Welding the wedlock
Counsellors at Urban India Ministries believe in keeping a marriage alive, at a time when divorce seems the easy way out.
Marriages are meant to last. This is the guiding philosophy of Urban India Ministries. Counsellors here are on a mission to save the family an institution that requires the husband and wife to be equally committed. "With equal earning capacities, many young couples are ready to call off their marriages if things are not going their way," says P C Mathew, family and marriage counsellor at Urban Ministries.
Eight per cent of the calls they receive here, are from couples aged between 25 and 40 years. "Very often, both parties are not willing to see the problem through and it is tough to save a marriage, because resolution is possible only if both parties are willing. And more often than not, they come to us only when the issue has gone out of their bounds," confirms Mathew.
So, counsellors at the Ministries also work with individuals who are divorced, to rekindle the desire in them to build a family. "I recently counselled a young guy who was divorced. He and his wife were married for one-and-half years, and for whatever reason, his wife wanted to call off the marriage," says Baiju Mathew, also a counsellor at the Ministries. On investigating the matter, Baiju found that the girl had cultural issues __ her style of living did not match that of the guy's. "I spoke to this guy about the importance of marriage and made him understand that although he wasn't aware of it, he too needed to make adjustments. This was a divorce recovery counselling session and the guy is now willing to remarry," explains the counsellor.
The Urban India Ministries was established 12 years ago to address the issue of failing marriages among urbanites. Over the years, the Ministries has also chosen to work with the underprivileged sections of society, where marriages are fast falling apart.
Counselling trainee at the Ministries, Benny Varghese is currently talking to an addict from the underprivileged section. "His marriage was falling apart because he's alcoholic. His wife was threatening to leave him and he had no family support because they did not endorse his alcoholism. After repeatedly visiting his home and explaining to his family that drinking is like any other disease and needs to be treated, he now has support from those quarters. He is slowly getting over his addiction and his wife is happy," says Benny, about the Ministries' attempt to patch-up breaking marriages in slum areas as well.
The urban citizen's need for family counselling is very important now. "Spiritualism keeps Indians optimistic. I simply refuse to accept that things can't be worked out between a couple," signs off Mathew.
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