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How to Deal with a Divorce

How to Deal with a Divorce

“If you carry the consequence joyfully, it will be a labor of love. Otherwise, it will be just labor.”—Sadhguru

Reasons for Divorce

Questioner 1: When marriage becomes an exhausting battle, isn’t it better to get divorced?

Sadhguru: If we could live without battling the other person, then the question of divorce would not arise. You are not battling someone on the street; you are battling someone whom you thought was the most wonderful person at one time. This battle is not because that person has suddenly become ugly. This battle has come because as we grow, certain changes happen and we are unwilling to accept that. Two people grow in different directions and it is okay. We do not have to be the same way to be together. It is not necessary that two people should like the same things, do the same things, or feel the same way. People can be divergently different and still be together. There is a certain immaturity about thinking that someone must be just like you to be with you. No two individuals are exactly the same way anywhere in the world. There will be some difference in some aspect of life between two individuals.

Robert Owen, an American author said, “Everyone in the world is queer except you and me, but you also seem to be a little queer.” Please look at your mind and see. If you go by your intellect, no one in the world is okay. Just closely examine the person dearest to you in your life and see how many layers of resistance you have towards that person. Forget about the man on the street, do you not have many layers of resistance even for the closest person in your life? So that means no one in the world is okay for you. If no one is okay, it is not a question of okay or not okay, it is just that you are becoming psychologically ill. One of the first signs of psychological illness is that you start thinking no one is okay. It looks like you have already taken the first step! If you advance on that further, it will come into bigger problems.

There is no hassle about two different people having two different ways of understanding and doing things. It is the underlying emotion which keeps people together. After all, you came together searching for each other's wellbeing. Let us understand this. Whatever is passing off as love right now is generally just a mutual benefit scheme. You have some needs, the other person has some needs and people come together to fulfill these needs. The needs may be various – physical, psychological, emotional, social or financial. The moment your need is not being fulfilled properly, it is finished. That is the way you are going. There is nothing else in the relationship. You want to get the best out of the other person and the other person wants to squeeze the best out of you. This is a battle, not a love relationship.

Love Is About You

What you call as love is not about someone, it is about you, how you are within yourself. If your body becomes pleasant, we call this health and pleasure. If your mind becomes pleasant, we call this happiness and joy. If your emotions become very pleasant, we call this love. If your energies become very pleasant, we call this blissfulness. These are certain ways to be within yourself. It has got nothing to do with anyone, but you are linking it with someone. If someone has to make your mind, emotion and body pleasant, this is not going to happen for a long time. No human being can keep that up forever. Maybe when they just met you, for three days, they will do everything to keep your mind, emotion and body pleasant, but no one can sustain that. It is just not possible for any human being.

So you must learn how to keep your mind, emotion and body pleasant. If your emotions are in a pleasant way, you are loving by yourself and whatever the differences, everything is okay. When that is absent, every small difference is a big problem. People can be in close proximity only when there is a certain pleasantness about you.

What Is Divorce?

Questioner 2: I am already going through a divorce and it feels like a part of me is dying. How can I get through this gracefully?

Sadhguru: What you call as “myself” right now is a huge volume of memory. Your body is the way it is simply because of the genetic memory that it carries. You have your mother’s nose and your father’s complexion simply because what you call as your body is a complex amalgamation of memory. A very ancient memory lives in your body. What you call as “my mind” right now is one hundred percent memory. You are a huge heap of memory in many ways, and memory goes into you in different ways. You gather memory through what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Of all these five different ways of gathering memory, what you see and touch are the deepest forms of memory. Especially what you touch creates a certain level of memory in the system.

A spouse means they have touched you, and there is a certain level of memory. A divorce means that in some way you are trying to rip that memory off and that is not going to be easy for various reasons. But at the same time, the very fact that you are going through a divorce means that you want to be finished with that memory in some way. Maybe you do not want to not erase that memory, but for whatever reason, you have slowly begun to experience someone who was in many ways a part of your life as a baggage that you are unwilling to carry. You want to keep the baggage aside, but you find that the baggage is not something that you voluntarily carry; it is something that compulsively sticks to you. Whatever sticks to you compulsively, if you try to rip it off, there will be pain.

The memory about your spouse has built up, you cannot get rid of it just like that. Even if you are in a balanced state emotionally, psychologically, that you can deal with it, you will still see that the whole system will invariably go through a certain level of suffering. Particularly, when death happens, you will see that the memory of your spouse works in every cell in your body, if you have lived long enough together. It is not just an emotional and psychological process; it is a very physical process. 

Divorce is a voluntary death. You have decided to kill something that is in some way a part of you. It is for this reason, with this understanding of the existence and the way the system functions, that they always told you, “Till death do you part, you will not part,” because there is a physical memory about this, and the body does not have the balance of the mind. The mind can decide and turn around, but the body cannot turn around. The more memory you build into it, the more confused it becomes. 

Divorce and Remarriage

Most people think the best way to conduct a divorce is to immediately jump into another relationship of the same kind. You will cause much more struggle and turmoil within the system by doing that. It is extremely important the body has enough time to work out the memory, to keep the memory at a certain distance. Otherwise, you will render yourself to a space where to make yourself peaceful and joyful will become an extremely hard thing to do in your life.

When Divorce Becomes Unavoidable

If divorce could be avoided, that would be best but for some reason, you have come to that situation where you have chosen to divorce, you need to understand that divorce essentially means you have chosen to kill something which is a part of you. 

Two people who have shared their emotion, their body, their sensations and their living spaces, ripping it apart is almost like tearing yourself apart because two memories have merged in many ways. Even though you might have begun to almost come to a place where you cannot stand the person anymore, it still hurts, simply because you are trying to rip out a memory, which is you – because you are existing as a bundle of memory. 

You are only divorcing your spouse, you need not divorce yourself. But you need to understand that you have already divorced yourself. Your existence has been nurtured by making a bond, a partnership or bondage – depending upon how you have conducted this – to make yourself feel whole in some way. Most partnerships of this nature are made because you would feel insufficient and incomplete by yourself. But that is not how life is. You are a complete life process by itself. It does not need any assistance from outside.

If you have come to such a situation of divorce, it is time to turn inward and see. It is time to find the completeness of what this life is. It is time to discover that this being is a complete being and does not need any external assistance to be the way it is. To conduct our life in a society, we are interdependent but the fundamental existence of this being, the balance, space and possibility of what this is, is a complete process by itself. Our interdependence is only according to our external requirements, but our inner existence is complete by itself. If you are divorcing your spouse, that is bad enough, do not divorce yourself from yourself. 

Effects of Remarriage on a Child

Questioner 3: Sadhguru, I am already divorced and have an eight-year-old son. At times, I feel deprived of love and a need to remarry. My son keeps questioning why he doesn’t have a father figure at home. I’m really confused, please help me.

Sadhguru: In today’s world, a child is not an automatic happening after marriage. There was a time when there was no other way. If you got married, children kept coming. But in today’s world, a child is not automatic – it is generally planned. You must understand that once you have a child, you have a twenty-year project. If your child is very competent, it is a 15-16 year project. When you choose or decide to have a child, you must be ready for at least a 15-year project. If you do not have that commitment, you should not get into this; it is not necessary because no child is knocking on your womb and saying, “Get me born.” If you are not sure whether you can provide this kind of support, you should not get into that misadventure of producing children.

Being a Single Mother after Divorce

Thinking that just one more marriage will settle the child is a very wrong idea. I am not saying it will not settle it, maybe it will. But just thinking that “The child’s biological father did not work, if I bring in another man, everything is going to be fine,” is a very dangerous idea. I would say such things work only ten percent of the time. Ninety percent of the time it creates more problems than solutions. I am not questioning why you broke your marriage, it is up to you. If you have chosen to break it, you must at least make yourself competent to play the role of being a complete parent for the child in every possible way. But because you are longing for something else, the child also longs along with you.

Please do not bring up your children in such helpless ways that they are always longing for someone who is not there. How much time does your eight-year-old want to spend with you? Barely any. He is busy with his own stuff, unless you made him into such a helpless creature that he has to cling to you all the time; otherwise he has his own things to do. That is the nature of life; children have their own things to do. You just have to keep one eye open to see that they do not end up doing wrong things for themselves. They do not have to do everything with you. 

Is It Ok to Remarry after Divorce?

So, if you want to remarry – that is up to you. That is a choice you have to make. Do not put it on the boy. Make the boy in such a way that he neither needs you nor his father. He is fine by himself. He just needs your support and care, nothing else. Whatever you do, there will be a consequence. If you do not get married, there will be one kind of consequence. If you remarry, there will be another kind of consequence – one you have already experienced, so you may be able to handle it better – we do not know. But both will have their consequences. And consequences need not necessarily be pleasant or unpleasant. It simply depends on how you carry them with you. If you carry the consequence joyfully, it will be a labor of love. Otherwise, it will be just labor. 

Editor's Note: In this blogpost, Sadhguru answers a question on why relationships often become burdened with anxiety, and how we can fix such situations.

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