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What would you do if your partner refuses to bathe or shave for a week in a stretch? This is not a question I’ve picked up from some magazine quiz which tells you how compatible you and your partner are. This is the dilemma a woman from Madhya Pradesh, which has led her to the doors of court, to seek a divorce. According to Times Now, a 23-year-old woman has filed for divorce, alleging that her husband shuns shaving and bathing for almost a week at a stretch.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A woman has filed for divorce claiming that her husband didn’t shave or bathe for a week in stretch.
  • Every person has different standards when it comes to personal hygiene, irrespective of gender.
  • Two people must learn to accommodate each other’s personalities, lifestyle and habits if they want it to work out for them.
  • But relationships do end on far minor issues than personal hygiene.

Every person has different standards when it comes to personal hygiene, irrespective of gender. So sanitation may indeed become a matter of tussle in a household.

Every person has different standards when it comes to personal hygiene, irrespective of gender. So sanitation may indeed become a matter of tussle in a household. A partner who doesn’t bathe for seven days at a stretch may not concern one woman but it may concern another. Similarly, a woman who doesn’t brush her teeth twice a day may put off one man if not another. Alas, personal hygiene doesn’t figure up as a priority when relationships are in a nascent stage. During initial days of courtship, everyone puts their best foot forward, trying to appear attractive and appealing.

It is only after one gets married, do weird habits begin to surface, like a wet towel dumped on a freshly made bed. However, not everyone would see these compatibility issues as those which can make or break a marriage. Especially in India, where marriage is singularly synonymous with the word adjustment. This adjustment is expected on part of both the partners, from all the parties involved in the equation like the bride and groom’s families, friends and even the society.

It is only after one gets married, do the weird habits begin to surface, like a wet towel dumped on a freshly made bed.

We Indians want our marriages to work at any cost. Thus we always ask husbands and wives to adjust. But even on global level, adjustment is a big part of any love relationship, especially marriage. Two people must learn to accommodate each other’s personalities, lifestyle and habits if they want it to work out for them. So must a woman simply adjust if her husband only bathes once a week? Must a man not crib about having to unclog hair from bathroom’s drain every other day?

To each his or her own. While adjustment is one of the many pillars on which the institute of marriage rests, relationships have ended on far minor issues than personal hygiene. The important thing this story highlights is how even in a country like India men and women are running out of will to adjust, just because society wants them to. The said man wouldn’t be the first to go without a bath for a week on regular basis. For centuries, men and women have been making compromises to preserve the sanctity of the institute of matrimony. But the last few decades have seen rise in the tendency to put personal priorities first.

Men and women now know that they aren’t under any obligation to put their priorities second.

So while people may have endured things like bad hygiene of a partner for a lifetime, they may not do so now, because they realise that they aren’t under any obligation to do so. They now know that they can walk away and find happiness elsewhere, as they could care less about what their family or the society has to say about it. It is little incidences like these which tell us how the vow to be together in sickness and health, till death do us part, comes with a list of buts in modern-day marriages. But if you refuse to bathe on regular basis…but if you refuse to respect my choices…but of you refuse to showcase your love for me on regular basis.

Can we hail this as a sign of deterioration of the institute of matrimony though? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps the institution will emerge stronger than ever and the focus will shift from adjustment to not compromising on what truly makes one unhappy. That wouldn’t certainly be a bad thing.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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