SINGAPORE: Nearly half of the respondents surveyed in a recent marriage study have considered divorce at some point.
But all stuck it out due to a sense of commitment to marriage, the influence of family, friends and religious advisers, and as they worry that their children may be negatively affected in a divorce.
Professional counselling was also found to be useful.
Over 450 married individuals were surveyed in the study commissioned by Marriage Central.
The study, conducted from February to May this year, aims to identify resilience factors that can mitigate marriage crises.
It revealed the common stress points in a marriage include infidelity, interference by in—laws and differences in aspirations.
Principal investigator Dr Mathew Mathews, a research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, said: "It shows that there are different agents which are acting in that process —— family, the community, broader messages around and notions of commitment are all there, and I think these things help to keep couples wanting to walk through their relationship rather than giving up."
Marriage Central — a workgroup under the National Family Council — said the findings indicate that there is hope for troubled marriages in Singapore.
Marriage Central chairperson, Anita Fam, said: "I think what came through very, very clearly, was the idea of commitment — that no matter how things are, if you decide to stick it through, there’s more than a fighting chance."
The workgroup intends to share the findings with voluntary welfare organisations and other stakeholders so that they may develop more resources and programmes for building resilient marriages in Singapore.
It was also well corroborated in the study that early intervention to marital problems had great merit. Hence it has been recommended that marriage preparation programmes, which target soon—to—be—married couples, incorporate a complementary post—marriage counselling session to encourage couples to discuss teething problems in their relationship early and build resiliency.
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