The Real Cost of Infidelity

Infidelity is defined as the act of having a romantic, emotional, or sexual relationship with someone other than one’s wife, husband, or partner. Extramarital affairs are complex! Its relationship dynamics, emotional investments, logistics, and explosive fallout are far from simple. More importantly, it is expensive!

According to Dr. Ramani Durvasala, a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist: “Some people get an additional cell phone; a whole additional cell phone plan or a burner [phone] or something like that; they may travel; they may get hotel rooms; they may purchase gifts for this new person.”

The costs of maintaining two relationships add up. In fact, a study showed that expenses associated with an extramarital affair are typical and can cost nearly US$450 (S$601) per month. New flames can intoxicate your brain and push you to spend more. People spend money on event tickets, meals out, bar tabs, air fares, and hotel rooms. Covering one’s tracks can be expensive too. Some people are willing to pay more to ensure secrecy.

People have hired assistants whose sole responsibility was to manage the logistics of the affair or lawyers to draft the NDAs. “They get somebody, and they pay them double to shut them up, and they make that person sign an NDA,” said Dr. Ramina.

Paying an extra S$50 to S$100 a week on dating when you do not have that money can burn you quickly. Not to mention, the effects of infidelity can open a door to larger costs such as marriage counselling and divorce proceedings. Did you know that a 60-minute marriage counselling session can cost you around S$100 or more?

Apart from these costs, you must keep in mind the following elements.


The Court can order payment of child maintenance in the form of a monthly allowance or a lump sum. In Singapore, children are entitled to child maintenance from their biological parents until the age of 21. However, this order may be extended for certain circumstances such as undergoing national service.


If you have been infected with STD due to your spouse’s infidelity, you are entitled to sue. You might be able to receive financial compensation on the grounds of “marital tort” (i.e., misconduct) providing medical evidence such as a doctor’s testimony. Moreover, if you were infected with HIV due to your spouse’s affairs, your partner can be found guilty of an offense.


The most obvious price of infidelity is loss of trust. Trust is not won back easily. The damage created by unfaithfulness can leave a lasting emotional wound. The slightest word or thought can trigger a person’s distrust from others. Both parties suffer an inability to share their lives with others without fear of betrayal. Marriage counselling can help mediate the situation.


Following an act of unfaithfulness, a couple can move forward when forgiveness is present. Forgiveness is complicated, especially when you are breaking a vow. Forgetfulness will likely never occur, which makes forgiveness much harder. Healing takes time and effort.

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Whether infidelity has taken place in the form of physical or emotional affair, the price is high.

Sources: 1,2,3,4, & 5


A family therapist shares with us signs signalling a marriage has reached its endpoint

a woman removing her wedding ring

When two lives come together to build a new family, there’s bound to be friction. While some people try to work around it and eventually see success through prolonged counselling sessions, not everyone manages to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes, the risks of staying together may even outweigh the benefits. So how does one realise that it’s meaningless to hold on any further? A family therapist shares with us signs signalling a marriage has reached its endpoint.

#1: Varying values and personalities

While there’s some truth in the belief on how “opposites attract”, couples with varying values and personalities may not be able to stay together for long.

Dr Stephanie Azri, a family therapist with two decades in clinical settings, asks us to picture these scenarios:

  • A partner who hates physical activities but married to one who loves hiking every weekend.
  • An introverted person with an extroverted spouse who needs to invite friends over every night.

These are fundamental differences we’re talking about, and if negotiations cannot get a couple anywhere, it could be a telltale sign to let go.

#2: Prey to domestic violence

Do you know that domestic violence may include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse?

No one is deserving of domestic violence because it hurts, and the experience tends to stick through one’s adult years. If you’ve been prey to aggressive partners for some time now, don’t keep mum about it.

Call the 24-hour National Anti-Violence Helpline at 1800 777 0000 if you need to speak with trained social workers regarding abuse and violence. Even if you’re not a direct victim but know of someone who may be undergoing domestic violence, reach out.

#3: Communication and compromise breakdowns
asian couple disagreement

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Communication is vital in any relationship. An obvious result of a communication breakdown is that you can’t seem to get on the same page anymore.

“I found that when one or both partners stop using manners, talk with a tone that speaks volume, or a body language that serves to intimidate, it can be a sign that the marriage got to a point where it is time to get some serious relationship coaching, or move on,” says Dr Azri.

Let’s not forget to mention that communication and compromise go hand in hand. When communication is through, at least one party attempts to give in for the greater good. But if there’s a crack in both areas, then maybe your marriage has reached its final stages.

#4: Missing common goals

Are you and your spouse heading in the same direction? Different individuals have different marriage goals, and it’s not possible to be 100% in sync all the time.

However, there should be at least a few common goals that both of you share. Think of it as a compass guiding you two on the same path. It could be a dream trip somewhere, buying a new condominium, or starting a new family journey with little ones.

If you find yourself missing common goals, this could indicate that it’s time to get back on track and walk together or take steps to move on mutually.

#5: Running the show alone
a stressed out mum

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Some people don’t mind running the show alone, but flying solo isn’t all that great a balance in a marriage. 

It’s impossible to reach a 50-50 contribution for the family since everyone has their fair share of routine and responsibilities. What we’re suggesting is that you shouldn’t be doing everything alone and feeling bitter and lonely about it.

“It is not normal to find yourself in a relationship where you don’t feel like you can share, discuss and/or negotiate roles, jobs, and responsibilities with your partner. If you are in this situation, I’d advise seriously talking about it,” noted Dr Azri.

#6: Zero or unfulfilling sexual intercourse

Dr Azri is also an accredited sexologist, and she feedbacks that there are many married couples with zero or unfulfilling sexual intercourse routines.

“Sex is an important part of a relationship and if a couple is disconnected, not attracted to their partner, unable to sexually relax, or simply not interested in having sex together, it may be safe to say that this relationship is more of a friendship (at best) rather than an intimate one,” she explains.

While couples may seek sexual therapy to find out the underlying issues, the absence of sex in any relationship is a big red flag that your marriage has reached its endpoint.

#7: Forgiveness is out of the question
a couple in distress

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As we come to a close, know that in every relationship, there’s bound to be some lies told. But when these lies get bigger, they can lead to mistrust, betrayal, and even relationship trauma.

If you can’t seem to move on, this indicates that forgiveness is out of the question. When there’s no forgiveness, grudges will slowly build-up, and this may lead to hatred over the long term. This is especially so if your partner continues to cheat on you or does hurtful things without considering your feelings.

“A healthy separation is better than a bad marriage. Accept that divorce isn’t a failure, but rather, the maturity to acknowledge that our needs have evolved and we are strong enough to step outside the present to look ahead to the future,” highlights Dr Azri.


How to Protect Your Assets in a Divorce

Divorce – it happens to the best of us. Statistics show that in the UK there were 106,959 divorces of opposite-sex couples and 112 divorces of same-sex couples in 2016 alone. Although it is, of course, very sad to go your separate ways, it’s important to remember that your assets must be protected in divorce proceedings.

Here are a few words of advice about how a divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll automatically lose half of your assets. Here’s how you can best protect your finances in divorce proceedings:

Don’t Let Emotions Cloud Your Judgement

There’s often a lot of hurt feelings that come hand-in-hand with divorce. However, when it comes to protecting your finances, there’s no room for emotion and ultimately, playing a game of ‘tit for tat’ could be bad news for your assets.

Divorce isn’t cheap and sending short letters to each other through your divorce lawyers about trivial matters could end up costing you hundreds of pounds. Be savvy with your money and pick your battles carefully.

Get Your Property Valued

Almost all property can be divisible in divorce proceedings so the only way to get ahead is to know what your property is actually worth. How else will you get your fair share when you come to part ways?

Dividing your property is always going to be a complex arrangement, especially if you have contributed different amounts to your household. Take time to understand how your home can be divided, whether it’s putting it up for sale or arranging a buy-out.

Get to Know Both of Your Finances

In many households, there’s often one person who manages the majority of the finances and this creates a power imbalance when you’re negotiating settlements. Make sure you know both of your finances thoroughly – any hidden debt that’s incurred during the marriage could be owned by the couple, even if only one spouse signed the paperwork.

This is incredibly complicated so you should protect yourself by seeking advice from your divorce lawyers. They can advise you on how to make informed financial decisions when filing for divorce.

Also, consider your biggest assets – many people think it’s property but it could be a pension account. Bear in mind the court may take into account its future value when dividing assets, which would certainly affect you financially.

Consider Mediation

Mediation is the most cost-effective way of negotiating a divorce. It could help you reach an agreement by yourselves through direct discussions and allow you to negotiate a deal that works for you.

This could help you save money, although you may still need some independent legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances. This could include advice on financial proposals, the information you need, whether the practical arrangements will work and all of the necessary parts of your divorce settlement.

Mediation is an empowering way to keep some level of control over the proceedings and make sensible decisions after all the options have been discussed with your ex-spouse.

If you’re going through a divorce and you’re concerned about how it could affect your financial affairs, follow our tips on how to be smart with your assets even when emotions are running high. These can help you protect yourself and your future, to help you look forward to a positive new start.


Important Money Matters To Sort Out After Divorce

Ending your relationship with someone you vowed to spend a lifetime with is never easy. Getting a divorce causes a significant life change that is often complex and stressful. It involves coping with several issues such as division of assets, discussion of maintenance, and custody of the children. These issues bring forth emotional, economic, and legal considerations.

Divorce is not simplistic wherein one solution fits everyone else’s circumstance. It is case-specific as it takes the needs and means of each person into account. Even the length of your marriage affects the division of assets. For instance, if your marriage is brief, the court may decide to part you with the money you had before coming in to the relationship.

According to the 2013 Population Trends by Statistics Singapore, marital dissolutions are escalating with 7,386 in 2009 from 7,216 in 2008. With this increasing number of divorced couples, it is important to discuss the financial matters to sort out after the breakup.


Your first concern shall be the recurrent household bills. If you had been paying your bills through a joint account, you have to make some arrangements with your bank to dissolve this account and pay through your personal account instead. Remember to update your GIRO arrangements as well.


Maintenance is intended to cover the living expenses and necessities of the wife and her children. Under Singapore’s law, maintenance for the wife continues until she remarried or passes away while the maintenance for the children continues until the age of 21 or until graduation. The husband can pay the wife in a lump sum but only monthly maintenance is allowed for the children.

There is no specific amount or length of maintenance as the Family Justice Courts examine the situation to arrive at a reasonable and fair decision.


One of the most daunting decisions you have to make (especially if you used your CPF savings to buy a property with your ex-spouse) is the housing arrangement. Are you going to sell your family home? Or will you keep it while the other one moves out?

If you intend to sell your house wherein CPF savings were used to purchase it, you will need to apply for CPF refunds to your respective accounts. Please visit the CPF Board website for more information.

Image Credits: (CC0 Public Domain)

Image Credits: (CC0 Public Domain)

Sources: 1, 2, & 3