Is Communication the Key to Climbing Marriage Rates in the UK?

COMMENTARY | According to the National Statistics Office in the UK, current statistical figures show a shift in the decline of marriage in England and Wales, with mature, older couples marital rates increasing by 6 percent — the first time in recent years. The provisional data gathered from the Office of National Statistics shows that the age range with the highest increase has been men between the more mature ages of 45 to 49, and women between 30 and 34. Critics claim this could be due to better communication taking place within marriages now. Also, couples are more willing to seek out intervener counselling services, in order to understand one another better. This illustrates a great improvement in a married couple’s idea of long term commitment.

Communication has always held a detrimental role in determining whether or not a marriage would last. Because of the steady rise of marriage in the UK, we have to consider the possibility that couples are finally listening to what the other partner has to say, and they are making amends in order to make their marriages work. Professional opinions, such as those of marriage counselors, psychologists, and analysts of marriage are all reportedly in agreement that the secret to a healthy, and happy marriage is indeed excellent communication with one another. Where once there was an apparent unwillingness to hear the other party’s side, now married couples are taking the time to really listen to one another, and work through the misunderstandings that normally were let go, and allowed to escalate to divorce. By taking the time to work through the serious issues at once, instead of ignoring them, and wishing them away, couples are entering into therapy when necessary, and they are also learning that with good communication comes their own self identities as well. By each partner bringing something unique into the marriage to share, and discuss, it appears to lead to an open doorway to improved communication between the two. Improved communication is what builds a resounding, solid foundation in a marriage.

During an interview with MSNBC, Steven Nock, a professor of Sociology, speaks about the developments in understanding one another are leading to healthier relationships, and long term commitments. The development of individuality, and the understanding of one another could possibly be the viable keys to why there are now marriage spikes in England and Wales. Nock states that, “people need to have a separate life and existence to feel validated as individuals. They can’t live solely as somebody’s partner.” Nock just might have hit on the grandest point of all the secrets to maintaining a long, and happy marriage. There has to be some form of independence, and with this a better way to communicate or express one’s desires or needs in an empathetic way, versus a demanding one. So, statistically it appears, that as the gap of misunderstanding one another closes, the improvement and rise in marriage will continue to develop into many wholesome, happy married couples for a long time to come.

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