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Happily ever after?


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Happily ever after?Good communication makes a good marriage. Miscommunication occurs when couples do not express themselves clearly, paving way for unpleasant thoughts and misunderstandings.

You may not always agree with your spouse, but it helps to start with a positive approach. Matrimony Xpress talks to Dr. RaviShankar Rao on some problems that young urban couples confront.
Reality bites
It was a dream come true for Amit and Sumitha. In a classic case of love at first sight, the two software professionals tied the knot in a fairy tale wedding, promising to be devoted to each other for the rest of their lives.
But soon reality set in. Working in shifts, they hardly found time for each other. Sumitha, a socially active person, found it embarrassing when Amit failed to turn up at parties and social events. On the other hand, Amit who was beginning to see less and less of his wife, found solace from a female colleague. One thing lead to another. Resentments grew, insults were hurled and what began as �happily ever after� ended bitterly at the court halls. 

What the statistics say

A survey has revealed that divorce rates have soared in country, especially among young software professionals in the growing metropolises. Studies conducted among Bangalore�s software professionals showed that in a single unit of 100 employees, nine divorce cases were filed during the three months of the investigation. Lawyers say software professionals or those married to them file the maximum number of cases for divorce.

A chat with Dr. RaviShankar Rao, a practicing psychologist from Bangalore reveals some problems that young urban couples confront.

In the ‘honeymoon’ period, couples tend to camouflage any feeling of unease or discomfort with one another. Says, Dr. Rao, �Marital discords surface when personalities and attitudes mismatch which leads the partner to be vulnerable to pressures at work and develop close relationships outside marriage�.

Wo(men)

“Urban marriages are quite unique”, says Dr. Rao. Women are more empowered and financially secure than their traditional counterparts. They have begun to assert their social independence and question the expectations that come with traditional marriages. “Economic independence has changed the psychological make-up and psycho-sexual relationship among partners.”

Attitudes and values regarding gender roles have changed. Greater value is placed on women’s economic achievements and men’s involvement with children. Does that mean the working-woman is materialistic. According to Dr. Rao, the woman is still a traditional person at heart. However, the rules are spread out between the couple. �Men are as involved with the children as women are and the necessities of sharing work is increasing considerably.

Having fought at workplace for survival, growth and identity, women have higher expectations from both their partners and themselves.

Till the job do us part

As the service sector booms, a new breed of couples has entered the marital world those who work shifts. Less time spent with your spouse, absence from social and family events are some of the drawbacks that couples like Rohan and Soumya have to face. He works crazy hours and sometimes I do not see him for three or four days at a stretch, complains Soumya, a P.R officer.

There are couples who meet on weekends, says Dr. Rao. It is the same case with long-distance relationships. With each partner chasing their career, it is only natural that such spouses get frustrated by the lack of normal, active companionship. The solution is to make the best of a bad situation.

Late Marriges

Another factor affecting marital success is the growing occurrence of late marriages. Many men and women prefer to settle down in their careers before getting married or postpone their marriage due to financial predicaments. When they do get married they are well into their thirties when it is not medically advisable to have a child in the late years. This leads to further misunderstandings between the couple.

Honey, I am sorry

Anger destroys relationships. When frustrated and angry, most couples have trouble restraining their ire. Insults are hurled leading to hurt and bitterness. Dr. Rao’s advise to couples is to approach the issue with a calm and composed mind. Tell yourself that you are going to sleep on it. And if not able to avoid a confrontation, sit down and settle the issue giving no room for egoistic feelings. It is better to forgive and apologise than build resentment and destroy the relationship. This method has worked with 99% of the couples who come for advise, he says.

It takes Two to Tango

Good communication makes a good marriage. Miscommunication occurs when couples do not express themselves clearly, paving way for unpleasant thoughts and misunderstandings. You may not always agree with your spouse, but it helps to start with a positive approach. Telling that you are there for your partner is comforting enough.

Dr. Rao opines that a relationship is built brick-by-brick. He advises young couples to respect differences and develop understanding. When you get into a relationship, enjoy the richness that it offers. A relationship can only be sustained with love and affection, sharing and caring. Trust makes it stronger and more mature.

Dr. Ravishankar Rao completed his MBBS from Bangalore Medical College, Bangalore, India, in 1976 and his MD in Psychological Medicine from the National Institute of Mental Health Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore in 1980. His areas of interest are General Psychiatry and Consultation Liaison Psychiatry.

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