A report released in June this year claimed that as many as 37 divorce petitions were being filed a day in the capital city during a few months preceding its publication and 70 per cent of those were done by women. The number of divorce suits marked a rise by two over the same period the previous year. There is no reason to think that the tenuous conjugal relations are a product of the prolonged home confinement enforced by coronavirus. The rising trend of bringing an end to the sour relations officially has been noticeable over the past nine years.
Why nine years? Maybe, the incidence was negligible or the issue was not brought into focus because of a lack of systematic maintenance of documents. Whatever may be the case, now the incidence of law suits filed by either sex of the couple against the other is definitely high. Since about two-thirds of the complainants are women, one does not have to be a social scientist to know the majority of whom are at the receiving end.
But it does not make the bleak picture complete. Women who file divorce petitions are mostly educated and independent. But their little educated, unlettered and poor sisters belonging to lower strata of society, particularly those living in the city's sprawling slums, fall victim to broken marriage too often and those go undocumented. Thus the incidence of broken marriage is likely to be much higher. There are vicious male characters who are incorrigibly polygamous and they marry one after another, taking the advantage of their anonymities in a milieu of unknown thick crowd in which they don't have to be accountable for their irresponsible and temporary partnership with a woman.
Sure enough, in general women are comparably worse sufferers irrespective of their social standing. This may, however, give a mistaken impression that women are the only sufferers of domestic feuds. No, men too, albeit their number is fewer, bleed within. Where the wavelengths between husband and wife vary widely, living together becomes nightmarish particularly for the man if he is sensitive, suave, sincere, honest and ethically uncompromising and the wife hardcore materialistic. In a consumer society, this rare male species is in danger. An educated and enlightened person always careful not to unnecessarily hurt other's feeling speaks softly and retires in his own world where he is lonely and, maybe, has books and other reading materials his constant companion. One's erudition provides him no shield against the belligerent attacks from the manager of the home ministry. He is always a soft target of ruthless tongue lashing because the other side knows very well that the opponent is not capable of physical violence.
In such cases, divorce definitely is a desirable solution but the man wants to maintain the status quo only for the sake of the children. Social stigma also acts as a deterrent to the ultimate step for dissolution of the marriage. The pain of bearing with the vilest of abuses of relationship is intense and yet he cannot cross the self-imposed limit. His heart bleeds continuously to leave him a lifeless creature and thus he counts his days for the final journey from this mundane world. A good and rich life wasted on mindlessness and sacrificed at the altar of ruthless mental torture!
In a relationship such as this, unreasonableness and at times capriciousness triumph and women who become accustomed to practising the psychological repression derive vicarious pleasure from inflicting laceration of the victim's innermost soul. Such domestic reverse torture is less known because the victims do not want to disclose it.
There is an association called Bangladesh Men's Rights Foundation (BMRF) that has been trying to bring the issue of abuse of men's rights in households to the notice of all. But it is such a delicate matter that few believe men can as well be victims of domestic harassment. Thus some men also suffer silently at the hands of their domineering wives.