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Despite confrontations, divorce rate not alarming: Dr. Nagaswami
Despite growing confrontational attitude among modern Indian couples, the number of divorces in the country hasn't reached alarming levels and many do not prefer to break up their relations, observed renowned psychiatrist and relationships consultant, Dr. Vijay Nagaswami. Participating as chief guest at the 19th anniversary celebrations of SEVA, free and confidential counselling centre at Hyderabad, he said the main reason for breaking up of relations is 'erosion of identities' among couples.

In spite of several constrains the modern Indian marriages are facing, he is confident that the institution of family will last for longer times. “In the way the joint family system is replaced by extended family, I am sure in future it will find some other way,” he said.

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However, he observed that love itself can not sustain a relationship. After marriage, the problems faced by them remain almost same whether it was love marriage or arranged marriage.  He also said, based on his experience, he is witnessing “more women taking lead in divorces”.

He observed that many couples are unable to find enough time for their spouses. According to him while we are spending one third of time at work place, one third of time for sleeping, only remaining one third time is left for all works. According to Dr. Nagaswami, time spent on shopping can not be considered as “quality time”. He suggested young couples to realise the need to invest more on identical issues with their spouses.

The author of best selling books on relationships and columnist Dr. Nagaswami said that the four essential pillars of marriage are love, trust, respect and intimacy. Though there were confrontations in ancient Indian marriages too, he said there were several mechanisms within family to protect the system. However, in the modern Indian families, where joint family system is almost disappearing, we are facing new problems.

He advised young couples to realise that “we need to express our emotions much more clearly” to our spouses. They should make much more efforts for `we’ space in their relations. According to him, one of the concerns surfacing in modern Indian marriages is infidelity. “As both are now working and spending more time at workplaces than at home, growing intimacy with co-workers (is) resulting in infidelity,” he said.

Referring to the role of family counsellors, he said their job is not to discourage divorces, but only to help young couples to understand all aspects of their relationship in proper perspective. Stating that while girls are losing their virginity on an average at the age of 13 and boys at 16, he said: “ I am not asking them to avoid sexual relations, but I wish to make them aware of the need to have safe sex and also mature relationships. Though certain trends in relationships may not be desirable, but we have to accept reality.”

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