Time Magazine has a story this month highlighting both the perilous state of marriage in the US and the damage it causes.
The author, Caitlin Flanagan, says that there is “no other single force causing as much measurable hardship and human misery in this country as the collapse of marriage”.
Things aren’t yet as bad here as in the US, but as one of our news-stories today points out, marriage breakdown here is now running at a rate of over one in four and cohabitation is soaring. It can certainly be said of Ireland that marital breakdown is causing plenty of human misery and hardship here.
In her piece, Flanagan, focuses on the high rate of divorce, the rising level of cohabitation and the “astonishing” level of births out of wedlock: 39.7 per cent.
All of this, Flanagan points out “hurts children, it reduces mothers’ financial security and it has landed with particular devastation on those who can bear it least: the nation’s underclass”.
Apart from the excellence of the article itself, what’s noteworthy is the fact that this is in Time, which tends towards the politically correct end of the spectrum on social issues. If it felt compelled to print an article such as this, the evidence that marriage breakdown is harmful to society must be even more ovewhelming than we thought.