“After 22 years of being married, we parted ways.”

“I was in my late 30s when I started facing troubles in my marriage. Ankita, my daughter would tell me, ‘Dad and you are fighting a lot,’ My husband and I tried to make things work, but in vain–we’d grown distant. So, after 22 years of being married, we parted ways.

Being single after all these years was tough, I felt alone; I missed having someone to talk to. I’d often find myself confiding in my friend Ratan. He too had gotten divorced around the same time; we had a lot in common. I’d cry to him on call and he’d patiently hear me out. We understood each other deeply.

Ratan would often visit Pune to visit his parents and whenever he did, he always dropped in to check up on me and Ankita too. In fact, we’d gotten so close that we’d often take our kids on trips together. Over the years, we became best friends. Just being there for each other when we were at our lowest made us realize we had feelings for each other.

And so, 2 years after my separation, Ratan said, ‘We get along well, our kids get along. Do you think we should give ‘us’ a shot?’ I pondered on it for a minute before smiling and saying, ‘yes!’ But while we were excited about the newness of a relationship, we were also nervous. We both came from failed marriages, we knew society wouldn’t be kind to us and we were scared about what our kids would say–their support meant everything to us.

And so, before getting ahead of ourselves, Ratan and I sought our children’s permission. To our delight, both our kids said, ‘We’re already family!’

Still, even though we were adults in our 40s, we’d find it awkward telling people we were dating; we’d constantly get asked, ‘So y'all live together with your kids but aren’t married yet?’ But Ratan would tell me, ‘We’ll get married only when you’re ready!’

Being in a relationship with Ratan was… effortless! We’re both adventurous people, so whenever we’d have time off, we’d be off in the woods, exploring!

And then 4 years ago, on one such trip to a waterfall, in front of our children, Ratan went down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! It was so romantic; our kids clapped and hugged us!

To our surprise, despite being in their 70s, our parents were so supportive. All they said was, ‘We just want you to be happy!’ With their blessings and our kids love and support, Ratan and I tied the knot this year. I was 52 and he was 55; but that day, age had nothing on us. All that mattered was that we were 2 people in love, embarking upon this new adventure together.”

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