RESEARCH PAPER On

DIVORCE

Abstract
Divorces have emerged as a very likely outcome of marriages today, questioning the truth of the saying that marriages are ‘made in heaven’. The divorce rates among young couples are increasing progressively and have thus become an issue of major concern. Divorces were not so common in the past, but as time passed by, it began to be accepted as more of a common practice. Divorce being chosen more often than not also means that young couples tend to try less on trying to work out the relationship. The increasing divorce rate persists because couples choose divorce as an option for problems that most of the times can be solved by discussion and compromise. In this research I have tried to look into different aspect of divorce and reasons related to it. I not only looked into married people’s perception but I have also tried finding the thinking pattern of unmarried young people who will so be entering life of married people.

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Table of Contents
Abstract.......................................................................................................................................................2 Table of Contents.........................................................................................................................................3 Introduction.................................................................................................................................................3 Background.................................................................................................................................................4 Research Question.......................................................................................................................................7 Hypothesis...................................................................................................................................................8 Methodology................................................................................................................................................8 Data presentation and Analysis....................................................................................................................9 Summary of Research Findings.................................................................................................................20 Recommendations.....................................................................................................................................21 Conclusion.................................................................................................................................................22 Works Cited...............................................................................................................................................23

Introduction
Divorce is defined as the legal termination of a marriage, but in its real sense there is a lot more to it than just the end of a relationship. Nowadays many marriages end in divorce, and surprisingly most of them end at their early stages. This is an important study in the sociological research today as along with 3

divorce rates going up, people’s level of tension and hesitation about marriage is also increasing. Nowadays the society accepts divorce very easily and even suggests it as a solution to the trivial problems faced in a husband-wife relationship. Therefore marriages and family life are at risk. If the numbers of

divorces keep on rising in this pattern, marriages might as well become extinct. To add to the existing problem, various law firms and websites provoke divorce through various methods such as advertising the benefits of divorce or by offering customized divorce forms online. The soaring
divorces are not just questioning the importance of relationships and ties but they are also creating severe after effects in the life of the divorcees. There are harsh emotional, medical, financial and psychological implications of divorce.

Background
Though divorce at an individual level is a liberating factor for estranged couples, the problem arises when the divorce rate becomes too high and people begin to see it as a quick and easy way out of their marriages. An abnormally high divorce rate is not good for the society at all. A generation down the line, it will have serious social consequences, some of which are given below. Missing Parent A divorce 4

splits the family right down the middle. One parent, usually the father, has to pack his or her bags and move out of the house. Children are then forced to live with one parent while the other parent gets only visitation rights. The family becomes lopsided. The single parent has to juggle both job as well as domestic duties, and is unable to give the kind of upbringing and attention that should be given to the children for their healthy growth. Single-parent upbringing with the permanent absence of one parent creates serious psychological problems for children. Children of divorce suffer from stress, anxiety and depression in their childhood. These feelings often persist well into adulthood. Divorce is bad for adults. Marriage is a very close relationship that provides solid emotional support and comfort. You get to be intimate with another individual and share all your secrets with your spouse. You are duty-bound to come to each other’s assistance when in need and provide a shoulder to lean on whenever your husband or wife is feeling low and depressed. People who divorce deprive themselves of the support offered by the marital relationship. They suffer from the trauma of divorce and may slip into a chronic depression. This affects the success of their future relationships since they may develop a feeling deep down within them that their partners just cannot be trusted. People bitten by divorce may take to alcoholism and even attempt suicide. Worse, if they have children, the latter suffer too with them and may also develop many psychological problems. There could be any number of reasons for the rise in the divorce rate in recent times. One reason could be that divorce is more socially acceptable to more people now. Another reason could be that fewer people belong to religions that oppose divorce and/or fewer people following rules of religion even if they attend services regularly. Another factor could be that in the past more people stayed in situations that today are considered abusive, and the increased awareness of what constitutes abuse and why leaving is not only ok, but desirable, could play a rule as well. I think, though, that there may be a less obvious and possibly more widespread problem at the root of many relationships, and I think it stems from a widely accepted piece of advice given to young people: 5

"You shouldn't just marry someone because you're in love with them. That kind of love wears off. You should marry your best friend." This advice comes from the fact that many people are aware of differences between infatuation and "real love", and many people are equally aware that infatuation can seem like real love but wear off. People generally understand, too, that even in the relationship that is headed for a calmer love there is the stage of hyperventilating when the partners of a new relationship talk with one another and of flowers and not being able to be the first one to hang up at the end of a phone conversation. All this awareness of what "real love" is and isn't is something that our society has seemed to generate over the last few decades; and while much of what people say about love and relationships is often generally true, the "marry-your-best-friend" advice can at times backfire. Young people generally have no problem meeting other young people, and if both individuals are nice people and enjoy being with the other it is very easy for a relationship to continue. Since relationships usually begin as a result of people's being attracted to one another most relationships could be seen as "the infatuation stage" at the beginning. The attraction can remain for quite a while, and as the relationship turns into "something deeper" it can seem as if the relationship is solid. The partners often become "best friends too", which makes the relationship seem perfect. Another scenario, though, is people sometimes get together out of a mutual interest or even convenience and become best friends as well. This means that an awful lot of couples who marry believe they are marrying their best friend. In a way these couples are right about turning their relationship into marriage. It is true that people who are not "best friends too" can have more tumultuous relationships even before marriage. The calm and niceness of marrying this best friend can seem so much more right. Sometimes, though, when a relationship begins with infatuation (which is fleeting) turns into one of best friends what is missing from that relationship doesn't even show up because what is missing is the kind of solid, permanent, love that is harder to come by but that will always survive. There may be something in it for people to believe that there is a type of love that isn't infatuation and that isn't being the closest of 6

best friends because its easier to find new relationships with people to whom we are attracted and with whom we will become best friends than it is to live for, maybe, years without meeting that person with whom we have "magic". Some people don't even believe this kind of love exists. Others don't want to take a chance and find they've lived alone for too long because they held out in their hopes to find "magic". This "magic" standard is a tough one, and many women would age right out of their childbearing years if this is the standard they held; so finding the romance in a relationship with a best friend or finding the best friend with whom we can have a little romance can be ways that the majority of people can have a relationship without holding out for one that may have more solid permanence but that may be so rare it won't be found.

Research Question
In my research I will look into whether divorce is now more of a option taken by the couples due to urbanization and modernization or the lack of commitment and sense of responsibility that leads to divorce. On the research I will look into finding the answers of the following questions: 1. Do couples take the responsibilities of marriage seriously? 2. Is urbanization creating rift and communication gap among partners? 7

3. Is it justified to give greater priority to individual needs rather than compromising for the need of the partner in a marriage? 4. Are pre-conceived values and ideas leading to jealousy and unfair treatment amongst couples? 5. Are the greater education rate among women and their greater freedom threatening marriages?

Hypothesis
My hypothesis for this research is that couples that pledge for divorce these days do so for reasons that can be solved through discussion and compromise, and that the reasons behind divorces are usually trivial. I also tried to establish that urbanization and modernization are playing a very important role behind soaring divorce rates through introducing widespread adultery, stress, and related problems which is causing the splitting-up of couples. For example: People moving out of joint families, resulting in the loosening of family bonds.

Methodology
The methodology for my research will be divided into 2 parts. First, my primary research, which will include survey conducted among young married men / women and youngsters and secondly survey conducted among young unmarried people. My questionnaire will be designed to get answer from different angles to help me find answers to my research questions. And my secondary research will include journals, magazines, books and online information from various sources.

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Data presentation and Analysis
The total sample size for the conducted survey was 31, where 15 people were married and 16 unmarried, who filled separate sections of the questionnaire. All the people were aged 18-45 years, that is, the period during which people are married or think about marriage. The survey paper (attached in the appendix) used to reach conclusions and obtain a cleared view to the problem, comprised of three main sections. The first section comprises of 3 questions 9

that inquire the target about their basic personal information such as their Name (optional), Sex, and Age (with provided ranges). It was important to know the sex and age to gather information on what the different participants think, and to compare how the thoughts and views change with their age. The second section of the survey was targeted at people who are married. This was to unveil their secrets behind a successful or bad marriage and to study from their personal experiences. For easy understanding, the questions are broken down below with their supporting analysis, followed by their graphical descriptions.

Questions asked to married people: 1: For how long have you been married? : ________ Purpose: The purpose behind asking this question was to see how as time passes couples become more matured at handling their problems

2: Rank the qualities of your spouse that matter the most to you (where 1=most preferred) : i) Honesty ___ ii) Social status___ iii) Loyalty ___

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iv) Educational Qualification ___ v) Family Background ___

Purpose: The motive behind asking this question was to see what qualities are more valued among couples, and which ones are losing their importance. Result: It has been seen that most of the people give trust the highest priority, and 75% of the participants gave loyal the second highest priority. Third came family background, educational qualification and social status chosen as fourth and fifth choice respectively.

3: You Currently live in: A Nuclear Family A Joint Family Others : ____________

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Purpose: This question was asked to see if today’s couples like to live with their elders or not. Result: 73% of the married couples live in nuclear families and the rest 27% live in joint family. 4: Your marriage was: Love Marriage Arrange Marriage Contractual

Purpose: This question asked to find any of the couples in a love marriage now regret choosing their own partner. Result: Only 47% of the people surveyed had a love marriage and arrange marriage being chosen by 53% people, which goes on to show the known fact in Bangladesh, were arrange marriage occurs more. 5: How often do you fight with your spouse: _____________________ Purpose: To see the regularity of problems occurring in their married lives. Result: This was an open ended question, however most of the people answered ‘often’ or ‘once a week’. Only one participant answered ‘hardly’. 12

6: Did you ever consider ending your marriage in divorce? Yes No

Purpose: This was a direct question asked to see the vulnerability of peoples mind to the option of divorce. Result: 33% of the people asked, answered ‘yes’ while 67% said ‘no’. 7: Under what circumstance would you divorce your spouse? ( you may cross multiple):  Abuse  Adultery  Drinking/Smoking habits  Communication gap  Lack of compatibility  Career as 1st priority (for you  , for your spouse  )  Giving less time to household  Difference of views on children Other: _____________________________________ 13

Purpose: This was a very vital question asked to find out the ultimate reasons behind divorce these days. Result: 100% of those questioned, said they would divorce their spouse if they practiced adultery, 40% due to lack of compatibility, around 46% due to abuse, 20% for drinking and smoking habits, around 7% if their partner gave greater priority to career, 0% for communication gap, difference of views on children and giving less time to household. 8: When/if you face problems in your marriage do/would you solve it through compromise or argument? _________________________ (mention what) Result: Most of the people answered ‘Argument’ or both ‘Argument and Compromise’. During the interview with a young married man, when asked this question he answered that his problems begins with argument and ends in compromise. Arguments are good in a way since each person gets to give their personal opinion, but those arguments which do not yield solutions end in further arguments and problems. Questions asked to unmarried people: 1. At what age do you plan on getting married? : ________

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Result: This questions were asked to see if there were any portion of the young generation who wants to get married at a late age. But he answer found were quite normal. 2. You prefer:  A Love Marriage  An Arranged Marriage

Result: 81% of the people said that they would prefer a love marriage. This shows that people do not care much about the decision of elders anymore. 3. (Answer if you chose love marriage) Are you dating someone? (Optional):  Yes  No

Result: Though most of the sample population said that they would prefer love marriage, yet 69% were not dating anyone. 4. Do you believe that marriages are ‘made in heaven’? :  Yes  No

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Purpose: This question was asked to see if people still believe in traditional views of marriage that have previously acted as a formula to successful marriages. Result: 75% of the people chose ‘No’ .Among them all the men said ‘No’. This shows peoples declining belief in traditional and religious values. This leads to increased concerns and tension in the mind of young people and thus affects their faith in the relationship. 5. Do you think that marriage affects your career? :  Yes definitely  Yes, but not so much  No not at all

Purpose: This question was asked with the female sample in mind, expecting that only female would answer yes to this question. 16

Result: To my surprise, almost majority answered Yes irrespective of their gender. 6. Please rank the following according to their importance in your future married life (where 1=most important) i) Trust ___ ii) Compatibility ___ iii) Bonding ___ iv) Financial security ___ v) Social status ___

Result: This question was asked to find the qualities that are demanded by the young generation today in their future life partners. 81% of the participants said trust was their highest priority, while only 6% said that compatibility was their first priority. In contrast when the married individuals were asked that under what circumstance they would divorce their spouse, 40% of them said due to ‘lack of compatibility’ .For 75% of the people, ‘financial security’ came within their first three wants.

7. As more and more couples are getting divorce, does it affect your decision of marriage?  Yes  No 17

Result: The result for this question was quiet normal, 88% people said that more couple getting divorce doesn’t have an effect on their marriage decision. 8. If you answered yes, please mention how: ____________________________ ____________________________________________________ Purpose: To know the answer to 12% people who said why it effects their decision 9. Would you like to live in a joint family after marriage? (Please specify the reasons)  Yes, because____________________________________________________  No, because ____________________________________________________

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Result: There was equal number of people who said they who like to live in joint family as well as nuclear family. 10. Do you think the Western culture is having a negative impact on people’s perspective of marriage in this part of the world?  Yes  No

Result: 75% people said that they do think that western culture is having a negative impact on people’s perception.

11. Do you consider divorce as a good solution of the problems faced in a marriage?  i) Yes divorce is the ultimate solution  ii) Maybe not all, but it is justified in most cases  iii) No, divorce should be taken only in extreme situations  iv) Divorce is not a good solution

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Result: The result from this question was quite satisfactory and opinions were quite natural. 12. If you chose option (iii) or (iv) in question 11, please suggest what you think is the best solution: ______________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Purpose: This question was given to see what people think is the best solution.

Summary of Research Findings
People value loyalty and trust greatly and they are the two main pillars of a marriage. Therefore if a partner fails to satisfy any one of these qualities, it is likely to create problems in the couples married life, people become more suspicious about their spouse and this may ultimately lead to divorce. The research also shows that people do not live with their elders anymore. This means that when the couples have an 20

argument or misunderstanding, there is no third party to make them realize where they have gone wrong. This results in the couples blaming each other rather than accepting their own mistakes. The obtained result for married people, which asks “how often they argue”, shows that most couples face problems and disagree on matters very often. This is how problems develop between them, and later lead to greater problems. And also there was very alarming and surprising amount of people who said that considered ending their their marriage. In today’s urbanized society, adultery is a very common practice, as people visit more places and come across more people, their loyalty towards their partner is threatened. For couples to be happy together, it is very important that they are compatible, a lack of compatibility is a major cause behind divorce, because this creates rift between them. Physical abuse is not a common practice in urban couples, however it is a major cause of divorce in rural areas where men abuse their wives, but in urban areas, abuse is present in the form of mental abuse, where one tortures his/her partner mentally, for example: by blaming them all the time and so on. Drinking and smoking are widespread problems nowadays due to increased levels of stress; this is one reason that stimulates divorce.

Recommendations
In my research I have come across multiple suggestions that may help the couples to solve their problems. These are being listed below: • • Talking over or getting professional help to overcome the problems should be given preference. Greater awareness about the seriousness of the decision. 21

• • • • •

External help: marriage counseling, psychiatrists etc. To keep trying. They should communicate more. Making adjustments and required changes. Compromising is sometimes the only solution

Conclusion
This research was carried out to establish the reasons behind the soaring divorce rates among young couples these days. As mentioned in the hypothesis, it has been found in my research that divorce rates today are increasing due to problems brought about my urbanization. The divorce rate is particularly high among the young couples – ‘Being young at time of marriage is one of the primary predictors of divorce.’ 22

(Stewart & Brentano, 2007, p. 36). The top ten risk factors of divorce include marrying without being sure, earning less and having divorced parents. However, alongside the reasons, this research also focused on finding solutions to the problems young couples are facing. Divorce is a problem with a solution, and not all problems should end in divorce. Couples should cooperate to solve problems and there is no such formula for a happy marriage, and neither is there any particular reason behind a bad marriage.

Works Cited
1. Stewart, A.C. & Brentano, C. (2007). Divorce: Causes and consequences. London: Yale University Press

2. Divorce at a young age: The Troubled. (1987). Retrieved August 8, 2009, from 23

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/12/style/divorce-at-a-young-age-the-troubled-20-s.html

3. The Divorce Magazine. (2008) Retrieved July 13, 2008, from http://www.divorcemag.com

4. Web romance ‘fuels divorce rise’. Retrieved July 18, 2008, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ik_news/3616136.stm

5. America’s divorce rate is too LOW. Retrieved October 24, 2007, from http://derekclontz.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/americas-divorce-is-too-low-says-expert/

6. Divorce rate falls to 26-year low as couples delay getting married. Retrieved August 30, 2008, from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ol/news/uk/article4634170.ece

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