The institution has passed on. It has shuffled off this mortal coil. It wouldn't go "Voom" if you put 10,000 volts through it, it isn't pinin' for the fjords, it's a stiff, bereft of life, it rests in peace, if it weren't nailed to the perch... Oh, er, wait, ahem, excuse me...
Not surprisingly, the press is full of hand-wringing over this, there are wild claims of the loss of cultural values, and desperate grabs at unlikely reasons. My favorite is "fear of commitment". That one's hilarious. It immediately, of course, puts the onus on men because we're supposed to be the brave ones, protective of our poor, defenseless women. But the argument too often stalls right there. Pulled out of the ether, marriage in the UK (and elsewhere) must be failing because people are afraid of commitment. Yeah, that's it. No more thinking required.
If one's afraid of something, there's often a good reason. One commenter quoted a friend: "Marriage is grand, divorce is about five-hundred grand!". But it's not just the financial risk, there's an even more expensive one: in the UK, 40% of divorced fathers lose contact with their children within two years. The twits in the big house think they can do something about this by blaming and ostracizing the fathers, no mention of the mother's part. Why do we keep on with this moronic idea of the defenseless woman? They are, and always have been, very far from helpless.
I find weak arguments about the complete lack of tax breaks now for married couples. But no-one points out that divorce is highly profitable for women (not to mention lawyers) and perhaps men have caught on to this.
Relate makes the amusing suggestion that "Children of divorced parents may feel ambivalent towards marrying their partner – even if they are in a happy, stable relationship – this could be reflected by these stats." Naw, really? A generation of kids, especially the boys, see their parents break up and dad disappears and they may feel ambivalent about the institution of marriage? What lessons are they learning? There's just nothing in it for anyone any more.
The benefits of marriage for the children have been sacrificed to the freedom of the parents, or, more accurately, mothers to divorce at the first inkling that they've had enough. And when mom kicks out dad, she gets child support and the kids, what has she lost, except the man she wanted rid of anyway? Hell, she can have someone else's kids and still take hubby for that ride. On top of this, they needn't even get married to acquire all of these "benefits".
I wonder if, on average, men don't get married for the above good reasons, and blissfully, if not desperately and somewhat hopelessly assume they can live and have kids with cupcake without taking the same risks, while cupcake herself is quite well aware that the law will let her take muggins for whatever he's worth anyway.
Marriage? What, exactly, for?
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