Marriage as an institution was founded with the intention of providing support and security to all its members male, female, young and old. Part of this security stems from the comfort of companionship that it provides – or should I say is intended to provide.
This purpose has been well served through the ages in the majority of cases. However times are a-changing and so are the realities of life.
Earlier either or both husband and wife (in case of working women) would be back from work by 6 pm and thereafter it was time for family. Be it going out for a walk or shopping for vegetables, they would be together. Weekends would be spent with spouse and children, going out shopping, socializing, going to a film or on a picnic.
Compare this with the situation today. The arrival of IT on the scene has cut into family time and also requires being available on-line at unearthly hours. No prizes for guessing the effect that this has on marriages. People simply have no or very little time for each other.
Real relationships and friendships have been replaced by virtual ones. The hours spent on chatting on line with virtual friends are at the cost of the real spouse. And if this chatting involves a member of the opposite sex, there is a very real danger that problems may snow-ball into a life threatening situation.
In case an on-line relationship develops, one can safely expect it to end in one of the following three scenarios:
- Wife is upset with husband because she is suspicious of the on-line relationship. This may be justified or maybe the relationship is just a platonic friendship but the wife may not have the maturity to understand the concept of platonic relationship.
- Wife knows that the relationship is purely one of friendship, but resents it all the same, because husband spends all his time on line, taking her presence for granted and not paying any heed to her needs.
- The happiest outcome possible is that wife knows that the relationship is platonic and does not bother husband. She decides to adopt a policy of “If you cannot beat him, join him” and either goes on line herself or takes refuge in other activities to keep herself occupied.
Consider the same situation if the wife is involved in such a relationship. The scenario would be drastically different. At worst, it might end up in a jealous husband indulging in physical violence. There would be hardly any men who would accept even a platonic on-line relationship of their wives without protest.
So either way, in the worst scenario, one could end up in divorce or alternatively they could continue to live together but in an estranged atmosphere! However, my suspicion is that as in most matters, the majority would follow the in-between pattern – crib and bicker constantly, but not let go of each other.
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