Saturday, October 31, 2015

Three lessons to learn from Imran and Reham’s marriage and divorce

I wasn’t in Pakistan when Imran Khan and Reham Khan tied the knot, but this ‘news’ was big enough to infiltrate every conversation in Boston as well. All of a sudden, every Pakistani seemed to have an opinion about their wedding. It was discussed on the streets, in classrooms, in workplaces and in drawing rooms. We lapped up the wedding event, we absorbed every public appearance, every word uttered by Reham Khan (whether personal or political), and we discussed the juicy remarks made by her former husband. And now, we will dissect their divorce. 

Here are three lessons that I have learnt from Imran and Reham’s marriage and their decision to divorce:

1. Get married when YOU think the time is right

Imran got married at the age of 62, to a woman who was 20 years younger than him and also had children from her previous marriage. All of us, including his family, thought we knew better than him in regard to his decision to marry Reham.

We all felt entitled to have a say in his personal life and many of us felt cheated when he made a decision which personally, we wouldn’t have made.

We somehow overlooked the fact that Imran is a mature adult. We felt that if he absolutely had to get married, he should have at least chosen someone more ‘suitable’. I don’t even know what comprises of suitability amongst us. The country was extremely divided over this marriage.

People will always have an opinion about your relationships. Be it family, friends, neighbours, classmates or teachers, the list will go on, and on. If you start trying to make everyone happy, especially regarding your decision to get married (or not), there will never be a decision which you could take without having people interfere.

When you feel the time is right – whether you are in your 40s, divorced, with children from a previous marriage (a demographic one should not be thinking of when deciding to getting married) or in your 60s with a political career, if you think you’ve found the right person, then take the leap.

The point is, think about your happiness rather than pleasing others.

2. If it is not working, don’t force it. What’s the worst that can happen?


Except divorce is not the worst thing that can happen to a relationship. Choosing to continue to drag a negative and destructive relationship forever and ever is the worst thing that can happen. Remember the people who you decided to not take into consideration while tying the knot? Imagine how triumphant they will feel knowing that your relationship has ended. The ‘I told you so’ chants will never end. You will hear about it till the end of time.

If you find yourself in a relationship which does not seem to be working out, and if both partners have come to the realisation that there is little hope for it to get better in the future, then please walk away. Do not make yourself, as well as others around you, miserable just because you are afraid of making the right decision.

Imran and Reham have decided to call it quits knowing that more than 182 million Pakistanis will now be commenting on their so-called ‘failure’. While divorce remains a taboo in our country, it is safe to say that this act takes sheer guts, especially knowing it will be all over the media. For instance, Twitter exploded into a frenzy of tweets regarding their divorce and hashtags such as #ImranRehamdivorce started trending.

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