Is it just me, or do you think that marriage is viewed differently these days?
When I was young there were few divorced or separated couples in our village. In remember one divorced couple and one separated couple. Of course this does not for one instant suggest that all the other folk were happily married. What it is more likely to suggest is that conditions being what they were, it was impossible to separate and survive, especially if there were children. So this would suggest to me that many children grew up in homes where the parents were not necessarily happy.
Now everything is so different (a friend's grandson was once the only child in his class who had two parents who had always been together). I don't know whether this is better or worse. I really have no experience to fall back on to give me an opinion. (I am sure someone better qualified than me will give me an opinion via the comments ).
But I did think of it today when I read in The Times about an organisation called ' Explore', which, says its CEO 'is an attempt to give young people the opportunity to have a dialogue with married couples about that relationship, because they very often don;t have a chance due to home circumstances.'
Couples go into schools and for half an hour students can ask the couple any questions they like. This is followed by a discussion on the trials and tribulations of being a couple. (I don't think marriage necessarily comes into it these days - but being a couple certainly does).
My view, for what it is worth, is that times change, but relationships certainly don't. Thank goodness that if a couple are unhappy together divorce or separation is much easier (if no less painful) and probably better in the long run for the children. I have quite a few friends who talk of their own childhood in terms of the rows their parents had, and how they should never have stayed together. Things were definitely not 'better' in terms of relationships in those days. But I do often worry when I see so many of today's children who have dads, step-dads and step-step dads, and brothers and sisters to match.