A ‘match-making event’ for the elderly was organised in Bengaluru
Human rights activist Uday Kumar highlighted how the elderly parents were being isolated by their children
The Foundation aims to provide a platform for the elder citizens to choose their partner and be able to live together
BENGALURU: Staying young at heart might seem difficult in practice but huge groups of senior citizens in Bengaluru have defied the practicality of the saying by attending an elderly matrimonial meet on Sunday, June 20.
The event, organised by Anubhandana Foundation of Ahmedabad, might be a first of its kind but it has surely received a great response in the city.
“About 250 senior citizens above 50-60 years, including 150 men and 100 women came to the match-making event here. We are moved by the response, as senior citizens, including single, widowed or divorced came in search of a companion,” said Bharatbhai Patel, Anubhandana Foundation member.
The event saw senior citizens stressing the importance of having company in old age and how it is seen as a taboo in the present-day context. Human rights activist Uday Kumar highlighted how “more and more elderly people were being left to fend for themselves or neglected by their kin” and that, irrespective of the status of their ageing parents, the children are often reluctant of taking care of them in old age.
“Nuclear families, career pursuits and changing lifestyle have been disrupting the life of senior citizens as their sons and daughters leave them behind after education on getting jobs or on getting married and then they live separately in the same city or other cities in India or abroad,” said Patel.
Majority of those who attended the event have been found to be in a financially decent position, belonging to middle class and upper middle class families but the lack of family time and loneliness has forced them to rethink of marriage. For most of the attendees, it is the need of companionship and someone to have around that has made them defy social and caste barriers to marry at this age.
Although the venue was Bengaluru, participants from other areas of Karnataka had made it to the list. In comparison to a 300 when it was last held in January 2014, the response this time was overwhelming with people from Hubbali, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Raichur attending it. The oldest man to attend is aged 78 years and the oldest woman is 55 years of age.
“We are doing our best to ensure single citizens get a compatible person to live with them in the evening of their life and help each other in old age. More than money, its’ care and love that matters the most in old age for such citizens, who live on their own or away from their kin,” said Patel.
About 10 out of all the attendees got engaged at the event while a dozen agreed on meeting again to discuss dates of the wedding. Many others got their details registered to find their suitable partners in various other cities.
The Foundation is known for organising ‘match-making events’ for the elderly in many cities across the country so that the older generation isn’t deprived of company in their last stage of life.
Foundation secretary Gouri Shankar said the not-for-profit organisation aims “to provide a platform for senior citizens to meet, interact and decide whom to choose as a partner and how soon they would like to live together.”
When you did get married, the heart was in awe of joy, and dreams were full of vivid pictures about the future together and love until old age. A wedding is always beautiful, it is a gentle and touching tale. But nothing lasts forever. Each fairy tale has its end, and life after the wedding turns into a routine.
When we are in love, our subconscious plays a cruel joke, noticing only the best in a partner, sometimes even embellishing these qualities, while all the negative things just pass by, and we even do not focus our attention on this. But love passes quickly enough and finally, we begin to think soberly. Now, the man before the eyes is no longer a prince charming, but a person full of flaws, with whom there are no more common interests and points of intersection. And good if you can just break up and go your own way. But things are much more serious if you are already married and have common underage children.
Great dad, bad husband
Your husband is a wonderful father, he takes care of the child, spends a lot of time with him or her, helps to do homework, takes a kid to baseball or football, goes on campaigns together, teaches something new and supports the interests of your beloved baby. But with you he is cold enough, love, mutual understanding, and warmth in the relationship have gone, moreover, he even can be rude, harsh, selfish, nasty, lazy and so on. Do you need to save your family and endure an unpleasant person just for the sake of the child? Perhaps this is not an easy question. And everyone decides for herself what is good. However, before answering this question, you need to thoroughly understand what is best for the child.
When a baby is born he is absolutely pure. He or she has no knowledge, fears, principles, problems. He still does not know anything about this world. In fact, his world consists of only 2 people: mom and dad. Parents are a kind of child’s guide to the outside world. The task of the parents is not only to teach the child to read and write or to give him/her education and medical care. The most important thing that parents should do for their offspring is to grow up a full-fledged person who can rationally think and be happy. But can parents teach a child to be happy if they are unhappy? Very often the couple continues to live together for the sake of the child, poisoning each other’s life, thinking that the child does not suspect anything. Even without imagining what harm they cause to the psyche of their kid.
Psychologists say that the emotional atmosphere in the family greatly affects the development of the baby. Children in whose families the harmonies reign, develop faster and even get sick less in comparison with those children whose families have a tense situation. Even if the spouses do not conflict openly, the child still feels and understands that something is wrong with mom and dad. But the baby is not able to realize the adult world yet and his body enters the state of stress, trying to defend himself from the situation that he does not fully understand. Quite often, children whose parents are dissatisfied with each other for a long time, have neurosis. Also, most children feel guilty, thinking that because of him or her, parents can not divorce and adjust their lives. Children grow up in adults and leave their parents’ home, but the feeling of guilt remains with them until the end of their lives.
Marriages that hold on only on the child have disastrous consequences for the child’s future. It turns out that parents together are only while raising a child. But what should they do when the child grows up and leaves? Will they divorce? For people who have lived together for decades are quite difficult to dissolve a marriage. First, they are accustomed to each other. Secondly, the issue of separation of property and financial support will become quite acute. Therefore, most spouses stay together and fearing all the severity of divorce, the parents begin to intimidate the child with various difficulties that lie ahead, trying to delay the moment when he or she goes into adulthood. At the same time, most parents do it on a subconscious level, being afraid to be alone with their unloved spouse. As a result, children in such families grow up quite infantile or unable to create their own families. A girl who has seen her mother suffer in a marriage will look for exactly the same husband with whom she will be unhappy. This happens because the child in her entire life simply did not see another picture and does not know how to build a healthy relationship, and at a subconscious level believes that an unhappy marriage is a norm.
Is there a way out?
Of course, there is always a way out! Try to use family therapy. Family psychologists have entire programs that are aimed at restoring the family and returning the old relationship, work with your spouse together on it. If at the beginning your relationships were beautiful, full of passion and love, remember what for you loved your partner, why you agreed to marry him. Ask your partner for what he loved you, what desires and feelings he had when he offered to get married. Do not hesitate your feelings. Talk to each other, share your thoughts, fears, experiences, and desires in relation to each other. Firstly become best friends, people you can rely on. Start dating again and going to the movies. Return to the position where you were in love with each other and were passionate. Try to change the situation and go on a trip only together (children can stay with grandmom and dad) or move to a new home!
But if you have already tried everything and could not return the relationship, you can get a divorce before it is too late. There is an opinion that divorce is a hell that pulls out all the nerves and savings from the spouses. But this is true only on a half. Of course, if your divorce is contested, where there is a lot of disagreement between you and your spouse, which only the judge can resolve, then get ready for lengthy court sessions and expensive lawyers. However, in every state, it’s possible to get an uncontested divorce. The essence of which is that the spouses agree on all the provisions of their divorce and both want to dissolve the marriage. The uncontested divorce ends relatively quickly, besides there are many online platforms that can prepare all the necessary documents for you, and you will not even need to hire a lawyer. If you have any differences with your spouse, you can contact the mediators to resolve your conflict. Mediators are social workers whose task is to help to divorce spouses reach a compromise without forcing anyone to make unpleasant decisions.
Divorce with you, but not with the child
You must understand that divorce is a process between spouses. If you break up with your husband, it does not mean that the spouse leaves your child. He can still spend time with the child and participate in his or her life. Divorce does not deprive your husband of parental rights! You can discuss and draw up a Parenting Plan and share the time that each of you wants to spend with the child, including celebrating of holidays. For some time in a year, a baby can live in your husband’s house or travel with him. Divide time so that the child does not feel abandoned by one of the parents and that he or she has long and enduring contact with you two. At the same time, it is very important for the mother to form a positive image of the father, as a strong and caring man, so that the child understands that he is loved and cared for in all circumstances.
Everyone deserves to be happy. And no need to cover up the problems of your marriage by a child. If your relationship is broken together, perhaps a divorce would be the right decision, even though it might hurt. However, it is better to survive this pain now than to destroy the future of your child. Just imagine that after a divorce, you can meet a man who will not only truly love you, but also your child. After all, another person on earth will love your baby, isn’t it wonderful? The happiness of the child always comes first for the parents. And a child will be happy when his parents are happy and when he lives in a comfortable, emotional atmosphere. Therefore, it is better to remain friends with your husband, get a divorce and build a new life, than to make all family members hostage to circumstances.