Campaign group spotlights the ‘myth’ of stable relationships outside marriage

Family walkingJust one in ten of the children born to cohabiting parents this year will reach their 16th birthdays with both parents still together and unmarried, a report predicts.

The rest will see their parents either split up or tie the knot, campaign group the Marriage Foundation claims after analysing national survey statistics.

Currently, only 45 per of children currently aged 13 to 15 are still living with both their parents, notes the report  – and 93 per cent of parents with children in that age group who are still together are married.

The report is based on findings from Understanding Society, an academic survey of 40,000 households across the UK.

Harry Benson is the author of the report, entitled The myth of “long-term stable relationships” outside of marriage. He said:

“The report provides solid evidence that married parents are more stable than unmarried parents. The contrast between married and unmarried parents who remain intact by the time their children reach their teenage years demonstrates that marital status plays a crucial role in family breakdown.”

He added:

“With family breakdown costing an estimated £46 billion a year – that’s to say, more than the entire defence budget – in addition to the immeasurable social damage, it is clearly in the interest of government and the taxpayer to work to counter this devastating trend.”

Photo by Jim Crossley via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

3 comments

Lukey - May 23, 2013 at 10:50pm

I don’t believe marriage is more ‘solid’ than cohabitation, the people that get married are usually in a stronger relationship in the first place and the current tradition in such a situation is to get married.

If those same couples were cohabiting I do not believe that their relationship would suddenly weaken!

The only way that marriage is more ‘solid’ in my opinion is that there are a few couples where one of the parties will stay in the marriage despite being miserable because they know the divorce courts will be financially punitive.

Observer - May 24, 2013 at 7:20pm

Well, I’m telling my kids that marriage is just the stupidest trap that you could possibly get yourself into. It’s just a dumb fairyland idea that serves only the state and all those who profit from it when it fails. And it is bound to fail, because when all life is turned into a commodity, why settle for one thing only on the shelf? And when you can get paid handsomely by the government to be a leech and screw your partner over, why bother with something you’ve grown tired of.

It’s not surprising that there are government and corporate sponsored campaigns like this.

Rebecca - May 26, 2013 at 12:22am

It doesn’t surprise me that cohabitating couples are less stable than married couples. After all the reason many people choose to ‘shack up’ is because they don’t wan’t to make any long term comitments. You can’t have stability (long lasting relationships) without such a commitment.

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