S.H.E’s Selina Jen announced her divorce via her Facebook page recently and sent shockwaves through the Internet. Like many of her fans, I was very surprised that the man who had solidly stood by her during her accident (and recovery) some years ago would no longer be her husband once the divorce is finalized.
“Till death do us part” does not seem to hold true anymore, as we see more and more high profile celebrity divorce cases. I can name at least 8 local celebrities who have had divorces, with some getting married for the 2nd or even 3rd time! I do wonder if they made any changes to the standard marriage vow ‘template’.
And I think we need to pay some attention to the rise in divorces, and how this might be perceived by couples who are intending to get married. For one, I think that it is important to let your spouse know what the boundaries in the relationship are. For instance, you may have a firm stance against adultery, and your partner needs to know that it is something you will absolutely not tolerate, and therefore he/she might want to avoid getting too close to a colleague of the opposite gender.
Did you know that getting a divorce in Singapore is very much like commencing a civil suit against someone? You can sue for divorce on any of these grounds: adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, 3 years separation with consent or 4 years separation. To help you navigate the divorce proceedings, you can consider hiring a divorce lawyer.
If you were to do a Google search for the term ‘divorce lawyer singapore‘, you’ll find 529,000 results and more than a few ads. I wonder if facilitating divorces is such a lucrative business in Singapore that law firms are willing to spend ad dollars to attract new clients. 😉 If that’s the case, it appears to me that a divorce might be financially (on top of being emotionally) draining.
Before marriage, I think it is important to consider divorce, and the grounds for which divorce will, and must, happen. This is to ensure both parties know where ‘lines’ must not be crossed. Of course, I know it’s easy to state these things when all’s rosy and well, and when emotions built up over years of marriage come into play, it may not be so easy to walk suavely out of a marriage. But here’s what I think I would communicate with my partner before signing the marriage papers:
- When there is adultery, the marriage is over. Relationships are built upon trust, and once a party has broken that faith, there is no turning back. In fact, I think wives who relent when their husbands display remorse and beg for forgiveness are just setting themselves up for failure. EVEN IF the husband manages to stay on the straight and narrow for the rest of his life, and never ever strays again, the cracks are already there, and can never be mended. Even if you forgive the man, you will never forget the betrayal, you will never be able to look at him with 100% adoration, and you will never be able to trust him wholeheartedly anymore. Isn’t that sad?
- When there are children in the marriage, the couple must be even more committed to staying in love. This means that they can no longer prize their personal happiness over everything else. To me, having children involves a commitment to them that I will provide a safe and loving environment for them, and that I will nurture them and help them reach their fullest potential. The emotional scars from watching parents feud, and eventually split, cannot (and must not) be part of the deal. If there are children, I’d say divorce is not an option unless your children are fully-grown adults already and your spouse is sleeping around with other people. Another possible reason for getting an immediate divorce even when there are children is domestic violence. No man should ever strike a woman, for any reason, whether he be drunk or angry.
- A pre-nuptial agreement can help prevent tussles over assets and also preserve one’s wealth. Often, a woman’s contribution to the family cannot be measured in monetary terms. A man’s contribution to the bread-and-butter necessities can easily be quantified, but how do you put a pricetag on child-raising, on doing household chores, and other activities that seemingly do not have “economic value”? It’s best to have these issues sorted out right at the start, so both parties are clear about who gets what in the event of a split, and costly legal battles can be avoided.
Some of you might disagree with my view about considering divorce before getting married. However, I think it is way easier to talk about certain issues (such as division of assets) when you’re still in love and not trying to gouge each other’s eyes out, and I believe the division would be a lot more… fair. Also, many relationships break down because of a lack of adequate communication. SO, go ahead and tell your partner what you love, what you absolutely will not tolerate, and what you think would make your marriage last. 🙂