In life, everything happens for a reason and divorce is one of the events that does not happen by accident. In a marriage, problems can build up overtime if the spouses do not know how to respect each other’s boundaries. No matter what, having an open communication is key to sustaining a happy relationship. If the spouses choose not to share their feelings with each other, it can build a wall between them that can gradually push them apart. Interacting with those people who have divorced, I have come to understand that the lack of open communication between the spouses, lack of commitment and infidelity are some of the most common causes of divorce in Bhutan.
Throughout our history, Bhutan has been generally a liberal society where casual sex is not considered a taboo as long as it is consensual, but this does not mean that people can marry and divorce as and when they wish. The formalities for divorce might end with the court verdict but the actual weight of the problem falls on the innocent children alone who would have to grow up with single parents.
During the ancient times, the marriages were more stable mainly because the people were confined to their own community where they knew everybody and the opportunity to interact with the outside world was rare due to the harsh topographic barriers. It was perhaps this social cohesion that could have contributed towards successful marriages during those days. But today, this social cohesion is fast disintegrating with the advent of advanced technology and modern infrastructure such as motorable roads and transportation system that have enabled mass movement of people from one place to another every day. This has created opportunities for people to interact with each other without much difficulty. The advent of social media has further revolutionized people’s way of interacting with each other because the entire communication can happen just at the click of a mouse or a swipe of a finger on the screen. It is at this juncture of time that unnecessary misunderstanding can happen between the spouses if they choose not to share their feelings with each other especially when they stumble upon things that they think might cause some dent to their relationship. The lack of open communication creates rooms for unnecessary misunderstanding and suspicion within the family.
A couple of months ago, a young man in Chukha was said to have got the biggest shock of his life when he knew that his wife had eloped with another man whom she had met on WeChat some years ago. Although the social media could be blamed for facilitating this extramarital affair, the actual reason cited by the woman for such a decision was that her husband was always reserved and serious, and that there was no open communication between them. When either or both the spouses do not communicate openly, they will never be able to understand each other’s needs and this can create a vacuum in the relationship that cannot be filled up easily. None of the spouses should feel like a stranger in the family because both of them have equal rights to be happy and respected as rightful partners.
Infidelity is another most common causes of divorce but this too does not happen without a reason. People mostly cheat on their spouses to fill up the gap in their relationship created by their partners. A happily married couple will hardly think of cheating on their partners even when they are away from each other for a long time. It’s true that trusting relationship is an integral part of happy marriages but to gain trust, one has to always have the warmth and flexibility to accommodate his or her spouse’s needs and concerns. It is therefore important for the married couples to constantly talk with each other, share their feelings and make each other feel special in life. There are research studies that indicate that women in particular love to be pampered and made to feel special. But when their husbands fail to do that, they are more likely to look for somebody outside the relationship who can make them feel so.
Another factor that leads to extramarital affairs and divorce is the lack of trust between the spouses. I have met some women who have said that they started cheating after their husbands were always suspicious and accused them of having extramarital affairs even when they were faithful. I know some men are crazy lovers because they do not know how to love their wives reasonably. They are too possessive and try to track every movement of their wives. This also causes unnecessary problems in the relationship and you will never be happy at home. This behavior can push your wife to the edge of the relationship and the probability of her initiating the divorce is very likely.
In order to sustain a happy marriage, it is important for both the partners to draw up clear boundaries between them and respect each other’s space with unconditional love and trust. The open communication channel is the lifeline of any relationship and both the spouses should talk to each other regularly so that mutually agreeable decisions can be reached whenever disagreements arise in the family. No matter what, both the spouses should be able to trust each other, respect each other’s views and understand each other’s needs if they want to save their marriages forever. If all the couples remain trustworthy, faithful and open-hearted, we will not have so many divorce cases that we are seeing today.