Family values have changed with times

Everything that Mr Darius Lee wrote is true - up to a point (Cohabitation, relaxing divorce laws contradict S'pore family values; May 21). Then other considerations come into play.

Family values are universal but, like everything in the new millennium, have evolved with the times.

"Through thick and through thin", "for better or for worse" just do not cut it with this younger generation of instant gratification.

Generations of yore had put up with the emotional trauma of marriages made insufferable by spousal and in-law incompatibility or abuse.

The resultant deep-seated psychological scars perpetuated in their children too.

To say a quick and simple divorce is expedient sounds cynical, but it ultimately may be the best solution to a problem seemingly intractable to a couple.

It is a moot point whether children brought up well in single-parent households have more behavioural problems than children brought up in angst-ridden, dysfunctional marriages.

These are hard times for our children. Gone are the days of the "iron rice bowl" and employment for perpetuity.

Even applying for a Housing Board flat in preparation for marriage is unsettling when one's job is at stake every three years.

Yet, sex is a basic function of all living things and this is served well, among other means, by cohabitation, as long as we don't bring religious objections into it.

Of course, there are lots of cons in cohabiting. Nevertheless, getting to know a partner really well before dedicating one's life to that person cannot be that evil, especially when a fair proportion of cohabiters do get hitched and attain "unconditional, lifelong love" as Mr Lee put it.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2018, with the headline 'Family values have changed with times'. Print Edition | Subscribe