Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. (Image by Arrangement)
When actor Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone appeared on the Koffee with Karan episode it led to a volley of online comments on their relationship.
However, despite all kinds of situationships, Ranveer has always been praised for being a supportive husband and was called a sincere boyfriend for buying an engagement ring beyond his means. Similarly, in the latest Netflix documentary, David Beckham is praised for letting Victoria be the hero and leading their relationship. While singer Nick Jonas is often seen supporting wife Priyanka Chopra at events and on social platforms.
On the other hand, actor Ranbir Kapoor is often trolled on social media for being mean to Alia Bhatt and popstar Justin Biber has received all kinds of hate for being a terrible partner to Hailey. Not just for celebrities but also for regular people too, the changing marriage landscape has taken the attention from wives toward husbands, who are constantly noticed by people around them for being supportive or toxic. And, the constant social media criticism from known and unknown people is surely adding more to the performance pressure for husbands.
Handling the pressure
If we look at new-age "couple goals" the pressure of being an ideal partner is now being shared by both, and the constant scrutiny on the wives to be perfect is reduced to a considerable degree. Business partners and co-founders of Izzhaar, Ruchita and Anupam Bansal, share the insights of their marital relationship. Speaking about the changing outlook, Anupam mentions, "Husbands often find themselves under scrutiny, with people observing their behaviour in relationships, be it supportive or toxic. It’s essential to foster self-awareness and open communication. Supportive husbands address issues empathetically, working with their partners to resolve them." Adding further, Ruchita says, "Men may experience pressure to meet ‘couple goals’. How they respond can vary. Some may feel motivated to enhance their relationship, while others may feel overwhelmed. Open communication and mutual understanding are key factors in addressing this pressure positively."
Following the example of newly married Parineeti Chopra and Raghav Chadha, who are creating an online buzz for breaking the shaadi stereotypes and being equal partners, many younger couples are happy to see a positive change in society’s expectations and evolving gender roles. Couple influencers and founders of Plan-It-Events, Bhavya Narang and Nitish Sharma point out, "We think it’s awesome that husbands are getting more attention in today’s changing marriage scene. This shift pushes for couples to share responsibilities, support each other, and create more equal partnerships. It lets both partners be themselves, chase their dreams, and make their relationship work. We see this as a chance for couples to build stronger, happier connections through understanding and teamwork."
It is interesting to decode the dynamic shift in context to more emphasis upon husbands in relationships and marriages, especially in these times when women are pushing their professional boundaries and contributing equal or more income in the marriage. Famous Kathak dancer Shinjini Kulkarni, who is married to businessman Sagar Rajpal, talks about the importance of an extremely supportive partner in modern marriages. She says, "No relationship works or thrives in an environment where a couple feels scrutinized, however, there should be accountability on both sides and none of them should act more dominant. In the current times, both partners are expected to contribute to the emotional and professional support for each other, and at the same time understand the independent lives they have."
It must not be forgotten that every relationship is unique. A relationship must define the individual personalities of the partners, where both must have an understanding of and be adaptable to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Open communication and dialogue are essential, recommends mental health and relationship expert Aashmeen Munjaal. She says, "Men may feel the pressure of being the ideal partner because of the norms of the existing patriarchal system and society. They may need to be emotionally and actively involved in the relationship, which can be difficult given the gender stereotypes. For women in relationships, this is a positive change, as sharing responsibilities by both partners will lead to a healthy and stable relationship. These changes reflect the transformation in our society, and overall a relationship works when both partners are equally involved."