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not apply across the board to products of broken homes), is that Generation X are perhaps guilty of carrying forward an outdated tradition (of marrying young) – arguably in a rash and reckless manner.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.
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 = ?