Not tonight dear!

Another challenge.. a different kind.. given by Aame, on my ‘Challenge Accepted‘ page. Her challenge is :

Willful denial of sex, including that on the first night after wedding, by either of the spouse amounts to cruelty and can be a ground for dissolution of the marriage, the Delhi high court has ruled. Your views?

The court said, that willful denial of sex, by either of the spouse, for no real reason, is a ground for divorce. The court awarded divorce to the couple in question in the case as the wife did not argue to the fact that she denied her husband sex, even on the first night.

So, what do I think of this?

Let me look at this one legally.. Cruelty is defined under the IPC as Any act that causes death, hurt or wrongful confinement, whether physical or mental, or which leads the person to commit suicide, is cruelty. So, does wishful denial of sex fit in?

Looking at it in a strict sense, no it does not! But as is the case with any law, it is made not by any text but by it’s interpretation in real cases. So, yes, this can be cruelty. It is hard to imagine a healthy marriage without sex, not just because sex is a necessary part of marriage, but more so because a marriage in which one of the partners is not ready to be physically intimate with the other, seems to smell of something unhealthy between the two.

In my personal opinion, I do believe that sex is an important part of marriage. However, when it comes to divorce, even if divorce has to be allowed in such cases, it should not be on the grounds of cruelty but on mutual consent. Recently, by an amendment in the marriage laws in India, mutual consent of both parties has been made a valid ground for divorce. So, if the parties are not happy physically together. Or even if one party is not, it has to be understood between them that all is not well and that if the need arises, they should part ways. It is better than one pressing charges of cruelty on the other. Intimacy in a couple cannot be forced, and therefore the lack of it should not be labelled cruelty but the reasons behind the same should be understood and given importance to.

Let’s not play the blame game in Court but aim at finding a solution. Willful denial of sex is a valid ground for divorce, but not for labeling it as cruelty. That’s what I think. What about you?

28 thoughts on “Not tonight dear!

  1. It’s not cruel. Certainly, sex is an important part of marriage, and certainly being denied sex is unpleasant, but having sex when only one person wants to is equally so. Respect (e.g. respecting his/her wishes not to have sex) is more important in a marriage than sex. However, a sexless marriage can be a symptom of problems in trust, intimacy and attraction. Also, it can show that one party may be anxious, stressed or have underlying personal issues. I think sex itself should not be the deciding factor, but the underlying reasons why sex is a problem.

  2. Great job once again Jo ! Sex is an important part and indication of a healthy marriage but isn’t 5 months too short to annul the marriage stating the lack of sex as cruelty.In this particular case this might be the case but i wonder if this becomes a sound ground for divorce how many more cases would turn up if for any of the many possible reasons a newly wed couple isn’t able to come to terms in bed.Any one can easily exploit this verdict.And moreover marriages work on mutual understandings and not laws !

    Thanks for taking up this sensitive topic and handling it so well ! All the best for ur exams !

    1. Thank you for appreciating it. As you rightly pointed out, a marriage works on understanding. And so it is important that if there is a serious lack thereof, for no reasonable grounds, then the situation isn’t too good. Laws, you have to understand, will always be misused. It is up to the judiciary to decide when it is reasonably applicable, and when not.
      For a couple who are yet not comfortable with each other in bed, is a different story, but as was in this case, the wife never stated that to be the reason. If she had, the verdict might have been different. For no reason, if sex is denied, I believe the cause for divorce stands completed.

  3. Loved your take Jahnvi. I don’t know why I didn’t comment earlier coz’ I read this the day you posted. ah, well.
    And hey, why no more posts? exams or something? 🙂
    Hope all is well.

  4. I Personally think, that denial… is often resultant in infidelity thus You or the Law may or may not agree but mating is a natural phenomenon & primarily the result of such denials is either crime or infidelity, so if u want the marriage alive, Sex is a Vital part of it!

  5. Cruelty in no sense… but if the circumstances are bad.. like willful denial on every single day can be disturbing.. instead of court, the scores can be settled in house itself… 🙂

  6. Thoughtful Thoughts. Cruelty may have a different meaning in India. I would not define denying a partner sex cruelty deliberately or not. Couples have reason for this denial and some of the reasons may be too simplistic or too complicated to explain. Like you may want to have sex with your partner but realise that he forgot to brush his teeth. Or when you are in a romantic mood, his mistress calls and he runs off to the bathroom to have private conversation. Some of these issues just put one off and may force one to deliberatly deny the partner their conjugal rights. Your Blog is serious food for thought, though. Thanks.

    1. Valid reasons can be understood.. and otherwise also, once or twice is fine.. but if one of the partners is being denied sex continuously for no valid reason, then it is basis for the breakdown of the marriage. As the cases you mention, if the other person is themselves at fault in some way, then this discussion doesn’t even come in.. Thank you for sharing your views and for the compliments.

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