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'He stopped calling her and that was a sign'

By Divya Nair
June 16, 2016 14:05 IST
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"I don't know why we got married.

"He took care of me when I had a miscarriage, he'd even get me small gifts when he could and was always worried if I got home late, but that was about it. We were as good as roommates sharing a common roof, eating and sleeping together.

"We had nothing common to talk about, forget fight or argue over. There was nothing to look forward to"

Divya Nair writes about her interaction with a friend who recently separated from her husband of four years.

Breakup

Not too many months ago, a friend of mine (who I do not wish to name) popped up on my Facebook page.

It was chirpy image of her leaning against a scenic backdrop and it was followed by more photos of her with friends in summery dresses and doing fun things together in the city.

I realised it was a refreshing change from her otherwise dull and non-existent state of being.

In the last few years, I had not seen a single post from her that was worth remembering.

I remembered that she had an arranged marriage -- to a guy much elder to her and after several failed attempts of bearing a baby, the couple had planned to adopt.

I visited her profile to find out.

And there it was -- I could not find a single photograph of her marriage. The relationship status was missing too.

Was I hallucinating? Is the account hacked? The pictures were recent though, I thought.

I called up Amma to check if she had any update.

The last she knew was that the couple were considering an out-of-the-court settlement.

What went wrong, I kept wondering.

Our mutual friends had never seen them fight or disagree in public, forget considering the thought of rift or separation. They were married for a good four years, at least.

A few months ago, I happened to meet the friend and sat down with her. She opened up about her marriage, the lesser discussed details and how no one had seen it coming.

Yes, it was true, the couple never fought. Not in public, never during the four years of marriage, she confessed.

During the time she filed for divorce, the lawyer, it seems, kept asking her for the reasons for divorce.

"Did he hit you?"
"Did his parents demand dowry?"
"Were you seeing someone?"
"Was he cheating on you?"
"Is he impotent?"

I had almost wanted to ask her the same questions. But the answer to all the above was a collective No. But the questions kept coming at her and it troubled her, she said.

"I don't know why we got married. He took care of me when I had a miscarriage, he'd even get me small gifts when he could and always worried if I got home late, but that was about it. We were as good as roommates sharing a common roof, eating and sleeping together.

"We had nothing common to talk about, forget fight or argue over. There was nothing to look forward to," she said, without batting an eyelid.

Last year, when she'd got the opportunity to move to a different city for work, the husband did not make any face nor did he share his concerns.

She thought the distance might help them sort their priorities.

And in a way it did. He stopped calling her and that was a sign, she said.

When she asked him, he told her he had nothing to talk about, so he did not call.

A few months later, she noticed that he had removed his WhatsApp display picture; it was blank.

During one such conversation, she casually asked him if he wanted to live without her, half hoping he'd change his mind, maybe ask her to come back and start over again.

Nothing of the sort happened.

In fact, he skirted the decision making part, and said he'd be okay with whatever her decision was.

That's the precise moment, when my friend felt it was time to set themselves free.

She did not look stressed or depressed. But I felt something amiss that I could not place a finger on.

Before my friend and I parted, she said something that made a lot of sense: "You are lucky if you have someone to fight with, something to fight for. Without that, any relationship is boring."

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Tumisu/Pixabay.com

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Divya Nair / Rediff.com
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