Marriage and Cohabitation

“Marriage is often derided as a mere formality, a ‘piece of paper’, while cohabitation has come to be portrayed as an equivalent or substitute. Sadly, it is not so. In Britain, the average length of marriages that end in divorce is between eleven and twelve years,6 and the average length of marriages as a whole is thirty years.7 The average length of cohabitation in Britain and the United States is less than five years. The formal act of commitment that constitutes marriage makes a difference to the strength and durability of the relationship.”

Morality, Chapter 4, p. 66