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marriage and divorce

Compare Malaysia Marriage Statistics

malaysia marriage and divorce
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In Malaysia, the marriage is showing upward trend where there were 169,792 couples got married in 2004 and the number was increased to 214,799 in 2012.

For Muslim couples, according to the marriage statistic from Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), there are total of 112,262 couples married in 2004, the figure has increased from year to year generally and reach 148,806 in 2012.

While for non-Muslim couples, there are total of 57,530 couples tie the knot in 2004, but the figure rather not steady as there were up and down from year to year. While in 2012, the number was stood at 65,993 for married couples.

For the divorce rate, there is a worried display on the statistic for non-Muslim couples. It has been on a very unhealthy upward trend where it rose from 14% in 2004 to 26% in 2012.

Good Communication is Important

Communication in a relationship can be as difficult as a brain surgery. I had many breakups over poor communication. I know of many couples out there struggling in their relationship because they don’t know how to express themselves to their lover.

A poor communication skill is the ice berg for most couples. People could be professionals and making 100 thousands dollars a year but they couldn’t keep their mate when they wanted to. It happened to me, most of my relationship ended this way, when I don’t even want it to end. I lost the person that I love the most in this world because I couldn’t even utter a word when I needed to. I met somebody over coffee one day and I let him took off without asking him for his contact number and I spend months looking for him when I could have done that in the first place. I notice that when he got up to leave he was going to ask me for something but I tried to keep busy talking to the guy sitting next to me when I should have stood up and say good-bye to him and maybe exchange numbers. Well, it’s too late for that now.

How to Stay Married

I know that compared to some long-serving married couples in their eighties I may seem like a spring chicken. But sometimes it’s not just about ‘time served’, but rather the quality of that time spent in ‘Holy Matrimony’ that counts. In addition it’s how to overcome obstacles that really put relationships to the test. It’s all about how you deal with these challenges as a unit, a partnership, a team!

Step 1 – Marry someone you like!
Before even getting to the altar please make sure you actually like the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with. This may sound redundant, but it’s amazing how many couples seem to have nothing in common and develop resentment towards each other because of this divide. This dislike of one’s spouse is portrayed in sitcoms all the time – do not let yourself become a caricature!

Calling all prospective brides – a romantic courtship, engagement, build-up to a wedding; all the planning, excitement and expectations, does not mean the marriage will be perfect and smooth. Be prepared for a reality check after returning home from the honeymoon. Your husband may not seem as attentive, and you are not the center of attention any more and may never be to the same extent again. Most of us are not princesses. Deal with it! Marriage is tough and that’s why you need to be good friends so you can make it – together – through the bad times, because they will inevitably come, and so will all the great times – which you can create for yourselves almost all of the time. If you can have fun together, laugh through it all, overcome challenges – then you are indeed a match made in heaven!

Step 2 – Roles- Plan your married life as well as your wedding!
It’s important before taking any vows that both parties are comfortable with their roles. In my household equality in every sense of the word, is the key to our happiness. If your intended wants to be waited on hand and foot – don’t marry him/her unless you want to fulfill such a role. But find out first what his/her expectations of a spouse are. Talk about it! Discuss it! Come to an agreement. It’s all about compromise. Who will be the main bread winner? If it’s the woman of the relationship – guys would you be comfortable with that? If you’re a career-oriented woman would you be content if that had to change for any reason – be it relocation, childbirth, etc? Believe me this is important – I didn’t clean for years after getting married for fear of being labeled a housewife! And because of a power struggle one year the Christmas tree didn’t come down until Mid-March!

My husband and I have swapped roles many times – he is now the main earner and a few years ago it was me bringing in the dough! Doesn’t matter as long as each person is comfortable with their role in the partnership!

Step 3 – Adore your spouse!
This should already be a given if you marry someone. But sadly the high divorce rates speak otherwise! Endeavor to not only respect your ‘better half’ but strive to adore them. You can detect this adoration clearly in couples who have been married a long time. Furthermore start standing up for your partner after all who do you most likely spend most of your time with? Who do you intended to grow old with? Whether it’s your parents, friend, siblings or just anyone you meet that is criticizing your best friend – you should always be on their side! Unless, of course, you know they are in the wrong or acting irrationally!

Step 4 – Drop the gender segregation (if it bothers you!)
This one was important in my own marriage. I did not want to be the little woman left at home with or without babies, while my husband went off at night to have a good time with the boys. Of course I didn’t marry someone like that and this was never really an issue for us. However, I had grown up seeing this happening so often and vowed never to fall into such a trap.

The gender segregation issue is becoming more and more uncommon as we evolve. I’ve never been the ‘girly’ type and hate to be ‘dumped’ with a group of women during a family get-together while the guys go and play golf or whatever. I would actually rather play golf than go shopping, for lunch or engage in any number of other female activities. I want to ski, ride horses, sail, kayak – you name it! I can’t stand talking about other people’s babies, kids, houses etc. So, if you’re like me, make sure it never becomes an issue, because it can cause many heated arguments!

Step 5 – The Policy of Truth!

Now this is the most important of all! It doesn’t matter what you need to confess – tell your beloved, and deal with the consequences! If it’s infidelity, a gambling problem, drug addiction or anything else – honesty is the best policy! Without trust how can we ever be involved in a true and real relationship? Even if there’s an incident of infidelity it’s not the end of the world! Remember we are all human and temptation will inevitably come our way. If you do fall by the wayside please do not lie to your spouse about it. A strong and solid relationship will survive anything – believe me! Nobody is immune to problems and all we can do, as my late father always said, is to do our best! But without honesty how can a relationship survive? I do believe this is one of the major problems in our society. Lie and get away with it – easily done! But really, at the end of the day, we are lying to ourselves as well as everyone else. Fess up and face the music! What’s the worst that can happen? Divorce? Maybe – maybe not. Like I said, if the partnership is strong enough and the friendship is there, it will be very difficult to part company, especially after many years of marriage.

It’s actually easier to forgive in such cases! What a concept! Many times it also brings a couple closer together and opens up a dialogue that may never have been possible before.

Step 6 – Share your social life
Girls – learn how to ‘hang’ with the boys! Boys – be ‘nice’ around the girls!

A healthy and active social life is crucial to us all, so try and marry someone with whom you can share this most necessary of functions. I seem to be an enigma in some circles because I can so easily ‘hang out’ at bars with my husband and his male colleagues/friends – and they seem to love it! It’s all about compromise and learning to give and take folks! I may have very little in common with my husband’s fellow car salesmen, but I can drink at a bar and keep an interesting conversation going! Half the battle! Then the guys start asking about you rather than resenting your company! They want you to be there and they wish their own wives could do the same! See what I’m saying? Why marry someone who objects if you drink at a bar and will not join you on a night out if that’s your lifestyle?

Go out places together as much as you can. Sometimes you may want a night out alone, and that’s okay so long as you allow your spouse the same privilege! But the most fun is had when you hit the town together and have a great night out! If you both end up in a strip joint or at a drag show – so what – you have no-one to explain your actions to do you? And guys can you hang out with a group of girls? My husband can, and in fact he’s an expert at it! If you can’t handle your other half’s friends and social life try this trick if you want your marriage to last and actually be fun – let go sometimes and be the observer – stand back in a social situation and just observe the people and events around you. Make it a game if you like – in some ways life is just that! Let go of your pre-conceived ideas and notions of people and just chat idly without really revealing much about yourself! You’ll be surprised that most people need to talk about their own lives and would really welcome a listening ear! Think about it guys – how many women would open their hearts up to you if you just stood and listened attentively! Just think about how much you would learn about the ‘gentler’ sex? Often in this society women are still shut down and ignored just because of their gender. We need to express ourselves – so listen up!!

Step 7 – talk openly about money.
I don’t exactly know the statistics but I read once that money issues are the root cause of many divorces and marital problems. I can’t offer financial advice, but I can share some tips. One person needs to be assigned as the bookkeeper of the household. This role is usually filled by the wife for some reason but of course it’s very flexible – just like everything should be in a successful marriage! To avoid spending discrepancies keep detailed records of your outgoings and if there’s any left over – treat yourselves! Don’t keep expenditures you may be ashamed of secret form your spouse. An expensive dress you cannot afford, ridiculously expensive perfume, liquor, or a bad night at a casino or whatever – should be accounted for. Trust me you won’t get away with it for long and to avoid a huge row or even more serious consequences please just come clean! We’ve all been there – just admit it! It all comes down to the policy of truth at the end of the day. I cannot emphasize this enough! Nobody is trying to spoil your fun in life, trying to control you or out to get you in a marriage. Your other half is merely concerned or just very worried about life in general. Please be mindful of your beloved’s feelings and try not to be so selfish. We’re in this together! Plan your finances and be sure you know what you can and cannot afford.

Step 8 – be flexible
Flexibility is essential in any good partnership. If your partner likes bowling and wants you to accompany him/her on a league – just go along with it and look at it as a fun social activity even if, like me, you hate the sport! If it’s a poker night your husband wants, let him do it! And if you want a night discussing the meaning of life, yoga or knitting then he should allow you the same flexibility! He may even join in! If something your significant other does really annoys you, just take a moment and ask yourself why it bothers you so much and you may learn a lot about yourself in the process. If it’s something that’s just purely annoying then discuss it with him/her. Do not let anything fester in a relationship. You really can’t sweep things under rugs because those rugs will eventually be picked up and beaten clean!

Step 9 – respect your in-laws! Make an effort!
My mother once told me that you marry your in-laws when you marry your intended! Never a truer word spoken! Regardless of how you feel about your in-laws you must, for the sake of your marriage, endeavor to be polite, respectful and try to get along. Some of us are exceptionally lucky in this department and others are unfortunate. However your lifestyle, beliefs and ethics differ to your spouse’s family please try your best, even when you are confronted with hostility and resentment. I think this is especially true for women who have maybe taken away a precious son from his mother! Be wary – but be sensitive!

Spouses also need to stand their ground when their parents are rude or resentful to their new wife/husband for any reason.

Step 10 – be supportive for your spouse
is going through a bad time. They’ve lost their job, maybe a loved one, have had surgery or are experiencing a break down. Please just be there for them. Maybe it’s not possible to rectify the situation or change your loved one’s condition, but you can be by their side and hold their hand, and oftentimes that is enough. Try not to judge, try not to dismiss the situation as trivial and try to remain objective. You’re dealing with your best friend remember. It’s very stressful when you are confronted with a person who is a physical or emotional wreck that was previously the strongest character you knew. You now have to become the rock of the relationship and take over for a while. We must all be prepared for this in a marriage.

Step 11 – communicate!!
Ah – this is a big one! I don’t exactly mean call your wife/husband if you’re going to be late at the office (although that is important!) What I’m getting at is truly communicating your feelings, ideas, dreams and goals with your husband/wife. How often have you asked your other half when they’re in a bad or sad mood ‘what’s the matter’ only to be rudely told, ‘nothing, why?’

Nothing can break the line of communication worse than this sulky statement! How much better would it be if you opened up and explained the cause of your distress and then maybe receiving some support in return?

A lot of people feel that getting married somehow kept them back from some career goal, traveling opportunity etc. especially if they tied the knot at a young age. If this is the case discuss the dream you wanted to pursue and never got around to – you never know it may become a reality if you express your desires. If you turn it into resentment against your spouse it can only lead to negativity and distress. Open up and share everything – you share a bed (presumably!), share each others bodies (hopefully!) share food and lodging – why can’t you share your inner thoughts and feelings just as easily? I do believe men are more prone to this than women. If you’re afraid of voicing your inner self then how do you expect your loved one to really get to know you? Try it and see where it goes. How can it hurt? All it can do is bring you closer, if you truly love and trust your wife/husband.

Step 12 – enjoy each others company. Make it special!
As a conclusion I can’t stress enough the importance of just having fun together and doing the little things that make life worth living. You can go for a nice scenic drive every Sunday, or go out to dinner at a favorite restaurant every Friday night. You can stay up until four in the morning just talking like you used to when you first met! Watch movies together and discuss your opinions of them over a drink afterwards! You can go camping and chat around the campfire all night – with (hopefully) no distractions! You can be really daring and make love in a public place (without getting caught of course!) Go swimming and splash around together like a young courting couple. You can go kayaking, sailing, learn Spanish – there are countless things you can enjoy and experience as a couple! If you can afford it take a second honeymoon or go off somewhere without telling anyone!

But most times the best things in life are free – and that’s just being together! Enjoy and appreciate this special gift!

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