SMS causing rise in domestic problems, divorce in Mizoram, India
Mobile text has replaced many old customs among them greeting on the special occasion is most important. Now today's lovers have started using to express their love via sms. But for married couple exchanging amorous sms are bringing problems in their family life.
Rev Zothansanga of the Mizoram Presbyterian Church's Family Guidance and Counselling Centre said more and more married couples in Mizoram were visiting councelling centres like his faced with emotional problems. In a typical case, he says, a woman plainly denied having ever professed love to her extra-marital partner saying there was no proof.
She acknowledged that she had deleted all SMSes of her lover from the inbox of her cell phone. This is one of the problems that the SMS culture among young lovers has given rise to. Other problems of a more serious nature have come to him at his councelling centre, Rev Zothansanga said. Though no official data have been collected as yet, there has indeed been a rise in spousal disputes and tension leading to even divorce in some cases what with secret text messages seen by either of the spouses, the pastor says.
A social worker, who wished to remain unidentified, said that text messaging has given a spurt to extra-marital affairs in the predominantly tribal Mizo society. ''As cellphone messages can be deleted at the flick of a button, a secret affair can be kept a secret for a long time,'' he said.
A married woman, having three children, admitted on condition of anonymity that she and her lover, also a married man, have been exchanging romantic text messages for almost three years without anybody coming to know of it. However, some couples this reporter talked to insist that the affairs are more in the nature of flirting than serious romantic engagement as both do not want to leave their partners and children.
Dr Lalthansangi, a psychologist and a college lecturer devoting a large part of her free time doing research on various social issues, also agrees that the introduction of mobile phone services affected relationships. ''Though I am yet to take up a thorough study on the effects of cell phones on the Mizo society, many young married men and women saddled with domestic problems admitted that their problems often began with text messaging,'' Lalthansangi said.