Why do Shoba and Shukumar fail to reconnect?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "A Temporary Matter," Shoba and Shukumar ultimately fail to reconnect because they both have ventured down differing paths while dealing with the grief of their lost child (actually, one might argue that they never truly connected at the beginning of their relationship because they later reveal all the secrets that they have kept from each other over the years).  Over the nights that they have dinner together and share with each other these long held secrets, Shukumar believes that they are reconnecting, yet all the while Shoba is planning to move out of their home.  When Shoba tells Shukumar that she is leaving, he feels betrayed, and rather than sparing her grief, he decides to further the wedge between them by revealing the sex of their dead child.  So, their failure to reconnect stems from their inability to understand the needs of the other partner.