Monday, 23 January 2012

You Do, but then You Don't... - Can marriage be detrimental to a relationship?

Many of us greeted the news of the split between Heidi Klum and British soul singer Seal with much shock and sadness.  Not just because they always looked so happy together - we all know that looks can be deceiving and that the camera DOES lie - but more because they went through so much together in the early days of their courtship, it seemed like they could overcome anything.


The couple met when Heidi was pregnant with her first child (daughter Leni by Formula One boss Flavio Briatore).  Seal stood by Heidi was by her side during the birth and from the word go raised Leni as his own.  The couple went on to marry two years later.  It takes a lot of courage, honour too, to raise another man's child as your own with true love and affection, so it's quite understandable why Heidi fell for Seal.

The couple were infamous for their parties.  As well as their Halloween celebrations, every year they renewed their marriage vows in ceremonies and parties, each more wild and extravagent than the last.  Vow renewals can be romantic and serve as wonderful reminder of why you married your partner, but if you feel the need to incessantly renew them, were they really worth taking in the first place?

When former Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill married her childhood sweetheart Andrew Frampton, everybody assumed their marriage would last a lifetime.  They'd been together for 12 years before their wedding day and with her strong Christian upbringing, it was believed that they had what it took to make a relationship last.  Not so: they were separated inside eighteen months.  Details later emerged that Katy was reportedly a virgin when she wed and that they hadn't even lived together before their big day.

Marriage is more than just a romantic dream; there are a lot of practicalities involved.  How much can you really know about the person you're committing yourself to for life if you don't know what they're like in bed and you don't know what they're like around the house?  What about how they organise their money, or how many children they want to have?  It's in order to answer questions and others like these that many religious sects offer pre-marriage classes.  You may feel like you know your partner inside out and back to front, but sometimes it's good to know that you are definitely singing from the same hymn sheet.

Whilst there is no such training regularly offered for couples tying the knot in a civil ceremony, counselling charity Relate offer Couples Workshops on how to keep love alive and how to handle arguments.

Marriage can be a wonderful institution, but it can also be the death knell of a relationship.   If you're not sure whether he's for life or not, it's probably best to find out before you say 'I do' as thereafter it gets very expensive and complicated to 'un-do'.

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