Remain stoic and stay in a bad marriage
Am just back from Europe. Back to India, the land of stoicism and silent suffering. Specially in the realm of marriage and in making do without sex.
Its true, guys. Most web savvy, unhappily married urban Indians cannot even contemplate divorce. As a result of this general attitude (and I’m definitely talking generalizations here, you know – not the exception to the rule) I, as a person with a positive divorce successfully behind me, am a real odd ball. Correct that – I guess I’m one of those pioneers that help usher in change.
Well, a friend of mine, a man, (lets call him Ayan) is going through a painful divorce. Litigation is underway since the last five years, in two different states of the country, because his lawyer (wait for a blog post about the ethics of Indian lawyers) snuck over to his wife’s side (its really not that uncommon). The second reason there are two cases is to keep the pressure up on her since one of the court cases has evidence against her as she admitted to falsely accusing Ayan of domestic violence. She called the police in the middle of the night while he slept in his daughter’s bedroom after reading her a bedtime story, showing self-inflicted wounds as proof of beating. Luckily, the eight year old spoke up for her father.
Can it get more sordid than that? Well, divorce Indian style frequently does get worse. And this apparently is commonplace when the dirty ‘d’ word raises its ugly head.
Can’t begin to thank my lucky stars, whenever I realise how civilized and painless my divorce was, in comparison. And even that was a traumatic emotional event that I will write about in my next post.
Well, Ayan– has been through such a bad marriage that it beats me how he stuck it out for 15 years and had two children with his tormentor. Ayan met his fate, at class where they were both learning a language. Desultorily drank coffee regularly. Ayan decided to marry her, because she was his ‘girl friend’. Strange how he came to this conclusion, as they had not even held hands, let alone kissed. Even stranger was the fact that she accepted the offer. Because spending time alone with him was so abhorrent to her that she insisted Ayan took his brother along with them on the honeymoon! There followed 15 years of a sex less marriage – except for the rare occasion – which resulted in two babies being born.
I question here, why Ayan would want to remain with a woman he neither loved nor slept with? Why Ayan would want to have children with a woman he despised and could not sleep with, thus further trapping himself in the morass of unhappy marriage?
I’m not even coming to Ayan’s wife and her reason for doing what she did – marry, try every trick in the book to avoid sleeping with the man she ‘loved’ and agreed to marry, have children, have an affair and still not want to leave a husband she could not bear.
Why, why why? The Indian forbearance – stoicism, the belief in the sanctity of marriage (giggle – we can see how just how sacred was this entire event, from beginning to end), their own holier-than-thou attitude about how Indians remain married, while Western people do not. No, they don’t. No sane person from any culture should remain in a relationship as hideous as the one described above.
And now in any case they are getting a divorce. Something they should have done a long long time ago. Perhaps they would have had a life. Perhaps their children would have fewer scars. Perhaps other crazily unhappy marriages would also have split giving those entrapped a second chance at happiness. Who knows?
It is important to recognize the difference between working at a marriage and beating yourself senseless with the effort. Divorce is hard, but sometimes this kind of a marriage is even harder.