Published in The Mirror September 1st 2004
THE latest divorce figures suggest we are treating marriage like shopping at Marks & Spencer.
If you’re not entirely happy with your purchase, you ask for a refund. Modern marriage is rapidly
acquiring the status of a rejected cardie.
When you promise “to forsake all others till death do you part”, someone has their fingers crossed.
Or, to switch metaphors, if marriage were quoted on the stock market the shares would be in free
In modern Britain we are marrying less and divorcing sooner. And it’s easier than ever to get out of
a marriage. If you are unhappy, a replacement partner is only a few mouse clicks away.
It’s much simpler today to avoid trying to improve our relationships, slip into adultery and leave our
The portals of escape surround us. Indeed, they are piped into our very homes.
The internet is the world’s largest sex aid, in the sense that you can log on and quickly find a
replacement “friend” who will “sincerely understand you” and who is likewise looking for instant
Or you can contact Friends Reunited, the school reunion website, and race to turn back the clock
to rekindle old flames, regardless of whose fingers ultimately get burnt.
I don’t say these cybersexual resources cause divorce, but they certainly facilitate it.
One third of all new marriages will end in divorce within the first five years.
Divorce is at its highest rate for seven years – up by 3.9 per cent to 153,490 last year and the third
annual increase in a row.
Twenty per cent of cohabiting couples don’t bother to trouble either parson or register office.
Many of those who were once married have since renounced the institution for good.
Modern mums tell their daughters to see the world and establish a career before settling down.