For the last few months I have been going through several blogs about divorce, coping with divorce and also about regaining one’s confidence about divorce. More than the issues discussed on these blogs I wanted to find out whether there were others like me who were seething in anger, swearing revenge only to fall into a heap and start crying at their frustrating situation. The more I read the more I saw that almost everyone who has been humiliated, suppressed and cheated on have gone through the three classic stages in every divorce: denial, grief and anger.
I have read blog posts on practically every divorce blog about ‘the day it happened’ and surprisingly the emotions they felt were no different from mine. The day it happened for me I knew the end was nearing for a very long time but I held on till I found proof, to not just walk out but also to fight for my rights in the courts if the need arose. However that said, the blogs I have been reading are mostly of women living abroad whose situations pre and post divorce are radically different from those who live in India.
For many girls in India is it perfectly normal to find out that your in-laws will taunt you at the drop of the hat and will try to keep you away from your husband even though it was them who fixed the marriage. But most of us continue because the husbands love the wives even though they might not stand up for them and the poise shatters the moment you realize that your husband is cheating on you. The situation for me was pretty much the same. Despite being tortured by the in-laws and also having hot oil thrown on my hands I continued in the marriage hoping of at least love from my husband. So I did not walk out till I found proof of his infidelity. Over the course of 9 months of marriage I never believed my husband to be faithful to me but as a person who always asked for proof before believing anything, I waited.
The day it happened began like any other day but I had a sense of foreboding that something nasty will transpire later on and so it did. Towards afternoon I found the proof I needed and within 3 hours I was on a flight with my parents to confront my in-laws. Like every other in-law in India they faulted me for my husband’s infidelity despite knowing otherwise and soon I found myself walking out with my life shattering around me.
For the next three weeks I remained in a state of shock. Despite the knowledge that my life had shattered around me I could not cry and worse was I could not feel anything. I hardly ate and survived on glucose water till I came to know that my husband who had since returned from a deputation abroad was celebrating by partying in the best clubs and restaurants.
That brought in the phase of grief when finally I broke down and allowed myself to cry for several hours at a stretch feeling relieved at the burden and constriction being taken off my chest. But what surprised me was that throughout the phase of emotional shock and denial I had this sense of being free and doing as I pleased. I remember the wonderful sense of freedom I felt while waiting at the airport for the flight to my parents’ home just 2 hours after walking out of marriage when I realized that I could choose what I wanted to eat, when I wanted to rather than having to gulp down whatever was served to me even it was rotten with roaches freely roaming over it.
The sense of freedom remained through the phases of denial, grief and anger. I used that sense of freedom to propel me forward in life, in getting a job, in getting back to how I used to be before I got married and within 6 months of ‘the day’ I was almost back to being normal rather feeling like I had never been married at all.
Today, a year after everything took place I have almost made my peace and revel in being single, alone and doing as I please, when I please. This freedom is simply priceless, drawing a whole new understanding of its value from me especially since I have experienced how it feels to have it taken away.