With the supreme court’s latest decision to allow men to divorce wives if they refuse to take care of his parents, I find this a common topic of conversation on lunch tables these days.
People have asked me of my opinion and I’ve replied in a single line – “if it is that big a point of contention between the two (partners), probably it’s good to get separated”.
With that answer, people make their own judgements about me. I will never know what exactly is that. Perhaps, that I’m too casual about divorce, just as so many of my generation are these days. For one, I never cared much about other people’s opinion. It’s often as narrow-visioned as guessing a picture by looking at a pixel. Second, I know marriage is work, a lot of hard work to give up that easily. So if two people have reached the point of divorce, things are pretty bad already.
Coming back to the court’s ruling, why is it so big a deal? Is it the first time that people will separate because of parents? People may give various reasons but many a times the underlying reason is the parents. It’s now only made easier by the court’s ruling that you don’t need to hunt or cook up a reason; and say it for what it is. Yes..the society is not comfortable with it, of course! Because societies are often made of ‘parents’. Parents, who get together and decide what will be considered acceptable and what not. I better not start or how utterly distasteful I find that.
Have you ever observed that usually when two people get divorced, they are not the ones explaining themselves or their reasons. It’s their individual set of parents. And, more usual than not, the parents are furthermore poor souls if they accept, in public, their child’s decision as correct. They are put to further turmoil, shame and explanations if they say they stand by their daughter/son’s decision of ending the marriage. The pressure of this society is so much that they cannot help but succumb to it and must ill – mouth the son-in-law/daughter – in-law to justify their child’s decision . Whether they believe in it or not. No matter what their personal thoughts are.
In such highly entwined and complicated setup, imagine their plight if it was public knowledge that divorce happened because of ‘them’. Their life would become a never – ending nightmare!!
So, does this mean the supreme court’s ruling is wrong? Or, does it mean, the way our society is threaded, that’s wrong?
I think, I’ve two points to make here. One, when a marriage breaks, each one is equally responsible – the partners, both set of parents. In their own way. So, rather than demonising, bad – mouthing the other party, accept your bit of mistake. And move on. Full stop. Stop explaining to people. Stop finding faults. It’s already a very bad time for you because something you had been working on for years, fell out. Just deal with yourself and let the world deal with themselves, on their own.
Second, understand that marriage is a lot of work. It’s not just getting that boy/girl finally and making that perfect home or honeymoon with. Get your expectations right and be prepared to work on building relationships. Both man and the wife. Make that effort to build that with your in-laws. And it’s not just the girl’s responsibility to build it. The boy needs to act as a translator, a bridge between her and his parents. You need to make efforts to adjust things in this new setup. It takes years and sometimes it still doesn’t work out. You make hard choices in its course, but before you make those, you need to trust the first choice you made – your partner. If you believe that was the right choice for you, and you did the right thing in marrying him/her, let the world go to hell but you don’t give up on your marriage. No matter who’s on the other side. His/her parents or yours!