“People took for granted that spouses who no longer loved another and who found life together distasteful should at least live together in public amity for the sake of their children and of their standing in the community.”

–William J Goode, 1971

From 1960 onwards, the focus of researchers and critical thinkers has shifted towards a rising social issue- the falling apart of marriages. Where family was once seen as an important binding unit in the society that provided security and stability to its individuals, statistics point out the increasing rate of divorce in recent decades. Cohabitation, single-motherhood and remarriages have seen a dramatic escalation in UK during the 1990s. According to government statistics, 15% of all marriages in UK were remarriages in 1961 and the number rose to 40% by 2005. USA has also witnessed a similar upsurge in the divorce rate figures. According to American Psychological Association, 40-50% of marriages in Unites States end in divorce. In 19th century America, spouses would live together even if they were no longer in a relationship just so that they could maintain their image and provide for their children. However, people at present either delay getting married or tend to live separately due to lack of patience and compromise both on the part of the husband and wife.

The situation in Pakistan is no less shocking with divorce rate rising to 200% in the last couple of years as reported by the Council of Islamic Ideology. Whether it is the demand for a higher standard of marriage as set out by the advertising companies and films, or the voice of feminism that has given women the right to divorce, marriages are no longer viewed positively.

It is time that people realised that the basic values of empathy and patience are what keeps a relationship alive, not money or materialistic expectations. Men must learn to respect their wives and reach mutual conclusions on matters instead of being the dominant one. Above all, children suffer the most due to parental conflicts and break ups.