Why does divorce still remain a taboo in some segments of the Asian community?
Being a divorcee can pose many challenges for some women when it comes to re-marrying.
We spoke to four divorced Asian women about their experiences and how they felt many Asian men saw them as ‘charity cases’.
Names have been changed to protect identities.
Rubina felt that many Asian men treated divorced women differently.
She said: “I have been on a few meetings after my divorce, but to be honest, I’m really disillusioned.
“The introductions have been disastrous.
“Actually I have been divorced twice.
“I own my own flat, so clearly I am independent. But men think for some reason that a divorced, independent woman must also be loose. And in my case, experienced.
“One man dropped me home and then made an excuse that he needed to use the bathroom. I stupidly let him in.
“When he came out of the bathroom I found him standing in the hall with his trousers at his ankles.
“Another man took me out for an expensive meal.
“Then in the car on the way back home he said he could find a secluded parking spot so that I could thank him appropriately.
“I got out of the car and got a taxi home.”
Saira spoke of her alarm when one man articulated a very singular interest in marriage. “I was introduced to a man who seemed perfect. He was very open minded and didn’t even ask me any questions about my divorce or my ex-husband.
“I thought this was just too good to be true. It was.
“After the third meeting, he told me he wasn’t actually separated but he was looking for a second wife.
“He said it would be good for me as I would have a rich husband who could provide for me and my children financially, but he would expect me to fly out with him on business trips so that he would be satiated at all times.
“He even said he would pay for a nanny.
“He told me explicitly how it would be worth my while financially, like it was some sort of business contract and that his first wife would never need to know.
“I decided to take a break from dating men after that foul episode.”
Huma said in her experience men have a sense of entitlement when it comes to dating divorced women.
“I have two kids and I am 37-years-old. Men who go out with me act like they are doing me a favour.
“That I should be grateful for their attention.
“And that I should be thanking them for even contemplating taking me and my two children on.
“I haven’t had the courage to date anyone in public. I know it’s silly, but I am concerned about what people will think if they see me out dating.
“So to counter that, I invited one guy to my house for tea at night, after the kids were in bed.
“I didn’t want to risk the kids seeing a man in the house.
“It sounds naïve now as I tell this story, but I genuinely invited him for a chat to get to know him better in the privacy and safety of my own home.
“When he came in, the first question he asked me was how many bedrooms there were and reassured me that he had brought ‘protection’.
“I asked him to leave immediately.”
Lubna reiterated that there is a social stigma attached to being a divorced Asian woman, something that is reinforced not only by the elders in the community, but even by the men she met.
“I have been working ever since my divorce so I don’t need to marry a man for his money. Just for companionship.
“But Asian guys have this sense that they are doing a charitable deed by marrying a divorced woman so that her social status is a respectable one.
“I turned one guy down who had no job and lived off his parents.
“He got really nasty and said I should reconsider because there is no way I will ever be able to get decent rishtas for my children if they are coming from a broken home.”