02 August, 2009
Divorced but not separated from joy!
Connubial bliss is what most of us strive for…but so do we also for perfection, hassle free existence, commitments, soul mates and instant connects. More often than rare, we keep ‘striving’ for these life-long to reach that state of utopia which is just a figment of our imagination. Recently a dear friend of mine sent me food for thought by emphatically stating that marriage is not an ideal state. I didn’t concur of course at first, being cushioned in my cosy domain of the same but upon deeper reflection I questioned myself and who gave me the bloody rights to disagree, with there being a life beyond it or by oneself. I also realized despite all the good intensions, how futile and callous it is sometimes, to insist upon someone to mould his views, when he or she has been once bitten and twice shy.
Unfortunately, I have many friends now moving through the rocky lands of divorce, separation and life after that. By god’s grace, none of them seem deflected from the path of finding little nuances in everyday lives to bring them smiles. If anything at all, they impress me time and again with the infectious zest they carry along for not just breathing through life...but also living it to the brim. Messy marriages I have seen all around with the spouse suffering from schizophrenia, an abusive husband, a lying straying one, a loveless marriage of blame games, lacking the laws of attraction...reasons could be varied. It’s said you need both hands to resound a clap…twisted that Hindi proverb a bit, hopefully not lost in translation…But then who is to decide who’s fault it is really?
A fault for a marriage going sour…definitely…but to say it’s a fault to move out of a faded relationship…is a big unforgivable fault in itself because THAT my dear friends is not a fault at all!
The world in general seems to favour the state of being “happily married ever after”. Live in relations do not get the same status, privileges and rights as the blissfully married label allows you, forget about societal acceptability. Socially you are more liable to being and feeling the odd one out without a spouse, when the gathering is brimming with happy faces tagging on to their better halves, even if that’s a facade. In many professions like in the army or being in the public glare, it is preferable to put up a smokescreen of a healthy marriage than to admit that the bloom there since a long time ago, has rotten and now even begun to stink. For the sake of families, children, financial stability, etc, compromises are meted out. It is still easier to bear the brunt in the background by staying passive than to take that giant leap and stand bare in the spotlight. To add to these pressures and this mad condemning race, health wizards increasingly point out to the threats of heart risks, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression and other ailments that one is open to after parting ways. Divorced individuals are stripped and ripped apart and staying married is the only way to be if you want to remain in the fabric of ‘proper’ order, physically and mentally.
As if the burning heart is not enough…everyone wants to rub their share of salt on the wounds. Consciously or deliberately, we put the accused in a mind trial, sitting mercilessly in our self-claimed haughty chairs, to bring out inferences and judgement of what could have possibly gone wrong. You can move out of a broken marriage but you can never really fill up the scars or silence the gossip mongers, let alone come out of a constant battle with your own guilt pangs and personal failure. And then after going through such ordeals, if a person survives and chooses to be reclusive or on guard, there we get new opportunities to point fingers at all over again!
No one would deliberately want a broken marriage…but then sometimes the circumstances are such that it’s better to walk out than to be slowly crushed. We all grow up with dreams of a tall, dark, handsome man on a white horse or a beautiful, angelic maiden walking out of clouds beckoningly towards us. But then adulthood brings with it harsh realities and the sense to see beyond just the pretty face. Life’s not a fairy tale and marriage is not a dead end. Media, through examples, books and movies, may propagate the allusion of ‘love of a lifetime’ or one that lasts forever...but the fact is that increasingly such notions are being challenged and turned to dust and a pragmatic approach and acceptability is the need of the hour.
A divorce is not the end of the road...it is the beginning of a new journey. A broken marriage has nothing to do with a broken or dubious character. It may just be the case of non-blending of individuals, who by themselves rock the world but together rock each other to complete incompatibility. Each one of us has a different flavour to offer with our individualistic perfections and flaws, regardless of the fact that in a particular combination we rattle or turn distasteful...The amalgamation needs to be corrected not the ingredients discarded. Equally true for my friends going through this upheaval, is to realize that they need not take themselves off the shelf. There’s no expiry date to being able to solicit new relations. We are not products that run off to being finished if used or misused once. We grow with time and learn with experiences. Once bitten twice shy can be strongly countered by the saying if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! No inventions or discoveries of things that matter on the planet today were made without passing through the trial and error phase.
The world awaits us with open arms. With better sensibilities let’s embrace a new understanding and rid ourselves of scars. Let’s be open to experiments but done so cautiously and prudently. Let us not get tempted to be revengeful by going astray and inflicting similar wounds to others. But also let go of prejudices and the unreasonable act of putting each prospect through the same lens of suspicions with fear of an encore. When nothing in life is permanent, this too shall pass...go with the flow my friend and don’t bury the heart so deep within that it is not ready to float along!