Being a divorced woman isn’t easy, especially if you are an Indian woman. We live in a society where the majority still consider marriages to last forever. If as a woman, you decide to step out of a marriage for whatever the reasons, you are labeled as a failure.
More often than not, this ideology of shaming woman for her failed marriage is the reason why so many women chose to suffer in silence in an abusive marriage. Though there are still some brave women who are refusing to listen to the negative voices of our patriarchal society. These women are fighting hard against society’s patriarchal mindset to create a life of dignity.
One such brave and courageous woman recently shared her inspiring story with HOB. While sharing the details about her marriage, she mentioned:
“About three weeks after my graduation, I was engaged. I hardly knew my fiancé– my uncle had met his family a few times and suggested him to my parents. Before I could come to terms with the fact that I was having an arranged marriage, our wedding date was set.
She further added how after marriage things took an ugly turn for her:
After marriage, I moved to Dubai with him. There, I found out that his parents had lied to us– my husband didn’t have a job but we were told that he owned a jewellery business; I was discovering new secrets every day. He was also short tempered and would avoid any attempt at reconciliation.
My mother-in-law forbade me from talking to anyone, fearing that I might reveal family secrets– ‘Achi bahu mayke me baate nahi batati,’ she’d say. My husband used to even check my phone.
Though she was trying hard to adjust in her new life. But her mom’s illness changed everything. While sharing how she was threatened to not meet her mom, she futher added:
As I was trying to adjust to this new life, I got to know that my mother was ill– I left for India despite my mother-in-law forbidding me and my husband threatening to stop talking to me.
But this brave woman still came back to meet her mother. It was then, her father became her biggest support:
After coming back, Papa found out that we weren’t talking. He confronted me and I broke down– I told him everything. For the first time, I saw him cry. I could see that he regretted marrying me off in a hurry. To motivate me, he gave me examples of all the women who had achieved success without their partners. He asked me to follow my heart with his full support.
The next day, it was my parents anniversary. To cheer us up, papa planned a trip to Amby valley. But at the help desk, I suddenly saw Papa lose consciousness. I cried out for help but within 3 minutes, he passed away in my lap.
What she shared next broke our hearts. She further added how society rather than supporting her, blamed her for her father’s death:
Our lives turned upside down– my brother quit college to take care of our business, mom stopped talking altogether and I was burdened with the guilt that this was all because of me. People didn’t miss a chance to blame me– ‘Tere tension ke wajah se papa ki yeh halat hui hai’ and asked– ‘Who will take care of you if you get a divorce?’
For 3 months, I took sleeping pills every day. My husband and in-laws came for papa’s last rites but didn’t console me or call me back home. Instead they demanded a bigger room to stay and complained about me to my uncle. That was the moment I decided to file for a divorce. I didn’t want to be part of such a family. If my father were alive, he would have wanted me to stand up for myself and that’s what I decided to do.
In the end, she shares how society may still be judging her but her father must be really proud of her:
It’s been four years since. Being a divorced woman is not easy. People are judgemental and I feel uncomfortable when they ask about ‘my future plans’. I’m working as a dentist and even write columns for the Lokmat times and other international websites. I’m happily single and taking life as it comes. I know papa is proud of me, and I remind myself of that every time the world questions my decision.”
It is a matter of shame how our society, even in the 21st century, couldn’t accept a divorced woman. Rather than applauding her courage, it is heartbreaking how it judges them and pass their hurtful comments.
At IFORHER, we are extremely happy for this brave and courageous soul to take a stand for herself. Rather than succumbing to the social pressure, she focused all her energies on creating a life of dignity for herself.
Hope many more will seek inspiration from her and stand for themselves.