Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Men, marriage, and mortality

A friend says she loves the way I write. She complains that she checks my blog and finds that I have not been writing of late. I promise her that I shall write soon, but 'forget' that too soon.



What are the significant things that keep me busy? My job as a journalist, my reading up on the Internet, attending to the children's needs when at home and outside and also helping husband dearest keep his life organised. He may disagree of course, but it's a democracy and he is entitled to his beliefs.

Husbands like making fun of their married status, talking with other men about how wives are a boon and bane (more the latter, their expression says) and how lucky their wives are to have them as spouses. Democracy! Menfolk, you are entitled to joke about it. The same democracy also allows me to present the case of the womenfolk.


My husband and a friend's husband (my friend — a woman) were talking over a few drinks ... "My wife makes me was vessels after dinner. I am so harrassed," said the husband of my friend — a white lie! My husband — the kind soul that he is, said, "Oh no, my wife is a lot kinder. When she asks me to do the dishes every night, she also provides hot water for the rinsing. Winter, you know!" And the two men burst into laughter.


Really? My husband, who was a lot more mindful of sharing the workload while we had set up house in Mumbai, changed completely on settling down in Delhi. Till some time ago, he would wait to be handed even a glass of water. The man who loved to wake me to a breakfast on Sundays over Rangoli on TV in Mumbai, now forgets that I too am a working person, multitasking and almost killing myself.


Another friend of my husband also keeps flooding his Facebook page with jokes about wives and how they bully husbands. Recently, he put up a post about how women live longer and men live shorter lives. I promptly put up a universal truth before him: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2010/July/marriage-and-mens-health



"A major survey of 127,545 American adults found that married men are healthier than men who were never married or whose marriages ended in divorce or widowhood. Men who have marital partners also live longer than men without spouses; men who marry after age 25 get more protection than those who tie the knot at a younger age, and the longer a man stays married, the greater his survival advantage over his unmarried peers. But is marriage itself responsible for better health and longer life?

Although it's hard to be sure, marriage seems to deserve at least part of the credit. Some have argued that self-selection would skew the results if healthy men are more likely to marry than men with health problems. But research shows the reverse is true: unhealthy men actually marry earlier, are less likely to divorce, and are more likely to remarry following divorce or bereavement than healthy men....."

Apart from this, Indian men should also consider more data that research has been throwing at humanity: 
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-06-29/news/29717262_1_indian-women-stress-workplaces

"Indian women most stressed in the world: Nielsen survey

Malini Goyal, ET Bureau Jun 29, 2011, 01.07am IST
NEW DELHI: In the most buoyant, confident and optimistic part of the world, life isn't exactly happy and stress-free for half its citizens.
The latest study done by Nielsen reveals that Indian women are the most stressed in the world today. An overwhelming 87% of Indian women said they felt stressed most of the time, and 82% had no time to relax.
The survey, conducted early this year, covered 6,500 women from 21 developed and developing countries like Sweden, the US, the UK, France, the BRICS economies. It was conducted online among women (over 18 years of age) and cut across social and income class.
What's causing such a high level of stress in India? At a very broad level, Indian companies and workplaces have become so 21st century with all the challenges and opportunities it offers.
Unfortunately, Indian society hasn't kept pace with social expectations at homes changing little. "It is this contrast, this conflict that is causing the stress," says the sociologist Shiv Vishwanathan.
The missing social support and the physical infrastructure (think crèches, reliable househelp, etc) are building a lot of stress, especially for the working women."
Readers Digest says: Traditionally, most Indian men never did any housework and the women didn’t work in an office. But all that’s changed, and it’s good for the family’s health and happiness if men shared the housework - See more at: http://www.readersdigest.co.in/how-to-get-your-husband-to-help-at-home#sthash.eC4ubxy2.dpuf

The same article says: “When women are the ones shouldering the entire workload, they feel uncared for,” explains marriage counsellor Gitanjali Sharma. - See more at: http://www.readersdigest.co.in/how-to-get-your-husband-to-help-at-home#sthash.eC4ubxy2.dpuf


Recognizing each other’s efforts is a key factor in forging happy working relationships. In the final analysis, the division of labour doesn’t have to be exactly equal. What matters is that neither side feels taken advantage of or unappreciated. - See more at: http://www.readersdigest.co.in/how-to-get-your-husband-to-help-at-home?page=3#sthash.kJyS4kKx.dpuf


The wrticle wraps up with an advice we can all use: 

Recognizing each other’s efforts is a key factor in forging happy working relationships. In the final analysis, the division of labour doesn’t have to be exactly equal. What matters is that neither side feels taken advantage of or unappreciated. - See more at: http://www.readersdigest.co.in/how-to-get-your-husband-to-help-at-home?page=3#sthash.kJyS4kKx.dpuf

Think this over, folks. :)


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