As some one who has been married for 40 years I obviously believe in it so I was pleased to see the following article in the Mail
Cohabiting couples twice as likely to part as married partners
By Steve Doughty
Statistics show that couples who live together are twice as likely to break up as married partners
Couples who live together are twice as likely to break up as married partners, according to an official analysis.
The survey of hundreds of thousands of families found that four out of five married couples were still together after ten years.
But in the same period two out of five cohabiting couples had parted.
Another two in five had cemented their partnership by marrying, and only one in five were still living together.
The study by the Office for National Statistics said that marriage was more stable than cohabitation even when outside factors that might influence the fate of the relationship were considered.
This means that married couples are more likely to stay together than cohabitees regardless of their age and whether they have children, and no matter the state of their health, their level of education, their social class or whether or not they had a job.
The finding undermines the claim of ministers that marriages are no more stable than informal partnerships once the influence of age and status is taken into account.
In January, Children's Secretary Ed Balls, who is leading Labour's campaign against Conservative plans to give tax breaks to married couples, said: 'Once you adjust for the fact that people who are married tend to marry older, be better educated and have higher incomes, you find it is not the legal form, it is the strength and stability of the relationship which is most important.'
The study was based on more than 750,000 couples who filled in the census in both 1991 and 2001.
It found that 18 per cent of those who were married in 1991 were living apart ten years later, compared to 39 per cent of the cohabitees.
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Among the cohabiting couples, 22 per cent were still cohabiting with the same man or woman and 39 per cent had married their partner.
One in ten of the cohabitees of 1991 were living with someone else by 2001, and another one in ten were married to someone else.
More than one in five, 21 per cent, were living without a partner. This figure was more than twice as high as the one in ten of separated husbands and wives who were living on their own in 2001.
The ONS said the reason for the success of marriage might be that people who want, or are capable of, sustaining long-term partnerships are more likely to marry.
'Those adults who are more likely to have stable relationships may also be more likely to marry rather than cohabit,' it suggested.
'Married and cohabiting populations have different characteristics and it may be these different characteristics rather than the partnership arrangements themselves that result in the differences in stability,' the report added.
Decades of research have shown that children from single parent or broken families are more likely then others to do badly at school, suffer ill health and fall into crime, drug abuse and unemployment when they become adults.
Jill Kirby of the centre-right think tank Centre for Policy Studies said: 'Cohabitation is no substitute for marriage.
'The assumption that marriage makes no difference to family stability is clearly wrong.
'The best prospect for children is growing up with both parents, and the best guarantee of that is for those parents to be married.'