Marriage Affected by ‘Use & Throw’ Culture, Evident from Rise in Live-in Relations, Divorces: Kerala HC

Matrimonial relationships in Kerala seem influenced by a consumer culture of “use and throw” which is evident from the rise in live-in relationships and divorce on flimsy or selfish grounds, the state high court has observed.

The HC also said that the younger generation apparently views marriage as an “evil” to be avoided in order to enjoy a “free life” without any liabilities or obligations.

“They would expand the word ‘WIFE’ as ‘Worry Invited For Ever’ substituting the old concept of ‘Wise Investment For Ever.’ The consumer culture of ‘use and throw’ seems to have influenced our matrimonial relationships also,” said the court.

“Live-in-relationships are on the rise, just to say goodbye when they fall apart,” a bench of Justices A Muhamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas said while dismissing a divorce plea of a man who abandoned his wife and three daughters after nine years of marriage subsequent to an alleged affair with another woman.

The HC said that Kerala, known as God’s Own Country, was once famous for its well-knit family bonds.

“But the present trend, it seems, is to break the nuptial tie on flimsy or selfish reasons, or for extra-marital relationships, even unmindful of their children. The wails and screams coming out of disturbed and destroyed families are liable to shake the conscience of the society as a whole,” said the court.

The husband had filed for divorce before the family court of Alappuzha for dissolving his marriage on the ground of matrimonial cruelties.

The family court found that the appellant failed to prove the allegations of cruelty and the petition was dismissed. The husband then approached the HC .

The mother and close relatives of the appellant said that in 2017, he developed some illicit intimacy with a woman, and he wanted to avoid his wife, children, and even his own mother.

“When warring couples, deserted children and desperate divorcees occupy the majority of our population, no doubt it will adversely affect the tranquility of our social life, and our society will have a stunted growth,” the HC said.

The bench pointed out that marriages, from time immemorial, were considered as “solemn”, a sanctity was attached to it and it was “the very foundation of strong society”.

“Marriage is not a mere ritual or an empty ceremony for licensing the sexual urge of the parties,” it added.

Denying the husband’s plea for divorce, the HC said that “courts cannot come to the aid of an erring person to legalise his activities, which are per se illegal”.

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