“Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb; it isn’t something you get, its something you do; its the way you love your partner everyday.” ~Barbara De Angelis
Our well-meaning elders teach us Indian girls that marriage is sacred. We are taught right from the time we enter teens that no matter what you study and whether you pursue your career or not, it is important to marry a ‘right’ man at the ‘right’ age. The seeds of conditioning are planted early on that women have to adjust in a marriage in their new home with the husband, in-laws, extended family, friends, servants, all their whims and fancies. We grow up perceiving marriage as a be-all institution that is meant to be kept standing tall on our little shoulders. Its sanctity has to be preserved and the onus mainly lies on the female spouse. Thus becomes our mission to hold upright the nuptial vows in all sacrosanct.
But what happens when the fairy tale beginning meets a grim ending, and down comes the holy marital establishment?
The woman takes it upon herself to swim against the tide and bring along the family safely to the shore. She gives it all that she has in making the marriage work, even if it means bending backwards. Even if it means for her to lose certain amount of self-respect and face the brunt. Even though she is not at fault, she drowns in a pool of guilt and self-doubt. Surely there must be something wrong with her to land up in the dismal situation. She holds on to hope akin to holding on to a rock in the floods. After all, the years she has spent on building this edifice of love with her dedication and enthusiasm, she will not let it fall. Surely not when there are children born out of the wedlock. So she keeps giving and giving until she loses herself in the process and has nothing more left to give.
On recognising that my marriage was crumbling, I opted to seek professional help and started seeing a marriage counsellor – albeit, alone. After several hours of conversations and my relentless efforts of saving a dying marriage, it finally took the counsellor’s advice to bring things into perspective. Amidst one emotional session of sharing and pouring my heart out, she told me blatantly, “You alone cannot save your marriage!” That did it. The fog was lifted. The truth was out there in the open. Plain and as a matter-of-fact for me to see and absorb. I was the only one interested in making it work. My ex was not up for any form of communication to resolve our issues. There seemed no hope for reconciliation. He had drifted…that was the last straw…yes, it seemed to be over….
It takes two people to get married, but does it take one or both to get divorced…….?