This week, Ashley Madison has been in the news regarding their site being hacked for client details. For those of you who have not read the story (or do not have an account with them – no judgement here), they’re an online website with the tagline ‘Life is short. Have an affair.’ I think that pretty accurately sums up what they do, or at least what they assist you in doing.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics indicated that in 2014, 51.5% of adults residing in England and Wales were married. Extrapolating to the current year is difficult for somebody who is not by trade a statistician (ie. moi); suffice to say however, those results were sound just four short years ago. Ashley Madison currently enjoys 1 million UK members on their website, and their direct competitor, Illicit Encounters boasts the same number of clientele.

 

The Institution of Marriage

As I mentioned I’m no statistician – nor, indeed, mathematician; yet I can crudely calculate that this is suggestive of a rough approximation of, somewhere in the region of, around about a whole heap of cheating pigs. Did I say that there was no judgement here? Well, sorry folks, but whilst that is the case in most circumstances, I may have told a brazen untruth in this particular situation. Guys, I blog about weddings and family, what did you expect? And just to clarify, whilst I adore all the fluff and frivolity involved in the planning and build up to the ceremony, it’s the marriage that concerns me most:

I promote the institution of matrimony and everything it stands for – and I do not believe adultery is conducive to a successful marriage.

A quick aside – in principle, I stand fully and completely behind the above sentiment. However, I accept that given very specific conditions, the opposite can in fact be true. I am aware of the rare instances of marriage withstanding infidelity and defying the odds by weathering that storm. In these remarkable and exceptional circumstances (as in exception to the rule, not amazing, nor desirable), both parties often maintain that the affair kept them together. There are more cases still whereby the innocent party is never any the wiser, and yet it’s plausible that the indiscretion in some way fortified the marriage. I am, of course, not referring to these irregularities.

 

Divorce: An Easy Out?

My personal view (which may or may not apply across the board to products of broken homes), is that Generation X are perhaps guilty of carrying forward an outdated tradition (of marrying young) – arguably in a rash and reckless manner. It is no wonder then, that as divorce became socially acceptable and the fear of being cast out as lepers dissipated, so they would have taken advantage of this get-out clause – maybe a little too readily. Perhaps it’s their parents who encouraged them to settle down too early, and/or to the wrong person.

Whatever the reason, rather than working at fixing their problems, our parents found themselves in less than desirable partnerships – and they opted out.

 

Positive Change

So far this post sounds preachy, I know. But actually, I have a very encouraging message I’d like to share:

In my experience with peers and clients alike, I’m noticing a shift in attitude towards marriage – the Millennials, or Generation Y (born between 1980 – 1995) are showing a bias towards the sanctity of marriage. Based upon my own observations and exchanges regarding the subject, the trend appears to be in reaction to our own parents’ apparent irreverence to their nuptials.

Of course, this is a sweeping statement. And yes, there are many marriages from our parents’ generation still going strong. But both in my experience and according to statistics (check out this piece for hard facts), it seems we are a wise generation…

A smart man learns from his mistakes; but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

Thus our parents’ painful divorces have left a wonderful legacy – veneration for the institute of marriage, borne of sorrow and a determination to do better for our offspring.

We have established already that I am no mathematician; but if I were, perhaps I’d be in a position to supply what will undoubtedly be a fascinating solution to the following formula:

(Generation) X + (Generation) Y = ?

8 Comments

  1. Interesting post! My parents are still married despite many rocky times. My husbands parents are also still married, I’m not sure what their history is like. I think we’ve both been brought up to stand by the choices we make and I hope this will serve us well. But don’t we all believe we won’t become a statistic, otherwise why would we get married right?

    • Kate Reply

      Of course nobody goes into marriage expecting to be another statistic (I hope!). But sadly I do think our parents generation gave up a little too easy in certain circumstances. Perhaps I’ll change my mind after another five years of marriage, who knows?!

  2. For a while it seemed that marriage was an outmoded institution in a modern society and that it simply wasn’t working anymore. However, I agree with you in that marriage seems to be taken much more seriously again and that people are wanting to get married again and that they are going in with their eyes wide open and prepared.

    • Kate Reply

      I really hope so, and it certainly seems to be that way. I know not everybody thinks it’s a worthwhile institution, but I truly believe a good marriage (not a bad one) is a really ideal environment for children to thrive.

  3. I think you’re right in that things to tend to swing the other way – and when things have gone so far down the road of everyone seemingly getting divorced, it makes sense for the trend to go back on itself so I guess time will tell! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    • Kate Reply

      If it’s a change for the better, then I sure hope so. (I don’t endorse terrible marriages going the distance, I just think we should expect some difficult times and at least try to work through them before throwing in the towel.) x

  4. The Mum Project - Meagan Reply

    Agreed. Generation Y (me) have definitely learned from the mistakes of our parents. I would say that it has even caused a backlash of marriage and some of my friends are not interested in getting married. Positively though, we are getting married older, I think the average age is closer to 30 now, which means we are less likely to get divorced. Enjoyed reading this post! #coolmumclub

    • Kate Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the post! I know I’ve taken my parents mistakes on board and I see my peers doing the same. Ultimately of course, only time will tell. Hopefully waiting to tie the knot will result in better unions in the first place!

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