Why Is Being A Divorcee A Taboo?


We all should get second chances in life, shouldn’t we? Then why is being a divorcee such a taboo? Think about that for a minute while I tell you a story.


A girl in your office is getting married but she is very hush hush about it. She is happy but is scared to talk about her impending wedding. She wants to invite her colleagues but she’s hesitant. It’s when she finally opens up to one of her colleagues that you come to know the reason for her hesitation. She is a divorcee and being one she feared judgement from her colleagues for getting married a second time. She knew there would be questions. The hows, whys and whats, scared her, made her uncomfortable. So, she decided to not mention her wedding as much as possible. I’m sure after her first experience with being married she already must have had enough apprehensions going into it for the second time. But the frowns and whispers of the society increased that manifold. It sucked the joy out of something that could be so beautiful even if a second time around.


My question thus is, why should it be so? Why is divorce looked upon as something so terrible? Why are divorcees frowned upon? Or, rather, don’t divorcees deserve a chance at a normal life without the raised eyebrows? Why is remarriage such an awkward topic? Why should anyone be in unhappy relationships for keeping the society happy?


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I think everyone deserves infinite chances at happiness. And when relationships don’t work out, it makes no sense staying in one. You get one life to live, so why compromise? Now don’t tell me it’s for the family or the children. The fact is you need to be happy to keep others happy. Hence, divorce should be looked upon as that chance and not something that can only be talked about in back alleys.


“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.”

― Jennifer Weiner, Fly Away Home


I have heard of women committing suicide when it becomes difficult to bear the torture at the hands of the in-laws or indifference from their husbands. I have seen unhappy women trying to make it work with extremely difficult men who just can’t seem to be pleased. I’m sure there are men who are in unhappy relationships too. And they, women and men alike, suffer through these suffocating relationships leading unhappy lives. And do you know why they do that? Because divorce is a taboo and being a divorcee, apparently, wrong.


I don’t know about you but I tell my sister and I will tell my daughter too when she is old enough that you never have to stay in a bad and unhappy marriage for the sake of anybody. You try to make it work up to a point but when that doesn’t work, leave. In fact, every daughter, every son, every child must be taught that so that we don’t stifle promising lives for some imaginary honour linked to marriage. And you must know it is more so if you are a woman.


A few months back a young woman of 26 committed suicide because she couldn’t take the torture anymore. She was a topper, a gold medalist. Imagine what all she could have done in life if she had been taught that marriage is not everything in life, that divorce is not a bad thing at all. Who knew she could have even found the right man for her at some later stage in life. All she needed to do was walk out of that house, that marriage that made her so miserable. She could have been alive and after a few days, happy.


So, the next time you hear about someone getting divorced or remarried wish them luck and don’t make them uncomfortable. And certainly, don’t sit judging them. Yes, a strong relationship needs work but when most of the times someone decides to seek a divorce, they must have already faced the last straw. Make the change in your outlook. Remember, individually we might be just one drop in the ocean but together we could change the way marriage, divorce, divorcees and remarriage are perceived in society. The way relationships are perceived by this society.


So are you with me?


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Pic Credit | By Roman Motizov via Shutterstock

15 thoughts on “Why Is Being A Divorcee A Taboo?”

  1. Yes, I’m totally with your thoughts on divorce, Nabanita.

    Unfortunately, it’s true that divorcees are either looked upon with unnecessary sympathy or judgemental apprehensions. It’s pretty unclear why a colleague suddenly becomes the odd one out during a conversation when he/she reveals that he/she is a divorcee. People do not let go their temptations to speculate about whose fault it would have been in the marriage. I had one such experience in the office when a new colleague found it hard to catch up with our lunch break banter from the day she normally told us that she ended an abusive marriage with an insecure man child who could never stand up for her. I wish everybody else didn’t react so weirdly to that status of hers.

    And by the way, being in a suffocating & loveless marriage is worth more sympathies or rather condolences on a daily basis than a peaceful divorce, People need to understand that marriage is not one’s second skin that you cannot part with when it’s scarring you. Things need to change in India, where people hopelessly think that reconciliation SHOULD be the ONLY solution to a marital crisis no matter how ugly or bad it’s turning out.

  2. There seem to be different attitudes about divorce in different parts of the world. Here in North America (I live in Canada), it is so commonplace that nobody bats an eye. You’re so right about having only one life to live. Nobody should have to remain in an unhappy marriage for the sake of appearances or worry about being judged if they choose not to.
    Debbie D. recently posted…EPHESUS AND PATMOS: GREEK ODYSSEY PART IXMy Profile

  3. Yyyeesssss Naba sweetness, I’m with you 100% on it!

    Your happiness matters the most, all the way. No amount of honour or respect is worthy more than your life.

    Hugs and kisses.

  4. Yes a divorce is still a taboo in our country. Despite women being independent, it is always believed that she needs a man to protect her and be with her. And this taboo, stems from this thought. PLus this whole cloud we create about virginity, that if man were to marry a divorcee, its like he has settled for some secondary species on earth. These are the weird thought processes that exist and prevent ,any women from taking that step towards exiting an abusive marriage.

  5. Agree with you, Naba.
    Society’s perception towards divorce & divorcees makes even thought/consideration taboo. Those who take the extreme step are judged…
    Anita recently posted…Some True Heroes Of OdishaMy Profile

  6. I am totally with you on this. I am a firm believer that if the relationship is not working out, it is best to move on. Though I know that our society is not so agreeable to marriages breaking, we are making some progress in the cities.

  7. I agree with you people in our country give their opinion on other matter without giving it a thought that if it happens to them or some one close to them.
    everyone has a right to live his/her life according to him/her.

  8. I think the attitude towards divorce is changing and we have made some progress although the pace of change is very slow in our part of the world. I know of two people who have moved on from a bad marriage to enter a new one and the couples are both happy, no matter what the rest of the families think. Eventually it shouldn’t matter to other people and even if they do it is just an opinion.

  9. I think this is relevant to India but not in many parts of the world. Second marriages are pretty common here in NZ. No one should be subject to an unhappy marriage but I do believe that divorce is not a first choice, it should be carefully considered particularly when children are involved.
    Suzy recently posted…Taking Stock of Perfection #mixedmedia #morselmashups 5My Profile

  10. a though provoking essay. basically there is incongruity between Hindu code bill proposed and passed by our first prime minister and his cabinet and the exploitative indian patriarchal society which is exclusive, caste-ridden and ritualistic. during the colonial age, there was wind of change which was ushered in by the ideologies of orientalism, evangelism and utilitarianism. these 19th century bulls created a great turbulence in our social thoughts but could not completely shatter it. commericalization of our economy gave men a freer environment to think and change and innovate their relationships with women. but those regions which were under regional principalities hardly got influenced by these western ideas. caste, kinship and marriage were the dominant force over there and still are. it will take at least a century more to attain a complete taboo-free society. nice piece of article. thanks.

  11. I completely agree with you Naba. No one should stay in an unhappy marriage and if divorce is the way out – so be it. We should offer every support to the divorcee instead of shunning her because calling off an intimate relationship is always painful and difficult to deal with. Society doesn’t look upon divorcees too kindly I feel largely because people mistakenly feel that the divorced woman is on the look out for another man. Strangely I’ve observed that a divorced man or widowed man is not looked upon as a predator but infact gets a lot of sympathy !
    I suppose as long as we are a patriarchal society our men can do no wrong and the attitude towards divorcees is yet another cross women have to bear.
    BellyBytes recently posted…Ten things that make me happy #FridayReflectionsMy Profile

  12. I am 100% agree with your thoughts.. Everyone has authority to live independent and happy.. I don’t understand too that why society interfere other but they don’t itself..
    Keep it up dear!!!

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