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Getting A Divorce – 5 Must Do’s

Posted: February 23, 2012

Despite the terrible stigma divorce has in India, people need to go through the steps of healing themselves, seeking help and reaching out so that they aren’t permanently damaged by the process.

There are five things you, as a divorcee must do once you’ve decided you’re getting a divorce, during the process and after it. Don’t take it lightly, it’s a life changing event that needs to be given its due importance. You may also be going through child custody battles, financial crunches and sheer loneliness – all of which will hugely raise your stress factors.

1. Get support from others recovering from divorce

You can’t do it alone. You can’t ignore the pain, and it hurts even if you are the one who wanted the divorce. You can’t jump into another relationship because you’re likely to cause more unhappiness and health problems. Deal with your issues, talk.


Talk to others who have been through it. Not necessarily the person you are dating ( if you do start dating very soon after) as you may not trust them enough to put all your feelings out there, and this is natural and fine. Talk to friends, online groups (internet anonymity can be wonderfully useful), family who understand you. But of course the best thing you can do is to see a professional divorce counsellor. The reactions, insights  and advice of friends will be coloured by their own experiences.

3. Be aware of the process of recovery

There is a process. And there are stages (I’ll blog about this in my next post). Be aware of the stage that you’re at. Some people remain stuck at a certain stage if they don’t actively pursue their recovery and never heal completely. Their divorce becomes the cancer of their lives; the terminal illness that makes happiness impossible. It isn’t true that you can’t be a whole, happy person after a divorce. You can. It takes time and work.

4. Work on that emotional whirlpool

Those strong feelings of anger, resentment and frustration can’t be denied. Nor will they go away on their own. Not paying attention to them or sweeping them under the carpet will ensure that you remain trapped in the drowning whirlpool of grief, anger or low self worth. Working through your emotions is the way to recovery. You can heal your wounds and be stronger than before.

5. Learn from your experience

Understand your life patterns and the decisions you make in relationships. Without this process of looking inward you could end up making the same mistakes. Stop the blame game, and hold the mirror up to yourself instead of the other person. This doesn’t mean you run yourself down but have a balanced understanding of your part in the break up.

Turn your divorce into a reason for getting to know yourself better so that you can be a person with better emotional health, more strength and a greater chance for happiness.


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

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  1. I like the lines – It isn’t true that you can’t be a whole, happy person after a divorce. You can. It takes time and work. This will be the medicine to people who are looking for this.

  2. Found this very useful. Not that I am a divorcee or looking at getting divorced, but it’s so important to have perspectives out there, from real women who have lived through divorce successfully. Contrary to what we are told that we MUST make marriages work at any cost – it’s important to know that divorce, while traumatic, is not the end of the world and can be gotten through.

  3. @Ritika – it is important to have perspective as you said and to know that there are options in case things don’t work. Thats the way to remaining empowered.

    @Srilakshmi – life doesn’t always work out the way you would like it to. Everyone goes into a marriage with the desire to make it work. If it just cannot and the person opts out they need to know that eventually they will be happy again. And a stronger person thanks to the experience.

  4. Thanks very much for this piece. I think it is a wonderful idea that you have decided to blog about it. When I was going through my divorce I searched high and low for all kinds of information and help. And I found the web a useful resource.
    And I could not agree more on the last point that you made!

  5. I am divorced, in India. I agree it takes time. I belong to a community where divorce is unheard of, so could not vent or even talk about it. Healing happened only when I started blogging

    • For a mutual consent divorce, how long does the order take after completion of final setting? I hate people still talking to me and mentioning “your husband” knowing fully well that he is the ex-husband. Probably they derive some satisfaction out of it (Wonder why, if they are in functional relationships!) Theirs are no prize catches 😀 and probably they would willingly exchange their current for my ex, considering he earns well , is fair and straight(not that straight matters in my small town). Well then, you marry him and give me my divorce, I say! I’ve been on my own emotionally and financially for years now. It’s 1.5 months now, waiting for the orders and wondering if I shd file another petition/ go for RTI, or what.Probably the judiciary displaying its mojo.


  6. Iam divorced and I went through all the emotional turmoil that such an event incurrs. The heartening thing is that my family remained supportive through out and people, mostly women helped me cope with it in various ways.
    I too did net surfing to help understand my pain better and gain encouragement from real women who had gone through the same emotions.
    And the real learning from the entire experience was that I understood the value of small blessings in life. I understood that the only happiness that lasts is the happiness we find inside us and not from others.

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  9. I am going through a separation and would be filing a divorce case this year end -mutual or contested i am not sure about it. But i would like to say a big thank you for sharing your opinion and thoughts. I have searched so many articles on divorce and all of the things that follow but i guess yours was one of the most realistic and close to the heart. Divorce- i think is and will always be a social taboo. But what we have is – the right to either accept it or fight it. I chose to move out of my marriage just after 12 days cause i couldn’t take my husband or his family abusing me or my parents for issues like – dowry, me having male friends or more than anything that m a daughter to a hindu father and a muslim mother. I think unless we speak out, no one will ever hear it just like the answer is always no unless you ask the question.
    I have a request, could you please write a post on how to go about the legal procedures cause personally i have been through lot of confusions about what the exact timelines are for the divorce to get files and accepted etc etc.

    Thanks once again! And to all the woman out there – “It isn’t true that you can’t be a whole, happy person after a divorce. You can. It takes time and work.’

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