Sunday, 4 May 2008

Who suffers?

The upfront article in today's newspaper is about errant dads who do not pay up. When it comes to issues like this, you can trust Blur Ting to speak up.

A divorcee who started a support group for divorced men and women said, "Out of 10 women I meet, 5 or 6 would have an ex who is not paying the full maintenance, or worse, has disappeared."

Why am I not surprised? I'm in the same boat but I had already seen it coming. Most marriages break up as a last resort because the couple simply could no longer get along. They don't feel sympathy for each other. In other words, they don't give a hoot even if they see you struggling.

Maybe because I was already mentally prepared not to expect any support and because I knew my ex so well, I decided to become financially independent to save myself from grief down the road. I knew that if I were to find employment, I wouldn't be able to earn enough to raise my kids single-handedly. The only way out for me was to start a business. At least I knew that I had more control of my destiny.

An increasing number of financially-troubled women are seeking for help from the MPs. To get a maintenance order enforced, they can go to Family Court. Unfortunately there is no instant solution. Mediations and court hearings can drag for months which explains why most neglected families do not go to court. Some are poorly informed while others are too busy working.

Like most of the neglected families, I would never think of going to Family Court. To be honest, it is a big waste of time. Which single mother would have the time on her hands and stamina for such long-drawn hearings and end up with nothing? You may even get fired if you keep taking leave to attend such hearings. It's simply impractical.

Some women remarry in the hope that this will ease their financial burden. They end up having more children with the new spouse but should the marriage fail, there will be more mouths to feed.

That has never been an option for me as well. I don't believe in burdening anyone else with the responsibility of looking after my kids and their welfare. That is why being financially independent is so important to me. If anyone should be responsible for the upbringing of the kids, it should always be the parents.

Today's article heading is right. "When errant dads don't pay up, the kids suffer". There are many divorced men out there who are irresponsible. Some remarry without providing for their first families. Others are breadwinners who have the financial means to support their families but do not give a hoot about them after a divorce.

Ultimately, the kids suffer. They feel insecure and confused, caught in the middle between two warring parents.

Sadly, apart from legal recourse, there is nothing much one can do to make a man act more responsibly.

17 comments:

JYankee said...

Yes....children world-wide suffer due to irresponsible acts of adults...it really isn't fair...

Nick Phillips said...

It's always the children who suffers doesn't it? My parents separated when I was about 6 years old and after a time, my dad stopped his maintenance obligations. I know my mom worked like crazy after that to make sure I was shielded from this but it does leave a scar deep inside. And being a man myself, I'd say this is one shameful and irresponsible aspect of a male that shames me!

Blur Ting said...

Well, I think it's mostly "Out of sight, out of mind" in most cases. But for the women to run after their ex, the process is too draining.

Amel's Realm said...

This is sad indeed. I don't know about the legal system in Indo, though...but I don't think that guys pay for their kids if they get a divorce in Indo. But you're right about the court thingie...it's a waste of time and money and energy.

And you made the right decision by starting up your own business. You're an inspiration, Blur! :-))))

Jacqueline said...

My soon to be ex is already jumping ship and leaving before the end of the divorce. Here, in the states, if there are minor children, they have you go to Friend of the Court before you can move on with the divorce. I agree with you about them, They don't do anything. My ex is illegal here, and is disappearing into Chinatown. He has already told me that he's not planning on seeing our daughter. It hurts, since she adores her daddy.
Starting your own business sounds like a great idea. There aren't many jobs here, so I think I'll steal your idea!

The Real Mother Hen said...

The kids do suffer.

One day, YK and SK will look back and ask why. There will be excuses, but no answer.

WaterLearner said...

Children are the ones to suffer most when a marriage does not work. You are right, sometimes the situation gets to the point the the two just can't stand each other or talk anymore.

Love is a strange thing. How can two person who loved each other so much have the feelings just slowly evaporate and turned into animosity? Well, the high divorce rate these days does prove that this is very possible and very common. Sigh.

Blur Ting said...

Amel - I wouldn't be able to get a good salary because I had never been in the corporate world. I thought, in the worst case scenario, even if I sold noodles in the food centre, I should be able to make a decent income if I worked smart enough.

Blur Ting said...

Hi Jacqueline, I remember reading about your story in your blog. The first few years will be hard and you must be prepared to ride it out. It's a shame the way he treats his own daughter. I have a friend who's badly treated by her husband yet couldn't bear to leave because her daughters adore their father.

Starting a business is exciting but can be discouraging in the beginning. I tried several things before finding the right one that works for me. But nothing is impossible. Think about this... If other people can succeed, you can too!

I like to read the stories in Oprah's website for inspiration.
http://www.oprah.com/spiritself/lybl/ss_lybl_pass_main.jhtml

It'll help to read about how entrepreneurs start and grow their business. I just read about a very successful company in Singapore that started with selling 700 pieces of pastries a day to 35,000 a day. They's a huge company today.

Blur Ting said...

Mother Hen - Yah, you know my ex. Nothing but excuses all the time.

Blur Ting said...

Water - It's amazing actually, how 2 people who loved each other so much at one time can become the worst enemies.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Some adults just aren't grown up enough to have children of their own. You're kids are lucky to have such a well-grounded Mum with a heart big enough for both parents ;-)

Mike M said...

Ting, I know this feeling all to well. My ex never paid a dime when I was raising my daughter. In the beginning it makes you angry. But as time passes, you'll find that you are doing everything just as you were before. Be strong and in the end you will be the better person.

Did you ever find that office "just around the corner"?

Blur Ting said...

Thank you Fish. We just move on and then we're ok.

Blur Ting said...

Hey Mike, you're right. I used to be angry but then I get used to it and get on with my life. It becomes normal again.

Yup, like you said, I found a pretty good one not too far away. We're moving in July. Will keep you all posted.

Amel's Realm said...

I know what you mean. If you want to start a career in the corporate world, you have to start from zero again if you had never done it before. Again I SALUTE you for having come THIS FAR. :-))))

Jacqueline said...

Thank youfor your encouragement! I will definahe website, and research some possible ideas.