Perchance the poor quality of the material whence woman comes is responsible for her inferiority. At any rate, woman has no soul---what is there to know about her? Besides, the less soul a woman has the greater her asset as a wife, the more readily will she absorb herself in her husband. It is this slavish acquiescence to man's superiority that has kept the marriage institution seemingly intact for so long a period. Now that woman is coming into her own, now that she is actually growing aware of herself as a being outside of the master's grace, the sacred institution of marriage is gradually being undermined, and no amount of sentimental lamentation can stay it.
From infancy, almost, the average girl is told that marriage is her ultimate goal; therefore her training and education must be directed towards that end. Like the mute beast fattened for slaughter, she is prepared for that. Yet, strange to say, she is allowed to know much less about her function as wife and mother than the ordinary artisan of his trade. It is indecent and filthy for a respectable girl to know anything of the marital relation. Oh, for the inconsistency of respectability, that needs the marriage vow to turn something which is filthy into the purest and most sacred arrangement that none dare question or criticize. Yet that is exactly the attitude of the average upholder of marriage. The prospective wife and mother is kept in complete ignorance of her only asset in the competitive field---sex. Thus she enters into life-long relations with a man only to find herself shocked, repelled, outraged beyond measure by the most natural and healthy instinct, sex. It is safe to say that a large percentage of the unhappiness, misery, distress, and physical suffering of matrimony is due to the criminal ignorance in sex matters that is being extolled as a great virtue. Nor is it at all an exaggeration when I say that more than one home has been broken up because of this deplorable fact.
Hindu marriages are governed both by law and by tradition. Once the couple marry in the traditional manner, it is irrevocable except through a divorce either by mutual consent or by a formal decree from the court. Hindu marriage act prohibits polygamy or polyandry. A Hindu cannot marry another spouse if he or she is already married, except in some extenuating circumstances as stated in the law.
Most Hindu marriages are arranged marriages. Even in love marriages, the couple prefer marrying in the traditional style in the presence of their parents and families. A Hindu marriage is an elaborate social engagement and contract, in which elder on both sides play an important role in fixing the marriage, performing the ceremony and supporting the couple until they settle down. If any disputes arise between couples in the early stages of marriage, the elders usually interfere to save the marriage. Since elders act as counselors, marriage counseling is not a popular profession in India as it is in the West. Divorce rates in Hindu families are also comparatively less. Most couples stay in the marriage, even if they have problems of compatibility, due to social pressures and family obligations, or to save the reputation of their families.
Before India became independent and the British formulated the legal system, Hindu marriages were governed by local customs and Hindu law books. The law books prescribed a strict code of conduct to regulate the institution of marriage and safeguard the interests of the couples engaged in marriage. The laws were mostly caste and gender specific and traditionally favored men rather than women. They recognized eight types of marriages. It is however unclear, how far people feared followed the law books. We may safely assume that the law books were enforced mostly in Vedic communities among the upper castes. Where the Vedic influence was weak, people probably followed the local customs. The eight types of traditional marriages recognized in Hindu law books are listed below. Of them, the first four considered lawful (prashasta) and the last four unlawful (aprahasta). Traditionally, the first two were popular among the higher castes and the last two among criminals and outcastes.
That two people who passionately desire to part from one another, should be forced to live together and to endure one another, is one thing; but to force them into a public proceeding, is another.Couples who live together with or without the "benefit" of marriage, it seems to me, should not have a separate law to govern the termination of their relationship: -- Divorce law -- just like all "buggy and whip law" -- should be abolished.
On the other hand, some couples having children in their family should think deliberatively before they end their marriage in divorce; otherwise innocent children probably become victims for this situation.
These days, in Canada, one need only be separated from their spouse for a period of one year or more.)Divorce in Babylon was simple enough for a man under the .
observed () that though a wife may not divorce her husband, she was free to leave him, if "she could show cruelty on his part and fidelity on her own; in such cases she could return to her parents, and take her marriage portion with her, along with what other property she might have acquired." After making the observation that women were not so free, even in England, until the end of the nineteenth century, Durant continued:
"If a woman's husband was kept from her, through business or war, for any length of time, and had left no means for her maintenance, she might cohabit with another man without legal prejudice to her reunion with her husband on the latter's return.
In England, parliament in earlier times could sever a marriage, could grant a divorce, but only upon the petition of a well-heeled and well-connected citizen.
According to the latest statistics submitted before a Committee "on labor and wages, and congestion of Population," ten per cent. of the wage workers in New York City alone are married, yet they must continue to work at the most poorly paid labor in the world. Add to this horrible aspect the drudgery of house work, and what remains of the protection and glory of the home? As a matter of fact, even the middle class girl in marriage can not speak of her home, since it is the man who creates her sphere. It is not important whether the husband is a brute or a darling. What I wish to prove is that marriage guarantees woman a home only by the grace of her husband. There she moves about in home, year after year until her aspect of life and human affairs becomes as flat, narrow, and drab as her surroundings. Small wonder if she becomes a nag, petty, quarrelsome, gossipy, unbearable, thus driving the man from the house. She could not go, if she wanted to; there is no place to go. Besides, a short period of married life, of complete surrender of all faculties, absolutely incapacitates the average woman for the outside world. She becomes reckless in appearance, clumsy in her movements, dependent in her decisions, cowardly in her judgment, a weight and a bore, which most men grow to hate and despise. Wonderfully inspiring atmosphere for the bearing of life, is it not?
In addition, divorces also get rid of the violence of quarrel between husband and wife, hence everybody in family get better in physical and mental healthy, particularly for children.
One of the most important social developments of our time is the recent rise in age at first marriage, which now stands at 27 for women and 29 for men–a historic high. Delayed marriage in America has helped to bring the divorce rate down since 1980 and increased the economic fortunes of college-educated women, according to Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America, a new report from , the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and . But another important consequence of delayed marriage is that most Americans without college degrees now have their first child before they marry. By contrast, the vast majority of college-educated men and women still put childbearing after marriage. Knot Yet explores the causes and consequences of this revolution in family life, especially the ways that delayed marriage is connected to the welfare of twentysomethings, their children, and the nation as a whole.