Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday January 24th 2019

Woman regretful about her broken marriage

Hi Gilbert,

I don’t know where to start…I have ruined my marriage with my own hands, my own mind. When I have regained my consciousness and correct state of mind, it’s too late.  Everything has changed and cannot be undone now. The guilt in me stays on till now and I can’t forgive myself at all. Let me elaborate more here.

Five years ago, my hubby and I married after almost 10 years of friendship. We were very happy and loving towards one another.

At that time, I was also very happy working in my previous company A with good prospects. I love my job scope, my colleagues and the company culture.

My husband proposed to me in March 2006. I was very delighted and accepted his proposal. Actually, he wanted to get married in the year 2006, but it was very rush and we were very unprepared still.

Moreover,  our finances were still  not very stable. Therefore, I tried very hard to persuade him to postpone the wedding  to a later date so that  we could have some savings. He reluctantly agreed to it.  

It seemed that  all good things have  to end one day and my company A  relocated to Hongkong and my boss strongly recommend me to transfer to Hongkong office to work with the promise of a promotion and good remuneration package.

However, my hubby objected strongly. He didn’t want me to go overseas for work at all because we are getting married soon although our date has not been fixed yet.

I was very upset and disappointed.  Going overseas to work has always been my wish. I wanted to try working overseas for few years to gain the experience and exposure.  In the end, I rejected the job offer and  was subsequently retrenched as the company no longer operates in Singapore.

I kept this disappointment and resentment within me for a long time. I thought that I can live without pursuing my dream as long as I have him. But deep within me, I still feel upset and harboured grudges which brought unhealthy consequences to the relationship.

My merchandising trade in Singapore is also dying and there are no more prospects here. Either I have to go overseas to pursue my career or I have to change trade.

Therefore, I tried to look for retail job. I have been looking for a job for many months and went for countless interviews but none is successful. Either I was  rejected during the interview process or they never come back to me at all. I was so disheartened. However, fortunately, I managed to find the  same merchandising job in a small company B ending the few months of nightmare while looking for work. 

Mother in law

My hubby is also  the only child in his family –  living together with his mum, i.e my MIL (mother in law). My MIL is a divorcee and she has heart problem since young. One day, my MIL told me that her health was not too good and  the doctor told her to go for major operation to change her heart’s bypass vault. The successful rate was only 30%. So, she told me her only wish is to see her son settle down. My hubby told me the same thing after she spoke to me. I felt for her and I agreed to set an earlier date to hold the wedding.

Due to the peak period, the earliest date we can book for the banquet is Nov 2007. But deep within me, I‘m not really ready to settle down that soon.

I love him but it’s too fast/rush for me. I don’t really have much faith in marriage due to my parents’  failed marriage. Even if I have to get married, my plan is to get married  when I’m 30 years old and  not younger.

But face with  this delicate situation, I went  ahead with it.

 I didn’t tell my hubby about how I felt  as I don’t want to upset him.

During the preparation of the wedding, there were some conflicts but we always managed to resolve it. The night before the wedding, I actually wanted to back out. Guess when you wanted to take the plunge, cold feet did set in.

 I intended to run away but my sister-in-law stopped me. It’s the fear within me with all the  pre-marriage problems coupled with a unstable career path that made me very depressed and caused me  to consider  backing out of the wedding.

Ultimately, I went through the wedding and we  took our vows together.

After the wedding, I was quite surprised that  my MIL did  not went  for any operation and  she looked very radiant and  healthy.

 I suspected something was wrong and went to check my hubby. He told me that he forgotten to inform  me that  she didn’t go for the operation after all as the risk factor was too high!

I was very shocked and felt deceived. During the past one year, nobody ever mention to me about this at all. I feel very left out.

 I have the feeling that I didn’t  belong to their inner circle. There were also many other incidents in which  I was always the last  to know. I don’t have the sense of family belonging with them.

Housing Issue

Then came the major house issue. We were staying in my MIL 3-rm flat after the wedding.

Initially, my hubby wanted to get a bigger house for all of us.  I want to get a flat near to my MIL place instead of living together. I always wanted  a house of my own with my hubby but again I kept this to myself.

He wants all of us to stay together and  I simply relented though I wasn’t very keen to stay together with his family under one roof.

We went house hunting and found a  marvellous 5-room flat which my MIL and his grandma liked  very much. It’s also very near to his grandparents’ place.

However,  I didn’t really like it because it’s located on  a very low floor unit. I preferred a higher floor unit. But they loved it at first sight. I just agreed to it. She wanted to sell her 3-rm flat but I told my hubby that she can keep the unit  and  rent it out instead for rental money.

But they refused and sold the 3-rm flat to contra for the 5- rm flat that we  have purchased. While waiting for HDB 1st appointment, my MIL suddenly cried and  said she saw ”something” near that house and she don’t want to stay in that house after all.

She kept  crying so we decided not to buy that unit and tried very hard to persuade the owner not to press charges against us for the aborted deal. Fortunately,  the owner was very nice and agreed to it.

As we have already “sold” the 3-rm flat, we need to find another flat to stay before  the HDB  final transaction is finalized. 

That period was very tough as we constantly went for house hunting. We even printed  and mailed leaflets “Need flat urgently” and diligently sent them to almost every block around his home area.

Nearer to the completion date, they were suggesting that if we can’t find any suitable house, we will need to stay at his uncle place temporarily. I rejected this offer and  told him that I would rather go back to my parent’s  place to stay for the interim period. However, fortunately in the nick of time,  we managed to find a 4-rm flat just opposite his  grandparent’s place.

By then, I had already harboured alot of  the negative feelings within me.

No sense of belonging

Even though the house is owned  by both of us, I don’t have the sense of belonging at all. After we moved in, I have some difficulties living with my MIL due to different family cultures. Once, she gave me a sarcastic remark saying that my education level is not high (my hubby is an MBA graduate, I’m only a diploma holder), always change jobs like changing clothes (I was been retrenched by company B as it ceased operations), talking back is what I’m best at, etc.

I feel so hurt. I didn’t expect her to despise me at all. I was a totally changed person. I was very depressed and I was drinking and crying every night.

We quarrelled almost everyday and I even kept asking him to ask her  to stay elsewhere. I simply hated my MIL. I even ask for a  separation too.

Imagine how evil I can be!  I moved back to my parents’ place for a few months to cool things down. We were maintaining a on/off  relationship for almost a year. Ultimately, he requested for a separation but I am the one who went to look for a lawyer. How ironical can it be…

We had also bought a golden retriever dog together earlier named FIFI. Although he is not really a dog lover, he agreed to buy FIFI because of me. She’s a very playful  and  kind-natured dog.

 After signing the paper in  June last year, I was very  upset. We have not contacted each other since then. FIFI stays with him as my parent’s house have dog ticks and  fleas and I don’t want Fifi to get affected by the ticks/fleas. 

I didn’t contact him as I was too sad and  have been crying every single day. It took me six months to reflect on my own wrong doings.   I contacted  him later  to visit Fifi, but he treated me very cold when we met up –  just like strangers. I’m glad he took good care of Fifi though as the dog appears well groomed.

Feeling ambivalent

Upon retrospection, my hubby and  MIL had actually  treated me quite well during that period. My hubby was a very loving and caring guy.  I feel so regretful and guilty of what I had done previously.

 I want to sincerely apologise to him and  my MIL for the hurt that I have caused them but it’s all too late.

My MIL doesn’t want to see me at all. My hubby said it’s all over between us. My whole life is shattered. I sent  cards to them separately asking them for their forgiveness. I wanted to reconcile with my husband and atone for any  wrongs that I did to them  but I wasn’t given the chance.

I was also too selfish and  self-centred. So stupid of me to just throw my happiness away!  My family and  friends ask me to let go and  try to be a happier person.

What is done cannot be undone. But I can’t let go of this guilt in me. I  still cried whenever I think of him and Fifi and the places we used to be together.

 I miss them…..I still love him. Please tell me how I should go on with my life right now? Sometimes, I will have the  thought of ending my life so that I don’t have to be living in this constant guilt and  regret. I can’t take it anymore…..He had ask the lawyer to send me a letter to settle the house soon, only paying me back the CPF money  which I have contributed and  not by the standard profit sharing procedure.

We are due to sign the divorce letter soon in Nov this year. How can I take this blow? Can you tell me how to forgive myself? How to carry on living?


Linda (name changed)


Hi Linda,

Thanks for your mail.

I empathsize with your current situation.

Marriages fail due to various reasons and when couples can’t be transparent and talk it out together, there will bound to be alot of misunderstandings and unresolved hurts.

It looks like your mother-in-law (MIL) is a big influence here and I can only say that your hubby should be more steadfast in his decision making. Anyway that’s just my opinion.

It must be tough for him also  as he was  sandwiched in between on  any major decision that was made for the family.

When there is a third party person (MIL) here, chances are things will not work out well in any marriages unless there are alot of transparency and openness in the relationship.

Moreover, it takes two for any relationships to work well and it looks like your hubby is quite firm about his decision to end the marriage.

On the other hand, it seems that you still love him very much  and want to carry on with the relationship.

You can give it one  last shot by emailing or even writing him a letter to ask for more time to work  out  the marriage together.

Remember that your MIL is a big influence in your marriage and you may want to address that primarily as your main concern when you sort things out with him. However, this may be tricky as most sons tend to side alot with their moms to appear filial.

I would suggest having a third person present e.g. a counsellor or someone whom both of you know and respect when you talk things out together. Doing it alone with him  may not work well.

Let me know if you need our volunteer counsellor services for further support. It is free of charge.

I also ask for your permission to post this mail on my two sites: and I will leave out your name to protect your identity.

Take care and never give up on living even though the worst beckons.



PS: Linda has already met up with our volunteer counsellor Nancy  last month and will be seeing her again soon for support – Gilbert

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One Response to “Woman regretful about her broken marriage”

  1. Why Did You Not Talk To Your Husband or Anyone? says:

    Hi Linda, after reading your article, I realised you are a person who keeps a lot of emotions and thoughts bottled up inside, until the day all the pressure welled up explodes uncontrollably and you end up making a lot of bad decisions which you later regret in life.

    However, throughout your post, it appears you were facing all of these issues alone.

    Why had you not confided or shared your problems with anyone?

    Why did you not try to talk to your husband? The fear that he will be unhappy? But he is your husband, he has the responsibility to attend to and bear some of your burden.

    Look at whats happened when you have all that negative feelings welled up inside? You end up doing something drastic and making both persons unhappy.

    Have you thought of even if your husband agrees to take you back, how will you look up to your MIL again?

    How are you going to address your negative feelings again?

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