Repurposed by Eason Pek

Ms Reeny Kosman, Mr Chin Choon Kean and their 3 children.
The Chin family celebrating Mr Chin Choon Kean’s birthday in 2018.

Ms Reeny Kosman and Mr Chin Choon Kean have been married for more than 20 years. Their long romance, however, was punctuated with a divorce.

The couple first met when Ms Reeny, then 16 years old, was studying for her O-level exam at a Burger King where a 22-year-old Mr Chin was with his friends. They fell in love quickly and got married 2 years later. By the time Ms Reeny was 23, she’s already a mother of 3.

Mr Chin Choon Kean and Ms Reeny Kosman's first wedding.
Mr Chin Choon Kean and Ms Reeny Kosman happily walking down the aisle at their first Wedding in 1994.

The young couple started growing apart a few years into parenthood though.

Ms Reeny’s an extrovert who enjoys socialising and planning gatherings and outings. Mr Chin, on the other hand, prefers staying at home and watching TV.

As a result, she constantly felt rejected due to Mr Chin’s quiet nature and desire for a simple lifestyle.

Perhaps the most important of all, the couple didn’t quite know how to manage their differences and resorted to bickering, showing a lack in communication in their relationship.

“In a house filled with noise from 3 kids, I still felt some sort of loneliness,” said Ms Reeny. “I finally had enough, and wanted to give myself an opportunity.”

So 9 years into the marriage, Ms Reeny decided to call it quits. The divorce was a shock to their children, especially their eldest child Raelene Chin.

“I was 7 years old, so I was old enough to kind of understand what a divorce was. I was devastated,” the 22-year-old said.

Chin family celebrating Raelene's fourth birthday at a swimming pool.
Mr Chin Choon Kean, Ms Reeny Kosman, Ranette Chin, Ranae Chin, Raelene Chin (top left to right, bottom left to right), at Raelene’s fifth birthday party in 2001.

But the divorced couple remained in touch as they shared parenting responsibilities. And for the next 2 and a half years, Ms Reeny saw a gradual change in her ex-husband’s attitude and lifestyle.

“He was vibrant, lively and talking a bit more,” she said. “I was like, wow, where is this zest of energy coming from?”

Ms Reeny would soon find out that Mr Chin was attending a motivational forum for self-improvement. He also started picking her up from work to send her home regularly, showing signs of wanting her back.

She knew he wanted a second chance at their marriage, and when she’s 29, she decided to marry him once again.

Chin family during their Ms Reeny Kosman and Mr Chin Choon Kean's second wedding in 2006.
The Chin family during their second wedding in 2006.

According to American Psychology Professor Nancy Kalish, only about 6 per cent of divorced couples in America remarry each other. There’s no published data on this trend in Singapore at the moment.

Not many people gave the couple their blessings when they announced their marriage 2.0. But they knew they had made the right choice for the best of their family.

For Mr Chin, the hardest part is about “accepting all the other party’s bad points and then move forward”. If this can be done, the marriage can last.

Ms Reeny is also glad that she gave herself a second try.

“I stay because I still think that I should stay, and I know what I’m staying for. I’m not in love with him, but I love him as a person. I love him as him,” she said.

For divorced couples thinking about remarrying each other, here are some words of advice from the couple who’s been there, done that.

“Firstly, make sure you give yourself enough time and space to cool down, and then just follow your heart and make your decision,” said Mr Chin.

Ms Reeny added: “If you think it’s right, do it. It’s always better to try than not trying at all.”

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