Why couples split up

Glenn Ong and Jamie Yeo have split up. They claim to have simply drifted apart and don't quarrel. [Read about it here.]

I don't feel particularly sad or happy when I hear such news. I don't believe in what's "meant to be", "God's will", or destiny. (I use capital / upper case G only out of respect for those who believe in God. I don't believe in God. I will talk about it in some other time.) I believe that all things will seek to find a state of equilibrium and balance. There are many reason why couples split up.

I will not cite "communication" as one of the reasons. I think communication is important but there are more fundamental things that affect a relationship. Communication only aids understanding views and opinions but cannot change the fundamental attitudes and behaviours in people.

Here are the 5 fundamental reasons in my mind now:

1. Idea of a person vs a person
Sometimes people are attracted to the idea of the person or what their life could be, rather than the person. For example, for gals to marry rich guys so that they can lead a tai-tai lifestyle, for guys to marry former models or SIA flight stewardess so that they can brag about it. If a couple gets together for this reason, they may split up once the idea suddenly seems like a bad one!

2. Taking people for granted
This is not about treating a partner badly. Instead, it is more of what wasn't said or wasn't done. A guy friend to mine told me that when he once drives his gal-friends (not a date) home in his car, some don't even thank him. A gal friend told me that she requested for her husband to go to the gynecologist with her but he said that if it's not "serious" he doesn't need to go. Was he waiting for her to die before he chooses to accompany her? All women would agree that visiting a gyne is more unpleasant than going to the dentist!

3. Sexual compatibility
Ever met anyone who looks physically attractive to you but is not sexually appealing or you just can't click in bed? If you haven't, you are either very lucky or very unlucky :p

Sexual compatibility should not be underestimated. My gal friend recently filed for a separation. She cited sexual incompatibility (her husband wasn't interested in sex) as one of the reasons for wanting a separation. Her lawyer told her that it is very common for married couples in Singapore to have sex just once or twice during marriage and then later file for a divorce. I don't have the statistics so I'll have to take her word for it. By the way, sexual incompatibility is not recognised as a valid reason for divorce in Singapore so couples with this problem will have to wait for 3 years of separation and file the divorce on the grounds of separation. (Should sexual incompatibility be recognised as a reason for divorce?)

If a couple doesn't have sex, what makes marriage different from friendship or a contractual living arrangement?

4. No quarrels
Most of us must have been scolded by our parents before. Although we don''t like it, we know that our parents do that (usually) because they care for us.

A friend shared with me that her husband suspected her of having an affair a year ago. But he never asked or confronted her about it.
Another friend proudly declared that he never quarrels with his wife. But I know he's having an affair with a woman from China!

Do people care enough sort things out? Or are they staying quiet to keep the peace?

5. Differences in Beliefs
Beliefs could mean religious beliefs, wants, life goals, attitudes towards life, finances, friends, etc. For example, if a man wants to have children but his wife does not think they have saved enough to start a family this could drive a wedge in their relationship (it seems Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt divorced because Jennifer did not want to have children). Beliefs can change over time so even if the couple is "in sync" initially, they may grow apart because of changes in beliefs.

There are many many more reasons. My objective isn't to list every possible reason. The point is: when it's time to move on, it's time to move on. I think it is ok to cry over split milk for a while but there will be sunshine after that rain and sometimes even rainbows :)


TrainMan said...

good post again kymmy

there are many reason why couple split up, the key is to let things as it is, don't force it.

P.S : long time never chat with you in alamak liao

Yu-Kym said...

I believe in putting in best effort and giving the other person freedom of choice.

Anonymous said...

We'll... I agree with you on what you have said, Yu-Kim. FREEDOM for me is one key factor of being happy in a relationship. However, the big momma (for me) is HAPPINESS.

And Happiness of course have different definitions to every individual (of them being happy). But at the end of the day... you always want to sleep soundly with a smile on your face. :-) This is specially when followed (the next morning) looking at the person still sleeping next to you and you take a deep breathe and you tell your self how happy you are being with him/her. And you can't wait to start another day. :-)


Yu-Kym said...

Barefoot, I agree that happiness is important! I wake up in the morning and there's nobody beside me but I'm still happy! :)