Divorced And Ready To Try Again?

Posted: May 17, 2012
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Divorced finally! Now ready for another relationship.

In India, divorce goes against our ‘traditions’, as though there’s any country or society where divorce is an acceptable ‘tradition’. As though it’s only us Indians who are sanctimonious about ‘making a marriage work’ and judgmental about those who have failed. I assure you, it’s a world wide phenomenon. The only difference is, that in other parts of the world, people recognise that a divorced person is still a human being, and that they cannot be wished away or left lying by the roadside, presumed dead.

They need to be rehabilitated, helped through this difficult time of loneliness, less income and the cruel jibes of people and their pointing fingers. The divorced person is not evil. They’re going through a lot. They may not show you but honestly, very few fit into the stereotype of the mate hunting, uncaring, insensitive person with no respect for family values that society loves to categorise them into. I say ‘very few’ but I could just as easily say ‘none’.

So, as I’ve mentioned before in this blog and at my other blog, divorced people, both men and women, are demonized. Once the divorcee has their divorce, has recovered some financial and emotional stability (all this takes at least five years), they may want to give marriage another go. Interestingly, the general assumption is – that you’re so lucky to be on your own. Or, “ Since you have children, you won’t be wanting to marry again, or have another relationship.”

The first time I encountered this attitude I was taken aback. And because I’m a person who questions myself first, I began to examine my desire for another relationship, wondering whether there was something wrong with that, since I do have children, and my desire for a partner is not because I want children but for companionship and a relationship that works.

I began to state clearly that this IS what I want. It was met with disapproving looks, with advice that was rather snide – “ Once you stop wanting it so much, it will happen.” – some weird kind of spirituality implying that stoic people who don’t express inappropriate and unfeminine desires for a mate will have their wishes granted by a loving God (male of course) who likes chaste women.

I took offense at the suggestion that my desire for a partner was somehow inappropriate but instead of riding into battle with flags flying I began to be careful whom I voiced this to. Women, whom I’d considered safe enough to share with, obviously weren’t. Or at least not all women, but only my closest friends – and not even all of them. Everyone had his or her own agenda about this issue of finding a second partner.

About men – I never share my desire to find a partner with a man. Because one and all wish to oblige me, and be the person who takes away my suffering. Not in a serious, committed way of course, because they’re either married already, getting a divorce and taking a decade to get it, emotionally unavailable, wishing to live on in a bad marriage because of their children, their fear of being divorced, parental pressure – are just a few of the mixed up men I’ve encountered.

It’s rare in India for a divorced woman to be taken seriously by men. Their assumption is – that she’s good for a bit of fun, she has no emotions, if she gets hurt again she can handle it, its happened to her before. ( They don’t realise HOW hard it is to start again from scratch, or how much courage it takes to open one’s heart again. And if they realise, they don’t care.)

Of course none of this can stop divorced people from finding another partner, but it’s interesting to see the mindset of people and what they think is acceptable or unacceptable for older people. My advice is – don’t worry about what people say or even give it a second thought. The divorce has already made you a strong person as you’ve had to drown out the voices, been let down by close friends and family and emerged with true friends who’ve stuck by your side come what may and who care about you even if you are divorced. If you’re ready for another relationship – go out and mingle, be open and learn to trust again. But I’d say – go very slow, and check along every step of the way whether the people you meet are worthy of your trust and love.

A freelance journalist and teacher, Kalpana is a feminist, an animal rights activist, passionate about

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Comments

19 Comments


  1. You are a very brave person. I am divorced but when the desire for a partner surfaced, I suppressed it. I simply did not want to go through the same rigmarole again

  2. it is very easy to say “don’t worry about what people say or even give it a second thought.” but in reality its very hard. women divorcee in India are treated like shit!4 men dey r for der entertainment! plus after divorce one has to gain der identity. its very difficult to open any a/c without proper residential proof.And the biggest drawback is women’s children! men r not ready to accept women’s child/ children, even if he is divorcee n hv children. I may cases after divorce children faces psychological problems, which doesn’t allow her to give 2nd thought! she doesn’t hv any security. in job also she get exploited monetarily! every women doesn’t get family support.

    • it is really very sad to see that the society which boasts of its glorious past can not give women a second thought to get married again and live peacefully with a companion by her side. though it is hard to recollect her broken heart and shattered dream once again for another person and and above all to trust him. but as the river flows the life also should never be left stagnated and must give a chance to flow like running water to refresh itself and a fresh hope and just hope that some good omen will surely undo the miseries of the past.

  3. Divorceddoodler -

    Hey Phoenix Ritu – thanks for the comment. I don’t think one should suppress one’s desires. As for the same rigmarole – it may be very different the second time around. We make mistakes in order to learn from them so you’d probably be very careful whom you choose and how well you gel with them. Divorce is something that shakes you up to the core so you invariably do a lot of soul searching and self enquiry. In the process you find out things about yourself that may have been the cause for the break up of the first marriage, and you decide to work on them. As a result you’re a different person and have more wisdom – which should surely help in making sure things work out.

  4. Divorceddoodler -

    Mangat – its NOT easy to say “don’t worry about what people say”- I know. But worrying about people is the least of your worries. As you’ve pointed out, most men think we divorced women are there for their entertainment (no strings attached 😉 😉 And even if you find someone who is serious he often trips over the first stumbling block – your children. The list of difficulties is endless.
    However, with faith and hope you will surely find a man who is sincere, wants a long term relationship and understands the problem with children from broken homes. The thing is that there are as many divorced men as there are divorced women and its probably better to opt for a divorced man because he knows the depth of the problems of divorce and his children are going through the same things. Plus the lives of divorced parents are invariably still intertwined because of the children, which is something that non divorced people find very difficult to understand.
    As for family support – hardly any divorced woman gets family support – do you think my family is encouraging me to get married again? It isn’t their idea – its mine, and they have to respect it because I am adamant that I don’t want to live alone and that I can make things work a second time around.

    • let me congr8 you for your second inning! really its gr8 to know at least you have found your soul mate.
      as for “better to opt for a divorced man because he knows the depth of the problems of divorce and his children are going through the same things.” would like to point out that these divorcee doesn’t want divorcee with child!
      in rare case it happens. anyhow it individual perception ….. & also whether to take risk to second time !
      with best wishes to you !

  5. I got divorced with one year of marriage. Next five years it was difficult especially living in US with visa problem. Got married again and living my hubby. Second time around, you get married for yourself. It can happen. I was first person to get divorced in the family and they didn’t know how to handle it.

    If you do get divorced, please do try to talk with a therapist. It is very important talk with an outside person than with family members. They are not going to understand.

    Another important thing is not to jump immediately into another relationship.

  6. Very very good article. thanks Divorceddoodler. I feel everyone affected must come out in open and remove any kind of hesitation on remarriage. And it is never necessary that one will fail again. And if it does so what. We fail in life in many other challenges / exams be it study, business or …But we never ever give up. and those who give up they definitely fail. However as a caution one must improve on self and choice so chances of failure second time reduces. Must join some good counseling, personality development, spiritual programme to remove chances of failing again.

  7. Build a good relationship with a good caring young guy who needs a mature woman in his life, I promise he will help u to to forget every single bad thing which u faced and protect u from -ve persons.

  8. Great article!!

    I can just relate myself to these lines:
    “They need to be rehabilitated, helped through this difficult time of loneliness, less income and the cruel jibes of people and their pointing fingers. The divorced person is not evil. They’re going through a lot. They may not show you but honestly, very few fit into the stereotype of the mate hunting, uncaring, insensitive person with no respect for family values that society loves to categorise them into. I say ‘very few’ but I could just as easily say ‘none’.”

    I am a divorced man living alone in USA, I was so caring and all my relentless efforts to save marriage failed with her angers and dominating attitude.

    There are wives who abuse husbands – physically and mentally. Husbands are very shy to share that his wife hit him. Yes, I did have a limit of 10 years of abuse. And then when i applied for divorce several years of extortion. It is all over now, i am still healing, by prayers and meditation, voluntary services, work, growing plants etc.,.

    I am scared to even think of second relationship, because what if the she is also an “angry bird” like the first one? and equally am worried about indian community gossips.

    Unbelievable how indian community is nosy and gossiping here too. The community looks at you as some sort of lower level being – they waste their precious time on gossiping.
    They do not understand how you struggle alone and with out a person to talk to. They automatically think you are looking and offer suggestions whether to re-marry or not.

    Ultimately, i have come to the conclusion that all good girls have been taken, so if god sends someone in my way with out any of my effort then i would go for it else – live alone.
    How many agree to this passive outlook?

  9. In the present circumstances, a divorcee, if she is having any child of her earlier marriage, is an unwanted person for second marriage, since she carries a child. Every divorced man should think over it. Because he is also a divorced person, and was united with some woman. Since the family court, it seems, has no faith on divorced boy, the court order the custody of issue on woman, since she can take care of her own baby. The present generation should now make their own mind and should be ready to accept the divorcee women with their child and give shelter to them. This change is very much needed to safeguard the divorcees.

  10. wow this is scary…I was thinking about separating from my husband due to constant insulting and emotional torture…Now have to rethink esp because i have a child…

    • It is scary Krish. Divorce needs a lot of thought before we arrive at a decision. The way I see it though is that however tough it looks at least it gives you a chance to make a new life specially if you are unhappy at being insulted and because of the emotional torture.

  11. Hey divorcedoodler… Can I share my story personally to u?

  12. After reading the various comments, I collect the opinion that most marriages in India where the parents play the dominant role, such marriages don’t last long. When young men and girls get married, it takes place out of the parents’ decision and not through a choice of the children. Of late I also note that such arranged marriages are landing in the divorce courts on an exponential basis. It is not uncommon that the couple first start coming to know each other on the wedding night. Both are strangers; don’t know anything about each other’s backgrounds. Both have no sexual experience, either with each other or through other relationships. I used to live in Germany. I married a German lady after a friendship lasting five years. We had a son. He is today 54 of age. We divorced in 1983 because we had lived apart and our thinking had considerably changed. In 1984, I married an Indian lady without having spent sufficient time together and seeing that her primary interest was to make a lot of money which I must acquire. She was a doctor. When we used to get together with my German friends, they noticed something which I had not noticed earlier. She was not maintaining herself clean. They repeatedly asked, if I was sure that she is a doctor. I said “Yes!”. “Then why are her nails dirty?” This shocked me. Slowly I noticed that during her monthlies, she was not keeping herself clean. This was becoming unbearable. I took a divorce after 8 months of marriage. Since 1984, I have been living alone. I have had many female friends but marriage was never on the cards. The friendships never had marriage as priority. It was mutual respect and liking for each other. I returned to India in ’98 and am living alone. To be honest, I have been frightened of Indian women after reading how quickly ladies here start shouting “I have been raped after a relationship of months or years, claiming promise to being married to Though wishing a partnership/relationship with a lady, but not living together under one roof and marriage, particularly, if children are present out of a previous marriage. My view to this subject is as follows: since I do not know how the upbringing of the child (above 6 years) had taken place, I wish to keep my distance. Furthermore most mothers who bring children into a new relationship/marriage don’t accept, if the child is scolded or pointed out by the new partner for misbehavior or some harmful deed. Then quarrels between the partners are on the cards and unhealthy air above the head. Why wonder then divorces are around the corner. I am still open to a respectful relationship without encumbrances.

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