Would you still be together if you hadn’t got married?

  • During their first ten years of marriage, one in three couples say they wouldn’t still be together had they not got married. One in four couples say they wouldn’t be as happy as they are now.
  • Just under half of couples married for the first time think they would still be together and as happy whether they had married or not. The remaining couples didn’t know.
  • Marriage Foundation commissioned Savanta ComRes to ask 2,000 ever married adults aged 30 and over what they thought would have happened had they remained unmarried.
  • The results show that a significant proportion of couples attribute their success to the fact they got married rather than remained unmarried.
  • We have long argued that the ingredients of success are necessarily present in the act of marriage – the deliberate decision, the clear plan that removes ambiguity, the social affirmation and accountability that motivates – but only optionally among cohabiting couples.
  • This adds to the body of evidence suggesting the act of marriage itself contributes to stability and satisfaction, rather than merely being due to the ‘kind of couples who marry’.
  • Results are weighted to reflect characteristics of the population of the UK.

Downloads

Here you can download the Research Briefing Paper as a PDF and the Press Release where it is available.

Media Links

Sunday Express – Getting married is the reason we have stuck together, couples tell survey

GB News – Interview with Harry about “Marriage Benefits”

Family breakdown costs £50bn a year

When couples split up, families move from one to two households. Poverty is a common outcome that affects children. Six out of ten lone parents are supported by the state compared to one out of ten couple parents. That’s where most of the £50bn is spent.

UK Among highest family breakdown in Europe

Five years ago, the UK had the highest rate of family breakdown in Europe. We’re not doing as badly today, but only because of big falls in divorce rates. Alas there’s no sign of a similar improvement among cohabitees

Lower Divorce Rates – Higher Lone Parents

Divorce rates have plummeted over the past 3 decades, but the number of lone parents has doubled in the same period. Why?… Because unmarried parents make up only one in five cohabiting parents but are responsible for one half of all family breakdown.

Stability is found in Marriage

Whereas stability is the norm if parents are married (75% stay together), it is the exception if they are not (30% stay together). As a result, among parents of teens who are still together as a couple, nine out of ten are married

Single Most Important Factor

The single most important factor in a child’s healthy development is the stable relationship of the parents. Our groundbreaking research shows that family breakdown is the #1 predictor of teenage mental health problems.

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