28 February 2006

Marriage & Divorce

ST Feb 28, 2006
First big study of divorces here spotlights risk factors
By Theresa Tan

THE Government is promoting programmes to strengthen marriages, after the first large-scale study of divorces here put its finger on what made unions work or fall apart.

The study of more than 1,700 divorcees and about 1,900 married respondents raised the same red flags that had been waved by marriage counsellors for years.

The risk factors include a hasty courtship, long hours spent at work and away from one's spouse, and the arrival of a baby when a couple are unprepared for parenthood.

Sociologist Paulin Straughan, who completed the study last year, told The Straits Times: 'You can't just tie the knot and then go through daily life without conscientiously working on improving spousal relations and expect your marriage to last.'

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) commissioned the study to find out what factors kept couples together and what tore them apart.

It is now working with its community partners to get couples to attend marriage education programmes ......

The study found that couples were more likely to break up if they:

* married because of family pressure or to get a flat.
* were unhappy with their spouse's long working hours.
* were not prepared for marriage.
* had no children.

Seven in 10 divorcees blamed their marriage breakdowns on poor communication ... For a third of the divorcees surveyed, adultery was the final straw which led to the marital breakdown.
Mr Wang feels somewhat sad to read that the risk factors for divorce include "the arrival of a baby when a couple are unprepared for parenthood". Actually Mr Wang believes that you can never really be prepared for parenthood beforehand. It's like learning to swim. It's a lot of fun, but you DO have to get into the water first.

"I really don't see what's so challenging about this.
Humans are just an unnecessarily complicated species, that's all."


Anonymous said...

I am not sure about these social projects that the gahmen is always taking up.

I am unaware of any city in a developed nation with a low incidence of marriage breakup. Is it even practical to try to arrest something that might be 'natural', given the environment?

I read once that 80% of human societies were polygamous, before the advent of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Perhaps the current state of society in general is merely an unsustainable situation?

Kevin said...

It's really the government's earnest to check on the health of our society. While there's sure to be a high percentage of breakups in such a fast-paced and expensive society, it's still useful to know the major factors involved so people like me can somewhat know what to expect for a good relationship, rather than to go blindly into it. Useful to know, but better than we do more of our own research to back it up.

Anonymous said...

So you're saying you need official statistics to maintain a healthy relationship with someone?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Lots of churches were already running marriage-education programmes, before the government thought of this. I guess they are just offering the secular version.

Yanling said...

I totally agree with what Mr Wang said about one can never be fully prepared for parenthood beforehand. That is what I thought when I read that article. In life, things come at you so fast that you can never get prepared enough if you want them to come in your way. When you are prepared enough, these opportunities would have gone away.

PC said...

Mr Wang's right... you never know how it is until you actually arrive there...

Many reasons were attributed to the high divorce rates; inability to communicate, long hours at works..etc etc.. that's what they are, just reasons... or rather excuses.

My personal belief is that once a couple DECIDES that they would stick together through thick and thin, the issues almost always work out. If you find that you're not talking as much due to long hours at work, you find a way.. be it a special weekly date.. a daily half hour breakfast together, so on.. Why? Because there no back door in your mind known as "DIVORCE". The fact that divorce is no longer a social stigma could only mean a likely upward spiral. Why? Because it's there and can be depended upon if the marriage doesn't turn out so sweet.

Marriage is a journey... not a destination... that's what I remember from a marriage preparation course we attended some 9 years ago..

Oh Klimmer.. In a couple of days, I'll be putting up a post in my blog about the HIV discussion we had...

Anonymous said...

My personal belief on why marriage fail is due to once the couple married, they tend to take each other for granted.

They have forgotten marriage is a Journey not a Destination.

Love is not a feeling, but a constant decision that we make. Love demands that we choose each other constantly despite coming across alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Seems like if we take the time going into the marraige it's likely to continue. This is the same in Australia.