After years focused on parenting, some couples lose the romance in their marriage.
When their children leave home, they struggle to relate to each other and split up.
Sociologists and experts said this was the key reason why people aged 45 and above accounted for a larger share of marital break-ups last year – despite an overall decline in the number of divorces.
But the statistics also revealed that more people aged 60 and above are getting hitched, and this may be down to people remarrying, said experts.
Figures from the Department of Statistics showed that the number of divorces and annulments fell by 4.8% to 7,241 last year, the first drop in seven years.
But 38.8% of divorced men last year were aged 45 and above, up from 26.3% in 2002.
The figure was 25.3% last year for females in the same age group, compared to 17.3% 10 years before.
National University of Singapore sociologist Paulin Straughan said older couples might split up after their kids leave home, as they did not spend enough time building their relationship as a couple.
Instead, they invested the time in their careers and children.
"Much of the marriage is tied to the couple's roles as parents, rather than their roles as husband and wife.
"So when the children leave, the parents don't know what to do with each other," she said.
Care Corner Counselling Centre centre manager Jonathan Siew said: "The wife may initially choose not to divorce when her children are still young.
"But when the children have grown up and can support themselves, if the marital situation hasn't improved, the wife may opt for divorce."
For marriages to work, Institute of Policy Studies sociologist Mathew Mathews suggested that couples work on developing their relationship from the start.
"People should be more open to marriage preparation and marriage enrichment programmes. When you know that you've been through good times previously, there's something that you can look back to, and you'd feel more committed when going through crises."
The statistics also suggested that more people are rediscovering love later in life.
Some 420 men and 77 women aged 60 and above got married last year, compared to 145 men and 19 women in 2002.
Remarriages also made up 25.1% of total marriages last year. A decade ago, the figure was 18.9%.
Siew drew a link between the two sets of figures, explaining that those getting hitched older may be tying the knot for the second time.
Harry Elias Partnership family lawyer Koh Tien Hua said people, even after a divorce or a spouse's death, were not afraid of recommitting themselves because "marriage is still something that's greatly valued". — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Lawyer and ex-DPP Spencer Gwee (pic) has been found guilty of paid sex with an underage prostitute.
Judge Toh Yung Cheong said yesterday that the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt, and found the 61-year-old guilty of one charge of having paid the Vietnamese prostitute S$300 (RM754) for sex at Four Chain View Hotel in Geylang on the evening of July 19, 2011.
In his written grounds, the judge addressed several key areas of Gwee's defence, including his claim that he did not speak Vietnamese and never had a conversation with the girl, even though there were telco records of SMSes exchanged between their phones.
"The communication between (the girl) and the accused was more or less limited to requesting sexual intercourse; (she) was not claiming that the accused recite the Iliad or the Odyssey," said Toh.
"It was not out of the realm of possibility that the accused may have learnt a few Vietnamese phrases from his frequent visits to Four Chain View Hotel, pubs in Geylang, as well as his trips to Vietnam," wrote Toh.
Sentencing for the case will take place next Friday. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
|You are subscribed to email updates from Regional Feed |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|