“I am saddened to read that many people here think that a second divorce is the end of the world.”

Sharing a positive comment submitted in response this email. “He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.”

* * * 

I am saddened to read that many people here think that a second divorce is the end of the world.

I have been divorced twice and two years ago, remarried for a third time. I am happily married now and always wonder what my life would have been like if I had stayed married to my second husband, who was emotionally abusive, controlling and a complete mama’s boy.

After enduring 18 months of an abusive marriage, a marriage where I was denided basic respect, where my parents were harrass and disrespected, I was suicidal.

At the time, I was convinced that suicide is better than being divorced for a second time. I knew I could not live anymore as a virtual slave in my husband’s house.

I had an arranged marriage the second time. Like the letter-writer, I too wanted a child desperately.

I was 35, and had wanted children for as long as I could remember.

I had married my first husband with the understanding that we would adopt a child because he didn’t want children.

I was living in the US on a dependent visa, unable to work despite a graduate degree from an American university.

As our marriage entered the fifth year, I began to put increasing pressure on my first husband for a child.

Somewhere along the way, he had changed his mind but did not want to be blamed for doing so. He already had a dependent wife, he probably figured it was time to cut his losses.

Shortly, after our fifth wedding anniversary, he convinced me to return to India for a few months, “for a break”. We, would discuss children after I returned, he said.

I returned gladly, looking forward to the vacation. Yet a few months turned into six, six turned into a year. My husband had stopped taking my calls, changed his US address and phone number, cut off all contact with me.

After another year, I sent him notice for a divorce by mutual consent. I had to threaten him with legal measures like having his passport impounded to force him to come to India as I did not want an ex-parte divorce because of the length of time involved.

After enduring the trauma of a first divorce, I took five years to heal myself and reestablish myself.

I finished an MBA and began my professional career from scratch again. All through this, I hungered for a child.

One day, out of the blue, a marriage proposal arrived through a “marriage bureau”.

I have always wanted a family and since my first marriage had been a love marriage, after having known my ex-husband for seven years, I’d become cynical about choice marriages.

Blinded by the ticking of my biological clock, I agreed to an arranged marriage after some reservations.

A week into my second marriage, I discovered that my husband was a complete mama’s boy. As far as he was concerned, I was just a commodity, a service-provider with no rights, only obligations.

He was confident that a woman who had previously been divorced would stay in the marriage for fear of social disrepute, and treated me with utter contempt. I only existed to fulfil the needs of his family, as a submissive, obedient wife and daughter-in-law.

I was just a glorified slave; and my parents were treated with similar contempt because they were the “ladkiwale”.

I endured disrespect, abuse and neglect simply because I was afraid of a second divorce; much like the LW.

I knew I could not watch silently as my parents were disrespected and abused.

After 18 months of trying my best to make my marriage work, I admitted to myself that my husband would never treat me like a human being.To him, I was just a possession, a belonging to be used as he pleased.

In late 2010, I began feeling suicidal. I began to believe that suicide is better than a second divorce.

Thankfully, I signed up for a yoga and spirituality course just when I was convinced that I would either kill myself or become severely depressed.

I began meditating regularly, began to focus on my work and prepared myself psychologically for a second divorce.

Convincing my second husband for second divorce was another uphill task. He put me through one year of uncertainty as he tried to wriggle out for fear of social ridicule.

I got my divorce decree in April 2012.

I was emotionally spent, bursting with anger and blind rage for having to live in a society where only women were held responsible for the failure of a marriage.

I continued to meditate, focussed on my work and eventually met a man that I fell in love with.

This time, I did not act from a place of fear and desperation. I spent a lot of time getting to know my husband, explaining my emotional baggage and building trust and respect.

I married again six months ago. My third marriage is nothing like my first two.

I was always walking on eggshells around the first two husbands. I was nervous, scared and could never shake off a feeling of inadequacy.

I felt controlled, unhappy and disrespected. In my present marriage, I sleep easy at night knowing that I will never be forced to do anything that causes me discomfort.

I feel so light and relaxed. I don’t have to give up important parts of my identity for the sake of my marriage. I am not forced to tolearte disrespect.

I still have an abusive mother-in-law, but my current husband and his extended family ensure that I never have to deal with her.

I have written such a long comment here because I want the LW to know that nothing is the end of the world.

NOBODY has the right to tell you to endure disrespect and abuse just because a second divorce is social frowned upon in our society.

It’s YOUR life LW, do what is in your best interest. Don’t allow anyone to browbeat you.

Don’t allow anyone to convince you that you should endure disrespect just because a second divorce is not an option.

ALL your options are open for you, just like they were one year ago, when you were not yet married.

Gather your strength, spend a long time thinking what your priorities are, what you truly desire.

People will gossip for a few months if you were to divorce again, some people will choose not to associate with you. Good riddance.

Don’t stay in this marriage if your only motivation is fear of social disapproval.

Remember, you only live once. Nobody will give you a medal if you stay on in an unhappy, restrictive, oppressive marriage.

Before you know it, your best years will be behind you, and you will be left with a lifetime of regrets.

Whatever decisionyoutakeshouldcome from a place of confidence and conviction, not fear and desperation.

Live life with your head high. No one has power over you unless you give it to them.
All the best!

 

Related Posts:

He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.”

Marrying out of caste, Divorce, and Nuclear Families are Social Problems or solutions to Social Evils?

‘Daughters growing older, their egos becoming bigger, their attitudes and behavior becoming more boorish..’

An email: “I said I would look for second marriage with following conditions.”

An email: I dont know if i’m right or wrong need somebody to tell me.

“He wants divorce. She wants to know what wrong she did to be treated this way, why he chose her, but repents his decision immediately after marriage.”

“Her husband has told her she can leave if she wishes, she does not have a steady income of her own.”

“My relation with my ex was dead because he was never available for me in person or over phone… The feel is being repeated.”

An email from a 30 year old Indian man, “Marrying a divorcee and an older woman.”

38 thoughts on ““I am saddened to read that many people here think that a second divorce is the end of the world.”

  1. It just breaks my heart to know that very few Indian people I know in real or virtual world talk about marriages that are truly equal. A bad part is a given almost in every marriage. Even here, the LW tells about her ordeal with the first two marriages. And finally she got the person she would love to spend the rest of her life with and yet, she has a mother in law who is abusive.

    (I know she says that her husband ensures she doesn’t have to deal with her and I am extremely glad about it.) All I am talking about is the entitlement that the society has given to men and their families over women and their families.

    What kind of society are we where half the population has to deal with some kind of abuse day in and day out and it is considered normal? It is so stifling at times to read these letters and feel the pain that women go through to have an equal independent life! And we call ourselves “cultured” and things like that?

    Coming to the letter, I think it is not the number of divorce or even divorce that is an issue. The problem is marriage system itself. This very entitlement that men and their families have. Over the wife’s family, her upbringing, her salary, her housekeeping skills, her looks, her personality, her religious beliefs, her very existence. Our society is woven around threads like this. There are layers beneath layers of manipulation. Breaking free is going to be an issue, not just today or tomorrow but till such time we let go of our so called “culture” and accept that we are a messed up society. We need to allow our people (both men and women) breathe and do things that they find liberating and satisfying. Gender roles, kanyadaan, women being ghar ki laxmi and men being krishna with a thousand gopis.. We need to let these things go.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You asked : “What kind of society are we where half the population has to deal with some kind of abuse day in and day out and it is considered normal?”

      A sick society. That needs some serious ‘therapy’ and a mirror thrust in it’s collective hypocritical face. Where babies and toddlers getting raped in schools is the new normal and yet instead of getting horrified and introspecting why we as a society have degraded so much , people go on with their lives spending half their time bothering about how others choose to lead their lives.

      Like

  2. You’re absolutely right, LW, when you say that decisions need to come from a place of confidence and conviction; not fear and desperation.

    My story is pretty similar to yours. My husband has been married (and divorced) twice before, and though I loved him, I wasn’t sure about marriage. My parents did not approve of him solely because we had three divorces between the two of us and they did not think either of us could be trusted.

    I knew I had to be sure, so I distanced myself emotionally and physically from everyone and gave myself time to work on my own well-being. I meditated and did yoga. I took up dance classes. I lived only for myself. That gave me plenty of time for introspection; I realized that I didn’t really need a man for the traditional reasons (financial stability or security). After 7 years of being married, I had forgotten who I really was. This time alone allowed me to simply be.
    I realized, also, that Mister was comfortable around the real me, and that I could live without having to work too hard to please him.

    I married him in May this year, not because I had to but because I wanted to. And now, I am in a truly equal marriage and I am finally at peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I frequent your blog often Miss. Like you and Mister, my husband and I also have three divorces between us.

      Although my parents have been an unflinching and rock-solid source of support for me throughout my two marriages and divorces, even they did a double-take when I told them that I wanted to marry again.

      Somehow, this time, I know it will work out because my current husband is fundamentally a wonderful human being.

      For some inexplicable reason, given that he too comes from a traditional family, he carries none of the sexist baggage that many Indian men have.

      We have diametrically opposite tastes in almost everything, including religion and politics, but never once has he felt threatened by what I say, and how I think.

      He gets a little uncomfortable when I launch into one of my “Indian women have it so bad” tirades, he gets uncomfortable when I talk about the unfairness that I suffered because of arachaic social customs, but he has the innate common sense to realise that just because he cannot identify with my experiences, doesn’t mean that my perspective is wrong, or immature, nor does he judge me for being who I am, in my thoughts, beliefs and actions.

      Hope you have a wonderful life with Mister.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you Miss for writing such a stimulating and insightful blog. Blogs like yours, Priya’s (wordssetmefree) and IHM’s are valuable to me.

          I am starved of the company of like-minded people in real life. I am surrounded in real life, by friends and family who seemingly do not see the glaring hyprocrisy that is the bedrock of our society. The entire philosophy of the “ladkiwale” being beholden to the husband’s family really unsettles me. Why should one group of human beings be conditioned to accept unfair treatment just because they are aligned to a woman, not a man?

          Yet, sometimes I feel that I am a misfit in Indian society, because I find so many social practices and attitudes needlessly exploitative and coercive.

          Why should a woman be entitled to respect by default because she is the mother of a bridegroom. Why isn’t the mother of the bride entitled to similar fawning, obsequious respect?

          I feel like a square peg in a round hole most days, because I meet so many people who carry such deep-rooted prejudices that result in them treating others badly.

          Done with my rant. All the best!🙂

          Like

  3. I find this a very ‘Indian’ attitude: Once you make a wrong decision, you have to stick with it and make the best of it.
    Found engineering is not right for you, complete the 4 years of it and do an MBA, the bigger pay check will compensate for the fact that you hate it all and want to quit now and do a liberal arts degree! If that doesn’t work out either get married.
    Found out your marriage sucks, no problem have a couple of children and focus on making/screwing their lives!

    God forbid we should actually call quits on the current venture degree or marriage and start over afresh!

    The fact it we get one shot at life, we can’t waste it on being miserable. No one ever said on their death bed ” I wished I had stayed with that abusive spouse/ partner”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha, ha. This comment made me laugh, but sadly, it’s true. Ours is a culture with no second chances. Glad to see that so many people here are questioning that. There’s always a second chance. And a third. And so on. We’re human beings, we’re bound to make mistakes. Mistakes help us learn who we are and what really makes us happy. They help us grow. If everything was handed to us on a silver platter and life was perfect, we would learn nothing and we would not experience any growth.
      I wish all Indian parents would tell their kids, “Persist if it has worth, if it makes you a better person, if it makes you happy. Quit if it was mistake, if it makes you unhappy, if it lacks worth.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wish all Indian parents would tell their kids, “Persist if it has worth, if it makes you a better person, if it makes you happy. Quit if it was mistake, if it makes you unhappy, if it lacks worth.”

        …. it would be too much to expect the people of my parents generation to all be so cool (there are people like that vishvanathjee who replies here is a cool dad) but the real thing that we should be able to count on is that people of our generation don’t turn out like their parents. “Do unto others what you’d have had done to you”, offer the freedom that you craved as a child/youngster to your children.

        Unfortunately, for our generation, we are the only ones who can offer us that freedom. and even more unfortunately, it works like this:

        Daughter: I am engaged!!!
        Parents: WT* engaged??
        Daughter: DH proposed, I said yes, look he gave me ring
        Parents: That’s not engaged, you have to return the ring.
        Daughter: OK (posts pic of DH and her kissing on FB)

        Neighbor: Who is that boy kissing your daughter on FB???
        Parents: Her fiancé

        Parents: When are you getting married to DH?
        Daughter: Married? You told me to return the ring
        Parents: NO!!!!! You HAVE to marry him, right now!
        Daughter: You mean I can keep the ring?
        Parents: Lets meet him ASAP to plan the date
        Daughter: (Leans out of the window) Come on in honey, they will see you now

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hahaha, please please patent this joke of yours.Right NOW.Post it on FB.Send it to Readers Digest. Before a stand up comedian steals it.

          Like

  4. I am surprised you went for marriage the third time after 2 bad experiences !
    I never would !
    Its more surprising you found potential mates 3 times ,indeed lucky !
    Most women don’t find enough men to interact with who are not married to someone else after a certain age !
    May be the class,social status you might be belonging to made finding potential men easy !

    Like

    • Well, you are not me and I am not you. Different strokes for different folks.

      You had left a similarly judgemental comment for the original LW who wrote in two weeks ago.

      Your comment was, along with those of a few others, that motivated me to write such a detailed comment to the original post, which IHM has now reproduced as a full-length blog post.

      Like

      • Congratulations Neha! Here’s wishing you a very happy married life! You are lucky indeed – lucky to be blessed with a brain strong enough to guide you away from a lifetime of misery and give you the confidence to seek out and find true love. I wish you the very best!

        Like

      • Seriously Neha , its all about your courage. You didn’t feared whether you will get married again or not or you will be alone or what society will say But your conviction that you should not bear abuse in relationship is great. Hats off because most of us don’t have strong will power and courage to stand against abuse and oppressive social norm. And whatever you got was not because of luck but because of your courage and mental health.

        Like

    • Theres someone out there for everyone, trust me there are plenty of men everywhere who are also seeing a happy life . you need to go out and be yourself, it will happen. its not like men are dying off at 30 , keep an open mind, dont let job, salary,age,social status,religion, community etc., clutter your mind. you will be happy with a good person who lets you be you and supports you thru your struggules and expectes to be supported thru his.
      I was single once in inda albeit 20 yrs ago and unless the population has drastically altered i cant beleive men have simply dissapeared.

      Like

        • Neha,
          I am not against divorces ! In the previous LW blog post which you are referring to ,I merely said second divorce is harder,both as a decision and to live out the consequences !

          In fact,credibility is questioned,…by potential mates,suitors etc !

          I would question the credibility of a twice divorced man too,..especially if he is a potential mate I am getting to know!
          Most divorced men I have met are caqey,refuse to talk about why the relationship failed !Some men I have met have not even refl!ected why the relationship failed ! There are full chances they might repeat those mistakes ! Some divorced men I met were very angry yet they are in the marriage market !
          Do I want to deal with that kind of baggage? Why should I deal with someone else unresolved issues?
          Divorce in half the cases is not clean cut unemotional severance! Its a costly mistake which many cannot afford to repeat !

          You are indeed lucky ,…you could cut losses and try the third time !For most women,marriage loses flavour and color after the first !

          Like

    • Why is it surprising that someone found three potential mates? Would you be surprised if your daughter/son/brother/sister/whatever had had three boyfriends/girlfriends in their life?
      And why do you think it has anything to do with class or social status?
      I’m curious.

      Like

      • @anawnimiss
        Yes dear, it would be surprising( read Shocking) for a brother/sister/daughter whatever to have three gf/bf in their life (keywords here being ‘their’ and ‘life’).
        B’cos, you see, we dont beleive in having a LIFE.
        We only beleive in * arranged marriage, children, repeat *for said children.
        We call this our Culture!
        It was the norm since centuries, when Men wore wooden slippers and women pressed their feet, ofcourse unslippered, while men slept.:-/

        Like

        • I think Cossetz was subtly trying to imply that I lack the necessary stability required to sustain relationship. That I am fickle and promiscuous🙂

          Only time will tell if that is true, I guess. In India, the ability to endure a bad situation is seen as a virtue. That’s the root cause of all our social problems.

          People are taught to “adjust”, “tolerate” and “ignore” injustice and unfairness. The ability to endure suffering is seen as a virtue. In my opinion, that’s not a virtue, it’s a failing on an epic scale.

          Who am I, however, to question the wisdom of “Indian Culture”?

          Like

      • @
        Ananimiss,
        I would generally be surprised if my brother/sister ,for others I would not bother, had more than 3 gfs/ bfs without any leading to marriage! Yep,that ‘s me, I ‘d prefer they have long lasting relationships and choose very carefully!
        But we are talking of marriages,..I am sure most people prefer not entering marriages on whim !
        @neha
        ,.….. think Cossetz was subtly trying to imply that I lack the necessary stability required to sustain relationship. That I am fickle and promiscuous . unquote .
        I am not implying anything ! I was actually surprised you could go through 3 marriage!
        Here I am not finding one,…I am being as careful as possible about compatibility in my case !
        Most people I know have very few not married people as choices ! For some of single friends since they older there are few arrange marriage options too !
        Divorcees I know have compromised for a husband ,men have married for a woman to take care of children from previous marriages etc!
        I have not come across/heard a single woman who is 3 times married !
        I would not because for me getting married is proving too much of hassle and marriage has lost its shine !

        Like

        • Well, the only advice I can give you is to broaden your circle of acquaintance.

          Also, please stop looking down your nose at people who’s lives took a turn for the worse despite their best intentions.

          It’s a little disingenuous of you to imply that divorce can be avoided if only people were more cautious.

          I agree that one’s credibility suffers after two divorces, but it all depends on who you are as a person.

          Not everyone has the same ways of looking at the world, and if someone were to judge the merit and worth of a human being merely looking at how many divorces they had to their name, perhaps said divorcee should be looking for other options.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Its reassuring.. Going thru a divorce myself, the letter that she has written did scare me a bit. But every word of you letter made me realize the reason that I was getting out of this marriage – to be happy. In moments of weakness, we let ourselves conform to societal standards rather than seek what we want. I think we shud always remember this –
    “Remember, you only live once. Nobody will give you a medal if you stay on in an unhappy, restrictive, oppressive marriage.”

    Like

  6. Dear LW, you have been married 6 months and thankfully you are happy now. You are now in your forties and through experience and meditation you have become wiser and you know yourself. You were ready to sacrifice your child wish to find the right partner. That was very brave. Another woman in your situation might have made a different choice.

    I sincerely hope all women in abusive marriages find the courage to get out of there as fast as they can.

    But I would also advise women who are angry at their partner because he is not Mr Perfect, to take the time to meditate before they make a drastic choice. A marriage is made of ups and downs, and if one kind of love lasts only 3 years (according to neuroscientists) then maybe it’s after 3 years a relationship truly matures.

    And most of all beware of internet advice. It can sometimes be very upsetting and irrelevant. Trust yourself first.

    Like

    • No Victoria, I chose not to have a child in my second marriage when I realised how dysfunctional the family environment would be for the child.

      I chose to be child-free. I have no right to bring a child into the world when I am unable/incapable of providing it with the unconditional stability, security and love that children rightfully deserve.

      Again, this is just a decision that I took for myself after much introspection. I love children, but for various reasons, cannot provide them with a healthy, secure environment.

      I had a very secure and stable childhood myself and know first-hand, how deeply our formative years affect our thought processes.

      Thanks for your balanced take on the roller coaster that has been my life🙂

      Like

  7. Marry because you want to , because you love the person and want to spend your time with him.her, marry because it gives you joy, makes you a better person, marry because you feel passionately, marry because it feels nice to be with that person.
    NOT because your’re getting older, or want a kid or your parents say so.. thats a sure fire way to blow it.
    AND if you realise that you are unhappy, introspect and think and if required leave. we are all human , we make mistakes and we correct them and go on. we dont wallow in our mistake and remain miserable.

    Like

  8. Good post, if you could summon the massive courage to write up about any pitfalls to look for before marriage, I’m certain that would help a lot of folks!

    Like

  9. What an inspiring post Neha! You went through so many upheavals. But throughout this process, you were honest with yourself. You had the courage to fight for your happiness. After some struggle between what you’re being told (the induced fears) and what you feel inside (the truth), you eventually found yourself – something many people never manage to do, even over a lifetime.
    Wishing you much happiness in your married life and life in general.

    Like

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