Divorce

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I have been thinking about this post for a while now. Marriage is a complicated relationship, specially in India. And it is a big gamble. How much do we really know about a person before we commit our entire life to them? This is what happens- you meet someone, connect with them over some things, hang out, have fun, have sex, date some more and realize you can potentially spend the rest of your life with them. Then you meet each other’s friends and families and then get married. That is when things change or have to change. Now you have to live with this person… hang out together all the time… spend time with each other’s friends… pretend to like each other’s families… come to a common ground on finances, kids, career, locations etc etc etc.

What I am trying to say is that we know very little about someone before we marry them. And marriage is a different ball game altogether from dating. I would like to say the same for live in relationships but they do not have the added complexity of family and traditions. A guy’s mother is not going to expect his live in girlfriend to wear sarees, mangalsutra or cook for him. That only happens in a marriage.

So it is perfectly natural to realize at some point that you don’t like or know the person you married and break up. In simpler terms, get divorced. It isn’t a big deal. Most relationships end, why should a marriage be any different. It isn’t a “failure”. There is really no point in trying to make a relationship work when both partners are not happy in it. And do we even need to spend our lives with someone?

This year has been about quite a few people around me getting divorced. It makes me question and evaluate my marriage everyday which isn’t a bad thing. What sucks is when the divorce is acrimonious. I wonder how two people in love come to a point where they are trying hard to hurt each other.

Conveniently forgets past breakups.

Yes, break ups are hard and they take away a piece of you forever. And Indian divorce laws are of the dinosaur age. But is that a valid reason to exhort money from your partner and harass them with court notices? I am talking about both men and women here. I have friends/friends’ friends whose wives want money for the divorce and women whose husbands expect lawyers’ fees to be paid. I am talking about well earning, educated people here. The laws are skewed towards the women because for underprivileged women the law is the ONLY recourse. They were not made for the protection of those who have all the resources at the disposal. The problems are not the laws but people who misuse them. Let us be clear about the distinction.

I cannot imagine what happens when kids are involved and couples drag them into the ego war. Everytime I hear of a mutual divorce which was handled with maturity, I heave a sigh of relief because they are a rarity these days.

 


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