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

My Trip To EL&N Cafe London

Written by Layla

I planned an afternoon tea for my best friend as it was her birthday June 3rd and we decided we wanted to visit London’s most Instagrammable cafe’s!

I love trying out new places and especially if they are Instagrammable! This cafe was screaming with different shades of pink flowers, seating and neon lighting settings! My best friend’s birthday came at the perfect time as the weather was beautiful in London at 27 degrees! We got our summer dresses out and made our way to EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street!

EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

EL&N Cafe on Lowndes Street sits perfectly on the corner with lavish pink seating outside. The staff in light pink t shirts and pink face masks, and the amazing bright pink flowers decorating the cafe.

To be seated indoors, due to Covid-19 guideliness in place, we had to reserve a table of four a week in advance. We arrived at our given time at 1:45pm, and were greeted at the entrance. We were told to follow a staff member down these spirally pink stairs which lead to our reservation table.

Adventure awaits, but first coffee – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

As we reached the basement of the cafe it was brightly lit with beautiful pink roses and flowers attached around cocooned seating areas. Arched windows with flowers blooming underneath and around the seating. We chose the booth that beautifully wrote ‘I love you a latte’.

I love you a latte – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

Once we sat in our booth, we discovered a reflecting mirror fitted in the ceiling which complimented the neon EL&N lighting and surrounding decor.

Ceiling Mirror inside the booth – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

We were four people and so we had ordered two portions of afternoon tea bundles which included a variety of sandwiches, cakes and cereal!

Afternoon Tea – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

We also ordered peach teas which were very delicious and not too sweet! They were perfect and had pretty little colourful flowers to compliment the cafe.

Peach Tea – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

I would definitely recommend this cafe as it was so Instagrammable, the hospitality was brilliant and the food was great! I know I will be visiting again as the pricing was not too bad either! It has such a vibrant atmosphere and you would definitely enjoy the vibe!