Strong marriages require shared responsibilities

In the Oct 6 report ("Education helps couples stay married"), Madam Azita Abdul Aziz, director of social services at the Singapore Muslim Women's Association, raised a valid point on marriage commitment: That one of the ways to strengthen marriages is to have men share in household responsibilities.

This simply means that men must be participative in doing household chores, looking after the children and not leaving everything to the woman of the house.

The women of today are totally different from those of yesteryear. They are far better educated, more adventurous, better travelled and more Internet savvy.

So they no longer want to remain the docile housewife who just cooks, does the daily household chores and cares for the children.

In working hard towards making the marriage work, couples must allow almost everything in their lives to be shared with each other. This includes making decisions together as man and wife, sharing problems, joy, sorrow, and any amount of freedom they can enjoy.

In a nutshell, a marriage means dividing the responsibilities, and the burdens, by two.

While practising a faith can help keep marriages intact, education is probably the best support in paving the way for a couple to be more tolerant of each other.

As with any relationship, be it in an office setting or personal encounters, every happy, successful partnership begins and ends with the same ingredient - the willingness to negotiate, the willingness to forgive.

If couples put their hearts and souls into building a solid partnership, they will surely experience the depths of joy and happiness a fulfilling marriage can bring.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

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