Confessions of a divorcée
Deciding whether to divorce or not is tough, especially if there are no serious reasons such as physical abuse. Sometimes, you just fall out of love. And sometimes, like in my case where it was an arranged marriage, you can’t make it work anymore. To me, it seemed my husband did not want to get married. It felt like I was married to his parents. They were overbearing and his mother actually insisted we never be alone without her.
Since my husband and I had no relations to speak of (physical or emotional), I decided to get a divorce. His family decided to contest it. When you first file for divorce, a year is wasted in counselling. It may work for some people, but most have thought it out when they approach the court. These formalities just add to the anguish.
In India, divorce can be granted for two reasons— cruelty and mutual consent. Concepts of falling out of love or things not working out don’t quite cut it. So people who don’t face ‘cruelty’ are forced to make up stuff. Some people allege their partner was not interested in sex, or that they had other lovers. I was advised to ask for a higher alimony. My ex-husband would have had to pay me alimony for all the years that the case went on, which in my case was four years already. That would have been a large sum, so he agreed to ‘mutual consent’.
The worst thing is that there are very few courts to handle all the divorce cases. You get a date once in four months. I was in a bad marriage for four years, and it took me almost as long to get a divorce. That means I have wasted eight years of my life. But I have to say that judges are fair—they take good decisions and give good advice.
The life of a divorcee is not fun. But at least you are free of a relationship that wasn’t working. The stigma attached to divorce too has almost disappeared. Parents have become more accepting. All that my parents want now is for me to be happy and get on with my life.