Being a Pakistani Divorcee in 2021

I just want to say that not all Pakistani women and families experience whatever I have. Sometimes the stigma behind the south asian culture can cause a rift of what is and isn’t so it’s important to say that my experience is entirely my own. If you relate in any way just know you are not alone and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

I don’t know about anyone else or if you’re able to relate, but don’t you feel like you’ve had enough of being silent & hearing others bullshit about your marriage? The marriage you tried so hard to save and make work? The marriage they so happen to have the most opinions about?

If you happen to be south asian like me then this might be a hi5 moment as I discuss my experience as a Pakistani divorcee in 2021.

My Parents

Where do I begin? I remember being told at the age of 12 years old by my mother that I needed to learn how to kneed the dough, cook curries and clean my house to please my husband and just in case I lived with my in-laws.

My mother had the privilege of being born in the UK. However, my father was born in Bahrain and raised in Pakistan. So, he was called to the UK, 3 years after being married to my mother. In this case, my mother didn’t live with in-laws, however my father was very cultural and opposed certain laws onto my mother such as not going out on her own, covering her face if she ever visited a certain part of Birmingham and being a housewife. But, soon as we grew up and my father got with the times and watched the generation change where women became more independent and were out there working hard and striving to meet their goals, my father changed.

When it came to my divorce, after me constantly trying to make my marriage work and my father watching me day and night, watching me cry and not eat, he would speak words of comfort to me. Now, not every south asian man or woman gets this treatment and till this day we are hearing and seeing people commit suicide or suffering at the hands of their husbands/wives/in-laws. But, not my parents.

All praises to God, my parents are so supportive.

The following words of comfort and encouragement are some of the things my parents said to me when I was broken and ashamed of whatever was happening:

God wanted you to be happy and that’s why he removed the one thing that wasn’t making you happy.”

Aslong as we are alive, no one can say anything to you or question you about whatever happened.

Live your life and if you want to work and travel the world go for it.”

A good man will enter your life and will support you and love you for the good woman you are.”

My Friends

My friends have been so supportive and kind. Not out of sympathy but because they’ve known me for years on end and know that I would have gone lengths to fix my marriage. ‘Fix’ was not the problem in my marriage, he is a narcissist that couldn’t get fixed.

My friends have encouraged me to start building back my confidence through skin care, getting dressed, putting on some makeup and double dates! And let me tell you, most guys don’t care if you’re a divorcee. I’ve been told my past is the past and they only care about the person I am today. It was an experience that has made me a stronger person.

Driving around the countryside, going to different cities, parks, restaurants and spending quality time with family and friends really is helping me with my mental health and well-being.

Choosing Yourself

It’s really sad that in today’s society women are being forced to stay with abusive partners and to ‘accept’ their fate because ‘daughter-in-laws’ are to take care of everyone and not have a life of their own.

I was always told from my ex that no one would look at me the same after knowing I’m a divorcee because I’m a woman. But, ever since i’ve been back and met new people, being a divorcee doesn’t affect most men’s opinions of you. This really helped my confidence.

I had to choose myself for the sake of my own mental health, to feel secure in my own skin, to be independent and have the choice of having my own bank account (I know, crazy right?) and to be loved unconditionally.

Being a Pakistani divorcee in 2021 has really shown me a different perspective of what other men actually think of you and how the community sees you and to be fair it ain’t all bad. You just have to remind yourself that you’re a bad ass bitch regardless and no one can judge you with this ‘label’ of being a divorcee.

Written by Layla

Dreaming Big in Your 30s

“What if I fail? But oh my darling, what if you fly?”

Why Should We Dream Big?

It’s time to dream big, even if you are in your 30s. Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis after my divorce, or reaching 30 and being faced with a ton of life decisions to make on my own, or the fact that Fleetwood Mac – Dreams has been on my recent playlist, but recently I cannot help but think… dream big Jade.

All my life I have done the sensible thing. I worked hard in school, graduated from university, married and bought a house, got a dog all in my twenties. I worked an office job, saved up and lived sensibly. And after my divorce, I don’t have all the things I once had. But what I do have is big dreams.

view from plane window on fluffy clouds
Photo by Jill Burrow on Pexels.com

Don’t get me wrong, I have made some bold decisions. I’ve visited 28 countries in my 30 years. I travelled through Europe by train at 19, with very limited funds. I moved to Spain when I was 20 on my own. And I road tripped through the USA, then later relocated there. I got a 6 figure job, just because I applied! So, I guess I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. But those are the decisions that have shaped me today. And I regret none of it. Every spontaneous trip I booked, every risk I took, I am grateful for. Because it has led me to where I am today.

What Are My Dreams?

I am dreaming of running my own successful online business… Welcome to TalkThirtea by the way! I’m dreaming of owning a beautiful house with a pool on the Spanish coast… of starting a podcast and it reaching millions of viewers and inspiring others. I’m dreaming about being financially free, of being my own boss, of being in incredible shape and getting good at yoga and learning guitar… Of travelling to Japan to see the cherry blossoms and hiking Machu Pichu in Peru. Of owning a cafe by the seaside. And why not? I might surprise myself and achieve my dreams.

Actually, not might… I will achieve them!

selective focus photo of brown dreamcatcher
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Because Life Is Precious

As the years just keep flying by, I realise how precious and short life truly is. My dad tragically passed away when he was just a young man at 44 years old. I thought he was invincible, that he would live forever and that we had all the time in the world together. And it put everything into perspective. Tomorrow is not promised, for any of us. No matter how young or old.

And what is the worst thing that can happen when you take risks? You die? Well that’s highly unlikely. And you will die one day anyway. You fail? Well, you’ll learn something along the way. Might as well reach for your goals and live a life true to yourself in the meantime. Our time here is finite. So what are we all waiting for?

Because What If?

It is human nature to always think negatively “what if it doesn’t work out?” I’m naturally an anxious person and my mind always jumps to the worst case scenario. But I’m working on thinking positively. So humour me for a second… Allow yourself to think, “what if it all does work out?” Imagine you take the risk. You apply for the job you’ve always dreamed of. You ask the hot guy out on a date. You post that video on YouTube. It might just work out. And if you don’t try it, you’ll never know.

Because Dreaming Small is Boring

This is not meant offensively to anyone. There is nothing wrong with living a “normal” life. Having a house, a partner and a family are things most people strive for. If you are happy in your current situation then all power to you. Some people don’t need to travel, they’re home bodies and content with what they have. They are happy with their 9-5 lifestyle and that is perfect. But, if you’re feeling trapped in your 9-5 office or in a small town that feels claustrophobic, maybe it’s time to reevaluate. Maybe you’d rather work with children than sat in an office. Maybe you always wanted a dog, but you keep putting it off because “now is not the right time.” Where is the harm in having bigger dreams? It’s exciting to think of all the endless opportunities that are out there.

silver and white analog alarm clock
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

So those are some of my reasons why I am choosing to dream big in my 30s. I am choosing to think abundantly about my life and being grateful for the journey along the way. I’m choosing to let my inner child out and stop fearing failure. I am writing down my goals and envisioning the type of life I want and working towards making it happen. I hope this has inspired you to do the same and allow yourself to dream bigger.

We’d love to hear what dreams you are currently chasing! Leave us some feedback in the comments below!

Written by Jade