Questionnaire: How modern is your marriage?

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Indy Lifestyle Online

One-third of all new marriages end in divorce within the first five years. The number of weddings performed in 2006 fell to the lowest figure since 1895. On current trends, the last British marriage will be solemnised during 2033! This decline in formal ceremonies exactly mirrors the remorseless rise in couples cohabiting and suggests a demand for more volitional and egalitarian domestic arrangements. Is this radical shift to your taste, or in your heart of hearts do you hanker after the "wife at home and husband as protective provider" model? Tick your two likeliest answers to each question.



1. You are a very high-profile candidate in a public election. Your 17-year-old daughter suddenly tells you she is three months' pregnant. To cope with media speculation do you announce that your daughter:

a. Is actually your sister's child from the morally more challenged side of the family

b. Will be getting married to her juvenile co-progenitor just as soon as the legal formalities can be completed and your shotgun loaded with buckshot

c. Will receive her family's full emotional support at what is for everyone a challenging and difficult time

d. Is now glad she has told you the facts, because you didn't throw her out as she had needlessly feared

2. You come home unexpectedly to discover your spouse in bed with your best friend. Do you:

a. Apologise for the interruption and make them both a nice cup of tea

b. Write a Hollywood film script in which your former best friend now appears to have an enormous bottom

c. Shoot two or three people dead

d. Demand to know how they could let themselves misbehave



3. You are infuriated by your partner's inability to interpret the data on maps. They have even been known to contradict the Sat Nav when it says you are driving down the motorway when you clearly are. During the subsequent row, do you:

a. Attempt to prove to the last decimal place that your partner is an idiot

b. Resort to gentle sarcasm in the hope they will realise their navigational error

c. Celebrate your differences

d. Commence an extended sulk



4. When your long-term partner announces they are tired of boozy parties, you shout: "You've changed!" They retort equally bitterly: "And your trouble is you haven't!" Do you:

a. Laugh it off as just one more domestic difference for you to celebrate

b. Assume your relationship is in deep trouble and consider getting therapy

c. Decide to get even more drunk than usual this weekend to assert your independence

d. Put it all down to mid-life crisis



5. Which of the following statements about marriage would you most be tempted to utter?

a. "My ex left me for absolutely no reason whatsoever"

b. "I married you didn't I?"

c. "Well, it's only a piece of paper after all"

d. "Where's my dinner?"

Phillip Hodson is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy www.bacp.co.uk www.philliphodson.co.uk

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