When someone decides to walk out of a marriage, especially after spending twenty years with a partner and having two children from her, people might wonder why this person is doing such a drastic thing. Most of the people first think of the kids and say that at least for the sake of the children the warring partners should compromise and stay together. Some people would ask that if you want to have a free life why you decided to have kids at all. Some would immediately judge one of the partners. Some would show some curiosity and yet another lot would watch things silently. Some may celebrate it and some others may feel pity for the separating partners and even some others may feel a secret happiness. Generally people feel sad for a separating couple. They would enquire whether there would be any possibility to keep them together. Give it a try, give peace a chance, think about the kids, think about the career and give space to each other, they would say. Perhaps, by this time I have heard and gone through all these. Still I want to be separated from my legally married wife and in the process from the children also. I have been going through various literature, debates, articles and discussions regarding marriage discords and often I wonder how we have put up with each other for the last twenty years.
When people decide to separate, in the public imagination, one of the partners becomes the villain in the plot and the other, the victim. Here I do not know whether I am the villain or the victim as I am very much inside the plot. At times, I think I am the victim of oppression. At times I feel that I am the villain. Today, as most of the people would sympathize with a woman who is going through marriage discords, there are more chances that people consider me as the villain in this family drama. I do not want to dispute that fact. I could be a villain, especially seen from the woman’s perspective. I am the family breaker because I want to get out of this shit called marriage. I believe, after these twenty years that there are different ways to lead a fruitful life. Having children is not a sin. But living a life that one does not want to lead for the sake of children is the worst sin possible. That is a crime done by one against his/her self. Living under the same roof, fighting for something that cannot be solved and still leading a life of togetherness for the sake of children makes a wonderful farce than a meaningful life. Children grow up seeing this constant bickering between parents and they get depressed. People keep doing this thinking that they are sticking together even when they are fighting like cats and dogs, only for the sake of kids. In fact they ruin the kids in the process. Children could grow meaningfully under one parent rather than under two warlords up in arms against each other day in day out.
I am selfish. The sole aim of my life is to read and write; nothing more nothing less. Whatever happens in between is a by-product of my passion for reading and writing. I came to Delhi with the dream of becoming a writer. I could have taken up a ‘ten to five job’ anywhere when life was really difficult. I fought the temptation to do that and remained a freelancer all these years. In between I took up some jobs and left in no time. I learnt one way to live the life of a writer without doing anything else; to be frugal in life. I brought down the level of my desire for having a so-called good life. I stopped socializing and dressing well. I work for money also because I have to look after the children and give them a decent and dignified life. But I do not use that money for the gratification of my personal desires. If at all I spend money, I spend it on books, my personal telephone bill and a few other vices like an occasional drink at home and cigarettes. I am in a process to cut them down too. I do travel but whenever I travel the expenditures are taken care of by others. I travel for others and I do not travel for pleasure. Though I accompany my family on vacations, I personally feel that I do not need any vacations out of work because when I read or write I feel I am on a perpetual vacation.
Some people like my frugal living. Some people detest it. It is not necessary that your partner also likes all what you do. It is not necessary that your freedom is always entertained by your partner. Every day and every moment you evolve but it is not necessary that your partner needs to see you as an evolved or an evolving person. There are certain fixed ideas that you cherish about your partner. He or she is like that or has to be like that. But how can one fit into that idea. As a writer I go through long periods of depression but you have to show a cheerful face when you are in a family situation. Sometimes you do not make any money. But you have the hope of making it at some point. But you need space and time to do things. You cannot be completely hammered into certain boxes of ideal life. I am not an ideal man. I am a man who has erred and is prone to err. Some people deeply love me and they like to see me as what I am. I do not consider that our life partners are supermarkets that everything could be obtained from there. At times life’s meaning could be sought elsewhere also. Happiness could be found outside marriage. Marriage or family is not a certificate for happiness. The root of my marital discord lies in my apparent devotion to another woman. I am countered with the question: If my partner was doing the same, would I have put up with it? My answer is, if I have created such a situation that my partner has to look out for solace elsewhere, then definitely I have to put up with it. If I have gone elsewhere seeking solace or finding it, then one has to think what has gone wrong or right.
You call it cheating on the partner. You call it breach of trust. You call it crime. You call it moral corruption. You call it irresponsibility. You call it extra marital affair. You call it illegal. You call it hundred and one names. But I do not think that I could be accused of any of these. I have found happiness in another person, which my partner has failed to give me. But the issue is, in the public perception, the person who finds happiness out of marriage is wrong. The person who suffers inside the family is right. I am not judging either here. What I want to do is only this much: I just want to live and live in freedom. I want to read and write. I want to live a meaningful life and I do not think that meaningful life comes only through family life and compromising with all what it demands. I know that I am going to pay a heavy price for my decision. I know that I am going to be rendered useless for some time. I know that even I may face social ostracism. But I am not going to live a life that does not give me any dignity. I am walking out to freedom. May be I am a weak person that’s why I have to find freedom by walking out. But the stronger one remains for the children. Death is better than a life lived in oppression and indignity.