“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.”

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

What would you say to this email writer? Should the woman being older or being divorced be the biggest concern here? 

What would your advice be? 

Dear IHM,

After a lot of thinking I decided to write my story to you and seek some advice.
I am 30 year old single guy and I come from a middle class family. My upbringing was fairly tough but manage to get good job and have been supporting my parents since I was 22. My parents have given me good value, education and everything they could get to make my life good. Today whatever I am is because of my parents and I am really thankful to them for all that.
I am a very reserved guy never really had any female cousins or friends and never interacted with any girls in school or college (studied in boys only school). I always thought first I need to get good job, start earning and then think of relationship. Also how do we guys get a chance in this conservative, Indian middle class society? Settling abroad was always my dream and by god’s grace, I did manage to move to US.
While working in my initial job in India when I was 22, I met this girl who became my best friend. She was five years older to me. She was married and looked as though well settled in life.
I later got to know from someone else that she had applied for divorce. We use to catch up on weekends for some classes and she used to tell me that she is just out of divorce and didn’t know what her future was and so on. Without knowing I had developed some sort of affection towards her but obviously the age difference and not knowing where things might end up in our conservative Indian society, I never really told her I liked her.
Just before I moved abroad, we and few of our good friends went on a trip and we caught up with some of her old school friends. One guy in that lot was apparently her ex from school days and was already married with a kid (Lets call him Mr. ex school friend). I noticed that she was very close to him throughout this trip and it actually irritated me although being the type of guy I am, I never showed anything. I don’t know if I was right or not but it looked to me as if this guy was just trying to get close to her. I didn’t say anything because it was NONE of my business.
After that trip, I moved abroad and started a new life. I got to know that she started a relationship/affair with Mr. ex school friend. Apparently he told her that he was not happy with his wife and was going to divorce her (but never really did) and continued relationship with her. I don’t know if it’s true or not, I always felt this guy was taking advantage of her vulnerability because she was just out of divorce and was scared of an unknown future.
Later that year she too moved to NY and asked me if we could share a flat since we knew each other. I agreed because she was my friend. After this we became close again.
Mr. ex school friend use to visit her once or twice a year or she use to go to India and spend time with him. Apparently he got places in a different city in India and he tried to separate from his wife.
I also had been to India couple of times to see some brides as I thought arrange marriage was my fate. Never really had the courage to even propose to a girl in my life. She knew all about this, in fact  she even tried to set me up with few of her friends but never really worked out. I kept rejecting all arranged marriage alliances at home because I always wanted to fall in love and get married to someone I know, although my family is very conservative.
She was forcing Mr. ex school friend for commitment, asking him to divorce his wife but he just kept pushing forward while having all the fun with her. I just couldn’t stand this guy because I knew what he was doing with her was wrong but I really couldn’t tell her anything because it’s her personal life and she had all the rights to live the way she wanted.
Then early last year we had a house party and most of us started discussing our personal lives. I got a little tipsy on that day and all my frustration came out. I told her how much I liked her since the beginning and how this guy was just having fun with her. I also told her I loved her.
After that somehow we fell in love. She was five years older to me. I didn’t think about our future, but just started liking everything about her.
She never hid anything about me from Mr. ex school friend, since day one.
He knew she was sharing the flat with me and he knew we were best friends. When he visited NY next they had a big fight. He told her that he will divorce his wife immediately and wanted to get married to her. She said she wanted a bit of time which he never really liked.
She told me all that love she had for 5 years was lost somehow. He was very gutted when he went back because he probably didn’t get what he wanted when he was here.
After he went back he apparently told her parents about their relationship including every detail of what they did (I hope you understand what I mean) and how she is not willing to accept his marriage offer. He spoke very bad about her character. This is when she decided to break up with him.
He also wrote couple of times to me saying some really cheap thoughts about her like he slept with her and I am with what he already used and left and so on… obviously I was hurt, very badly hurt… After all I am also human  and even I do have feelings.
I knew she had done a mistake by getting involved with Mr. ex school friend, but who doesn’t make mistakes? We are all human beings and we all do mistakes and that’s what makes us what we are today.
Sometimes I do feel am I the reason for all this but I never really planned any of this to happen. Things just happened. We just clicked and fell into this without knowing.
This year we started thinking about future. I know she loves me and I love her too. Early this year when my parents asked me if I liked someone in states as they didn’t mind me getting married to anyone I liked. Then I indirectly told them about this girl. As expected they were very furious and crying and all that. They had seen this girl closely because she use to live close to my house when she was initially married. Then they had also heard about her affair with Mr. ex school friend, from a close relative.
A few close friends who knew us from initial days also started advising, saying things like if she can leave some one for you, she can also leave you after few years, that she was very cunning, an opportunist and so on. Some relatives added fuel to fire, saying, “She has lived with someone, how can you live with her? How would your future be? Will she have kids? What will your kids think about her past? We had shown you so many good looking girls!” And so on. Literally everything.
I was so broken and had gone so weak in my mind that I thought I might as well break up with her and marry someone else just to be out of this trauma. But I didn’t.
I never told her about any of these because I know she will get hurt listening to all this.
Then I started thinking positive this was my first love, my first relationship, I should fight for this. All these thoughts held me. I just didn’t want to go with the flow and be another one in the crowd. So what if she is 5 years older to me, we have this great chemistry going together. She is with me now. I need to accept her the way she is.
I also don’t want to hate my parents because they are good people just that they don’t know what kind of girl she is. All they have is a perception about her from someone else. Also just because they disagree with some of my decision/opinion doesn’t make them bad people and I can’t stop loving them.
Some time I do go very weak and think about how she was with the guy I couldn’t stand and every time I come across any of his gifts to her or his message or an email I just go so weak in my mind. Feel very low and feel like I am going into depression.
May be it’s a guy thing and will take some time to get over.
I do get questions in my mind like will she be pregnant as she is 35 because I love babies. I would love to be a father in future. Also I love girl child and hope for twin girls in future. If she can’t get pregnant doesn’t mean I am going to leave her because I truly love her. I probably have to find other ways like IVF or adoption but just little tensed that’s it.
Now I need to somehow find a way to convince my parents. I was planning not tell her age to them. I will just say we are the same age and they already know she is a divorcee. They are just not accepting her. I probably will involve someone else in the family and try to convince them. I want to get married in our traditional way because that’s something what my parents did and I want to do it too. Not sure if this is all going to be possible in our traditional, conservative and judgemental Indian society but I hope I can do it.
I am travelling to India back again in a months time and I have already started thinking about it and feeling low.
It would take a minute to go against my parents and get married on my own but I want to do it with their blessings. I don’t want them to put their face down in society to say that I ran away and got married to someone. If they don’t agree I probably will end up doing this. I know they will be hurt at the same time I will be hurt as well because end of the day they are my parents and I know for sure she will also be hurt because she will think all this problem is because of her…
Also Mr. ex school friend has threatened that he will never let our marriage happen. He would make pics from his affair public to my family and so on (just goes to show how cheap this guy and what type of mentality he’s got). And guess what, he is going back to his wife now which pissed me off even more. Felt like this guy just had fun with her for a while and went back to where he was. Anyway at least it’s good for his kid and he won’t bother us anymore.
I fumbled across your blog when I was searching for how to convince Indian parents for marrying a divorcee and thought should share my story with you. Also if any of your readers have successful marriage stories of an older women/younger men, that would give me more confidence.
Some tips would help.
Not sure if this is worth publishing but do give it a read and let me know your opinion. And of course if you do publish, would love to hear from your readers.
Related Posts:

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

Sharing an email.

“He said he believes in giving quality time rather than quantity time to the family. I kept quiet but my mind does not stop thinking here.”

I am a fan of your blog and postings/suggestions. Thanks and I am really grateful for the same as it helped me to align my thoughts to a great extent in past.

My background in brief. I am 31 year old and average looking woman working for past few years. I earn around 30k and have been leading a contented life. I do not have a father and it has been my mother and me living in a decent area with a home of our own.

I was married at 26 and was in 6 months old dead relationship from minute one. I can say confidently that I have tried everything to make the relationship work but this man wanted to live a bachelor’s life without any sort of attachment and responsibility and wanted a marriage for society and name sake. This suffocated me and I came out of it without being touched or questioned by this man. I mentally came out in a year’s time and legally in 2010.

Since then, I did not have guts and trust to look out for new relationship. I have my own fears of getting in to trap and believing wrong people. Now I have been speaking to this guy who is 34 and has been introduced by a commonly known person to our families. I had my own fears and reservations to commit myself to a man who smokes, drinks and has non veg (I am a vegetarian). I never considered getting in to a relationship with a man who has a kid (but living separately) as I feel I may not be capable of handling the situations which I may come across in future. This guy has applied for divorce on mutual consent and is waiting for the hearing soon.

I decided to speak to this guy initially over phone and say no to the alliance as I did not want to say straight NO to the person who introduced me to him. He is a 75 year old wise man who is a well wisher to me and my mother.

To my surprise, I spoke to this guy over phone for around 2 hours on first instance and a few details were exchanged. He seemed to be a decent guy with an unhealthy marriage which he has tolerated for 8 long years and has a 7 year old kid (boy). I sympathize the plight of this kid as he is suffering and missing his father and his grandparents. He also admitted that he smokes (not chain smoker and smokes when needs to think too much), drinks (social drinking) and has discontinued having Non veg. He sounded convincing that he will keep these habits in control.

Going by what this man has told, his wife seems to be very focused on her priorities w.r.t her career and her property.  She earns around 12 lakh PA and feels secure with money and decent property in her control. According to him, she has problem with his lifestyle, his spending habits and his parents who are aged and need moral support currently. He says that he did not have emotional support from her and looks like she has not made him feel that he is needed. He says that he earning more than her and in a good position at one of the leading companies in India would make time and initiate some efforts to improve the relationship but she on other hand did not care about it. He says that she was influenced by her mother majorly but had few good qualities of her own. To me, this guy looks transparent with his thoughts and sensitive towards family values. He is good, trust worthy but I feel this relationship will have its own set of challenges in it as other relationships have. I don’t want to get trapped again… That’s my fear.

As a person, he says that he liked me because I appear to be tolerant enough to listen to what he has been saying (which his wife did not do). He says that I appear to be contented with what I have and will not rule his head later on. He also says that my family values make him feel comfortable. Beyond this, I do not see him making any serious efforts to know me better evidently.

I have been trying to unveil the next layer of this man to know what I can contribute and have in store to make this relationship going. I am NOT really looking for a big sophisticated lifestyle but to be frank I am looking to continue life in a secure close knit family life where there is prominence given to contentment and wisdom along with personal growth and accomplishments to add meaning to life. I am very needy emotionally. I cannot handle long distance or a controlled relationship. I have fair clarity on what I do not want but I am kind of flexible in adjusting on aspects which can add meaning and value to my life in a long term..

The point of concern is that we spoke to each other for at least an hour on daily basis regarding his past, expectation, job insecurities etc. I was putting across many questions to which he could answer me in detail. He showed enough patience to answer me in detail which has helped me find this man worth trusting. My Idea was to know and understand the next layer of thought in this man as I was convinced to some extent of taking this ahead in spite his habits and a child.

He said that his child (who will be staying with his mother) would be in his mind and he will do whatever is needed for him but will see to it that he stays committed to me as well. I was okay with this as I would consider him to be selfish and irresponsible if at all he said that he has moved on completely…

In mean while he said that he is interested and happy to take this relationship ahead and also admitted that it has been so far good between us. And we decided that we will not be meeting in person or talking so frequently over phone until his paper work is completed legally as he said that his wife has been a bit fickle minded in past regarding her decisions but he is not interested in reconsidering to unite again with her. This did put me back to square one but I decided to wait until the hearing before putting myself out of it completely and I have communicated this to him as well…

So this actually has uncertainty but I have decided to meanwhile know more about him and utilize this time if at all things go fine legally. In the meanwhile, he says that he is workaholic and works for extended hours when he is on project which usually lasts for long duration. It’s been 10 days since he has got in to a new project and we have not spoken properly. I am confused now if I am over analyzing or am I unable to digest the fact that this is how my life in future will be with him.

My relation with my ex was dead because he was never available for me in person or over phone…The feel is being repeated again now in this case but I cannot react as we are not in a relationship. But I am concerned how I should be looking at it because it is a different person with new situation and background and reason. There are positives and negatives in this man as well.

He is good at communication but is not making efforts to know me evidently. I am afraid if he is taking me for granted due to my average looks or not so great salary and career aspirations. He seems to be family oriented man who had strong need for family and talks responsibly. He has the ability to listen, understand and empathize with points of view. But I have a strong feel that he is looking forward to prove himself in front of his friends and colleagues. Not that I am great treasure but I understand that he has his own insecurities with respect to his past. And this time he wants to show that he has got someone on whom he has control. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

I sometimes wonder if I am over analyzing and making things complicated for myself. He is due for promotions and I have a feeling that he will be more busy and unavailable for me. When I asked how we would handle this situation, he said that I believe in giving quality time than giving quantity time to the family. I kept quiet but my mind does not stop thinking here. If we have a kid, he/she will not be able to differentiate between quality and quantity. So, whatever time I would get in future, will have to be shared between the kid and myself. I know I am thinking too much but I have been in a relation where my husband did not want to spend time and he escaped. This time, the person seems to be interested but due to his work pressure, he will have to struggle to give time to family in between his constant traveling. I am finding it difficult to say NO at once as he is nice person. But I do not want to see myself trapped in a relationship without my husband by my side most of the time as well. I know, being in this industry I will have to make adjustments but if it goes beyond a certain extent, it will be difficult for me.

Can you please let me know if I am worrying for no reason or is there any better way to sort out and align myself to this need of situation which I am more or less sure to encounter. Please let me know how do I address this to him without making him feel offended.

* * *

As of now.. what I understand is, this man is extremely busy at work , is unable to have adequate sleep and disturbed but has been trying to bring in required change in himself (with regards to his temperament) but I have a feeling that it is not really enough to start a relationship with me (where emotional security is my priority requirement). It’s like I have to respond when he calls but otherwise, I don’t find it easy to call him when I feel like speaking to him.

* * *

This mail might appear very stupid and filled with anxiety but can you please think of anyway I can resolve this and take a better decision…

Related Posts:

Is your relationship healthy?

Do men care less and women care more in relationships?

“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.”

If you were this woman would you want to know what your juniors thought of your personal life?

If you were this woman would you want to know what your juniors thought of your personal life? Or if there are no co workers, would you like to know what your neighbors think of your personal life and choices?

Do you think ABC should be told about what is being said about her except perhaps that some of her subordinates find her too strict at times?

What would you have done?

My opinion: What these co workers are doing is no different from what street-sexual harassers (eve teasers) do on Indian streets. She can take action against them for a direct insult but what people say behind her back, although very effective in ensuring she is isolated (and more), would be very difficult to verify, prove and challenge.

Maybe they could be warned (subtly) that badmouthing/loose talk was not acceptable?

Dear IHM,

I rarely comment but have been a silent reader and admirer of your blog. Of late, several people have opened up to you to discuss women-centric issues.

There is this one issue that has been bothering me since long.

ABC is a forty-year old woman at my workplace. She has a son and is divorced who single-handedly decided to bring up her kid after she separated from her husband who then remarried another woman. Dedicated in her work and a gentle woman of values, ABC has become a good friend of mine (platonic).
She is confident,  manages a group of men working under her, meets deadlines with a firm hand and imposes rules, being responsible to the higher authorities. In short, she is a responsible and an industrious person.

At times, situation demands that she be strict. What angers me is the fact that her leniency goes unnoticed while her generosity is often overlooked. When she is strict, and justifiably so, but male colleagues laugh at her behind her back and the attacks become personal and vulgar.  Sneering at her, they morally castigate her strictness and brand her as sexually frustrated since she doesn’t “get any”. It has become a coffee break joke. Meanwhile, I am wary of any kind of mud-slinging that might come my way for my proximity and friendship with her, therefore I pretend to follow the herd at the cost of my own conscience and feign to like the tosh they dish out.

Thoroughly offended, I cannot dissent against my own colleagues at their cheap views regarding a woman who is oblivious to it all.
Should I beware ABC and hurt her?

How seriously would you take a friend’s inability to excuse himself from conversations that deride you?  Do you think this is a Gender issue?