Techies fail to program marriage well

CHENNAI: Computer-savvy youngsters want everything at the click of a mouse. Is that why a large number of people seeking a quick divorce are software engineers?

The Chennai police have reasons to think so since almost half the people who approach their special cell for marital counselling are software professionals. What’s more, most of them end up divorcing. The cell received 108 petitioners in 2012, of whom 52 were computer engineers. In most cases, the husband and the wife were in the same profession. “It’s very tough to deal with them,” said a police officer attached to the cell. “Their relationship is often so bitter that there is no scope for reconciliation.”

Though there has been a dip in the number of divorce cases filed in the city in the past 10 years, the number of cases filed by software engineers has gone up, say lawyers. In 2010, as many as 3,803 divorce cases were filed in the four family courts in the city. This went down to 3,742 divorce cases in 2011.

“The number of software engineers seeking divorce is on the rise,” says high court lawyer Sheela Bandari. “I find ego is the main reason. With spouses earning equally well, neither is willing to compromise.” Policemen at the special cell attached to the commissioner’s office concur. “While we have been able to pacify 20 couples from other professions to lead a life together, only two of the 54 software engineers were willing to patch up,” says a police officer.

Psychologist Dr B Kalpana, assistant professor at School of Public Health, SRM University, says at least 65% of her clients are software engineers. She adds work stress and long working hours to the list of contributory factors. Bhandari finds some of the reasons too petty for a divorce. “A woman software engineer approached seeking divorce. Her complaint was that her man used to take her out thrice a week before marriage, now he hardly does that.” says Bhandari.

Psychologists and lawyers agree that parents, too, play a vital role in divorces. While some parents counsel their children to iron out differences, some throw their weight behind the children, worsening the divide. Bhandari describes an unusual tale of an elderly couple who stood by their daughter-in-law when their son, a software engineer with the World Bank, sought a divorce after meeting another woman. “That is an exception,” she says.

Dr Kalpana has a suggestion to reduce the number of divorces: “Put the bride and the groom through a course to learn the value of marriage and its importance.”

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