To be or not to be? That is the question that occupies every person's consciousness as they are caught up in the web of adultery in a marriage.
The to be or not to be encompasses an entire spectrum of questions -- to be with the spouse or not, to be with the lover or not. Stay with the spouse and you lose the one who sets your heart aflutter, stay with the lover and you may lose the children if your spouse walks out. Worse still, you may not lose the children but become someone they hate. After all, which child would like their parents to commit adultery?
A recent case referred to me is that of Sunaina (all names changed) and her husband Subhash. Sunaina, 23, has an infant who is barely six months old. Her husband has filed for divorce and she suspects he is in an adulterous relationship with a woman. Without getting into the moral conundrums of adultery, the big question here is, what happens to the baby?
In a recent judgement, a couple were not granted divorce because they had sex during the separation process. Now, if something like this can be a reason to not grant a divorce, what about pregnancy? I think it's time the law became extremely stringent and absolutely clear on the fact that if the woman is pregnant, the husband has no right to file for divorce.
There should not be any ambiguity about this aspect of divorce. Think of a pregnant woman's state, emotionally, physically and psychologically. The changes that are going on in a woman's body and psyche are innumerable at this stage. At this stage the woman should not have to contend with the difficult decision of divorce. She may not be functioning at full capacity and may not be able to make a well-informed decision.
The poor infant in this case, for no fault of his, has been subjected to a cruel fate. I shudder at the thought of the poor baby literally growing up in court. What kind of psychological damage might this cause in the long run?
I think this is the cruellest aspect of divorce that I have witnessed. Hopefully, changes sought in the law by lawyers and activists, like me, will bring about changes that make divorce laws more humane.
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