Long marriage, compromise, future plans and the realisation that it’s time to divorce

Published on 25.08.23
Published on 25.08.23

In an inspiring and thought-provoking interview in the Hindustan Times, Indian actor and singer Piloo Vidyarthi eloquently articulates her reasons for divorcing Indian actor Ashish Vidyarthi. This was a 22-year marriage, and the couple have an adult son. Head of Family Teena Dhanota-Jones sets out some highlights from Piloo’s interview below, which will hopefully resonate with anyone on the cusp of making the same decision.  

On compromise in marriage, Piloo said: “We have heard about this thing – you have to compromise in a marriage. People end up doing it, we all do. But what many might not know is that it happens behind closed doors. You don’t know how much one is compromising mentally or materialistically, it’s a thin line, and you cannot measure it. At least I cannot live like that, you see. What he wants is different from my wants, they don’t match being married. I know people who do it. I am not calling them wrong, but I see people putting up long posts on social media about their spouses. Deep down I wonder how much of it that we see on social media is true. Only they know the truth, right?”

“When we think of married life, we think about staying together. When it’s about staying together, we compromise our desires and needs just to stay as couples.”

Piloo continued by referring to her and her husband’s plans now that their son had reached adulthood and independence: “Our future plans are different, what we want to achieve as individuals for the rest of our lives are different. We never felt the need to be separated all these years as we never thought about ourselves as individuals… As individuals, we have the right to fulfil our desires and needs for the rest of our lives.”

“I’ve spent the major part of my life as a great daughter, a lovely wife, and a responsible mother – now I’m planning my life the way I wanted it to be.”

Piloo’s honesty about her relationship and reasons for ending it are refreshing, especially from someone in the public eye. Piloo and her husband were a well-known celebrity couple in India, and their breakup covered many column inches in Indian newspapers and magazines.

What is most inspiring about Piloo’s interview is that she recognises it is the right time for her to move on. The length of the marriage, financial constraints, cultural norms and expectations have not deterred her. Her desire not to compromise and her wish to live the rest of her life on her own terms is refreshing, considering the possible negativity that could flow from the circles she mixes in and the country she lives in. It seems her fear of judgement has been cast aside, and she has found a new normal that is right for her.

It is not unusual for people to worry about divorcing, especially when the first question friends and family seem to ask them is, ‘Why? Sometimes this can be hard to articulate or explain, particularly if they fear their reasons may be perceived as not good enough or selfish.

A starting point to overcoming these fears is to take time to reflect, and if you want to know your rights and the procedure for a divorce, attend an information meeting with a family lawyer. You are not obliged to proceed after an information meeting, but it may assist your decision-making.

This article was first published on LinkedIn.

If you require an information meeting and/or further information about divorce or any other family matter, please contact Teena Dhanota-Jones at [email protected].

Disclaimer: The above is merely general guidance and should not be relied on as formal advice. We suggest you take professional legal advice before taking any action in relation to the issues discussed above.