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While a report from the Office for National Statistics tells us that divorce rates have hit a 30-year low, the UK’s largest extramarital dating site Illicit Encounters, are celebrating their 10 year anniversary, and memberships are nearing the million mark.
It’s not surprising to learn that divorce rates are down – we live in constantly evolving times making us less inclined to speed dial our lawyers if certain aspects of a marriage are no longer working. For one – men like being married. Men today marry because they want to, not because it’s ‘the right thing to do’ as the case may have been thirty, even twenty years ago; they are less likely to give up.
Men enjoy the partnership and friendship that deepens with time during married life, they also like being cared for, having a set routine, and a partner to rely on in tougher times. Women enjoy a similar dynamic to the men.
They have more independence and are just as likely to earn as much as their husbands; they very much lead their own lives while co-existing in a marriage. Women today enjoy the best of both worlds: the security of marriage, and the freedom to live their own lives as they please – meaning there is no reason to rush to the divorce courts.
There are multiple reasons why people are less keen on divorce today: economic climates, keeping up appearances, staying together as a family unit, and for the thousands online at Illicit Encounters, they are having extramarital affairs.
Extramarital relationships are no longer a taboo, or as socially unacceptable as they were years ago. Society is no longer looking to burn someone at the stake for having an affair – we have become less judgmental as we come to understand the many number of reasons why people have affairs.
Spokesperson for IllicitEncounters.com, Rosie Freeman-Jones comments: “It’s no coincidence that as divorce figures hit a 30-year low, we are into our tenth year with married people signing up to the site in their thousands each week. None of our members are looking to end their marriage – none. It is usually the case that they have become like ‘brother and sister’ with their spouses, or the spark has gone between them and they have a wonderful friendship – this is when they come to us, looking to replace what’s missing, without breaking up their marriage. I can understand why some people find it hard to digest but the fact is, affairs are not stopping anytime soon.”
Illicit Encounters recently surveyed 2,500 of their members, asking how the site had affected their relationships. The results where:
However, with rumours of a legally binding prenup being put forward, Illicit Encounters predicts that divorce rates will in fact shoot back up if the law is passed. Rosie Freeman-Jones further comments: “If couples are able to agree the terms of a divorce before marrying they will have the security of knowing that if it doesn’t work out, they will be looked after without question – I think this will definitely impact on divorce rates, that’s if it gets passed.”
Marriage in itself may have not altered too much, but there is an attitude today of wanting to ‘have it all’ , and it seems as though that is exactly what’s happening in the UK.