The Eleven Year Itch

Posted by: on Nov 7, 2010 | No Comments

Forget the seven-year itch. Eleven years is the average time that divorced couples had stayed together before their marriage broke up, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).”The costs and benefits of a relationship are more fluid than in the past,” said Malcolm Brynin, co-author of Changing Relationships, a new book based on five years of research into family life published by the Economic and Social Research Council. “People come together and stay together only when this is to their individual advantage.”Brynin’s book follows ONS figures showing that the number of UK marriages in 2007 fell to 270,000, a 2.6% decline from 2006. In 1940 there were 426,100 weddings. The 2007 figures also show that 144,220 couples were divorced and the average length of marriages ending in divorce was 11.5 years. Brynin and others argue that the expected norm of marriages lasting for decades is a modern construct and social and economic pressure may be pushing the relationship beyond its “natural” duration. Read more here

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