The Sunday Times: Marshmallow or marriage? The greatest test of a human being

13-Jun-2016

It’s tempting to think of marriage as old-fashioned. Why not just live with someone and be done with it? Yet it survives. All kinds of practical benefits seem associated with being married, writes Alain de Botton

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Tie the knot to boost children’s mental health, couples told

29-May-2016

New research by Marriage Foundation shows that marriage significantly improves the self-esteem of teenagers and improves their life chances. Children with parents in a stable long-term cohabiting relationship did not see any benefit.

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Initial Projects

 "Becoming the Go-to Destination”: promoting access to support by growing our presence on the web


Most people still aspire to marriage, but many slide into relationships that prove unstable, lack the skills for healthy relationships and don’t access help. We want to see more people accessing high quality relationship support and education at all stages of their relationship. There are many excellent providers of relationships education and marriage support. The Marriage Foundation will not be a service provider itself, but a key element in the growth of our website will be developing our presence as the “go-to destination”, signposting to existing services and working with providers to promote better access to services on a national basis. 

“Making the case for marriage”: building a reputation through informed comment and authoritative research

Myths such as marriage being “only a piece of paper” or “common-law marriage” exists need to be vigorously challenged in public debate. In becoming the first stop for comment on marriage, improving public understanding of the nature and benefits of healthy marriages and influencing people’s choices and behaviour, the Marriage Foundation is seeking to build the capacity to engage in debate across all media. “Data-mining” research from the Census, panel surveys and longitudinal studies has the potential to address, in new and exciting ways, many of the current debates including differences in fathers’ engagement with children following the breakdown of cohabitations and divorces, or variation in the stability of different types of relationship. Short, focused research drawing on these data sets will provide the basis for much of our media work.

“Mind the Marriage Gap”: developing a practical programme for young people

Many young people, especially those from poorer backgrounds, start out aspiring to marriage but cannot realise their dreams. They may lack role models, come to believe that “marriage is not for people like us”, or mistakenly believe that cohabitation is a safer alternative to marriage. To avoid the growing risk of the “marriage gap” the Marriage Foundation will bring together those with experience of working with young people to devise ways of building better understanding of the nature and benefits of marriage and how they can be realised. Investment in social media, viral videos, sessional youth work and mentoring programmes will be some of the methods pursued.