Pay up or go to Jail with Your Lover?

Marriages, once a cornerstone of the Asian’s core values backbone, has taken a big blow in public esteem with increasing divorcing rate generating a series of unintended social issues, from misbehaving teenagers to unfulfilled potentials of separated parents as many Asian failed to take advantage of divorce as a last option but nonetheless an effective arrangement to move on with their remaining days for worthwhile livings as what their western counterparts had done so. In fact, many chose to either remained in a broken marriage or mismanage the divorce proceeding failing to see the big pictures to have a proper closure for the benefits of individuals and community as a whole.

“The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”–Theodore Hesburgh

In addition, when society saw social ills soared due to rising rate of broken families, grappling with delinquent juveniles with inadequate emotional and financial resources where they had to struggle and deal with peer pressures of society stigma as they devise ways to make it through the adolescent growing up years usually skewed into gangs and unproductive behaviours leading to limited upward social mobility in later years. With the skyrocketing divorcing rate that has rivalled western counterparts but unlike them, agonies and disputes especially cases with children remained high in Asia.

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” –Robert Fulghum

As a matter of facts, divorce in US serve as a  pragmatic tool for broken relationship where both spouse can proceed with practical arrangement with alimonies, settlement and children visitation and responsibility sharing as both parent have the same leverage against each other nowadays. Actually, the roles between gender in Asia specifically in more advance countries like Taiwan and Singapore had also been increasingly equalised where women had inspiring career achievement and financial autonomous, the criminalisation of adultery still practiced in Taiwan since 30s to safeguard the welfare of women’s social status had outlived its purposes and began to exert unintended undesired consequences on the community, it had been used as bargaining power for more alimony and divorce settlements and as a tool to “punish” each others as the victim reserves the right to sue both the perpetrator and the lover punishable with jail sentence however usually replaceable with a monetary fine.

“While seeking revenge, dig two graves – one for yourself.” –Douglas Horton

Likewise, any hope of managing the aggregated social cost hinges on pragmatic approaches to handle matrimonial affairs with emphasis on the well-being of the offspring is gaining ground. A shift toward family chapter rather than women chapter in Singapore provided clues that the authorities recognised the wastage in divorce related legal proceedings and focus more on court mandated arbitration negotiating primary on the best outcomes for the affected children. Recently, alimony was awarded to the husband instead of the conventional manner in one of the unprecedented ruling as the mother had higher earning capacity.

While taking the vows in a marriage in the pledge of a perfect eternal union between two consenting adults continue to drive the eligible singles to tie the knots with the blessings from their families, friends and relatives and despite the institutional supporting infrastructure in encouraging family union in housing, medical and educational privileges over single adult individuals, annual aggregated divorcing rate of more than half remained a social norm over the population across varying stages.

“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.” ― Jennifer Weiner,

Sometimes, divorce in the modern days is a way out when the relationship go sour beyond any chance of reconciliation; there are probably a series of complicated reasons but all exhibits one or more of the following tell tales signs between couple for assessing the risk of a failed marriage;

Contempt, despise; looking down; mutual respect and appreciation in between spouses and children are lacking of, 100% dedication and submission for household chores are not sufficient anymore as one desires admiration  in partner’s confidence, competence and high level understanding on emotional needs.

Critical, personal attack; either personality or due to unaddressed dissatisfaction, consistent using toxic words in a relationship can cause long term irreversible traumatic grieves.

Defensive, could be arising of low self esteem or low trusting credibility, being arrogant and self righteous failing to be grateful for each others; denying and refusing for the sake of superior complexity and so on.

Non communicating; refuses to engage and sharing of ideas and opinions, insufficient loves to embrace differences in intellectual standards and closed up like a clam. In a nut shell, at least 40% of effective communication between spouses are needed; one understand minimum 4 out of 10 verbal and body languages exchanges.

“Habit is a great deadener. “–Samuel Beckett

Either seeking external helps to improve the situations otherwise as we are usually enslaved to our routines and habitual relationship not unlike any other form of addictions like gambling, drug, alcohol and Facebook, the accumulative grieves and heartache in such marriages only serve to create havocs and poison to each others especially on the children in their formative years and exert high social cost on macroscopic levels.

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” –Carl Jung

Nevertheless, majority of Asian couple still holding on to dysfunctional marriage with the following primary reasons;

Saving face especially in Asia context still an important consideration to safeguard one reputation to the extent of compromising individual happiness.

For Children’s sake had been the mantra for million of Asian mothers for ages in the hope of providing the best possible upbringing environment often neglecting the facts they might be better of otherwise moving on instead of living in a broken family with hatred, noxious and tensions.

Asset and Properties for affluent families purely in monetary consideration which often ruined relationships.

Inflated Ego in a life long dedication to antagonise and drive misery to each others as a vengeance often a self-sacrificing crusade. 

Many failing to weight out the pro and cons and sometimes its better to move on minimising the agonies and be kind to oneself for second chance of a rewarding and meaningful 2nd marriages or independent livings as degrading and resentful relationship have long term real harmful repercussions in health and personal level of happiness.

“Do not hold your breath for anyone,
Do not wish your lungs to be still,
It may delay the cracks from spreading,
But eventually they will.
Sometimes to keep yourself together
You must allow yourself to leave,
Even if breaking your own heart
Is what it takes to let you breathe.”
― Erin Hanson

In Summary, more needs to be done to avert divorce related community crisis. Laws should only be used to reflect the fundamental bottom line of our society instead of safeguarding the higher moral values where it’s much desired but harder to comply as to send a clear message that community upholds the values and sanctity of meaningful family formation as a purposeful ways of managing resources and strongly censures divorce as an last option with hefty price to pay instead of being criminally charged as in Taiwan or washing dirty linen in open court engaging often pricey divorce lawyers battling for more settlements and settling old scores between alienated husband and wife in Singapore.  As most of us are living in invisible cage, conditioned to limited area for activities, like a bear in extended years of captivity since birth who crawl instead of standing up and walk again out of the cage  and embrace own self identify for own pursuit of happiness. Be selfish and truly independent with resilient self identify as the hallowing up holes in all of us can truly be filled up by loving yourself first independent of others.

“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.” ― Shannon L. Alder


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