What is life after divorce in Singapore like? According to a study on divorce in Singapore, sadness is the top negative feeling for divorcees in Singapore, even more than 6 months after the divorce. Dr Jessica Leong interviewed 19 respondents in 2011 and 2012. All in all, 134 divorcees took party in the study.
Other negative feelings suffered by the participants include restlessness, worry and fear.
One of those interviewed is Belle (not her real name). 14 years ago, Belle caught her ex-husband hugging another woman before going into a car. Belle then interrogated her ex-husband who admitted to the affair. Until today, Belle still remembers what happened on 1 November 1997. According to Belle, she told her former husband: “Since you don’t like to be tied down, and you don’t like to look after your children, and you still like freedom and women, why don’t you just leave? So he packed his things and he willingly left the house. I then filed for divorce.” Belle was 33 then.
More than a decade has since passed but Belle remains sad about the divorce when she was interviewed in 2011. She was married for 10 years. In Belle’s words: “When I got married, I was a wife. And then (when I divorced), I realised I wasn’t sure who I was…”
Belle added: “Each time I take my children to see their grandparents, I feel very sad and awkward when their cousins had both parents around them and my kids had to deal with the awkwardness… I (also) feel sad for my son who does not have a male role model.”
Why is Belle still sad after so long?
Belle: “I feel sad and angry with myself. Basically, it is because I couldn’t save my marriage. I wasted part of my life and nothing came out of it.”
With support from her family and friends, she has adjusted to life after divorce. She is, as the interview suggests, still adjusting.
See: Priscilla Goy, “Sadness top negative feeling, post-divorce”, The Straits Times, 23 November 2015
Belle’s story makes one wonder- is there life after divorce in Singapore?
Humans are creatures of emotions and habit. It is natural for a person who has been married for a long time to feel sad after a divorce. There may also be fear on what is to come, particularly if the other spouse is the main breadwinner of the family.
Like the study shows, the negative feelings may not go away even after a long time.
It may sound cliché, but I never fail to urge my clients to look on the bright side. Would life have been better if they had not gotten a divorce? Don’t they look forward to seeing their children grow up and becoming useful members of society? Or maybe they are now able to commence a new life peacefully? There is life after divorce in Singapore.
There are 2 sides to every coin. Life is beautiful because there is hope of a better tomorrow. Never give up on life after divorce.
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