Sadly, it’s very much a fact of modern life that many relationships experience difficulties and a substantial number fail.
According to the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics more than 40 per cent of marriages end in divorce, with half of these divorces occurring during the first decade of marriage.
Against that backdrop, it’s not surprising that there are many couples whose partnerships might have been filled with romance at the start but have left only regret, reflection and even recrimination.
Proof of this pattern has recently been affirmed by an article in the Daily Telegraph, written by a woman who was able to reflect on a first, unsuccessful marriage (something which she summarised as a "starter" marriage) after finding happiness at the second time of asking.
It seems to me that what she describes is something of a clash between the more traditional or, dare I say it, the more romantic view of marriage and modern life.
Those in the first camp consider marriage in more idealistic terms and wed, when still relatively young. For them, marriage is - or certainly should be - for keeps and, quite often, their first serious relationship appears to be with “The One”.
The second group, though, regard marriage in more practical terms. Just like many other form of partnership or deal, they understand that the contract needs some kind of insurance. They know that relationships can fail either before or after exchanging vows and so are more willing to put a prenuptial agreement in place, just in case.
Increasingly, that kind of real world view is adopted by those who might have initially entered into marriage with optimistic eyes. If such relationships collapse, the complications caused by eschewing a pre-nup can have a lasting effect which, whilst not completely dulling their quest for lasting happiness, makes them unwilling to go through such an ordeal again. That is especially true if they have had the opportunity to progress in their careers and have more assets to protect as they grow older.
Of course, as recent figures illustrate, it's not only young divorcees who have that moment of clarity. The so-called “silver splitters”, who might have been in quite long marriages, appreciate the value of marital contracts in preventing the loss of assets earmarked for their retirement - and, possibly, their families' futures - in another divorce.
For them, another marriage becomes a triumph of practical hope over potentially painful experience, whereas their younger counterparts frequently see wisdom overcome youthful innocence.
To update the lyrics of an old song, love might be lovelier “the second time around” but it is far more sensible these days with a pre-nuptial agreement.
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