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.

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About Kalpanaa

Trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I write. It's the best thing I can do. I am the Hanged Man, the Fool, the sometime Magician. Whether I travel in my imagination or in real life I always enjoy myself. I read books, I review. I eat, I review. I watch plays, I review. I have an opinion on everything. At other times I heal people through yoga and/or foot reflexology.

Posted on January 3, 2011, in bad marriage, Divorce and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the thoughts jetlag. Yes undoubtedly divorce is becoming more commonplace in Indian metros, although I fear it is only in the metros. I’m all for marriage for life of course, but only if its working. If the marriage is working and there is great compatibility, effort, love – well thats a dream come true and definitely something one hopes to encounter. What I am against is the cover up of everything, the living of a life of suffering because of the sheer fear of going against society’s expectations.

  2. divorce is much easier in western countries because overall is treated as a civil offence with relief in average 3-6 months.

    here in india average DV crime in marriage takes 5 years + average 4 years for a divorce. total 9 years. u’r completely ruined and remorseful and broke once over.

    But throughout you need to be in complete control of the case and evidence and challenge your lawyer to perform or perish. He’s just an enabler, u’r the person to deal with adverse consequences.

    i totally agree , its so refreshing getting that monkey called unhappy marriage off your back. Divorced men start working out to make them more attractive towards females, women find time to make their careers hobbies and find new love.

    the stoicism is gradually fading away from our society. we’r known for keeping life simple and wanting less , so cant tell if thats good or bad. But divorce stats in bangalore and delhi are now just mindboggling.

  3. Read you blog post on how to help an abused. Great going DG.
    However I feel that enough ink has not been spilled on this topic. It calls for strict vigilance and a lot of writing and shouting.

  4. Off course I am better off without that nuisance. Tell me something that I do not know.
    About women’s misuse of law that protects them, the numbers do not match. More men abuse more civil and criminal laws but nobody speaks about it it is just shrugged as corruption. It is true misuse of any law is bad but to say greater number of women are abusing the law is absurd. Few weeks ago we debated about it on IHM’s blog so enough ink is spilled on the topic.
    How 498A, a law with good intentions gone bad can be read here (it is highlighted in purple)
    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/all-about-relationships/how-to-help-an-abused-2/

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

  5. My dear, I think you are better off without this dude who divorce you while you were in hospital. Which is not to say that it must have been such a huge betrayal at the time.
    Yes definitely, Ayan is a product of his environment, poor man – a loveless home possibly. Many desi guys have such a twisted relationship to their mothers – have you noticed ( I will do a blog post about this) which messes them up for life and makes it virtually impossible for them to have a normal relationship with a woman.
    Oh, the accusation of domestic violence has a happy ending. Luckily for Ayan, his ex wife was not too smart about the way in which she did things, so he was let off the hook almost immediately, with the police – who had initially entered the house to arrest him – turning around and wanting to lock his ex up for the night instead.
    This raises another issue – that lawyers and unscrupulous women misuse the law that has been made for the protection of women who are beaten by their men folk. The media and a male dominated society who will not concede that men beat their wives and that its not okay for them to do so use these kind of incidents as a reason to say the law is often misused. As though there are not more wife beaters than false accusers.

  6. Been there done that (been in dysfunctional marriage, divorce was filed behind my back while i was in the hospital) So I had no clue I was divorced until 40 days after the judgement.

    Why he stayed? Guess, out of guilt, “I made my bed so I have to lay on it…”
    “Wao, this is the monster I chose so I deserved to be punished.”
    “If I walkout it will prove that love marriages don’t work.”
    If I leave then I’ll have to train myself according to another partner, why not stay here and fix this. What if the other person is even worse.
    Only if I could love him/her little more and on and on and then there is HOPE.
    Some day when I wake up this person will realize how much I have put upwith.
    Let’s make babies may be it will fix our relationship, as if babies are fevicole. Women in desi marriage are more often trapped and motherhood is imposed on them but for a man to willfully make babies with someone they detest is a real issue.

    His trouble started in his childhood at his home. What he didn’t get at home, accepatance, love and kindness he tried to find it outside. When you go around with our cup half full what ever rains in it makes mess. If one was more assured and accepting of themselves they’ll co create healthy relationships.

    Oh about the honeymoon, at least she asked his brother not her’s. He insisted we take mommyji along, hence no honeymoon.

    About Divorce, initially it felt bad that homelessness and accident was not enough that I needed divorce on top of it. But now it feels like a blessing. Just imagine a person who could file for divorce while the partner is in the hospital could be up to if it were to be fought. Ayan could fight it for a very long time and be more miserable or just cut his losses and move on… Choice is his.

    About the self inflicted wounds, admission in court or in police report is not just dependent on the existence of wounds, a thorough investigation will expose their origin. A right handed person will inflict wound on left arm and even if it is slapping self on the face the fingure imprints will show. There are lot many details investigating officer has to note but in Des, you pay the guy and get the results you want 🙂 .

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

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