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Business News/ Opinion / Blogs/  DANCING DIVORCEE: The right thing to do
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DANCING DIVORCEE: The right thing to do

Through the divorce, seven words would whirl in my head: Is it the right thing to do?

The dangerous part about these words was that they had this inbuilt ability to make me weak and doubt every single decision I was contemplating. Photo: ThinkStock (ThinkStock)Premium
The dangerous part about these words was that they had this inbuilt ability to make me weak and doubt every single decision I was contemplating. Photo: ThinkStock
(ThinkStock)

When I was going through a divorce, seven words would whirl round and round in my head, beating a ceaseless rhythm that would leave me exhausted and bereft of answers. ‘Is it the right thing to do?’ was one of those questions that I don’t think I can answer in this lifetime.

Every day, it would pop up with annoying regularity and would have to be hammered down with logic, emotion and sometimes just stubborn will. The dangerous part about it was that it had this inbuilt ability to make me weak and doubt every single decision I was contemplating.

The implied morality of these words came from a variety of factors -- upbringing, a guilty conscience, a lack of rule books in the adult world, an innate doubting of self at an emotional low point, the unhappy marriages that were strewn around the periphery of my life, proof that the institution could still be ‘made to work’.

It was a loaded question and the answer would keep fluctuating, sometimes, even changing every half hour. I remember it rearing its head when we stood in front of the judge at the civil court who would finally pronounce our marriage dissolved. I naturally, didn’t throw a spanner in the court proceedings by asking ‘Your honour’ what she frankly thought of the whole thing. Though, I did look across at the Ex and wonder if the question was in his head too.

I was careful not to ask friends or family what they thought. People had asked me versions of it before and I had always evaded the responsibility of taking a decision for them about their life. Unless it was something drastic like physical abuse, most divorces are a complex knot of emotions and grey areas. I knew nobody would be able to tell me without doubt, that what I was doing was the right thing.

I remember I did the antiquated SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to my marriage, hoping for clarity. Naturally it failed for it doesn’t account for gut, real and imagined hurt and that unshakable need to escape from something that felt like a vicious trap.

Even a year after the divorce this question continued to haunt me. I think I may have never escaped this loop of doubt, if it wasn’t for my uncle. We were just talking about random life philosophies, when I asked him how was he sure that all his decisions made during the 80 years of his life were the right ones. He took his time answering.

Then, very slowly, very deliberately he said “I don’t know whether my life choices were the right ones, but given the facts available and the kind of person I was, it was the only one I would make." I had my answer. Maybe, 50 years from now, I will say with conviction, “Yes, it was the right thing to do." Till then, my doubts lie inert, appeased by the fact that at that point of time, given things were the way they were, getting divorced, was the only thing I could do.

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: 13 Jun 2013, 03:11 PM IST
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