Patterns Leading to Divorce

Jasbina Ahluwalia    

I’m looking forward to hearing the answer to this one. The third issue is, “Why did we get a divorce?”

I’m going to put one more question on top of that. I’m wondering if you’ve noticed any recurring patterns in relationships that do culminate in divorce.


Parijat Deshpande

The first part was, “Why did we get a divorce?” There are so many reasons why people get divorces. It’s really hard to identify specifically what’s happened in a relationship.

Your second question is a more general statement. There are certain patterns that do occur in many relationships that can lead to a divorce.

Patterns Leading to Divorce and Separation

I would like to make a point that divorce isn’t just a legal separation or a legal ending of a marriage.

A lot of Indians (South Asians) live parallel lives, which turns them into roommates. Essentially, that’s kind of a divorce without calling it legally so.

The pattern that I’ll mention in just a second can be present in people who are still legally married but no longer have that loving, connected relationship that you would imagine in a marriage but instead, what you see with most divorced couples.

Patterns Leading to Divorce: Lack of Communication

A lot of the patterns that I’ve seen through my work with Indians (South Asians) and through MySahana are that there are a lot of people who don’t talk about these hot-button topics ahead of time.

They assume, “Because my partner is also Indian (South Asian), they must have the same values as me.”

Patterns Leading to Divorce: Assumption

There is a lot of assumption and not too much of putting everything on the table. From there, those assumptions turn into expectations that your partner may not necessarily meet. From there, we see a lot of arguments turn into really nasty fighting.

Patterns Leading to Divorce: Four Horsemen

There is this pattern called the four horsemen that John Gottman came up with. He’s a clinical psychologist who works with couples. You see this really common problem and argument.

  • One of the partners criticizes.
  • The other person feels really upset about it.
  • They will show a lot of contempt, which then makes the first partner feel really defensive.
  • Then makes the second partner check out and not want to be a part of this anymore.

Repetitive Patterns Leading to Divorce

This pattern happens over and over to the point where neither one of them are really seeing each other as a partner anymore. Instead, they are just seeing them almost like an enemy.

They want to fight and get their point across.

At that point, sometimes people get divorces.

For other couples, they get to that point and they stop caring. They say, “I don’t even have the energy to fight anymore.” That is really common in a lot of Indian (South Asian) marriages.

They will stay together legally but that love, passion and intimacy that’s part of a marriage is no longer there.


Tell Us:

Have you noticed any patterns leading to divorce in your social circle? Share your observations with us in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Parijat Deshpande.

The entire interview transcript is at: Parijat Deshpande Interview: A Clinical Psychologist On Indian Dating & Relationships

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Insights from a Marriage Family Therapist

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes