updated 27 Nov 2013, 10:39
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Sun, 11 Aug 2013
The Straits Times
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3 years is a marriage milestone: Sumiko Tan
by Sumiko Tan

Time flies.

I celebrated my third wedding anniversary recently. It almost slipped my mind.

My anniversary was on a Thursday. On Tuesday, a friend at work asked me if I was going to take leave on Thursday afternoon (I had meetings to attend in the morning.) I looked at her blankly.

Why would I want to take half-day leave, I asked.

It's your anniversary, she said, laughing.

Oh gosh, I replied. I'd completely forgotten.

I asked a colleague who sits next to me in the office if she takes the day off to celebrate her wedding anniversary.

Oh yes, she said, then added: But I've been married for only three years.

I told her that I've been married the same amount of time too.

In the end, I left the office at 8.30pm on Thursday.

I wondered if H would remember the day. He did - barely.

The date struck him before he left for work, and I woke up that morning to find a note from him wishing us a happy third anniversary and a card in which he'd drawn an image (rather unflattering though) of me.

He suggested an early dinner somewhere nice, but I had to finish some work first. Why don't you go to the gym and I'll meet you after that and we'll eat, I said.

When the time came, the thought of driving all the way from my workplace in Toa Payoh to Orchard Road just to have dinner seemed too much of a hassle.

I messaged him to buy some takeaway instead.

I picked him up at the MRT station near my office and we had dinner at home in the kitchen - beef horfun and cheng tng from the Ion food court, and a falafel wrap from a stall outside Ngee Ann City.

It wasn't a fancy meal but we were hungry and it was quite delicious.

He surprised me with an anniversary present - a necklace with a crystal pendant (third-anniversary gifts should be in leather, crystal or glass) - which he had bought on the way to the gym.

I didn't get him anything because I didn't think he was going to get me something.

It was late by the time we finished and we went to bed soon after.

So much for a romantic anniversary.

Three years of marriage is short in the scheme of things. But three years is apparently some kind of a marital milestone.

Under Singapore law, a person must have been married for at least three years before he can file a writ for divorce under the ground of irretrievable breakdown, which is the sole ground the Court here looks at.

Exceptions to the three-year rule can be made only if you can prove "exceptional hardship" or "exceptional depravity".

Divorce is the last thing on my mind, of course. But my marriage turning three got me thinking how there must be a reason the lawmakers decided that three years is the make-or-break mark in a marriage.

A 2011 study of 2,000 British adults in steady relationships indicates that they were on the right track.

The survey - done to promote the comedy Hall Pass in which some married guys get time off from their marriage - found that couples start feeling restless around the 36th month.

The frequency of sexual intimacy dips around the three-year mark, as do the number of compliments you get from your partner (from three a week in the first flush of passion to one measly one).

Sixty-seven per cent of those interviewed said that traits which they had found endearing about their partners early in the relationship became intolerable around the three-year mark.

Read the full story here.

Click on the thumbnails for top 10 things that irritate couples at the 3-year mark, and 7 things that annoy women about men.

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Top 10 things that irritate couples about each other after 3 years: 1. Weight gain/lack of exercise
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