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Pervez Saleem


The Rise Of Divorce – Marriage Bond Broken

Irma Abbasi
Freelance Writer
Pervez Saleem

The Rise Of Divorce
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“A successful marriage requires falling in love many time, always with the same person.”
“You don’t marry the person you can live with – you marry the person you can’t live without.”
“True love is selfless. It is prepared to sacrifice.”

Marriage is defined differently, and by separate entities, based on cultural, religious, and personal factors. A commonly accepted and encompassing definition of marriage is a formal union and social and legal contract between two individuals that legally, economically, and emotionally unites their lives. The contractual marriage agreement usually implies that the couple has legal obligations to each other throughout their lives or until they decide to divorce.

Why marriage is important:
Marriage is much more than a civil contract with legal benefits. Marriage is an essential part of God’s plan.

Marriage is a relationship:
Marriage is an eternal concept. It is meant to be a loving, intimate, selfless relationship between a man and a woman that lasts through eternity. As a spouse, you are expected to essentially lay down your old life and to sacrifice many of your personal desires for your closest friend-your husband or wife. The more you are able to put your spouse first and keep your focus on the success of your partnership, the stronger your marriage will be. Most marriages are founded on love-but it’s choosing to maintain and grow that love that can be the challenge. That’s where commitment comes in. God Almighty considers to be an agreement between a husband and a wife as well as a commitment between the couple and Him. He expects us to dedicate ourselves to the relationship, and to recognize our responsibilities, duties, and loyalties both to our spouse and to God Almighty because “Rishte Aasman Per Bante Hain”, this means God instituted the husband-wife relationship as an equal.

Marriage should mean letting go of selfishness.
Marriage is the joining of two people, therefore it goes without saying that there will need to be some level of compromise. Once you get married there is no more ‘I’, it’s all about ‘we’. As a single person you may have been able do do whatever you fancied, to come and go as you pleased, but once you are married, there is another person you need to take into consideration. You need to think about what makes them happy and use this when you are making plans. The best marriages are often those where both partners are wholly committed to making their other half happy. In a marriage, often this is a priority and by letting go of selfishness and prioritizing your partner you can truly get the best out of a marriage.
Marriage means two become one:
Sticking with the theme of two people becoming one, marriage means blending two lives into one. The philosophy behind two people becoming one extends far beyond the physical. It should also touch the emotional, spiritual and psychological parts of your relationship. This does not mean that you need to lose your identity, on the the contrary you will gain more of an identity, changing and complimenting your partner.

Marriage is the chance to shape a new generation:
Marriage is an amazing way to bring children into a secure and stable environment. Couples tend to thrive in the challenge of teaching their children to become amazing individuals who will benefit society. Child rearing can put strains on a marriage, but it can also make it stronger. After all, is there any challenge fulfilling than raising children?  Priorities change throughout marriages but ensuring that your partner is at the top of hat list will enable you to overcome anything life throws at you.

Marriage means changing and growing as people:
When you agree to share your life with somebody, you acknowledge that there will be bumps in the road that will change you along the way. By making the most of these bumps and using them to enable you to grow together, your marriage will become stronger. You can enjoy the changing seasons of marriage, holding hands through all of life’s hurdles. The true meaning of marriage of many is that you grow together, and the marriage also grows and blossoms too.

Warning Signs That Your Marriage is in Trouble:
Relationships are like little growing plants, we need to water them every day, treat them carefully, and keep a close eye on what works and what doesn’t. One of the things that will always help a relationship to thrive is trust, the ability to trust each other and to have the liberty of being able to communicate openly in your relationship is key to solving any difficulty that may arise. The better the communication in your relationship, the more it will thrive. However, being communicative is not the only big key for a relationship to work. Being a good listener, and understanding your partner’s needs is just as important as being communicative and trustworthy in a relationship.

Marital problems stem from poor communication, lack of intimacy, money problems, and growing apart as life takes different twists and turns. If you realize that your marriage is hitting a rough patch, but both you and your spouse are willing to make some necessary changes, you can resolve almost any source of tension.

Watch out these warning signs before it’s too late:
1- You criticize more than you compliment
2- You can’t remember the last time you intimate
3- You d0n’t argue anymore
4- You avoid spending quality time together
5- The majority of the household’s work is done by one person
6- There is someone withholding secrets
7- You don’t respect each other’s privacy
8- Your friends see problems in your marriage
9- You lie about or hiding money issues
10- You daydream having an affair
11- You always feel stressed about your marriage
12- Your spouse isn’t the first person you call
13- You are not ready to take big step in your marriage
14- You feel lonely all the time
15- You ignored red flags (warning signs)
16- You use abusive language
17- You are agitated and enraged all the time
18- You forget each other’s birthdays and don’t exchange gifts
19- Drugs or alcohol problems
20- Publicly embarrassing and insulting
21- You don’t look forward to coming home
22- A spouse who threaten divorce on a regular basis|

Rising Divorce Rates in Pakistan: Changes in Society Over Time
According to recent statistics, the divorce rate in Pakistan has been increasing over the past few years. There are several factors that are believed to be contributing to this trend. Some of the most commonly cited reasons include:

  • Economic pressures: With the high cost of living and increasing economic pressures, many couples are finding it difficult to make ends meet. This can lead to financial stress and strain on the relationship.
  • Social norms: In Pakistan, there are strong social norms that can make it difficult for couples to openly discuss and address problems in their relationships. This can lead to feelings of isolation and dissatisfaction.
  • Changing attitudes towards marriage: As attitudes towards marriage are changing, more and more people are choosing to marry later in life or not at all. This can lead to increased expectations and a higher likelihood of divorce.
  • Lack of support: Many couples in Pakistan lack access to support systems and resources that can help them navigate the challenges of marriage and parenting. This can lead to feelings of isolation and a lack of support when problems arise.
  • The increasing influence of social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and messaging apps is believed to be contributing to the trend.

It’s worth noting that these are just some of the factors that are believed to be contributing to the high divorce rate in Pakistan. Ultimately, the reasons for divorce are complex and multifaceted, and there is no easy solution to the problem.

If you were born in the 80s and 90s in Pakistan. You will still be able to re-live the vibrance and festivity we all once experienced attending the wedding ceremonies of our near and dear ones. Weddings were one of the most sought-after events in every household. Every middle-class house will work on it for years before the event happened. Society then was integrated and normal — before we went into wars against terrorism and sheer political polarization.

Time went past. We entered the new millennium and two decades after that our society took the form we could never have imagined back then. Amid roaring terrorism, religious fanaticism, and insane political polarization — our society continued to degenerate both — economically and socially.

The crumbling economy, pandemic, and rising inflation took a toll on the psychological health of the people, hampering their social and personal lives.

A recent survey by Gallup and Gilani Pakistan has revealed that the divorce rate in Pakistan is at an all-time high. The study found that the primary reason for divorce was lack of commitment, closely followed by infidelity and conflict in the family. It is a ripe time that we let our marital affairs be handled by specialists in counseling and psychological and conflict managers than elders who have no clue what is happening around us and mostly end up ruining the matter than solving it.

This trend if left unchecked will result in further eroding the family fabric in the society; leaving children to suffer.

The breakdown of marriages is often further compounded by additional factors, such as
misunderstandings and the emergence of extramarital affairs. A closer look at this phenomenon
reveals a complex interplay of cultural, social, and psychological factors.
1. Norms of Authority: In a society where traditional gender roles often grant men authority over
family matters, the imbalance of power can strain relationships. The expectations placed on men
as decision-makers may lead to conflicts and a lack of emotional connection.

2. Communication Breakdown: One of the primary culprits behind the rising divorce rates is the
breakdown in communication between life partners. The inability to express feelings, needs, and
concerns can create a widening emotional gap, fostering resentment and misunderstanding.
3. Lack of Commitment: Modern challenges, coupled with changing societal dynamics, have
brought about a decline in the commitment level within marriages. Factors such as career
aspirations, personal pursuits, and evolving individual identities contribute to the diminishing
sense of commitment.
4. Misunderstandings: A crucial aspect contributing to the strain in marital relationships is the
prevalence of misunderstandings. Lack of clarity or misinterpretation of each other’s intentions
and actions can lead to frustration and, over time, contribute to the deterioration of the marital
5. Extramarital Affairs: Another significant challenge arises with the occurrence of extramarital
affairs. When there is a lack of interest or emotional fulfillment within the marriage, individuals
might seek solace or connection outside the relationship. Infidelity, in turn, can become a catalyst
for the dissolution of marital ties, introducing a complex layer of emotional turmoil and betrayal.
6. Absence of Respect: Respect forms the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, but the
erosion of mutual respect between spouses is a common factor in divorces. The absence of
acknowledgment and appreciation for each other’s roles can lead to feelings of undervaluation.
7. Lack of Encouragement: In many cases, the lack of encouragement and support from husbands
towards their wives’ personal and professional aspirations can create an environment of
dissatisfaction. The failure to nurture individual growth within the marriage can strain the bond.
Impact of divorce on Children:
Divorce is a stressful life event that causes symptoms of depression in both adults and children
that are directly involved. Social activists say children of the affected families have to face the
worst problems because of the trend. Children often bear the brunt of divorces, experiencing
emotional upheaval and insecurity. The disruption in their stable family life can impact their
psychological well-being, academic performance, and future relationships.

Impact of divorce on Children:
In today’s world, divorce is widely recognized as the second greatest hardship and cause of pain for adults, second only to the loss of a child.

There are many reasons why people separate or divorce. But, whatever the reasons are, one thing is for sure: children don’t cause or choose divorce or separation. Children flourish in warm, supportive, and stable environments where both parents are emotionally, physically and financially responsible for them. Therefore, divorce or separation can be difficult for children to cope with. For children, trying to understand why their parents are getting a divorce, who they will live with, the school they will attend, or if the divorce of their parents is because of them (etc.), can leave them emotionally unbalanced. With divorce having such a devastating impact on fully grown, psychologically mature adults, can you imagine what impact it has on children, who have zero skills for coping with gut-wrenching emotions and attachments? You know your kids better than anyone else. How are they going to handle the strain and turmoil their parents are going to find themselves in; or handle the fact that their whole world is breaking apart? Think of all the changes they will have to contend with. It’s a good idea to imagine the worst-case scenario as that will be most accurate.
Divorce is a stressful life event that causes symptoms of depression in both adults and children
that are directly involved. Social activists say children of the affected families have to face the
worst problems because of the trend. Children often bear the brunt of divorces, experiencing
emotional upheaval and insecurity. The disruption in their stable family life can impact their
psychological well-being, academic performance, and future relationships.

Here are some key impacts:
1. Emotional Distress: Children often experience a range of emotions, including sadness, anxiety,
and confusion. The upheaval caused by divorce can be emotionally challenging for them as they
grapple with the changes in their family structure.
2. Behavioral Changes: Some children may exhibit changes in behavior, such as acting out,
becoming withdrawn, or developing aggression. These behavioral shifts can be a manifestation
of their difficulty in coping with the emotional turmoil.
3- Poor Performance in Academics
Divorce is difficult for all members of the family. For children, trying to understand the changing dynamics of the family may leave them distracted and confused. This interruption in their daily focus can mean one of the effects of divorce on children would be seen in their academic performance. The more distracted children are, the more likely they are to not be able to focus on their school work.
4- Loss of Interest in Social Activity
Research has suggested divorce can affect children socially, as well. Children whose family is going through divorce may have a harder time relating to others, and tend to have less social contacts. Sometimes children feel insecure and wonder if their family is the only family that has gotten divorced.
5- Difficulty Adapting to Change
Through divorce, children can be affected by having to learn to adapt to change more often and more frequently. New family dynamics, new house or living situation, schools, friends, and more, may all have an effect.
6- Anger/Irritability
In some cases, where children feel overwhelmed and do not know how to respond to the affects they feel during divorce, they may become angry or irritable. Their anger may be directed at a wide range of perceived causes. Children processing divorce may display anger at their parents, themselves, their friends, and others. While for many children this anger dissipates after several weeks, if it persists, it is important to be aware that this may be a lingering effect of the divorce on children.
7- Feelings of Guilt
Children often wonder why a divorce is happening in their family. They will look for reasons, wondering if their parents no longer love each other, or if they have done something wrong. These feelings of guilt are a very common effect of divorce on children, but also one which can lead to many other issues. Guilt increases pressure, can lead to depression, stress, and other health problems. Providing context and counseling for a child to understand their role in a divorce can help reduce these feelings of guilt.
8- Introduction of Destructive Behavior
While children go through a divorce, unresolved conflict may lead to future unexpected risks. Research has shown children who have experienced divorce in the previous 20 years were more likely to participate in crimes, rebelling through destructive behavior which harms a child’s health, with more children reporting they have acquired smoking habits, or prescription drug use.
9- Increase in Health Problems
The process of divorce and its effects on children can be a stressful. Dealing with these issues can take its toll, including physical problems. Children who have experienced divorce have a higher perceptibility to sickness, which can stem from many factors, including their difficulty going to sleep. Also, signs of depression can appear, exacerbating these feelings of loss of well-being, and deteriorating health signs.
10- Loss of Faith in Marriage and Family Unit
Finally, despite hoping to have stable relationships themselves when they grow up, research has also shown children who have experienced divorce are more likely to divorce when in their own relationships. Some research indicates this propensity to divorce may be two to three times as high as children who come from non-divorced families.

Yet, while these are some of the possible effects of divorce on children, they are by no means absolutes, or written in stone. More and more, families understand just how stressful divorce is for their children, as well as their selves. Families have begun to turn to supportive services such as at FamilyMeans, seeking help to find a peaceful way to divorce. Through our Collaborative Divorce program, we are helping families more successfully navigate this transition, both for the sake of the parents, and for the children involved.

Parents at War
When their mother and father are in enemy camps, a child has to try to figure out who is right and who is wrong, who is “good” and who is “bad.” If a mother believes, for example, that her ex-husband is dangerous or evil, a child might feel unsafe and mistrustful of his father. The child might reject the father to keep himself and his mother psychologically safe. It can be hard for a child to love and trust a parent who is hated by the other.
An important message for parents after marital breakdown is to try to preserve, as much as possible, the ongoing relationship with your ex—who will always, for better and for worse, be your children’s other parent. For the sake of your children, try to co-parent together in a constructive, cooperative, and respectful way.

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