Marriage a continuous work in progress that requires commitment

Mr Tang Li's personal example - in which he said "I do not think I am in any way worse off than most people" despite having parents who are divorced - is not enough to dismiss the negative effects of divorce on children (Ease of getting married may be the problem; May 28).

He also said a major factor in divorces is the ease of getting into a marriage.

However, raising the bar for people to get married will not guarantee that the marriage will last any more than having stellar academic qualifications will guarantee career success.

My parents have been married for 67 years. They got married in their late teens with practically nothing, but it was their commitment to stick it out through thick and thin that kept them together through the years.

We do not see this often in young couples these days. Not only is getting out of a marriage and finding a new partner as easy as swiping on a dating app, but there is also too much focus on the self.

People are becoming more self-centred. Any time there are hiccups, the first thought that crosses their minds is: Why do I have to accept this situation when I can get out?

The problem these days is many young people are waiting for the "perfect" someone, but they often ignore the fact that what appears perfect today can and will change over time because multiple factors are at play all the time.

What will make a marriage last is the attitude and commitment from both parties to make the marriage work. This is a continuous work in progress.

I often go on trail rides on my mountain bike and I see parallels between trail-riding and marriage.

A perfect bike at the beginning means nothing if you and your bike cannot negotiate bumps together.

You do not need to start off with a perfect bike - the most important thing is to have the skills and parts to fix any trouble along the way.

This combination will see you continue the ride and finish the trail.

My advice to people looking to marry is to look for the commitment to work together, as well as the character of that person and whether this is suitable for you.

Peh Chwee Hoe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 03, 2018, with the headline 'Marriage a continuous work in progress that requires commitment'. Print Edition | Subscribe