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'I'm divorced, so Sikh men don't want me'

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/stories-47562252

At 27, Minreet Kaur married a man she had met through a Sikh temple in west London. It turned out to be a disaster, and within a year she was back home with her parents. For 10 years now she has been hoping to find another husband, but has reached a bitter conclusion: most Sikh men don't want to marry a divorcee.

"If you divorce me, you will never marry again," my husband shouted at me before I left him. He said it to hurt me, but he knew it could turn out to be true. And so did I.

Divorce is shameful in the Sikh community, especially for women.

To begin with I was ashamed myself. I felt dirty and used. How could I look at another man when I knew he would regard me as used goods? 

Other people reinforced this feeling.

My grandma in London told me I should have worked at my marriage, even though she knew what I had been through. My dad's family in India said they were disappointed that I was home; I was a disgrace to them. My parents supported me 100% but I felt I had let them down.

For five years I hardly went out, but in 2013 I started to look again for a partner.

When I asked people to look out for a partner.

When I asked people to look out for a suitable man for me they would often be happy to help. They would start asking questions - how old I was, where I lived, where I worked - but as soon as told them I was divorced, their facial expression changed. It was a look that said, "we can't help you".

My marriage had been semi-arranged. People kept telling me I was getting old and putting pressure on me to marry, so I asked the temple in Southall to introduce me to someone. 

After my divorce, when I started looking for a new husband, I went to the Hounslow temple to register in its matrimonial book. I knew the temple would only introduce me to members of my own caste, even though caste isn't important to me. But what I didn't know was that, since I was a divorcee, they would only introduce me to divorced men.

Once the volunteer saw my details on the form I had filled in he said: "Here are two men who are divorced - they are the only ones suitable for you.

But in at least two temples I have seen divorced men being introduced to women who have never previously married. So why can't divorced women be introduced to men who have not been married before? It's as though men can never be responsible for a divorce, only women. 

I asked the man in charge of the Hounslow temple's matrimonial service, Mr Grewal, to explain this to me and he told me it wasn't his choice - it was the men looking for a bride, and their parents, who said they didn't want a divorcee.

"They are not going to accept divorce, as it shouldn't happen in the Sikh community, if we follow the faith," he said.

But actually Sikhs do get divorced sometimes, just like everyone else. The 2018 British Sikh Report says that 4% have been divorced and another 1% have separated. Some of those who admit to having been divorced may have remarried, but I'm quite sure that a larger number tick the "single" box even though they are divorced - it's such a taboo.

As divorce becomes more common, attitudes will most likely change. Younger people have told me it's not such a big issue for them. But in my generation, even people who have divorced sisters or daughters in their own family will still judge another divorced woman outside their family.

These are the kinds of things people say to me: "You are too old to have kids, you are going to find it hard to meet someone now - you've left it too late. You should just find anyone and marry them."

(Actually, at 38 I'm not too old to have children. It's just another prejudice.)

Sometimes I'm told: "Min, it's going to be very difficult to meet someone in the UK, you're better off meeting someone in India."

When my mum asked one of her friend's sons if he knew anyone for me, he told us I was like a "scratched car".

I know I have made things difficult for myself by looking not just for a Sikh but for a turbanned Sikh. There are more than 22,000 Sikhs in Hounslow, so probably 11,000 are men. Only a small proportion of them are in the right age group, and unmarried. And of those who are, many don't wear a turban.

The turban is important to me, though. Faith is important to me - the Sikh faith that says that men and women are equal and that we should not judge one another.

I don't want to meet men who are just out for a laugh and don't want to settle down. But nor do I want to meet men who want a housekeeper rather than a wife, and ask questions like, "can you cook?" the first time we meet. I am an independent person who wants a partner for companionship.

Last month I was introduced to someone through a friend. It was a familiar story. He said he wasn't interested in a divorcee. He was in his 40s, but he expected women to come with no history.

After meeting about 40 different men over the last 10 years, it's only in the last few months that I have begun to think about considering non-turbanned Sikhs, and even non-Sikhs. Some of my friends have already taken this step.

By telling my story I am hoping I will help to remove the stigma of being a divorced woman. Maybe it will encourage more women to speak up. And if women are trapped in an abusive marriage because of the taboo of divorce, I would urge them to leave. We are human beings, and we deserve to be treated equally.

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We had another thread where Singh's could not find a partner. 

Well here's your chance fellas.

Any takers?

  • Haha 1

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She's a pretty lady , a singh around her age range who is single should contact her     I'm sure there are many singhs her age and in the same situation.  

Edited by puzzled

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1 hour ago, puzzled said:

She's a pretty lady , a singh around her age range who is single should contact her     I'm sure there are many singhs her age and in the same situation.  

I'm baffled she's having problems? I know the divorcee thing was an issue in the past - but now? Maybe it's more of an issue with keshdhari men? Hell, I don't even think that is true.

What's going on here? 

Looks, personality and status play the biggest part in this (whether we like it or not). Is this women coming across as downbeat and depressed when she meets guys I wonder?

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23 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

I'm baffled she's having problems? I know the divorcee thing was an issue in the past - but now? Maybe it's more of an issue with keshdhari men? Hell, I don't even think that is true.

What's going on here? 

Looks, personality and status play the biggest part in this (whether we like it or not). Is this women coming across as downbeat and depressed when she meets guys I wonder?

Reading between the lines, but I think she's going for predominantly new arrivals. Believe it not, they possess more nakhre than those of us born and raised here. 

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Men and women are different. 

A divorced woman is seen as used goods whereas the same is not seen with divorced men.

There is an expression "Women are born, men are made"

A divorced man may be seen differently by women because the man will be seen as experienced. 

A divorced woman may make some men feel repulsed because she has been with another man.

How do we know she hasn't rejected a whole bunch of suitors, she may be economical with the truth.

If you read the bottom of the article, it says she is a henna artist and freelance journalist. 

Being a henna artist, she is in contact with so many women who will be asking if she is single and would be trying hook her up with prospective partners. 

I don't think she is being entirely truthful.

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This is Sikh bashing by the BBC. Substitute Sikh with Muslim, would the BBC  printed that. It is common practice for divorced Sikhs to remarry. These type of articles are mainly written by  Indian women to get brownie points from their white and Muslim bosses who love bashing Sikh culture. The truth is Sikh women have changed the demographics by marrying out in large numbers. It is the Sikh boys who are finding it difficult to find a partner

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This article is a load of rubbish, there are kesadhari men out there who have been divorced and do accept divorecd women.

Having been through the gurudwara introductions as a divorcee myself - i can tell you most of these girls are just time waster who expect a man to break off from his family just because the girl had past issues with inlaws.

Both men and women need to accept in each other before they can think about how others will react

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This article is a load of rubbish, there are kesadhari men out there who have been divorced and do accept divorecd women.

Having been through the gurudwara introductions as a divorcee myself - i can tell you most of these girls are just time waster who expect a man to break off from his family just because the girl had past issues with inlaws.

Both men and women need to accept in each other before they can think about how others will react

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3 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

I'm baffled she's having problems? I know the divorcee thing was an issue in the past - but now? Maybe it's more of an issue with keshdhari men? Hell, I don't even think that is true.

What's going on here? 

Looks, personality and status play the biggest part in this (whether we like it or not). Is this women coming across as downbeat and depressed when she meets guys I wonder?

yeah its odd because she's not bad looking, sounds cultured, talks about importance of faith etc  so i don't get why she's having problems! to say not a single man in the last 10 years wanted to marry her because she is divorced is odd! like not a single man in a whole whopping decade? 

maybe she sounds undesirable during her dates? 

Edited by puzzled

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i think once you her age its hard for you to gel with your in laws because your almost middle aged yourself 

women who marry in their early 20s or mid 20s are more likely to gel with their inlaws because they still young and have a lot to learn 

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i agree with some of the posters above, it is a BBC article after all, the BBC is anti asian male and loves to portray asian women as tragic heroines and victims of asian men, its a narrative that they love selling.  they love hearing emotional sagas from asian women and other ethnic women.  not that im saying she is false but you should take BBC with a pinch of salt. 

Edited by puzzled

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3 minutes ago, puzzled said:

yeah its odd because she's not bad looking, sounds cultured, talks about importance of faith etc  so i don't get why she's having problems! to say not a single man in the last 10 years wanted to marry her because she is divorced is odd! like not a single man in a whole whopping decade? 

maybe she sounds undesirable during her dates? 

Maybe she is really keen to get married again and comes off a certain way when she meets potential blokes.

I've known girls who are divorced with kids who still find husbands, so.... ????

Appearing too needy is a big turn off (not saying this women is doing this though). That goes for men and women. 

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3 minutes ago, puzzled said:

i think once you her age its hard for you to gel with your in laws because your almost middle aged yourself 

women who marry in their early 20s or mid 20s are more likely to gel with their inlaws because they still young and have a lot to learn 

 

Just now, puzzled said:

i agree with some of the posters above, it is a BBC article after all, the BBC is anti asian male and loves to portray asian women as tragic heroines and victims of asian men, its a narrative that they love selling.  they love hearing emotional sagas from asian and other ethnic women.  not that im saying she is false but you should take BBC with a pinch of salt. 

Spot on both times.

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Just now, puzzled said:

i agree with some of the posters above, it is a BBC article after all, the BBC is anti asian male and loves to portray asian women as tragic heroines and victims of asian men, its a narrative that they love selling.  they love hearing emotional sagas from asian and other ethnic women.  not that im saying she is false but you should take BBC with a pinch of salt. 

Absolutely. Let's not forget the small matter of how they harboured and promoted a whole gang of pedos for decades. I should know, I grew up watching them all on children's TV growing up.....

And they still have the gall to take pot shots at our community. The audacity and sheer hypocrisy of these people is something to be marvelled at. 

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