Dealing With People Like Us

 

“Whaaattt!! You’re a divorcee? You sure don’t look like one” was the reaction I got from someone I met a few days ago and to whom I had to share my story.

How are people who have been through a divorce supposed to look? Do they need to carry a placard for the whole world to see saying ‘My marriage failed’? Or are we supposed to shun coloured clothes and walk around in white garb? Are we no longer allowed to laugh or to indulge in what makes us happy? Society today treats divorcees like they used to treat widows – like they are some cancer or have some contagious disease.

Our society still looks down upon divorcees, we are treated as second grade citizens who do not have it in them to make a relationship work. The prejudice is more so if you are a woman. No matter what the reason, there would always be people who would go ‘He left her because she could not give him a child.’ or ‘She is too independent’ as if either of those is a crime. Then there are others who would always find fault with the character or the sanskaar of the woman – she uses modern dresses, she talks back to her elders, she has a facebook account and soon we will start hearing that she used to breathe before she got married to Rajesh or Ramesh or Suresh.

We all have friends with whom we were inseparable but who are strangers to us now. We no longer talk to them or are related to them. We have all been in relationships that have not worked out for some reason and our ex-boyfriends are strangers now while some of us may still be friends with our exes.   Just like every other relationship, a marriage too can fail. A divorce is so much like breakup the additional angle to it is that it involves the law.

A divorce is sometimes a decision based on convenience, but many times it is also based on a need to survive. We might have moved away because we could not cope up with a person or we might have escaped for fear of our life. Whatever the reason, you have no right to judge us. You might have observed our life, but you have not lived one minute as us.

The decision to end a marriage is not an easy one. We struggle every minute to justify our decision to ourselves; it is a time when our self-esteem is at its lowest point. We struggle to just get out of the bed and get our day going. A side effect to losing a spouse to divorce is the utter loneliness that sets in; the fact that we lose most of our friends comes as no solace. Most of the times we are toeing the line of depression and we fight hard to keep going and not take the easy way of giving into temptations of self-harm and suicide. Nobody understands the pain we go through and they are helpless as to how to behave with us.

Some of us will go into hibernation – not always because we need to be alone, sometimes it is also necessary to reduce the awkwardness you feel when we are around. All we are saying is, please relax. Let us also relax and take a breath. Be with us and please be normal. Do not poke at us to check our reactions as if we are touch-me-nots. We are humans too and all we are asking is to be treated like humans, like normal human beings. Please let us try, try to start loving ourselves again, try to start living again and try to be us again.

This post is long overdue. It is through this very blog that I have found my best friends, some of them closer to me in heart than most of my blood relations. I have been hiding this post in the drafts folder for some time, but I guess it is time to get this out of the drafts and out of my heart. 

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Writing to me is therapy, it frightens and comforts at the same time. Liberates like nothing else. A book in my own name is a dream, but a bigger dream would be to write something that haunts the reader even after the last page is turned and the book is shut. I enjoy reading and music, spending time with family whilst battling my social awkwardness.

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8 thoughts on “Dealing With People Like Us

  1. You did the right thing when you decided to publish. When woman tends to take a decision like divorce the fault by default falls upon them. They been independent, confident, frank everything becomes a problem. But yes, it’s a matter of survival and happiness. And when you followed your heart you did the right thing. :*

  2. It is sad that we live in a world where admitting to a state of marriage or the lack of it is frowned upon. It’s time to speak up and dispel the ignorance around the situation. Why people divorce, the reasons are myriad and complex. Nobody can judge you for this. Proud of you for speaking up. Many hugs.

  3. I’m so glad you wrote this post Bhavya and didn’t let it linger in your drafts. Indian society still treats divorcees like outcasts which is such a shame. People divorce for various reasons and it’s no one else’s business. It’s not a decision that’s taken lightly of course. One of my male cousins got divorced twice — I really liked his first wife but I was also glad she finally left him because he was good-for-nothing and couldn’t keep a job. She was way too intelligent to stay with him. His second wife also left him {I’m guessing for similar reasons}. The sad thing was his parents constantly bad-mouthed the wives. I was in my teens at the time and didn’t say anything but honestly, why couldn’t they tell their son off?? Why couldn’t they get him to grow up?

    And what the hell do people mean when they say you don’t look divorced??? As you said, are you supposed to wear a sign saying that? WTF?! Glad you were able to be strong and think of your life and what you need.
    Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life’s latest…Review: We Will Rock You in Sydney #WWRYAUMy Profile

  4. I’m so glad that you decided to hit the Publish button, Bhavya. Please don’t give ears to others. They have an opinion about anything and everything. Happily married for three years, they ask me if I have any medical issue ‘cos I do not have a kid yet, if I’m selfish enough to stick on to my job without being with him. If we want to be together we will be, right!
    I’m so proud of you and you have done what’s best for you. Much love and hugs for standing up for yourself. <3
    Shalini’s latest…What’s Life without Love!My Profile

  5. We need more posts like yours. Many do not go through a divorce due to parental and society pressures. They make life hell of the person to please a society that does not care about you. Divorce is a better solution than making people commit suicides. Everyone deserves a better life and more chances.

  6. Truly well said. I’ve seen people shirk keeping relations with an estranged person, more so if it were a woman. So called thick friends and family keep away, maybe for fear of being tarnished by society. Those who one thought would stand by one in times of peril shuns one like the plague. The shoulder one would like to lean on seems non existant. Some people do not want their families to know of what one is going through, ‘coz it may worry them and they may feel bad for one. Little do these people realise that it takes immense courage and will power to walk out of matrimony, whatever be the reason. One who walks out is not looked at kindly by society, especially Indian society. Keep going, find happiness in your conviction, after all, for some people it is easy to please others but difficult to be happy for oneself.

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