16 May 2019

Divorce


I didn’t marry the first guy I loved. I love the guy I married. Had I married B and then felt suffocated, which I am sure I would have, divorce would have been a messy option. 
It is interesting that second relationships or marriages have a stronger chance of endurance than a first relationship or marriage, especially one that happened at a young age. This post comes in the heels of having just finished reading ‘Committed’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read the book a few years back and wrote a draft of this post back then! The book dwells upon the institution of marriage and its history and what makes it so desirable and in some cultures, essential.

For me, marriage hasn’t been a sacred or religious entity. It wasn’t so when I almost got married to the guy I fell in love with in college nor when I finally actually got married to Sathya. Though I respect all the customs and rites involved in a Hindu wedding, the force that wants me to believe in marriage, and one that is still binding me to Sathya, is not that.

Had I felt as strangulated and gasping for air with Sathya as I felt with B, I am sure I would have considered living on my own and not been in a marriage that had turned into a farce. I am fortunate it doesn’t feel so. And I also understand and know that for many women, and even men for that matter, marriage can be debilitating. Sometimes, we all feel like the wild animal that has been caught by the ring master of a circus. He has no choice but to perform. 

Most Asian and Middle-Eastern cultures regard marriage very highly. Children, family, social responsibilities are built into the expectations of a young adolescent. The ultimate aim is to “settle down.” For the woman, the search is on to find a man who earns well and can afford to look after his wife and kids financially. For the man, to find a wife who will cook well and raise well-behaved kids. So naturally, divorce is an extremely stigmatized word.  Why couldn’t the woman have adjusted? That is the first question people ask.  

I have thought of that option too, many times, over a 13 year marriage. Misunderstandings and fights and the isolation and that ‘being alone’ feeling that follows makes us think of divorce as a solution. If we move apart, live far away from each other, we reason, at least one of us can be happy. I have said this explicitly to Sathya “I will work and take care of the children, you please live peacefully at least from now on as we have messed up each other’s lives for so many years. Be a free bird”. You would think a man would want to hear that. He would be waiting for it. A bird is the ultimate symbol of freedom. But even that bird flies back to its nest as the sun sets. Every one of us longs for the security of a place we can call home. Many men are like that.

If a relationship is about repeated fights, constant misunderstandings, endless anxiety, continuous worry, what is the point of being together? I walked out of one relationship and into another in the hope that each fight would be better than the last; that as the sun sets, you would still want to be with each other, that being together was a better option than being alone or apart. Thank God, it is!

18 comments:

  1. Very interesting topic. If there is no fight between husband and wife, that marriage is dull. But me and my late wife had an understanding. Our fights were movies. Our fights were not TV serials. Whatever we fight for, that is ENDED once we go to bed that night. Of course, there may be a new fight but the old fight has ENDED the previous night. There may be 8 to 10 movies like that in a year in our household. The fights were never a TV serial continuing for more than 1000 episodes of the same fight. At least, we think we had a very happy life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TV seriser versus movies - that's a nice analogy!

      Delete
  2. Beautifully said, SG. I can relate to that. We ​also had ​decided after one sad incident, that our infrequent quarrels, mostly silly, would come to an end by dusk​ and we strictly adhered to it.​ We would laugh the next day about the tiff!
    Unless there are serious incompatible issues, the key lies in more tolerance and love to strengthen the bond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. Thinking about those serious compatibility issues - must be hard to deal with those for the unfortunate ones

      Delete
  3. Very well written...
    In my point of view understanding each other is what makes life complete. Respecting each other's decision also plays a major role.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice to read a post from you after a long time.... I feel most world religions expected marriage to go on for life ... that's because if the choice is left to humans they would think snapping and trying to get out solves all problems .... when I see couples in their 70 s and 80s and they don't even need to speak to communicate ... I realized how valuable the institution of marriage is

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes some couples really have something special to hold on to. Years of companionship

      Delete
  5. This is something i was thinking since a few days.Divorce cases in India is increasing as years pass. People Divorce for silliest reason.
    and i always feel staying together with fights and misunderstandings is always better than staying alone after Divorce. Nature created Man and women to stay together. And marriage is a beautiful institution of commitment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Harsh realities of marriage and the aftermath with the usual misgivings, misunderstandings, miscommunication and so on but at the end of a fight or a squabble, if we can forgive each other for our short comings, then nothing like it!
    A beautiful post as always Sathya

    ReplyDelete
  7. A very interesting article. Whatever fight or displeasure takes place between husband and wife, the family life has a meaning with plannings for future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The meaning ....the future ....each to his own !

      Delete
  8. Interesting and thought provoking post

    ReplyDelete
  9. very nice post and great genuine post Sharing content and I am completely agree with you,


    Thanks for sharing.


    Taxi in Jaipur

     
    and
     

    Jaipur Sightseeing Taxi


     

    Regards

    Sameer

    ReplyDelete