A new book claims that marriage should be viewed as an economic partnership which couples should expect to stop working when the emotional and economic benefits begin to wane. ‘Changing Relationships’ by Malcolm Brynin argues that people only stay together when it is to their individual advantage. It follows figures from the Office for National Statistics revealing that the number of marriages in the UK in 2007 fell 2.6% from the previous year, to 270,000. The 2007 data shows that the average length of marriages which ended in divorce was 11.5 years.
Brynin and other researchers in this area, including Michael Buchanan, the twice-divorced (!) author of a new book called ‘The Marriage Delusion’ argue that the natural duration of a marriage is around 11 years. Isn’t this all a bit mercenary? What happened to promising to stick with each other ’till death do us part’?!