While growing up, I saw my mother suffering at hands of a rich yet abusive husband. Till today I wonder why she never had the courage to leave him.
As my mother wasn’t educated, strong, independent, working woman, I made a peace with her nightmarish marriage.
But, what shocked me was when I saw strong, independent and working women around me making life-long deals with the abusive and unhappy marriages.
Being succumbed by ‘Log Kya Kahengey’, many of them agree to suffer in silence of unhappy marriage, yet very few gather the courage to free themselves. Do you know why?
It’s because they have to fight these battles alone. Very few people understand what they are fighting for.
Recently, when Malaika Arora, opened up about her struggle to free herself from an unhappy marriage of 19 years, I could feel the pain in her struggle.
Before you read any further, I want to make it clear that I am not writing about Malaika – the celebrity. I am writing about the voice of a woman who has gathered the courage to move out of an unhappy marriage irrespective of what people thought about her decisions.
I am writing this piece for all those women, who are struggling alone in an abusive or unhappy marriage. Its a message for those who are scared, alone and hopeless. The message that they are not alone and it’s not the end – they can still win their life back.
Arriving at the decision of being separated is never easy
Sharing how difficult it was for her and her husband to reach the decision on getting separated, Malaika shared at Kareena’s radio show:
“It’s never, ever easy, like no other major decision in your life.”
“We did think about a lot of things and weighed every single pro and con. And then we decided, it’s better off that we move our separate ways because we’d just be better people.”
“Because we were two people in a situation making each other extremely unhappy which was impacting everybody else’s life around us.”
It takes a lot of courage to admit that no marriage is better than an unhappy marriage.
And, there are many couples, who struggle to accept it.
Our Family and Society might not be very supportive
While making this critical decision, the one thing that each one of us desperately wants is the support of family. But unfortunately, not many of us will get it when we need it the most.
On seeking support from the family, Malaika shared how her family kept asking her till the last minute if she really wanted a divorce:
“Nobody really encourages you to go right ahead. Even the night before the divorce, I had my family sit with me and ask me, are you sure?
I heard this all along and perhaps rightly so because these are people who worry and care for you.”
Given the patriarchal nature of our society, we still blame our woman more than a man for a divorce. So, it wasn’t shocking when Malaika accepted that it was comparatively more difficult for women to move on with their lives after divorce.
“It’s the biggest disparity there is among all the other disparities there are which women have to face.”
Though it might be difficult for a woman to move after divorce, it shouldn’t stop her from seeking a life full of happiness, self-respect and dignity.
Being a strong woman, don’t let anybody tell you what you want
Focusing on how you need to take a charge of your life and misery, Malaika shared:
“If you are in an unhappy marriage and that’s what you decide to do you should do it with a lot of dignity, self-respect.
Don’t let anybody tell you that you are any less of a woman. With me, I could sense that a lot of people were like, how the hell did you pull it off?”
Some people can easily discount the courage and strength of this strong woman on the grounds of being a celebrity.
But, being a daughter of a mother, who always hoped that her mother could have given herself a second chance, I want to applaud Malaika for her courage to stand for herself, her dignity and her happiness.
It is commendable how she opened up and shared her wounds with a larger segment of society to inspire other women who are struggling in an abusive and unhealthy marriage.
If you are struggling with an abusive and unhappy marriage, or you know anyone who is, then please let them know that they are worthy to be loved, cared and respected.
They are worthy to be happy.
Sometimes, they just want someone to understand their battle and help them find their courage to win their life back.
I wish I could have been that someone for my mother but sadly I wasn’t!