From my day to day experiences as counselor attempting to bring about reconciliation between quarrelling partners I feel that I have made a study of factors leading to marital disputes .Matters are brought to a head by petty, unimportant and often avoidable disagreements which trigger off a volatile situation with relatives on either side pulling the partners in opposite directions.
Very often a tired irritated spouse returns home with his hangover from office stress, transport delays. The waiting spouse eager and anxious about the delay unhesitatingly shoots out, ”why are you late?” and blah blah. The defence mechanism of the late-comer spouse retaliates “what do you expect when I have to depend on public transport which is erratic? Have your parents given me any conveyance?” Then a whole lot of accusations are parodied back and forth ending in a cold non communicative war. Nothing gets sorted out and now both parties begin storing ammunition for the Big Fight. Family members on both sides are also gearing up to have it out with the opposite camp. The war has to be won at any vicious cost.
When the battle swords are drawn again, both partners are well equipped along with family members for the counter attack. More and more bitter residues are festering so where are they headed? Just the demand that the spouse should be back home immediately after work leads ultimately to a broken home. A little bit of patience and understanding and mediation by family without taking sides could have saved a home.
Lack of communication and the comfort of being understood is another cause of marital discord. Sunita would leave home at 8 a.m. and return home late. This irritated her husband but they never talked about her problems. She expected him to understand and he felt she should give up her job and stay at home leading to marital crisis . A simple issue which could have been solved through discussion led to an unbridgeable gap. Partners need time and space to talk things over. Cold wars and heated arguments cause cracks in the marriage.
Partners get into marriage assuming that the other partner is a possession – we belong only to each other. The other partner cannot relate with his/her friends /family after marriage. The possessive spouse forbids any interaction with friends and family especially of the opposite sex. This absolute ban on freedom forms a fatal noose which leads to bickering and death of a marriage. One should accept existing relationships and include them in the new life.
Some partners have a traditional outlook. Nothing wrong with traditional behavior but what is bad is a frozen mind. The rules to be followed are so rigid that it becomes difficult for a person from a different background to embrace. My parents lived in this manner and so must we. Backward regressive thinking ruins a marriage. Along with the changing world we have to change our ways. Just because your mother waited till her husband had his meal to have hers, you cannot expect a wife with stomach ulcers or diabetes or one who is plain hungry to follow suit.
Major decisions in a family are made by the men. Selling, buying properties, money transactions, education of children rather which stream, business; generally are decided by the father. Failure in any of these matters the brunt has to be borne by the women. There is nothing like a shared decision and a shared responsibility to tide over such quarrels.
A son who is too dependent on his mother and sisters can ruin his marriage. The possessive mother or sister who decides for the son/brother is responsible for his disastrous marriage. Quite often women who carry tales to their parental home about the marital one, causes discord in their marriage by creating misunderstanding. It is far better that these trouble spots are squashed and not repeated carried as they become backbites and cancerous sores in the marriage.
Alcohol, drug, gutka, tobacco and gambling are so addictive that they take a toll of the marriage. An addict returns home to the wife and children – a destructive tornado. The story of Sebastian (name changed) is self explanatory. He would come home drunk pull the children’s hair to wake them up, in presence of his children try to satisfy his insatiable lust, beat the wife if she resisted ashamed of the watching kids. After ten years of hunger, abuse, torture financial strain she gave up on him.
The undernourished, battered woman with broken jaw and teeth scars of a bruised life, with the responsibility of bringing up her children, given the attitude of society and with no money or skill to earn it, tries to survive. Societal stigma is her food. Can she make it? You decide.