DANCING DIVORCEE: Ask me not | Mint
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Business News/ Opinion / Blogs/  DANCING DIVORCEE: Ask me not


The response I give to married people who come to me for advice

The next time a wandering advice-seeker comes to me, I’m going to say, “I’m sorry but I broke my marriage, how can I fix yours?” Photo: ThinkStock (ThinkStock)Premium
The next time a wandering advice-seeker comes to me, I’m going to say, “I’m sorry but I broke my marriage, how can I fix yours?” Photo: ThinkStock (ThinkStock)

Why do married people ask a divorcee for advice? This acquaintance descended on me one day, claiming that she was in my area and wanted to ‘take a chance’ and see if I was there. How wonderful of her. As I made her a muttering cup of tea, she started talking about what she usually does -- her husband. This was one of the reasons she hadn’t graduated from acquaintance to friend.

To listen to someone constantly talk about their husband is a bit mind-numbing. And I promise it isn’t sour grapes. I felt this way even when I was ‘happily married’. This time, the man had apparently not given her permission to go for some random thing that excited her highly impressionable mind.

Now I have a sackful of problems with what she was saying. Right from the need to ‘seek permission’ in a consenting adult relationship to actually trying to find a conniving way to get it. When I was married and wanted to go somewhere, I’d just go (Ah, well).

After telling me about all the things her husband didn’t let her do since the day she was married, she looked at me with her dark black, unblinking eyes. I smiled weakly for I had gone into a coma after the first two minutes. Recovering, I offered her a biscuit.

Miffed at not getting a solution, she gathered herself and waltzed out with the suspiciously jealous-sounding but cruel, “Well, we all can’t be like you and leave." She was right though. Any married person who comes to me and starts telling me their problems will always feel that I took the easy way out. I left. I didn’t stay and fight for the relationship. Irrespective of what the truth is.

I think that is one of the reasons that a lot of divorcees face so much negativity. It comes from people who are jealous that we walked away when they are forced to stay. From those who think we found an easy solution and should therefore be punished. From those who don’t want us to rip a hole in what they call society, who would rather have us torn quietly, secretly.

Luckily for me, it was easy to build a world with family and friends who, far from disapproving, were extremely supportive. They filled my world with so much love that I never doubted my choices. Then, a married someone would ask me for marital advice. That’s when I’d feel a bit unequipped to offer the wisdom that was bubbling in me. Also, I sensed that any suggestion I was giving was always taken with a very large pinch of salt (Guess it was like asking Hannibal Lecter about being a vegetarian).

Finally, after much situational stumbling I have come to this decision. The next time a wandering advice-seeker comes to me, wanting a solution for the snakes in their coupledom, I’m going to say, “I’m sorry but I broke my marriage, how can I fix yours?" Brutal but effective.

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.

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Published: 09 May 2013, 02:31 PM IST
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