Singapore often scores poorly in surveys on marriages and relationships.
A 2016 Prudential Relationship Index, based on an online survey of 500 Singaporeans, shows about a quarter of married people are thinking of divorce.
Also sobering for couples are divorce statistics from last year.
In 2015, there were 7,522 divorces and annulments, the third highest annual figure on record, according to a report by the Department of Statistics released in July.
In the Prudential survey, couples say what they argue over include children and money.
But here’s a startling statistic for those glued to their mobile devices.
One in four couples fight over the amount of time spent on the phone.
Their partners prefer spending time with their mobile phones and not them, said 32 per cent of respondents.
These complaints are all too common to counsellors who spoke to The New Paper on Sunday.
Senior manager and principal consultant with Fei Yue Community Services, Ms Evelyn Khong, shared an example of how a couple in their early 30s witnessed their relationship deteriorate because of the husband’s obsession with computer games.
The husband would insist that the family eat together, but would hurry his seven-year-old child through dinner so that he could get to his computer games. And he would be at it until 3am.
If the child ate too slowly, he would even resort to slapping the child.
The wife was so upset, she sought help.
Says Ms Khong: “Couples should also focus on managing the (technology) that we have subtly allowed into our lives, letting it pull our relationships apart.”
Families in this era face a lot of challenges, more so than before, says Mr Willy Ho, the lead counsellor with The Counselling Paradigm.
He says: “If you go back 20 years, you wouldn’t have parents who needed to play games on the computer.”
He too has seen cases of husbands complaining about the wife who is always on the mobile phone and vice versa.
He says: “If you have your phone all the time, that behaviour can be very suspicious.
“The spouse may suspect that there is a third party involved.
“You need to (make it clear) why you need to have the phone with you. It could be work-related.”
For instance, he uses it to keep in touch with his daughter who is studying overseas.
He says: “I have a personal philosophy: If I am physically connected, I should be digitally disconnected.”
A version of this article first appeared in The New Paper