The Cost of Pursuing Marital Perfection

22nd August 2016 Family Law

Even people who have not tied the knot have an idea of what best represents the concept of marital bliss.

To some, it might mean household calm, shared interests and unforced displays of mutual affection, whereas others imagine it to be the white picket fences and toothy bonhomie of Hollywood domesticity.

However, as I've been telling the Daily Telegraph it would seem that, nowadays, far more couples rate their marriages against those relationships found in glossy celebrity magazines and their peers on social media and, sadly, they consider their lives to be lacking by comparison.

Whilst it's not necessarily something new to hear about individuals measuring themselves up against stars with profile and riches, the reliance on social media as something of a marital yardstick is a very recent development.

In recent years, of course, there've been countless claims of spouses encountering evidence of their other half's impropriety (and even infidelity) on various platforms.

Judging by the matters which myself and my colleagues in JMW's Family department see, those cases account for a very small and infrequent minority.

More common are spouses who regard their marriages as unable to meet up to the aspirations and optimism of courtship and the wedding day itself.

That sense of deflation is compounded by the volume of glamorous, positive personal and professional content posted on social media.

Where there are existing insecurities, those images and the barrage of unrelenting happiness only serve to further undermine confidence that husbands and wives can overcome their troubles.

It doesn't seem to matter that much of what is circulated on social media is superficial - the very best of what a couple or company have been doing or that certain celebrity magazine photoshoots are attended by a curse which brings star pairings grinding to a halt not long after.

The pattern is, if you like, the contemporary equivalent of the tension which once brewed after bragging by neighbours over the canap�s at dinner parties.

We must remember that, although we might not like to think so, life is not perfect. Our ambitions - and relationships - must be tempered by reality.

Marriages forged by spouses who fail to realise that physiques and faculties may fade as years pass may also fail to last the course. Liking each other in the flesh and not others only present in the digital realm is ultimately most important.

To discuss divorce, or other family law related issues with Holly or the team please do not hesitate to email us.


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Holly Tootill is a Partner located in Manchesterin our Family department

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