Dear Friends & Family, Don’t Tell Me You Are Sorry for My Divorce
Nothing has changed. I am alive and kicking.
Nothing has changed. I am alive and kicking.Photo: The Quint

Dear Friends & Family, Don’t Tell Me You Are Sorry for My Divorce

For the whole of last year, I’ve heard people being apologetic about my divorce. Every time someone said — “I am sorry to hear about your divorce” — I promptly asked them not to be sorry. Frankly, the whole exercise was strenuous and I feel a sense of relief that it’s all over.

Every time a woman gets divorced or is in the process of it, the society makes sure that she feels alienated. In my case, my parents were supportive ever since they learnt that my husband had fallen out of love. Despite that, the rest of the world made them feel that things had fallen apart and my life was ruined forever. They were forced to feel miserable. Soon, they started to have sleepless nights and just a year after the marriage was annulled, my mother suggested that I needed another man in my life.

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My Experience Of Coming Out As ‘Divorced’

I have been contemplating about writing on this for quite a while. On the taboos around divorce. But every time I put my thoughts together, there was always a sense of fear — “how would my parents take it?”

I was living with my parents for the last year and everyone wanted to know the same thing — when was I getting back to my husband again. A family friend was keen on knowing about my missing-in-action husband’s well-being. She suggested that I must go back to him. “It’s been too long that you are living with your parents. Does your husband not miss you?” she asked.

When I last told my mother that I must respond by announcing my divorce, she shut me down instead. She was afraid of the revelation of an open secret.

Eventually, the truth needs to be told. It cannot be left for people’s assumptions.

Some days back, a friend, with whom I was talking after a long time, told me about her husband cheating on her. Talking to her brought back flashes of past. For me, my family and friends stood strong. But at the end of the day, it was my decision to divorce the man who was okay to find my replacement in just twenty days after five years of being together.

Why The Pity?

Initially, I was left shattered and only gradually, after much introspection, did I reach a point where it became clear that we were separated a long time ago. Both of us were just extremely hesitant to accept that we weren’t the same when someone else walked into his life or, for that matter, mine. The fact is — we would have been miserable with each other.

I am not advocating divorce at any point while writing this but the point that I am trying to make is that if people agree on separation mutually, it’s okay to let go of something that otherwise, you would have damaged handling. Why does this have to be treated as a matter of pity? It is also important to note that this mustn’t be generalised either. I have known a strong-willed woman who is still struggling to get closure from her husband who almost ghosted her. But trust me, the phase of divorce needs mental strength and no one can help the person involved with their surrounding environment.

Gossips, Guilt, and Discomfort

I had to hold back my tears to save my parents the torture. I felt that they were already the gossip targets in their circle. I don’t see them as strong as they used to be and sometimes, it makes me feel extremely guilty. But then, guilty for what? For the fact that I chose to take a stand? For choosing to live as an individual rather than being attached to someone who chose to break the commitment.

Yesterday, an old college friend called up and right when I told him about my divorce, he profusely apologised for forcing me into discomfort. I know he didn’t mean to offend but hey, maybe, when you read this, it would help you to understand that I am doing pretty well without him!

Nothing has changed. I am alive and kicking.

Yes, single again but happily single without the added stress of commitment. I am entirely focused on my work and parents again. The thought of it gives me a new sense of freedom. That’s my story and I hope many women would relate to it. Hopefully, when I run into people from now on, I don’t hear them apologise for my divorce.

(Deepali Desai works as Public Relations Manager for a non-profit organisation which advocates for women’s rights and dignity. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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