harsh reality.

But, everyone must realise that demolishing a social structure without making an alternative one will invariably lead to chaos. This is what is happening right now. Though couples are divorcing on frivolous grounds at the drop of a hat, the society's view towards divorcees has not changed much. It is still a hard thing to find a suitable match for a divorced woman and no woman worth her salt would marry a divorced man, however great his accomplishments may be. This is further leading to many deleterious effects on the society like a spike in extra marital affairs, suicides because of broken relationships etc.

To arrest this negative trend, attitudes of men must change. Adolescents and men of marriageable age must be taught that times have changed and their expectations from their prospective wives ,too, must change. They should be taught to recognize and respect the talents and hard work of women. Age old stereotypes like 'household work is only for women' must be discarded by the society. In a nut shell gender roles need to be redefined on an urgent basis. Otherwise, the Indian society may fast descend into an abyss of pandemonium.

Young educated husbands, must take a lead in ushering in the much-needed change. As a popular saying goes "change is the only constant". And, the youngsters must 'lead by example'.

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