The psychology of commitment and marriage

Last week I had the great honour of presenting at the Budapest Demographic Summit. The conference was a celebration of Hungary’s ‘family friendly’ policies that have seen their fertility rate rise from the lowest in Europe to above the EU average over eleven years and to see their marriage rate nearly double. The conference was […]

Me, You, and Us: We-Ness and Couple Identity

(This excellent article by Professor Scott Stanley of the University of Denver is reproduced by kind permission of the Institute for Family Studies) by Scott Stanley @decideorslide The concepts of we-ness and couple identity arise throughout philosophy, literature, poetry, and social science. I mostly want to describe the latter, but first, I will briefly touch […]

Mummy’s boys and Daddy’s girls: Teenage mental health

Our growing mental health crisis is often presented as a recent problem. Too much social media . Too much exam pressure. Casting blame on factors over which we have little control makes us all feel better. Blame social media. Blame the Department for Education. In other words blame anyone but us. However it should be […]

IDS should champion marriage, not relationship counselling

Former welfare minister Iain Duncan Smith has this week warned the government not to cut the annual £7.5 million funding for relationship counselling. But is he right? I know a bit about this issue for a number of reasons: I’ve been researching and writing about what works in relationships for nearly twenty years; I co-wrote […]

It’s not marriage that’s ‘patriarchal’. It’s cohabitation.

In an article for Metro last month, writer Rebecca Reid expressed horror that her fiancé might have asked her dad’s permission before he married her. The whole idea has “a massive historical problem” behind it, she declared furiously. There was a time when “women were property to be traded for the advancement of a family […]

Legal rights for cohabiting couples will create more problems than it solves

It seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it. A woman – and in most cases it is a woman – lives with a man for a number of years, sacrifices part or all of career to bring up their children, whereupon he walks out taking all of his earning with him. The children have rights under […]