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Vijay Mehta
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xx Divorce a Deal Breaker for Desis?
« Thread started on: Mar 25th, 2010, 3:38pm »


'D' word in Desi marriage situation may automatically disqualify you from the primary market. What is the rational approach to a divorcee? Let us decriminalize the divorce and learn to look at the total picture. A call for logical dialogue and rational approach to challenges of life!


Here is a message I received from someone who chose to remain anonymous, "Uncle you're doing a fantabulous job and proving a great quality service that is needed the most, As you know divorces in our community have risen in past few years, and we all know this is not accepted as a norm in our culture, people that are divorced are having a very hard time finding a life partner and meeting with someone who are alike and have been through the same situation, I think you should open another category for that calling... " Giving life a second chance or starting over ..etc... I dont know I am sure you will come up with a better tittle smiley"

This has prompted me to address this very important subject for which the feelings run very high in our community.

How do I view the previous divorce or divorce with children?

First I would like to admit that when I was looking for a spouse nearly a more than 37 years I would have automatically ruled out a prospect regardless of all other wonderful qualities had she been divorced or for that matter if she were not a virgin!! So I can understand the quick spinal reflex on the part of parents and many of you who are looking right now.

The divorce rate for a couple getting married these days is more than 50% within first ten years of married life. This percentage goes up to 66% if one of the spouse is divorced and 75% or so if both were divorced. In spite of such high prevalence it does not make it easy to recover from them. So numbers are definitely against the people with history of previous blunder of 'going round and round (Paa) and than changing mind!' This gets far complicated if there is a child involved.

Just as a desi marriage is marriage of two families, a desi divorce is divorce is divorce of two families. So the aftershock of divorce extends far beyond those two people who got divorce. It is said that you never know anyone how low they can go until you divorce them - and that is partially true. Divorce is one of the most painful experience. So it is possible that a divorcee may have many unresolved issues.

No wonder, those of you who are divorced or have kids feel tremendous pressure in bringing up the subject. So it does not surprise me when many of you mention your divorce to me but do not post it on your profile.

In our times the divorces were rare (women opted for suicide before bringing the shame upon the family by walking out). As it has been through recent history women paid much heavier price for divorce - lack or virginity or being a widow. So we automatically assumed that if someone was divorced there was something totally unacceptable about them. Men were not as affected to the same degree.

It is about time, we decriminalize the divorce as an automatic black mark and start looking at it as one more thing to look into.

First we have to acknowledge that loss of virginity is not as big a deal as it was in my times. Virgins are at a disadvantage in western dating and marriage scene.

Divorcee definitely made a decision once upon a time 'till the death do us part' and later on have a proven track record of not keeping that vow. But there are so many circumstances that lead to a dysfunctional marriage. And many a times I have no hesitation in recommending the divorce than continued misery. I am much better at funeral of the dysfunctional relationship than making a match for functional relationship! So in some cases divorce may be the best thing one can go for under the circumstances.

So my recommendations is to not make divorce a deal breaker but something to seriously look into.

If you are divorced and now looking remember 'marriage and divorce are a matter of public knowledge. Simple background search can easily uncover the fact. Not only that but in our gossip rich society there is no way you are going to cover the whole thing up unless you move to south pole. How you handle the issue of divorce gives out lot more information about you. As painful as it may be you should be prepared to share your past. When you make it look like it was all the fault of the other person - no one believes you.

Look for the honesty as he/she narrates the story of divorce. Look for introspection to see if the person in-deed has learned from his/her mistakes. Try to ascertain the factors (there are always more than few) that may have contributed to divorce and if the divorcee has indeed learned any lessons from the past and is willing to make the changes so the next marriage does not end in the same fate.

You do have to factor the negative reaction you might encounter from your parents. After all many of us are still stuck in Seventies and back in some village in India. Their first reaction is why are you going for a divorcee when you are never married and a perfect candidate?
Well they have no idea as to how difficult it is to find someone these days. I do not mind talking to those parents. The trick lies in looking at the total package.

It is important to find out who the ex spouse was? Will the ex spouse make it hard for him/her to move on? Is there any alimony or palimony involved? How long did the marriage last? How much time has passed since the divorce? Would you have recommended the divorce had he/she been your friend? More important, are you about to make the same mistake that cost someone else a divorce? All these are legitimate questions to seriously consider.

Many a times you might find a bargain among these divorcee because of their past history their expectations may have lowered and they may have learned some valuable lessons so you are not marrying the same person that ex spouse divorced.

Do I think that if you are divorced you can only match with the one who have been through the same process? Absolutely not. My recommendation to all the divorcees is to heal your self - if that needs professional help do it. Once you are healed accept your part of responsibility and the lessons learned. Then get back in seriously looking group and learn to look at the total package. Just as your history makes you less than a perfect product there are many out there who for one reason or the other feel the same. Once you look beyond so called imperfection and learn to know the rest of that person, you may be pleasantly surprised. I personally know so many divorcees who are far better candidates now than they might have been at the time of their first marriage.

Feel free to share your views on this important subject. Children are a totally different challenge and I shall address in another note.

To all the divorcees please share how you have been marginalized by rest of us and how you deal with it. If you do not wish to publish your name just like the person who prompted me to write this note just send me a private message and I shall post them under different name.


If you are or were married to some one who was divorced or had children please share your perspective as to how you went about making the decision and how did it work out? What were the major challenges? And what advise would you give to someone considering the similar situation?
~Vijay Uncle
« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2012, 1:24pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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Vijay Mehta
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xx Divorce a Deal Breaker for Desis?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 25th, 2010, 3:42pm »

Someone posted a response and quickly removed it. But she made an important point.

When you connect with someone with the history of divorce etc you expect them to put the best foot forward. Just as we do in all other areas.You must factor that.

No one is going to come out and admit that he/she has a lot of unfinished business, full of bitterness or have high level of cynicism.

This adds the confusion to already challenging process.

For those who are divorcee they stand much better chance among people who have known them - pre divorce and post divorce and are willing to vouch for them. I do appreciate any feed back I receive from so many of you.

In case of seriously looking group I actually inquire about the whole episode if necessary and ask the tough questions. Having an impartial catalyst can make the interrogation of this difficult subject somewhat easier.

One suggestion, if you are going to post something that may make others uncomfortable because lot of people will put two and two to gather - just send me a private message on FB with an instruction "Please use this comments without my identity."
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Vijay Mehta
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xx Divorce a Deal Breaker for Desis?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 25th, 2010, 3:42pm »

I am 32 years old and I know many people who have gotten a divorce or have hit 40 and still haven't married. The fact remains that single desi people don't date, so when they are pushed into a marriage by their parents (which most are), they have no relationship skills to manage their marriage. Back in the day, no matter who your partner was or what their flaws were, you stuck it out...in this day and time, people have choices and opportunities (they refuse to be unhappy and they are extremely selfish and self reliant-it comes from all those years of achieving and handling their own emotional needs)...Indians in general don't give anyone anything (gee, I wonder how their marriage will turn out).

The desi community needs to realize that while holding on to their parent's culture and heritage is well and fine...They are living in America and they are Americans. They live for themselves and on a day to day basis they deal with Americas. Marriage is an unselfish and giving lifestyle. Most desis are getting married without the love component and the end result is disastrous...

BTW, most people aren't virgins when they marry and people don't expect them to be anymore....

~Anonymous
« Last Edit: Jul 12th, 2012, 12:12pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

Greatest threat to Hindu religion comes from Dhongi Baba - Dada - Didi - Swami etc.
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