Mumbai Mirror, by Aruna Rathod

Divorce, they say, is painful — the before, during, and after. Why then do couples consider giving their relationship with an ex another go?

Often, years of getting used to one person leaves them consumed with guilt and regret. Remarriage with the ex-spouse seems like a reasonable solution then. Fear of being alone is common too.

Closer home, a celebrity couple have been the subject of bedroom conversation ever since they signed up for a reality show that forced them to live in the same confined space after splitting from each other two years ago. After a 14-year marriage, TV actors Rajev Paul and Delnaaz Irani separated in 2010. It was as recently as July 2012 that she chosen to break her silence in an interview that hinted that it was an extra-marital affair that was behind the split.

Rajev denied the allegation, saying it was his not-so-successful career that was the root of the problem. He also said they were keen to have a baby, but that didn’t happen. Now that both are participants on Bigg Boss, Rajev seems to have softened his stance, and is keen to get back with her. On the very first day of the show, Delnaaz was seen weeping while looking at a bunch of family photos.

Since then, he has made repeated attempts to warm up to her, and indicated rather openly to fellow contestants that he’d like to get back together, but Delnaaz has been adamant to stay apart. In one episode, she admitted to Paul being a figurehead husband, unable to provide emotional or financial support.

Susan Winter writes, speaks and coaches on cutting-edge partnership models as well as traditional relationship challenges. After studying details provided by Mirror on the Rajev-Delnaaz case, she says, “Reuniting after divorce is a possibility when we are willing to listen (and hear) what the partner is saying, and honour what happened to the other in that experience. This willingness creates a bridge, a connection. Resentment is lessened in the act of understanding. An opening is created for love to flow again.”

Divorce brings with it distance, and that’s a good thing because it allows the couple to glance at the relationship from an ‘eagle’s view’, allowing greater clarity. “From this enhanced perspective, we might begin to understand the reasons for our partner’s actions, and better understand our own,” she adds.

If Rajev was unfaithful, says Winter, it’ll be tough for Delnaaz to warm up because forgiving a trust breach isn’t easy.

In an interview dated July 2012, Rajev admitted he wasn’t demonstrative about how he felt abouther. They didn’t hold hands in public, and he didn’t surprise her with gifts. “Men should be demonstrative in their love for a woman. And that goes for every married man,” he said.

Winter says this is a good sign. “In order for a couple to reunite after divorce, they must have gone though their own internal changes. They need to have directly addressed issues that tore them apart in the first place. Individual growth needs to occur in order to become a new version of one’s self. In doing this, the energy of ‘what was’ shifts to ‘what is now possible’. Both partners need to see the other with ‘new eyes’ in order to create a new relationship.”

“Whatever resentments lay at the core of the separation, must be re-examined,” she adds, stressing that it’s important for couples to take time off before re-entering any partnership, to process all that has occurred. “A divorce leads to internal emotional scars. They must process the heartache and assess what’s been lost before attempting to create anything new.”

Counselling also tutors couples in communication. “Letting the other know if they are upset rather than letting resentment build up. Little things like saying ‘thank you’ and resolving an argument, show the other that you care. “Even if this relationship (Delnaaz and Rajev’s) has no future, I hope that both of them never give up on love. Love is everything,” says Winter.