RIP BRANGELINA: PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF A BREAK UP
Millions of hearts were broken when ‘Brangelina’ decided to split.
While some resorted to bereavement, as if their own marriages and relationships had fallen apart, the others exulted Karma’s super proficient sense of justice for whatever had happened to our favourite Rachel from F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
Break ups, divorces and separations have become more common than not in today’s world. Reasons vary from infidelity to falling out of love, boredom, dispute, so on and so forth.
However, the noteworthy part to ponder on is the rudimentary nonexistence of trust and patience that probably leads to increased separations in our society. Today, more and more people are headed towards getting married, only and only if love exists. This is because everyone desires to be strong, independent and needs his or her own space. Having said that, the only reason that perhaps makes sense for two people to agree to spend their lives together is to be in love.
Sadly enough, this does not last for long due to aforementioned reasons.
People choose to separate.
Infidelity is one of the major causes for separation in today’s world. As reported in a recent survey carried out by a recently launched dating site, 76% of Indian women and 61% of men don’t think that infidelity is a sin or immoral. It also found that 80% of the total 75, 321 respondents were married. Indians, apparently, are getting less worked up about ‘dalliances’.
The increasing tolerance towards infidelity might be attributed to the YOLO or ‘You Only Live Once’effect, wherein individuals want to enjoy the restricted time they have.
Therapist and Author, Esther Perel, who is recognized as one of the most insightful voices on personal and professional relationships and the complex science behind human interaction, has a very interesting take on it. According to one of her TED talks, happy couples cheat too, as opposed to our notion of unhappy couples cheating on one another in order to find happiness outside of their marriages/ relationships.
Some of the reasons mentioned by her are:
Infidelity has a new meaning. In today’s world, infidelity is not just having an affair with someone secretively, but it can also mean things like sexting, watching pornography, signing up on online dating sites, which are largely virtual, but is still considered a misdeed and felony. As rightly said by Perel, “What’s responsible for love is our imagination, not the other person.”
Need for security versus need for adventure. Humans are profoundly looking for two things in their partners – security and reliability, along with adventure and mystery. It is difficult for both of them to coexist beyond a certain level and it can never be balanced out well enough. The need of intimacy nulls out any sense of desire, whatsoever. As a result, when the ultimate stability and security is reached in a relationship, it keeps the person longing for a sense of thrill elsewhere.
Other reasons why couples split.
Imbalance of power in a relationship can break it sooner or later because only one out of the two holds the decision making power, and the other feels deprived.
Isolation from family and friends is not something desirable. However most couples, in order to be with each other, sacrifice on the time they spend with their friends and family. Although the initial cocooning phase seems perfect, it catches up eventually, leading to boredom and dissatisfaction.
Lack of communication can create a major dent in one’s relationship. Sharing of thoughts, emotions, etc. can go redundant after a point, which leads to insecurities, distrust, etc.
According to CBT trained Psychotherapist Reshmi Sahadevan from Silver Oak Health, when in a relationship, there is an enormous conflict between the ‘Us’ and ‘I’ space. Needless to say, we forget to consecrate time to ourselves, thanks to the evolutionary sacrificial nature we adopt to excite our partners.
Nonetheless, if we go back to taking care of ourselves and babying our own needs and desires, it helps us explore ourselves better and get a hang of our own essentials. This not only succors us with better decision-making power, but also equips us to adopt what is best for us, be it a split or retention of a relationship.
Several methods can be commissioned to satisfy the talked of ‘I’ space, like joining a physical exercise regime, meditation/mindfulness, reading self help books, talking to friends, personal therapy, etc.
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the methods used in personal therapy that assists in developing skills that makes a person more resilient to the wear and tear of life.
Elements like compassion, gratitude, etc. are values one should practice for oneself as well, rather than channelizing it out all the time. This is exactly what CBT trains our minds to do.