Just when it seemed the institution of marriage was as endangered as an orderly Brexit, news greets us that the number of ‘silver splicers’ taking second vows in their 60s has doubled since 2001.
People who have already gone through the agonies of divorce or bereavement have decided that the best way to be happy is — whisper it — to marry again.
The eternal longing for mutual friendship, for understanding, companionship and, yes, sex in their 60s and beyond, has proved something many cannot resist.
What is so striking is that this goes against the long trend of falling marriage rates in an era when the institution has been denigrated — viewed as a ‘lifestyle choice’ that’s no better than simply living together.
In our anything-goes society, why should couples have to make a public proclamation of their commitment or proffer a pesky marriage certificate to prove their love?
The eternal longing for mutual friendship, for understanding, companionship and, yes, sex in their 60s and beyond, has proved something many cannot resist (stock image)
Successive governments have attacked married couples’ allowances for fear of suggesting marriage is better than other lifestyles — that of a struggling single mum, for example. Yet there’s a vast body of evidence to show that marriage is statistically the most effective way of keeping relationships together, the most stable way of bringing up children and giving them a good education and job prospects.
Of course, it’s not a bed of roses. Many marriages end in divorce. Lives broken, dreams shattered and, above all, children damaged.
However, the fact is you are far more likely to split up when co-habiting. You’re also more likely to end up in old age bereft of companionship and good health. It’s not for nothing that across the cultures, for centuries, marriage has been the bedrock that has underpinned society.
Which makes it all the more encouraging that these ‘silver splicers’ — with the benefit of wisdom they’ve acquired over the years — have come round once more to understanding that life is enriched by sharing it with another person, with a commitment made before family and friends. We were not born to live alone.
As that A. A. Milne poem, written almost 100 years ago, tells us:
‘It isn’t much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together,’ says Pooh, says he.
‘That’s how it is,’ says Pooh.
Cheer up, Louise
Having divorced her husband of 19 years to ‘find’ herself, Louise Redknapp says of her raunchy video to new single Stretch: ‘As a 44-year-old woman with two children, I should be allowed to have fun and not be scared to be sexy.’
All power to you, sister. But if you’re so happy with your lot, why do you look so unutterably miserable?
Louise Redknapp says of her raunchy video to new single Stretch: ‘As a 44-year-old woman with two children, I should be allowed to have fun and not be scared to be sexy’
Be prepared, Marchioness
No word of explanation after speculation that the Duchess of Cambridge had fallen out with her very posh Norfolk ‘rural rival’ and friend Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley.
Ignoring the rumours, Kate, dressed in jeans, boots and a red jumper, huddled with children in a den this week to celebrate the 100th year of the Scouts.
Their motto is ‘Be Prepared’. So a word to the Marchioness. However rich you are, be prepared one day to be curtseying to Queen Kate.
Idris Elba at National Film Awards at Porchester Hall, London, on Wednesday
A non-violent 007?
Idris Elba collected two gongs at the National Film Awards wearing a Don’t Stab Your Future sweatshirt as knife deaths hit a record high.
A powerful message to teenagers today from a lad who grew up in a tough-as-nails council estate in the East London borough of Hackney.
Idris, with his stern warning, is the perfect role model for kids who might be tempted to join gangs or who have already joined them.
Although perhaps he should eschew the lure of 007 — after all, Bond has a licence to kill.
Mel B’s Scary jealous outbursts
After Spice Girl Mel B claimed she’d had a lesbian fling with Ginger Spice, which Geri Horner (formerly Halliwell) denied, Mel went on to call Posh Spice, now known as Victoria Beckham, a ‘b*tch’.
VB and Geri are both married and very, very rich — whereas Mel B is divorced, says she’s penniless and is living in rented accommodation. Not so much Scary Spice as Spiteful Spice.
Geri Halliwell, Victoria Adams (Beckham), Melanie Brown (Mel B) front, Melanie Chisholm (Mel C) and Emma Bunton at AOL in New York
A dispiriting survey reveals that seven million UK mums will not see their grown-up children on Mothering Sunday tomorrow.
More than one in four of these sons and daughters say they won’t travel more than ten miles to see their mothers, many claiming that they have other plans. And one in ten admits they don’t see them even once a year!
So, a call to arms for all of you: drop your precious plans for just one Sunday, turn up unannounced — and tell Mum that you love her. It won’t just make her feel wonderful, but you, too.
Age-defying Elizabeth Hurley, 53, stepped out for dinner and dancing with her ex-husband Arun Nayar this week, having been on holiday with him and his girlfriend last summer.
Is Liz the ex from heaven — or hell? What girlfriend wants to spend her holiday with her beau’s ex — and one who looks better in a bikini, or a few safety pins, than any fiftysomething woman has the right even to dream of?
- After the PM said that she would quit as leader, doctors revealed they had discovered a woman who felt no pain and could put up with agonies no other human could withstand. For a moment, I thought they were talking about Theresa May.
- Shame on all the MPs who refused to vote through the PM’s Brexit agreement yesterday. Every single person I have encountered recently wants a conclusion to this chaos and for the country to move on. A plague on all these wrecking politicians.
- Sad though some may be to see her go, at least the exit of Mrs May will see the end of that horrible pale blue Italian Herno coat — which looked as though she’d slept in for a month after she misguidedly considered it to be ‘lucky’.
In a world where we despair of the courage of humans, seven dogs from the Met and British Transport Police were honoured with ‘animal OBEs’ for bravery during the Westminster Bridge and London Bridge terror attacks.
The firearms support and explosive search dogs were Kai, Delta, Marci, Zax, Bruno, Dave and Bobby. True heroes.
He enthralled us on stage as Hamlet, beguiled us as Jonathan Pine on TV in The Night Manager, intrigued us as the brief boyfriend of pop star Taylor Swift.
Now, heart-throb Tom Hiddleston is serving up raw vegetables, pills and a heart-shaped fried egg in an advert selling multi-vitamins to the Chinese.
No wonder Taylor swiftly moved on.
Fears that shops selling Easter eggs in March are fuelling childhood obesity are surely misplaced.
Walking past my local ice-cream parlour, with queues of children looking for three scoops of double-chocolate pistachio, I realised the epidemic isn’t seasonal, but 12 months a year.
Police have issued an emoji guide to social workers over their hidden meanings.
Evidently, ‘clapping hands’ is not, as I believed, a sign of approbation, but can indicate a liking for being spanked.
Now I know why various politicians have not returned my messages.
How delightful that, for the first time I can recall, the Queen this week took her white gloves off in public.
Not to greet a foreign dignitary, but to feed a police horse a couple of carrots.
Having finally agreed to be extradited to the UK, smirking speedboat killer Jack Shepherd has listed his demands.
Single occupancy of a cell with 24-hour surveillance, his own guards and access to the ‘mass media’, including pictures of his living conditions.
Who does he think he is? Julian Assange?