ARE we not just kidding ourselves by pretending that women in our city are really enjoying power-sharing with their male partners?
If advertisements are to be believed where so-called responsibility sharing in household chores is being done as depicted in one of those cheesy ads of a detergent, we can say that indeed, Filipino women are lucky nowadays compared to their counterparts ages ago.
One time, I had the chance to talk to one of my friends who worked as a registered Guidance Counselor of a reputable school in the city, and after a while, even without me asking about her love life, she blurted out that she has been separated from her husband some time ago.
I was taken aback as I did not expect her to open up at once, knowing that I haven’t asked and it has been ages since we talked.
It was as if I’ve opened a pressurized faucet as her story gushed out of her mouth even before I could brace myself.
I figured she has been married for just a few years yet but then, I thought relationships are not really measured in years of being together to be proven strong. Her story though was something that really struck me.
She then said that if somebody would want to be "divorced," it is easy to get one somewhere in Bukidnon. I was intrigued. She said she knew because she and her partner have been undergoing that process recently.
That blew it. I told her I’d be happy to get her story and she’s just too willing to share it with me, but during that time that we talked, she was giving a lecture and we could not talk at length.
What she revealed was certainly something new to me.
We’ve been told that in our country, "divorce" is unheard of, as it cannot be done at all. But coming from a reliable source, I have become thoughtful about it.
Though this is not really about that process of separation, but on how this woman finally comes to that point when she would rather sever her relationship than try to save it.
It still is a question of abusive relationship, as I listened to her story. She could no longer bear to continue to pretend that their partnership can still be saved. She has not really particularly revealed how abusive her husband has been, but as I gathered with the way she was so intent to share her experiences, it could have been unbearable, to say the least.
We promised to really sit down and talk about it as she said she would like other women to learn from her experience, no matter if it hurts.
At some point, I tend to admire her guts to talk about her relationship that is on the rocks. I’ve known women who would rather bear the abuse in silence, and continue to live as if everything is "normal" with her life.
Her profession might have also helped her to face up to the challenge of telling her story, though when women have come to a point in their lives that they needed to survive for the sake of herself, more often than not, they would be more courageous and fearless.
She, however, is one of a kind, and a great model for other women to learn from.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 02, 2017.
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