Sexual attraction no longer the most important ingredient for marriage
Why losing the spark won’t kill your marriage: Groundbreaking survey reveals sexual attraction is no longer the most important ingredient to matrimonial bliss
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Keeping the spark alive in the bedroom has long been hailed as the key to matrimonial bliss.
But a groundbreaking Mail survey of more than 1,000 people suggests sexual attraction is no longer the most important ingredient in a happy marriage, and a lack of intimacy does not automatically mean a trip to the divorce courts.
An astonishing 78 per cent of the 452 married people who took part in the poll said they would not leave their spouse if they no longer desired them sexually.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 66 per cent of those were aged 45 to 54.
But it is not just older couples well past the honeymoon period who feel this way.
An astonishing 78 per cent of the 452 married people who took part in the poll said they would not leave their spouse if they no longer desired them sexually (Stock image)
A huge 67 per cent of married couples aged 25 to 34 agreed, as did 63 per cent of those aged 35 to 44 and 38 per cent of those aged 18 to 24.
In a stark departure from societal stereotypes on how men and women view sex, more men backed the sentiment than women, with 84 per cent of males saying they would not leave their spouse if the sexual spark had died, compared with 73 per cent of women.
And just 7 per cent of men across all relationship types believed a healthy sex life is the most important ingredient of a successful marriage, with 54 per cent of those asked prizing respect the most.
The survey, commissioned by Femail magazine, also found many young people remain unconvinced by marriage, with 33 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 saying they don’t believe the institution is as relevant today.
Many young people remain unconvinced by marriage, with 33 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 saying they don’t believe the institution is as relevant today (Stock image)
And only 36 per cent of all those who took part in the survey said they believe unconditionally that marriage is meant to last ‘til death do us part’.
Of the respondents who have never been married, 44 per cent said they did not want to wed, a sentiment which 53 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds backed.
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A total of 1,012 UK adults aged 18 and over took part in the Mail’s survey, which was carried out by the polling firm Survation.
It comes amid plummeting marriage rates and soaring numbers of divorces.
The number of marriages fell by almost 37 per cent in the 30 years between 1989 to 2019, according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
And for the first time on record in 2020 there were more divorces than weddings, though this was largely put down to the impact of Covid restrictions on ceremonies.
Marriage rates fell to their lowest since 1862 with 7.4 per 1,000 unmarried men getting wed and 7 per 1,000 unmarried women.
Meanwhile, there were 8.5 divorces per 1,000 married men and 8.6 per 1,000 married women.
The statistics from May also showed how men were waiting until they were 35 to walk down the aisle, as spiralling rents and wedding costs – as well as a rise in cohabitation – saw couples delay their big day.
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