It’s Just a Piece of Paper

The glamour industry is known more for its divorces than blockbusters. Two of my favorite A-list couples just recently filed for divorce – Ben & Jen and Gwen & Gavin. The tabloid article had an image of Gwen in her wedding dress, looking absolutely happy and it got me wondering..

What if divorces didn’t exist?

What if the moment you get married, there’s no out? If there is a problem, the two of you have to discuss it and sort it out. You have to find a way to work through your issues. And no, I’m not talking about marriages with physically or emotionally abusive spouses or serial cheaters. I’m talking about the normal couples who reach a point where they simply think “We have too many differences. I want out.”

I’m terribly afraid of marriage. Not because I don’t want to be married but because I’m afraid that someday it will end. I’ve said it before several times, the end of me will not be the moment my career comes crashing down or when I lose a loved one. The end of me will be the moment I hold divorce papers in my hand.

But what if that was impossible? I’ve seen so many people in my life rush to get married. My best friend got married after only knowing her husband for 3 months and I know that when in love the person doesn’t think of ever getting divorced but should there be a law that would never allow divorces, do you think the person would think twice before making their decision?

And very honestly, what is it about signing a paper that kills a relationship that has been built over the years? Through various struggles that have been overcome?

Several years ago, when my mother was holding divorce papers, my dad’s mother walked up to her, hugged her and said, “You are not my daughter-in-law because you signed a piece of paper. Our relationship will not end because you sign a paper again.”

That divorce never happened and there has been nothing to worry about on that scale since but my grandmother’s words never left me.

Am I someone’s wife because we sat in front of one hundred guests and got married? Am I someone’s wife because I signed an official paper that states “You are now husband and wife” ?

And does my relationship with this man just end because I sign another paper that says we are no longer united by marriage?

Does one piece of thin paper hold enough strength to turn every fight, every argument, every struggle, every moment, every kiss and all the love insignificant?

If not, then what is it about a divorce? I know I’ll hear a lot of people telling me that marriage is complicated, you have to think of your happiness and a divorce is unavoidable at times. But why?

If there didn’t exist that piece of paper, what would you have done?

Would you have simply walked out? If you knew that that particular piece of paper did not change your relationship, would you find a way to fix the problem? Would you have stayed?

Or would you have still packed and walked away?

I’m not experienced. I can barely hold a relationship together. But I’ve been raised believing that the concept of signing a paper mutually for the beginning and end of a partnership belonged in the corporate world for business deals and not for emotions.

Not for a marriage. Not for a relationship. And definitely not for love.

Am I wrong?

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18 thoughts on “It’s Just a Piece of Paper

  1. Noopur says:

    You’re not at all wrong. Commercializing and labelling every sacred relationship has led to more segregation than bringing together. Everything has a correct definition, if it doesn’t fit it – it is wrong

  2. Shruti gopinath says:

    I don’t think it is about signing a paper because we might have given up long back right. Paper is just a formality. I don’t feel it shouldn’t exist because sometimes that can be the only way out for us to have a life. Agreed the frequency is increasing these days and marriage should be given many more chances before giving up but then if it all fails not other option right? And about thinking twice before getting hitched thing is not really possible for many because at that time we become blind, we don’t see anything else right? But once you start living together then things change, it really does. You aren’t wrong though..

    • LoudThoughtsVoicedOut says:

      Shrutiii! I haven’t talked to you in a very long time. I agree with what you say about how that is the only way out but my point is – it’s become so common! So many marriages lasted decades without a divorce. Why is it suddenly “the only option” ? I feel like people have the idea of a divorce stuck in their head before they even think of making things work somehow. Their thought process isn’t “I have to fix this.” It’s “I’m going to try and if it doesn’t work I’m getting a divorce.”

  3. itsmayurremember says:

    It is not that simple is it?
    people are more complicated, rather more closed up and reserved these days. It depends upon the couple.
    And i beliebe things can be worked out if they talk things through but who wants to do that?!

  4. Wide-eyed says:

    I don’t believe in divorce either–and not just because of the social stigma associated with it in my country, but because I don’t think its possible to ever just fall OUT of love. And people these days believe all the movie fairyt tales about relationships being meant to be and easy and requiring no effort whatsoever for being awesome, but that’s not how it works. Divorce, to me, always just seemed like the easy way out–unless of course domestic violence or abuse was involved in which case, it is brave.

  5. ganeshputtu says:

    hmmm…the only option for you then is to do an mba in man management…..and if all else fails….please use a roti roller on your husband – that will ensure that you will never get those dreaded papers on your hands

  6. The New(ish) Wife says:

    I love this! In the two years I’ve been married, I’ve learned that marriage is definitely more than just signing up or signing to end. ITS WORK. I was raised that when you get married, you work it out, through the good and the bad. Divorce is a LAST RESORT option…and I mean you’ve done everything you can to save it and it’s just done. My parents fought like cats and dogs when i was a kid, and they’ve been married 25 years. They made it work! Too many 1) get married under the assumption its easy and butterflies & rainbows everyday… and 2) say well, I’m not happy, so I’m getting a divorce. When you committed yourself to that man/woman in front of God and probably 100 witnesses, you vowed to work together to make your marriage work…a marriage is not just signing that paper. It’s forever. it’s a daily struggle to find a balance. It’s constant. The work is always there…and the reward is never-ending. I may want to strangle my husband some-days, and some times I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t gotten married at 20 years old…but I know I couldn’t live without him. I don’t want a different life.

    I actually started a blog about being young and married, and my first post was about divorce, and how we got to that point, turned around, and went the other way and decided to work on fixing our marriage. Feel free to check it out if you’d like!

    https://thenewishwife.wordpress.com/

    • chantelleloa says:

      So true. And I laughed when you said they fought like cats and dogs lol, that’s how me and my husband are and we’ve been together for 10 years. But I found the biggest factor in making marriage or any relationship last, is forgiveness. I’m far from my honeymoon phase but im happier in my 10th year then I was in my 1st. =)

  7. villpower says:

    Nice blog. I stumbled upon it from community blog.
    Wonderful idea presented here in your blog. But I bag to differ in a way that consider Divorce as respecting the differences of your life partner and vice versa. Impossibility of the divorce would bring desperate measures as there was no hope left for having the exit point when nothing working out. Your beautiful premise presented here has tone of idealistic love and relationships but what I believe is that sometimes we all should be allowed to do “mistakes” and learn. Absolutely my POV, I respect all other views.

  8. chantelleloa says:

    I totally resonated with your blog. It is a lot of hard work, a lot of forgiving, a lot of heart ache at times too. I’ve been married for 10 years but before I tied the knot, I had knots in my stomach lol. I was scared because i’ve always felt that marriage is ‘forever’. Even though I knew about divorce, I never agreed with it. My parents divorced when I was 4 and it damaged me a great deal. Now that i’m 28, my stepfather and mother have been separated for a few years and even that left me a little traumatized lol. I can’t even imagine her with anyone else, so I hope she stays single lol But I totally get where you’re coming from. Great blog. =) Thanks for sharing.

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