Marriage and fertility in Singapore continue to be causes for concern.
In 2017, a total of 7,578 marriages ended in a divorce or an annulment. The SingStat report also indicated that couples married for 5 to 9 years accounted for 30% of all divorces in 2017.1
Meanwhile, our total fertility rate has continued to decline, and was at a low of 1.16 last year.
How can we help young married couples to have resilient marriages and build strong and healthy families?
While the government offers support in terms of more affordable and diverse childcare options, there is also room for us as a community to partner the government in empowering married couples in Singapore.
Research suggests that marital conflicts surrounding the issues of children, money, and housework are rampant.
In addition, modern technology makes it hard for people to disconnect from devices, take a breather from work, and truly connect with loved ones.
Couples need all the support we can offer.
If we equip young couples with the skills to work through their conflicts and gain a deeper respect and understanding of each other, the likelihood of withstanding the challenges of marriage and parenthood is greater.
With this in mind, Focus on the Family Singapore recently launched Celebrate Marriage – a campaign to encourage couples to pursue true emotional intimacy with their spouse. Through an online quiz and coaching videos from marriage experts, the campaign shares how every couple can enjoy a healthy, long-lasting marriage and grow deeper in love.
Marriage may be hard work, but a strong marriage is achievable for all.
One simple yet effective way for couples to grow deeper in intimacy is to continually remind their spouse of why are valued and appreciated. Another effective way is to keep a regular ‘date night’, and keep it a gadget-free evening, even amidst busy schedules.
These small acts, when applied consistently, can enable a couple to develop healthy patterns of interaction. They tend to be more affirming, forgiving, and grateful, which results in a positive and loving home environment – a perfect mix for raising healthy children.
Judith Alagirisamy (Ms)
Family Life Specialist
Focus on the Family Singapore
1 Department of Statistics of Singapore (2017). Statistics on Marriages and Divorces. Retrieved from: https://www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/files/news/press10072018.pdf