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On divorce

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    On divorce

    Just a thought on the topic.

    It is commonly thought that increasing number of divorces is a deteriorating factor to the family values and overall moral direction of the society.

    It is true that divorce overall has bad impact on family values, and especially the effects on children can be devastating. I am not denying this fact or argument. However, I would like to point out a different aspect of the problem which many not be all that negative.

    There are many cases where husband and wife don't have that core relationship, affection, or care for eachother which is necessary for a happy married life. In most of such cases, women are exploited, thrashed, and go through hell in everyday life. But they remain married because society dictates them or due to family pressure or threats etc.

    An increased rate in divorce may be indicative that those women are standing up for themselves. I think standing up for themselves will also eventually earn women the respect and position in society which they deserve since (generally speaking) divorcee women are looked down upon in Pakistani society (My apologies if this comment has caused any distress -- but I would rather like to see my generation not to look at it as a proscriptive topic or reality, unlike the generations before).

    Also, even if the husband is not a cruel *******, any marriage that is based solely on living-together-without-knowing-why is better off be nullified.

    I personally believe in personal freedom and quest of happiness based on the definition of happiness of the particular individual involved, not the society. From my point of view, any solution that allows people to go on their ways in quest of better and happier life is desireable, given that there are no drastic trade-offs involved (e.g. impact on children's upbringing etc.). Increased number of divorces may also indicate the possibility that people are breaking away from the misery they go through in the cases of such marriages for a better and happier life.

    I guess my point is that while an increased rate of divorces is not something that should be desireable overall and true that it is harmful to the society, there are good sides to it too -- it is not completely bad. And may be looking at it from that angle will make us realize that the party that loses the most (women) are just indepedent human beings, not the tabooed 'used commodity'.

    I think you are generalising a bit here. Marriages that don't end in divorce are not necessarily going to result in regular thrashings for the wife as seems to be implied in your post.

    Having said that, you are right that in the caseof incompatability, divorce is a sensible option and there should be no stigma attached to divorced women which there is at present. Let's face it, our Prophet (SAW) didn't have a problem marrying divorcees or widows so we should be past this sort of thinking by now.

    Unfortunately, reasons for divorce are becoming far more petty nowadays and there is little committment given by either side. And without doubt, children are the ones who suffer. How many kids in the western world resent their dads for leaving their mothers for some new improved model and barely thinking to even send a birthday card?

    It's not as straightforward as you paint it, although I am sure you are well aware of that.

    Personal freedom and happiness sounds so enticing, but we tend to forget that it might be at the expense of someone else's happiness. Who would you admire more, the Dad who leaves his family to find personal happiness with a new woman or the Dad who decides his kids are too important and that he would rather stay with his family and in all probability, all too loyal wife?

    Personally, I have no problem with divorce, but if there are kids involved then people should face up to their responsibility.


      Looking at divorce only from the perspective of children involved is a dangerous proposition. Looking at it from the ‘decay in moral values’ is even more precarious. It is an issue that only (at least in the immediate sense) involves two people. Generalizing it as a social concern is a mistake.

      People divorce for as many reasons as they get married. Isn’t it obvious that only married people divorce. Wao, this is a heavy statement “married people divorce”. I think my 5th cup of coffee is making me a little more awake than I would like to be.

      I haven’t given this issue a lot of thought, my take is this issue is very simple. Divorce sucks! It should only be used a last resort, only in the cases where no reconciliation is possible. I sympathize with those who have to go through this, and I respect their decision for doing so. If I am ever in a position that I have to resort to such an option, I will make sure that exhaust all other options, mainly an extensive marriage counseling.


        "I guess my point is that while an increased rate of divorces is not something that should be desireable overall and true that it is harmful to the society, there are good sides to it too -- it is not completely bad. And may be looking at it from that angle will make us realize that the party that loses the most (women) are just indepedent human beings, not the tabooed 'used commodity'."
        At the risk of bringing too much of myself into this, I felt I had to reply. It is truly amazing how many well-meaning people thought they had the answers to my separation - kohi baat nahiN, maarna,waarna to hota hai zindagi mein, bachoN ke liye aurat ko HAR cheez bardaash karni chaiye, so if he doesn't like...don't do it, meet with them, say it etc, etc. I think I felt like I failed even tho HE chose to leave. But OK, its time to begin life again, so if one has gotten divorced, why do people then think they have the right to look at you as a bachaari? with so much pity in their eyes. And then comes the question of marrying again, again the well-wishers say, karna to chaiye, "picky" to nahiN hona chaiye - aakhar tum talakshuda ho !!! OK, so having gone thru one horrible experience, I SHOULDN'T be picky and end up in a similar situation? Or am I less of a person, cos I happen to be divorced, so my feelings don't count? I think personally, that divorce is a horrible experience and should be avoided as much as possible, but I do know that there are worse things for a woman than a divorce, and maybe it is time that our views and values change - after all, divorced women today aren't necessarily the destitute servant of their brother's/father's house as depicted in indian movies etc. Now-a-days we can actually be educated (!) and able to support ourselves and our children (yes, the children that some men choose to ignore and leave behind), quite sufficiently, and women such as that shouldn't be made to feel as they are lesser than a non-divorced woman. Maybe I spoke a little too vehemently, and I apologize if I have offended anyone. I would love to see a major change in attitude as time goes on...


          Dear AuntiG,

          What you have said is so true. Our society (especially Pakistan) looks at divorce as an imprudent matter and in 99% of the cases women are more oppressed by post divorce anecdotal syndrome than by the experience of going through divorce itself. I totally agree with you that we need to change our views and re-examine our social and moral monocle.

          It is much easier for women in the west, where they are economically self-sufficient (not in all cases though). It is much too hard for a woman in Punjab, for example, who has 3 kids and no education to find a work or skill to do even a menial job. Economic dependency in our society makes so many women to stay in unhappy relationships, which should not be the case. I have examples of unhappy marriages within my own family, and I am ashamed how we treat our women. I think that some positive change is in the offing with literacy levels rising and women becoming more integrated into all facets of life. Once they achieve full equality, the divorced females will not be looked down upon more than divorced males.


            Jesus, I posted one contraversial topic and people are on my freakin' back. Wait until you hear my theory of General Relativity (or was it Einstein's?? I can't recall).

            On a serious note, I think part of the reason I brought this up is that I feel there are numerous marriages in which both spouses live together just because they are married. The deriving force in such cases is the marriage itself which is fine as long as underlying feelings of commitment (towards the other person) and affections are there.

            Commitment to marriage for the sake of it is what I personally don't believe in. And in any such situation, divorce may not be a bad idea at all. It's the consequences of a divorce that make it worst. The concept itself is tabooed and looked down upon. But if you lood at it logically, it simply means that things did not work out, so move on.

            The children aspect of it is however something that makes things complicated. I would avoid to have a strong opinion and comment on the topic in such a case.

            Divorce process is stressful, no doubt about it. Also, society, culture, and laws make it difficulat to be an viable option. But I personally feel that whatever the reason may be, everyone should have the comfort of it as an excerciseable right unristrictive of soical and cultural pressures.

            Divorce is not a taboo. It is the absolute right of one or two individuals involved if any one or both of them choose to excercise it.

            I understand that having this option available so easy may cause individuals to be too much 'picky', 'free spirited' or prone to excercise their individual freedom beyond reasonable limits (which is the other extreme side of it) but if that's the case, then that's how it should be condemned (and it is commendable in such cases as well). Condemning this beyond-limits behavior as a taboo is not the right way to look at it at all.



              I let this topic stay in General for a bit, just to see how it would develop and not be so quick to move it to Married life.

              However, I think the topic may be better suited to the Married life forum..ahem...well it at least it has to do with relationships and marriage.

              Please respond there.

              Thank you