“I thought divorce was a dirty word until I became a 2-time divorcee.”
Aesha Mukerji wrote these powerful, thought-provoking words on her Instagram page and confirmed the news of her divorce from Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan. Challenging stigmas and taboos that are often associated with divorced women In India, Mukherji took to Instagram to share her experience and inspire women who are stuck in unhappy marriages. Our society needs more women like her to come forward, share their experiences and help others overcome the fear associated with divorce.
Fear often tends to stop women from taking the most important step in an unhappy marriage - the fear of disappointing our loved ones; the fear of social discrimination; the fear of being called a divorcee. Divorce is not a bad word. It’s time to redefine this word as a tool of positive change. Divorce is the opportunity to put oneself first, and look forward to a new beginning. Divorce is the opportunity that sends out a message that we are not ready to give up. It is the legal right given to every married woman by the Constitution of India. The end of an unhappy marriage should be celebrated, not frowned upon.
This is Mukerji’s second divorce, and she, like any other woman, has faced the same inner turmoil and apprehensions. But she has emerged as an inspiration; a true boss lady. “I felt as if I had let everyone down and even felt selfish. I felt that I was letting my parents down, I felt that I was letting my children down and even to some extent I felt as if I was letting God down. Divorce was such a dirty word,“ she wrote in her post. ‘The fear of letting God down’ is a very important point made by her. In a society where marriages are considered sacred and made in heaven, divorce is considered a failure.
The divorce rate in India today stands at one per cent, one of the lowest in the world. We women are taught to adjust, settle, and stay put. Women have not been equipped with the tools to normalise divorce. But women like Mukerji are pushing for change and fighting the stigmas with their newfound confidence. “Well, once I went through the necessary actions and emotions of what had happened I was able to sit with myself and see that I was fine, I was actually doing great, even noticed my fear had totally disappeared. The remarkable thing is I actually felt much more empowered. I realised my fear and the meaning I gave to the word divorce was my own doing,” Mukerji mentioned.
Interestingly, Mukerji summarises her inspiring post with a new definition for divorce, and we all must take note.
• Divorce means even though you do your best and try your best, things sometimes do not work out and that's okay.
• Divorce means I have had amazing relationships that have taught me great lessons to carry forward in new relationships.
• Divorce means I am stronger and more resilient than I ever thought.
• Divorce really means whatever meaning you give to it.
If you know someone who is coping with divorce, talk to her, recommend counselling, and most importantly, tell her that divorce is not a bad word. It is a synonym for courage