Marriages are made in Heaven, but all it takes is a few misunderstandings and the D word to break it up. One might spend a good amount of their early life time dreaming of the perfect extravagant Hawaii wedding with cherubic flower girls showering white orchids and a big wedding cake and the next part of the life living as an embittered divorcee paying a huge alimony to the estranged spouse. While some marriages are better off broken, others could be worked out with a little understanding and adjustments. So why do marriages end in divorces? Here are ten most common reasons why the happy couple may be waging a court war against one another.
1. Lack of sex
Sexual intimacy is the bedrock of marital life and even though people might like to pretend that all they require is emotional and spiritual satisfaction, the fact remains that sexual dysfunction or lack of sexual intimacy is one of the primary reasons for most divorces to occur. Sex is man’s most primeval need, it is natural, biological and necessary and marriage serves as the socially and religiously sanctioned institution for procreation and sexual satiation. When that stops, the marriage collapses and it is no rocket science to understand its implications. It may often be a result of physical incapability or psychological reasons and may lead to other repercussions like infidelity and consistent fights between the couple. Needless to say, such a marriage loses no time in hitting rock bottom.
2. Financial differences
When you’re hungry, love won’t keep you alive, and this happens to be life’s biggest lesson. Money matters, so it is only a matter of time before career and financial reasons start affecting a marriage. With more and more Indian women venturing out of their domestic space to earn their own living, the traditional patriarchal authority gets challenged every day, arguments between couple can range from why the female partner would be required to earn when the male partner is already earning (a clear indication of how the male ego suffers a blow by an the independent woman’s achievements) to how the task of bread winning should be split. People somehow refrain from an open discussion about money habits and one’s financial habits may well be hidden from the other until they get married. Jeffrey Dew who conducted a research titled Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce published in 2012 in the journal Family Relations believes that arguments about money may actually be indicative of deeper issues related to the marriage like power relations or trust between the couple.
3. Because the spouse couldn’t keep it in the pants (Infidelity)
Bill Clinton did it, David Beckham did it and so did Tiger Woods. Infidelity is an important reason why most couples divorce. While the factors can be several, the most important one springs from the sudden disinterest or lack of sexual passion in a marriage. The cheating spouse can still very much be in love with his or her partner and yet be unfaithful. Men often cheat to save their failing marriage, says marriage and family therapist, Susan Mandel. However, the fact remains that while involved in a steamy affair, it becomes difficult to work on something so grounded with responsibilities like a marriage as compared to the excitement that a casual fling may provide. Thus, the marriage ends a premature death just because one of them couldn’t keep it in their pants.
4. Lack of Communication
Two kids and ten summers later, the passion in a marriage may almost wane into nothingness. Routine, career, children become important factors why two people, married to one another, forget to communicate and one fine day they may wake up to realise what a perfect sham their marriage had been. The pain of this realisation ends in a fast divorce, however, by that time either of them is too exhausted by the entire institution of marriage and the utter futility of it to indulge in it again. The fast paced jobs, the demands of rearing kids all form the part and parcel of living in a competitive world and being responsible parents at the same time, but what couples separated by a gulf of no communication fail to realise is that the crux of their marriage should be the sustenance of it.
The partner is equal in marriage and should be treated with love and respect. However, domestic and spousal abuse remains one of the insistent realities of failing marriages. It often springs from a feeling of insecurity that the partner might be cheating or insecurity related to financial and career related aspects. It may also be a result of substance abuse that the abuser may be prone to. Notwithstanding, marriages where one partner is treated like a punching bag doesn’t stand much chance of lasting. With better laws against domestic abuse being formulated in India in the last decade, it has helped end many unsuccessful and detrimental marriages like these that are better off broken.
Trust is the foundation stone of every marriage, when that is lacking, the marriage will be prone to immediate failure. Insecurity in marriage can be an outcome of anything, a general wariness about the future of the marriage or the good ol’ fear of the spouse’s disloyalty. Paranoia plays an important factor in breaking up these marriages. Psychologists are of the opinion that insecurity may often be a result of any childhood trauma, being raised by a single parent or the lack of parental love and also a tumultuous past relationship among many other reasons. Insecurity springs from the wildest imaginations and crazy assumptions all relating to the marriage debacle and it ultimately ends up being the final cataclysmal end of it. Just because it was all in the head!
7. Psychological reasons/Addictions
What is in the mind will be reflected in habituation. Psychological factors like childhood trauma, parents’ divorce play an important role in shaping one’s marital life. These risk factors are uncontrollable and that is what makes them scarier. According to Dr. William H. Doherty, a notable marriage scholar and therapist, the chance of divorce doubles if one has witnessed the divorce of one’s parents and triples when the spouse had faced the same. Addiction is a leading factor for divorces. Substance abuse often goes hand in hand with spousal abuse. One’s senses are numbed by the addictive substance and as a result one does not know right from wrong. So it is of no surprise that such a marriage is doomed. Commitment requires understanding, love and care which may often lack when the partner maybe psychologically lacking or addicted to something and incapable of rational thought.
8. The Nosy in-laws
Family is traditionally very important to Indians. As they say, marriage is not only a coupling between two individuals but also a union of two families, so when the in-laws start taking too much interest in a couple’s marriage (the intervention is often based upon the fact that the elders ‘know best’), it might very well sound the death knell to the matrimony. Moreover, it also proves that family is not a the happy and organic unit that one might always consider it to be, so it is better to shut the door to these nosy in laws and take your own time to understand the spouse better.
9. Cultural and/or religious differences
India is a land of various cultures and religious. Our unity lies in our diversity. But, not when it concerns marriage. Sure, celeb couples like SRK and Gauri Khan make inter religious marriages seem like a cake walk, but it requires a certain amount maturity and a great deal of compromise to make the marriage a superhit jodi. The immediate problem that arises from such marriages is the disapproval of the families of the bride and bridegroom concerned. Sure, love conquers all according to the Bollywood formula but the stark reality is quite in the contrary, it takes years and probably coercion before the families give in. To be completely disconnected from the family that has been the caregiver for years can be quite detrimental for the wedlock when the individuals concerned start blaming themselves and one another for their predicament. Other conflicts that may arise would be how to raise the children (culturally or religiously), etc.
10. The Trigger Happy Couple
Couples such as these love to hate. They cannot seem to agree with each other on anything and just as the heading may suggest, they love shooting down each other’s arguments with great delight and satisfaction. They themselves are the sole reason of the failure of their marriage. On chancing upon these couples one may often wonder as to how they could stand each other long enough ever get married. It seems an impossibility that these couples could have ever been in love. So why do they fight? Could be for a number of reasons from financial to simply ideological. However, we do know their incompatibility would soon end their marriage. The End.