It’s a phenomenon that seems to be popping up all over – long time lovers and late starters getting married, often after years of living together, or as a second (or third) time-round new beginning.
Everyone from Ivana Trump to Harrison Ford and Lou Reed are making vows – or promising to – and the latest stats out of the UK indicate it’s a trend . . . marriage is increasing in popularity amongst the 30 to 50 year olds, while teenage married is dying out.
Government stats show many of these 30 to 50 year olds – eight out of ten – were already living together at the time of their marriage, and growing numbers of divorcees are opting for second marriages.
Famous 50-Pluses Marrying
Trend setting musos Lou Reed (67) and Laurie Anderson (62) have been living together and making googly-eyes at each other on stage for over a decade, but the NYC lovers announced recently they got secretly married in Colorado in April. (Reed’s third marriage, Anderson’s first.)
Harrison Ford (66) surprised his partner of seven and a half years Calista Flockhart (44), with an engagement ring on Valentine’s Day weekend while the two were away on a family vacation with son Liam. No wedding date has been set.
And Ivana Trump, (59) who provided the final punchline to The First Wives’ Club – “Remember girls, don’t get mad … get everything! – just got hitched again.
The ex-wife of real estate mogul Donald Trump tied the knot with Italian entrepreneur Rossano Rubicondi (36), her partner of six years, at her ex’s Florida mansion.
Apparently Ivana had no qualms about walking down the aisle. “I don’t need to get married to get the babies,” she says. “I have them. I’m not marrying for the social position. I don’t need to get married because of money. It just feels right. I have no fears.”
Good Reasons for Getting Hitched
Australian social commentator and author of The Sex Diaries Bettina Arndt says there are good reasons to marry, even after years of living together.
“I think many people take pleasure in the celebration, the public recognition that they have a lasting union. It is like a renewal of their vows – ‘Wow – we have made it through this far!’ – despite the fact that they never made vows in the first place.
“Friends of mine did this recently . . . after living together for over twenty years. It was a very joyous occasion – all about telling the world that they have succeeded against the odds.
Bettina her friends’ children were especially delighted by their parent’s decision to make a long term commitment.
“I think we underestimate how important it is to children to see their parent’s partnership as a permanent fixture.
“And in fact children are right to see marriage as important. Research clearly shows that marriage does provide that extra glue, encouraging people to stick together.
“It was long thought that cohabiting couples who have children together would be just as likely to stay together – for the sake of the children.
“But the sad reality, revealed by recent Australian research, is that having children doesn’t make cohabiting relationships any more stable. Children with unmarried parents are far more likely to live through the break-up of their family than children with married parents.”
(The UK stats support Bettina’s view. They show if cohabiting couples do not marry, the great majority break up within a few years. Only one in five couples last more than five years as cohabitees.)