After the most difficult thing in the world of divorce, i.e. deciding to get one, the second most difficult thing is telling the parents. Especially, if like me, you come from a ‘normal’ middle-class family.
They don’t get it, they never will. My mother, still occasionally speaks about how angry she is with the Ex. In our world, a divorce is SEP — Somebody Else’s Problem. It never comes home. It’s what is spoken of in hushed tones about far-off relatives when you meet other far-off relatives.
My poor mother. She became the gossip. Luckily, for me it was easier (I use ‘luckily’ conscious of how hollow it sounds). I had a reason and the fault was clearly the Ex’s. I wonder though, about those people, who are stuck in a lifeless marriage and finally taking courage in both hands decide to break away. What do they say to their parents? ‘I got bored.’ I can’t even imagine someone like my mum or my relatives even understanding that, let alone accepting it. In the society we live in, happiness is constantly on adjust-mode and the pursuit of it is considered dangerously selfish.
Of course, there was an attempt by my mother to set right things. To see, if she, in her adult wisdom could fix my ‘broken’ life. She had no idea how to do it and she muddled through in the best way she knew. She wrote him emotional letters by post (Yes, the post office still works.), which he never replied to. She called his brother, who had tried having a talk with him and failed. She finally met him and was then convinced about one thing – I should leave him.
Wisely, I had let her try her hand at fixing the problem. If I hadn’t given her this chance, a corner of her mind would have forever thought, that it is my wilful stubbornness that caused the final blow.
Now that she knew the divorce was inevitable, she came to Part Two of the problem. Telling all the ‘close’ relatives. I can only imagine how difficult and painful it must have been for her. To tell her brothers and sisters, her child had failed.
I must confess though, sometimes, I feel extremely tear-angry-sad-to-the-toes when I hear a sense of shame in my mother’s voice when she speaks of the divorce. There is no pride, for a daughter who escaped a dead marriage. Who had the courage to take a house of her own, get a job, pay her bills and learn the language of happiness again with zero help.
You must be wondering why through all this I have never spoken about my father. Well, like all daughters I think he’s the most wonderful man on earth and here’s the proof. When I told him, that I’m going to get a divorce, he neither asked me what the problem was nor did he ask me to fix it. Instead, he said, “Be brave” and “If you want to study further, I’m there.” For that, I will love him forever and there will always be a daughter’s gratitude to destiny, for providing me with the best dad in the world.
Destiny, just @%#*ed-up a bit on the husband.
Dancing Divorcee is a weekly happy, sad, funny, obnoxious blog on the misadventure called divorce. It will appear every Thursday. Arathi Menon is a dancing divorcee who also blogs, writes, tweets and repairs brands.