Categorized | Taboo

“D” Word in Desi Marriage

Posted on 19 May 2010 by .

Dear Uncle,

“As you know divorces in our community have risen in past few years, and we all know this is not accepted as a norm in our culture, people that are divorced are having a very hard time finding a life partner and meeting with someone who are alike and have been through the same situation, I think you should open another category for that calling… “Giving life a second chance or starting over again.”

First, I would like to admit that when I was looking for a spouse more than 37 years ago, I would have automatically ruled out a prospect regardless of all other wonderful qualities had she been divorced or for that matter if she were not a virgin!!

The divorce rate for a couple getting married these days is more than 50% within first ten years of married life. This percentage goes up to 66% if one of the spouses is divorced and 75% or so if both were divorced. In spite of such high prevalence it does not make it easy to recover from them. So numbers are definitely against the people with history of previous blunder of ‘going round and round (Paa) and then changing mind!’ This gets far complicated if there is a child involved.

Just as a desi marriage is marriage of two families, a desi divorce is a divorce of two families. So the aftershock of divorce extends far beyond those two people who get divorced. It is said that you never know anyone how low they can go until you divorce them – and that is partially true. Divorce is one of the most painful experiences. So it is possible that a divorcee may have many unresolved issues.

In our times the divorces were rare (women opted for suicide before bringing the shame upon the family by walking out). As it is in recent history women have paid much heavier price for divorce – lack of virginity or being a widow. So we automatically assumed that if someone was divorced there was something totally unacceptable about them. Men were not as affected to the same degree.

It is about time; we decriminalize the divorce as an automatic black mark and start looking at it as one more thing to look into.

First we have to acknowledge that loss of virginity is not as big a deal as it was in my times. Virgins are at a disadvantage in western dating and marriage scene.

There are so many circumstances that lead to a dysfunctional marriage. And many a times I have no hesitation in recommending the divorce than continued misery. I am much better at funeral of the dysfunctional relationship than making a match for functional relationship! So in some cases divorce may be the best thing one can go for under the circumstances.

So my recommendation is not to make divorce a deal breaker but something to seriously look into.

If you are divorced and are now looking to remarry, remember marriage and divorce are a matter of public knowledge. Simple background search can easily uncover the fact. Not only that but in our gossip-rich society there is no way you are going to cover the whole thing up unless you move to the south pole. How you handle the issue of divorce gives out lot more information about you. As painful as it may be you should be prepared to share your past. When you make it look like it was all the fault of the other person – no one believes you.

Look for the honesty as he/she narrates the story of divorce. Look for introspection to see if the person indeed has learned from his/her mistakes. Try to ascertain the factors (there are always more than few) that may have contributed to divorce and if the divorcee has indeed learned any lessons from the past and is willing to make the changes so the next marriage does not end in the same fate.

You do have to factor the negative reaction you might encounter from your parents. After all many of us are still stuck in seventies and in some village in India when it comes to divorce and remarrying. Their first reaction is why are you going for a divorcee when you are never married and a perfect candidate?

Well they have no idea as to how difficult it is to find someone these days. I do not mind talking to those parents. The trick lies in looking at the total package.

It is important to find out who the ex-spouse was? Will the ex-spouse make it hard for him/her to move on? Is there any alimony or palimony involved? How long did the marriage last? How much time has passed since the divorce? Would you have recommended the divorce had he/she been your friend? More important, are you about to make the same mistake that cost someone else a divorce? All these are legitimate questions to seriously consider.

Many a times you might find a bargain among these divorcees because of their past history, their expectations may have lowered and they may have learned some valuable lessons so you are not marrying the same person that ex-spouse divorced.

Do I think that if you are divorced you can only match with the one who have been through the same process? Absolutely Not. My recommendation to all the divorcees is to heal yourself – if that needs professional help, do it. Once you are healed accept your part of responsibility and the lessons learned. Then get back in seriously looking group and learn to look at the total package. Just as your history makes you less than a perfect product there are many out there who for one reason or the other feel the same. Once you look beyond so called imperfection and learn to know the rest of that person, you may be pleasantly surprised. I personally know so many divorcees who are far better candidates now than they might have been at the time of their first marriage.

‘D’ word in Desi marriage situation may automatically disqualify you from the primary market. What is the rational approach to a divorcee? Let us decriminalize the divorce and learn to look at the total picture. A call for logical dialogue and rational approach to challenges of life!

Author: Vijay Uncle

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