‍‍The modern era of the 21st century and still, divorce is looked down upon. #LiveHyd talks to experts on how we, as a society, can ensure two individuals’ hard parting a lot less painful. 

Divorce is not a bad word! If you’ve taken a divorce, it’s no scandal. Why don’t we look at it in the form of empowering someone? You are ending a toxic or loveless marriage! We are moving towards a very inclusive world, actress Minissha Lambba and Tham tied the knot in 2015. Things turned complicated when five years into the marriage she announced her divorce from the restaurateur in August last year. This came as a shock for her fans recently but Lambba added that it was an amicable separation and the idea of falling in love again is helping her heal! 

In a way, the pandemic has acted not only as an agent of change for marriage but as an accelerant because inquiries with divorce lawyers heated up during the lockdown, while 58% of surveyed indians said that the pandemic strengthened their marriage. Strong unions got stronger but the fractured, split wide open! Amidst all this,life strategist and transformational facilitator Arpita Bhandari feels we must address the discomfort around the idea of divorce and have more conversations about it — “Divorce is understood as a legal termination of marital bond.

Come to understand the meaning of marriage and divorce in an Indian context, these are concepts that come with very deeply embedded beliefs, values and morals. It’s no surprise that divorce is a taboo in Indian society and so much of it has to be done by its own people who experience a great deal of discomfort at the very idea of it. The concept is seen as foreign and is often ridiculed by those who see the bond of matrimony as a permanent one for several ‘lifetimes’. I wanna know why!”

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As if stigma and pride weren’t enough, divorce was once legally impossible or impossibly burdensome. But the strategist enlightens us, little do they know that trapping people in unhappy marriages can have profound, negative consequences! Loosened restrictions on divorce are correlated with an 8% to 16% decrease in female suicides and a 30% decrease in domestic violence. “A key reason we find ourselves where we were fifty years ago has to do with the deep conditioning that takes place as early as when an individual is in his foundational years, via family.

The very popular saying ‘log kya kahenge’ is still very prevalent in our society despite the progress we’ve made as a country! Even 20 years back, in a large percentage of families, men were seen as the primary breadwinners of a family while women took over household chores and child-rearing responsibilities. This led women to be more and more dependent on their male counterparts, especially financially, leaving them with no choice but to become complacent even in times of adversity such as domestic violence, mental and sexual abuse. This culture further reinforced the idea of ‘permanent bonds’ between partners promoting the stigma attached to divorce,” she adds.

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“Infidelity, extramarital affairs, physical and psychological incompatibility, dissatisfied sexual life, financial insecurity and job losses, altercations with in-laws and harassment by them during prolonged stay at home are the main reasons for seeking of divorce during the pandemic,” says city advocate Kupilli Muralidhar.

While there’s another facet to this that we tend to overlook — the liberalisation of divorce laws free many couples from unhappiness, literally saving the lives of women shackled to abusive men or vice versa! What can we learn? Undoubtedly, we need better marriages. News that billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates were ending their marriage has received widespread attention! However, our exceptional interest in celebrities as a facile fascination with the lives of the rich and famous misses the point.

They have still maintained that both of them will continue to work together in their philanthropic activities even after divorce. So, divorce can be painful or stressful, but it isn’t bad. Moving on from an unhealthy has its own set of difficulties that no one can actually prepare you for. From taking your time to heal from this massive heartbreak to feeling there’s no shame in getting divorced, you can take many correct steps in the right direction to heal from it. The transformation coach guides, “Individuals who chose to embark their journey into singlehood should accept the situation as is and mould themselves in such a way that their life remains theirs to live and not the society to dictate it for them.

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Transition to singlehood is not an easy process especially if there’s a child involved! As a single parent myself, I’ve had to deal with numerous obstacles both on personal and professional fronts. Give yourself all the time that is required to come into an acceptance of situation, seek professional help, know your self worth, learn from mistakes, refuse a stagnant life, attract opportunities and lastly, equip yourself with skills and knowledge to feel empowered and independent. It’s just you who’s incharge of the steering the wheel of your life.”

Divorce is a part of the journey that life takes you through. It is accompanied by bittersweet lessons that allow us to progress as humans. So, ask yourself today, why, as a society, do we show so much resistance to growth and change? #livehyd