Indian orthodox society often resists change and brands anyone who strays from norms as immoral, more so when it comes to women. Thanks to social media, not just millennials and Gen Zs, but also men and women from other generations stuck in toxic marriages, families and relationships are beginning to speak out. Recently, on Twitter, women broached the subject of divorce in India and many pitched in with their insights.
Twitter user Areebah started the conversation, saying “Not only is a divorced daughter better than a dead daughter but a divorced daughter is also better than a daughter who is unhappy and constantly suffering".
Not only is a divorced daughter better than a dead daughter but a divorced daughter is also better than a daughter who is unhappy and constantly suffering. Do not force your girls to stay in toxic marriages for the sake of society. Start standing up for them PLEASE.— Areebah. (@areebxh) July 19, 2021
In response, many users shared their personal anecdotes to further her point. One of them spoke about standing up for his sister when she was going through a divorce, while another shared the struggles they faced from within their family while trying to leave a toxic relationship.
I stood up for my sis during the divorce period.Many relatives first stood with us but then they started saying divorce ke baad kiya keri gi guzara kr le etc etc even parents started to think otherwise. Now Alhamdulillah she is married again and happy…— Zeeshan Gul (@Zishan_gul) July 19, 2021
Many discussed the reasons as to why Indian women choose to stay on in toxic marriages, and they ranged from buckling under societal pressure, financial burdens to family pressure, lack of education and financial independence.
It's not just the fear of society, financial burden is an equal factor. Parents avoid the social , financial responsibility of the daughter n her kids. Till the girls stand up for themselves n be financially stable , parents will continue to ignore their happiness— Cracked Pot (@SadiaZK) July 19, 2021
I wish there could be a society for singles only where they can live freely and no one judge them if they decided not to go for marriage concept Sometimes I wish when society ask parents about marriage ,they say ohhh my son or daughter decided not to marry with smiling face!!!!— SA🇮🇳 (@Ridhs123) July 20, 2021
Agreed but in our society we don't want to stand for our own Daughter sometimes I feel we have the same mentality like before sometimes I feel Beti zoada bethar hoti hai Betay se. Betay tou parents kou aikela chor chaley jatey hai apni wife k saath magr Beti eisa nahi krti— AKD (@AshvantKumar) July 19, 2021
Parents do the most in encouraging their children to hold on to toxic relationships.— Christine Omao (@tinahmo) July 20, 2021
Giving them appropriate education which will eventually lead to financial independence, will help.— Fawaz Chaudhry (@F_Sohailzafar) July 19, 2021
Some Twitter users suggested that the problem should be nipped at the bud. They said that many marriages end up being toxic because women are forced into unhappy alliances.
Do not force your daughters in unmatched alliance at the first place. Unmarried daughter is way better than a scarred daughter, let them have a choice of selection.— Lost in the translation (@Wanderer_M_S) July 20, 2021
Since in India, marriage, divorce are inherently interrelated with religion, many users shared their perspective on divorce through the lens of religion. While some said that their religion allowed divorce, others wouldn’t go that far but conceded that it was a permissible option.
You know in Surah Tehreem in Quran, Allah actually prefered Divorced for prophet. Wich we dont often see scholar telling us.— Eman 🇵🇸 (@okemname) July 19, 2021
💯 Totally agree with this statement. Divorce may be the most disliked action that’s permissible in Allah’s eyes and should be the last resort. But it is a totally valid option if the marriage doesn’t work out. No one should be forced to stay in a toxic marriage.— Hayah - Single Muslim Marriage (@HayahApp) July 20, 2021
Facts. divorce (halal) is way better than living in an abusive environment (haram)— Thizishuzaifa 🇵🇸 (@thizishuzaifa) July 19, 2021
Then she should look for something which gives her peace and happiness.. Marriage isn't the only way..— Fatima Jabeen (@plectereart) July 19, 2021
For others, the question is of existential nature. These users had a discussion on the ‘frying pan to fire’ situation entailed by a divorce scenario in India, where one goes from being in a toxic relationship to being in a toxic family that judges her for exiting the former.
but if divorce furthers her unhappiness and suffering then what?— Aaminah Sheikh 🇵🇰 🇵🇸 (@Aamna_Imtiaz) July 19, 2021
It might. But that is still 1000 times better than staying in a toxic situation that mentally harms you. You become a person you hate. At least a way out helps you in prioritising yourself. You discover new opportunities that make you feel better eventually.— Ruba (@aaryewbeeaye) July 19, 2021
The initial pain subsides…society and culture need to adapt to wills and desires of women who are people and not objects. We’re on this Earth to live, love and enjoy life … not to suffer to keep others happy!
— Harry Pooni 💙 (@harrypooni) July 19, 2021
Many discussed on how it was ultimately about liberation of women and the society not being conducive for them to realize their worth.
Yeah the bar was in absolute hell as to what constitutes a good husband for our parents/grandparents. I’m glad you want more for yourself than that and know you deserve it— Salt & Vi👨🏾🌾 chips (@teatreeoilb) July 20, 2021
Preach. For the sanity of both Male and Female partners. Dont treat marriage as a prison of convenience and/or honor. There is no bigger inconvenience than suffering a person 24/7 and there is no greater dishonor than an abusive relationship.— Omar Majeed (@omrmajeed) July 19, 2021
There was one user who pointed to the positive outcomes of a healthy family atmosphere that fosters independence in both men and women.
Tbh, my mother taught me a girl should do hardwork not because she needs to prove Any man or society but because a career oriented or a financially independent person always get through tough times. Even a working girl is a blessing for a hard-working guy too.— Zorawar Singh (@RebornVeer) July 19, 2021
The Twitter thread did hold up a mirror to troubling realities of our society, but it also pointed to the fact that as long as the questions continue to be asked, there is yet hope for everyone.