Champions at work listen up! Nominations for Women In Corporate Awards 2022 close tomorrow. Nominate yourself today!
Happy divorce. Paradoxical? Idiotic, too, as I realized after an eye-opening conversation with a male colleague who claimed to have had one.
Not long ago, I was stuck in a long commute across the town with a male colleague. Having known him for a while, I wasn’t surprised when he started sharing the story of his second marriage to the love of his life.
You see, he met the second woman while on a work trip. He was already married with a son and a daughter. The man and his lover continued their grand, romantic, illicit adventure for five years while his wife back home raised the children. And when this second woman had had enough of stolen moments, she (rightfully so) put her foot down and demanded that he divorce his wife.
Our hero, the man regaling me with this story of adventurous love, then confessed that it took him another two years to tell his wife of the other woman and ask for a divorce. However, he did not feel guilty about it because by then he had physically and emotionally detached himself from her and ‘allowed’ her to get detached as well, so that the divorce won’t be hard for her.
“Ours was a very happy, happy divorce.” He said.
In fact the very generous gentleman also waited a few more years to help his wife find a job and develop employability.
I smiled appropriately as I listened to him continue proudly of their arrangement post the divorce.
“My ex-wife stays close to my place, I meet my kids often. In fact when she took up a professional MBA for a year and had to move out of Bangalore, I even took care of my children.” He declared, his chest puffed up and face gleaming.
Give the man a medal, already! I thought.
“So, did your wife…sorry ex-wife, ever get married again?” I asked.
“No way…” he claimed, proudly. I smiled a tight awkward smile because I did not think punching him in his face then, would be an appropriate social response.
He cleared his throat and continued, “I don’t know what is about women with kids; I hardly know any who chose to get married again. Although I did come to know from my kids that she was seeing someone briefly. But then you see, I have a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. She is free to be with whoever she wants.”
I shifted uncomfortably, my ears fumed and fists clenched because I realized that I was sitting cramped in a car with a supposedly liberal man who claimed to be caring, yet deliberately set out to alienate his wife of years.
A charitable man, who looked upon helping his soon to be ex-wife develop employability skills as his foray into philanthropy.
A generous man who proudly claimed that his ex-wife was free to date whoever she wanted, but never ever thought how daunting it would be for her to get out there, to learn to flirt, to learn the ropes of casual dating at the age of thirty five.
A loving father who expects a ‘Father of the year award’ because he took care of his kids for a year while his ex-wife pursued an MBA, one that she needed to start making some decent amount of money post the divorce.
A man who claimed to be a feminist, yet scoffed at the idea of his ex-wife marrying again, because yes, in that moment, in that car we were both thinking one thing.
Which Indian man would marry a single mother of two kids?
He probably thought, “Only an idiot would marry a single mother of two kids.”
And I thought, “It would take truly intelligent and liberal man to realize how lucky he is to be married to that strong woman who has single handedly raised two kids and waded through a divorce, while beginning a professional journey in her midlife.”
Needless to say, by the end of that trip I was left zero respect and zero tolerance for that man, and at the same time oodles of admiration for his ex-wife.
Author’s note: I don’t think we realize how tough and daunting it is to start one’s life after a divorce, especially post the thirties and with kids. When we get married, in our mind we are committed for life, we plan our retirement with the man we married. And suddenly he wants to leave, start over with this new woman and we are left to pick up the pieces alone and the kids, while maintaining our dignity and trying hard not to give into histrionics. If we date, we choose wisely. We know we don’t want to bring the wrong man home to our kids. If we work, we work passionately because we know that and the kids are the only things to keep us going. If we love, we love cautiously. Because we are wise enough to know that while the man we love would be a nice guy, a great guy in fact, but we would be expecting too much, if we expect him to have spine enough to breakthrough the societal barriers and inhibitions. To finally chose to be with us forever.
And maybe that is the reason; even I haven’t come across many single mothers in India who marry the second time.
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, sign up and start sharing your views too!
Writer. Artist. Dreamer...and a Coach.
Hi, I am Lakshmi Priya, but I respond better to Ell.P. A leadership consultant/coach when the sun shines, and a writer/artist past midnight. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
In the last few days I was having a conversation with my younger sister about relationships, and she said something which hit me hard.
I have seen a lot of people feel uncomfortable sharing their age, but I have no such hesitations. I am 32 years old and my younger cousins tell me that I belong to the ‘old generation’. If you are born in the year 1990, you are still considered among them, but if a year less – 1989, you are from the old school.
Being an elder sister, my cousins come to me seeking advice about studies, career and relationships, but when I try to help in the way I understand, the only reply I get is, “Didi, leave it, you’ll not understand it. Aapki generation aur hamari generation mein bahut fark hai. (There’s a lot of difference between your and my generation).”
In the last few days I was having a conversation with my younger sister about relationships, and she said something which hit me hard. Though she is from the new generation and I am from the so-called old generation, we share a lot of mutual thoughts and interests. We spoke about love, how the generation born after the year 2000 perceives love.
You ask any SATC fan. We all wanted a friendship like the one that the 4 girls shared. A friendship that was a rock. A friendship that seemed to withstand the tests of time and in general, life.
I confess that SATC (Sex and the City) has a special place in my heart. I must have watched the 6 seasons and every single episode at that, countless times. Seriously, there was nothing like sitting back with a glass of wine, a bar of dark chocolate and an episode of SATC, after a hard day at work. It renewed me. Made me laugh.
So much so, that I even ended up going for the special SATC bus tour when I visited New York in 2019.
Now some may call the show frivolous but for me, it was pure, honest entertainment. I was in love with the fashion, the ‘fabulousness’, the fun! And it had its moments as well. Moments that were truly thought-provoking, moments that made its viewers take a good, candid look at their own relationships, particularly their female friendships.