Separation and Divorce

The original wedding vows, as printed in The Book of Common Prayer, are:

Groom: I,____, take thee,_____, to be my lawful wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Bride: I,_____, take thee,_____, to be my lawful wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth.

In Singapore, in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, divorce is a social stigma. Asians tend to see divorce negatively, and there is little support for single parents, whether male or female. You divorce, you are on your own.

Fast forward to 2010. Heavy work commitments. Lack of family time. Heavy finances and needs, as eating out frequently, social and personal needs and wants, heavy medical bills. Coping with family is now an ART and Science.

It is cheap to get a divorce. It is convenient. The statistics about divorce is it is one of the few things that is increasing, besides inflation. There are many support groups for ladies who get divorce. There are financial aid for families who cannot cope with divorce.

Firstly, divorce is a choice. One person gives up, the other can only hold on so long. If there are no children, it is not so messy. Separate the finance, get another place, get drunk and unhappy and move on.Where there are children, care and control have to come in. Which parent is better, able to cope and manage and equip them better. The court might give visitation rights. Some people, especially the ladies, might not comply the deny the spouse visitation rights. Parental alienation kicks in.

The Husband, the Father, suffers. The Wife, the Mother suffers. The children suffer. Attachment bonds are broken overnight, there is a new culture of adaption. There is a loss of father model, and there is a loss of mother model. The child blames himself/herself in the process.The cycle is destructive and long. Recently, I read about a girl who commited suicide. She was from a divorce family. She cannot cope well when she does not do well, and her boyfriend broke up with her. While I cannot say whether she will do well in her studies or relationship if both parents are present, I think the parental support and bond is stronger. She can cope better, and be a resilient person, who may faces failure, and rise up a stronger person.