Opinions: Is cohabiting better than marriage?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
JACK THAIN, pensioner (married): I've been married 53 years; there's nothing finer than to be married to a woman, they are fantastic. On a social and Christian level it's definitely better to be married.

MARJORIE PROOPS, agony aunt (widow): Women mistakenly believe that marriage spells security. They forget it's as easy to walk out of a marriage as it is to walk out of a relationship. Men mistakenly believe living together involves no responsibility. I would rather live on my own. I don't have to wash anybody's clothes or listen to anyone snoring.

JOHN PYBUS, hotel sales executive (just married): I don't have to make the effort to make my tea and toast in the morning any more and I can stay behind after football practice and have a few beers with the boys. Seriously, I feel much closer to Sue now than when we were living together. I'm still getting used to calling her my wife instead of my fiancee.

It brings a little tear to my eye when I hear her answering the phone with 'Hello, Sue Pybus'.

RACHEL, PR executive (lives with partner): Living together is the only way you can get to know your partner and find out if you drive each other crazy. I steal all the black socks, which really gets on his nerves, and I use too many towels. I'm scared of marriage because you never know who you are going to meet in life.

SIMON BATES, disc jockey (married): Relationships can break up, marriages can break up, nothing is perfect. Does it really matter, as long as people are holding hands and happy?

MICHAEL CANTWELL, homeless ('married' to gay partner): I don't think there's really much difference. All marriages are just a piece of paper which you get when you've walked down the aisle and said a few words. Then there are all the rows and arguments. Try to avoid it.

EILEEN, play leader (lives with partner): We have an 18-month-old son. I would love to get married but not to my partner as the relationship has been dead for two years.

I know we will eventually separate. When I do make those vows I intend to mean them and live by them for the rest of my life.

ANNE BROWN, housing officer (single): I don't like the sound of either, it's too frightening. Both would mean I'd have to grow up and I don't want to do that.

(Photograph omitted)

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