Posts Tagged ‘marriage foundation’

Are men more committed?

The Marriage Foundation has published some research today which has been written about in the Daily Mail.  They have quoted some statistics showing that divorce rates are going down and that fewer women than in the past apply for a divorce especially in the first three years of marriage.  The assumption they make based on these results is that men are more committed than they used to be and therefore are giving less reasons for their wives to issue divorce proceedings.  That may be the case, but I think that what is odd is the quantum leap from the research statistics to their hypothesis.  It is hardly scientific, and has no link, as far as I can see with the Marriage Foundation’s assumptions.  How do we know it is not because people can’t afford to divorce now, or because women know how tough it is out there for them if they divorce.  How do we know that this study has a significant enough research base for it to provide any meaning.  No-one would disagree that commitment is better than no commitment, that fidelity is better than infidelity, but please, if we are going to have some research, let’s make the leap from the statistics to the conclusion meaningful not random.

Do we live in cloud cuckoo land?

Let’s get this in perspective.  An article in the Daily Mail today   quotes Sir Paul Coleridge’s view that the more we spend on weddings, the greater the family breakdown.  I simply don’t agree.  He and the writer of the article in the Daily
Mail, talk of marriage as being some sort of fairy tale perpetuated by pictures
in Hallo magazine and because that is so unrealistic, people leave their marriages when they realise the reality is very different.  I spoke about this on Channel 4 news,
debating with a spokesperson from the Marriage Foundation.  The British Public is not stupid and know very well that relationships are hard and are long term investments.  They after all, have seen their parent’s marriages and had their own long term relationships.  They know that the pictures in Hallo and other glossy magazines are a fantasy and entertainment.  No-one thinks that marriage is easy because
Jordan arrives at her wedding with a horse and carriage or because people who
can afford it hire castles and lakes for their reception.  No-one leaves their marriage easily without many years of heartache and soul searching. 
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, such as the woman
interviewed in the article today. Her husband walked out leaving just a note
after 8 months, saying he had had enough. We have no idea what was going on in his mind or his history of commitment or mental health issues.  We
can’t jump from such an example to Sir Paul Coleridge’s view that people give
us too easily and don’t make the proper investment.  Most people do invest properly and go in for the long term, through thick and think. Only when things have not worked out and people have not been heard and couple therapy has not worked, after many
years of trying do people take the tortuous decision to leave.  Everyone knows divorce is bereavement, so people don’t jump into that pond without much thought and anguish.  Give all those who divorce some credit for understanding something about themselves and about the big bad world around them.