New figures from Great Britain suggest marriage in in steep decline.
If present trends continue, one in 10 marriages will end in five years and a staggering 45 per cent of couples will divorce. In fact, marriage is at its lowest level of popularity since records began in 1962. Now 43 per cent of children are born to mothers who are unwed and 2.2 million people cohabit. Seventy per cent of Britishers think there is nothing the matter with sex before marriage. I t would also seem that the highest rate of marriage is among the more affluent.
Figures also suggest that the married state brings the most benefits – better health, longer life, better sex, greater earnings for men and better outcomes for children. Women benefit as much as men.
So why are so many younger less affluent people eschewing marriage altogether?
The reason I hear most often personally is what is important is your commitment, not a piece of paper or a formal ceremony. Either you have the commitment or you don’t. If you do, a marriage certificate adds nothing to it; and if you don’t, a marriage certificate won’t help anyway.
A Catholic marriage consultant in London, seems to agree with the above: “If commitment, consent and covenant are present in a relationship, if promiscuity is missing and there’s a spiritual aspect to the commitment, doesn’t that have a real value too?”
Do you believe marriage is on the rocks?
Does a certificate or a ceremony add anything to a mature commitment? (Perhaps it should be noted that cohabitations have a much higher break-up rate than marriages).