Letters: Marriage works, but only if you work at it

These letters appear in the Friday 21st February edition of the Independent

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Helen Croydon’s assertion that too much is expected from a modern marriage is correct – falling in love is one thing, getting married for life is another (“Not the marrying kind”, 19 February). But her solution takes the usual modern path of assuming that if it doesn’t work straight away, or fairly easily, it is not going to work.

Sadly, this demand for instant reward that we have allowed to creep into virtually every aspect of life does indeed make it less likely that modern marriages are going to last, but the solution is the highly unfashionable idea in personal matters that we have to work at it. If modern people worked as hard at marriage as at their jobs, I think we would see a vast improvement in the longevity of married relationships.

Finding the soulmate for life is what you work at in your early adult life, until you find someone who your head and heart tell you is a suitable partner for life, who will be a good person to bring up children with you in your home, and will still be fun to be with even when you are old and less athletic. 

I would also assert that the sexual frisson that Helen Croydon suggests disappears in any relationship after a while is there to be galvanised in a deeper and special way in later married life. It may change, but it is no less exciting and satisfying, and the knowledge that you have shared so much together makes the bond much stronger.

Tim Venvell, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

 

Helen Croydon invites us to “start with the history” and goes on: “The idea that our Mr or Mrs Right will fulfill us emotionally, sexually, spiritually or everything else is new – 200 years new”.

Helen Croydon’s view of “history” does not include Shakespeare, whose romantic heroes and heroines fall in love and get married; and Hymen, the goddess of marriage, actually appears in person at the end of As You Like It, to bless the unions of the principals.

John Dakin, Toddington, Bedfordshire

 

Forget the deniers, just stop fracking

I fear Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (17 February) might be over-optimistic in thinking that “the floods may have finally shocked right-wingers into taking climate change more seriously”.

Like creationists, they seem impervious, no matter how many stacks of robust evidence you present them with.

If Cameron’s government is to show any hint of embracing reality, it must – never mind a moratorium – stop all fracking now. Trying to wring every last drop of fossil fuel from the planet’s crust to convert into yet more climate-changing greenhouse gases is bad enough. Given concerns about groundwater contamination from this process in standard conditions, how much more threatening to the environment might this be with the saturation below ground level and floodwater above it that we are experiencing now and probably henceforth?

Mark Burrows, Weymouth, Dorset

     

Your correspondents (letters, 18 February) assume that it is important to quell global-warming deniers.

That, like the deniers, is of no great importance. Ignore their bleats for attention. What matters is to get on with acting in case it is going to happen. 

There can be no doubt, even in the most befogged head, that a reasonable case has been made.  Safety-first in such an instance, is not just sensible; it is urgent.  Unless we get moving fast we may find  that water in the bilges is not the small leak they believe in, but an iceberg tearing the length of the ship. You cannot mend that at sea.

Let the funny people believe their stories. What matters is to get things done. Now.

Kenneth J Moss, Norwich

 

Will the Government’s largesse toward households affected by flooding include those with surplus bedrooms?

Stephen Chorley

Dalgety Bay, Fife

 

Driven to distraction by Google glass?

Your report on the etiquette guide issued by Google on the use of Google Glass (20 February) does not mention whether it includes guidance for the use of the device while driving.

The use of hand-held mobile phones while driving was banned because it was shown to distract drivers from the important matter of concentrating on the road ahead. It seems to me that such considerations would also apply to Google Glass, with the addition also of a restricted view ahead.

As a driver I appreciate that there are already enough distractions in modern vehicles, with all their gadgets, gizmos and toys, without another layer being added.

As a cyclist I am very aware of drivers who continue to use mobile phones, as I wonder whether or not I have been seen. The detection rate of such offences is ludicrously small, but at least it is possible to show if a mobile phone was in use at the time of an accident from its records.

Research into such use of Google Glass must be done, and independently of Google. The use of mobile phones was banned reactively following numerous accidents in which their use was implicated. It may be necessary to ban the use of Google Glass by drivers proactively.

Bob Stephens, Bovey Tracey, Devon

 

Rates delay helps  local business

It is inaccurate to suggest Bond Street shops are being “subsidised” by deprived high streets through a postponement of a 2015 business rates revaluation (report, 6 January). In fact a revaluation next year would have meant tax cuts for bankers and posh offices in London, and punishing tax rises on independent shops, local pubs, food retail and petrol stations.

Our decision to postpone the revaluation was based on the most comprehensive research available, compiled by the independent Valuation Office Agency using professional judgements and rental market evidence. They estimate that over 800,000 premises would have lost out. Tax stability is vital to businesses looking to grow and help improve the economy. In London, offices would have seen their rates bill fall in 2015 by £440m per year.

Postponement will ensure tax stability by avoiding sharp changes and unexpected hikes in business rate bills over the next five years, vital to businesses looking to grow and help improve the economy.

Brandon Lewis,  High Streets Minister, Department for Communities and Local Government, London SW1

 

Olympic stars and their babies

I watched the GB women’s curling semi-final on BBC2. The presenters, Steve Cram and Jackie Lockhart, had an interesting discussion about two of the team who had recently had babies and whether it had improved their game, and Cram differentiated between one woman who was married and the other woman who had a partner and was “not married”.

When I watched the GB men’s curling semi-final in the afternoon, there was no explanation of whether they were fathers or married, or had partners. I am so disappointed that the BBC still judges women athletes by their marital status and whether they have given birth. What on earth has this got to do with anything?

Linda Dickins, Wimborne, Dorset

 

Exploited greats  of football

What Stephen Westacott (letters, 19 February) and those who hark back to the good old days of football forget is that Sir Tom Finney and other legends like him were effectively enslaved and, due to a long-since-abolished maximum wage, paid a pittance of their real value to the club they played for.

Had Finney, Matthews or Wright been offered the equivalent of £300,000 per week, I’m sure they would have happily accepted it. Sadly for them they were destined to remain in servitude to the cabal of greedy football club owners whose coffers and social standing were boosted by their association with these exploited greats of the game.

John Moore, Northampton

 

Street of  the sober

The wrong print has been used to support Owen Jones’s article on the dangers of alcohol (20 February).

Beer Street shows a scene of contented beer-drinkers, where the only loser is the pawnbroker. The matching print, Gin Lane, would have been more appropriate, with its drunken mother dropping her baby down a stairwell and a man pawning the tools of his trade to pay for his addiction.

Terry Lloyd, Chorleywood,  Hertfordshire

 

Keeping  the pound

In the event of a “yes” vote in the Scottish independence referendum, may I suggest Poundland as the obvious new name for the remaining parts of the United Kingdom?

Kim Thonger

Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire

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