The ‘D’ Word – Divorce. It is still very much a taboo in Singapore despite many cases of them here as well as in many parts of the world. In a marriage, there are ups and downs, triumphs and loss. You made a vow to stick together in sickness and in health, till death do us part. And you did so with a heart filled with unconditional love, with the most hopeful dreams for your future together and possibly with tears of joy in your eyes.
Everyone gets married hoping for the best. I have never met a soul who, at the altar, hoped or even thought of a divorce. So it triggers me when I learn of people (especially those who haven’t even gotten married) saying things like, “When I get married, I will never get a divorce” or “A marriage is sacred, you made a promise to stay together so how can you file for divorce?”.
Divorce is not a simple process, financially, mentally and emotionally. It is not a BGR relationship where you realize he’s not your type after all or she’s been fooling around with your friends so you just break up, cry, start retweeting emo quotes and move on to the next one. Please. A divorce is a much more painful, long, tiring and emotionally draining process that often involve breaking families apart (in laws and in many cases, the children), seizing assets (homes, cars, even pets) and to add to all that, the scrutiny that people like you impose on them. I am sure the parties involved are very aware of that. Hence, there are also many who stick through an unhealthy and unhappy marriage to avoid the entire process and scrutiny, and in some cases even driven to suicide due to feeling stuck. These, in my opinion, are worse than actually getting a divorce.
Please know that I am in no way an advocate for divorce. If I could give you a piece of advice in your marriage it is to try your best to salvage it, not for your parents, not for your kids, not for your dog’s sake but for the both of you. If he/she has cheated on you, try, even though its heart breaking and tremendously difficult, to forgive. If he/she gambled off all your assets and money, try to seek professional help and help him/her through it. If he/she has physically harmed you, seek for professional help to see if there are any underlying medical or emotional issues that are causing him/her to do so. When there are issues, talk and reason it out. Never let the reason be, “I am your husband/wife so you do as I say”. That is just manipulative and will only give you the opposite effect. If these issues are addressed time and time again and there have been no improvement or worse, if your efforts have been taken advantage of, then I’m sorry to inform you that he/she may never change. It is then up to you to decide if you will allow yourself and your children to live this way forever or if you can do better without him/her. If the answer is latter, do it, nobody has the right to tell you you shouldn’t because, after all, you are the one who has to go through it.
If there are children involved, never speak ill of their father/mother to them or argue in front of them. It is selfish and no matter how ugly your divorce is or what the other half has done to you, I hope you never put it on your children as it is a huge burden for them to shoulder.
Overall, if there isn’t any more love in a marriage, despite how you work at it, it may never work out. A marriage needs love to work. It may sound like a little too much of a fairy tale, but I refuse to believe that marriage evolves solely on financial stability and responsibility. Without love, there is no thought for your partner. Without love, there will be no effort or attempt to fix what is broken. You will not care about hurting your partner emotionally or physically and will not try to stop your toxic habits if there isn’t any love. In fact, I believe that once you treat marriage like a convenience store, it is already bound to self-destruct. Remember that marriage is work and not something that is just given.
Attention: To you, the one who feels trapped.
You probably feel stuck in a very unhealthy marriage and not sure how to get out of it, please know you are not on your own and that there is a way to come out of this. Don’t stay in this if he/she threatens to harm you, go to the nearest Family Care Centre. He/She does not own you, you married him/her and you should be loved and cherished. Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘he/she is the only person who will ever love you’. It is a form of psychological abuse. You deserve better. You may not believe this now but you have to trust yourself that in time, you will heal and have a fresh new start at life no matter your age or circumstances.
I am in no way a councillor or a psychologist but merely speaking through experience and genuine concern. You may disagree, to each their own opinions. Sending my love to the people who are going through a difficult time. I leave you with this quote from Katy Perry’s Part of Me, a song that is very dear to me. Stay strong, you are a fighter.