AM an ex colleague was married for seven years. She and her husband divorced last year. She was suddenly left with a child and single hood again after nine years of married life at the age of 32.
S another ex colleague also split with her husband after three years of marriage and is single again at 27.
These two are not stray cases. My brother’s office itself is witnessing around 20% increase in divorce rates. In fact he came to know recently that two of his “single’ gal colleagues were divorcees. Both are in their twenties. I shall not go into the reasons for divorce here. But I would definitely like to draw the attention to the fact that most Indian girls and their parents do not prepare themselves for this probability. Marriage is taken for granted and divorces happen to other people’s daughters. However the hard fact is that marriages do not last forever for a percentage of couples and that percentage is increasing these days. And there is no predicting who will be a part of that percentage. And one must be prepared for that.
One of my divorced colleagues rushes to work leaving her daughter with her mom and then picks her up again in the evening before going to her home. She cannot stay with her parents as she is ‘married’ now and they have already spend considerable amount of money on her wedding and trousseau. She feels bad to ask them for help now and lives in a PG where they let her keep her daughter. It is a very sad situation. She wishes her parents had instead saved the money or invested it for her future.
And she is not alone too. There are many like her. Many girls do not reveal in office or to their neighbors/landlord that they are divorced as they want to avoid the usual questions and unwanted attention. This leads to a false notion that divorces are rare. Most of these girls rue the fact that they never prepared for the eventuality! They can be seen advising unmarried girls like me to not take marriage for granted.
What is really important today is that parents face this reality and do not spend all they saved for their daughter on her wedding but leave some for a rainy day when their daughter will be out in the cold…alone.
It does sound cruel and some might argue that this would lead to more divorces. But I think what needs to be addressed now is the future of the girls if they are faced with a divorce. When I was growing up, my Dad would always tell me that my education and career alone would stand by me at all times and nothing else. Unlike many of my peers I never dreamed of marrying a man with a big house and car and wealth because I was led to believe that what I earned only would be mine. It does sound harsh but I am grateful to my Dad for that. Because the second most heard complaint about hubbies from married gal is about their tight fistedness. I know several married gals who spend more than their husbands on the home even though they earn less. Most husbands cite saving for a rainy day as an excuse for not spending more. After a few years it is any body's guess whose bank balance is healthier!
This post was written after two of my senior colleague confessed that they were delaying kids as they wanted their marriages to stabilize. They did not want to be single again with a kid. The revelation shocked me numb and subsequent ‘investigations’ made me realize that the fairy tale ending to stories called ‘they married and lived happily ever after’ has another contender now...the “they divorced and live happily ever after”.
I am not saying that girls should enter wedlock with thoughts of divorce in their heads. But that they should not rule it out either. It won’t happen to most marriages. But it will happen to some. And there is no guarantee that you will not figure in that ‘some.’
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