updated 2 Apr 2012, 08:39
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Fri, Dec 10, 2010
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More marital help on the way
by Joy Fang

TEACHER Marinah Mydin and her husband, Mr Nor Ashraf Samsudin, used to have problems communicating with each other.

The couple, who have been married for 41/2 years, would often argue because of differences in how they get their points across and in their personalities, said Ms Marinah, 30.

"I would rather talk it out when I'm unhappy, but he would rather keep quiet and think. I would then feel that he was angry with me," she added.

Things began to change for the better after Mr Nor Ashraf, 30, who is assistant director of education at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, chanced upon Marriage Central's resource point while visiting the Jurong Regional Library last year.

The resource point, launched last December, is a one-stop resource centre which provides couples with marriage-related information, referrals for counselling and enrichment talks.

Thanks to the facility, the couple attended seminars and picked up tips on gender differences in communication, and read up on marriage issues.

Now, they voice their expectations and learn to understand and accommodate each other.

In a sense, they have learnt not to take things so personally, said Ms Marinah.

Since its launch, the resource point has received more than 1,500 visitors, with more than 480 participants attending monthly marriage-enrichment talks.

The Jurong Regional Library also saw a 20 per cent increase in loans for books on family and parenting from last December to October this year, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Ms Anita Fam, chairman of Marriage Central's advisory board, revealed these figures yesterday at the launch of its second resource point at the Woodlands Regional Library.

Marriage Central, which is a two-year-old marriage-support body under the National Family Council, hopes to launch two more resource points over the next 12 months.

One will be set up at the Registry of Marriages in Canning Rise, while the other - a smaller kiosk - will be housed in the Tampines Regional Library.

Marriage Central will be stepping up efforts in research studies, to identify challenges which it can address in future, said Ms Fam.

Other plans in the pipeline include applications for iPhones and iPads, such as one which helps couples plan their wedding.

A new online marriage self-assessment tool will also be rolled out by the first quarter of next year.


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