Hindus do not marry into a contract, and almost never with a prenuptial. That can be difficult to understand, much less appreciate, for people of other faiths. Both Christians and Muslims, and those seculars who subscribe to legalese, can divorce their life partners on practically a whim, whatever rationale they make to justify that decision of theirs.
Everyone can remain faithful while there is pleasure derived joy to be had in the other’s company. And everybody feels like moving on when such encumbered love goes kaput, regardless of how cruel the act may seem to the docile partner. But that is precisely what the Hindu marriage restrains : divorce, for whatever reason. It deems the coming together as a divine call for staying together not only for this lifetime but for the next seven lives as well.
The basis of a Hindu marriage is not that magical attraction we call love. The want for a relationship is assuredly confirmed, as also the apparent mutual fitness to meet each other’s needs, to support each other in setting up a family and raising children with such education and skills, and values, as to be fit for leading their own family lives in due course. Assuring faithfulness at all times does indeed become difficult for every married Hindu person as well, especially through the early years when the relationship is highly prone to mutual conflicts or when the pleasure between the couple disappears for long or short while and one feels no “magical” love for the other.
Yet Hindu married couples would pull through these dry periods because the divine basis of their relationship remains unaffected. The emotional aridity in their lives is accepted as part of the relationship avowedly established between them, and is not opposed or rupturous to the the bonding itself. Howsoever such periods are weathered, the participants in the partnership remain together, allowing the phase to pass and ever hoping to enter into happier times through their respective ingenuity, understanding, effort, forebearance, and divine blessing.
In this sea of ephemerals, a Hindu union is uniquely miraculous device to keep families together, rendering a stronger foundation on which society itself is raised, economically and socially and politically, with enough alround empathey to spare. They tell us, “Please learn to love…,” again and again till we actually come to. That love is not hormonal; it is beyond the one based on our pleasure.