Nepal | August 07, 2020

“Divorced Daughters are Better than Dead Daughters”

Shruti Sharma
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“Isn’t a divorced daughter better than a dead one?”

She walked down the memory lane and a chill ran down her spine when she reflected upon what would have happened if her parents had closed their door and hearts on her.

Sitting on the balcony of her parents’ home with a cup of tea in her hand (which tasted so good in a long time) and her daughter sleeping in the cot beside her, she felt so secure, safe, and happy. She could never feel these emotions at her in-laws’ house.

Her life flashed in front of her eyes. November 30, 2011, the day she got married — an arranged affair — with many dreams and hopes. But the dream did not last long. Soon after getting married, she was abused sexually, psychologically, and emotionally by her husband and in-laws.

In the meantime, she got pregnant and thought this would change the attitude of her husband and in-laws towards her. However, to her despair, nothing really changed. She took a bold step and went to her parents’ house and concentrated on bringing the new life into the world. Her baby was completely innocent.

Then followed the long battle with depression, insecurity, and sleepless nights. Thankfully, the birth of her daughter gave her a reason to live and even though she was breaking each day, she made an effort to stand strong and smile.

“What am I to do now? Why me? What was my mistake?” All such questions played in her mind. To add to her despair, society started questioning her for living in the house where she grew up!

But, she could fight all that because she had a strong support system in her parents and family. They stood beside her in every battle giving her what she required the most — their support. No, she was not being childish. No, she was not taking any decision in haste. She was tired, she was broken, and she had a life nobody could live. Being physically and mentally abused is not simple. It cannot be taken lightly by women as some people expect them to do. It takes away the zest to live.

Even the happiest of marriages can fail at times. It can happen to anyone. Life is uncertain but the only thing that is pure and free of doubt is the love of parents for their daughters. Relationships can fail at times but the thing that always works out is the support of your parents.

Depriving the daughters of this last support means that a perilous fate awaits them. The legal battle and custody of children can be taxing and exhausting if there is no emotional support. Parents should hold their daughter’s hand at such a time just as they did when raising the child. Being her confidante, they can also give her space and love so that she can grow out of this unfortunate phase in her life, which she did not choose for herself.

Today, she is a successful single mother. A respected entrepreneur and a mentor to many, thanks to her parents and family, who chose a divorced daughter over a dead one.

Divorce is a common thing. No one should be ashamed for being divorced. No one chooses this path if there was another way, if things could be improved. It is a right in case there is no other means to better things, if things only get worse. If one has the right to live together, they also have the right to be separated, if such circumstances arise. Parents and family need not feel ashamed for having a divorced daughter at home.

Why should people think “samaj le k bhanchha hola?” (what will the society say?) When your daughter was being beaten at her in-laws’ house, when she was refused food, when she was suffering from pain and cruelty every day, where was the society? She is your daughter, not the society’s.

You have to protect your daughter from such cruel hands. Your society will not be responsible if your daughter loses her life in the battle. She has a right to live free and happy.

Divorce is not the end of the world. Divorce is a crisis involving a very real end but it is also a very real new beginning. Divorce is the “end of a chapter in life” but not the “end of life itself”.

In the midst of the divorce crisis are seeds of opportunities for remaking life into something worth living — new and creatively motivating. If she is not happy with the one she is married to or if she has some other reason important enough for her to take such a huge step, then support her, guide her, understand her. You do not know how much troubles she has already faced. You do not know how broken she feels. Listen to her. Let society make the noise, it is not important, it is not relevant. Do not let your daughter die, save her.

She is the same princess who grew up in front of you. Embrace her, love her and let her transform into the queen you always knew she would be.

Welcome her with open doors and open hearts because “divorced daughters are better than dead daughters”.

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