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Fun Time: Consider All The Factors Before Getting A Divorce

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
July 2021
Fun Time: Consider All The Factors Before Getting A Divorce

Bill and Melinda Gates announced recently that they are getting divorced after 27 years of marriage. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife are worth a combined $124 billion and have given away a portion of their wealth through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the couple said in a statement.

Their words indicate that they did not take divorce lightly. That’s probably why their marriage lasted 27 years. Most celebrity couples have trouble getting their marriages to last 27 months.

Actor Nicolas Cage, for example, was married to Lisa Marie Presley for only 108 days. But you have to give the couple some credit. At least their marriage lasted 27 times longer than Cage’s marriage to Erika Koike, which lasted four days.

While most western countries have divorce rates above 40 percent, India’s divorce rate is estimated to be around 1 percent, among the lowest in the world. Does that mean that 99 percent of married people in India are happy in their marriages? No, it means that 99 percent of married people in India are unable to find anyone better.

The truth is more complicated than that, of course. Divorce is a messy process and most people just don’t want to go through with it, even if it means staying in a marriage that brings them as much happiness as a genital wart.

But as divorce becomes more acceptable in India, the divorce rate is bound to increase. If you’re in an unhappy marriage and contemplating divorce, I have just one word of advice for you: Don’t.

Well, perhaps that’s a little too strong. Divorce may indeed be the right move for you, depending on your circumstances. But before you go through with it, here are some points to ponder:

1. It’s not all about you. Personal happiness should not be your only consideration. Think of the kids. How is it going to affect them? If you don’t have kids, think of your parents and your in-laws? How is it going to affect them? Okay, perhaps you may not really care how your divorce might affect your in-laws, but don’t be surprised if your mother-in-law cries for weeks or your father-in-law calls you names he normally reserves for other motorists on the highway.

2. Don’t use another couple’s marriage as a model. They may look really happy, especially in those romantic photos they share on social media, but do you really know what’s going on in their marriage? Perhaps he’s smiling in the photo because he just received a text from the woman he’s having a torrid affair with, and perhaps she’s smiling because she just wrote a love letter to a man she met online, a soon-to-be-single billionaire named Bill.

3. Divorce won’t necessarily make you happier. A study conducted by the Institute for American Values found that among couples in unhappy marriages, those who get divorced are just as unhappy five years later as those who stay married. It’s better to be unhappy with a little company than to be unhappy all alone.

4. Things could get better. Don’t assume that a bad marriage will always be a bad marriage. In ten years, it might become an “okay marriage.” And ten years after that, it might become an “almost-good marriage.”
You might find yourself saying, “I’ll get a divorce only if a divorce lawyer sends me a discount coupon.”
Nicolas Cage got the “Pay for one, get the second for half price” deal.

5. Think of all the shared assets you have. Do you really want to split them? It’s not just the kids you’ll be fighting over—it’s also the pets, the furniture, and the yellowing copies of Reader’s Digest that you just can’t part with.

There are many good reasons to consider divorce, of course. It’s up to you to decide whether to keep the marriage going or, like Bill and Melinda Gates, split your wealth with a divorce lawyer.

More of ChaiTime here:

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]

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