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Religious Studies

Hinduism: marriage and divorce

Divorce, remarriage and cohabitation

Traditionally Hindu marriages were arranged by the families of the couple; some marriages are still arranged in this way. However where Hindus live in countries where it is more usual for people to find their own marriage partner they are adopting or adapting some of the customs of the society in which they live. However a marriage is arranged, the couple usually feel it is very important to have the blessing of their families.

Hinduism places a very high value on marriage and does not approve of divorce [Divorce: The legal ending of a marriage before the death of a spouse. ]. In practice, however, it is recognised that marriages do not always work and divorces do take place. Faithfulness within marriage is expected, and adultery is not approved of.

Self-control is an important aspect of Hindu teaching. During the Brahmacharya stage of life (generally birth to around 25 years) young people are traditionally concentrating on their education. Sexual relationships would be a distraction at this time, and they are encouraged to avoid them. In a society such as the UK where people are marrying later and where there is so much attention given to sex generally, keeping to the ideal can be very difficult for young Hindus.

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