According to recent research by an Indian psychiatrist Dr Mrugesh Vaishnav, suspicious husbands are making life miserable for Ahmedabad's new-age womenfolk.
Out of a group of 60 women studied, an estimated 25 per cent of them were forced to either leave their jobs or change them, to save their marriage, the study revealed.
The paper entitled: "Does suspiciousness of husbands affect conjugal harmony?" was an eye-opener. It showed how the suspicious nature of husbands deeply affected these women. It even led to ailments like insomnia, headache, abdominal and chest pain, a reduction in sex desire, coupled with depression, anxiety and self-derogation.
In one such a case study, a 38-year-old executive in an MNC complained of severe headaches. When all treatments failed, she was referred to a psychiatrist who found her suspicious husband to be the cause behind her sickness.
"She used to earn at least Rs 25,000 more than the husband and had a good social standing. Needless to say, the job was demanding. The husband got so suspicious that he made life hell for her — calling up office colleagues, demanding details of her whereabouts. After counseling, she finally left the job to save her marriage," recounts Dr Vaishnav.
In the case of another woman, it was not so easy. She could not afford to leave her job. Instead, she changed it. "She has been instructed to always remain accessible and give details of her whereabouts," Vaishnav adds.
The survey found that over 90 per cent of the women believed a suspicious husband could contribute to the calamity of a divorce. In addition, all of them agreed that making adjustments amounted to towing the husband's line.
In the Indian IT industry, women now account for close to 30 per cent of the total workforce. This is expected to go up to 45 per cent by 2010.
According to a UN study, time-use surveys in six Indian states have revealed that women typically spend 35 hours per week on household tasks and caring for children, the sick and elderly. This is against four hours per week for men.
Small wonder then that the stress of high-paced jobs, commuting to and fro from the office together with the oft single-handed responsibility of running of a family, can be ignited by a suspicious-natured husband into nothing less than broken marriage.