Lovers, partners, spouses

Michael Clarke

in Challenging choices

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423986
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301622 | DOI:
Lovers, partners, spouses

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This chapter discusses the disintegration of the institution of marriage. It adds that divorce has been progressively liberalised since 1948 and marriage is now no more than a civil contract, voidable at will by either party, with rules for the sharing of joint property in the aftermath, although more complicated when there are children. It also examines the complete spectrum of relationships involving sexual partners, from the one-off encounter to the piously and traditionally wed under religious auspices, who would never contemplate divorce. It explains the ‘Bridget Jones’ phenomenon. It discusses the danger of being overly familiar with one's partner and the obvious weaknesses of unfettered choice. It notes that while at work self presentation is a necessary skill, with a partner it is one's real self that is available, and that if only a person can be himself, can real fulfilment and security ensue.

Keywords: marriage; divorce; sexual partners; religion; Bridget Jones; real self

Chapter.  3234 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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