Alex Blaze

Marriage won't fix your relationship

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 08, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: length, marriage, statistics, study

Marriage doesn't make relationships more stable, a group of social bush-gay-marriage.pngscientists in the UK found:

Parents who are cohabiting when their child is born are three times more likely to split up by the time their child is five than married parents (27% compared to 9%). However they are also typically younger, less well off, less likely to own their own homes, have fewer educational qualifications and are less likely to plan their pregnancies than married people. Once these differences between the two groups are accounted for, the difference in the likelihood of separation almost disappears (falling to 2 percentage points).

The IFS analysis shows that relationship stability is mainly determined not by marriage but by other factors such as age, education, occupation and income, and delaying and planning pregnancy. These factors are also influential in whether people choose to marry or not. So while married couples have more stable relationships than couples who cohabit, this is not because they are married, but because of the other characteristics they have that lead to marriage.

Prepare for all sorts of whining from the moral majority crowd about how this study was biased, doesn't apply to the US, yada yada yada, mainly because it doesn't fit neatly in with their values. Reality has a terrible leftwing bias, which is a great reason to just ignore it.

But this study is just basic common sense that any of us living in the real world already understand: marriage doesn't solve people's relationship problems. If two people are thinking about separating, having a ceremony and a sheet of paper isn't going to make them happy with one another again. Marriage can be the result of an enduring relationship, not the cause.

Sometimes queers fall into the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" mentality and assume that everything would be easier if they just had access to straight privilege, forgetting that being straight isn't a guarantee of a good life at all. And with a healthy divorce rate and plenty of miserable people stuck in marriages, we could at least acknowledge that the institution doesn't give a relationship anything other than some free stuff from the government and dry goods from friends and family (depending on how rich they are and how well you can shake them down, or so I've learned from reading too much Miss Manners).

But when it comes to the relationship itself, you're on your own, which I, personally, find comforting.

via Salon


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LOL I love it, OMG "Reality has a terrible left wing bias...." Too funny. I almost dropped my new violin when I saw that. I know don't practice violin when you are reading.
I love that the study actually has information examining well beyond the surface. I hate it when a surface level announcement of findings in a study has no reflection of what the study actually says.

spigliatezza | July 8, 2010 10:29 PM

"Reality has a terrible leftwing bias"
As does the Word of God. Or so I've heard. :)
However, "Sometimes queers...assume that everything would be easier if they just had access to straight privilege" - I think this is true, actually. For any given queer person, chances are good that access to straight privilege, on top of whatever other privileges they already have access to, will probably make his or her life easier. Plus, the way you wrote that, it seemed like you were conflating "straight privilege" with "marriage". I know that you know they're not the same, so maybe I read you wrong?

How dare you challenge the moral stance for marriage, Alex. Won't you think of the children? We don't need to figure out what's actually best for them, we just need to keep them inline by shaming them about love, sex, and child birth.