The lifestyles we are so accustomed to in Singapore consist of our careers, our homes, and our families. There is very little in between since there never seems to be enough hours or even minutes in a day. Meaning a lot of the time there’s very little time for us to take care of ourselves or our own needs.
This could work for awhile, but there often comes a point when something has to give. You’re only human; and you, like anyone else, have your limits.
We’re going to walk you through some of the rather surprising statistics we took home from the recently launched Prudential Relationship Index.
The Prudential Relationship Index was conducted to better understand the relationships of Asians, particularly Singaporeans. Prudential spoke to a whopping 5,000 people from all over Asia to find out what was making them happy (or unhappy) in their relationships. The results were tabulated and the Prudential Relationship Index was born, in hopes of finding out what is needed to strengthen these ties and bonds.
Ready for the results?
Singapore ranks 7th(!) out of the 10 Asian countries that Prudential spoke to. Our score was 68/100, this going to say that 68% of our desired needs are fulfilled in our personal relationships.
Hopefully, sharing these facts will empower couples to make the necessary adjustments in their lives. A fresh perspective and determination to make the littlest of changes that could have the biggest of effects are all it takes. After all, if you don’t take the first steps, who will?
Did you know?
… that 24% of married people in Singapore seriously consider leaving their partners each week? While the number is less than a quarter of the total, doesn't it shock you that a rather significant percentage of married people think about divorce every week?
The panel of relationship experts consisted of Jason Wong (Focus on The Family Singapore, Yellow Ribbon Project and Dads For Life movement) and Evelyn Khong (Fei Yue Community Services), and we were able to get some much needed pieces of advice that could go towards saving your relationships.
1.How technology is ruining your relationship
While technology is supposed to better our lives, it is no question that in recent times, it is quickly growing to control and direct us. A total of 37% of respondents said that technology has made it harder for them to have deep conversations.
Even more shocking, 32% of adults in Singapore say their partners prefer time with their mobile phones as opposed to being intimate with them! Could something that was meant to simplify life for us be crossing boundaries and eating into our personal lives instead?
It has been said that we are currently so digitally connected, we forget how to switch off and be physically present. Technology and our devices are blurring the lines between our work and home lives. While it means it’s easier to keep updated with work and our businesses thriving, it could also mean that our relationships at home are taking the backseat.
What can you do?
Make a conscious effort to leave work at the workplace. While we can’t always afford to do this, a sincere effort to ensure that you are present, both physically and mentally, for a couple of hours a day at home, will go a long way.
Technology-free dinners with the family might be a good way to start reconnecting with your family. Admittedly, things might be awkward at the start, but this is a good way to get re-involved with your family and their lives.
2) Are your children driving you crazy?
The Prudential Relationship Index has found that children are the biggest source of conflict between couples - with the percentage coming in at 46%! With so many things on your plate, coming home to a chaotic space, caused by messy children is probably enough to push you over the edge.
It has been found that Singaporean parents have high expectations of their children, this essentially leads to parents being more likely to feel like their children are misbehaving. That is, 47% becoming upset with their children and 48% more likely to tell their children off!
What can you do?
Conflict is not always a bad thing. Once again, it is a matter of how you view things. Conflicts can be a means of growing and learning. Once you are able to look at fights and arguments from the point of view of them being a chance to change and grow, you are better able to manage and deal with them.
Talk to your children instead of losing your temper. Give them the platform to voice their opinions and reasons for unhappiness. Having a conversation with them could help you get to the root of the problem without the heated arguments and unkind words!
3) Your love languages are different
It’s no secret that men and women often face misunderstandings. Not only are we very different creatures, but it may just be that our love languages don’t match up. Your love language is essentially the way in which you express your feelings. Sometimes in a relationship, a mismatch of love languages could leave one partner feeling neglected and underappreciated.
Only 27% of Singaporeans tell their partners that they love them on a daily basis! The Prudential Relationship Index has stated that 40% more men want their partner to express their affection for them. However, despite this number being relatively low, 64% felt their partners expressed themselves enough.
What can you do?
If you’ve been feeling neglected or under-appreciated, it’s worth talking to your partner about it. Chances are, they aren't doing this on purpose and it would be worth a conversation. Similarly, if you feel you might be neglecting your partner, talk to them about it - ask them what you can do to make them feel more valued.
We assure you, the conversation will be appreciated. Communication is an important factor in any relationship. Create an open space where both sides feel comfortable speaking about the things that bother them. You’d be surprised to see how far a conversation can go in strengthening your relationships!
4) Is money the root of all evil?
Singaporeans are deemed to be extremely financially independent. On average, in Asia, 37% of individuals do not receive financial support from anyone. Here in Singapore, we’re at 56%. It was also highlighted that only 15% believe their partner should provide financial support.
Another interesting fact that the Prudential Relationship Index brought to our attention was that while 51% of married people possess joint bank accounts - many couples control their own finances.
Next to children, money is the next key reason couples were said to argue. Could this strong sense of financial independence that we’ve grown used to be a contributing factor? Singapore being one of the most expensive cities to live in means that many of us work long and hard for our money. Money that we might not be so ready to share with a partner.
What can you do?
The relationship experts at the Prudential Relationship Index explained to us that marriage is and should be a partnership. In more ways that one, the day you decide to commit to this person, it becomes akin to having gone into business with this individual.
Having said this, businesses need to be tended to and grown. So do our relationships. This means committing to the marriage and your partner entirely. Both parties need to understand and want to do whatever it takes to grow as a couple.
5) Unfair division of workload
It does not come as a surprise that Singaporeans are stressed. There are just so many things going on at any point in time that by the time we get back home, there’s hardly any of us left for our families. An unfair division of household chores is therefore, additional stress.
Yes, you guessed it, women are the ones doing a majority of the work at home. Even though 86% of women are employed, 51% say that they are the ones who look after the children. This could be attributed to the Asian mentally we have grown up with - the father goes to work and the mother holds the fort at home.
However, with an increased number of mothers being working mums, one must ask -- has there been a corresponding shift in the dynamics of the household?
What can you do?
At the Prudential Relationship Index, the panel of relationship experts told us that fathers need to be more intentional. What this means to say, is that fathers need to take a more conscious approach at sharing the workload at home - both in terms of housework and where the kids are involved.
Attention mothers, this is where you need to take a slight step back. As mothers, you are by default, attached to your children. You did carry them for 40 long weeks, after all! Allow for your husbands to take a more involved approach. Refrain from robbing your husbands of the opportunity to learn - 30% of dads say that their wives hinder them from having time with the baby.
Once again, communicate with one another. Share the chores and always check back with your partner to see if he or she is doing okay. The simple act of asking one another what you can do to make their life easier could go a very long way. Both partners become more willing to pitch in once they are aware that their partner is doing the same for them!
That’s it, mums and dads! Were you surprised to learn some of these numbers and statistics? If you would like to find out even more about the state of relationships in Singapore (and the rest of Asia) plus how to improve them, head on over to prudentialrelationshipindex.com.
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