Coupling … and de-coupling

Love is blind; marriage opens its eyes.


The butterfly effect I mentioned in a few columns ago took place. The ripples of change we created five years ago, the change we envisioned, the baby steps taken, the path plotted began to come together as a beautifully metamorphosised butterfly from a caterpillar.

There is a saying – ‘you are what you think’ and another ‘whatever the human mind can perceive, the human mind can achieve’.

It is the fundamental basis of all mankind has achieved and we are all part of that legacy, in our own small way.

The bottom line is – we have to think big. We have to believe in who we are. We need to be our greatest cheerleader and our internal dynamo. By believing so hard in what we can do and what we will do, we start to bend reality to us. We start changing the environment to suit us, and we attract what we want to us.

I am going to talk about something really very difficult but I think it needs to be addressed. Simply because hardly anyone addresses it publicly, but speak about it behind closed door, in hushed tones.

The topic today is marriage and divorce, and why they are both not very different.

We are raised to believe that all life culminates in a marriage. Having children, raising them, putting them through universities that charge way too much for what they do, accumulate points for staying as long as you can together, compromise whatever it takes to remain married, see your grandchildren blossom and then at the end of it all get a gold medal and a ‘A’ Star completing the journey.

Here is the stark reality. Not everyone wants to compromise their dreams and who they really are and what they really want. Go a step deeper and you will begin to see that most people don’t even know what they really want and who they really are because they have been rushed into being a part of a couple for so long that they have lost themselves in that process.

They exist for the concept of that couple and everything that that coupling represents and they create a new identity that they wrap around themselves like a canvas in which they must now paint on.

We take it for granted that that is how life is. We don’t question it because to question it must mean you are selfish. You end up living your life for everyone else but you. You try to live up to your parent’s expectations, and then you try to keep your spouse pleased, and then you live to give everything you can to your children, you ensure your clients/directors/employees/employer  always get what they want and at some point in your life you have forgotten what you want or need. You get disillusioned and you don’t even know why.

And though compromising is done mostly by women as society has raised women to think they are not good enough if they are not the best supporting actor, it affects men too.

In the endless game of being a consumer and producer for the world, we forget what it is to be free. Free to be us. And so many start searching for experiences that will help them feel alive to be them.

Most women start rebelling against the status quo and start creating a life for themselves. They stop accepting less than respectful treatment from spouses and children. They don’t try as hard to get validation from society but start being more comfortable in their own skin.

Most men on the other hand start having affairs, with as many women as they can, so that they can start feeling alive through their little escapades and to feel needed or appreciated.  

And most stay together because they are too afraid of the uncertainty of life outside the comfort zone.

The hardest thing in life is to build your life all over again from scratch to create a new world from the ashes of the old.

But then again, the best thing in life is also to build your life all over again – because you have a chance to create a whole new reality from the crumbs of what disintegrated. And to borrow a phrase from Joe Biden, Build Back Better.

People need to be allowed to be free to remember who they really want to be.

If it’s in a marriage that gives them unconditional love and happiness, then that’s the right choice.

If it’s in a divorce that sets one free from pain, suffering and a loss of identity, then that’s the right choice too.

An un-coupling need not be the end of the game. It could be the beginning of a game-changer that helps you soar higher and faster.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune. Feedback can reach the writer at

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