In the middle of the verses pertaining to divorce, Allāh the Most High says:
حَافِظُوا عَلَى الصَّلَوَاتِ وَالصَّلَاةِ الْوُسْطَى وَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ قَانِتِينَ
Take care to do your prayers, especially the middle prayer, and stand before Allāh in devotion. (2:238)
I think that we have an indication here that there is a key connection between being careless with our prayers, and divorce.
That’s because the placement of verses in a sūrah is something set by Allāh and has not been left to human choice. Furthermore, the presence of a verse covering a certain subject A amongst other verses covering another subject B, indicates the importance of the specific subject A in the general context of things.
An example of this is His statement:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ
(O Prophet) If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I respond to those who call Me. (2:186)
This verse comes right in the middle of the verses pertaining to fasting. Its indication? The recommendation to make du‘ā and that du‘ā is more likely to be accepted during fasting, or in the month of fasting. This is something many people are careless about when they fast.
Likewise, the prohibiting of interest in the statement of the Most High:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُضَاعَفَةً
O you who believe, do not consume interest, doubled and redoubled. (3:130)
This appears in the middle of the verses pertaining to Jihād in Sūrat Āle-‘Imrān. Its indication? That it is an absolute must that one stays away from interest if one truly wants victory. Reflect on the subtlety of this point and how our own individual financial affairs affect the wider picture.
As you can see, this placing of a verse amongst others covering a different subject, is a Qur’ānic principle that one should always be aware of when reflecting upon the Book of Allāh.
And so, with respect to the prayer, Allāh jalla wa ‘alā commanded His Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا
Order your people to pray, and pray steadfastly yourself. (20:132)
This command occurs after Allāh ‘azza wa jall mentioned how the disbelievers have been given everything in this dunya to enjoy themselves with and how it’s actually a fitnah for them – a test and a trial. Yet the prayer assists the slave to stave off the fitnah of this dunya and its associated trials. Reflect on the fact that the “dunya” and such matters are the cause of much marital discord between partners.
Allāh jalla wa ‘alā also told us that the prayer helps shun outrageous and unacceptable behavior (al-faḥshā’ and al-munkar), again two key common reasons for marital arguments.
Notice how the prayer purifies our nafs (best understood here as our inner-self or ego), and how the nafs then rises to the heavenly realm as a result of prayer. And then notice how outrageous behavior or al-fawāḥish dirties our nafs and brings it down. Indeed, every time our nafs ascends to the higher realm, we become closer to one another, in love and unity. And when our nafs falls, our differences only increase. Just as Allāh the Most High says:
اهْبِطُوا بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ
“Get out, all of you! You are each other’s enemy.” (2:36)
See how Allāh compared the falling down and getting thrown out of Heaven (the hubūṭ, from the command اهْبِطُوا) to enmity? All this enmity originally came from the inner-self failing and indeed falling, due to sin: the sin of Iblīs was to not prostrate which is an action of the prayer, and the sin of Ādam (‘alayhis-salām) was to eat from the Tree, which is effectively succumbing to one’s desires, something which the prayer is special treatment for, as Allāh the Most High says:
فَخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ
But there came after them generations who neglected prayer and were driven by their own desires. (19:59)
So Allāh made the neglecting of prayer a reason to follow one’s base desires, or put another way: you will become enslaved to your own desires if you neglect the prayer.
Finally, when Allāh jalla wa ‘alā explained how the believing men and women support one another – “support” here including love and unity with one another – He again mentioned the prayer. This clearly indicates that when one protects and takes great care over their prayer, it will lead to love between the believers:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ
The believers, both men and women, support each other; they order what is right and forbid what is wrong; they keep up the prayer. (9:71)
In summary, establishing the prayer properly will bring people closer to Allāh. It will stave off outrageous actions and unacceptable behavior, and so you will not hurt your partner. It will create discipline and strengthen your resolve against your base desires so that you will not succumb to that which so many marriages fall prey to. It will allow their inner-selves to rise, and become closer to one another, making Shayṭan weak who encourages division and enmity. This divine protection through the prayer will eventually increase the love and harmony between husband and wife, and the need for divorce will hopefully diminish by the Will of Allāh jalla wa ‘alā.
And Allāh knows best.