It is amazing that trends in one country and culture tend to catch on with other countries and culture. The phenomenon of one-partner-for-one-life practice probably came to human race years after evolution. Our ancestors probably found that it is the most practical thing to do and had several advantages. To protect it they enshrined it in laws and scriptures. Then in the last two or three decades, this institution began to be questioned in the western world. Soon it spread to the other parts of the world and somehow, in our part as well.

People are now questioning the one-partner-for-one-life ‘trend’. Nowadays, almost all over the world, the institution of one mate is crumbling.

The question is, since this seems to be a worldly trend, is it still realistic to have an idea of having one partner throughout one’s life? I feel that rather than discussing only the religious and moral aspects, it would be more sensible to discuss the practicality of the issue. We can discuss the pros and cons but then end up stating that it is individualism.

Contrary to what we may wish to believe, divorce has been around since ancient times. It is just that since the origin of ‘women liberty’ concept, it has become more common. The act of living together without marriage has become more and more acceptable in the recent years. With this idea, comes the ease of living together and separating without any prolonged court battles. Whereas, it used to be so difficult to get a divorce, with a new morality, all that a union member has to do is pack up and leave – without even having to give a good reason. The bonds of family life have been loosened with the decline of religion and the other social factors, which had some sort of authority over people.

Gone are the days, when people used to be afraid of the consequences of one’s sins on another soul. With religion losing its grip and on people being ruled more by ‘common sense’ the glue that kept couples together is no longer potent.

With a prevailing social situation making the act of 'make and break' a family seems so easy. It is hardly practical to expect a bond between couples to be strong.

More than the ease of separation, there is a question of what people desire. When we observe what is happening in the way of lifetime commitment between couples, we wonder if the desire for commitment had ever been there. Perhaps, the desire to change partners had always been there on human's mind but had been placed under check by societies tenets and fears of pain in an afterlife. Whatever it has been, we see that and large – except in more traditional societies (like ours)– this desire to be with one partner all one’s life is gradually changing. 

Even in traditional societies, we can expect the changes to come into practice in not so distant future. When couples actually wish not to be with permanent partners but conduct ‘trials’ till one finds – often late in life – a permanent partner, if ever, what other force can keep up the ones-popular trend of staying with the same partner for life?

It is evident that humans will do something only if they find it to their advantage. Apparently, having one partner throughout doesn’t seem to be an advantage anymore, so we can expect this to change. Just like polygamy and polyandry were practiced in ancient societies – because it was advantageous to – and given up for one-man-one-wife rule when this was found to be the better option, we can expect one-man-one-woman-for-life to change – when the change becomes the advantage.

It appears, though religious and cultural leaders are still fighting hard to ensure that couples stay together for life – if possible after a formal marriage ritual – observations show that they are fighting an already lost battle. First, they could not ensure that all couples marry; now it seems that they cannot even ensure that they would stay together for life.

Human will always do what they will. Whether we agree or not, it appears that, the idea of having one partner for life is no more a realistic one.               

But, having said all that, it is a result of the evolution of man’s consciousness and something within him has evolved to make him accept one-mate-for-one-life as an ‘ideal’ situation.

Because, marriage is an institution where responsibility is the main factor. When entering into it, couples agree to give up on so many aspects of their lives – including a great deal of ‘freedom’ – to set up families.  The usual result is the bringing forth of sons and daughters.

Once they have a child, it becomes imperative that the partners remain married. A third party – who did not ask to be born – is now in the picture.

The couple who bring children into the world must realise that they do so because they want to. Time and again, it has been proven that children of divorced couples undergo traumas leaving them 'damaged' for life.

It seems insensible that children, who had no choice but to be born, are brought into the world and then made to go through pain of their parents separation. Again, the children have no say in the matter. Since so much hurt to the innocent parties is involved, couples are duty bound to stay in their marriages.

Putting aside all idealistic and religious or even moral considerations, it is still a good arrangement to stay married to one partner for life. Couples should, grow old together and take care of each other. The understanding of each other that long married couples have would develop into a firm friendship which, ideally, would be lifelong.

It is strange that after so many centuries of evolution and having found that marriage and staying with a single partner for life is the best arrangement, there are now more divorce cases worldwide. What is the root cause behind this trend is not very clear. But what in fact is clear however, is that the world is so much the worse for it. It seems to be step in ‘devolution’.

Divorce seems to be so easily obtained nowadays and at least in some cases, the ‘reasons’ are more like ‘excuses’. Surely, one can overcome it like they overcome so many things together. It takes two to make or break a contract (marriage) and if both partners value it and work to preserve it, it will last for life – as it should be.