Man and woman meet. Man and woman fall in love. They get married and start a family. Life is challenging, throwing too many curve balls into their already stressed up life. Too much to handle and the relationship drifts. Divorce is brought to the table and all hell breaks loose.
It is not uncommon, in fact there are too many friends in my life now who are either going through divorce, or are divorced. Based on a recent survey by Prudential, every week 1 out of 4 married couples in Singapore have given serious thoughts on getting divorced! This did float in my head too, at least once.
No one marriage is perfect. Flaws are present to challenge the two, to help us bond and hopefully bring relationships closer after healing one flaw at a time. Knowing what the other party wants and needs is important.
I am no relationship master nor one who knows what is right or not right to do when stuck in a situation with my loved one. But thanks to the survey conducted with 500 individuals in Singapore, aged between 25 and 55 years of age (that’s our age group) with household incomes of at least S$4,000 per month (yup that’s us alright!), and me getting first hand advice from the experts, experienced counselors and family life advocates, I am in a better position (I think) cos I know now what may work and help improve the relationships I’m having with my loved ones and co-workers.
Laughter is still the best medicine
Laughter is a key aspect of strong relationships in Singapore, especially for women. 69% say “making me laugh” is important, compared with just 54% of men. However, our local men seem not to be as funny as the ladies had hoped for. Or perhaps we women are just harder to get tickled; which in my case is quite true. Time spent working and pressure from clients give me little time to rest, more so than to laugh. If I do laugh, it’s because of some silly things my little girls did and not cos of the man.
Men needs more affection than women
Both close bonding and expressions of love are far more important for men than women in Singapore. The study shows that over half (60%) of men value close bonding as one of the most important aspects in a partnership, compared with just 40% of women. Well this is true, at least in my opinion. Women generally carry much more responsibility and duties as compared to men, especially when they’re married and with kids. Where got time and energy to think about getting close and be affectionate, when all I want to do once everything is settled for the night is to knock out flat in bed!
More men than women also want their ideal partner to express their love for them: 40% of men compared with only 28% of women. Ahem! Ok, this I think is due to the different languages of love. Personally I would rather my man just do the damn chores automatically so that I can use my energy on other more important tasks and when he does that, I know he loves me. I don’t need him to say those three words everyday, but I guess I may have to start doing more of the saying “I love you” thingy so that he will feel my love too.
My husband and I have been together for more than … wait I lost count! Was it 12 or 13 years now? Hmmm or was it 14? See, I’m not the romantic sort who keeps track of anniversaries and stuff like these. Though we have been together for more than a decade, there are still unspoken words, unshared experiences, little known facts and in-depth understanding of what each of us want and need. To us, this is a journey of discovery, one that will take us a lifetime to unfold together. We may not fight as much as some, but we often do the cha-cha dance, giving each other space to reflect and put oneself in the other party’s shoes. After a while, a hug or a poke in the ribs, things will be back to normal. Well, our normal.
I am not one who likes to attend forum discussions because I feel that they can be a waste of time. But after the first session where I learned about the Prudential Relationship Index, I am very intrigued to learn more and hear from the experienced husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.
If you want to find out more about the findings from the survey conducted by Prudential Singapore, hop over to https://www.prudentialrelationshipindex.com/sg/.
This post is written in collaboration with Prudential Singapore, all opinions, experiences and thoughts are author’s own. Facts and findings shared are based on the results from Prudential Relationship Index.