Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to think that a large percentage of couples break up?

(57 Posts)
Lostaway Tue 29-Jan-13 00:33:27

Sorry to be a downer.

I was having a stalk look on Facebook. A girl I met when I worked abroad three months, lovely girl had been with her boyfriend three years. She had even moved to Australia to live with him, he was then flying over to France to see her. Has now put on Facebook that she's single.

One of my exs left me for another girl. On paper they sounded perfect together - same age, same friends, same career and even from the same city and yet they broke up 8 months later (I am a little smug about that though.)

A couple I know had a baby together, been together a year before that too. Got married when he was 2 and a month later they'd broken up.

Obviously not all relationships fail, and some do and after some time you get back together but it just seems like a large percentage of couples really don't make it.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 29-Jan-13 15:37:06

Oldlady

Hey, speak for yourself smile. Dh and I met and became soul mates and it is this that has helped us through the ups and downs over the past 20+ years. I'm not saying its essential to all good relationships but it helped us. I can talk to him about anything, have no secrets and feel like we are good friends foremost.

malteserzz Tue 29-Jan-13 18:05:28

I don't think it's unusual, I've been with dh for over 20 years, both sets of parents still together and siblings married for years. All of our good friends are still together too mainly with partners they met at school or uni. Everyone seems very happy too we certainly are.

Booyhoo Tue 29-Jan-13 19:04:23

Again- are we just talking marriages here?

because i'd be pretty surprised if all of you who have been with partner 10/20+ years have never had a relationship before you were with that person.

OP asked if she was BU to think that a large percentage of couples break up. i took that to mean any sort of couple. so if you took all of the relationships you've been in and worked out teh precentage of break-ups versus stayed together then i think OP would be pretty spot on in saying that a large percentage of couple break up.

e.g: i've been in 3 relationships. all 3 have broken up so that is 100% break up rate. if i was still with my last partner i still would have a 66% break up rate which is still a majority and a large percentage. i'm not sure why those in long term relationships are only counting that relationship when answering this question. confused

KobayashiMaru Tue 29-Jan-13 19:11:49

"Gosh yes, it's quite rare to meet someone who is still with their partner after 20+ years and who have kids with just the one parent."

Is it really rare in the UK now? I'm a bit shocked by that. It's not rare for me, its the norm. I know only a few people who have children with different fathers, and not many divorced people.

Notalone Tue 29-Jan-13 19:12:42

I think its more a case of no-one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Many of my friends with seemingly perfect relationships have broken up and the reasons have come out later. Often cheating or worse. Also, those who talk about how perfect their relationships are, particularly on Facebook etc may be trying to actually convince themselves. Its the same as people who post on Facebook what a lovely time they are having on holiday / at a bbq etc. Erm, yes, right. If it was that good you would not be posting about it on FB while it is actually going on. But going back to original topic. Those who are most content probably just get on with it without sharing their contented bliss with the whole world.

Megatron Tue 29-Jan-13 19:20:10

Most of my friends are still with their partners after 15+ years, apart from one. We are all in our mid 40s. I am on my 2nd marriage and been with DH 12 years.

BackforGood Tue 29-Jan-13 20:09:40

Depending on how you define 'couple' in the first place.... obviously lots of people go out for a while with people that are never going to be their life long partners, but, once you get to that marriage stage, I agree with HollyBerryBush and others :
^it's quite rare to meet someone who is still with their partner after 20+ years and who have kids with just the one parent

really???? not in my circles it isn't. It's the norm.^

I can hardly think of anyone amongst my family and friends, say in the 45yrs and older bracket, who is divorced. I know a lot of people but am struggling to think beyond about 3 or 4 couples who have split up ~ leaving dozens and dozens and dozens... ie, the vast majority, who are still together.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 29-Jan-13 22:25:22

morethanpotatoprints I'm glad your relationship has worked so well, sounds like mine with dh. When I posted about "soulmate shite" I was actually thinking of a schoolfriend of mine who, at last count, had met, married and divorced at leadt three "soulmates" (and every one of them abusive bastards). Don't know her current marital status, but I hope she found someone as goodd for her as your man is for you. smile

morethanpotatoprints Tue 29-Jan-13 22:55:37

Oldlady.
Ah yes I see now. I've had several acquaintances over the years too with similar "soul mate" statements. When you find the man for you I think you hope it works, even though you know its the right one.

I had lots of boy friends before dh, but never lived with any. smile
He only had two girlfriends before me, lol.

I am 4ft 11 and he is 6ft 4. He jokes that there is only him on our wedding photos.

His first girlfriend was 5ft 10, his second 5ft 6 so when he met me he thought he'd better stop here. grin

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 29-Jan-13 23:02:06

LOL, I'm five foot, dh 5'10, in every single one of our wedding photos his head is angled towards me. It's rather sweet, but might be why his neck ached the next day! grin

LessMissAbs Tue 29-Jan-13 23:05:55

I hardly know any couples who have split up! I hardly know, or know of, any couples that have divorced. Of younger friends, the pattern seems to be very much having one serious girlfriend amongst the guys, living together for many years, then getting married eventually and quite quickly having a couple of DCs.

I think a lot of them would be too afraid of being single to split up. While I know a few single female friends (most of them happily so), I hardly know any men who are single. They seem to view it as an embarassment if they are.

I'm in Scotland and involved in the running scene - possibly this is more typical of this demographic.

BertieBotts Tue 29-Jan-13 23:07:44

Booyhoo exactly. I've been in six relationships and am only in one now grin so that's a 12% survival rate, or something?

Serious relationships (living together) only two though so 50%.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Jan-13 00:03:25

I sometimes think there is a correlation in the 45+ age range of today who have stayed together and the old fashioned values we were brought up. I know that's a general statement and not true for all, but I seem to know more couples that have stayed together out of this age group than 40 and under.
I'm not saying that is better though, maybe more stay together for the wrong reasons and more split for the right reasons.
Very interesting though.
There is certainly a lot more pressure put on couples/families today, than when we started out. We had nothing but society didn't urge us into expecting too much to begin with, we were probably happy to settle for less, lol. Had fewer expectations and were certainly not as needy and entitled as the next generation. I am sooooooo old. grin

Harriet35 Wed 30-Jan-13 00:05:57

I think far too many people split up too easily nowadays. At the first bit of trouble it seems. It really isn't good at all for society IMO. Not that I'm saying that couples who hate each other should stay together but there has to be a happy medium. Look at nice old couples you see. Do you imagine they never had rows?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Jan-13 00:09:05

Sorry, meant to add. That's not to put younger people down. I am just noticing the changes in society which is very different to when we started out.

"I think far too many people split up too easily nowadays. At the first bit of trouble it seems."

The other way to look at it is that people were stigmatised for splitting up in the past (especially the women, even more so if they had children), whereas now it is more acceptable to walk away from a bad relationship.

Booyhoo Wed 30-Jan-13 00:11:58

you see harriet i think people stayed together when they shouldn't have in times gone by and that now in days when women have more rights and choices it is easier to make yourself safe and happy by removing yourself from a bad relationship.

i dont think breaking up is bad for society at all. why would it be? far more damaging to society for people to remain where they shouldn't. especially where children are involved. i dont think anyone breaks up over just having a row? do you? honestly?

Booyhoo Wed 30-Jan-13 00:12:42

xpost with goths.

<waves>

Looks like I'm about to become one of those people who appear to give up too easily. I'm just glad I'm living now, in a time where people are less bothered by divorcees.

Booyhoo Wed 30-Jan-13 00:17:57

happy divorce goths! i know that might sound wrong but i do think if it's not right then the best thing to do for all involved is to end it, so i wish you as happy a divorce as possible. smile

i think my parents think i gave up too easily but they dont and nevr wilol know the full story and tbh i think they should have split up long long ago but they wont as they are catholics and wont even consider it.

You say it like it's a bad thing, OP. Some relationships run their course - a year, a few years, and then there's nothing left and the participants would be happier apart. Some are toxic. Some people remain in a couple-relationship that isn't making either of them happy because of some misguided belief that longevity is a virtue.

And some people have no wish to engage in couple-relationships at all.

VicarInaTutu Wed 30-Jan-13 00:19:14

its all a game of chance i reckon.

i met DH when i was just 15.
married at 19.

now im 41 and he is 47 and we are still together - he is my best friend and i couldnt manage without him.

i suppose i clung to the first person i loved and who loved me after a rotten childhood but, it s worked so i dont question it too much!

married 22 years in april.
2 kids.
lots of stress and we are still here. its not and never been raging passion but we are the same - we often finish each other sentence and we think the same....i think we love each other very solidly. we were always seen as an odd couple but we are soul mates. he makes me laugh and i cant imagine life without him.

MooMooSkit Wed 30-Jan-13 00:21:23

I totally agree with OldLadyKnowsNothing

I was with my sons real dad six years and various other relationships. All though I thought it was "love" i never actually looked to the future and saw things the way i do with my current oh. Now i'm older I feel like I am with someone and have got it right, i see a future, I plan things without doubting what will happen and know i want to be old with this man. People change. I don't think it's shocking.

Harriet35 Wed 30-Jan-13 00:30:00

"The other way to look at it is that people were stigmatised for splitting up in the past (especially the women, even more so if they had children), whereas now it is more acceptable to walk away from a bad relationship. "

You're right, but I think it's gone too far the other way.

"you see harriet i think people stayed together when they shouldn't have in times gone by and that now in days when women have more rights and choices it is easier to make yourself safe and happy by removing yourself from a bad relationship.

i dont think breaking up is bad for society at all. why would it be? far more damaging to society for people to remain where they shouldn't. especially where children are involved. i dont think anyone breaks up over just having a row? do you? honestly? "

Yes, I think they do. That is the extreme end of it to be sure but it happens. I think a lot end people expect their relationship and family to be perfect and are destined for a lifetime of disappointment that this is not so. My mum and dad are still together but went through many trials and tribulations along the way, including my dad moving out for some time. Now they are in their 70s and still together and happy together.

Thank you Booyhoo

I'm terrified but know that there is no other real solution. Need to think of what's best for DS.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now