Divorce and Separation? Understanding What Went Wrong

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It takes two to tango. Indeed, it does! Whatever one does, wherever you go in life, remember that it always takes the efforts of two people to make or even break a relationship. Be it anything—friendship, siblinghood, parenthood or even marriage—anything that has two people in it needs the united and relentless pursuit of those two to take that particular relationship further.

That is the reason why marriages are failing. As we sit back and decode divorce and separation, understanding what went wrong is the first crucial step.

A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.

Margaret Atwood.

Indeed, as Taylor Jenkins Reid has also put it, minimalistic yet intense heartbreak is a loss, and divorce is a piece of paper. Yes, to be honest, it is that one human tragedy where everything is reduced to cash.

Well, honestly, that’s it? To what are we reduced to, trying to find solace among the cinders of a broken relationship in the form of some money? Is the so-called impertinent “intolerance” towards the other so huge that it takes the garb of independence sometimes, or even existence and we cannot go duo in the journey called life?

Nah, I am not getting philosophical or metaphorical here. It is not like I am trying to act like a relationship advisor or guru here, but hey, this is not your Aladdin’s chest of treasures that you can simply pick up and enjoy rosily for all your life, unscathed. When I say unscathed, I mean without any effort or relentless input from your end. I have always said that marriage is more like Pandora’s box, albeit one wherein you have to get something first to get something.

Well, those are my thoughts as to the ball game of marriage. However, not everyone seems to be sharing it, especially nowadays. As we proceeded to a new year, I read somewhere the other day that break-ups seem to be on the rise, and even separations and divorces seem to be at an all-time high.

Hmm, then the important question that comes is: if it is indeed made in heaven, then why is it broken on Earth?

What is it that is causing couples to break off, separate and divorce? Has the threshold of tolerance and patience become this wafer-thin? What is it that is causing couples to drift apart? Is it leading to more separations and divorces? Let us take a few minutes here and try to understand what goes wrong, shall we?

You may say that India has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, and yet if I were to break it down and peruse the biggest reasons behind divorce, which seems to be having an increasing momentum lately, there seem to be a few chosen typical reasons that surface. One may say that relationship ergonomics are different for different people, and thus the causes for the drift, the separation and split, and the eventual divorce are variable, yet I have tried and boiled it down to the following observations:  Here is a blow-by-blow, detailed analysis of those observations:


If either of the partners is somehow not hands-on with this basic yet essential requirement of a marriage, then divorce is inevitable. Be it any relationship, commitment is the primary reason why marriages fail. Either the partners feel intimidated to be committing to each other’s fads and fallacies, or it may be simply that they want to remain “free,” or rather unbound, as I like to address it. I guess that is also the reason why many singles seem to be choosing to remain so even now, as they simply do not want to “commit”—both to another person or to a compromised life condition. Yes, we may have lived in a particular manner before, all our lives before we were married, and yet becoming part of a twosome changes things. We must understand, adapt to and adhere to those changes and try to make things easy for each other. Otherwise, in the absence of this “commitment” to others, things cannot sustain longevity.


Ah, now we seem to be surfing in somewhat dangerous and uneven waters, aren’t we? This is an extremely critical and serious issue, as there is simply no excuse for infidelity and no scope. One may seemingly try two times quite a bit before marriage, trying to date more than one person at a time, simply to understand whom they are getting along with more comfortably; however, once married and settled, one certainly needs to commit and “settle down” with a single partner rather than continuing to experiment, right? So, no excuses for this one; infidelity is one ground that stands inexcusable. Some may argue here that in a loveless marriage or in situations where people fall out of love, things change. One may feel the need to find solace—emotional and all other—in the arms of a person different from the one he or she is committed to. And yet, that only shows that there is possibly some error somewhere, either at the start or along the way in the relationship. Infidelity is something that, once it makes an appearance, ghosts the couple’s life forever, until things get out of hand and ties get severed eventually.

Lack of physical intimacy is another sensitive topic.

People usually say that physical intimacy in any relationship kind of wears off after a while, but should that become a breeding ground for couples to grow apart and fall out of love with each other? Ah, now that is a point worth musing about, isn’t it? Sex is an indispensable part of one’s marriage, and compromise in this one is sure to ruffle a lot of feathers. However, I would say that both partners need to put their heads together and try to figure out how things can be put right, as surely this is tricky ground but unsolvable. Research does show that this is one of the most common reasons for failed marriages and divorces, especially in cases where the relationship has not lasted very long. There could be some reasons for the lack of physical intimacy, and it is important to figure out the underlying cause behind the same and then try to resolve this one.

Financial Issues

Vitamin M, aka money, is the life wheel of any successful relationship’s foundation. Yes, it is a fact that finance, aka money and its presence are highly important and cannot be ignored in marital life. And yet, both partners need to be on the same page as far as managing finances and spending are concerned. That is because marriage is an institution; both partners also work together, trying to save up for their future as well as the future of their children and kin. In such a scenario, if either of them has somewhat different opinions, lifestyles or mindsets, things can go awry, eventually making them drift apart. Problems also occur when either of the partners is a spendthrift or a miser, alternately debunking the equilibrium of financial balance for them as a couple or as a family. Many times, smoothing out those differences becomes tricky, and situations become terse owing to the varied expectations of the partners. In such instances, financial issues can also lead to a separation or a failed marriage.

Mental or other conflicts or differences:

Sometimes, people may realize post-marriage that their thought processes, mindsets and even their lifestyles and way of life do not match well. In such a scenario, conflicts might arise due to this lack of understanding. Living alongside a person constantly is a different thing from meeting them for a few hours and getting to know them. Once partners start living together after marriage, sometimes they realize that there are conflicts amongst themselves and also differences of opinion, much more than what might have met the eye earlier. In such a scenario, if the two are unable to put their heads together and sort out these anomalies, these differences can accumulate over time and become irreconcilable. Something as petty as a lifestyle trait, many times, becomes a cause for separation if not resolved and discussed amicably by both partners.

So, these were some of the observations I had made in understanding what goes wrong when it comes to divorce and separation.

Please note that these are my personal opinions and are in no way influenced by anything except my observations. One may have a certain perception of life, and it is a free world; hence, I chose to opine and speak on this matter and share some of my thoughts with you guys today. You are more than welcome to add, and let me know your own in the comments below.

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Adios Amigos!

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