An outdated institution?

Marriage may be “for better or worse, till death us do part” in the words of the Book of Common Prayer but it seems that fewer and fewer of us believe those traditional words to hold true.

Marriage rates in the UK are at an all time low, with 4 out of 10 of those marriages expected to end in divorce. And getting a divorce is becoming easier too – with advent of “cyber divorce” a marriage can be history in the click of a mouse.

It seems the institution of marriage may be in crisis. It is a trend that is worrying church leaders, prompting the Church of England to publish its own rescue plan.  The Archbishop of Canterbury says the consumer culture has contributed to the breakdown of marriage, that people are encouraged to believe “there will always be something better, faster, shinier just around the corner”.

But is marriage really the cornerstone of a stable society?

The Prince of Wales, Nelson Mandela, the person next door – divorce is everywhere. But does divorce really lead to social breakdown? Is it worse to stay in an unhappy marriage “for the sake of the children”?

Is it realistic to expect two people to live together for a lifetime? Or do you think that a throwaway culture is to blame for the increasing number of marriage breakdowns?

Or, like me, did you just get married to the wrong person?  29 years ago this month I got married and for me, thankfully, divorce was the best thing to happen in that relationship.  I was too young, to naive and too stubborn to listen to the advice I was being given – perhaps a written test, not dissimilar to a driving test, should be introduced to ensure that the reasons for marrying are centred around wanting to spend the rest of your life with that person and not to stay with them for “as long as it lasts”. 

Posted on November 17, 2011, in Divorce, General. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I was there !!! xx

  2. Divorce generally comes about when two people grow apart over time. It’s not necessarily a case of a person marrying the wrong person, but their spouse turning into the wrong person.

    In addition, new research is consistently showing that divorce itself does not harm children; rather it is the manner in which parents battle over the children following a divorce that causes the children harm.

    A marriage test isn’t a bad idea, but it would pose significant logistical problems.

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