Monogamy lessons from the BritsWith the divorce rate high and couples refusing to marry, maybe it's time to take a closer look at the havoc divorce can play on families, especially the lives of children. At least that's what Sir Paul Coleridge, a leading high court judge, in Great Brian argues. He argues it's time to give the citizens of Great Britain a lesson on monogamy, but it's probably a lesson Americans could use too.
Why does he feel like a monogamy lesson is critical?
According to High Court Paul Coleridge, it's time to stem the tide of the family breakdown which could potentially "blight life in Britain for decades." The judge should know, he's watched families come in and out of his court for years and argued that their "yawning public ignorance" of their decisions to destroy their families is having a damaging mental effect on children. And he's bucking the system arguing monogamy is the answer.
His stance monogamy, however, is under scrutiny and criticism, especially because he has made a push against same sex marriage, arguing instead that it's time for the country to tackle the "crisis of family breakdown."
How do you strengthen monogamy?
Sir Paul, who founded the Marriage Foundation think-tank last year, starts by encouraging all couples to start building stable strong long-term relationships to increase their chances of monogamy. He argues that the best way to strengthen your marriage is to make it strong from the very beginning, avoiding many common pitfalls, and get the help you need through education before the damage has been done.
His greatest concern is the deterioration of "societal taboos" which were once enough to prevent many couples from getting divorced. Couples, he argues, have eschewed "self imposed boundaries" which could eventually create "social anarchy" with children the biggest victims.
According to Sir Paul, "I encounter it, day in and day out, in arena of the family courts - let it not be forgotten that 50 per cent of all children are not living with both parents by the time they are 15. There are millions of them and it is they who are the real victims and casualties." He continues, "We live in a time of mass family breakdown. We know of its destructive effects."
Steps towards Monogamy for all couples
I remember my parents telling me that if you go into marriage thinking you can get out, 9 times out of 10 times, you will. Divorce is not an option (exceptions exist for infidelity and abuse). But in general, marriage should be what you say it is, for better or for worse. It's an important decision. But how do you increase the chances that your marriage will remain a monogamous one?
These aren't on Sir Paul's list necessarily but take the right steps, and you can avoid divorce court. First step is to value intimacy. You should be able to be transparent with your spouse without fear of rejection.
Next, view your relationship as a team. The days of traditional roles may be gone but working together is key. Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate. I know couples where the woman works and the man stays home. In other families two parents work and both spouses chip in to help out with the house work. Come up with a plan together.
Next banish boredom. Never stop dating your spouse. Make it fun. Add excitement and try new things together. Do what you did when you were dating. Finally, make sure you discuss your values. Some couples have a rating system. For instance, if an event is a 10 for you (meaning it's a can't miss) talk to your spouse and let them know how important it is. This can be done with other priorities, principles and passions.
Take the right steps and your marriage will remain exciting and fresh!