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Fragments of the Past

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RemarriageA chance remark by Subrata as they pulled away from the parking lot at the beach seemed to have put her husband Pravin in a bad mood. “All I said was, ‘Govind loved to eat corn – there was no need to make dinner for him on evenings we came to the beach, he could eat half a dozen of them!’. Actually, it was so unconscious. I was not making any comparisons, or recalling him in an especially fond way. We were at the beach, and there were many corn-sellers, so I got reminded, that’s all.”

But for her husband Pravin, it was as if his life with her was being compared to an earlier, better time, when she had been married to Govind. He stayed silent all the way home, then burst angrily with accusations as soon as they got home. “Are you going to stay drowned in his memories forever?” he asked his wife. “All that you suffered with him is forgotten, isn’t it? You only remember the corn and the beach!” He continued ranting in this way and Subrata had no immediate reply. She was too taken aback by how sensitive her husband could be about what she considered a small and insignificant thing.

But in your second marriage, nothing is too small or insignificant, as she discovered.

Divorce is on the rise in Indian society, particularly among the younger age group where people have been married less than ten years. This makes the need for remarriage also a much more widely felt one.

Parents whose daughters and sons are still approaching thirty, or just past it, exert every nerve to ensure that these individuals ’settle down’ again. In fact, it is the social support of family and community that makes divorce a less threatening feature in Indian society than in the West, where it can be a much lonelier journey.

Parents rally around a man or woman who is facing a lonely future while still quite young. While many divorcees do remarry and settle for partners that have been arranged by family or friends, some may choose to wait to find that elusive ’soulmate’ that they missed out on the first time around.

Whether you are entering into another marriage out of love, or through a well-thought out arrangement there are things to remember when dealing with the debris from past relationships.

Getting rid of the mementoes, objects and physical reminders of a previous relationship is important. Better to start with all new utensils in the kitchen, than continue with the same cups, glasses, and spoons you once shared with a different spouse.

Consulting a counselor to get over the bitterness, sadness, and regrets of the past relationship is an excellent way to prepare yourself for a better future. Even if you are not visiting a professional, do take the time to sort out your feelings, and make a conscious and determined resolve to do better next time.

Comparisons sting, no matter how they are made. Become conscious of the way you invoke a previous partner’s name or reference in any conversation, and phase it out. Practise this with your colleagues, friends and family, so you are ready for your new partner.

Cultivate the art of being a better listener in your new relationship. Often, previous relationships have failed because we were not listening to something, or missing the essence of what a partner was trying to communicate.

Don’t compromise on self-esteem or bend over backwards to please. This can have the ‘pressure cooker’ effect of making you explode at a later time. Work on having a healthy sense of self-esteem and giving your partner a realistic picture of yourself.

Don’t doubt your success in a new relationship. All the best!

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