Recently, when I put the phone down after congratulating someone on the other side of the phone, the person who was in my presence asked, “Whom did you congratulate? What did they achieve?” I mentioned a common friend of ours and said I had congratulated her for getting a divorce.
“I have heard of people being congratulated for being married, this is the first time I am hearing someone being congratulated for getting a divorce. Is that an achievement?” he looked surprised.
“Of course it is an achievement if that is what they wanted. Just like any other achievement, divorce also needs a lot of hard work, overcoming countless obstacles, changing mindset, willing to face criticisms from other crossing emotional barriers etc” I pointed out, “It is only sad when a person gets a divorce that they did not want. Then it is a tragedy.”
“Isn’t divorce a sign of failure?” he asked gingerly.
“When we talk of having good interpersonal relationships, it does not mean loving everyone around us no matter what. It does not mean, staying in an abusive, loveless relationship for someone’s approval or fear of society. If a person moves away from a hollow relationship in which their needs were not being met, even though not abusive, that is a person who is successful at relationships,”
For a person who is in a bad marriage, where they are not cared for, respected or their needs are not being met, walking out of it is a gargantuan decision. The emotional toil that they have gone through to come to that decision is only known to them. Outsiders can only speculate. The key point here is, “Is this what the person wanted?”. If the answer is yes, and the decision has been taken after a lot of thought and not on an impulse, should we not congratulate them?