3 ways poor education is breaking Singaporean marriages

3 ways poor education is breaking Singaporean marriages

Love may not be the only thing you need to make a marriage work. Singaporean couples with lower education levels found to face higher rates of divorce.

As reported by The Straits Times, a study conducted on resident couples (Singaporean Citizens or Permanent Residents) in Singapore found that two to three times more non-university-educated men have marriages that end before their fifth anniversary, when compared to their university-educated counterparts.

Experts believe these are the ways in which one's education may affect a marriage.

1. Lower levels of education mean lower salaries

money

Lower education typically means lower paying jobs here in Singapore. And marriage counsellors say that the lack of finances makes it tough on the couple. Couples from lower income brackets often stay with their in-laws in order to help make ends meet. As a result, disagreements within the household could pose an extra strain on the marriage.

A 23-year-old divorcee, who wished only to be known as Sara, states living with her in-laws to be one of the reasons for her decision to file for a divorce. She says, "As a young mum, I felt like I had no rights with parenting my own child - my mother-in-law would often step in."

Not having personal space for your new, growing family could create extra strain and is an added source of tension. This can result in couples arguing about their living situation. And the situation is made more complicated by the added pressure that may often come from their elders.

2. Lack of planning before marriage 

The study suggested that couples who were less educated put less thought into the complexities of marriage – such as housing and finances – before settling down, in contrast to couples with a higher level of education.

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Further, it was revealed that men with a lower level of education were prone to marrying women from similar socio-economic backgrounds. So, when brought together through marriage, their financial burdens literally doubled.

3. Less educated men aren't equipped to tackle marital issues

Additionally, it was found that men from less-educated backgrounds weren't able to cope with the stresses of marriage. For example, these men usually had a harder time resolving conflict or handling marital squabbles. They were often incapable of looking at things from their wife's point of view.

Ms Madelin Tay, a counsellor at Fei Yue Community Services, told The Straits Times, "We see it's the younger and better-educated couples who identify their marital problems and seek help to save their marriages."

The more educated the couple, the more likely they are to acknowledge and attempt to rectify the issues within their marriage.

How can you help your children understand divorce

As unfortunate as it is for a marriage to come to an end, it is important to take the time to talk to your kids about the situation should you be going through a divorce. Here are some ways, as suggestd by HelpGuide, that you can help your child understand what is happening.

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Depending on the ages of your children, they will be able to understand the situation to different degrees. It could take some time for younger children to understand why both parents no longer live in the same house and why they only get to spend a limited amount of time with each parent, for example.

• Explain

It is important to explain to your children what is happening. We might think that our kids are too young or incapable of understanding the situation. However, it helps to remember that children are much more perceptive than we might believe. As a guide, simpler reasons help younger children understand, while older ones might require more detail.

• Reassure

Children put in a situation where their parents are going through a divorce often question if they were a contributing factor to the marriage failing. Reassure your children that you and your partner made the decision to divorce due to your own issues. Remember to explain that this does not affect how you feel about them. The divorce does not impact or change the fact that you love and care for them.

• Respect

Remember to maintain a level or respect for your partner in front of your children. Your own feelings or emotions towards your partner should not affect the way your children view their other parent. As mentioned, children can be more perceptive than we realise. Bad-mouthing your ex-spouse could leave a negative impression of them of your child. Keep your issues between you and your partner, they are still the mother or father of your child.

 

Sources: The Straits Times, AsiaOne, HelpGuide.org

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Written by

Sonia Pasupathy

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