Work and life balance is biggest issue for married couples, according to new poll

A family spending time at the beach at East Coast Park.
A family spending time at the beach at East Coast Park. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Balancing family and work were listed as the top issues faced by married couples in a poll by a group that champions strong families.

In the poll held over two weeks earlier this year by not-for-profit group Families For Life, half of the over 1,265 respondents pointed to the balancing act as their toughest challenge. Last year, it was No 3 in the findings, behind No. 1 financial management.

This year, managing finances was the third in the list, with 44.8 per cent of participants pointing to it. Keeping the spark alive is the second biggest challenge, for both this year and last. The poll also found that trust, communication and respect are the most important qualities for a marriage to grow.

The results of the poll were released on Saturday (March 19) at the annual Marriage Convention, which features seminars to provide couples with useful tips to enrich their marriage.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Social and Family Development, who was guest of honour at the event held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, shared a snippet of his personal life on how he keeps "the fire burning" in his marriage - walks of 10 to 15 minutes with his wife when he gets home early.

"We chat and enjoy the tranquillity of the night. It helps me bond better with my wife," he said, adding that he hopes to see more middle aged couples dating to keep their marriage fresh.

In his speech, he also said that there has been an "overwhelming" response to complimentary 12-hour marriage preparation workshops.

A majority of the respondents, 89 per cent, were open to seeking professional help if they face issues in their marriage, the poll findings showed.

Mr Ching Wei Hong, the Families For Life council chairman, said: "The poll findings show that couples are seeking more platforms and resources when it comes to their family and relationships."