Sunday, July 24, 2011

Divorce among Senior Citizen couples are increasing - A discussion

There was a news item highlighting the increase in divorces among senior citizen couples.
Following is a lively discussion by a few members of sss-global.
Vyasamoorthy said:

I fail to understand why couples go to police for divorce. If it is physical abuse then it is a different matter. If it is to build up a case of violence against the partner by registering a police case, I can understand. Counseling? Advice? Are they the best ? appropriate?

Second point - raised by VRV Rao: In the case of older couple, divorce cases may be on the increase because of another reason: Till they reach old age, other responsibilities and compulsions may keep them together, though they do not like it. Forced. When major responsibilities are over or when they think enough has been done to children, that they can / should take care of themselves, couples may feel free of encumbrances; seeking separation / divorce and living as the like with enough personal freedom may a choice to explore.

There is nothing western about it. Women were suppressed all along and were not allowed to seek divorce due to societal stigma. With economic freedom stepping in other type of freedom is bound to appear.
NK Gopal added:

I may add that older men going for younger females is not uncommon even in traditional societies.
1 Body may be old, but mind remains young,
2 Economic independence plays an important role
3 Pressures from close relatives of the partner
4 Property matters
5 Access to lawyers
Well, there could be many many other issues including legalizing old relationships.
Sri Siroya offered to counsel free

Sri Mohan Siroya while accepting divorce as the last resort in cases of utter incompatibility, gave the following advice and offer of counseling to couples who may need it. His message in to to is reproduced below:

Dear Friends:

Divorces of Senior Citizen Couples, because of violence , abuse or in some very unpalatable circumstances can be understood. But the reasoning that because, they have got economic independence or are free from the compulsions of parental duties and responsibilities and wish to lead their own lives; can not be a compelling reason for Senior divorces especailly when they are alone ,meaning their siblings are not living with them or even nearby to take care whenever required.

On the other hand, whether U R economically well off or not, there is more reason for such senior couples to take care of each other's physical, emotional , sentimental needs and maintain a compatible and compassionate companionship in a spirit of "Care to Share" . Are we not aware about the mental , emotional or physical traumas and Insecurity"loneliness" can cause to the seniors, if they are left alone ? At the end of the day, the need is to "Find a "Shoulder" to cry upon. If the life partner, even if has been incompatible so far, can develope the compassion for offering a "shoulder" to each other then why go for separation?

"Counselling" " Motivation" and even "Psychiatric treatment" if needed, are the alternatives if the couples are feeling estranged. About the agony of a septuagenarian ( even if healthy)"living alone and uncared" can not be understood unless one himself or herself is in that position. So friends, "Think, before you leap"

Yes, there are people or cases which are "Incorrigible" . Instead of constantly fighting day-in and day- out and making the life existence itself as "Hell", it is better that they get separated or divorced. But that should be a Last resort, after all "Counselling and re-conciliation efforts" have become in-vain. But then if the couple is "Young" or are capable of "Finding Alternatives' , then sure MUST go DIVORCE. Even seniors can also, provided they have found a "Compatible Companion' as an alternative. If not, I would appeal seniors not to resort to this extreme step of Divorce and spoil your 'GRACEFUL AGING'.

MYSELF, HAVING STUDIED AND PRACTICED THE "SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY" and worked as a successful "Human Relations Developer " in many MNCs for 30 years; I have now decided to give a bit of my self to the society on this subject. I am ready to offer my "Free Services" for any 'advice' or "Counselling" to Elders for Abuse, personal problems or insecurities . Two days in a week, I will keep aside two hours for this purpose either at my residence in Andheri East or any nearby premises of an NGO. Interested persons, bodies or NGOs working for elders may contact me, first by email for working out arrangement, if any. My EID is

Mohan Siroya

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