Changing Perspectives on Marriage
Natalie Clark’s wedding day marked the culmination of two years of planning, yet as she walked down the aisle, a nagging feeling of uncertainty about her future overshadowed the joy.
Deep down, she had doubts that her marriage would be lifelong.
Four years after the 2018 wedding, the couple divorced.
The question arises: why didn’t she end the relationship before reaching the altar? The answer lies in her belief that marriage for life is no longer practical in today’s world.
Natalie’s perspective reflects the findings of a groundbreaking marriage survey conducted by Femail. Only 36 percent of respondents believe that marriage is intended to be lifelong.
Surprisingly, gender stereotypes do not hold as 51 percent of women and 46 percent of men agree that lifelong commitment in marriage is not always practical. The survey involved over 1,000 people aged 18 and above.
A New Generation’s View
Among those aged 18 to 24, half no longer believe in the feasibility of lifelong marriage, with 17 percent even considering monogamy as unnatural.
The changing attitudes towards marriage have contributed to a decline in the number of marriages recorded by the Office for National Statistics, down by almost 37 percent since 1989.
This shift raises questions about the institution’s relevance in modern society.
Is Divorce the Easy Way Out?
The introduction of no-fault divorce in April has made it easier to end marriages.
Divorce applications increased by 92 percent the month the change was implemented, compared to the previous year.
While this has provided relief for some, it raises concerns about the ease with which couples can separate without attempting to work through their issues.
Women Taking the Lead
More than half of female divorcees indicated that they initiated the decision to divorce, in contrast to only 18 percent of men.
Women like Natalie and Rae have played a pivotal role in driving divorce rates upward.
However, this trend has led to concerns that people may opt for divorce without adequately considering the possibility of reconciliation.
The End of Marriage?
A significant 29 percent of respondents, across all age groups, believe that marriage is no longer relevant.
Many people, like Daisy Chapman, question the practicality of committing to one person for a lifetime.
They perceive marriage as old-fashioned, expensive, and irrelevant, which has led them to question the value of formal unions.
This shift in perspective poses a challenge to the institution of marriage itself.
Evolving and Realistic Views
Daisy emphasizes that for her, not getting married will not hinder her desire to have children or live with a partner.
She views marriage as an outdated and impractical concept in the modern world.
The changing dynamics of relationships and the ease of divorce have led individuals to reevaluate their views on marriage and lifelong commitment.
The survey, conducted by Survation and encompassing 1,012 adults across the UK aged 18 and over, reveals a significant shift in societal attitudes towards marriage.
While the concept of ’til death do us part’ once held strong, the realities of modern life have challenged the sustainability of this commitment.