“One often hears that couples stay together for the sake of children, not often that do it for the sake of each other” says Simon McCoy of GBNews as he introduces Harry Benson
Our new survey of 2,000 ever married adults finds that one in three couples say they wouldn’t still be together if they hadn’t married. One in four couples say they wouldn’t be as happy as they are now if they hadn’t married.
So what are the key ingredients of marriage that make a difference?
(1) Making a decision means you’re more likely to stick at it
(2) A clear plan removes ambiguity
(3) Social affirmation affirms the risky decision you make when you say yes to one person and no to everyone else
Each of these factors are NECESSARILY present when you get married. But they are OPTIONAL if you live together without getting married.
Why is it that so few low income couples get married?
(1) The rich tell them marriage doesn’t matter, even though most better off couples are married: almost all of the Cabinet; 80%+ of high earning parents
(2) Sky high expectations of what a wedding ‘should’ be. The much-hyped ‘average’ cost of £30,000 is far higher than reality, as our future study will show
(3) The cruel and perverse benefits system takes away up to £10,000 every year. If you move in with somebody, their income moves in with you. More income means fewer benefits. This is the so-called ‘couple penalty’. Prior to the 1970s, almost everybody married if they had a baby, rich and poor alike. Given these barriers, its remarkable that even one in three lowest earning parents still marry today.