What are the signs of a Silent Divorce?

Divorce rates are increasing significantly; in some countries, 50% of marriages end in divorce! The remaining percentage of married couples do not all live under the umbrella of a happy and healthy marriage. The rates of "silent divorce" are rising dramatically. Keep reading to learn more about this phenomenon, its causes, and its impact on children.

Published on:Oct 4th 2023 |Updated on:May 10th 2024
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What is Silent Divorce?

The word "divorce" brings many negative emotions, including sadness and anxiety, due to the emotional harm it causes the husband and wife, their children, and their families. It also comes with distressing court scenes, heaps of paperwork to be signed, expenses, and other disheartening details. However, silent divorce, although no less painful than conventional divorce, occurs outside the courts. The law has no jurisdiction over it, and people outside the marital home often know nothing about it. Many couples live under the cloud of silent divorce for years, and often, indefinitely.

Silent divorce is the termination of the marital relationship between husband and wife without formally ending it before the law and society. The couple lives under the same roof without emotional, verbal, or physical communication. They coexist like roommates and co-parents for their children.

Signs of Silent Divorce

Lack of Communication

One of the most evident signs of silent divorce is the absence of dialogue between spouses. They don't talk to each other to share daily events, emotions, plans, problems, and other issues that couples usually discuss, causing a gap that is hard to bridge.

Emotional Detachment

There's no stronger warning bell than the absence of intimacy between man and wife and the lack of a sexual relationship or noticeable sexual indifference from both parties.

Giving up

Human relationships and marriage require effort from both sides. But when a couple stops trying to communicate, improve the marriage, and come closer to each other, it's a sign of emotional divorce between them.

Causes of Silent Divorce

Absence of Support

The absence of support from families and friends and lack of help in overcoming numerous problems that might lead to the collapse of the marriage are among the leading causes of emotional separation. It's also why couples don't opt for a complete break. Often, the wife encounters resistance and lack of support from her family for the idea of divorce altogether. She is expected to endure and live with her husband, regardless of the circumstances. The husband might also face similar pressure from his family, which forces him to continue in a marriage troubled with issues and incompatibility. This drives the couple to continue living as roommates.

Lack of Respect

Despite what dramas and songs promote about the importance of love between husband and wife, mutual respect is the foundation of a successful marriage. The absence of respect from a husband to his wife, or vice versa, reflected through behavior, actions, and words, can kill the feelings of affection and compassion upon which the marriage is built.

Missing Honesty and Transparency

Hiding feelings, suppressing emotions, and lying are among the most dangerous things that can ruin a marriage. Prolonging such behavior can destroy their trust, which is one of the most important pillars of marriage. Trust is also essential for both parties to feel secure.

Routine and Monotony

The most challenging trap that couples easily fall into, especially with increased responsibilities and the presence of children, is boredom. Boredom is a fierce enemy of marriage; usually, people only notice it when it's too late.

Major Differences

Many couples fail to understand that differences don't necessarily mean conflict! They let their intellectual, social, and other differences divide them instead of trying to find common ground to stand and save their marriage.

The Impact of Silent Divorce on Children

Just like in traditional divorce cases, the primary victims are the children. Here are some of the effects that an emotional divorce between parents leaves on their children:

  • Feeling insecure at home due to the absence of emotions between the parents.
  • Feelings of anger towards the mother or the father or both.
  • Feelings of anxiety and stress.
  • Depression.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Declining school performance.
  • Social isolation.
  • Aggressive behavior due to anger about the parents' situation.
  • Self-blame for what has transpired between the parents.

Is It Possible to Avoid Silent Divorce?

Saving the marriage is possible without severe disputes or exposure to domestic violence. This can be done by:

  • Being honest, transparent, and expressing feelings without fear.
  • Trying to enhance emotional, verbal, and physical communication.
  • Breaking the routine by engaging in entertaining activities every now and then, even without involving the children.
  • Attempting to find common elements and ways to come closer.
  • Seeking advice from a couple's councelor.

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