Life after being a divorced woman in India is not easy; with this article I just want to focus on how a woman is judged and what she feels inside when the society starts seeing her in a certain way. I intend to make people just see once, the life she lives… from her perspective.
DivorcedÔÇª Divorced, the big D word is often pronounced ÔÇ£dievorcedÔÇØ in India, may be because it is a big No-No, and considered pretty similar to the ÔÇ£end of lifeÔÇØ for that woman in our Indian society.
With lot of aspirations and hope of a wonderful life a woman enters into marriage, she has lots of dreams and emotions that she wants to fulfill and experience in this journey of togetherness. No matter it was a love marriage or an arranged marriage, the bond of love and care is expected from both the partners for each other.
In year 2012, I also entered into this beautiful journey of marriage with dream to have a happy life but just few months later my dreams were shattered and the harmony and love was taken over by violence, hatred and fear, due to a huge anger issues in my ex-husband where he was too physically violent, which made my life full of distress & depression. I even gave birth to a baby girl but even after her birth… when things did not improve… I had to take a stern decision, just for the sake of me and my little oneÔÇÖs health and life.
So no matter whatever the reason has been but a woman who has taken a decision to move out of a marriage would have come after a lot of pain. In spite of knowing the difficulties she has to face in our society still if she is confident to take this step of divorce, she knows itÔÇÖs the best thing to do for sake of her well being and peace of mind.
Prior to this horrible experience, I had no idea how some of the things said in our society, could make a person stuck, and make sure they do not move on with their lives. So based on my experiences, I wish to share a few things that an Indian woman faces because of the predefined norms in our society on divorce. Hope this article helps to change or break those notions and have more liberal thoughts for a person who wants to have a more positive life because every person has right to live in peace and be happy.
1. “Tell me all the details.”
The questions that comes to everyoneÔÇÖs mind from a neighbourhood aunt to a far off relative is what actually happened why, how, whose mistake? The motive here is always behind to hear some stuff that justifies or make their doubts get a spark for chit chatting and more than that a person who has already gone through a tough time don’t want to re-live the part of their life that brought them to this pointÔÇª over and over again. IÔÇÖm focusing on moving on / forward and by doing this ÔÇª you are only delaying that progress.
2. “We kind of envy your alone time.”
This sentence really could be painful as a woman who is alone now, since for her it may not be a simple quick decision… but rather it may be due to some devastating events that made her take this hard decision to be alone. So understand her loneliness and the reasons behind her before judging her all the way.
3. “You will never be truly happy until you forgive.”
I wish I had a penny for every time I’ve heard this. If the divorce was a result of a very genuine reason like domestic violence and if that woman has been ruined emotionally, physically and spiritually then still our society will think that she cannot be happy without forgiving that person. In my case, I can never forgive himÔÇª ever. And yet I can say, with complete conviction that I am happy, happily engaged with life and still want to give my life a second chance.
4. “We saw it coming !!!”
Even if you did, the people in our societyÔÇª do say it. No matter the cause, divorce almost always feels, on some levelÔÇª like a failure. A comment like this just pours salt on the wound.
“Don’t presume that it is better to carry on with the failing marriage in order to protect the child. If you cannot mend certain behavior or the relationship, then it would be best to move on because children sense what is going on & they will get effected more with every passing day.”
5. “Your life will be difficult now.”
I know society like ours it does seem to be like completely against our social norms but please consider the fact that it was already a very difficult life which makes a person take such serious decision. ItÔÇÖs much better now than what the person has been going through or else she would have never taken this stand.
6. ÔÇ£Whose fault was it ?”
A marriage’s success or failure is an equal and shared burden. Although the tipping point that caused the ultimate decision to end this relationship may weigh in more at that given moment, it’s unfair to put the blame on one person only, and it gets worst if the situation is known.
7. “Shouldn’t you have stayed together for the kids’ sake ?”
Each situation is different. There comes a point in the relationship in which the benefits for all are greater in leaving than in staying. I understand that our society always teaches that a child needs both her parents but if one of them is just being a negative influence on the child, then how could that child have a better future in such an atmosphere. Staying in a marriage that does not emulate the foundation and basis of a marriage is not providing them with a good example of love, marriage and partnership.
8. It’s too bad that you have a baby, you will always be connected to your past.”
This sentence really is painful because it was because of the baby that I was able to move forward and be strong enough to face this. Baby was often the singular reason that I got out of bed many mornings following my divorce. There were so many times that I would wake up not knowing how I was going to face the day. But then I’d remember my baby, and the responsibility I had to her and I did what I needed to do. Having her around me made me feel happy, loved and not alone. I can’t imagine my life without her and I always want to see her happy as my childÔÇª and myself as a stronger woman. So it was a correct decision to divorce that man coz now my daughter doesnÔÇÖt have to see any negative things in her childhood.
9. “We are sorry.”
Why are you sorry that I’m divorced? I’m not sorry! Yet how do I share that sentiment with someone without sounding like an angry, cynical and bitter woman, when in fact it’s quite the opposite. I don’t devalue the institution of marriage nor do I not believe in love or a happily ever after. It’s as if there’s an expectation from people that I should be a sad and depressing part of my personality because my marriage ended. I donÔÇÖt feel like I need to explain to anyone the details or circumstances behind my divorce. So, what do I do? I laugh and respond in a truthful and light-hearted way, with a “life goes on.”
10. “You poor thing.”
The end of an unhealthy relationship is not to be sorry for. Instead, approach this with a more cautious, accurate and supportive, “How can I help?” or “Let me know if I can do anything for you.”
I know it’s a sensitive subject to talk about “divorced woman in India” and how they are treated, since I did give a little personal insight of my own experience… but rest assure I apologize in advance if I have hurt or offended anyone directly or indirectly through this blog. This is just a perspective and personal experience that I shared with the world and I am in no way … supporting Divorce as the ONLY option to be happy in life if your marriage has issues or problems. Everything can be worked upon and solved, if both the people in the marriage want to and work hard towards it. But sometimes, luck is not on our side so for them, I hope this article gives them a little hope who have taken that step to come out of a marriage which did not work and still want to be a better human being and a beautiful person in this Indian society.