When I think of my experiences ( though still not a lot yet since this year, I am 36 years old this year ) but have been rather challenging. I went through a bitter, contested divorce...lost my matrimonial flat and had to surrender the flat back to the government housing board. In Singapore, neither party can retain the flat without custody of a child and that the minimum occupation period of 5 years was not met. It was trying times for me, having to face a few facts as the marriage broke down since he had an affair and at the same time, needing to meet the financial demands of the flat commitment till the legal divorce is finalised. He totally walked away and refused to pay his share. I also was burdened with the responsibility of the legal fees involved through this complex case. He admitted that he had another woman but the financial obligation imposed by the court was only about $2,000 on him, to pay for my legal fees which was a total sum of $10,000. I was really disappointed with the outcome of the divorce case and initially felt really angry about the whole process. Did my lawyer fight hard enough for me or the Woman's Charter was only "useful" to that extent? I did not have a child and am perceived to be financially independent since I am educated and can tutor for a living.
The emotional turmoil is beyond words to describe. I lost a few years of youth on a marriage that did not work out. I felt being betrayed and naïve to think that a marriage should last for a lifetime and that he could take care of me. It was totally a lie. Not only that, I lost an asset, my flat which was against my wish. I appealed through a member of parliament, I waited patiently for more than a year since appeals would take time. I really tried my best, and did whatever possible, even considered adopting a child. But the laws are not on my side, to retain a matrimonial flat of which both parties are co-owners. None can keep the flat without the other, unless they can find a new partner to get married, to get the flat but there can be other considerations too but this is too detailed or complex to write here and I may not be totally aware of them all.
The disappointments really put me off totally on marriage now. It is good to be carefree and alone nowadays, more relaxing. The hope that a marriage can be an achievement in my life as two persons strive for higher levels in life, is destroyed and I not only lost time but also the finances challenges that I encountered change my perspective in life.
Women need to be able to always be financially independent, and to be highly educated and be courageous to fight for their own happiness, even if alone. Good health, own success and happiness to lead own lives and not because of one man who though he was capable to ruin another person's life, while he just does away scot-free.