Every year many divorces take place in urban India alone, yet romantic marriages are exemplified in movies and stories, following a linear version of fairy tales where the couples live happily ever after.
No one wants to showcase the real version of relationships: meeting; mating; marriage; and misunderstanding. These 4 Ms sum up the real short shelf life of coupledom, but the illusion of happy power couples always makes for good sales.
Fantasy, just like mythology, can most times never be reality, excluding in very few cases.
Yet, all the time we fall for the Page 3 stories, power and glamour and beauty of film stars, sportsmen, politicians and business tycoons. However, no amount of money, Photoshop or glamour can hide the vices and indiscretions behind the shiny surface of the photographs in glossy tabloids as they surface in due course, in spite of the affinities that power offers. That’s when we feel miserable seeing Hrithik Roshan-Sussanne Khan or Malaika Arora Khan-Arbaaz Khan separating.
I have a neighbour in her 50s, who is considering a separation from her husband.
The lady’s daughter had to go through a traumatic divorce because of which she is not able to forgive her husband. The daughter was married off to a person suffering from a psychotic disorder, in spite of the lady pointing it out before the marriage. Her husband did not pay heed to the lady’s advice.
The daughter is happily remarried now, but at one time, they were on the brink of losing her. The lady blames her husband for having wasted 10 years of the daughter’s life. “Why did he not listen to my plea,” the lady asks on Bonobology’s community forum anonymously. Although they live under one roof, the lady is headed towards separation.
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Mira feels that the lady’s disappointment in her husband comes from the love that they both might have shared through life. “If you see closely, you would know perhaps he too would be blaming himself, thinking about how he could fail as a father. How about you let go of ‘whose fault was it’ and give yourself a chance – both of you. This might be the right time for you two, and just you two, to hit the refresh button. Live and find your love again,” advises Mira.
Love is blind, while marriage is eye-opening. Couples often rush into marriage without getting to know one another well.
The result? Often, within weeks or months of their marriage, they seek separation. “Rushing for marriage is the last thing one should do. A minimum of one year of courtship must be spent before the decision of marriage is taken, either by self or the parents,” advises Dr Sanjeev Trivedi.
Soumyadipta Banerjee gives diplomatic advice to my neighbour and requests her not to blame somebody else. “Let’s move towards a solution,” he says optimistically. Abhijit Gadre agrees with Soumyadipta and adds that the blame game is a lame game. Everyone makes a mistake. We must look to the future. Ten years was too long a time to understand, but better late than never.
Related reading: When a child taught me something about divorce
“Destiny is not proven on how you have lived your life, it glows after how you have outshined it. I am happy to know that your daughter is a happily married person, why cannot you be so,” he asks.
Ashwina Garg also provides valuable advice. “Learn to be philosophical and understand that your daughter’s bad experience has turned her into a stronger and wiser human being,” she says.
It was not wholly the husband’s fault that the daughter’s first marriage fell apart. People are not always able to perceive the true nature of other people, feels Srestha Chakraborty. “Your husband did not realize that your ex-son-in-law was psychotic. He’s a father at the end of the day and no father would want his daughter to be unhappy,” says Shrestha and advises the lady to put these differences behind and give it a fresh start.
As a wife, the lady has the right to express hurt, to feel bad that she could not prevent her husband from taking a wrong decision, opines Devraj and guesses that the husband also must have learnt a lesson. We all commit mistakes and some of us pay heavily for it. Devraj requests the lady to “bury the differences and make a fresh effort to stay together.” Lady anonymous, are you listening?