| April 2nd, 2007

Thoughts on Divorce

Sometimes we get requests from our readers to write about this very delicate issue-˜divorce”. I am sure those who asks are not exactly having the happiest life with their spouses, and that’s why they are asking others (including us) for advice on what could be a clean way to end their marital relationship.

In Adhunika, none of us are really an expert on such issue. When we take this (divorce) question to our family counselor, she tells us, this kind of issues are so different from person to person that it is not easy to give one general suggestion to everyone.

I thought it might help if we can at least look at it from a less subjective way. Everyone of us has some experience about life, we also get share of experiences from our friends and families that also can give us an idea of how diverse the situations can be. Let me talk about a few.

I have this friend who is saying she is continuing her relationship with her abusive husband because when she thought about a divorce she realized she has to survive with her limited income that she is not ready for. Moreover she is worried that she may not be able to find someone to remarry and hence she is afraid to spend a single life. Quite unnatural for Bengali women she tells me, it is not because people will say bad things about her, she is more concerned about her own physical desires.

Here is another example; I met this woman who got divorced with two teen-aged daughters when she found out that her husband is engaged in an extra marital affair. She tells me, she didn’t have any skill set to be able to work outside, she didn’t have any friends of her own, all she cared about that it is no longer possible for her to live with an unfaithful husband. She had to beg people for help; she knocked the doors of those lawyers and asked them if they will be willing to take her case for not upfront cost. She lived on food stamp for year after year just to survive.

Another girl I know is a university graduate, came to the USA with her husband after getting married.  Within couple days, she realized she doesn’t like her husband. She apparently didn’t have any complains against him, but according to her, “he is not her type”. Eventually she  finds a decent job and goes for a divorce.

After seeing all such cases, my observation is, every person is different and every couple is different. There is no single rule that can decide this is a deal breaker, or this is not. Everyone has different values and different skills to get along with another person.

As friend and well wisher all I suggest is give enough thought on what your expectations are. Before getting hooked up with another person do due diligence to learn about the person (as opposed to how renowned the family is or what kind of job that person does). One most important thing is to learn people skills, the more you deal with diversified people the better you become in people skills that goes a long way when in relationships.

Sometimes even with all the prior homework a marriage may not work smooth, one has to find out what they can compromise what they can’t. Sometimes going for a formal or informal couselling might be helpful. Involving friends and family in that dispute may help, depends on the mental maturity of the person whose help is sought for. Sometimes outside help may even worsen the situation, even if it is from one’s parents. As long as one has self respect and self confidence, I believe they will find a decent solution for any such problem. The solution could be ending the relationship or mending the same, I personally would prefer the later whenever possible though.

 

12 Responses to “Thoughts on Divorce”

  1. Samiha Esha says:

    Good Thoughts Sharmin Apu. Well no matter whatever reason people get divorce but now adays i felt a man and women don’t want to compromise anything when they get married. sometime for very silly reason people take divorce with each other which is really very sad. Even Sometime parents interfere too much in their children’s married life and for that reason also divorce happen.

    But To Me, One should think billion of time before he/she get divorce. Its not at all makes people happy. So we should always try to keep better relationship with our husband and wife while we get marry…:)

    Anyways Good Subject…take caree Bye..:)

  2. Samiha Esha says:

    I want to Share a divorce story That I saw with my own eyes…this divorce is really very pity and quite sad…But That divorce happen because of their bad luck….none can assume something such bad can happen in their life..

    Case Story One :

    Lira is so beauitful and atrractive young lady and her parents are one of the most famous successful person of bangladesh. she got married with a very handsome businessman. Also she had grand wedding parties…but you guys even can’t imagine what next happen with her life….Her Mother-n-law start feeling jealous about Lira apu and Her mom-n-law tries to compete with her about beauty and looks. Very soon like after two/three months lira realised that her mom-n-law tries to make thousand problem with her husband. even the situation get so worse that her mom-n-law didn’t allow his son to stay in the same room with lira apu…And Her husband was too bad person too…he didn’t even care single about her wife…he loves to be obidient son of his mom…they also did physical torture with Lira….When Lira apu’s parents find this out…They took her from that home and finally they got divorce in within eight/nine months of their married life…

    ….Now she got married with another person and living a better life…and To me she didn’t take wrong decision about her life…..

    To me people should only take such decision about divorce only when situations are as much dangerous like her….because its true you can lead a married life successful only when your husband/wife are there with you supporting, understanding, caring with each other…:)

  3. Nazia says:

    As women become more educated, earn as much as their counterparts and become more independent in their thoughts and in socializing, divorce becomes a more feasible option to come out of any physical or emotional turmoil of marriage. The fact that the independent women of today can revolt against domestic violence, emotional abuse, extra-marital affairs of their spouses is somewhat of an achievement. Specially when the Bangalis are used to living in a society where the women has been silent about such marital problems for decades. Remaining in a marriage of abuse and frustration should not be considered, especially if the problem cannot be solved through honest and repeated efforts from both the partners.

    I would like to mention a new problem I hear about these days which comes out within a few weeks of marriage. I have heard of at least 3 couples who had to get a divorce as the husband turned out to be a homosexual/ bi-sexual. I think if we are living in the age of globalization where people are connected at the international level through media and technology, such issues must be discussed in the open. Forcing a homosexual to marry should not be considered an option at all.

  4. Fariha Sarawat says:

    I agree Nazia. In fact, another phenomenon that has arisen lately is the problem of substance abuse. I’ve heard of instances where girls actually got married to guys who later turned out to be alcoholics or people with severe addiction to drugs such as yaba, cocaine and heroine. And the scariest part is that some of these were actually love marriages where the girl had actually known the guy for quite sometime, but hadn’t known about the problem till they were married!
    The problems that arise in such situation is that:
    1) the parents of the boy in fear of being ostracized by society refuse to acknowledge that the son has such a problem. drug abusers are considered social misfits.
    2) the girl is expected to deal with the husband and help him recover with love and care (?!!!!)
    3) Society fails to acknowledge that substance abusers need medical attention.
    4)Girl, trapped in a relationship usually can’t turn anywhere because people tell her she’s better off as her husband doesnt beat her or cheat on her. In most cases, even her own family fails to understand her problem.
    5)If the girl is brave enough to get a divorce, she is invariably the one to be bad-mouthed as she did not stay in and work on the relationship.

    Now, mind you, I’m not saying that you should get divorced just because your husband has a substance problem. But when things are so bad that you hardly even have a married, domestic life (let alone a conjugal one), and the person in question or his family refuses to seek professional help, i think the girl’s family and society in general should be more supportive. A lot of people are still in the dark about how serious a problem drug or alcohol abuse is. The abuser may not necessarily be violent, although in most cases he frequently is, either physically or verbally abusive; substance addicts tend to be moody, volatile and quite ill. In such cases, the girl should have the clear option to leave the guy because the relationship is clearly damaging to her, and there’s no point in staying and helping someone who doesn’t want help. Moreover, society needs to be better informed about substance addiction and I think media can play a big role here.

  5. Shahnaz says:

    Fariha,

    I am so glad you brought the issue of substance abuse, few years ago – one of my friends who became addicted was married off to a girl, because his parents thought it would cure the ‘problem’. Obviously, my friend didn’t get the support that was needed to get help because his family was in total denial. It took him many relapses, close call to a divorce, birth of a child, and constant support from his very young wife and the friends to get help, when I last spoke to him, he was still clean over a year.

    Now here is something very hopeful, last year I found out about work of Solace from Daily Star, which has been doing an amazing job as a support network for the family of substance abuser, look at the link below:

    http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine/2006/09/02/cover.htm

    it shows teaming up parents with child can provide the professional help the young generation need to function as a normal human being. First step would be to acknowledge it is a problem and work towards solution.

    And, the more we are learning about the marriages – planning, and looking at the failures and successes – I seriously feel the need to have our older generation to take part in the dialogue. The younger generations who are expected to take adult responsibility are often not given enough opportunity to own up to their actions as well. No one fancy being divorced, especially not the women for whom it is an extra burden to carry on.

  6. Assalamu alaikum,

    I would like to deal with this topic through separate comments. As a medical student, I would like to firmly address the issue from a medical point of view. Rather than what causes divorce, I would like to point out certain things that can prevent a potential divorce.

    A significant portion of divorces take place because of the fact that one of the partners is impotent or sterile. I recently learnt that a lady I know got a divorce because her husband could not satisfy her. I don’t know about others, but from where I come from this is a BIG issue.

    True, it is not possible for someone to know before hand whether he/she will be able to satisfy the partner but even in Bangladesh, we do have specialists who can advise you on “HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR SEX LIFE”. And there ARE ways to find out if you are capable of having children or not before you actually tie the nuptial bond.

    Secondly, if the husband and wife has the same blood group (e.g. both A +ve), there can be medical complications for both the mother and her child. The same is true if the Rh factor is different among the parents (e.g. husband is A +ve but mother is A –ve or vice versa). A simple blood test can also ensure whether the couple-to-be have any potentially dangerous disease. It will obviously also rule out any chances of sexually transmitted diseases. With the ever increasing rate of pre-marital sex, this would be a wise decision to make.

    I try to follow Adhunika blogs. But usually I take so much time to write my piece that the session becomes dull. So here is some food for thought- more coming.

    JazakAllah
    the lizard king

  7. Shaila says:

    From a public health perspective, I would also strongly recommend people to get a blood test if possible and follow your recommendations. Thank you so much for sharing these extremely important points which will benefit a lot of people.

    Shaila

  8. Phantom says:

    My experience indicate that Divorces take places because of lack of knowledge by both Parents and the concerned children.Many marriages are settled by Parents on the basis of prestige in the society,conveniences the marriage can bring and wrong methods adopted in selecting either the bridegroom or the bride.
    Religion here is misquoted/misused and subsequently the boy or girl is warned that disobedience to parents is a sin.
    Whenever possible I advise the parents that the process should be realistic and developing friendship between the two parents is imperative.
    Both Boy and Girl should be asked by parents of their choices- and they in trun should be honest in reply.Long term family friendship enables each other to have a better understanding of their temperament,character and financial conditions. DOWRY should be discouraged in whatever form. The Mehr of the Boy should be fixed in accordance with the present salary so that it becomes convenient to pay the Girl and that too on their wedding right- and thats ordained in religion and method could be bank account plus a gift which often is the ornaments gifted by the boys side.
    The convenience of the married couple is to be given priority by parents at all costs.This way they develop their repectability n responsibility.
    There is ofcourse no one formulae towards solution to Divorce which preferably should be avoided but one thing thats verey important to know that Divorce steps taken by any in a wrong method or out of greed or suspicion is a grave SIN that remains with the incumbent.
    Divorce in case of any partner being drug abused,gay,lesbian,homosexsual etc should be finalized at the earliest but then whatever received through Marriage must be returned in full by the respective parties- a Very important point.
    Hope these points are helpful and if any have any question may contact the site Moderator Sharmin or in case of emergency can contact me direct.

  9. Deshal says:

    Divorce is something that someone cant understand or really know until s/he faces it. Being at the very edge of such a situation, where a divorce seems unenvitable, people starts to re- realize their relationships. Things that brought them to that point starts to get new meanings. People starts seeing things from a different point of view. Specially if someone is about to get divorced from some one s/he really loved a lot…they start to
    think about the bad times and starts to see things from a different point of view. Self analysis gets dipper. And when they start to analyze things all over, many fights, misunderstandings seems avoidable.
    The fear of being alone is always there. It doesn’t really matter if some one has higher education, good job or strong family support. NO matter how bitte s/he is about their husband/ wife…the pain of not being able to wake up in the middle of the night and seeing that s/he is sleeping right beside you gets shaper, if you love the other one even after all the bitterness. I also think it has a lot to do with being just “used to the person”. Human being loves to be in there comfort zone. The uncertainty associated with starting over, even if you are young and not really bad looking doesn’t help either. People starts to think ok, may be this person have this problems, I know about that, what if the new person have some problems even worse? Will people, even my family, will understand why cant I live with the 2nd person? Will not the society think the problem is with me? So why take the risk and why not try to adjust with whatever I have? Sarcastically, its always easy to comment on someone else’s relationship. People swear that if it was him/her, no way they would continue such a marriage. But you know, at the end of the day its your life, and I bet if that really happened to them, it wouldn’t be that easy to walk out for them either. Close friends, not even your siblings can really feel the pain and emotions related to a divorce decision if they themselves have never been through it. The social culture in Bangladesh is not very forgiving to a divorced girl yet. Even if you live aboard, the Bengali community is still the same. Divorced twice is almost untouchables.
    Some times I wonder why women stay when their partner is abusive and may be s/he will never be able to relax in that relationship. I think people are just afraid to step out,, also may be people have this strange, unique ability to love even when the person they are sacrificing all for is just causing damage to him/her. I don’t know if it is right or wrong to do so but that’s the beauty of being “manus”. You can choose what your heart says even if the signs says its practically wrong.

  10. Phantom says:

    Divorce is the last thing that should be tried- it is allowed but its the worst thing in the eyes of Allah(SWT).But Allah(SWT)knows that two people specially when they ties their nuptial bond dont do that following instructions set in the Islamic Culture or Way.
    I have already given some hints in my previous writing and hopefully when marriage is taking place it will be because two people first want it and next two families must want it-but follow simple rules.
    Planning and friendly discussions with children are essential specially from the time that child gets into A level status or University–this one is a must. Family friendship between parents is very important and the family dinners outings etc gives the oppurtunity for their children to know each other better without any stress.
    Each case is different but Islamic law requires that both be seperated for a while atleast 3 months to first ascertain whether the women is pregnant or not in which case priority is for settlement unless sadly it gets into Divorce.
    It is true that those who are facing the situation of DIVORCE -only then can understand the pain etc-therefore they should take the maximum responsibility to re-think all matters n suggestions–and not just follow desires of self n or that of parents- strong desire or emotional stress should be avoived-under these two circumstances one cannot take a good decision.
    My suggestions is that both persons should go to some o0ther cities like they do for holidays and really re-assess their pros n cons of Divorce.
    AS years go bye they can try for a second chance–its allowed so why not???- I know of many second marriages that became a successful marriage– so best of Luck. If any have specific questions I can answer here but if all keeps that too general then my statements will be that general too.

  11. deshal says:

    Dear phantom,
    I agree with you that divorce should be the think to try. But do you think people can really change? The underlined characteristics of a person, they way they think and react… can they really change over time? What do you think are the ways to make someone to understand that they also have to make adjustments and value what the other person have done for him/ her?

  12. Phantom says:

    Deshal,
    Refyr #11: Can People really change? True people dont change when once a person reaches adulthood.But there r rare exceptions due to love specially for Children . All characteristics/personalities developed is during transition from Childhood to Adulthood.Therefore the importance of following certain process before marriage – and this is true for both cases- Love or Arranged.The role of parents is vital in terms of education,cooperation,understanding and gathering full details of the background,saying NO to DOWRY — still no 100% guarantee but it drastically reduces the chances for Divorce.
    In reply to your question: “What do you think are the ways to make someone to understand?”-adjustments n value– unfortunately the role of the girl is important here- this is true in both Western and Asian societies- they need to make the greater sacrifice and efforts than men- but then for the men to have proper eyes to see and brain to understand that effort from the wife the first thing is Education and it also means in Religion too,professional,social and financial background. Lac of any one poses threat lack opf any two is disaster and three is potential disaster.
    However there is the waiting 3 months period and thats mostly to check if women is pregnant in which case divorce status is seen to be changed and both sides normally accept to try again for sake of the child- but if that too doesnt happen than thats unfortunate and one has to accpet it in sense that “Whatever happens- happens for the best” BUT both are equally free to re-marry provided they find a proper match.
    So specially to the younger generation I would suggest that Love is OK but dont make the mistake of falling an easy prey and that have a free discussion with parents and wait till things are sorted out by them.DO definitely say NO to DOWRY(in case for girls) for thats the number one cause for divorvce following physical abuse- for boys definitely pay the MEHR- to both I recommend that they take time to have their own time to meet and discuss-this can be done in homely atmosphere in the presence of senior friends/relatives-(parents should not b present)-these meetings can be in family friends house or restuarants– unless both parties are satisfied from these meetings/discussions n asessments- they shouldnt go for marriage.
    Hope these points have helped you.Please feel free to ask more if u need.

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Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more

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