As soon as she uttered this word to her parents, the reply was – ‘are you in your senses or have you gone mad?’ instead of asking ‘is everything okay?’ Or ‘why do you want to go that far?’
Serious thoughts cross our mind when we hear about a divorce, anticipating something major behind it. While it is true that divorce is definitely a significant event in anyone’s life, it is also true that it should not define the rest of it.
We all have seen some people struggling and suffering in their marriages and avoiding divorce due to societal pressure. There is no marriage without arguments and disagreements on various matters in life (and if you see a marriage without it, there is a lot piling up behind the scenes just to maintain that rosy picture). But then is divorce an answer to every fight? Definitely not!
There is certain level of maturity, understanding and assimilation needed for two humans to live together. But the most important factor is ‘love’, the need to stay with each other despite all the differences. But if there is no love, no future, no resolute to stay together and just the suffocation and superfluous disagreements left in a relationship, that is when the word divorce comes into picture.
We wish all the marriages to last forever and be filled with happiness and contentment. But unfortunately like everything else in life, things go wrong and some coalescences are actually not as good as they seem to be in the beginning. While there can be simply compatibility issues, there can be more things that are unique to a relationship.
Divorce doesn’t mean that one was wrong and other was right. It also doesn’t mean both were wrong. It just means they don’t go along well.
While we often see girlfriends and boyfriends breaking up with each other, divorce is considered a much bigger deal due to the legality involved. But weren’t laws created to make our lives organized and simple? Then why are we burdening ourselves with the unacceptability of something that is absolutely within the boundaries of law.
Here is what we should do if we ever hear a friend or a loved one going through it:
1. Offer support
Yes, this is what one should do instead of magnifying the stigma in the mind of one going through it. A divorce brings a hurricane of emotions in the person’s life. At that time, it is nice to hear that it is okay to get divorced and it is not end of the world. While a sensitive joke or two can help cheer the person, it all depends on the mental state of the person. If the person is coming to you to find solace, offer a cozy hug, a cup of coffee and a ton of support.
2. Don’t dig details
Though just like wedding, a divorce is a legal affair that cannot be kept hidden behind the curtains, it is still a very private matter. The reasons leading to it, the shortcomings of the people involved, the issues that could be sorted are none of anyone’s business unless the person is willingly sharing it with you. Give your friend the time he or she needs to gulp down the latest reality in life. There can be better topics for the gossip rather than digging in someone’s reason of divorce.
3. Help to press the ‘restart’ button
Time is the biggest healer, as they say. It also heals the scars and wounds of divorce on a person’s mind. What could be magical is a friend by the side who helps to start the next chapter in life with a fresh approach. Be the one to help another with moving on and bury the hurtful memories forever. Show them the light they need to see, the positivism they need to feel and the assurance they need to hear.
4. Praise their courage
It is not easy to take the decision of divorce and go through it amidst watchful eyes of the society. Praise the bravery and courage of your friend who decided to go through this. Tell them how strong they are and you are proud of them for having the guts to do the right thing for their future.
5. It happens
Having said all of the above, the fact is – a divorce shouldn’t be treated as something awkward, inappropriate or unusual. It is certainly possible that two individuals couldn’t get along well and decided to part ways. It is as simple as that. It is their decision and their lives and the last thing they need is a fake concern.
The best way to deal with a loved one’s divorce is ‘empathy’. Try to keep yourself in the shoes of the person who went through it and you will exactly know how it feels. Also because the simple truth is it can actually happen to anyone.
The need is to accept one’s divorce as a ‘life event’ beyond which, there is still ‘life’.