Is marriage an impossible dream? Is it unrealistic to expect two people to live together happily for the rest of their life and find spiritual healing together?
These days in England for example, couples, more often than not, live together for some time before even considering the possibility of marriage; a very different way of looking at things from say the middle of the twentieth century.
What lies behind this change? Some would point to the availability of contraceptives that allow us to have a full sexual relationship for the time being without the long-term commitment of parenthood. Others would point to a less hypocritical society. We all know that nearly half of marriages these days end in divorce. It is asked, “Why pretend everything is perfect by getting married when it clearly isn’t likely to stay that way in many cases?”
Another suggested reason for living together without getting married is to do with a fear of failure of the relationship in the full glare of public knowledge. At least in Britain this pessimism is perhaps not surprising given the high rate of marriage failure. People see cohabiting as having the advantage of being a private arrangement between two people not involving any socially recognised level of commitment and which can be finished as well as started relatively quietly.