Meet four individuals who rebuilt their lives after very messy break-ups.

Happiness wasn’t supposed to show up in the form of divorce papers for 30-year-old Tania*. But it did. “I married because of social pressure, and I was afraid to sever the relationship because of what people might say,” she says.

Tania’s marriage lasted all of three years. She was wedded to a man who lived abroad, but things went south soon after. Tania stayed married in the hope that things might improve: “Eastern women only opt for divorce if the situation gets intolerable,” she argues.

Fortunately for her, reality hit home early. Things weren’t working out, and she had to pursue her happiness; only that many factors needed to be considered and balanced before she parted ways with her ex-husband.

“What stopped me from filing for divorce earlier was the fear of an uncertain and uncharted future, and the idea that I’d be financially dependent on my parents again,” she says.

No divorce is ever smooth, but she is lucky enough to have a support group which wiped away both her fears and her tears. “My parents are my infallible support. They made the decision of filing for divorce for me. A few of my very close friends were immense too; I could vent with them,” she narrated. That outlet proved to be a life-saver.

It was the same for 30-year-old Ali*, who believes his work in advertising rescued him after four years of a topsy-turvy marriage. “I married my dream woman, someone who was powerful and dominating. But after the first year of marriage, I realised that I really could not live with her.”

After four attempts at trying to make things work, he divorced his ex-wife. “There was an initial feeling of freedom, but it was short-lived because I longed for that companionship that I had enjoyed with my wife. I knew I wanted to get married again,” he says.

Ali wedded again after two years — only this time, he made his priorities and values very clear to his second wife, and learnt to manage her expectations too. “I learnt positive lessons from the mistakes I made with my first wife. I still have happy memories from my first marriage.”

Time away from the immediacy of a relationship that wasn’t working has healed both Ali and Tania in different ways. Ali has moved on, but Tania craves a soul mate and companion in her life. But both agree on a fundamental point: those getting divorced need to shut out the noise.

“Never react to what people say and they will eventually stop talking about you,” argues Ali. “You are the only one who is in a position to make yourself vulnerable.”

Tania agrees, saying “people will talk for a few weeks or months, and go on with their lives. But at the end of the day, it’s your life and you have the right to think about whether you want to be stuck in the same rut for years and years.”

But she also adds a caveat: “Getting divorced is a huge decision, and should never be made impulsively or for petty reasons. If you are facing problems in your marriage today, a whole new set of complications will await you after divorce,” she says.

Unlike Tania, Shahida* relied on her inner belief in herself after her ex-husband abandoned her and their four children for another woman. “The only way I have been able to survive all these years is by becoming ruthless and tough — something a single mother has to do to survive in this society,” she says defiantly.

Today, despite being bitter about the way her marriage panned out, Shahida is proud of the way she has battled the world and raised her children.

Sana* also dived into work instead of wallowing in self-pity after her messy divorce. “I did not give myself time to feel sorry for myself. I surrounded myself with my work, I started doing yoga, and I also exercised for my mental betterment,” she says.

Her divorce was the last in a string of broken engagements, but the experience left her self-esteem and ego terribly shattered. She has had to piece together her life, slowly but surely.

Today, Sana says she is more confident and sure of herself and what she wants. “I’m doing well in my career as a teacher, and my financial independence helped me regain my confidence,” she says.

*Names changed to protect privacy

Opinion

Editorial

Political stunt
Updated 07 Aug, 2022

Political stunt

The former PM is attempting to make a very expensive point with his decision to contest all 9 NA seats going up for by-election.
Monsoon emergency
07 Aug, 2022

Monsoon emergency

AS another wet weather system has entered Pakistan, and the federal government has declared a “monsoon...
Taliban’s denial
07 Aug, 2022

Taliban’s denial

THE Afghan Taliban’s recent statement denying any knowledge of the now deceased Al Qaeda chief Ayman...
Economic restructuring
Updated 06 Aug, 2022

Economic restructuring

All the policies and tough decisions implemented by the PML-N-led ruling coalition have so far translated to firefighting.
Kashmir’s plight
06 Aug, 2022

Kashmir’s plight

THREE years after the BJP-led government in New Delhi made its ill-advised move to do away with the autonomous...
Extinction risks
06 Aug, 2022

Extinction risks

WE may be at risk of losing our natural treasures before even getting a chance to truly appreciate them. According ...