The Three Sirens of Divorce

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.” narrated Elizabeth Gilbert in her novel Eat, Pray, Love.


This is the internal conflict that most women go through in a divorce. The problem they face is dissonance between staying and leaving, especially if there are children involved. Life with their partner becomes overwhelming and unbearable that they can give up their offspring ultimately just to get out of their husband’s tyranny. Sara Ibrahim, a Muslim mother of four, reports that she wanted to run away from her husband’s injustice and constant physical and emotional abuse, yet she wanted to stay and protect her three daughters knowing that getting a divorce will empower him to snatch them away by court since she didn’t have a job. As author Fred Rogers says “For a couple with children, divorce seldom comes as a solution to stress, only as a way to end one form of pain and accept another” …and that’s how she decided to give up her will of getting a divorce, preventing the pain of losing her children.

To avoid reaching the late stages of separation in marriage, Dr. Amie M. Gordon, social-personality psychologistbelieves that there are signs predicting one’s marriage is about to end. If you are able to detect these signs and fix them, your marriage can probably be saved. These signs include the following:


Uncoupling: The couple disconnects from each other; disconnection can either be physical or psychological; partners stop enjoying each other’s company, try to avoid spending time with one another and can escalate leading them to sleep in separate beds. This is a sign of disengagement from a partnership.


Quitting trial: When one or both partners give up trying and compromising, conflicts arise. For homes in which one of the partners is constantly sacrificing nonreciprocal needs, quitting trial is prominent as continuous one-sided sacrifice raises questions of power. Dissatisfaction also lead to cheating and indifference. Divorce lawyer, Lee Rosen says “Immature people have a hard time making a commitment and living up to it.”


Disrespect: Healthy marriages are founded on continuous mutual respect. Once respect has vanished, a very little room for negotiation remains. Some, stop all means of constructive communication & use attack & abuse to get what they want. Hearty communication is the most important factor that positively correlates with a successful marriage. Lawyer Rosen confirms this by saying “I’ve had clients that explain to me that they haven’t had a real conversation other than an argument in years.”

However, some couples do not know or acknowledge the problems that led them to take a step towards a divorce. This is why before taking such a grave decision, psychologists suggest parents would take down a piece of paper and write down the reasons to why they initially got married and what of their expectations has been fulfilled and what were they led down in. Parents are then to exchange the papers and try to understand each other’s point of view and try to fulfill it, provided that the parents must have the intention and will to fix their marriage and if they fail at then divorce is a favored option.

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